Never too late for a bit of end of season camping . . .

. . . especially if you can stay in a lovely old gypsy caravan!  This one belongs to my sister-in-law, and she was very toasty curled up in it with her lurchers.  We even got the old wood-fire burning for her. 

My cousin and his family managed to bag the other caravan and  we had to content ourselves with our trusty Kampa – we were certainly snug enough!

All the cousins enjoyed a final cook-up . . . sauasages on sticks and lots and lts of marshmallows.

Happy memories of another lovely Summer of Camping.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Family Camping Cookbook at Number 1!!

Family Camping Cookbook voted number 1 in Camping & Caravanning’s Top Ten Reads in August . . .

Camping & Caravanning Feature

It’s not too late to get yourselves a copy!   Just click on our Amazon link.

Outdoor cooking in Greece!

Ok, I hold my hands up, we weren’t camping on this occasion . . . but we were doing lots of outdoor cooking using local ingredients.  Where?  The beautiful island of Kephalonia in Greece.  And in fact it made me realise just how helpful a little local knowledge can help your self-catering experiences wherever you are.  Here we are with a delicious Greek Salad, and to accompany it, some freshly caught sea-bream straight off the barbecue.  We had previously stocked up on some Greek essentials: olives, feta cheese, olive oil, vinegar, oregano, paprika, mint, lemons . . . and we were as happy as can be.  On other nights we barbecued pork rubbed with oregano, and chicken rubbed  with paprika, and enjoyed one with a simple tomato and cucumber salad and the other with a more sophisticated grilled aubergine salad, both served with Orzo (a typical Greek pasta, shaped like rice). We also prepared daily one of our favourite lunch recipes from our Family Camping Cookbook: Watermelon, feta and mint salad, and took it with us in an empty yoghurt pot for picnics on the beach.  Refreshing and surprisingly satisfying!  And we had plenty of empty yoghurt pots as our daily breakfast had to be freshly picked figs, yohurt and Greek honey.  I say no more . . . .

Greek Salad, for 4

1 cucumber, 2 large tomatoes, 1/2 block feta cheese, 1/2 red onion, 20 olives, 2 tbs olive oil, 1 tbs wine vinegar, 1 handful fresh mint or oregano

  1. Roughly chop the cucumber and tomato and finely slice the onion.
  2. Combine all the ingredients and serve immediately.

Grilled Fish, for 4

2 large or 4 small sea-bream, or sea-bass (whole, but gutted), salt, pepper & olive oil, lemon, to serve

  1. Rub the fish with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Barbecue over glowing charcoal for approximately 5 minutes on each side.  Check that the fish is cooked by seeing  if the flesh can be easily prized away from the bone with a blunt knife.
  3. Serve immediately with wedges of lemon.

Figs with Yoghurt & Honey, for 4

4-8 figs, 2 cups Greek yoghurt, honey to serve

  1. Roughly chop the figs and arrange on 4 plates.
  2. Spoon the yoghurt over the figs.
  3. With with as much honey as you fancy!

For the watermelon, feta and mint salad, check out our Family Camping Cookbook by clicking on the link on this page!

 

Crispy Smoked Paprika Chicken Wings

We’ve probably cooked over 500 in the last month . . . at hugely(?!) prestigious events like the launch for ‘Family Camping Cookbook’, the Pitshanger Party in the Park, and the Little Ealing Summer Party . . . and as they’ve all been guzzled to mass appreciation, we thought we’d better divulge our secret recipe!

Smoked paprika has a very distinctive flavour and a rich aroma, but don’t worry if you don’t have any – just use pepper instead.  It won’t be the same, but it will still be very good. . .

Serves:4, Preparation time: 15 minutes, plus 15 minutes marinating, Cooking time: about 15 minutes

INGREDIENTS: 16 chicken wings, 1 tsp smoked paprika, juice of 1 lemon, 2 garlic cloves, crushed, ½ tsp salt

  1. To make the marinade, put all of the ingredients in a plastic bag.  Add the chicken wings and seal the bag. Leave to marinate in a cool box for15 minutes.
  2. Remove the chicken wings from the marinade.  Cook over a medium heat on a barbecue or in a griddle pan for about 15 minutes, turning once, until the meat is beautifully charred and really crispy. If you’re using a barbecue, cook the chicken over coals that have burnt down quite significantly to prevent the skin from burning. Serve hot with Potato Salad.

 

 

 

Camping Meal Plans, Shopping Lists and more . . .

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A little bit of planning goes a long way on a family camping trip, especially where food is concerned. The trick is to take enough ingredients with you to give you flexibility with cooking and eating options, but not so much that you need to buy a bigger car to get it there!

In our Family Camping Cookbook we’ve divided the book into four chapters:

1  ‘Quick Escapes’ is for when you make a sudden decision to go camping for a weekend and don’t have much time to gather together a long list of ingredients.

2  ‘By the Beach’ has recipes that radiate sunshine, using lots of fresh, summer produce and delicious seafood.

3  ‘In the Country’ has heartier recipes featuring meat, cheese and eggs, and all the good things you can get from the farm shop.

4  The final chapter, ‘Festivals & Parties’, has recipes for camping with a large, hungry group.

For each chapter, we have included a list of key ingredients. So if you are going off for a week by the beach, for example, you should take what you can from the list in that chapter along with you. Each chapter also has some tips to help you along the way and three different meal plans. The first is geared towards young kids, the second towards older kids and the third towards vegetarians.

Although we have given precise quantities for every recipe, they are not the sort of recipes that require absolute precision. We’ve tried to make sure that you can measure nearly everything with a handful, a cup, a teaspoon or a tablespoon, and that more complicated measurements can be worked out roughly from the packaging your food is bought in. There is absolutely no need for scales. We have also tried to make the recipes versatile so that most of the ingredients can be substituted for something similar, depending on what you have available.

Thinking about what you want to cook and eat when you get there is also a good idea. At the beginning of each chapter we have included three meal plans, complete with shopping lists. These have been designed to minimize the number of ingredients you need to pack. They are weekend plans so that you can take and keep all the ingredients listed for the two days with a cool box and a modicum of preparation. If you’re going for a week or longer, you can start with a weekend plan and then you can simply combine meal plans and add whichever recipes you’d like.  Click on the link below to see an example of a meal plan, with it’s accompanying shopping list.

   meal plan

 Good ingredients can make all the difference, particularly when you are keeping things simple. Tinned tomatoes are a cheap ingredient, so it’s worth buying the best you can get – the difference in taste and texture is huge!

Similarly with meat, it’s worth paying a bit over the odds for better quality, particularly if you are barbecuing. Useful ingredients are those that keep well in packs, like halloumi cheese (which is fantastic barbecued), and it’s also worth remembering to use fresh ingredients that don’t require a lot of cleaning, like bananas and avocados.

 

 

Family Camping Cookbook Review

Family Camping Cookbook Healthy camping food Inspired Camping Cool camping campsiteThese days we are spoilt for choice when it comes to recipe books but it can still be a challenge to find those with the best and most versatile dishes for camping. We all want quick, easy, cheap and cheerful, but we also want the ability to produce a “Wow!” from friends and family.Inspired Camping was given a copy of the Family Camping Cookbook to flick through and sample some of the camping food recipes in return for an honest book review and we wondered if it would do the job of helping us produce a tasty yet simple camping menu for all to enjoy at the campsite, that was neither too simple or ambitious. The book contains 85 family friendly feasts that all work on a gas stove, barbecue or open fire and even gives shopping lists and advice on how to make the most of cooking outdoors, so we were off to a good start.Family Camping Cookbook Book Review at Inspired Campingcampfire quesadilla calzone Inspired Camping healthy camping food

Our first observation when we received the book was that it is not a coffee table book as it seems to have been designed to be taken out and about on camping trips. It seems durable and hard-wearing, so we don’t think it will suffer much from being stuffed into a bag with the rest of the camping gear. It’s of a medium size and full with useful information and healthy recipes so, as the title suggests, it’s perfect for families who camp and don’t have the need to travel light. As such it’s definitely not a book for backpacking or wild camping away from the shops.

The meal planning sections are fabulous. A super example is on page 63, when the reader is provided with a very bright and easy to read menu for kids, with references to pages where the recipes can be found. It then gives the reader a shopping list to take to the store so you don’t have to be bothered with the chore of writing one out yourself. These lists are incredibly useful and take away the burden of thinking about what to cook and what to stock up for. Anything that saves time when camping giving more opportunity to enjoy activities with the kids gets a BIG thumbs up from us. Actually this book would be useful at home too and not just on camping trips… now there’s a thought!

Family Camping Cookbook Healthy camping food at the campsite

Family Camping Cookbook smoked campfire aubergines

There are recipes for all ages, so even the kids could have a go at making a yummy sticky finger mess! For example on page 66 there’s Chapatis with fruit & honey and on page 169 chocolate fondue. However, mum and dad might want to think carefully about getting involved in this type of activity with the kids if they don’t want to spend the rest of their camping trip with sticky honey all over the tent and sleeping bag!

The Summary;

Good Bits… The book cover seems very durable and hard-wearing, perfect for being lugged around with your camping gear, but only if you don’t have to pack light. It ‘does what it says on the tin’ and the meal planning sections and menus are easy to read and fabulous.The shopping lists are also incredibly useful as they quite simply take away the burden of thinking about what to cook and shop for. There are recipes for every meal time for all ages so even the kids could have a go. There’s plenty of other useful tips throughout the book, including packing and pre-preparation tips.The price of the book has also been reduced if bought through our online store.
Not So Good Bits… The meals focus on fresh food, so it’s not ideal if camping light with basic provisions is a priority, you are wild camping away from grocery shops or you have no way of storing fresh food safely in a chill cabinet or cool box. However, if you are wild camping it’s unlikely you would want a cookbook at all! Some of the recipes are also a bit complicated for an inexperienced family camper, with some speciality items that won’t be easy to find on the road, but throughout the book there are helpful alternatives to these.This it isn’t a coffee table book, but we recommend it as a practical family friendly one ideal for the Camping Ready Bag if you don’t need to pack light.

So in summary this is a practical time-saving cook book that clearly shows the time, effort and hard work Tiff and Jim have put into it, which in turn will help save time and effort when camping with the family, and just for the shopping lists alone it deserves 4 stars. 

Tanya Brooks-Dowsett Inspired Camping Glamping Contributor
 A Book Review  By Tanya Brooks-Dowsett  
Tanya Brooks-Dowsett is a keen happy camper and lover of all things Glamping. Growing up near the North Wales coast and now living with her busy family of water sport enthusiasts, she lives for the beach life. Tanya is an adventurous idea generator who loves to hang out at some of the UK’s most stunning beach locations.

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