Mad for Waffles!

Camping is fun for me; I love to cook over an open fire or on the camp stove. Summer is a great time for fresh produce. If you can combine cooking and being in nature that is the best deal for me!

Now this is car camping, you know… where you drive there with a trunk full of sleeping bags, tent, tarps, comfy clothes, cook stove, lanterns, and coolers of food… So I had lots food and I also brought my cast iron waffle maker; an antique from the 1920s that was my sister Margie’s and before that my parents.  It was kinda messed up when she gave it to me but Joe and I worked hard to bake off the crud and now it works fantastically… and corn on the cob, shrimp and swordfish (frozen), half frozen chicken thighs, lamb loin chops and a zillion other food items.   Nothing like traveling light!

So we enjoyed some good food. For breakfast I made waffles, then  pancakes, and then more waffles the third morning.  The pancakes are lovely; for a year or two I just couldn’t find any pancakes that measured up to what I felt they should taste like.  These are from Elizabeth Hasselbeck’s cookbook. Sometimes I add extra milk if they are too thick. I pour the batter right out of a mixing bowl with a pour spout onto the griddle.

And, again, I forgot to take pix of the waffle iron in action; so here is that recipe (my version; based on a pancake recipe in Gluten-Free Baking Classics by Annalise Roberts. This recipe is great for camping because buttermilk travels better than regular milk and it also uses oil not butter in the waffle; easier to deal with than melting butter on the camp stove…. The other week I was out of buttermilk and used kefir, a fermented milk; worked fantastically.


Cinnamon Waffles (for 2; double for 4 people)

1 cup brown rice flour mix

1 tbsp. sugar

¼ tsp. salt

1 ¾ tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. cinnamon

1 large egg, well beaten

2 tbsp. canola oil or melted butter plus extra for greasing griddle.

2/3 cup buttermilk

½ tsp. vanilla extract

cooking spray (kind with no flour in it)

Directions:  To make it portable; measure the dry ingredients into a zip-lock baggie. I like to write the other ingredients on with a black Sharpie marker and label it waffles…so you don’t use the pancake mix by mistake!  Beat the egg in a large mixing bowl, add the oil, buttermilk and vanilla (optional when camping but I did bring it this summer and they were so yummy). Pour the dry mix into the bowl and whisk briefly until fairly well mixed.

While you are doing that mixing step the waffle iron should be heating.  I use a round cast iron waffle iron; please do spray it with cooking spray before heating and then I melt about 1-2 tsp. of butter into the 4 quarters; I blop the chunk around with a fork so some melts into each part of the iron.  Flip the iron over just before putting in the batter. I use a big spoon to glop it into the waffle iron.  One big glop in each half.  Close the iron and let it bake about 2 minutes. Flip it and bake 1-2 more minutes, or however long your waffle iron takes.  I serve it with real maple syrup; something this good deserves the best.  Before I serve the first waffle I break off a section and eat it hot and plain; you can really taste the cinnamon that way.  Make sure your waffles are crisp not soft. The crisp is Everything!

We had scrambled eggs and maple flavored sausage links; both go fantastically well with waffles.

Brown Rice Flour Mix (it is the same as King Arthur’s gf flour mix)
2 c brown rice flour

2/3 c potato starch

1/3 c tapioca flour

Originally posted in July 2015 and again in 2016  and 2017 with minor text revisions. Recipe the same.

Sweet Corn on the Cob…My Way

Sweet corn season is here.  In many places really good sweet corn can be had, like farms markets, road side stands and even Wegmans!  I don’t know about you but when I only am making one or two ears it seems silly to fire up a tall pot of water.  I do steam the corn which only takes an inch or so of hot water but still…too much to do.

Three summers ago, on a hot day, I realized there was a quick and easy way to make an ear…or two without that big hot pan of water and steam. I just take a large frying pan, put a quarter inch of water in it, sprinkle of salt and let it heat until bubbling.  I then lay in my ear or two which I have husked and removed all the silk.  Then the pan is topped with a lid or an empty pizza pan if your frying pan is too big for your lids.  Cook it the usual time; depends on how fresh the corn is.  The fresher your corn ears, the less cooking time you need.  The steam in the pan will cook it really fast.  Maybe 6 to 8 minutes.

And the bonus is that if it runs out of water your ear will get a bit of carmelization going which only adds to the flavor.  In fact I hope it gets browned a bit; sometimes I rotate the ear to brown it on another side.  Remove with tongs when your corn reaches the done stage you like.  Sometimes I take a quick bite to test for eating readiness! corn 004

Serve your ear(s) with salt and butter and enjoy fresh corn without heating the kitchen up much.

PS: when I camp I like to try new ways and old ways to cook stuff. We had corn that was fire baked in the ashes made by fruit wood; very tasty and we had corn I griddled/steamed on the camp stove.  The camp stove corn had a foil tent to somewhat keep in moisture.  But I have to say it still dried out more than I like, almost like freeze dried and reconstituted corn. The same thing seems to happen when I cook ears on my charcoal grill.  The fire baked corn is created by getting the ears wet; soaked in a bucket of water and then buried in a small layer of hot ashes for about 20 minutes.  You risk some char but that’s okay. The rest of the ear is just delightful. Maybe I will try foil this next camping trip; with a bit of water in there to help the ears steam.  Will keep you posted on my results.

Revised from a post originally published in 2016.

Camping Meals: Can be Done GF: Tasty and Easy

We were camping this past weekend. To some that means burgers or hotdogs. We did have beans and franks for lunch one day but I like to create and enjoy special meals and this is our tenth year together so I dry aged some shell steaks and froze them so they would thaw slowly in the icy cooler.  They were awesome cooked on the campfire grill and topped with mushroom slices that I sauted on the griddle of the camp stove. We baked a large Idaho potato to go with the steak and split it: I really can’t eat a whole big potato; too starchy.  camping PA Grand C 011 Baked a yam cut in half and wrapped in foil for a side the first night.  We had steamed snap peas both suppers as mine were ready to pick; just put in a ziplock and threw them in the cooler. I steamed them in a camping pan.  Simple. That first night we had boneless chicken thighs cooked on a double skewer; marinated first and brushed with Sweet Baby Ray Honey Barbeque Sauce.  So succulent and spicy good.

The steak was the second night and I made a rhubarb blueberry cobbler to top the meal off in style. I used my usual cobbler recipe and I refer you to it for the dry mix that will be enough for four cobblers.

I pre-measured all the dry ingredients and seal in labeled ziplock baggies. I generally write all the wet ingredients on the baggie so I don’t forget anything.




Rhubarb Blueberry Cobbler

Fruit Filling

4 cups sliced rhubarb

1 cup blueberries

½ cup sugar –add more or less depending on sweet tooth

2 tbsp. tapioca flour

1/4 tsp cinnamon


Pour the fruit in a oven safe sauce pan. Stir together the sugar, cinnamon and flour (I pack them at home by pouring into a baggie that I have pre-labeled with a sharpie marker) and mix into the fruit.  Cook on a not too hot camp stove or grill for 5-10 minutes, stir often, until it is thickened and hot.  Top with big blops of the cobbler topping.

Cobbler Topping

1 cup dry cobbler mix (in a pre-labeled ziplock baggie)

2 eggs

2 tbsp melted butter or canola oil

¼-1/3 cup milk/buttermilk

½ tsp. vanilla

Mix the wet ingredients in a medium mixing bowl with a whisk or big spoon. and then add the dry mix. Stir briefly: do not over-mix for best texture.  Use a big spoon to plop it right away on the hot fruit. If it is runny just pour it right over the hot fruit. Mine was runny this time but it tasted great although it took longer to bake.

Cover tightly and bake immediately on grill top for 25 minutes.  The top should be light brown and spring back when you poke it with your finger.  If it looks damp or squishy bake it 5 more minutes before checking. This time I double covered the pan with aluminum foil and put small hot coals on top to help the biscuit topping bake.

Let cool 5-7 minutes before serving as it will burn your mouth if you dig right in!

It was super good the next lunch eaten cold and I had the last of it that night when I was visiting my mom; we had some vanilla ice cream along side it warmed up; perfection!