Family Camping Cookbook

Hurray!  It’s out there!  If you’re keen campers and you want some inspiration about what to cook, go and buy our book!   Just click on the link, and if you get it please tell us what you think . . . .

Easy Camping lunch recipe – Campfire Quesadilla Calzone

With the launch of our book imminent, here’s another easy camping recipe from our ‘In the Country’ section.

From Family Camping Cookbook by Tiff & Jim Easton © Commissioned Photography by Ed Easton / Duncan Baird Publishers

Campfire Quesadilla Calzone

This isn’t a pizza, but it’s a very good camping alternative. Our kids love this filling, but you can experiment with other fillings, such as salami, rocket and grated cheese.

makes: 8

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: about 30 minutes


125g/4½ oz/½ cup tomato purée

 4 tbsp olive oil

 2 garlic cloves, crushed

 8 large soft flour tortillas

 250g/9oz cooked ham, finely sliced

 500g/1lb 2oz mozzarella cheese, drained and sliced

 120g/4¼oz/1 cup pitted black olives, halved

 1 chilli, deseeded and finely chopped

 salt and pepper


1 Heat a large frying pan over a medium heat. Put the tomato purée, oil and garlic in a bowl. Mix well, adding water 1 tablespoon at a time, until the mixture is smooth enough to spread. Season with salt and pepper.

2 Put 1 tortilla in the pan and spread 1 tablespoon of the tomato mixture over the top. Sprinkle one-eighth of the ham, mozzarella, olives and chilli over half of the tortilla. Try to sprinkle the cheese around the edge of the tortilla – it will help the quesadilla hold together when you flip it. Using a spatula, fold the tortilla in half to enclose the filling, pressing down the edges to seal.

3 Cook for about 1–2 minutes, then flip the quesadilla over and cook for another 2 minutes until the cheese has melted and the tortilla is beginning to crisp. Repeat with the remaining ingredients to make 8 quesadillas. Serve hot.

Easy camping breakfast recipe – French Toast with Apricot Filling

Our Family Camping Cookbook is due to be released on 12th April. It’s a practical book packed with family friendly recipes for breakfast, lunch and supper, focussed around different camping scenarios.  This easy breakfast recipe comes from our ‘In the country’ section, and is a firm favourite with all the family!

From Family Camping Cookbook by Tiff & Jim Easton © Commissioned Photography by Ed Easton / Duncan Baird Publishers


French Toast with Apricot Filling

Here is a great opportunity to sample locally produced jam. We’ve suggested apricot, but any will do – our son loves it with greengage jam.  Alternatively, this makes a brilliant savoury snack. Just omit the sugar from the recipe and fill the sandwich with chutney.

Serves: 4      

Preparation time: 5 minutes        

Cooking time: about 10 minutes


8 slices of bread

3 large eggs, beaten

4 tbsp milk

1 tsp sugar, any variety, plus extra for sprinkling

4 tbsp apricot jam

4 tbsp butter, plus extra for buttering the bread


1 Butter one side of each slice of bread. In a bowl, beat together the eggs, milk and sugar. Use the buttered slices of bread and jam to make 4 sandwiches, each filled with 1 tablespoon of jam.

2 Melt half of the butter in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Dip the sandwiches into the egg mixture, turning to coat on both sides, until the bread absorbs some of the mixture.

3 Working in batches, cook the french toast for about 2 minutes on each side until golden. Remove from the pan and repeat with the remaining butter and french toast. Serve hot, sprinkled with extra sugar.


Lebanese Kebabs with Chickpea Salad

This is one of our favourite camping recipes.  Although, at first glance, it may appear more complicated than your average camp cooking, in reality it’s very simple.  The marinade and garlic dip both have as their base a lemon/garlic mixture, a small bottle of which is really useful to have with you on any camping trip.  (By simply adding one or two different ingredients you can create a number of dressings, dips and marinades for all sorts of different meals.)  And in addition to the lemon and garlic, really the only other ingredients are the lamb, the pitta bread, a bit of yoghurt, olive oil and allspice, and the salad. Our kids love preparing this dish, partly because they enjoy anything that involves skewers, but also because they enjoy filling their own pitta breads. It tastes great too!

serves: 4
cooking time: ABOUT 10 MINUTES

From Family Camping Cookbook by Tiff & Jim Easton © Commissioned Photography by Ed Easton / Duncan Baird Publishers

600g/1lb 5oz boneless lamb leg or shoulder, trimmed of fat and cut into bite-sized pieces
salt and pepper
warm pitta breads, to serve

juice of 1 lemon
1 garlic clove, crushed
½ tsp ground allspice

garlic dip:
juice of ½ lemon
½ garlic clove, crushed
4 tbsp thick natural yogurt
2 tbsp olive oil

chickpea salad:
2 tomatoes, finely chopped
½ cucumber, finely chopped
410g/14½oz tinned chickpeas, drained
2 handfuls of parsley leaves, finely chopped
juice of ½ lemon
1 tbsp olive oil

  1. If using wooden skewers, soak them in cold water for at least 30 minutes before grilling. To make the marinade, put all of the ingredients in a plastic freezer bag. Season with salt and pepper, then add the lamb and seal the bag. Rub the marinade all over the lamb and leave to marinate in a cool
    box for at least 1 hour, preferably overnight.
  2. To make the dip, mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Cover and set aside.
  3. To make the salad, put all of the ingredients in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper and toss gently but thoroughly.
  4. Thread the lamb onto skewers. Cook, turning frequently, over a high heat on a barbecue or in a griddle pan for about 8 minutes until browned and crispy on the outside but pink in the middle. Remove the lamb from the skewers and serve in warm pitta breads with the garlic dip and the chickpea salad.

prepare ahead: Take the lamb in the marinade if you’re planning to eat it on the first night.

Easy camping recipes from New Zealand 4

Smokey aubergine salad with grilled beef, followed by Pavlova Mess

Chop up barbecued aubergines (ooh they smell so good!) and peppers and mix together with chopped raw tomatoes and parsley, and toss in a lemon/garlic/cumin/olive oil dressing.  Delicious with any grilled meat or fish, either on its own served with crusty bread, or mixed into couscous.  Camp cooking at it’s best!

On this occasion we had ‘pavlova mess’ for pudding, the perfect easy camping recipe.

Pavlova from New Zealand (was it really their invention?) is a lot softer in the middle than good old meringue, with a cakey consistency, and delicious broken and mixed up with creme fraiche and fresh fruit.  I think meringues go better with forest fruits, and New Zealand pavlova with kiwis and peaches.



Easy Camping Recipes from New Zealand 3

Campfire Chilli con carne

Chilli cooked over an open fire is very special, as you can really trap the smokey smell with clever positioning of the pan lid, as it simmers. Our cheat ingredient is chorizo – or failing that, smoked paprika, and it’s delicious with a simple guacamole-yogurt mixture.  (We just mash avocado with lemon, garlic and yoghurt).  Serve in a crispy tortilla, like this one, or just spooned over tortilla chips.  Perfect outdoor cooking for bulk feeding!

We’ve got the full recipe for this one in our Family Camping Cookbook – click on the link!








Easy camping recipes from New Zealand 2

Lamb Chops and Rhubarb Crumble

We think lamb chops are probably one of the best meat cuts to barbecue. They’re best cooked over a fairly high heat, so that they crisp up nicely on the outside, but stay fairly pink in the middle. All sorts of marinades or rubs work with lamb chops, but for this one we simply used a little cumin, and seasoned with salt just before cooking.

For pudding we made a rhubarb crumble in the bread oven.  It worked a treat!

preparing the barbecue

enjoying the lamb

stoking the bread oven

testing the crumble


Whilst Kumara (sweet potatoes) have traditionally been an everyday key ingredient of Maori outdoor cooking, a ‘Hangi’ is now generally reserved for special occasions.  Whilst in New Zealand this winter, we were lucky enough to experience a Hangi.  And a Hangi is just that – an experience as well as a meal.  A hole is dug in the ground and hot coals are placed inside, on top of which is placed carefully wrapped food, which is then buried and left to slowly cook for a few hours . . . The end result is incredible!  Succulent tasty meat, with the flavours overlapping and combining with the delicious smells of whatever other vegetables have been buried alongside.  And okay, the preparation may take a bit of doing, but once the food’s buried and slowly cooking, you’ve got hours to enjoy yourself at your own party. 

The Unveiling of the Hangi

The last time I saw people having a hangi was at the Steeple Leaze Campsite in Dorset in the UK where a group of friends from Swanage regularly meet up for weekend camping get togethers.  With a kiwi in their midst, they make the hangi a regular feature.  It seems to me that in some ways it’s ideal for camp cooking – especially for big groups hanging out (no pun intended) together in a field just enjoying the great outdoors.  I’d love to do one myself, and would welcome any suggestions!



Easy camping recipes from New Zealand

I was lucky enough not be be indoors all winter as the relatives in New Zealand just had to be visited!  So we were able to continue with our camp cooking whilst our English buddies were enjoying their turkeys . . .So , on Christmas day we had barbecued sirloin of beef with my sister-in-law, Beth’s, ‘Kumara Salad’. The Kumara (or sweet potato) salad is the perfect easy camping recipe, and is great for campfire cooking.

Recipe for Beth’s Kumara (sweet potato salad), to serve 4:


  • 2 large sweet potatoes (the pink-skinned, white-fleshed ones are best), peeled and cubed
  • 250g smoked bacon, diced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 20 black olives, pitted and halved
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper


  1. Take a large piece of tin foil, and place on all the ingredients, drizzled with a generous glug of olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper.
  2. Carefully fold and seal the foil, and place in the embers of a campfire or barbecue, and cook for 45 minutes until done. 
  3. Open out onto plates and eat on its own or with grilled meat or fish.