Winter Camping

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It’s official.  Camping season is here!  Well almost.  But that didn’t stop us from heading into the woods on this semi warm (21 degrees) winter weekend.  Yes some might call us crazy, buy and this would be one of those times.  But when you feel the need to escape you can’t deny it.  So we hit the trains and trails of Harriman Park and set up camp at our favorite spot, order Lake Skenonto.  We only went for in quick trip this time so we only prepped one meal.  Beef stew.  We wanted something hardy and quick to heat up, as time and day light would be short when we arrived at our campsite.   After trudging through two feet of snow we hit camp and started to prep.  Jason worked on getting a space cleared for a fire and I went hunting for wood.  I came back with very little so we swapped chores and Jason hit the mother load!   I found a log under the snow that we could sit on while our fire roared and I also set up the tent.   After all that work and we rewarded ourselves with a shot of whiskey.   With our fire ablaze we started dinner and enjoyed the serine quiet and beauty of the wilderness.   After dinner and whiskey with a little snow to mellow it out we enjoyed the fire for a while and then headed into the tent to watch a movie.

The next day we woke to a couple of eagles singing a song, made some coffee and breakfast.   After a little leisure time in our winter wonderland we decided to pack it in and slowly made our way back to the train.   We didn’t have time for our usual Chinese farewell meal but that was ok.  After walking through all that snow both ways, just getting home was reward enough.   With our packs off our backs and a congratulatory glass of white wine we are melted into our coach and are dreaming of hitting the trails in spring.




Beef Stew
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
This is a great make a head of time meal for camping.
  • 1 lb beef stew meat
  • 1 32oz can of whole tomatoes
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1 bell pepper(your choice)
  • 3 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 4 celery stocks chopped
  • 3 carrots, peeled and slice ¼ inch
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 garlic gloves crushed and separated
  • ¼ teaspoon of oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon of thyme
  • Splash of wine (red or white)
  • Couple dashes of worcestershire sauce
  • Smidge of horseradish
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Flour to dredge meat
  • Olive oil
  1. Salt and pepper as you go along
  2. Dredge meat in flour and cook in stock pot with olive oil till they get a little brown on all sides.
  3. About 5 minutes, a quick sear.
  4. Set aside on a plate.
  5. Add onion and celery to pot and cook till onions start to get translucent.
  6. Add thyme and oregano
  7. Add one crushed garlic clove
  8. Add bay leaf
  9. Add potatoes
  10. Splash of wine
  11. Cook till potatoes are half way done
  12. Squeeze tomatoes with hands and put in pot with juice from can
  13. Add carrots, bell pepper, Worcestershire, horseradish
  14. Add meat including any juices.
  15. Add last crushed garlic clove
  16. Salt and pepper to taste
  17. Simmer for 45 - 60 minutes

Fall Camping

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Our first fall camping trip got off to a slow start, cure we accidentally boarded the wrong train! But luckily it was a happy accident. By the time we made it to Tuxedo and Harrimon Park the slight rain that was plaguing us all morning had stopped. We bought our final supplies and headed to the trail, visit this arriving just in time to collect firewood, make camp and start dinner before sunset. Steak, baked potatoes and cilantro pesto corn were the evening meal and a lovely moon to gaze at. Later with the fire and moon in full force we just sat back and took it all in, before heading of to sleep.

The next day we awoke to a beautiful misty fog rolling over the hills and exposing Lake Skenonto in all its fall foliage beauty. The birds sang hello while we made coffee and breakfast. The sky cleared up and it was a glorious fall day to be in the woods. So naturally we pulled out the ukuleles and serenaded the animals with our songs. After some more quiet time it was time to head back to the city. So we packed up, said goodbye to our animal friends and headed for the train and Chinese food. This may have been our first fall camping trip but it won’t be our last.


Vegetarian Chili for Camping

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Chili Chili fixin's Chili veggies


One of the easiest things to make for camping is vegetarian chili. You just chuck everything in a pot, no rx let it simmer for a while and tah dah! It’s done. I’ve made this so many times that I don’t measure anymore. Who am I kidding a never measure! Ok so I’ve gotten better at measuring thanks to writing about what we cook. You can keep it vegetarian or add meat it’s all up to you. We usually are out for a couple days so keeping it meat free is best. I also freeze it so it becomes part of the ice we use to keep everything fresh. I like to add as many fresh ingredients as possible, like tomatoes, corn, carrots, onions, bell peppers and sometimes zucchini. This is a great dish to experiment with and have fun.



Vegetarian Chili for Camping
Recipe type: Main dish
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8
  • 1 8oz can of black beans
  • 1 8oz can of dark kidney beans
  • 1 8oz can of pink beans
  • 1 28oz can of whole tomatoes
  • 1 14.5 oz can of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 15 oz can of tomato sauce
  • 1-2 6oz cans of tomato paste( depending on how thick you want it)
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 med onion
  • 1 med green bell pepper
  • 1 med red or yellow or orange bell pepper(your choice)
  • 2 carrots(3 if small)
  • 1 med zucchini
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon of cumin
  • 2 tablespoons of chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon of ancho chile powder
  • 1 large or two medium bay leaves
  • ½ tablespoon of salt
  • ½ tablespoon of pepper
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Olive oil
  1. Peel and chop onion
  2. Peel and chop carrots
  3. Chop bell peppers and zucchini into cubes
  4. Cut kernels off corn
  5. Chop tomatoes
  6. Peel and rough chop garlic
  7. In large sauce pan add some olive oil and onion
  8. A sprinkle of salt and pepper
  9. Sauté for a few minutes
  10. Add tomatoes and simmer for a few minutes till tomatoes start falling apart
  11. Add remaining vegetables, garlic and cans of tomatoes, sauce and paste
  12. Rinse beans and add them to the pot
  13. Add spices and herbs, salt and pepper
  14. Simmer for about 20 minutes
  15. let cool and put in freezer bags and freeze.
If you aren't a camper that's ok, this is a great meal anytime. They say to let chili sit overnight that way it incorporates all the flavors. I usually can't wait, but if you can, let the pot cool off, refrigerate and reheat the next day.
Don't for get the hot sauce, cheese and sour cream for the ultimate bowl of chili!

Spring/Winter camping?!

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Our first camping trip of the season was amazing and cold!

The day started out fine, pills a little cloudy but not too bad. We hit the subway, no rx then train to Tuxedo, grabbed the last of the supplies and hit the trail. We made it to camp with plenty of time to gather wood, pitch the tent, get water and start our fire. It was a lazy afternoon. Well as lazy as that can be. We took our time and enjoyed the spring day. We did notice along the way that there was still snow in random spots and when we arrived at our usual camp site, the lake was still frozen in parts. Jason dubbed this trip, winter camping! We were still delighted, the sun had come out and we just lapping up the quiet and slow pace we were settling into.



With our fire in full swing and whiskey in our cups we started dinner. We kept it simple. Dry rubbed ribs, steak, asparagus and baked potatoes. One of the best things about camping is you can wrap everything in foil, chuck it in the fire and leg it go. Of course we love cooking a more elaborate meal, but our first outing we wanted to keep it as simple as possible. After dinner we put more wood on the fire and watched the sunset. So far so good, right? Then the sun went down and the wind and cold went up! We usually hangout by the fire for a while but not that night. We headed into the tent and watched a movie I had downloaded. All snuggled up with hot water bottles, snacks and our movie we settled in for the night.

The next morning was bright and sunny. The wind was still whipping around a little and we thought we might have to take the early train home. But thankfully it went away and a beautiful spring day took over. We made breakfast, eggs, potatoes and bacon, and just relaxed. By lunch time we were sufficiently hungry and found our leftover ribs and butter were missing. These were to be added to our egg drop ramen soup. We couldn’t find them anywhere. After a little more searching, I found the empty foil I had wrapped the butter in, and a fork! Jason had heard something in the night like an animal walking through our camp but thought nothing of it. There are deer, geese, hawks, ducks and we usually camp next to a beaver and his dam. I guess one of them got hungry in the night!

We still enjoyed our lunch, finished our movie and made our way back to civilization. It’s always a bitter sweet walk. As we get closer to the train station you realize it’s almost over. But our reward for making this trip and back in one piece is Chinese food across the street from the platform. With our delicious snack in our bellies we drink our travel beer on the train and make the long ride home. Already dreaming of our next camping adventure.

July the 4th & then some!

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The weekend started with a bang.  It being 4th of July and all.  It was our friend Kirks Birthday and I attended his celebratory bbq bash where he made his Great Grandmas Fire Engine Red Cake and we enjoyed fireworks through a chain link fence. Only in New York can this be enjoyed.  Well not entirely enjoyed but the company was wonderful.  I then went home and took the late morning train to meet up with the beach crew for the rest of the weekend.

As usual we hit the beach bar for a quick arrival drink, abortion then headed for camp.  The weather was amazing and for lunch I brought egg salad sandwiches.  Great for the first day.  The rest was spent soaking in the sun, swimming in the ocean and playing the ukulele.  When dinner came around we were very excited to bust out the newest crazy meal we had thought up.  Meatloaf sliders. Yes that’s what I said.  They were a huge hit!! And really worked out great on the beach.  We accompanied them with coleslaw.  Which didn’t work out as well.  But you can’t win them all.

The next day was the usual breakfast, eggs, bacon and potatoes.   What wasn’t the usual was that our friend Naoum decided to join us.  We were beyond thrilled.  We picked him up a the dock and sang the New Zealand welcome song Haere mai.  He arrived just in time for lunch which was our Spam musubis.   We then constructed a kite made from the mylar balloons we found on the beach.   It took a while but well worth the effort.  For dinner we went for a classic, bacon wrapped hot dogs and macaroni salad.  needless to say there was nothing left.  The night was spent having cocktails and playing our favorite card game.

Our last day was lazy and spent doing what we do best.  Breakfast, swimming, sunning, playing the ukulele and making beach  pizzas for lunch.  Sadly it had to end so we packed up, flew the kite one last time, hit the ferry,  grabbed the train and headed home for Chinese food and a movie.



Meatloaf Sliders
Recipe type: BBQ
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 1 Pound of ground beef and ground pork combined
  • 1 Small green pepper chopped
  • 1 Small onion chopped(yellow or white)
  • 1 Egg
  • ¼ Cup of quick oats or bread crumbs
  • A couple splashes of Worcestershire sauce
  • A little bit of catchup
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl
  2. Mix with hands(my favorite part!)
  3. Make slider size loaf patties
  4. Grill till done all the way through
  5. Serve with your favorite burger toppings
  6. Best with potato slider buns

Beach Camping!!!

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Beach Pizza
Cuisine: Outdoor
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
Adapted from when we were camping. We used leftovers but you can make it at home with a frying pan or a frying pan on your electric grill. I prefer cast iron.
  • 8 sandwich rolls
  • 1 Hot Salami or hard cured meat of your choice
  • 1 package of Campari tomatoes
  • 8 oz of Irish cheddar cheese
  1. Cut rolls in half lengthwise.
  2. Cut tomatoes in half, ask set aside
  3. Slice cheese, advice set aside
  4. Slice salami and set aside
  5. Put 4 slices of salami in pan or on grill
  6. Cook for a minute or two on each side
  7. Put 4 tomatoes in same pan or on grill skin side up
  8. Cook for about a minute
  9. Turn tomatoes over
  10. Cluster tomatoes and salami together with a couple slices of cheese
  11. Cook for a couple minutes, capsule cheese should just start to melt
  12. Put half of a roll on top and cover for a minute or two till cheese melts
  13. Take spatula and remove from grill or pan and plate bread side down.
  14. Do not smash tomatoes, as the juice is key to keeping sandwich from being dry
  15. Careful this can be a bit messy
  16. So you may have to scoop melted cheese that tries to slip away
  17. Serve immediately.
  18. If you have a big enough pan or grill you can do more then one at at time
  19. Just be careful to keep ingredients in separate clusters for each roll
You can add some fresh cut Basil on top at the end or some hot sauce, Kalamata olives, or thin sliced red onions.



Beach camping has finally arrived.   A little late, but it is here and we are so excited!!!  Here are a few pics from our little adventure.  Hope you like them.  And for those of you who want to know.  Our first night, we had salmon steaks, asparagus and mashed potatoes for dinner.   Our second day, breakfast was scrambled eggs, bacon and new red potatoes boiled in sea water.  Lunch we had Spam musubi, dinner was vegetable chilli that we added hot salami to, with a side of grilled corn and for desert, Jello chocolate pudding cups!!!    Our last day if we have any leftovers we incorporate them into the meals.  Breakfast was the usual eggs and bacon but with mashed potato’s.  For lunch we had grilled cheese with cucumber and cherry tomato sandwiches.  But, since we had left over salami…………  Jason grilled the salami and cherry tomatoes, put some cheese and bread on top for amazing upside down grilled sandwiches!!  Of course he was nice enough to turn them right side up when it was time to eat – just like mini beach pizzas !

With our first camping excursion over we look forward to the next.  So until then we will post more of what summer in NYC is all about.

Camping season

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We got a late start on camping this year.  Mother Nature was not on our side.  But our first outing was amazing and on Monday I had the sore hips to prove it!!!  We started off early in the morning on the train, viagra buy then hit camp somewhere around two-ish, more about gathered fire wood, pills set up our tents and celebrated with a glass of wine.  We even made a make shift DJ booth for the ipod!  The next day we headed out taking the scenic route and finished with our tradition of  eating Chinese food.   After sufficiently filling our bellies we were ready for the train ride home with the joys of another camping adventure behind us.

Goodbye City Life! At Least For The Weekend Anyway

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wafflehouse driving rooftopsunrise stove kitchen sidehome chopwood2 snake dinner2prep choppedwood breakfast1
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We began our adventure in a car we rented for the weekend, buy information pills driving 14 hours each way. I’m talking about our recent adventure to Tennessee, symptoms where we hoped to soak up nature and live as one with the land.  As much as one can get staying in a cabin.     Of course we were roughing it, so to speak. The shower was outdoors, the stove was of the a camping variety, our water came from large jugs, the bathroom was an out house, the light was kerosene lamps and it was heated by a wood burning stove.  What else do you want from a cabin in the woods?  As it turned out, nothing.  It was perfect, peaceful and quiet.  Mother Nature graced us with wonderful warm weather.  It may have been November but it could easily had been late September.  We walked the land, marveled at streams that when it rains become dangerous rivers, chopped wood, went to bed early and rose with the sunrise, saw old friends and made some new ones, all while preparing and eating some amazing food.  We even drove into town to the local Piggly Wiggly to get supplies.

There’s something amazing about the mountains in Tennessee.  I grew up in a few different environments, one of them was the mountains in California and to this day, I don’t get the same feeling of peace as I do when I’m here.   It’s a place that you want to sit back take it slow do some chores and cook till you have filled your pantry with goodies and your belly with food.  Lucky for us we arrived just in time for a late lunch and a stroll around the property.  Our guide led us around and showed us some old homestead from early settlers and gave us a history lesson on who would have lived there before and what they would have farmed.  To me seeing history is always more fascinating then reading it.  When we were done getting the tour we took in the incredible sunset on top of the tool shed, and then it was back to the cabin to burn some wood and get cracking on dinner.   Grilled corn with sausages and a warm salad with a honey vinegar dressing.

The next day we were left to our own devices.  With our guide driving back to his home in Colorado we started the morning with breakfast  and a leisurely stroll.  We visited friends who lived nearby, catching up on their latest projects, chopped wood and  traveled into town for more supplies.  That night we slow cooked some beans on the wood stove, drank whiskey, listened to the radio and played cards.  Not bad for a Saturday night!!

Our last day we started it off with left over beans and eggs steamed over grilled onions and of course bacon.  After our hearty breakfast we took one last stroll said our goodbyes to the neighbors and headed back to NYC and our city lives.