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Come Party With Me: Camping Trip - Menu (Part 1)

When planning a camping trip, select a menu before you leave the house and get as much as you can done in advance. For a weekend getaway, you should prep Friday & Saturday dinners and Saturday & Sunday breakfasts and lunches. For Friday afternoon's arrival at the campground, have a cooler of store bought snacks ready. Creamy cheeses, chips and dips, and sliced salami will tide guests over while setting up the tent. For the main course reheat already made corn chowder over the campfire. A green salad with fresh fruit pairs nicely with the chowder. Don't forget the fixings to s'mores, the classic campground dessert. The following morning for breakfast, scramble a big batch of herbed cream cheese eggs, serve bacon, toast, and sausage as hearty sides. For these tasty recipes,

Corn Chowder
From The Bon Appetit Cookbook by Barbara Fairchild
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6 ears fresh yellow corn (or about 4 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed)
4 cups low-salt chicken broth
3 cups whipping cream
2 tablespoons olive oil
7 bacon slices, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-wide strips
1 1/2 cups finely chopped onions
1 1/2 cups finely chopped leeks, white and pale green parts only, (about 2 leeks)
3/4 cup finely chopped celery
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/4 pound white-skinned potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
6 ounces fresh chanterelle mushrooms, thickly sliced
2 tablespoons dry Sherry
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 pound fresh crabmeat, picked over
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

  1. Cut kernels off corn cobs. Set kernels aside. Combine cobs, broth and cream in heavy, large saucepan. Simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
  2. Heat oil in large, heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add bacon and saute until crisp, about 8 minutes. Transfer bacon to paper towels to drain.
  3. Pour off all but 3 tablespoons bacon drippings and add onion, leeks, celery and fennel seeds to pot. Sauté until vegetables are crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Stir in potatoes.
  4. Discard cobs from cream mixture, and strain cream mixture into potato mixture. Simmer until potatoes are almost tender, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Stir in corn kernels.
  5. Simmer chowder until potatoes are tender, about 5 minutes longer. (Can be prepared to this point 1 day ahead. Cover and chill bacon. Cool soup slightly. Refrigerate uncovered until cold, then cover and keep refrigerated. Bring to simmer before continuing.)
  6. Melt butter in large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in Sherry and thyme. Add mushroom mixture to chowder. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  7. Saute crabmeat in same large skillet over medium-low heat just until heated through, about 3 minutes. Divide crabmeat, reserved bacon and parsley among bowls. Ladle chowder over and serve.

Serves 8.

Fruit Salad with Arugula
From Food & Wine magazine

1 cup whole blanched almonds (5 1/2 ounces)
1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon almond oil (optional)
Kosher salt
4 large nectarines (2 pounds), 3 sliced 1/4 inch thick and 1 coarsely chopped
1 small shallot, minced
3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground pepper
1 pint blackberries or Persian mulberries
4 bunches of arugula (1 1/4 pounds), large stems discarded

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°.
  2. In a small pie plate, toast the almonds for 8 minutes, until fragrant. Toss with 1/2 teaspoon of the almond oil and sprinkle with salt.
  3. In a mini processor, puree the chopped nectarine. Transfer the puree to a small bowl and add the shallot, vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Let stand for 5 minutes, then whisk in the olive oil and the remaining 1 tablespoon of almond oil. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Put the sliced nectarines and the blackberries in a medium bowl. Drizzle on one-third of the vinaigrette and season with salt and pepper.
  5. In a large shallow bowl, season the arugula with salt and pepper and toss gently with the remaining vinaigrette.
  6. Gently toss in the dressed fruit. Garnish with the almonds and serve immediately.

Serves 10.

Cream Cheese Scrambled Eggs
Southern Living magazine

8 large eggs
1/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon butter
1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese, cut into cubes
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil (optional)
Garnish: fresh basil sprigs

  1. Whisk together first 4 ingredients.
  2. Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat; add egg mixture, and cook, without stirring, until eggs begin to set on bottom. Sprinkle cream cheese cubes evenly over egg mixture; draw a spatula across bottom of skillet to form large curds.
  3. Cook until eggs are thickened but still moist. (Do not stir constantly.) Remove from heat. Stir in chopped basil before serving, if desired, and garnish, if desired.

Serves 4 to 6.

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