CREATE A WILDLIFE HABITAT
Welcome birds, squirrels and other wildlife to your yard
It’s time to think outside the s’mores! Marshmallows and graham crackers no longer need to reign supreme when it comes to cooking around your fire pit or outdoor fireplace. With an adventurous spirit and a little creativity, you can take family dinners and entertaining to a new level of fun with outdoor dining. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Popcorn is something quick and easy you can make around an open fire. To bring this tasty snack to life, you need a disposable pie pan, ¼ cup of popcorn kernels, 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil, aluminum foil, and if desired, salt and butter for seasoning. Place all of the food ingredients in the pie tin, cover with an overly large piece of foil that will allow space when the corn pops and place on the fire. Using hot mitts and a long stick, shake the pan from time to time to make sure all kernels pop. Once the popping has stopped, the snack is ready. Use caution in opening the foil packet as escaping steam will be hot. This fun and easy way to make popcorn is a lot more memorable (and tasty) than throwing a bag in the microwave!
This easy campfire food only requires canned biscuit dough and a hardwood roasting stick. Just wrap the biscuit dough around the stick and place it over the fire. Turn the stick regularly so that the dough cooks evenly on all sides. The fire flame doesn’t need to be roaring, just warm enough to brown the biscuits. Once browned, remove the biscuit from the stick. You can enjoy them hot off the stick (once they have cooled a bit) or fill the biscuits with eggs, cheese, PB&J, chocolate, or any other filling that tempts you.
You will need a pie iron for this recipe. Just like regular French toast, dip slices of bread in egg batter. Instead of cooking them in a skillet on the stove, however, place the bread in a buttered pie iron. Toast the bread on an open fire until the bread has browned and then top it with syrup, fresh fruit, jam or any of your favorite toppings.
Ham and cheese loaf
Try this easy way to make a quick warm treat for lunchtime. Make a sandwich using Italian bread, butter, Dijon mustard, Swiss cheese, and ham. Spray a piece of aluminum foil with cooking spray and then wrap the sandwich in the foil. Place the wrapped sandwich near the fire to toast the bread and melt the cheese.
Meat or Veggie Kabobs
Healthy and easy to prepare, kabobs are prime campfire food. Place veggies like onions, bell peppers, zucchini and mushrooms on a skewer, and meats like chicken, fish, or beef on another skewer, and place on a metal firepit grate until they’re cooked. Then combine your kabobs and enjoy! (Note: Different skewers are recommended as vegetables and meats often require different cooking times.)
Prepare your meat of preference, rice, cheese, salsa, beans and large flour tortillas. Wrap everything up in a tortilla and then wrap the burrito in foil and place in the fire until it’s toasty and cooked.
Don’t Forget Dessert!
Pineapple Upside Down Cake
To prepare this sweet treat, you need 1 or 2 fresh or canned pineapple rings, 1 tablespoon of butter, 1 or 2 tablespoons of brown sugar and a plain cake donut. Place everything together in an aluminum foil packet; place in the fire for five minutes, and enjoy!
Campfire Orange Cake
This dessert is an elegant but easy final course for a special meal. Cut off the top of an orange and scoop the insides until all you have left is the orange peel in the shape of a small bowl. Prepare an off-the-shelf cake mix and pour some of the batter into the small orange peel bowl. Repeat, making one for each guest. Wrap each batter-filled bowl with aluminum foil and set the packets in campfire coals for about 20 minutes. For an extra fancy touch, serve the cake with fresh orange slices.
These recipes will get you started with your outdoor cooking adventures but there are endless other options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner – and of course, for snacks and sweets. Look for ways you can adapt your favorite indoor treats for memorable outdoor dining experiences.