Campfire Steak, Potatoes, and Peppers - Foil Packets

Campfire Steak, Potatoes, and Peppers - Foil Packets

The night we arrived in South Platte, most camp sites were already taken. We lucked out, and found something flat, with a picnic table, and pitched our tents. It hadn't been more than 15 minutes before someone stopped at our site and told us there had been bears in the area. 

I hear this a lot. It seems every time we go camping, someone says something about a bear. And with good reason! No one wants to wake up to a bear trampling through their breakfast supplies. But I hear the warning enough that this time I shook it off as quickly as I scoped out the best place for my camping chair. Bears do live outside, afterall. We are in their home. I've never had a bear rummage through my campsite.  We do our due diligence, locking away food and trash, and go to sleep knowing everything is going to be ok. 

Campfire Steak, Potatoes, and Peppers - Foil Packets

We eat dinner without worrying about it: food always tastes better outside, and we focus on that. I let the sun warm my back and the breeze tug at my clothes as I cook. I watch the leaves on a tree waver as I eat. I don't notice that our camping stove got too hot and seared our hash browns, or than I forgot the hot sauce (ok, maybe I notice that, but I get over it after the first bite). I just melt into my camp chair (or picnic table bench, or stump that doubles as a stool), and notice the little things: the way the fire crackles and sparks, the taste of wine when it's drunk out of the only drinking vessel in my camping kit (a mug), and the way the stars peak through the canopy of aspen trees. I go to bed early and happy. 

The night, in South Platte, I woke with a start. A bright, beaming light encompassed my tent and made it glow. It must've been 11 o'clock. Then, a voice: "If you're awake over there, there's a bear in your campsite." I sat up instantly. What I felt was excitement more than anything else. Oliver reached for his head lamp and together we unzipped the tent and poked our heads out, looking towards the rustling sound that was no more than 15 feet away. 

Campfire Steak, Potatoes, and Peppers - Foil Packets

I saw nothing. We looked the other way, and still nothing. The rustling continued, despite our bright lights, but we were unable to spot a thing. We nestled back into our sleeping bags, and fell asleep. I dreamed of bears. (More specifically, I dreamed of a bear coming to get a Snickers Bar out of our tent. A Snickers Bar of all things!). Nothing else interrupted my sleep that night, not even the dogs that barked like mad when the bear trudged through their campsite, several hundred yards away (I was only told about it in the morning). 

When I finally awoke at 6 (or 7, I had no clock), all was still. I hiked around the campground and saw no evidence of mischief (or large furry animals).

Campfire Steak, Potatoes, and Peppers - Foil Packets

This campfire meal is so incredibly easy to make: I pre-chop all of the veggies at home, and toss them in oil and spices. I keep them in a ziplock bag and put them in a cooler. When it's time for dinner, everyone can make their own meal, with a little bit of this and a little bit of that. Wrap it all up in foil and light a fire: the heat from the flames cook everything up in no time. Use tongs to pull everything out of the fire (don't burn yourself!) and eat everything straight from the foil packet... no dish washing needed! 

Campfire Steak, Potatoes, and Peppers - Foil Packets

Published July 25, 2017 by
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A dinner you can make while camping or in your back yard!

Serves: 4   |    Total Time: 30 minutes



Ingredients:

  • 1 pound kabob beef, or beef cut into cubes 
  • 3 bell peppers, various colors
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 zucchini
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes 
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic 
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil 
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper 
  • 1 teaspoon chile powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • Salt & pepper to taste 
  • Optional, to serve: cheddar cheese, salsa, hot sauce 

Directions:

  1. Before you leave to go camping, prep the veggies: slice the peppers and onions, and dice the zucchini. I precook the sweet potatoes for a few minutes so that they don’t have to cook as long on the fire, but this is optional. To precook the sweet potatoes, simple cut a slit through the skin of each potato and microwave them for 5 minutes, on until tender. Once tender, slice the potatoes into 1/2 inch rounds.
  2. Combine vegetables, potatoes, and cubed beef in a bowl. Toss in olive oil. Add the salt, pepper, chile powder, and cumin and toss until everything is coated. Place in ziplock bag and store in cooler (or fridge) until ready to cook. 
  3. When ready to cook, cut out 4-5 pieces of foil (15 inch squares work well). Divvy the veggie and beef mixture among the foil sheets, and then fold the foil closed to make a sealed packet. If needed, use 2 pieces of foil to seal each packet.
  4. Place each packet on the fire, or a grill. If your campfire has a grill or rack, use that, if not, place the packets around the perimeter of the fire. Cook for about 20 minutes, or until the beef is cooked through. Check doneness by using tongs to slightly open one packets and cut into a piece of beef.

Campfire Steak, Potatoes, and Peppers - Foil Packets

Cantaloupe & Ricotta Canapés

Cantaloupe & Ricotta Canapés

There are two types of cooking. At least, two that are currently in my mind right now. The first is cooking out of necessity, like getting dinner on the table after a long day or making breakfast in the morning when you are still groggy. The second is a work of art: cooking (or baking or what have you) for the sake of expression. 

When you are cooking for the sake of expression, you let flavor and sensation take you by the hand and lead the way. My good friend Christine, Chef and Owner at Fresh Thymes Eatery, would say that ingredients talk to her. A pot of simmering lentils would chime in: "Christine, add more wine!!!" (I hope it's ok I just told everyone that! 😉). I love this image: it paints a back-and-forth between chef and food. I've never had a bowl of lentils talk to me, but I know the dance: it waltzes you through the kitchen and over to a bottle of balsamic vinegar. You're not even quite sure where you're headed, but you know it will be beautiful when you get there. 

I love that type of cooking. It feels very visceral. 

Cantaloupe & Ricotta Canapés
Cantaloupe & Ricotta Canapés

When I started making this appetizer, both types of cooking came together. I was making snacks for guests, and wanted to create a recipe for Foraged Dish that used OrganicGirls' new Butter, Plus blend as a sort of crostini (this blend of butterhead lettuce hearts has as much iron as spinach, can you believe that?!). That's the tactical part... the part I can take credit for.  But all week a whisper had been at my ear: Ricottaaaa. Cantaloupe. A ripe cantaloupe. This is the two-step you find yourself in when the food is doing the thinking and you're just following it across the dance floor. Next thing you know you're munching on an appetizer that is totally new and different. And it always works: when the ingredients are whispering to you, it's because they know best. 

Give this sweet-and-savory canapé a shot for your next happy hour: grab a ripe melon (one that you can smell even before you cut into it), cook up some bacon or pancetta, and add a dollop of ricotta. Ricotta is like magic, so from there you're golden. The drizzle of balsamic gel is for extra credit.  

Cantaloupe & Ricotta Canapés
Cantaloupe & Ricotta Canapés

OrganicGirl provided me with product for this blog post, but the recipes and opinions are all my own. Working with brands to develop wholesome recipes is one way I keep Foraged Dish going! OrganicGirl helps me stock the pantry and keep the blog going. I only work with brands that I truly enjoy and use.  

Cantaloupe & Ricotta Canapés

Published July 20, 2017 by
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Serves: 4   |    Total Time: 15 minutes



Ingredients:

  • 1 container OrganicGirl Butter, Plus Greens
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 cantaloupe, scooped into ball with a melon baller
  • 1 cup pancetta or bacon, cooked and chopped into 1-inch pieces or smaller
  • Pepper

Directions:

  1. Spread the butterhead heart pieces out on a plate in a single layer. Spoon 1 tablespoon of ricotta in the middle of each piece of lettuce.
  2. Place 1 cantaloupe ball in the middle of each scoop of ricotta, and then top with a piece of pancetta. Drizzle with balsamic gel and sprinkle with pepper to taste.

Peanut Butter Stuffed Brownie Bites (Gluten-Free)

Peanut Butter Stuffed Brownie Bites (Gluten-Free)

This is going to sound obvious to most of you (Hi Captain Obvious! 👋), but... PEANUT BUTTER IS FREAKING AMAZING!!! 

I have been found sitting at my desk with nothing but a spoon and a jar of peanut butter (and my computer), in bliss mode: happily typing away and slowly savoring my snack. 

The other great thing about peanut butter? It's best friends with chocolate. And since chocolate is my favorite food (hey, it is a food!), peanut butter automatically makes it onto my list of favored flavors. What better way to bring those two together than in little brownie bites! 

Peanut Butter Stuffed Brownie Bites (Gluten-Free)
Peanut Butter Stuffed Brownie Bites (Gluten-Free)

These brownie bites really do it for me because they are rich and sweet, but also have a touch of salt which makes everything pop. I used FatWorks' Ghee in these brownies, and it's great for baking: it has a truly buttery taste, and their ghee is grass-fed so I feel great about using it. It makes brownies super fudgy, and I love a fudgy brownie! (Don't give me any of that cakey stuff and tell me it's a brownie... that's cake. Still delicious, but cake.)

So, my advice to you on this lovely Tuesday morning: make brownies, include peanut butter, and give ghee a try. You'll be one happy camper just like me! 

Peanut Butter Stuffed Brownie Bites (Gluten-Free)

FatWorks provided me with product for this blog post, but the recipes and opinions are all my own. Working with brands to develop wholesome recipes is one way I keep Foraged Dish going! FatWorks helps me stock the pantry and keep the blog going. I only work with brands that I truly enjoy and use.  

Peanut Butter Stuffed Brownie Bites (Gluten-Free)

Published July 11, 2017 by
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Yields: 24   |    Total Time: 50 minutes



Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 large eggs
  • 5 tablespoons ghee, melted (but not hot)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F, and prepare a mini muffin pan with mini cupcake liners.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (almond flour, cocoa powder, coconut sugar, salt, and baking powder) until few clumps remain (small clumps are ok).
  3. In a second mixing bowl, mix the eggs, ghee, and vanilla extract. Whisk until combined.
  4. Add wet ingrdients to dry, and stir until a batter forms and only a few clumps remain.
  5. Scoop 1 tablespoon of batter into each cupcake liner. Use a spoon to make a shallow divot in the center of each: this is where you’ll put the peanut butter. Now, use a clean spoon to scoop 1 teaspoon of peanut butter into each divot. Then, scoop a scant tablespoon of batter over top of the peanut butter.
  6. Bake 15 to 20 minutes, or until a tooth pick inserted into the middle of a brownie bite comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes.