by Sharla

Hobo Dinner Recipe for Camping

August 19, 2014 in Cooking, Main Dish by Sharla

Hobo Dinner Recipe for Camping

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Ok, I admit, this Hobo dinner with cabbage burnt and wrapped around it might not look like much, but trust me, when you’ve been camping in the sun, with your kids, in the dirt, with no running water and no toilet paper, this picture is actually heaven.  Seriously, haven’t you ever noticed that everything tastes better when you’re camping?  I have been making hobo dinners for years and I think I have finally created the perfect hobo dinner.  It’s so perfect I’m surprised it hasn’t ripped a hole in the space-time continuum (a little Doctor Who reference for ya).  This recipe comes from years (literally) of trial and error.  And I must give credit to onesweetappetite.com for the finishing touch on this recipe!  Buckle your seat belts, you’re about to be blown away.

Ingredients:

1 pound ground beef (the hight the fat content, the better)

1/2 pound bacon cut in half

1 yellow squash

4-6 potatoes, cubed

3 carrots, sliced

1/4 onion, diced

4-8 cabbage leafs

1 can cream of mushroom soup OR BBQ sauce

salt and pepper to taste

heavy duty aluminum foil

charcoal briquettes

The Method:

First things first, you gotta have the right kind of heat to cook on a camp fire.  That does not mean big, devil-licking flames.  The best way to cook on a camp fire is when the flames go down and what you have left is burning embers at the bottom of the pit.  I cheat (don’t judge me).  The fastest and easiest way to get those perfect coals is with charcoal.  I do have wood in the fire on one side, for fun, then the charcoal on the other, for cooking.  Let those briquettes burn until the outsides are gray with ash and the insides are hot with flame (like when we all become senior citizens).

While your coals are burning, prepare the dinners.  One piece of foil per dinner (or two pieces if you’re using regular foil).  Put a large cabbage leaf in the center.  Layer 2-4 half pieces of bacon on the bottom, then 1/4 of the ground beef in a patty.  Some of you out there may not be into using a high fat ground beef (85% lean or less), but you NEED the grease and liquid this beef emits to have a good camp fire dinner!  Next, put on a little diced onion, then a healthy spoonful of cream of mushroom soup OR BBQ sauce (depending on your taste), then 1-1 and 1/2 cubed potatoes, then a handful of sliced carrot, and last the sliced yellow squash (also known as summer squash).  Salt and pepper to taste, and last a small dollop of soup or BBQ sauce right on top.  If your cabbage leaf is too small to fold up around that beautiful mound, cover with another leaf and fold the sides of the foil up tight.  Place in the fire with the meat side down and cook….well, until it’s done.  It’s hard to say but I average between 20-45 minutes depending on the size of the dinner.  

Turn regularly from side to side to cook evenly, and check the meat after the first 20 minutes and then every 5-10 minutes after that.  I promise, the cabbage leaf will protect your meal from burning, even if the meat gets more done than you like.  :)  When you’re done pull those puppies out of the fire and enjoy!

The Theory:

The bacon adds flavor and grease along with the high fat beef.  I have used stew meat before, but it tends to over cook, and never has enough fat, and is hard to eat.  You can choose between the cream of mushroom soup or BBQ sauce depending on which you like better.  My kids prefer the soup, but my hubby (who likes a bolder flavor) chooses BBQ sauce.  DO NOT turn the dinners upside down in the fire, which is why I layer the hardest to cook ingredients closets to the bottom because they will receive the most heat.  You put those delicate yellow squashes at the bottom and they’ll be ruined, I promise.

Here is the Pinterest Critique I did of using cabbage in this recipe!

Here is the original link for the cabbage idea that took us over the moon!

Hobo Dinner for Camping
Serves 4
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Print
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. 1 pound ground beef (the hight the fat content, the better)
  2. 1/2 pound bacon cut in half
  3. 1 yellow squash
  4. 4-6 potatoes, cubed
  5. 3 carrots, sliced
  6. 1/4 onion, diced
  7. 4-8 cabbage leafs
  8. 1 can cream of mushroom soup OR BBQ sauce
  9. salt and pepper to taste
  10. heavy duty aluminum foil
  11. charcoal briquettes
Instructions
  1. First things first, you gotta have the right kind of heat to cook on a camp fire. That does not mean big, devil-licking flames. The best way to cook on a camp fire is when the flames go down and what you have left is burning embers at the bottom of the pit. I cheat (don't judge me). The fastest and easiest way to get those perfect coals is with charcoal. I do have wood in the fire on one side, for fun, then the charcoal on the other, for cooking. Let those briquettes burn until the outsides are gray with ash and the insides are hot with flame (like when we all become senior citizens).
  2. While your coals are burning, prepare the dinners. One piece of foil per dinner (or two pieces if you're using regular foil). Put a large cabbage leaf in the center. Layer 2-4 half pieces of bacon on the bottom, then 1/4 of the ground beef in a patty. Some of you out there may not be into using a high fat ground beef (85% lean or less), but you NEED the grease and liquid this beef emits to have a good camp fire dinner! Next, put on a little diced onion, then a healthy spoonful of cream of mushroom soup OR BBQ sauce (depending on your taste), then 1-1 and 1/2 cubed potatoes, then a handful of sliced carrot, and last the sliced yellow squash (also known as summer squash). Salt and pepper to taste, and last a small dollop of soup or BBQ sauce right on top. If your cabbage leaf is too small to fold up around that beautiful mound, cover with another leaf and fold the sides of the foil up tight. Place in the fire with the meat side down and cook….well, until it's done. It's hard to say but I average between 20-45 minutes depending on the size of the dinner.
  3. Turn regularly from side to side to cook evenly, and check the meat after the first 20 minutes and then every 5-10 minutes after that. I promise, the cabbage leaf will protect your meal from burning, even if the meat gets more done than you like. :) When you're done pull those puppies out of the fire and enjoy!
Notes
  1. The bacon adds flavor and grease along with the high fat beef. I have used stew meat before, but it tends to over cook, and never has enough fat, and is hard to eat. You can choose between the cream of mushroom soup or BBQ sauce depending on which you like better. My kids prefer the soup, but my hubby (who likes a bolder flavor) chooses BBQ sauce. DO NOT turn the dinners upside down in the fire, which is why I layer the hardest to cook ingredients closets to the bottom because they will receive the most heat. You put those delicate yellow squashes at the bottom and they'll be ruined, I promise.
This Is Do-Able http://www.thisisdoable.com/

You’re welcome.  I just made camping that much more bearable (pun intended).

<3, Sharla

by Sharla

Daily Doable 2/10/14

February 10, 2014 in Cooking, Daily Doable, Healthy, Main Dish by Sharla

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My Favorite Low Calorie Sandwich!

Click here or the picture to watch the Daily Doable!

by Sharla

World’s Best Meatloaf

January 23, 2014 in Cooking, Main Dish by Sharla

World’s Best Meatloaf

Ok, I know I’m really making a statement here.  World’s best meatloaf…I mean, that’s really saying something.  I dare you, DARE YOU, to make this meatloaf and disagree with me.  This is the result of years of tinkering with recipes, adjusting what worked, and using the best ideas for meatloaf from, well, everywhere.  This ranks up there with warm chocolate cake and ice-cream.  Yes, I just compared meat to cake.  Now you have to try it.

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Did I mention its wrapped in bacon?  

INGREDIENTS:

1 pound ground beef or sausage

1 small package mushrooms, chopped

1/2 onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 package bacon

1 egg

1 to 1/2 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs

1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper

THE METHOD:

Preheat oven to 350.  While the oven is heating fill a 9×13 pan half way up with water and put in oven to heat.  I guess this is called a bain-marie.  Don’t worry it’s gonna keep your meatloaf nice and moist.

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In a skillet saute chopped onion, mushrooms and garlic until all of the water evaporates off of the mushrooms, about 8 minutes.  Cool slightly.

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In a large bowl combine ground beef, egg, bread crumbs, mushroom mixture, salt and pepper.  Mix it well.  I get right on in there with my hands and mash that mess up until it’s good and mixed.  Adjust your bread crumbs so that the meat doesn’t stick to your fingers.

Line a bread loaf pan with bacon (this is where it gets good).  On the ends I cut the bacon in half so it fits nicely.  Press the meat mixture into the pan.

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Place the bread pan in the bain-marie and bake uncovered for 1 hour 15 minutes.

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Time to serve.  Remove the meatloaf from the pan using two spatulas (including the bacon) and slice that puppy up.  See all that “juice” (ok, we all know it’s grease from the bacon, but don’t think about it), drizzle it over the meatloaf and a side of mashed potatoes.

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World’s best meatloaf.  Told ya.

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<3, Sharla

World's Best Meatloaf
Seriously, the best meatloaf EVER!
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Print
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
1 hr 15 min
Total Time
1 hr 45 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
1 hr 15 min
Total Time
1 hr 45 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 pound ground beef or sausage
  2. 1 small package mushrooms, chopped
  3. 1/2 onion, chopped
  4. 2 garlic cloves, minced
  5. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  6. 1 package bacon
  7. 1 egg
  8. 1 to 1/2 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
  9. 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350. While the oven is heating fill a 9x13 pan half way up with water and put in oven to heat. I guess this is called a bain-marie. Don't worry it's gonna keep your meatloaf nice and moist.
  2. In a skillet saute chopped onion, mushrooms and garlic until all of the water evaporates off of the mushrooms, about 8 minutes. Cool slightly.
  3. In a large bowl combine ground beef, egg, bread crumbs, mushroom mixture, salt and pepper. Mix it well. I get right on in there with my hands and mash that mess up until it's good and mixed. Adjust your bread crumbs so that the meat doesn't stick to your fingers.
  4. Line a bread loaf pan with bacon (this is where it gets good). On the ends I cut the bacon in half so it fits nicely. Press the meat mixture into the pan.
  5. Place the bread pan in the bain-marie and bake uncovered for 1 hour 15 minutes.
  6. Time to serve. Remove the meatloaf from the pan using two spatulas (including the bacon) and slice that puppy up. See all that "juice" (ok, we all know it's grease from the bacon, but don't think about it), drizzle it over the meatloaf and a side of mashed potatoes.
This Is Do-Able http://www.thisisdoable.com/
by Sharla

Italian Subs

September 22, 2013 in Cooking, Main Dish by Sharla

Football Food: Italian Sub

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It’s finally here, FOOTBALL SEASON!  Whether you like the NFL, college, or your Pee Wee league, this time of year is a great chance to get together with family and friends, strike up old rivalries, cheer, get in fist fights, drink too much (jk) and, most importantly, EAT!

I can’t take credit for this beauty of a sandwich.  It was 100% created by my brother-in-law, Aaron.  But he doesn’t have a blog, so I’m going to spread the word for him.  Great cook, great bro-in-law, ok football team (he likes the Titans).  So, thank you Aaron for sharing your expertise with us all and making football season that much better.

Aaron’s Italian Sub

Ingredients:

1 Loaf french bread

2-3 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1-2 Tablespoons mayo

1 Tablespoon yellow mustard

1 Tablespoon dried Italian Seasoning

1/8 Cup chopped red onion

2 Tomatoes

1/4 Cup pepper spread or banana peppers or jalapenos (depending on how spicy you like it)

1/4 pound Hard salami

1/4 pound Ham

1/4 pound Provolone Cheese

The Method:

Pre-heat your broiler to high.

First chop your junk.  This goes together fast, and it’s nice to have everything ready to roll when you put the sub together.

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Now prep the bread.  You are going to slice your loaf of french bread length wise and open it up on a cookie sheet.  Drizzle both side of the bread with the olive oil.

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Now pop that baby in the oven to get good and toasty.  I don’t like to put things under the broiler and then walk away because I always, ALWAYS burn it.  So sit and wait patiently for it to get good and toasty.

Pull it out and we are going to assemble the cold ingredients on the top half and the hot ingredients on the bottom.  Remember that old McDonald’s commercial where they had the two rival gangs, West Side Story style, and they had to keep the “hot side hot” and the “cool side cool”.  Come on, I know you remember.  Same thing here, we are going to burst into spontaneous song about the hot side and the cool side.  So from here on out I will refer to the top of the bread as the “cool side” and the bottom as the “hot side” so keep up.  

On the “cool side” of the bread spread your mayo and mustard and give it a healthy sprinkling of Italian Seasoning.  Then add your diced red onion and your pepper of choice.  See, cooooooool.

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Now, on the “hot side” layer your ham, then salami, then provolone so they all overlap slightly.  

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And, just to make it extra hot, pop it back under the broiler until the cheese is good a bubbly.  

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Don’t get distracted by your naked 3-year-old running around the house.  You must excercise self control and stay near the oven so as not to burn the hot side to a crisp!  Here’s what it should look like assuming Brad Pitt didn’t ring your doorbell and ruin you dinner…

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As Homer J. Simpson would say, aaaaaaaaahhhhhhh, toasty…

Now, carefully, with all of your skill as a ninja lay the cool side on top of the hot side (isn’t that always the way with rival gangs).  I like to stick the whole thing with tooth picks  and then slice.  

IMG_2008

Happy Football Season!

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<3, Sharla

Italian Sub
Serves 6
Football Food!
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 Loaf French Bread
  2. 2-3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  3. 1-2 Tablespoons mayo
  4. 1 Tablespoon yellow mustard
  5. 1 Tablespoon dried Italian Seasoning
  6. 1/8 Cup chopped red onion
  7. 2 Tomatoes
  8. 1/4 Cup pepper spread or banana peppers or jalapenos (depending on how spicy you like it)
  9. 1/4 pound Hard salami
  10. 1/4 pound Ham
  11. 1/4 pound Provolone Cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven for broiler.
  2. Slice bread in half length wise and drizzle both halves with olive oil.
  3. Toast bread in oven until golden brown.
  4. On top half of bread spread mayo, mustard, Italian Seasoning, chopped red onion, and peppers.
  5. On bottom half of sub layer ham, salami, and cheese.
  6. Return bottom half of bread to oven and toast until cheese is bubbly.
  7. Removed from oven, put top half on and slice.
This Is Do-Able http://www.thisisdoable.com/
by Sharla

Ribs

August 28, 2013 in Cooking, Main Dish by Sharla

Mmmmm Hmmmm, Ribs!

 IMG_2384

I love this recipe for rib prep.  It’s so easy and so delicious!  Make it in the summer or even the winter.  Serioulsy, we eat ribs year round.

 

Ingredients:

1 Rack Ribs

2 12 oz cans Tomato juice

1 Tablespoon Lemon Pepper Seasoning

1/2 Tablespoon Garlic Salt

Barbque Sauce

 

The Method:

First preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  Next, you need to separate your ribs.  The easiest way to do this is use a pair of kitchen shears and cut them apart making piecees that have 3-4 ribs each.

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Next lay them bone side down in a greased 9×13″ baking dish.   Season the top with the lemon pepper and garlic salt.  Fill the bottom of the pan using the tomato juice, but be sure not to pour the juice over the top of the ribs.  Just pour it down the side of the pan so it makes a layer on the bottom.  You may not need all of the juice, stop filling when the juice starts to come up over the the top of the ribs.

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Now, cover them and bake for 1 hour at 400.  When the hour is up DO NOT TAKE THEM OUT OF THE OVEN.  Simply turn the oven off and let the ribs rest in the cooking oven until you are ready to cook them on the grill.

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When grilling time comes just slather them with a little BBQ sauce and warm them on a hot grill.

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Enjoy!

<3, Sharla

Ribs
Serves 4
Great prepartion recipe for moist, tender ribs.
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Print
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
1 hr 5 min
Total Time
1 hr 10 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
1 hr 5 min
Total Time
1 hr 10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 Rack Ribs
  2. 2 12 oz Cans Tomato Juice
  3. 1 Tablespoon Lemon Pepper Seasoning
  4. 1/2 Tablespoon Garlic Salt Seasong
  5. 2 Cups BBQ Sauce
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Using kitchen shears cut the ribs apart making piecees that have 3-4 ribs each.
  3. Lay the sections bone side down in a greased 9x13" baking dish.
  4. Season the top with the lemon pepper and garlic salt.
  5. Fill the bottom of the pan using the tomato juice; be sure not to pour the juice over the top of the ribs. Just pour it down the side of the pan so it makes a layer on the bottom. You may not need all of the juice, stop filling when the juice starts to come up over the the top of the ribs.
  6. Cover and bake for 1 hour at 400. When the hour is up DO NOT TAKE THEM OUT OF THE OVEN. Simply turn the oven off and let the ribs rest in the oven until you are ready to cook them on the grill.
  7. Baste in BBQ sauce and grill 5 minutes or until heated through.
Notes
  1. I cook my ribs in the afternoon, letting them rest for several hours.
Adapted from The Pampered Chef
Adapted from The Pampered Chef
This Is Do-Able http://www.thisisdoable.com/
by Sharla

Sesame Seed Grilled Chicken

August 5, 2013 in Cooking, Healthy, Main Dish by Sharla

Sesame Seed Grilled Chicken

I am so excited that the season has finally come to clean off the grill, stop using the oven and get outside!  I am serious about grilling, so much so that I have a built in grill (I’ve been known to grill with snow on the ground).  It’s healthy, fast, yummy and seriously cuts down on clean up.  
 
So, this recipe has been kicked around in my family since we were kids.  My twin, Sharma, and I have done some serious tinkering with it and we feel we have reached perfection, and you’re going to love it!
 
Grilled Chicken
 
The Recipe:
 
4-6 Boneless skinless chicken breasts or your choice of fish
1/2 cup honey, heated
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame seed oil
1 finger ginger, pealed and sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
3-4 healthy shakes from your sesame seed shaker
 
The Technique:
 
First things first, put your chicken breasts in a large bag and add all of the ingredients.  I love to marinate in a bag, it’s clean and easy.  I actually put the breasts in frozen, added all the ingredients and then let the chicken defrost in the marinade.  Let marinate 8 hours or over night.  If you’re doing fish only marinate 30-60 minutes.
 
When you’re ready to cook don’t dump your marinade down the sink!  Pour it into a sauce pan and bring to a simmer while you cook the chicken.  You don’t need to add anything, just cook it and it’s fantastic as a sauce.
 
Now for the awesome part, the grilling.  You are about to be let in on the grilling chicken secret to perfect breasts (hee hee).  I’m pretty sure this technique came from Food Network, but I don’t know by who.  Preheat your grill to high then scrape and clean it off.  Turn the heat to medium and give it a few minutes to adjust.  Place your breasts on all going the same direction then set the timer for 2 minutes.  I cut my breasts in half because they were huge, so they look more like giant chicken tenders.  The hot grill will give you a nice seared line, and at the end of the two minutes do you flip it?  NO!
 
You turn the breasts 1/4 of a turn and keep grilling them on the same side another 2 minutes.  When you flip it, they will look like this…
 
So pretty!  Now you’re going to do the same thing on the other side.  2 minutes, turn a 1/4 of a turn and cook another 2 minutes.  Now check the internal temp of the chicken.  You want it to be 180 degrees.  I usually have to cook an additional 2-4 minutes to reach that temp.  When they’re done, pull them off and tent with foil until you’re ready to serve.  Now, let’s go back to the sauce…
 
Once it’s had a chance to simmer you can either just spoon it over the chicken and rice and/or I sliced yellow squash, brushed it on top and then broiled it.  It is a very delicious and sweet taste for veggies.
 
I actually served mine over wheat bulgur. with the squash and a pasta salad.  This will not be the last time I make this recipe this season.  ENJOY!
 
<3, Sharla
by Sharla

30 Minute Biscuits and Gravy

August 5, 2013 in Breakfast, Cooking, Main Dish by Sharla

30 Minute Biscuits & Gravy
From Scratch (yeah, you read it right)
Biscuits and Gravy from scratch
Don’t you just love breakfast for dinner?  We have it about once a week.  It’s so great because it’s easy, yummy, and fast.  But nothing is faster, more impressive, and more delicious than biscuits and gravy made from scratch.
 
The Biscuits:
2 cups flour
2 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
 
 
 
Pre-heat oven to 450.  In a medium bowl mix all dry ingredients together.  Make a well in the middle of the dry mixture and pour the cream into the center.  Using a wood spoon mix the dough until it starts to come together, about 30 seconds.  Here’s the the most important part of making any biscuit…DO NOT OVER MIX!  The less you mix the lighter and and fluffier the biscuits will turn out.  
 
 
Next turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead just until it forms a loose ball, about 7-10 times.  Now pat the ball into a circle about 1 inch thick.  Use a pizza cutter or sharp knife and cut pizza pie style into 8 triangles.  
 
 
Place on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 15-17 minutes.
 
The Gravy:
1 pound ground breakfast sausage
1/2 cup flour
4 cups milk
salt and pepper
 
 
 
Once the biscuits are in the oven start the gravy.  Brown your sausage and remove from the pan.  Drain off the fat reserving 4 tablespoons.  Add the 4 tablespoons of fat (or if you prefer, butter) and heat up the pan.  Add four, and a healthy dose of salt and pepper.  Cook the rue for 5 minutes.  Add milk and cooked sausage and stir continually over medium heat until it thickens and begins to bubble.  
 
 
Check seasoning adding salt and pepper to taste and serve over hot biscuits.  You’ll love it!
 
*The biscuit recipe is from The America’s Test Kitchen Family Baking Book, and I highly recommend!  Great recipes with tons of picture and tips!
*The gravy recipe is adapted from Alton Brown.
 
<3, Sharla