Fireside Food: Make the Best of What You’ve Got

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We went camping this weekend on a spur of the moment decision.

We didn’t take too much time to decide where to go. (Mt. Tam State Park, just north of the Golden Gate Bridge.  Complete with breathtaking views and a 20 minute drive away from home.)  We didn’t want to spend too much money to make the trip happen.

Camping at Mt. Tam

While camping I usually prefer to plan a fun and exciting menu full of all kinds of treats.

Camping at Mt. Tam

This time around we went the easy and cheap route.  We hadn’t been grocery shopping in two weeks, yet we were still able to find plenty of shelf-stable and camp-ready food on our shelves: ramen, dehydrated vegetarian curry, a chocolate bar and instant oatmeal comprised our lunch, dinner and breakfast.

It was rather refreshing to head out without needing to plan anything or make a special trip to the store.

I enjoyed getting out there, without the big production that camping can all too often turn into.

Farallon Islands from Mt. Tam

All told, our little get away cost less than $50 including firewood, campsite fees and gas.

Camping at Mt. Tam

What kind of fun did you find this weekend?


Fireside Food: Boozy Campfire Cheese

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photo via wintersoul

One of the best things about going camping, is the chance to eat great food cooked over an open flame.  At home we can get lazy and compliant, opting for frozen pizzas or a bowl of cereal.  When heading outdoors we are forced to plan our meals, and I often plan for easy yet amazing meals.  I like a great meal to look forward to while camping.

Over the years we’ve discovered a few favorites that we always make sure to bring the ingredients for.  This is the first in an ongoing series, Fireside Food.  Sign up here to receive email updates and ensure you don’t miss a post.

Boozy campfire cheese is a recipe I originally discovered on is not a backpacking or outdoor oriented site, so I was originally a bit leery about the recipe.  But man am I glad I tried this one out.  Even if you don’t use the brandy, wrap up your cheese and throw it in the coals anyway.  Perfect as an appetizer (yes, when I camp I have appetizers) or a late night snack.


Boozy Campfire Cheese   

by Kate Ramos from


1 (7- to 8-ounce) wheel soft-ripened, bloomy-rind cheese, such as Camembert or Brie

1 tablespoon pear eau de vie or brandy

1 loaf crusty bread, such as pain au levain, baguette, or sourdough


1.  Unwrap cheese and set in the center of a large piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil, about 12 by 12 inches. Perforate cheese by pricking it a few times with a fork, then sprinkle liquor over the holes.

 2.  Close the foil by wrapping the sides up around the cheese and sealing it at the top. Place wheel in the embers of the campfire, at the edge of the fire where the logs are smoldering and covered with a layer of gray ash (not in a direct flame). Cook, turning wheel occasionally with the tongs so all sides spend some time near the embers, until cheese is soft and melted, about 10 to 12 minutes.

3.  Remove from the fire and place on a plate. Open foil packet, and scoop out cheese with hunks of crusty bread.


This is the first in an ongoing series of camp-friendly recipes, Fireside Food.  Don’t miss out on these posts!  Sign up to receive free email updates from