Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Camping and Cooking

During the recent five hour drive to our mid-October camping destination, I pored over my October 2011 Southern Living.  While I enjoyed reading about how to decorate my house for Halloween (I already have the spider webs so I am well on my way!), the recipes piqued my interest the most.  From Quick-Fix Suppers to Fix-and-Freeze Soups, my grocery list grew longer the more I read! 

Ben and Georgia-Lee dancing before Friday night’s dinner on our camping trip.

We give thumbs up to both recipes I tried once we returned from camping – Chicken Enchiladas and Chicken-Andouille Sausage Gumbo with Roasted Potatoes.  We started Monday night with Chicken Enchiladas.  Since it called for two cups of cooked chicken, Ben boiled the chicken for me before I ever got home from kid afternoon activities; perfect timing.

In keeping with my new promise to self (declared on our camping trip!) to use my cast iron skillet whenever possible, I sautéed onions and red bell pepper in the seasoned black cookware.  I transferred the hot onions and bell pepper to a glass bowl to combine with the cooked chicken, green chiles, and cheese.  Instead of grabbing the recommended saucepan as the recipe stated, I continued using the cast iron skillet to make the yummy enchilada sauce.  Fresh chicken stock was still on the stovetop from where Ben cooked the chicken.  Next time I cook this recipe, I will probably make one and one-half the amount of sauce; it was really delicious and the rolled wraps could have used a bit more.  Cleanup was relatively quick and our meal was so tasty.  We added a side of refried beans to be healthy!  Refer to the recipe at http://www.southernliving.com/food/kitchen-assistant/southern-living-october-recipes-00417000075285/.

Guess who got a stomach virus late Friday night during our camping trip?  I was actually feeling "better" when this picture was taken.

After our Tuesday afternoon activities, I made Chicken-Andouille Gumbo with Roasted Potatoes.  Instead of the cast iron skillet, I chose to cook everything in our cast iron pot, starting with the andouille sausage.  The sausage cooked quickly in the hot iron; the kitchen smelled fantastic!  Because of the potential spiciness of andouille and since the kids would be eating it, I added only ½ pound of sausage.  After it cooked in the pot, I continued using the pot and following the recipe on amounts.  Stirring the roux is a challenge; this time was only my second attempt at roux.  Something about the constant stirring seemed to take away the stress of the day.  It is true that you really cannot leave it; stick with it or it will stick to the skillet! 

Keep stirring the roux or it will stick to your skillet!

After it was the appropriate color, I added chicken broth and cooked chicken (reserved from Monday night); easy!  Amazing how delicious the gumbo tasted served over the roasted potatoes.  With “a piece of French bread with which to wipe my bowl” (Jimmy Buffet's I Will Play for Gumbo), our meal was filling and so yummy.  We had enough remaining to freeze for another night.  When we have it the second time, I may toss shrimp in to cook with it just prior to serving.  Find the recipe online at: http://www.southernliving.com/food/kitchen-assistant/southern-living-october-recipes-00417000075285/. 

Getting ready for Saturday night's dinner on our campout!

Oh, our camping trip – in spite of me being sick for most of our camping trip, I count the weekend as an overall success.  I survived; Georgia-Lee slept in a tent.  Ben entertained the kids while I was sick.  They had a great time swimming, fishing, and hanging out together!  And I cannot wait to read and see what wonderful recipes await in my November 2011 Southern Living! 
Everyone was all smiles on Sunday before breaking camp! 



  1. Looks like a great trip

  2. This makes me want to go camping! I'm sorry you got sick on the trip -- no fun!

    The recipes look great. And I love Southern Living, too!