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Kitchen Adventures: Camping food without going camping

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By Becca Owsley

As I grow older, I lose the excitement I once had as a child to go camping. Going camping in a camper still has an appeal and being outdoors always is a refreshing feeling. The popping sound and the warm glow of a campfire also are a bonus.

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But sleeping on the ground in a tent with no bathroom loses its luster when your body aches and back pain comes into play. Ah, to be young again.

Some of the fun of camping in is the food. Of the foods linked to camping, s’mores top the list.

Without a campfire, there are creative ways to have s’mores without burning it to a crisp and getting gooey marshmallow all over your face, hands and anything else you touch.

S’mores cups give the same, great graham cracker, chocolate and marshmallow taste with a little less mess. They also makes cute desserts or snacks.

It’s pretty easy to make but I found it didn’t make as many cups as the recipe said. Instead of 24 cups I made 15.

To make a full pan of 24 I recommend doubling the graham crackers, powered sugar and butter.

If you miss the burnt-marshmallow taste from the campfire, you always can leave the marshmallows in the oven too long or burn them with a lighter before topping them with chocolate, but that might take the camping theme a bit too far. It’s probably best to leave the crispy marshmallows for the campsite.

Although I never made this, cowboys camping in the movies always are eating beans and cornbread around the campfire. The comic relief wagon train chef rarely is seen without a pot full of beans.

At home, I like a good plate of beans and cornbread, but sometimes I switch the cornbread up a bit. The Jiffy cornbread mix has a recipe for corn pancakes or waffles. They are a creative way to fix beans and cornbread. Barbecue tastes great on them, too.

For the beans, you can cook up a mess of dry pinto beans or heat some straight out of a can. I always like to add chopped green onions and pepper to my beans for an extra touch.

Pour the beans over the corn pancake or waffle for some good-old beans and cornbread, minus the cowboys.

If you want a taste of the campground without the back pain from sleeping on the ground, these are a couple of good recipes to try.

Becca Owsley can be reached at (270) 505-1741 or bowsley@thenewsenterprise.com.

S'mores cups
7 whole graham crackers, finely crushed
1/4 cup powdered sugar
6 tablespoons butter, melted
4 bars milk chocolate candy
12 large marshmallows

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place graham crackers into a large resealable plastic bag. Finely crush using a rolling pin. Combine graham cracker crumbs, powdered sugar and butter in small bowl.

Place a small scoop of crumb mixture in each cup of a mini-muffin pan. Press crumbs to form shallow cups with mini-tart shaper. Bake 4-5 minutes or until edges are bubbling.

While the crust is in the oven, break two of the candy bars into rectangles. Remove pan from oven; place one rectangle into each cup.

Cut marshmallows in half crosswise using shears dipped in cold water. Place one marshmallow half, cut-side down, into each cup. Return to oven 1-2 minutes or until marshmallows are just slightly softened. Remove from oven to a cooling rack; cool 15 minutes. Carefully remove cups from pan and cool completely.

Break remaining candy bars and place in a small bowl. Microwave on high 1 to 1 1/2 minutes or until melted and smooth, stirring every 20 seconds. Dip the top of each marshmallow in melted chocolate. Turn them top-side up and let stand 40 minutes to one hour or until set.

Store the cups in a single layer in an airtight container for up to one week. Freezing is not recommended. For a richer chocolate flavor, substitute dark chocolate candy bars for the milk chocolate.

Recipe from Pampered Chef

Corn  Pancakes or Waffles
1 package Jiffy corn muffin mix
1 egg
2 tablespoons shortening, melted
3/4 cup milk 

Preheat griddle for pancakes or waffle iron for waffles and grease lightly.
Blend ingredients, batter will be slightly lumpy.
The griddle is hot when a few drops of water dance on the surface.
Cook on griddle or waffle iron.

Recipe from Jiffy corn muffin mix box