Tag Archive for 'camping menu'

Island Banana Boats & Coveted Norwegian Stick Bread

Tinsley Island Part II- Food to Camp By

This last visit to the island for the summer had me chomping at the bit. On our previous boat camping/cooking escapades, I had left with a long list of new ideas to bring to our next adventure.

While no one does a shoddy job of planning their meals at Tinsley Island, my challenge was to come up with a tantalizing new adventuresome, yet uncomplicated series of meals, that enabled us to make good use of our leftovers; so that nothing on the food front had to be carried home. I am pleased to say – mission accomplished! No leftovers and an ample amount of others circling the fire pit asking about our menu and meal preparations – most importantly, the feedback received from my toughest critics made it well worth my while.

This is my summer bonus post- yes, two recipes to let you know that while I’ve been a bit challenged on uploading my recent blog updates, it was not due to lack of wanting to tell you more.

I must admit, as I sat down to plan this out, I had to think of Jane Maynard’s site as it is no easy task to put together menus. I recently ran into her at BlogHer10 in New York, and she seemed pleased not only with my menu, BUT with my modifications to make an adult version of the banana boats.

Voila! My no-left over weekend menu plan and a few recipes to savor your eats in the great outdoors.

Banana Boats (and Special Adult Dessert Modifications)


1 banana, slit on the concave side and slit into rounds
1-2 TBS chocolate chips
6-8 mini marshmallows, or 1 large marshmallows cut into small pieces
heavy duty foil

**Adult version modifications**
lemon, squeeze of lemon wedge


Lay the banana on its “back” and peel slit the top open. While in the skin, cut banana rounds every half inch. You may need to take out a few slices to make a bit more room for the yummy filling.

Stuff chocolate chips and marshmallows between the pieces. Wrap in foil and cook approximately 7-10 minutes until outside of banana skin turns dark brown.

If making the adult version, you may want to substitute the chocolate chips for a generous splash of rum, a squeeze of lemon and honey.

Serving: 1

Photo: Jane Maynard

Norwegian Stick Bread

If you found Siri’s Norwegian Sweet Buns recipe charming, you must try her Coveted Norwegian Stick Bread Recipe. On her recent visit to the United States, we brought her with us to enjoy our version of camping, and her menu contribution was wonderful. So many islanders wanted the recipe, that she agreed that we had to post it!


8 cups flour (I used 4 cups white flour and 4 cups wheat flour)
4 TBS sugar
1 tsp salt
2 1/4 cups water
1 TBS oil
3 tsp baking powder
four for dusting
sticks for cooking bread


Wash all sticks so that they are free of dirt. Make sure that stick is wet before wrapping dough around it so that the stick does not burn in the fire.

Mix all ingredients together, dusting hands with flour, take approximately 1/2 cup of dough and wrap around the stick. Place on grill and continue to move frequently until bread is browned equally on each side.

Servings: 8-10

Step 1- You will need a few good sticks.

Step 2- Take a piece of the dough.

Step 3- Wrap dough around sticks and place on grill or in fire.

Step 4- Cook the bread until brown on all sides.

** Weekend Menu**

-dinner: Norwegian Stick Bread, pork tenderloin in a honey soy sauce glaze, grilled pineapple, roasted bell peppers and onions, and heirloom tomatoes/red onions/focaccia crouton salad
-dessert: banana boats (adult and kid-a-fied)*

-breakfast: blueberry pancakes with pineapple and pork tenderloin hash
-lunch: grilled veggie and Swiss cheese sandwiches on focaccia, fruit salad, green salad with grilled bell pepper and fresh basil
-dinner: seasoned tri-tip, corn on the cob, sauteed zucchini and onions, grilled portobello mushrooms
-dessert: s’mores

-breakfast: portobello, zucchini and onion scrambled eggs with Pan Fried tri-tip and broiled tomatoes, skillet toast and fresh picked blackberries and left over s’mores

The Island Life & Corn and Black Bean Salad

There is a small island in the Delta Region of Northern California that conjures up wonderful childhood memories for me. It is a simple, yet special location, and the closest I manage to kinda-sorta ‘camping’ – boat camping. While it may not seem like reality, the scope of ‘tents’ range from mega yachts to small sail boats. No cell phones are allowed, and there is only one TV on the island for the guests that make reservations well in advance to stay in the ‘light house’ (there are approximately 4-5 rooms in this locale). There is no grocery store on the island, and guests typically have their own small run-about or take the complimentary ferry over from King Island. This year, as a new addition, we found that there are now weekend bar tenders walking around to take your drink and/or snack bar order – but for the most part you have to bring what you want to eat and drink.

As a child I often wondered if this was anything like all of the posh East Coast spots I had heard the yachties speak about – Maratha’s Vineyard, The Cape, or Newport Rhode Island. Having grown up sailing on San Francisco Bay and taking a few summer sailing camps at the island I have spent a nice amount of time at this hide-away during the summer months. As I have grown-up, my love for this place has also grown deeper. Since returning as an adult, I recall all of the fond times spent with my Dad, Step Mother and brother running around with large bamboo sticks for the bonfire marshmallow roast, swimming endless hours in the pool, writing in my diary, playing dominoes (Dad’s favorite- don’t beat him he just isn’t made for loosing), backgammon, fishing, hunting crawdads (BTW-they like salami or other meat), water skiing, sailing, reading books and listening to music…..the memories abound! I’ll close the chapter on this aspect of memory lane, and not bore you further, as it truly is time to talk food. The focus of this post is on meal planning – while my friend Jane Maynard, of This Week for Dinner, does a great job of posting weekly menus, I felt inspired to share my humble attempt at this camping menu. The menu worked well and we ended up with very few things to take home with pleased fully bellies all around.

Camping doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a bit of gourmet, au contraire.

– dinner: Kobe steak kabobs with zucchini, red bell pepper and Maui onions (the vegetables were bushed with olive oil and rosemary. The meat was seasoned with salt and pepper only), field greens and whole wheat baguette served with a crisp white wine from Portugal
– dessert: watermelon au natural, ice cold

– breakfast: cheesy scrambled eggs with fire roasted veggies and skillet butter toast
– lunch: honey roasted turkey grilled cheese sandwiches
– appetizers: salami with cream cheese, roasted garlic hummus with carrots and celery
– dinner: honey marinated chili chicken breasts; Yukon gold potato/onion herb packets; white corn on the cob brushed with paprika butter; romaine salad with carrots, Capri tomatoes, and home made croutons served with a crisp white wine from Portugal
– dessert: s’mores and coffee

– breakfast: steel cut oatmeal with caramelized bananas served with fresh fruit salad (plums, white peaches, nectarines, apples) oh yes, and left over s’mores because it is vacation!

Upon leaving the island, we drove to our favorite spot in Stockton for lunch and had killer sweet potato fries, decadent milk shakes, delicious burgers with grilled onions and secret sauce- Moo Moo’s Burger Barn.

But when we arrived back home, we just couldn’t let the vacation feeling escape us, so we immediately invited some family over for dinner. The menu was simple, yet fresh and reeked of summer! BBQ’d sword fish, baked potatoes and some fresh greens.

Oh wait, what’s that you say? You wanted a recipe? Well, I had a feeling…but it is summer and I like to keep things on the simple side.

Photo Credit: Butteryum Blog Spot

Corn & Black Bean Salad


5 ears of corn, shucked (approx 2 cups)
1/2 cup small-diced red onion (1 small onion)
3 TBS cider vinegar
3 TBS olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 cup red or yellow bell pepper, chopped
4 whole bell peppers, sliced in half (this is your serving bowl, parboiling them is a plus if camping equipment permits)
1 (14 oz) can black beans, rinsed
1 lime, juiced
1 (4 oz) container, crumbled Feta (optional)
1/2 cup basil, finely chopped plus additional basil (garnish, optional)


Husk corn and rinse. Heat grill to 350F.

Shuck corn and remove all strings, place in foil and crimp edges tightly to retain moisture. BBQ corn packets for 20 minutes, turn every 10 minutes. Remove corn from foil for the last 10 minutes and allow to brown, turning regularly.

Note: Length of cooking time will vary depending on the tenderness, variety and age of the corn – some types of corn may be done in half the time.

Immediately immerse corn in cold water to stop the cooking and to set the color. When the corn is cool, cut the kernels off the cob.

In a large-size bowl, add all remaining ingredients and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Taste for seasonings and serve cold or at room temperature.

A bit more history I dug up while writing this post that I wanted to share for those of you still interested in learning/reading more about Tinsley Island.

Trivia: the lighthouse was one of a chain of seventeen stations that started at the entrance to San Francisco Bay (Point Bonita) and ended at Roe Island in Suisun Bay.

In 1955, the U.S. Coast Guard automated the light and fog horn mechanisms, and the main building of the Carquinez Strait Lighthouse was sold to a private party who, in 1957, moved the building by barge up the Strait to its present position at Elliot Cove, overlooking the scenic marina. Of the seventeen original lighthouse buildings, only two others remain in existence: the St. Francis Yacht Club on Tinsley Island, and the East Brothers lighthouse in San Pablo Bay (now a bed and breakfast establishment). Tinsley Island is located at latitude – longitude coordinates of N 38.0377 and W -121.49578

More great photos and historical information can be found at California’s Majestic Lighthouse’s blog.