Camp Chef Shelley

Stop WaitingIt’s Memorial Day Weekend, for many, the first three day weekend since President’s Day. It’s heralded as the start of summer, of camping, of all those things we’ve been waiting for. We’ve got pool parties to attend, new recipes to try out, barbecues are getting fired up. Let’s celebrate!

How do you barbecue? Is it burgers and dogs, is it dutch oven, do you limit what you can do because you are on a grill outside instead of inside in the sanctity of your kitchen? I hope not. Cooking outdoors is one of my greatest pleasures. Of course, that might be because I have no indoor cooking facilities. Seriously!

I cook outdoors on a Camp Chef almost daily. Recently my husband upgraded my Camp Chef, but for the last seven years, that’s been our only cooking apparatus, aside from an electric steamer and a crockpot which are used occasionally.

So let’s talk about what you can cook outdoors. Last month it was my world famous fish tacos, steak with baked potatoes, spaghetti, Jambalaya, Linguine with clam sauce, breakfast – lots of those. I also fixed chicken legs and kabobs, pork chops, couscous, and corn on the cob, among other things. Do you see much difference between what I cook outdoors and what you cook indoors? Probably not. The key for me is fresh and available, rarely do we have anything boxed or packaged, frozen or shelved. There’s no need for that. Does it take preparation? A bit, I have a tiny, tiny kitchen counter in our RV. I do my food prep with awesome knifes and a great cutting board, throw all that in separate bowls and then move it outside to add when needed. The biggest collection I keep in my house is knives and spices.

So as you move it outside this summer, consider the great possibilities you can cook there. Everything tastes better outdoors.

And as we celebrate this holiday weekend, let’s also remember. The purpose of the weekend is to reflect on those who paid the ultimate sacrifice, those who gave their lives for the freedoms we enjoy. Thank you to all in uniform, present and past, and to your brothers-in-arms who never made it home.

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Day 303 – Holiday Traditions III

cookiesShe’s sending Cookies!  My sister is sending COOKIES!  I am so excited.  One of my favorite holiday traditions is Christmas cookies.  My mom had this great recipe for no-bake fudge-oatmeal cookies, I can’t make them – no talent – but my sister makes them great every time.  Last night she called to find out where I might like my cookies sent.  Life is good.

Now I know you are thinking, why can’t you make these?  I have no idea, I’ve tried and tried, but it’s kind of like Jello for me, I can’t make that either.  I tell people I’m Jello challenged, because it’s true.  Jello has a special place in my heart, I’ve only ever had it at my mom’s house, so I associate it with her memory.

I’m a pretty good cook, most days, or at least the days that I have a kitchen to cook in.  I make killer fish tacos, a Thanksgiving dinner to write home about and Jambalaya to die for.  Most days we live in our RV, my kitchen is non-existent , we have cupboards to hold the dishes, pots and pans and a small sink, but nothing else.  I have no refrigerator, I have no oven, but I can make some killer meals.  I have a cooler and a Camp Chef.  The Camp Chef we set up outside when we park, it has two burners hooked to a propane tank.  I can fix just about anything on it.  Now, it is not without challenges, but one of the things we discovered is that everything we eat has to be fresh.  No boxed anything for us, it just doesn’t work on a Camp Chef and with only a cooler to keep things in, I have to buy fresh.  Since I have a great set of knives and a cutting board or two, everything comes from the produce and meat section.  It’s an awesome way to live and eat.  But man do I miss my sister’s cookies! Merry Christmas to me!