Outdoor Food Simply by Valerie J. Patterson

I’m late!  I’m late!  I guess I thought this blog was going to write itself!  It’s been a very hectic week, and I have not been here to visit, to read, or to comment.  Nor have I been here to write my blog.  So, unfortunately, I need to write this one right off the top of my head and hope I don’t bore anyone.  I had minor laser surgery today as well, so this is *really* late.  Please accept my apologies!

From the time I was a toddler my parents took my siblings and me camping.  I loved the clean mountain air, the cool, crisps nights, the bright and early mornings, and THE FOOD!  Meals cooked over an open fire just have a certain flavor one cannot achieve indoors no matter how it’s prepared.

As an adult, I have spent countless summers out in the woods with either my Girl Scout troop or my Preteen Sunday school class.  Everything was cooked over a fire, over a coffee can, inside a coffee can, or inside a whiskey box covered entirely with foil!

There were a couple mishaps along with way–like the time the fire shifted and our spaghetti toppled over, or the time the brown paper bag with our eggs and bacon caught fire and became a massive torch, or the time the sun was not nearly as hot as we would have liked and our chocolate chip cookies took an entire day to bake in the whiskey box!

But mostly, it’s been wonderful eating in a gorgeous setting with loads of laughter, tons of thanks, and many great adult friends to work beside.  Some of my fondest memories are from trust hikes, but that’s another blog!

My friends Sharon and Amy reminded me of some of my favorite recipes the other day so I thought I’d share them here for you to try as you will!

Here are a couple you can try at home–outdoors of course!

Tacos in a Bag:

You will need small individual size bags of Doritos (regular flavor), lean ground beef cooked perfectly over your wood fire, shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, and hot sauce to suit.  Open your bag of Doritos and then crunch them up while they are still inside the bag.  Add two tablespoons of beef, lettuce and tomato and hot sauce, hold the bag closed and shake, shake, shake!  Open bag and eat!  These are excellent tacos plus clean up is the pot you cooked the beef in and the utensils.  Snap!

Omelets in a Bag (seeing a pattern here):

You’ll need heavy duty freezer zipper bags (1 quart size), eggs, crumbled, precooked sausage, salt and pepper to taste, and shredded cheese.  Open your zipper bag and crack two eggs into it, add crumbled sausage, shredded cheese, salt and pepper to taste.  Close zipper bag–making certain it is sealed perfectly–then shake, shake, shake until eggs are scrambled.  Place the zipper bag in a pot of boiling water for 12 minutes.  Remove bag from water, open, and toss omelet onto plate.  Eat and enjoy!  In a large group, this fast and easy breakfast insures that everyone eats together instead of waiting for each omelet to cook.

These are so good and so easy, I have made them on a Saturday morning on the stove.  No mess, no fuss, no left overs, either!

Milkshake in a Bag (definitely see that pattern, now, don’t ya):

You’ll need (per milkshake) one cup cold milk, 1/2 cup cream, 1 tablespoon real vanilla extract, and flavoring to suit–like chocolate sauce–2 zipper bags (1 one-gallon and 1 half-gallon).  Mix milk, cream, vanilla, and chocolate sauce in the 1/2 gallon zipper bag and seal shut–making certain it’s sealed perfectly–place inside gallon bag and surround with ice.  Add a dash of salt over the ice and seal shut.  Next, shake, shake, shake the bags until mixture is thick and frothy.  Pour into a glass and enjoy!  This tasty treat is especially fun as kids find creative ways to shake their bags!

Foil Dinners (nope, no bag for this one, just a pouch):

Per dinner you’ll need two sheets of heavy duty foil, one section of the weekly newspaper dipped in water, but not dripping wet.  Place wet newspaper between two sheets of heavy duty foil.  In center of foil place 8-10 cubes stewing beef or chunks of fresh chicken, 10-15 chunks cut raw potato, some onion, carrots, celery, and season salt, salt and pepper.  Gather two ends of the foil together above the center and roll down to seal top , forming a pouch.  roll each side in toward the center and scrunch tightly together to seal pouch.  Place each pouch inside hot coals from campfire checking after 15 minutes to see if veggies and beef or chicken are cooked to perfection.  Eat right out of foil pouch.  Only cleanup are the utensils!  This meal was such a hit with my Girl Scouts they took it home to their parents who made it on the grill, placing the pouches beneath the charcoal.

And finally–Breakfast Muffins:

You’ll need whole oranges and Jiffy muffin mix.  Cut the top off of each orange and scoop out until orange peel is clean and without any holes.  Save scooped orange to eat with muffin later.  Prepare Jiffy muffin mix and fill each orange 3/4 full.  Replace orange top.  Carefully wrap with foil and set oranges on hot coals.  “Bake” for 10 minutes and check muffin with toothpick.  Replace on coals if not quite done.  Eat muffin right out of orange peel.  Only cleanup are the utensils!  These muffins are incredible and packed with natural flavor, but feel free to add cranberries or blueberries or whatever fruit you’ll like and enjoy!

I wish I had photos of each to share, but I hope you’ll be adventurous enough to try the recipes out!

Until next time…happy eating!

Take care,


20 responses to “Outdoor Food Simply by Valerie J. Patterson

  1. Amazing and easy, breezy recipes! Thank you for sharing! I will be trying some of them 🙂

    • Valerie J. Patterson

      Hi Sharon! Thanks for reading. Your grandkids will love Tacos in a Bag! Let me know if you try a recipe. I hope it’s a hit! 😛

  2. Nostalgia! We used to make the meal in foil at Girl Scouts and also in our back yard–Mother was a Brownie leader and former Scout so she knew all sorts of great outdoor recipes. Loved the one where you mould stiff Bisquik dough around a smooth stick and toast it til done over the coals, pull it off and fill with jam.

    • Valerie J. Patterson

      Yay! You and your mom shared scouting together. I love to hear that! Now, I gotta say the dough filled with jam sounds very tasty! Thanks Karen! 😛

  3. Wow, great recipe’s. I don’t camp but grilling outside is good. I’m glad the laser surgery was minor.

    • Valerie J. Patterson

      Hi Lavada! Hope you try one or two of these easy recipes, especially with your family. Thanks for the good thought as well. It was minor and I’m very glad it is over with! 😛

  4. Haha! I remember the spaghetti dumping and the cookies not baking!!!! I keep telling my husband that I can cook over a fire, just not in the kitchen! 🙂 The foil dinners are still a staple for us, now if I just had the fire pit for the muffins.

    • Valerie J. Patterson

      Hi Shelley! I’m so glad you still remember the spaghetti and the cookies, and that you still make the foil dinners. That is like gold to me! I was just telling someone the other day about our trips to Deep Creek, and the HUGE cottage we last stayed at when there was 18 or so of us! Good times, Great memories! Make sure the hubby builds the fire pit so you can cook excellent cuisine just for him! 😛

      Thank you for stopping by and reading! 😛

  5. Going shopping for some bags! Cool recipes. Glad you’re all right. I checked in over here a few times yesterday and was getting worried about you. Fun post.

    • Valerie J. Patterson

      Believe it or not, while I was having surgery I was fretting over not getting my blog posted! 😛 Thank you, Jillian, for checking in and for your concern. I’m feeling better, have some bruising I’m contending with, but it’s all minor compared to what others have been walking through lately. Hope you try some of the recipes out. The tacos are really very good. It’s the seasoning on the Doritos that really make the flavor pop. 😛

      • Glad to hear you’re on the mend. That’s great news. And I’m def. going to try the recipes. I love Doritos and can’t wait to see how that does!

      • Valerie J. Patterson

        Thanks, Jillian. The last of the bruising has finally begun to fade! Yay!

        I have to admit, I was a little wary of the Dorito tacos at first, but once I had my first taste, I knew it was the best way to eat a taco. Apparently Taco Bell thinks the same way because they asked Dorito to make a special taco shell just for them. Are there Taco Bells by you?

  6. Hope the laser surgery went well, Valerie. Great recipes. I’m very tempted to try the omelettes in a bag 🙂

    • Valerie J. Patterson

      Hi Tricia! Thank you, it did go well, and was actually my last in a series of 6. Can’t tell you how glad I am they are done! 😛 I hope you’ll try a recipe or two. It was difficult to choose which ones to post because I’ve accumulated so many over the years. The ones with very little clean up are my favorites. 😛

  7. I love these recipes and will have to try the muffin one. We’ve done the foil dinner thing at campouts. We generally do 3 or 4 foil bags for 12-14 people. One year, a friend wanted to make his own. Later, in the fire, it exploded. Turns out, he’d accidentally dropped his lighter in the bag before he sealed it. Needless to say, he ate from the other bags that night. lol

    We do a family winter cabin weekend and omelets in a bag are one of the breakfasts each year. We put out all sorts of fixings, ham, onion, etc. and everyone marks their own (with permanent marker) and puts in whatever they want.

    • Valerie J. Patterson

      Oh, that’s funny but kinda scary at the same time. Thankfully no one was hurt, but I can imagine everyone’s surprise when it exploded! I hope you try the muffins. They really are very good. It sounds like you and your family have a great time all together. Keep the tradition alive! Thanks for reading and commenting, Laurie!

  8. These are wonderful!!! Some of them I’ve heard of before but there are a few new ones. Can’t wait to try them out!!

  9. Valerie J. Patterson

    Hi Michal! Thanks for stopping by! I hope you have good experience with the recipes (and a lot of fun, too!). Stop back and let me know how it goes! 😛

  10. Hope all well after laser treatment. And what fab recipes. Food cooked and eaten outdoors always tastes much better, and more fun. Great post. Thanks Valerie.

    • Valerie J. Patterson

      I hear ya, Kit! Food cooked outdoors just has that certain flavor that can’t be replicated inside and on the stove!

      Thank you, I am feeling much better and–outside of some fading bruises–would never know I’d had laser surgery! Yay! Hope you and yours are well! Thanks for reading and commenting! 😛

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