Friday Foodie: Divine camping food by Lady and Pups

Sometimes these Friday Foodie posts are the only ones that keep me going. You know when the black dog of the blog gets to you and you start wondering and whining why? And really? And what is it all about anyway??? Well, these amazing food bloggers really have it going on don’t they? I’m repeatedly put to shame. I should really stop doing it to myself, but, put simply, I can’t help it. Just have a look at what Mandy Lee of Lady and Pups is getting up to. Now there’s a girl who’s managed to distract herself and her barking black dog with some tasty delights. It’s the oldest trick in the book for a reason people.

Three years ago Lee moved from New York to Beijing and straight into what she refers to as her “pre-midlife crisis”. As she cheerfully describes it, this blog is her “phoenix rising out of the tormenting flames of living here with all its misery”. But she invites us in to “share how [she] turned a lot of frustration and anger in a lovely meal”. And what an understatement that is. Her food is inspired and her dishes come with a huge flavour smack to the back of the head. Talk about a way of cheering up that black dog. Have a look and get cooking. Use your taste buds as you go, as Lee isn’t an overly precious recipe follower. She likes to use her imagination and follows her palate. Do the same.

Have a read of this brilliant blog, you’ll love what you’ll find. And get cooking campers. It’s the fastest way I know of  banishing all those black dogs that might be sniffing around …. Here are my favourites for camping.

Hot bunny pasta sauce, recipe here.12

Thai herbs + pork salad, recipe here. This would be great either made ahead or at your campsite and simply wrapped in gem lettuce leaves.4

Mexican chorizo + garlic shrimp burger, recipe here. How freakin’ decadent are these?!! 8

Torched salmon in green sauce juice, recipe here. A great dish to make ahead and while most of us don’t camp with a blow torch, a quick sizzle in a heated, oiled pan over a hot campfire would also do the trick nicely.10

Cilbir, recipe here. Make the sauces before you leave, toast the bread on the campfire and you’re away! A great new take on eggs for breakfast!15

Non-sensical hot peppercorn peanut brittle, recipe here. Bag it up and bring it along for a spicy energy fix.2719

Sichuan red peppercorn red-braised oxtail, recipe here. Hearty camper-fare like no other.23



All images via Lady and Pups, with many thanks.

Friday Foodies: A Brown Table

I blame the ice cream. It’s always the ice cream though that is more often than not the undoing of us all, don’t you find? …. But when I stumbled across the wildly eye-catching and taste-provoking foodie blog A Brown Table, the first thing that caught my eye was the ice cream. It all started with a stomach-flipping recipe for roasted purple yam + molasses ice cream (recipe here). Who on earth would ever, EVER think of that?!! From there it was a very quick click of the curser over to masala chai ice cream (recipe here) and on to the butternut squash ice cream with caramel (recipe here). And there’s more, but if I go on we’ll be here all day. Are you tempted yet?

What started as an exploration of kitchen creativity has morphed into what is now a challenging, sensational food blog that will really get your imagination going. The dishes Nik Sharma conjures up are nothing short of spectacular and will delight you and anyone lucky enough to be sitting around your campfire or, let’s face it, your dining room table because you’ll be cooking from this blog whether you’re camping or not. You’ll soon discover that much inspiration is drawn from the rich flavours of Indian cuisine, particularly those of North India and Goa. Sharma then takes these familiar flavours and flips and switches and merges them into into healthier, lighter, amazing plates and bowls of utter deliciousness.

We’ve had lots of utterly scrumptious Foodies featured on campfire style, but I know this blog is going to hit the spot like no other. Or it will shift your spot in the most delightful ways. Try something new on your next camping trip. That’s what it’s all about after all. New experiences, great times, full stomachs. So, what’s it going to be, huh?

As usual, here are my favourites to make ahead of your next camping trip or at your campsite. I had a seriously hard time limiting it to these, so go and check out Sharma’s blog for yourself and see what takes your fancy.

Indian-style salmon burgers, recipe here.



Sour eggplant curry, recipe here.



Cilantro coconut chutney, recipe here.



Balsamic raspberry sauce + chèvre cake, recipe here.


Goan chili rolls, recipe here.



Oat + sweet potato porridge, recipe here.



Chimichurri egg salad, recipe here.



Chia honey lemon pound cake, recipe here.



Shrimp etouffee, recipe here.

browntable-18Enjoy happy, hungry campers!

Images via A Brown Table, with many thanks.

Friday Foodie: Delicious camping food ideas from Top With Cinnamon

Sometimes you come across people who are truly, thrillingly impressive. It’s a great thing to happen in a kind of kick-yourself-in-the-butt way. And we all need to engage in a bit of that occasionally. London girl Izy Hossack, the chick behind the charming Top With Cinnamon blog, is just such a person. A full time, (self-confessed) geek of a student, Izy established her food blog when she was 15. She’s now 18 and has just been awarded the Editor’s Choice Award for Best Baking and Desserts Blog from Saveur magazine. To win one of those is amazing. To win one when you’re 18 is frankly, downright outrageous.

The lucky child of an American-Italian mother, you can imagine her childhood: cooking and food and eating and more cooking and more eating. She’s currently studying Biology, Chemistry and Maths, but have no fear for her food is made of much more dreamy, delightful, delicious things! You’ll find her interesting food liberated from tradition, free from the expected and all about flavour, flavour, flavour.

Keep an eye out for her first cook book which is due to hit the stands in Autumn. Just don’t eat for about three weeks before opening it up …

I’ve had a great time roaming around her blog to find some brilliant recipes to try at a campsite or to make ahead to enjoy on your next camping trip. I hope you like them. Let me know what you make! Here are my favourites:

Perfect lemon muffins, recipe here.


Wholewheat pesto, tomato + mozzarella rolls, recipe here.


Banana, walnut + oatmeal bars with salted caramel + chocolate, recipe here.


Apricot salsa quesadillas, recipe here.


Cumin spiked carrot + chickpea salad, recipe here.

topwithcinnamon-9No-knead sweet potato, pesto, red onion + zucchini BBQ pizza, recipe here.

topwithcinnamon-17 topwithcinnamon-16

And finally, a glorious rhubarb, grapefruit + thyme cocktail, recipe here.


Enjoy the weekend happy campers!

All beautiful photos by Izy Hassock from Top With Cinnamon, with many thanks.

Friday Foodies: Happyolks

pizza_17Happyolks is a lovely, lovely food blog written by Denver based Kelsey Hayes. She writes movingly about her life, loves and friendships here and accompanies these posts with truly delicious recipes to “celebrate the experience of creating a wholesome meal and the happiness that inherently grows from it”. Kelsey doesn’t make a living from Happyolks, instead she pens it and whips up sumptuous dishes purely for the joy in it and she shares them because she’s very attached to being a part of a community that stretches around the world and the realisation that there are “thousands of people in this big crazy world who share similar passions, interests, and goals.”.

I adore reading her blog and meandering through the great recipes and images (all taken by her boyfriend-now-fiancé, Shaun). It has fast become one of my absolute favourites food blogs. She finds beautiful little quotes like this one below from the remarkable Joan Didion. I’ll include it here because Joan Didion rocks and because it’s a wonderful thing to have in your mind as we head into another weekend before another week, another month, another year …. :

“I’m not telling you to make the world better, because I don’t think that progress is necessarily part of the package. I’m just telling you to live in it. Not just to endure it, not just to suffer it, not just to pass through it, but to live in it. To look at it. To try to get the picture. To live recklessly. To take chances. To make your own work and take pride in it. To seize the moment. And if you ask me why you should bother to do that, I could tell you that the grave’s a fine and private place, but none I think do there embrace. Nor do they sing there, or write, or argue, or see the tidal bore on the Amazon, or touch their children. And that’s what there is to do and get it while you can and good luck at it.”

Happyolks is a sweet little sister blog for campfirestyle because she also loves camping and has loads of great things to try on your next expedition. Like this camp cobbler (be sure to watch the little movie, it’s really cute!) or this open fire scramble, which I’m definitely going to try next time I’m out in the wilds with a campfire, eggs & bacon ….

But my choice for this week’s FRIDAY FOODIES is her divine looking pizza on a grill. I’ve always had a niggling thought that pizza on a grill is a possibility. Perhaps not on an open campfire, but I often take my little Smokey Joe BBQ with us when we go camping. It’s tiny, works brilliantly, and could easily make a fabulous camping pizza stove. I’ll let you know when I try it.

Be sure to visit the blog and get the full recipe for her pizza on a grill here. Enjoy and let me know what you think!



Camp + Cook: The Best Baked Beans

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANow I can see the delights and the convenience of a can of baked beans when you’re camping. It’s a super quick, healthy fix when you’re hungry and a great rescue from starvation if the rain comes down and puts out your campfire. But don’t you ever feel the need to be a little more adventurous than a can of Heinz? You know, like oh, I don’t know, making your own? Perhaps that doesn’t carry much appeal for most campers, but just think how good you’ll feel feeding your friends and family beans you baked up yourself.

This recipe is by Katie Quinn Davies of What Katie Ate fame. If you’re not familiar with her blog or her book, What Katie Ate, Recipes and Other Bits & Bobs then you’ve seriously been missing out.


These beans are truly delicious and dead simple to make. They have great depth and a divine layering of flavours that tinned baked beans simply don’t possess. Give them a whirl. You won’t want to crack open a can of beans again.


2 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, finely diced

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 cloves garlic, crushed

175g pancetta, excess fat removed, cut into 1cm pieces (I used lardons here, but you could also use normal rashers of bacon)

3 sprigs thyme, leaves picked (I used some dried thyme)

2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes

1 long red chilli, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon brown sauce

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon hot English mustard

2 x 400g tins cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

finely chopped flat leaf parsley

Here’s the how:

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large heavy-based saucepan or flameproof casserole dish. Add the onion, season with a pinch of salt and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.


Meanwhile, heat the remaining olive oil in a small frying pan over medium heat, add the pancetta and cook until crispy (I used one pan and added the bacon a bit before the onion just to save on washing up!). Add the pancetta to the onion mixture along with the thyme, tomato, chilli, sauces and mustards. Simmer for 20 minutes, then reduce the heat to low and stir in the cannellini beans. Cook for 10 minutes, then season with salt and pepper and cook for a further 10 minutes. (Add a little water if it gets to dry).

Toast some bread, serve the beans on top with a sprinkling of fresh parsley.


I made these the other day to give My Man something hearty for breakfast. He left before I came downstairs, but I was greeted with this little message on the family blackboard:



Camp + Cook


As promised, more delicious food from this week’s Camp + Cook featured chef Rohan Anderson from his book Whole Larder Love: Grow, Gather, Hunt, Cook. (You can also order through Amazon if you’re in the UK). This Gardener’s Reward Breakfast is a brilliant camping recipe, not least because you could make it before you leave, and eat it the next day as it tastes just as good, if not better, a day later. But cooking it on site is a wonderful way to start the day. And it will certainly set you up for whatever the outdoors can throw at you.

Here’s the what:

1 x chorizo sausage

100g dried cannellini beans, soaked overnight and boiled until soft

Handful of kale, chopped

Handful of baby spinach, chopped

5 cloves garlic, diced

1 x chilli, chopped and seeds removed

3 cups tomato passata

1 bunch of parsley, chopped

1 tbsp smoked paprika

Olive oil



Here’s the how:

Heat a glug of olive oil in a frying pan (medium to high heat). When hot, add the chorizo and brown for a few minutes which will release the animal fats (aka “flavour”). Now add the kale and spinach, stir and toss for over 5 minutes or until the greens have reduced in size. Add the beans, chilli, paprika, passata, garlic and chopped parsley and reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve with bread (toasted over the fire, or not), dress with olive oil and garnish with parsley and season to taste.

campfire tip:

If you’re making this dish when you’re camping, just bring along a tin of cannellini beans and skip the soaking and boiling.