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I do not know about you, but my family has been incredibly excited that we are able to get back on the road and camp again after so long. While we have been able to camp locally in our own State or Territory for a while its exciting to see the borders opening up and people able to get back on the road again for their long awaited trip.


There is nothing like sitting around a campfire on a cold morning or evening and eating food that has cooked long and slow over the campfire. While we all love our slow cookers nothing quite beats old fashioned slow cooking over coals.


I think my favourite meal camping is definitely breakfast which is odd because generally I do not eat breakfast. But the smell of fresh bread, bacon and eggs over a fire permeates the air there is absolutely no way that even I could refuse beautiful warm bread or a bacon and egg sandwich.


This is my all time favourite damper. Growing up in inner city Melbourne there was not a lot of opportunity to eat let alone make damper unless we were on a school excursion so I always get excited about damper.


I love the mix of fresh herbs, tons of cheese and the flavour of the beer through the damper and when you slather it with butter and/or jam I am instantly transferred into my own little heaven with the butter dripping over my fingers (because lets face it there is no delicate way to eat this) and wiping up the melted butter from the plate with the bread it is just the best part of my camping trips each and every time.


For those of you camping with kids, this is a great recipe for the kids to get their hands dirty and get introduced to the simple pleasure of cooking over an open fire with a delicious end result.


Prep 10 min // Cook 30 min


INGREDIENTS

3 1/2 cups of self raising flour

pinch salt

1 bottle of beer

40g butter

4 tbs fresh herbs diced (I used tarragon, continental parsley, oregano and thyme)

1 cup grated cheese (I used a mix of Parmesan and cheddar)


METHOD

Place flour, salt, cheese and herbs into a bowl and mix well.

Rub through the butter and make a well in the centre and pour in the beer.

Using a butter knife slowly form the ingredients into a dough. **see note

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead the dough into a circle.

Cut a cross on top of the dough and brush with some oil.

Place a trivet into the camp oven and either place the dough directly onto the trivet or a metal tray and place the lid on the camp oven.

Place on the fire and place hot coals over the lid.

Rotate the camp oven every so oven to ensure its cooked evenly

When the damper sounds "hollow" when tapped it is cooked through.

Slice and serve hot with butter.


Note: Making damper is not the same as making bread and mixing it and kneading it as you would bread will make your damper dense and tough and frankly not nice to eat at all. As damper does not have yeast in it you need to mix and knead it the same as you would a scone recipe. Lightly bring the ingredients together with a butter knife and when you turn it out "shape" it into your round circle rather than knead it using gentle and minimal interaction with the dough.


There is not a household in the world that has had to do a throw together meal with what is left in the fridge at the end of the week and some trusty pantry staples.


In our house the end of the week is often about using up what needs to be eaten before the next food shop to ensure minimal food wastage which we all know is one of my absolute pet hates in life.


This meal is the end result of one of "those days" in my house. I always have chicken drumsticks in our freezer and I love cooking with them. When they are cooked slow they pack a huge punch of flavour because being "brown" meat of the chicken and having a bone they act as a stock as they slowly cook and the depth of flavour with little to no ingredients is quite amazing. Add to the mix that they are one of the most cost effective cuts of protein and its a double winner in our house.


The base of this recipe aside from luscious drumsticks was the EDMK chicken spice mix which of course the recipe is on our website. However, if you have not made it before that is no problem you can use a commercial chicken spice blend or alternative an Italian or mixed herb blend as an alternative.


There was absolutely no complaints in our house as we ate our weekly "throw together" meal and the added bonus was I shredded the leftover chicken off the bone and used it the following day for lunches so this humble meal served our family well!


Prep 10 minutes // Cook 30 min


INGREDIENTS

1kg chicken drumsticks

3 tbs EDMK Chicken Spice Mix

4 cloves garlic crushed

1 onion diced

1 zucchini diced

1/2 cup sliced mushrooms

1/4 cup cherry tomatoes halved

1 cup passata sauce

1 cup cooking cream

1/3 cup grated cheese

Salt and pepper to taste


METHOD

  1. Generously rub the EDMK Chicken Spice Mix over the drumsticks.

  2. Heat 1 tbs oil in a pan and sear each side of the chicken drumsticks in a very hot pan (about 2 minutes per side) and then remove chicken and set aside.

  3. Lower the heat, and saute the garlic, onion and mushrooms for 2 minutes.

  4. Stir in passata sauce, cherry tomatoes, zucchini and tomato paste.

  5. Return the drumsticks to the pan and cover with a lid and simmer for 15 minutes.

  6. Remove the lid, add the cream, stir through and season with salt and pepper.

  7. Cook for a further 5 minutes then add the cheese and cook for another 5 minutes.

  8. Serve with your favourite sides.




As the cook of the house I have a couple of golden rules I like to stick to for weeknight meals:


  1. The less cooking items you need the better;

  2. On the table in 30-40 min (unless its something you can put in the oven and let it do all the work);

  3. Is healthy; and

  4. The whole family will enjoy it because no one likes cooking multiple meals after a day at work.

This recipe ticks all the boxes and is one of my favourite meals.


I love tinned tuna I can eat it every day of the week. It is such a versatile pantry staple for a family and of course it has numerous nutritional benefits.


Growing up a simple tuna pasta was a staple meal in our home particularly after a night of sport training for my brother and I. Over the year I have added to and changed this original recipe to what it is today and it is still one of my all time favourite things to make and eat and is on constant rotation in our house.


The best thing about this recipe is that it makes A LOT! Its perfect for big families but the sauce is so versatile that you can have it one night with pasta and the following night as the topping on baked potatoes, used in a pasta or rice bake or as a pie and like the majority of recipes on the website you can freeze the sauce and use at a later date.


Last week we had this with homemade pasta, but the following night we baked up some potatoes with garlic and butter in the oven, split them open and poured the sauce over the top and finished it off with sour cream and cheese and it was the best end of week dinner you can imagine.


Prep 10 min // Cook 25 min


INGREDIENTS

1 large tin of tuna in springwater drained

1 x onion diced

1 long red chili de-seeded and diced finely (optional)

5 cloves garlic crushed

1 tin crushed tomatoes

1 tin cherry tomatoes (I used the mutti brand but any brand will do or you can substitute for another tin of crushed tomatoes and add some fresh tomatoes if you have them)

1 carrot diced

1 celery stick diced

1 zucchini grated

1 red capsicum diced

1 cup mushrooms diced

1/4 cup fresh herbs diced (I used continental parsley, thyme, basil and oregano)

1 tbs EDMK Italian spice blend (or use a commercial variety)

1/4 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup cream (optional)

Salt and Pepper to taste

Pasta of your choice (I used homemade fettuccine because the sauce is thick and it sticks to the pasta like a ragu)


METHOD

  1. Heat oil in a large frypan and when hot add garlic, chili (if using), onion and celery and saute for 2-3 min.

  2. Add carrot, zucchini, capsicum to the pan and saute for another minute and then add the mushrooms and saute until they are soft.

  3. Add tuna and mix through well.

  4. Add tins of tomato (and fresh tomatoes if using) and stir through.

  5. Add Italian dried herbs and your fresh herbs, season well with salt and pepper and lower the heat to a gently simmer and simmer for 10 min.

  6. Meanwhile cook your pasta according to the packet directions.

  7. When the sauce has become a rich thick sauce add the cream and cheese and stir through and check for seasoning.

  8. Toss the sauce through the pasta and reserve any leftover sauce in a container for a second meal.

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