Tag Archives: camping

Celebrate Summertime With These Creative S’mores Butter Tarts

What do you get when you combine two classic Canadian desserts? The ultimate summertime treat: s’mores butter tarts! These feature a classic butter tart filling along with the three components of a s’more: milk chocolate, graham crackers and marshmallows. Get the campfire songs ready — this dessert doesn’t disappoint.

S’mores Butter Tarts Recipe

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Rest Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours, 50 minutes
Servings: 18 s’mores butter tarts

Ingredients:

Crust
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour, sifted
¼ cup graham cracker crumbs
¼ tsp fine salt
½ cup unsalted butter, cold and cubed
¼ cup ice water

Filling
¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
½ cup light brown sugar, packed
½ cup corn syrup
1 large egg, whisked
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 pinch fine salt
½ cup chopped milk chocolate, plus more for topping
1 cup mini marshmallows
Graham cracker crumbs, for topping

Directions:

Crust
1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, graham cracker crumbs and salt. Using your hands, work in the butter until a crumbly mixture is formed.

2. Add the ice water and mix until dough comes together. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and shape into a disc.

3. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours.

Related: Our Best Great Canadian Butter Tart Recipes

4. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/8-inch thick. Using a biscuit cutter, cut dough into 18 circles and shape into a muffin pan. If using a larger muffin pan, cut dough into 12 circles. Refrigerate while you prepare the filling.

Filling
1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.

2. In a medium-size mixing bowl, whisk together the butter, sugar, corn syrup, egg, vanilla and salt until well blended. Transfer to a pourable measuring cup.

3. Sprinkle a few pieces of chocolate in each tart shell. Evenly divide filling amongst the shells. The tarts should be ¾ of the way full.

4. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes, until the filling is bubbly and crust is golden.

5. Remove from the oven and top with marshmallows. Just before serving, broil the tarts for 30 seconds or until marshmallows are toasted. Top with a sprinkle of graham crackers and shaved chocolate. Enjoy!

Want more fun summertime treats? These Nanaimo bar popsicles and strawberry rhubarb cheesecake pastry pockets are so delish.

One-Pot Campfire Mac & Cheese is the Ultimate Camping Comfort Food

Mac and cheese is one of the easiest recipes to prepare, which is why it’s perfect to make on a camping trip. Perfectly al dente noodles, surrounded in creamy cheese it’s hard to improve on perfection. But the smoky, woodsy flavour from a roaring campfire takes the classic comfort food to a whole new level. This is a meal that feeds a crowd, is simple, fast and best of all, only requires the use of one pot!

Easy Campfire Mac and Cheese Recipe

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 2-3

Ingredients:

2½ cups whole milk
1 cup water
2 cups macaroni noodles
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
2½ cups grated cheddar cheese
½ tsp dry mustard powder
½ tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground black pepper

Directions:

1. Get your fire going or turn your grill to medium-high heat.
2. Pour milk and water into a medium pot and bring to a boil, then add the macaroni noodles and stir. Cook the noodles, stirring often, until tender, about 7 to 10 minutes.
3. Take the pot off the fire or grill and immediately stir in butter, grated cheese, mustard powder, salt and pepper. Mix well so the noodles are cheesy, gooey and delicious. Serve hot.

Looking for more camping ideas? Try our Brilliant Camping Food Hacks.

campfire-pizza

How to Make Easy Campfire Pizza in a Cast Iron Skillet

Cooking pizza over a fire adds such incredible flavour, you won’t want to make pizza in a conventional oven again. Our homemade dough is simple and fast, so there’s no “knead” to feel intimidated while quickly whipping it up near the campfire. Pizza will become your new camping staple, especially when you’re with a crowd because everyone can customize a crust with their favourite toppings. Keep it simple or go big with lots of veggies and meats – either way, this campfire pizza is a welcome addition to your backyard fire pit or camping trip.

Easy Campfire Pizza Recipe

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

Pizza Dough
1 pkg rapid rise instant yeast
1 cup lukewarm water
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for pan
2½ cups spelt flour or whole wheat flour, plus more for kneading and shaping

Toppings and Assembly
⅓ cup prepared tomato sauce
1 ball buffalo (fresh) mozzarella, sliced into thin circles or 1½ cups shredded mozzarella
¼ red onion, sliced into thin circles
¼ cup black olives, pitted and sliced
¼ cup fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped 

Directions:

Pizza Dough
1. In a large bowl, mix the yeast in warm water and stir for 1 minute, until dissolved. Add the olive oil and flour and mix until a ball of dough comes together. Using your hands, knead the dough until a smooth ball forms. Add more flour to the bowl if the dough is too sticky.
2. Cover the bowl with a towel and let sit, preferably in a warm place, for 15 minutes.
3. Divide the dough in half and make two balls. Set one ball aside in the bowl.

Toppings and Assembly
1. Get your fire going or heat a grill to high.
2. Coat the bottom of a cast iron skillet with additional olive oil and spread 1 of the balls of dough out on the pan. Use your fingers to push the dough to the edge of the skillet and cover the bottom evenly.
3. Cook the dough on the fire for 3 to 5 minutes, until the dough forms a firm crust.
4. Remove the pan from the heat using a heatproof glove, and carefully flip the crust over.
5. Add half of all of the toppings, except basil, on the pizza and place the pan back on the fire. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until the cheese has melted. If you have lots of toppings, cover the pizza with aluminium foil to help them cook.
6. Once the first pizza is ready, take it off the pan and repeat these steps with the second half of the dough and remaining toppings. Sprinkle basil over top, slice and serve.

Planning a camping trip? Try these Brilliant Camping Food Hacks.

campfire-nachoes-with-cheese

These Campfire Nachos Are the Ultimate Camping Snack

This crowd-pleasing appetizer shouldn’t be reserved exclusively for game day, it also makes a fabulous summertime camping recipe, whether you’re in the backyard or deep in the woods. This is a one-pot wonder recipe where all ingredients are cooked together in a single dish, which then doubles as the serving platter, making for ultra-easy cleanup. If your campfire is in the backyard, we recommend using a cast iron skillet, but if you’re really roughing it, a disposable aluminium pan will do the trick.

Campfire Nachos Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 2-3

Ingredients:

Extra-virgin olive oil, as needed
1 cup tomatoes, diced
½ bag tortilla chips
1 (14 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
3 green onions, sliced
1 avocado, pitted, peeled and diced
½ cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
½ lime, for serving

Directions:

1. Make your fire or heat your grill or burner to medium-high, and place on your cast iron or aluminium pan. Add a splash of olive oil when the pan is hot.
2. Evenly distribute ½ cup of the diced tomatoes into the pan, followed by ½ of the tortilla chips, ½ cup of the black beans, ½ cup of the grated cheese, ¼ cup of the diced tomatoes and ¼ of the sliced green onions on top.
3. Repeat all layers again until remaining ingredients have been used, except for the avocado, cilantro and lime.
4. Cover the pan with aluminium foil and let cook for 10 minutes, or until the cheese melts.
5. Remove from heat, uncover, top with diced avocado, fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lime.

Planning a camping trip? Try these Brilliant Camping Food Hacks.

These Vegan Roasted Banana & Peanut Butter S’mores Are Reason Enough to Go Camping

Everyone knows that chocolate and peanut butter are the perfect marriage, and when you add warm banana, gooey marshmallow, melted chocolate and graham crackers to the mix, you and your taste buds will be very happy! S’mores are the quintessential campfire dessert, after all. This upgraded vegan version takes the summertime treat from tasty to mind-blowingly delicious.

Vegan Roasted Banana & Peanut Butter S’mores


Prep Time
: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 2-4

Ingredients:

2 bananas, sliced into 1 1/2 inch circles
8 large vegan marshmallows
16 graham crackers (gluten free, if needed)
1/3 cup natural peanut butter
1 dark chocolate bar

Directions:

1. Get your fire going, or heat up your grill to high.

2. Peel the banana and slice it into 1 1/2 inch circles.

3. Thread the banana circles and marshmallows onto skewers or sticks, and hold them over the fire for a few minutes until golden.

4. Spread a layer of peanut butter on each graham cracker and place a square or two of chocolate onto one cracker.

5. Place the roasted marshmallow and banana on top of the chocolate, so it melts, and then add the other graham cracker on top to make a sandwich.

6. Now, take a large bite and enjoy!

Looking for more decadent campfire treats? Here are 28 Scrumptious S’mores To Try This Summer. For more vegan sweets, see our 50 Best Vegan Desserts Even Non-Vegans Will Love.

The Ultimate Guide To Campfire Cooking

When we were very young, my sister and I used to canoe camp on our own in the wilderness of the Yukon Territory. From an early age, I learned the ins and outs of campfire cooking and that knowledge is just as applicable today when I’m prepping dinner for my family of five.

Now that I’m older, I still think that the best part of a camping trip is the food, and that cooking over an open fire makes it taste that much better. Camp cooking doesn’t have to be complicated, especially if you’ve put some time into the preparation.

Campfire Cooking

Below are a handful of tips for successful campfire cooking, along with an equipment list that brings your home kitchen to the great outdoors. Just remember to add a measure of patience and a good dose of humour, because things don’t always go according to plan when you’re out in the woods!

Campfire Cooking dutch oven

Campfire Cooking Basics 
Safety First
Always make the area safe by ensuring that there are no branches overhead or dried leaves too close to where you are building the fire. Start your fire with small tinder such as twigs or dried moss and build up to larger logs. If you can, always use dry wood, not green or wet wood.

Keep Heatproof Tools On Hand
Keep a sturdy pair of tongs on hand for cooking, as well as a thick dry kitchen towel or an oven mitt.

Adjust The Temperature
Once the wood has been burning for at least 10 minutes, create the equivalent of high, medium and low heat settings in your fire pit. To do this, use a sturdy stick to maneuver some of the burning wood into a higher level at the back of the fire pit while keeping a bed of coals at the front.

Mise En Place
As much as possible, prep your food in advance of starting the fire, because once your fire hits a sweet spot with both glowing coals and low flames, you’ll want to get cooking right away.

Campfire cooking, sliders beside the campfire

What To Bring: Campfire Cooking Equipment 

Dutch Oven
Packing this one-pot wonder on a camping trip means you have the option to stew, boil, fry or simmer your food. Heap hot coals all around and on top of the Dutch oven to create an oven-like heat. You’re then ready to bake up anything from deep-dish pizza to fruit crisps and cobblers.

Cast Iron Skillet
From bannock to bacon, this handy pan ensures even heat and perfect colouration, every time. Be sure to get the pan smoking-hot before cooking or foods can stick.

Tin Foil
Everyone loves a foil-packaged meal because all the delicious juices are sealed in. To avoid keeping those juices intact, use a rubber-tipped cooking tongs to move and maneuver my foil food packages. This way, the delicious juices stay contained and there’s no soot in my dinner!

Multi-Pronged Stick
Whether you’re sharpening your own green stick or packed a metal one, always choose two or three prongs instead of just one. You’re a lot less likely to accidentally drop your dinner into the fire this way.

Grate Grill
For quick cooking, it’s hard to beat slapping food on a grate grill over an open flame. Choose foods that are improved by a little char on the exterior such as whole fish, whole sweet potatoes or thick steaks.

Campfire Cooking, building a fire

Respect The Woods
Finally, be a conscientious camp cook. You can burn some garbage, such as paper plates, used napkins and food scraps, but never toss in used Styrofoam, plastic or tin foil as these produce highly toxic fumes. And always be sure to douse your fire with water when the last s’more has been consumed.

Happy Camping!

Now that you’ve mastered campfire cooking 101, watch how to cook pretty much anything over the open flames.

Simple One-Pot Campfire Power Breakfast

The amount of energy we burn while camping with kids requires breakfasts of epic proportions. It’s essential to start the day with plenty of protein, nutritious veggies and big flavours, all accompanied by tons of coffee, of course.

Finished breakfast -1

Made in a Dutch oven, this one-pot power breakfast is super easy to cook, with no chopping required. It does take some time to cook, however, so make sure you have a pot of coffee brewing and a good book on hand while you wait by the fire. Whether you’re fueling up for a hike, wrangling children or just tossing a Frisbee on the beach, this hearty breakfast will keep you full well into the morning.

Note that cooking times will vary as not all campfires are created equal. Just try for an even medium heat and it will turn out just fine.

Ingredients-1

Ingredients:
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
4 organic pork sausages, raised without antibiotics (about 1 lb)
1 green pepper, seeded and quartered
4 green onions, trimmed to fit pot
10 large eggs
Fresh mild herbs, such as parsley or basil
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
5 oz baby spinach
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
A handful of fresh cherry tomatoes
Tabasco, for serving

sausages Step 1-1

Directions:
1. Heat a cast-iron Dutch oven over the camp stove or campfire, then add olive oil and 1 tsp of butter. Add the sausages, green peppers and green onions to the pot. Cook everything together, turning occasionally, until it gets plenty of colouring (a little char means a more flavourful dish).
2. Remove the onion after a few minutes and reserve. Continue cooking the sausage and peppers for a total of about 15 minutes. Remove everything from the pot and keep warm in tin foil.
3. Crack the eggs into a bowl and beat gently with a fork just to break the yolks. Tear up the herbs and add to the eggs; season with salt and pepper. Melt 2 tsp of butter in the pot and add the spinach. Stir until the greens are cooked down, then transfer to paper towel and blot dry.
4. Add the remainder of the butter to the pot and swirl to coat the bottom. Pour in half the eggs; then arrange spinach over the egg. Sprinkle 3/4 of the cheese over the spinach. Pour over the remainder of the egg.

everything in. Step 3-1
5. Return the sausage, green pepper and green onions to the pot, arranging them in a single layer. Sprinkle the cherry tomatoes and the remaining cheese over the top. Add a few herbs if you have any leftover.

Cooking. Step 4-1
6. Cover the pot and place over low heat (low coals, rather than full flame). Carefully, with a pair of sturdy tongs, pile a few embers on the lid. Cook, covered, for about 30 minutes or until the egg is nearly cooked through. Time will vary with campfire heat, so just keep checking under the lid to see how the eggs are cooking.
7. Remove from heat and let sit, covered, for about 10 minutes. The eggs will continue cooking during this resting period.
8. Serve hot with hot sauce on the side.

Campfire power breakfast final-1

Looking for more long weekend breakfast ideas? Watch this Lumberjack Breakfast recipe video and check out our 24 Easy Breakfast Casserole Recipes.

Susur Lee’s 10 Tips for Making Amazing Camping Meals

World-acclaimed chef and Chopped Canada judge Susur Lee used to camp all the time with his family, especially when his three boys were kids. Grilling up the same old hot dogs and hamburgers on a camping trip can get boring… fast. But not for Lee who won’t settle for less than amazing food.

susur-lee-camping

Here Susur Lee shares his tips on how to elevate a humble camping meal into something extraordinary.

1. Bring along an olive oil sprayer. 
It’s a widely-known fact that olive oil is a crucial part of mastering an outdoor grill, but who wants to lug around a big bottle when they’re in the middle of the woods? Make things easier by bringing a sprayer with you to spritz the grill with oil whenever you need to. Keeping things quick, clean and simple is an integral part of ensuring your camping trip is successful.

2. Mix things up by grilling some fruit alongside your vegetables.
Sure, grilling veggies like bell peppers and zucchini is yummy and nutritious, but throwing some pineapple or peach slices on the grill adds an unexpected sweet and savory taste to your meals.

3. Buy quality, store-bought food whenever possible.
No one wants to spend a ton of time and effort on meal preparation during a camping trip, so if you can buy pre-packaged and already-made ingredients, make sure to do so. Lee likes to bring packages of peeled garlic cloves in a vacuum-sealed bag because they’re super easy to crush and add to anything. No muss, no fuss.

4. Choose square plates over round ones.
The idea behind this is simple. You don’t have a lot of room on a picnic table and square plates line up nicely along the edge of the table, leaving more space for other items. Efficiency is key when dining outdoors.

5: When life gives you lemons…
You can never have enough lemons on a camping trip. Lee loves to grill them and squeeze them over both desserts and main dishes to brighten them up. The citrus flavour will complement your dishes perfectly.

6. Keep it casual.
When you’re camping, it’s no secret that the simpler something is, the better. You don’t have to spend a lot of time (or any at all) on meal presentation. Keep everything looking rustic and  straightforward. This is not the time for delicate garnishes and fussy plating.

7. Serve food at room temperature.
Bugs can be a huge problem when you’re camping, and a good way to keep the flies away is to make sure your food is served at room temperature. Steaming hot dishes will attract pesky bugs and distract from your meal. Also make sure to pack mosquito covers to keep your food completely bug-free.

8. Bring a cooler.
Susur likes to have a big one on hand to store all his ingredients cool and safe from the heat.

9. Be sure to have plenty of fuel on hand if that’s your main source of cooking.
The last thing you want is to run out of gas in the middle of your gourmet camping meal!

10. Pick a good cooking spot.
You don’t want to be battling the winds on your camping adventure. Set up your cooking station in a place that’s shielded from the elements to maximize your enjoyment of cooking in the great outdoors.

Try these two tasty camping meals by Susur Lee:

Vegetable Polenta Cakes
Singapore Style Beef Shish Kabob

S’Mores Bark for the Long Weekend

Oh, May long weekend…the unofficial start of summer. The first gloriously warm long weekend of the year, spent at a cottage enjoying morning hikes, afternoon tanning on the dock, and evening huddles around the campfire.

As lovely as that sounds, it’s not the case for most of us, and we’ll be settling for a little stay-cation in our own ‘hood.

But don’t give up on your lakeside fantasies just yet, because we’ve got a recipe for everyone’s campfire favourite that will totally make your long weekend — we’re talking about s’mores. Well, s’mores bark, to be exact. Think graham crackers, melted milk chocolate, and soft, roasted marshmallows all in one delectable bite.

888_smores-bark-main

With only four ingredients required (and no bonfire needed), you’ll be able to whip up this new take on everyone’s ultimate fireside treat — in under 15 minutes and for under $12!

smores1

Ingredients:
12 graham crackers (broken into quarters)
1 bag milk chocolate chips
1 cup mini marshmallows
¼ cup Skor bits

smores2

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to broil on high, line baking sheet with parchment paper, and lay graham crackers on baking sheet.
2. Pour about 1/3 of chocolate chips into a bowl, and microwave for about 60 seconds. Mix chocolate until smooth and lump free.

chocolate smores

3. Working in sections, pour the chocolate sparingly on top of the graham crackers, and carefully spread it out with a spatula. Repeat steps 2-3 to finish off the bag of chocolate chips, and evenly cover all graham crackers with a layer of chocolate.

smores4

4. Sprinkle the marshmallows on top of the chocolate. Try to keep them within the cracker lines, so it’s easy to separate the pieces at the end.

smores5

5. Place in oven on a rack that is on the third notch from the top. Roast the marshmallows until golden, about 30-60 seconds.

smores6

6. When chocolate is still hot, sprinkle Skor bits sparingly on top.

smoress7

7. Refrigerate until hard, about an hour. Break into pieces and serve.