All posts tagged camping

Asian Sloppy Joe Sliders

Published August 14, 2013 by jenmatteson

Who doesn’t love  a sloppy joe?  Certainly no one in this house. Unless it’s that gunk out of a can that rhymes with sanwhich.  I’ve always used the same sloppy joe recipe since I was a kid, the one my mom would make, and it’s delicious.  I had to get out of my sloppy joe comfort zone for one of my first recipe swaps, as I was given slow cooker sloppy joes.  While those were good, we didn’t love them, and I really don’t understand the point of using a slow cooker when you basically have to precook everything anyway.

Asian Sloppy Joe Sliders

I came across this recipe in Food and Wine a few months ago and have been wanting to try it.  I actually had it planned for dinner a few nights, but you know how sometimes plans just don’t work out?  Well, they didn’t.  But, I finally got the chance to make a batch of these for a camping trip with my bestie, her husby, Nate and myself.  We were in charge of one dinner and one lunch, so I thought this would be something easy, but different from the normal burger or brat that is a common meal while camping.

Sloppy Joe Sliders

I thought these turned out fantastic.  At first, I thought I would need more hoisin, but after letting it simmer and taste testing it, I thought they were perfectly Asian.  For serving, I wouldn’t mind a little extra Sriracha, but obviously it’s not for everyone.  They went over really well while camping, and even the Asian approved!  I love my mom’s sloppy joe recipe, but I have to say, this really takes the cake.  The spicy pickles really kick it up a notch, adding a crunch, while the lettuce adds some extra freshness.  Try these out for your next pot luck.  You can come back and thank me later!

Asian Sloppy Joe Sliders

Asian Sloppy Joe Sliders

Source: Adapted from Food and Wine
Servings: 8-10 (Makes 20 sliders)


olive oil
1 red onion, finely chopped
1 cup celery, finely chopped
3 tbsp sambal oelek or other Asian chile sauce (I used a combo of sweet asian chili sauce and Sriracha)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
Kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper
1 lb lean ground chicken
1 lb lean ground pork
1 cup hoisin sauce
1-15 oz can diced tomatoes, drained
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
20 dinner rolls, split and toasted
shredded iceberg lettuce and spicy pickles (optional)


1. Heat olive oil in a large deep skillet over medium high heat.  Add onions, celery, chile sauce, garlic, ginger and a generous pinch of salt and pepper.  Cook over medium high heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, about 8 minutes.  Add ground chicken and pork and cook, stirring occasionally to break up the meat, until no pink remains, about 5 minutes.  Stir in hoisin, tomatoes and lime juice and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and simmer until thickened, about 20 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

2. Spoon about 1/4 cup of the mixture on the bottom half of each roll.  Top with shredded lettuce, spicy pickles and top of bun and serve.

Spicy Maple Baked Beans

Published March 12, 2013 by jenmatteson

While baked beans are not on my 30 Before 30 list, they’ve always been something I’ve wanted to try my hand at.  I came across this recipe in Food and Wine last month, and decided to jump on it!  I usually shy away from recipes with an extensive list of ingredients, but I realized that most of the ingredients were things I already had in my kitchen, many being seasonings, so it wasn’t that big of a deal.  Don’t let the list overwhelm you.

Spicy Maple Baked Beans

Instead of using canned beans (which are super convenient, but high in sodium – don’t worry, I use them all the time!), I decided to used dried since I had the time to let them soak.  However, as I glanced over the recipe, I thought it called for just one 15 oz can of beans.  I converted that to dried beans, which was just less than 1/4 cup.  After the beans had soaked and were cooking, I started putting together the sauce.  As I added more and more to the saucepan, I started thinking, this sure is a lot of sauce for one measly can of beans.  After revisiting the recipe (always a good idea), I realized the recipe called for 4-15 oz cans of beans.  WHOOOPS!  Might have had something to do with the cocktail I was drinking…or the 6 other things I was making simultaniously…or both.  In the end, I used the whole bag of dried of beans, but the entire recipe took me some extra time.

These beans were sooooo good!  Spicy and sweet, with a little smokey from the bacon and hot dogs.  I think I could have eaten an entire bowl of these for dinner, but I didn’t  For my taste, they were slightly too sweet, so next time I would probably cut the sugar a bit, but as I just mentioned, I absolutely loved them anyway!  This will be a great side for BBQ season!

**UPDATE: 3/19/2013 – My friends absolutely loved these beans.  Nate said they were the best beans he’s ever had. This has for sure made the summer BBQ list.  SOOOOO GOOD!

Spicy Maple Baked Beans

Spicy Maple Baked Beans

Source: Adapted from Food and Wine
Servings: 10-12


1 cup ketchup
1 cup pure maple syrup
1 cup porter or other dark ale (I used Guinness)
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
1/2 cup powdered mustard
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp granulated onion
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Kosher salt
4 slices of bacon, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
1 lb dried navy beans (*substitute 4-15 oz cans of navy beans, rinsed)
10 all-beef hot dogs, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise


1. Pre-soak and cook beans according to package directions.

2. In a saucepan, combine all ingredients except salt, bacon, onion, beans and hot dogs.  Bring sauce to a boil.  Whisk to dissolve sugar completely.  Reduce heat to low and simmer until reduced by one-third, about 20 minutes.  Season with salt.  You  might not need too much if you are using canned beans.

3. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, cook the bacon over moderate heat, stirring until the fat has rendered and bacon just begins to crisp, about 6-8 minutes.  Add onion and cook until softened, 8 minutes.  Stir in beans, hot dogs and sauce.  Cover partially and bake for 1 hour, until beans are glazed.  Season with salt to taste and serve.

Quick Biscuit Mix

Published October 30, 2012 by jenmatteson

I’m always on the lookout for creative camping ideas and recipes.  I found these quick biscuits in Food and Wine and can’t believe I actually remembered to use it!  I saved the recipe a few months prior to our annual canoe trip, and usually the recipes I tear out sit in my recipe “to try” binder, which I must go through and get to cooking!

This was perfect for camping as it didn’t take up one ounce of space in our cooler, which is so limited for our four-day canoe trip in August.  I made the mix in advance, packed it in a zip top bag, and mixed batter right in the bag!  The first time I made these on our canoe trip, they took longer than expected, but I don’t think I had the heat up high enough on the stove.  I made these again for a camping trip my dad, Nate and I took to go diving in Crosby.  This time we didn’t even bring a camp stove and just cooked the biscuits over the fire in a frying pan.  They were awesome!

Here are some other pictures from our diving/camping trip.

You don’t have to use these just for camping.  Nate used up an extra batch I made at home and had breakfast for a couple of days.  I was a little skeptical of the powdered milk, but the biscuits turned out perfectly and would be a great vessel for a breakfast sandwich!

Quick Biscuit Mix

Source: Adapted from Food and Wine
Servings: 8 biscuits


1 cup self-rising flour
3 tbsp whole-milk powder
1 1/2 tsp sugar
2 tbsp olive oil


1. In a bowl, whisk flour, milk powder and sugar.  Using your fingers, work in the olive oil until incorporated.  Use immediately, or store in airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

2. When ready to use, add 1/2 cup water and mix thoroughly.  Scoop 8 mounds, about 3 tbsp each, into greased frying pan.  Cook over medium heat for two minutes.  Spray with cooking spray and flip.  Cover and cook until puffy and golden, about 2 more minutes.  Serve as desired.

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