Menu Makeover

By Sara Macho
Photo courtesy of Kanakuk Kamps

8:30 a.m. 1 p.m. 6:30 p.m. These times, give or take 30 minutes depending on your camp schedule, are some of the most important hours in a camper’s day.

Apart from swimming, hiking, and sporting, eating (and snacking) reigns supreme at camp. And like guests attending a wedding, campers remember the food--whether they loved it or, well, pushed it around their plate with a fork and made faces.

Together with Web Editor Ann Norman, I went on an electronic quest garnering revered recipes from camps and affiliate groups across our readership. We posted our call-out to Facebook, Twitter, and our magazine website-- --and the response was appetizing to users.

Everyone loves to test a new recipe, so take a look at these tried-and-true favorites , and maybe they’ll become a staple at your camp too. Didn’t have a chance to contribute? Email the details to and watch for your recipe online and in a future publication. Enjoy, and don’t forget to add an extra cup of TLC!

The Kanakuk Coffee Cake is a tradition at camp, only served on Sunday mornings with the delicious smells wafting from the kitchen, says Nicole Foo. The treat is enjoyed by more than 8,000 campers each summer.

“Campers and former campers dream about, tweet about, and crave this treat year-round,” Foo says.

Kanakuk Coffee Cake

Topping (prepare day ahead and refrigerate) :
¾ cup brown sugar
1/3 cup flour
1 tbsp. cinnamon
2 oz. butter


Combine brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon, and mix well. Cut butter into small pieces and work into dry ingredients with hands. Refrigerate overnight.


3 cups flour
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 1/2 tbsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/3 cup margarine
1/3 cups water
2 cup evaporated milk

In medium bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt, and mix well. Set aside. (Note: Dry ingredients may be mixed the day before, covered, and left at room temperature.)

Spray 9x13-inch pan with pan spray.

Beat eggs in a large mixing bowl until fluffy. Add vanilla and evaporated milk. Combine margarine with water, then pour slowly into batter and mix on low speed. Turn mixer off. Add small amount of dry ingredients and turn mixer on low to combine. Mix well. Scrape bowl and repeat until all dry ingredients have been incorporated. Beat until batter is smooth.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle topping (prepared before) on top of cake batter, covering well. Place in oven and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Cool and cut into 3x6-inch pieces to serve. Enjoy and reminisce on your favorite “Kamp” memories.

Load up the dutch oven for yummy dinners and desserts!

Foo also sent some “love” our way, as in this recipe for Frito Love :

2 lbs. ground turkey
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
3 cups tomato sauce
2 tbsp. chili seasoning
1 lb. dry macaroni noodles

Topping ingredients:

½ lb. shredded cheddar
8 oz. sliced black olives
2/3 head of iceberg lettuce, chopped
4 fresh tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 cup sour cream
2 cups picante sauce
1 bag corn chips


Brown turkey in pan; add onion while browning and cook until turkey reaches 165 degrees. Add seasoning and tomato sauce, stirring to combine. Hold at 135 degrees or hotter, until service. While cooking the turkey mixture, boil macaroni noodles. Place all of the topping ingredients in a divided tray or wheel, or use separate smaller bowls if necessary; leave the corn chips in a bag on the table. To serve, place the macaroni and turkey mixture as its own separate serving. Everyone assembles their own meal with topping ingredients to his/her liking.

Shawn Fox of submitted his recipe for campfire Cream Puffs, an easy-to-make favorite among his camper community.

Cream Puffs

Biscuit dough
Large marshmallows
A stick
A campfire

Open the biscuit roll and take out one biscuit. Open it, and stuff the large marshmallow inside. Close the biscuit so the marshmallow is completely inside and cannot be seen. Put it on a stick and roast on the campfire until golden.

George Hughes, an independent management consultant for the hospitality industry, provided this Dutch-oven recipe for Cherry Cobbler, and its derivative, Black Forest Cobbler, which both make about 10 servings.

Cherry Cobbler

1 white cake mix
1 can of cherry pie filling
¼ cup of cubed butter


Line Dutch oven with foil and place oven container in an iron pan large enough to contain about 12 charcoal briquettes (preheated). Place oven in the larger iron pan containing the hot briquettes.  Cover the Dutch oven with its lid and place about 22 preheated charcoal briquettes on top of the lid. This step should be for adults or experienced campers only.

Let bake for 35 to 40 minutes at a temperature of 350 degrees or until the sides of the cobbler begin to bubble and the crust begins to turn brown.

Black Forest Cobbler

Substitute chocolate cake mix for the white cake mix and add one chocolate candy bar cut into pieces. Then add walnut crumbles as a topping. All other ingredients and procedures remain the same.

If you’re looking to totally transform the camp cookout menu, Keith Hadigate of Camp Cherith in Ontario is your guy. Keith submitted ideas for bountiful breakfasts, stellar suppers, delicious desserts, and creative campfire snacks, many of which require a Dutch oven.

Keith went above and beyond, and more of his recipes are available at .



1 frying pan, griddle, or Hobo stove.
1 piece of bread and 1 egg for each person
Salt and pepper

Take the center from a slice of bread and butter both sides. Place the bread on the stove, crack an egg in the center of the bread, and add the egg over the bread. Add salt and pepper. Cook both sides.

Quick Sticky Buns

2 tbs . melted butter
¼ cup pancake syrup
1 can refrigerator biscuits
¼ cup brown sugar
½ tsp. cinnamon
Chopped nuts

Melt butter or margarine in the bottom of an 8-inch Dutch oven. Add brown sugar, cinnamon, and syrup, and mix together. Add chopped nuts. Top with 10 refrigerator biscuits. Bake 15 to 20 minutes (or until golden brown) with 2/3 of the heat on the lid. Invert onto a cookie sheet or other flat surface and let cool a few minutes. This recipe serves up to six people.

Grand Junction Omelet

20 large eggs
1 medium onion chopped
½ to 1 pound bacon, cut up in 1-inch pieces
1 bell pepper (red, yellow, or green) chopped
1 lb. lean ham, cut into small cubes
2 cans (4 oz.) mushrooms
1 lb. grated cheese

Heat Dutch oven to approximately 400 degrees. Brown bacon until crisp but , not burnt. Add ham, cover, and bake about three minutes. Meanwhile, beat eggs. Add peppers and onion, cook until tender. Drain remaining grease, and add eggs. Cover and cook three minutes. Then stir cooked part of eggs into middle of mixture. Cover and repeat two to three times. When egg has almost completely set, add mushrooms. Remove from bottom-heat, and bake with top heat roughly 15 minutes until done. After 5 minutes, sprinkle cheese on top. Serve with hot sodapop biscuits and salsa.

Mountain Man Breakfast

1 ½ lbs. pork sausage
1 large onion, diced
1 cup milk or water
2 tsp. salt, pepper to taste
3 to 4 lbs. potatoes
18 to 24 eggs, beaten
1 lb. cheese, grated

Brown sausage in a 12-inch Dutch oven with 16 to 20 coals underneath. Remove the browned sausage and most of the fat , and place potatoes and onions in the oven. Remove some of the heat from the bottom and add to the top. Cook until nearly done, usually about 20 minutes. Beat eggs and add milk or water. Pour the egg mixture over the top. Bake 10 to 15 minutes more, with most of the heat on the top. Five minutes before it is done, place sausage and grated cheese on top. Serves eight to 12.


Summit Stew

1 lb. bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 ½ lbs. ground beef
2 onions, large, chopped
5 lbs. potatoes, sliced
2 lbs. carrots, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups Minute rice
2 cans cream of chicken soup, 10.75 oz. (or 1-26 oz.)
2 cans cream of mushroom soup, 10.75 oz. (or 1-26 oz.)
1 can cream of broccoli soup, 10.75 oz.
4 cups water (as needed)
Salt and pepper to taste

In a 14-inch deep Dutch oven: Fry bacon. Add ground beef, onions, and garlic. Cook until meat is browned. Add potatoes, carrots, rice, soup, and water. Stir. Salt and pepper to taste. Use 12 coals on bottom, 16 coals on top, and cook until vegetables are tender, about 45 to 60 minutes. Serves 16 hungry climbers or 32 regular folks.

One-Inch Mini Pizza

1 package of six English muffins
One 14 oz. jar of pizza quick sauce
1 3.5 oz. package of sliced pepperoni
1 8 oz. package of shredded cheddar or mozzarella
Aluminum foil

Optional toppings, if desired:

1 pound of hamburger, browned and drained
1 chopped green pepper
1 chopped onion
Black olives, chopped
Or any other pizza topping you desire

Split one English muffin and place on aluminum foil. Put sauce, pepperoni, and choice of toppings on muffins. Sprinkle cheese on top of muffins. Do not wrap pizzas with the aluminum foil. Instead , place foil directly on a bed of hot coals for 10 to 15 minutes, until pizzas are hot and cheese is melted. Makes 12 mini pizzas.

Pocket Stews

1/4 to 1/3 pound hamburger
Carrots and potatoes
Two pieces of tin foil per person, each approximately 12 inches x 18 inches

Place two sheets of tin foil on a table, shiny side up so heat reflects in. Butter the center. Thinly slice vegetables.  Arrange meat and vegetables on foil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Wrap carefully, do not tear the foil. Wrap one foil at a time.  After wrapping the first foil, turn the pack over and wrap the second foil. Mark your pack with felt pen. Place in a bed of coals and cover with coals.  Bake 10 minutes on each side. Serves one.

Camper’s Stew

Brown one pound ground beef in a pan and pour off grease. Add two cans of vegetable soup and one to two cans of water, depending on how much gravy you want. Cook until the liquid boils. Serve with bread and butter.


Dice an onion and brown with the ground beef. Add a package of beef - gravy mix to make thicker gravy. If made in a Dutch oven, take a can of refrigerator biscuits and place over the top of the stew while it simmers; cover and add hot coals to the lid; continue to cook until the biscuits are golden brown.


1 ½ lbs. ground beef
1 can (16 oz) French-style green beans
1 can tomato soup
1 small onion, chopped
1 can mushrooms

In Dutch oven or large pot, brown ground beef and onion until onion is clear. Drain and add other ingredients. Heat through and salt to taste. Serve plain or on top of noodles or spaghetti.


2 lbs. hamburger meat
2 ½ cups chopped celery
2 chopped onions
2 garlic cloves, minced (or garlic powder)
1 tbsp. water
8 oz. fine noodles
2 cans tomato soup
1 can mushroom soup
2 tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
½ pound grated cheese

Brown meat and add celery, onions, garlic, and water. Cook until vegetables are tender. Cook noodles and drain. Add meat mixture, soup, mushrooms, salt, and pepper. Pour into casserole dish and top with cheese. Bake at 350 for 1 hour.

Texas Beef Skillet

1 lb. hamburger meat
3 tbs. green pepper
¾ cup chopped onion
1 ½ tsp. chili powder
1 (16oz.) can tomatoes
½ tsp. salt
1 (15 oz.) can kidney beans
½ tsp. garlic powder
½ cup quick cooking rice
¾ cup cheese
½ cup water corn chips, crushed

Brown meat and onions. Stir in undrained tomatoes, beans, rice, water, green peppers, chili powder, salt, and garlic powder. Bring to a boil, reduce heat , and simmer covered for 20 minutes. Top with cheese and heat for 3 minutes covered to melt the cheese. Sprinkle com chips over top and serve.


Easy Doughnuts

1 tube refrigerator buttermilk biscuits, per person
1 20 to 24 oz. bottle of vegetable oil
4 oz. sugar per tube of biscuits
Small brown paper bag
Doughnut cutter or something to cut centers from biscuits

Open biscuits and separate. Use a doughnut cutter to cut the center hole in each biscuit. In a large pan, heat the oil to boiling. Cook biscuits in oil until one side is golden brown. This will only take a few seconds. Then flip the doughnuts over to brown the other side. Remove doughnuts with a slotted spoon or spatula and place on paper towels for a minute or two to absorb excess oil. Shake doughnuts, two or three at a time, in a paper bag with sugar. This will make ten doughnuts and ten doughnut holes.

Banana Boat

1 banana, for each Banana Boat
1 pkg. chocolate chips
1 pkg mini-marshmallows
Aluminum foil

Peel back a section of the banana peel (don’t remove it). Cut out a wedge section along the banana (about ¼ of the banana). Eat the wedge. Put some chocolate chips and mini - marshmallows into the cavity. Place the peel over the banana and wrap and seal well with aluminum foil. Cook on hot coals for seven minutes. Allow to cool before eating.

Cherry Crisp

2 cans cherry pie filling
2 sticks butter, melted
1 white cake mix
1 cup chopped nuts

Pour pie filling in bottom of oven. Sprinkle cake mix over top. Do not stir. Top with nuts. Pour melted butter over top. Bake for about 30 mins. at 350 degrees.


Wipe the bottom of the Dutch oven with a paper towel dipped in vegetable oil. Use just enough to give it a gleam. Place on coals ( as few as six coals). Place a soft flour tortilla in the bottom of the Dutch oven. On top of that, place a handful of semi-sweet chocolate chips. On top of that, place a handful of mini-marshmallows.

Cover Dutch oven with lid for 1 minute. Remove lid. Using tongs, fold the tortilla in half (making a taco shape). You will note that the oven side of the tortilla is a golden brown.

Cover for another minute. Remove lid. Remove Smacko from Dutch oven and place on a paper plate to cool. Once shell has cooled to the touch, enjoy, for the inside will still be moist, warm, and gooey. Unlike s’mores, the shell will not crumble, but allow you to enjoy this delicacy in a relatively clean manner.

“We made more than 200 of these in less than an hour , using multiple Dutch ovens, and the kids loved them,” says Brent Ankrom. “We cooked up some extra for the next morning and they were just as good the next morning as they were that night.”

Cinnamon Sugar Donuts

Several tubes of refrigerator biscuits
Mixture of sugar and cinnamon
Cooking oil

Heat almost 2 inches of cooking oil in the Dutch oven over coals, not flames. Be careful not to allow it to become too hot. Prepare the biscuits by sticking your thumb through them to make a ring. Carefully drop them from a spoon into the hot oil. Turn them once. Remove them from the oil and roll them in the cinnamon and sugar mixture.

WARNING: These are habit - forming.

Robinson Crusoes

1 bag marshmallows
1 tin chocolate syrup
1 box graham crackers
1 jar peanut butter

Toast a marshmallow, roll it in chocolate syrup, and eat it between two graham cracker squares spread with peanut butter.

Shaggy Dogs

1 tin chocolate syrup
1 dish shredded coconut
1 bag marshmallows

Put chocolate syrup and shredded coconut in two separate dishes. Toast marshmallows, dip in chocolate, and sprinkle with coconut. Eat from stick. Try slightly toasting the coconut before eating.

Sara Macho is the editor of Camp Business. Reach her at , or 866-444-4216 Ext. 225.