So you are probably wondering why I think camping is so relaxing, considering I just posted a never ending list of things to pack and things you need. Am I contradicting myself? No. I’m a firm believer in doing a lot of prep ahead of time so that when I actually get to the campsite and get everything set up, that I can just sit and relax and visit with friends and family.
One of the easiest things to do ahead of time is meal prep and considering that’s my role at the campground (yes that sounds sexist, but I’d rather cook at the campsite then hook up the sewer pipe…that job is all man), I do as much ahead of time as I can. Whether it’s marinating chicken, chopping up vegetables or prepping a breakfast casserole, all of those little things make camping a more enjoyable experience…. not to mention less dishes to do at the campsite, and I’m all for that!
Many of our camp outings usually include a large group of people and we all select what meal we want to cook for the group and have our “assigned camp meal”. We are usually responsible for feeding 20-25 people, so again, prepping ahead of time is a life saver! Today I’m going to share with you my favorite camp meals that you can prep ahead of time to make your life easier! My secret weapon: disposable aluminum foil trays and Ziploc bags. I absolutely love these items and could not live without them!
BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS!
I have one favorite breakfast that is tried and true and one newly discovered breakfast that I first made last year and was an instant hit. Both can be prepped ahead of time and stored in an aluminum tray. You just pop both in the oven to warm when ready for breakfast.
Breakfast Burritos – the tried and true, filling breakfast meal. At least one morning of a camp trip, I make chorizo and egg breakfast burritos. When cooking for a big group, you can easily make the burrito mixture ahead of time and then heat it up and assemble at the campsite. You really don’t need a recipe for this simple of a meal, just cook the chorizo and once cooked, add a pack of eggs! Just in case you don’t know how to do this, here is a link to a sample recipe that looks pretty good!
Tater Tot Breakfast Casserole – this is a VERY easy make ahead meal that I tried out last year and it was a campground hit! Two of these trays was plenty to feed our big group. Again, I made the entire dish from home ahead of time, even the baking, and at the campsite just heated everything up. This is definitely a repeat recipe and I will be making this again. I know it sounds a bit weird, but think of the tater tots as hash browns.
Actually, we usually NEVER eat a real lunch while we are camping because we are stuffed from breakfast and getting ready for dinner! But, on the occasions that we do have a real lunch, I’ve found that hitting up my local grocery store’s deli section makes for a quick and time-saving lunch. You can get anything from a pasta salad, cold fried chicken, potato salad, marinated veggies, etc. Nothing is easier than that!
Our group really cooks some amazing dinners, so we usually don’t make the basic hot dog and hamburger dinners (although there is nothing wrong with that!). Usually, there is a delicious cut of meat, salads, potatoes, sides, etc.
When I have a dinner assignment, my go-to meals are carne asada tacos, refried beans and homemade chips, salsa and guacamole. To accomplish this, we go to our local carniceria (meat market) and request the meat already marinated. The prep that I do ahead of time is to chop up the onions, tomatoes, cilantro and limes and make the salsa and guacamole. I also can make my beans ahead of time as well. All that needs to be done at camp is to grill the meat, heat the tortillas and beans and assemble!
My alternative dinner is a good marinated chicken with my favorite Mexican corn on the cob recipe and a green salad. So good! Again, I marinate the chicken ahead of time, buy a packaged salad bag and then prepare the butter mixture that is to be put on the corn. All things that can be done ahead of time in the comforts of your own home!
The past few years, there has been a drought in California and everywhere we went camping, we have not been able to have a campfire. I’m hoping that this coming year, we can again have our campfires and when we do, we can break out the S’mores sticks! Yes, we all like a traditional S’more, but I’ve also learned about some delicious variations from our camp buddies. One of those includes using a Peep as the marshmallow…. who knew?! Roasting a Peep over the campfire creates a caramelized, crunchy exterior and is delicious tucked into chocolate and graham crackers! The other alternative that we have had includes a Reese’s Peanut Butter cup instead of your plain old Hershey bar. Again, amazing and the trick to this is setting your peanut butter cup on top of the graham cracker near the fire so it starts to get soft and melted before you assemble it with the marshmallow.
Then I began to think about other combinations that are out there and found this on Pinterest to share with you all.
So I’ll leave you with this and ask you to share what tips and tricks you use to help you with your advanced prep and most importantly…. what S’more are you going to try this year?? I know I’m going with the Salted Caramel all the way!