Family Recipes Around the Campfire
July 23rd, 2012

campfireWhen large families get together for camping, putting together creative meals can be a fun challenge. The outdoor experiences, along with the food, are often remembered for months afterward. In fact, it can become a contest for family cooks to come up with something to top their presentation from the year before.

Assign each family a meal to prepare for the whole gang. Then everyone else waits in suspense to see what scrumptious delights await them. As meal times approach, the adults pull up their chairs around the campfire and the kids wander in from their activities, ready to get in the food line.

Turkey Mediterranean Scramble

This dish was made by newlyweds Chris and Christina Lippert, who enjoy preparing creative and tasty meals together. They mixed all of the ingredients except the eggs together before they left home and stored the mixture in plastic bags under ice.

  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • ¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh rosemary, chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 large sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup Tapatio hot sauce
  • 2 dozen eggs
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Mix all ingredients except the eggs together and brown. Add the eggs and scramble until done.

Serves 18

Bethany’s Campout Chili

Bethany Conklin, also is a newlywed, and this is her first year to be one of the camp cooks. She teamed up with her sister-in-law, Alisa Conklin, to perfect this recipe. The girls prepared the beef and onion before the camping trip and kept it in plastic bags under ice.

  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 3 finely chopped onions for garnish
  • 2 28-ounce cans stewed tomatoes
  • 2 15-ounce cans chili beans, drained, reserve liquid
  • 1 15-ounce can kidney beans, drained, reserve liquid
  • 2 6-ounce cans Spicy Hot V-8 Juice
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup prepared mustard
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • ¾ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¾ cup grated cheddar cheese for garnish
  • corn chips


  • Brown meat and add chopped onion. Cook until onion is clear. Add remaining ingredients and some of liquid from the beans until you have the desired consistency. Simmer for at least an hour. Serve hot, topped with the finely chopped onions and grated cheese, and corn chips on the side.

Serves 18

Sour Cream Somersault Cake

Barb Cournia makes this cake at home before she heads to the campsite. The recipe is ideal for taking on a camping trip because it is better if it sets for three or four days.

  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1 package vanilla pudding
  • 1½ cup sugar
  • 4 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 4 eggs
  • ¾ cup water
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¾ cup cooking oil
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped


  • Grease bundt pan heavily with butter. Combine cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl. Use part of the sugar mixture to cover the bottom and sides of the bundt pan and set the rest aside.
  • Mix all of ingredients—except the sugar/cinnamon mixture and pecans—until smooth.
  • Spoon a layer of batter into the bundt pan, then sprinkle a layer of pecans and a layer of the sugar mixture on top. Continue alternating layers of batter, pecans and sugar mixture until the batter is gone, usually three layers. Use a long knife or skewer to lightly swirl through the batter once.
  • Bake at 350 F. for about 50-60 minutes.
  • Cool and wrap in waxed paper and aluminum foil. Let the cake stand for three to four days for the best flavor and moistness.

Serves 12 to 14

Foil Dinners

This meal is fun for kids to make because they get to choose the ingredients and help put the packets together.

  • 1/4 pound ground beef per person
  • Onions, garlic, carrots, celery and potatoes, chopped
  • Ketchup
  • Barbecue sauce
  • Salt and pepper


  • Place raw crumbled hamburger, and choice of vegetables on two to three sheets of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Add ketchup, barbecue sauce, salt and pepper; season to taste. Wrap foil tightly around food and place in the coals of a fire for 20 to 30 minutes, depending on coal temperature. Rotate as needed.