I'd like to introduce you to my friend,
Aaron is the owner & head travel guide for Southwest Adventures, an adventure company based in Los Angeles that takes groups of people exploring, hiking, camping, & general adventuring in the great Southwest. Aaron has been camping for nearly all his life and organizing adventure trips like these for over a decade! His trips are ideal for those of us who, say, don't yet feel comfortable properly organizing such a trip to Yosemite or Joshua Tree. Everything is included: the drive, the gas, the meals, the tents, the gear. So, with Aaron as your guide, it's super easy to spend your weekend adventuring in nature to reboot from city life.
Recently, we went on a camping road trip to & from our dear friends Josh & Ksenya's wedding in Grand Junction, Colorado.
I am new to this world of camping.
My first camping experience involved a two-day backpacking trip in the Sequoias with 4,000 feet of elevation and 14 miles round trip. We hiked all day and camped just before the Alta Peak summit, which is over 11,000 feet above sea level. This meant we had to carry everything, limiting our quality of food. This is what I thought camping was.
This most recent trip through Utah, Arizona, & Colorado we did things differently. We exclusively car-camped. Suddenly camping no longer directly translated into eating dehydrated foods after a long day of hiking. Sure, on some level and in certain ways, quality would inevitably suffer -- especially if you only have one medium-sized ice chest and a tiny budget -- but we were able to eat very, very well under the stars.
SO, when I asked Aaron if he could put together some delicious but realistic car-camping recipes for me, he gladly obliged.
one-eyed jacks, skillet homefries, & moka pot coffee
veggie paninis & tomato soup
chipotle black bean tacos & kentucky mule cocktail
dark chocolate & pear slices
AARON'S CAMPSITE KITCHEN NECESSITIES:
- DOUBLE BURNER PROPANE CAMPING STOVE
- 9" CAST IRON SKILLET
- 9" CAST IRON GRIDDLE
- 2 QUART POT
- PLATES, CUPS, UTENSILS, SPATULA, LADLE, PEELER, PAIRING KNIFE
- SERRATED UTILITY KNIFE
- MOKA POT/TEA POT
- POT HOLDERS, PICNIC TABLE CLOTH, FOIL, MATCHES/LIGHTER, DISH SOAP
- EVOO, SPICES
-- the c a m p i n g recipes --
all recipes are for two
b r e a k f as t recipes
- 4 eggs
- 2 slices of bread
- a slab of butter
- a handful of shredded Jack cheese
- a spice container
- about 3 Russet potatoes, cubed
- a green and red bell pepper, diced
- ½ an onion, diced
- quite a bit of butter
- salt|pepper|paprika|oregano (your combo choice)
- Begin with the Skillet Homefries by buttering a skillet.
- Once skillet is hot, add the potatoes and onions. Aaron recommends cooking them together so the onions don’t burn.
- Add spices, and sautee on medium heat until golden brown.
- While the homefries are cooking, butter another skillet for the One-Eyed Jacks.
- Using a spice container, cut a hole out of the 4 slices of bread. Aaron eats the excess bread while cooking.
- Once the skillet is hot, begin toasting 2 of the bread slices.
- Once the bread is toasted, crack an egg in each hole and cover completely with shredded cheese. Let fry until the eggs are over-easy or over-medium.
- Plate the first two One-Eyed Jacks. Add more butter to the skillet, and begin toasting the other two slices.
- Meanwhile, add the bell peppers to the homefries, stir. Add more spices/butter if necessary.
- The homefries should be done around the time you finish the other two One-Eyed Jacks.
- Serve the One-Eyed Jacks with the Skillet Homefries and a cup of coffee.
l u n c h recipes
veggie panini with tomato soup
- 1/2 a ciabatta loaf
- 1/2 eggplant, thinly sliced
- 1/2 zucchini, thinly sliced
- pesto (make in advance before trip)
- some butter
- some olive oil
- salt | pepper
- tomato soup (make in advance, Aaron recommends TJs boxed tomato soup as a time-saver)
- cast-iron grill & cast-iron skillet
- In a cast-iron grill, grill the eggplant and zucchinis with a little oil, salt, and pepper.
- Meanwhile, prepare the mini panini by spreading pesto on the top most slices and butter on the bottom slices.
- Add the veggies to the buttered side of the sandwich, top with shredded cheese.
- Grill the panini in the buttered cast-iron grill, adding pressure by placing the cast-iron skillet on top of them. Let grill for a few minutes and then flip the panini, again placing the skillet on top.
- Meanwhile, boil the prepared tomato soup in a small sauce pan over med-high heat.
d i n n e r recipes
chipotle black bean tacos with guacamole
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- olive oil
- 1 can black beans
- 1 small can chipotle in adobo sauce
- salt | pepper
- 2 avocados
- 1/2 red onion
- less than 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 lime
- salt | pepper
- 4 corn tortillas
- shredded cabbage & bell peppers to top
- In a skillet, heat some olive oil on medium. Add minced garlic, salt, pepper. Sautee a few minutes.
- Add the black beans and chipotle/adobo. Stir. Let cook about 15 minutes on med-low heat. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Meanwhile, marinate the red onions in the apple cider vinegar with some salt. Let sit about 5 minutes.
- To make the guacamole, mash 2 avocados with the red onion mixture. Add lime juice, salt, and pepper to taste.
- Once the beans are done, heat the corn tortillas over the flame, flipping sides every ten seconds until hot, making sure not to burn either side.
- Taco assembly: lay out 2 corn tortillas on each plate, top with chipotle black beans, guacamole, shredded cabbage, and bell peppers.
- Serve with Kentucky Mule Cocktail.
kentucky mule cocktail
1 part bourbon, 2 parts ginger beer, some lime juice, and ice.