The new term for glamorous camping–an activity for those of us who require at minimum an air mattress when away from home comforts. For those of us who don’t know quite what you’re supposed to do with a roll of toilet paper in the woods. Who normally pack a whole carry-on dedicated to shoes. I promise, if I can glamp (can it be a verb?), so can you. Welcome to “glamping!”
Camping is something I’ve done my whole life. From the backyard with my brothers to deep in the woods of Vermont with some friends. Lots of people associate it with bugs and sticky marshmallow messes. It doesn’t have to be just that–from fun decor to good food. Of course, the easy meals involve potatoes and corn on the cob. But you can get more creative than that!
A few of my favorite dishes to dine on at home translate perfectly to a cast iron skillet! Cooking over the fire can be difficult. Insert childhood memories of burnt cold hotdogs?! Gross. The best thing is to cook over the coals of the fire, or if you pack heavy bring a little propane stove or a mini charcoal grill. I prefer the propane stove, because you can control it a bit more, and don’t have to keep adding charcoal!
First, ensure you have the necessary equipment. A large knife, a cast iron skillet, heavy duty tinfoil, spatula and a dry towel that can double as an “oven” mitt.
Then, cue the atmosphere. Twinkly lights and a pretty (machine-washable) tablecloth. Pick fresh flowers from the fields around your camp spot and place them in a cup or empty beer bottle (remove label). You’re in nature. Embrace it. You have the perfect backdrop so your table can be super simple.
You can bring touches from home like these mosquito incense burners, elegant citronella candles, and adorable mason jar soap dispensers with a kitchen towel inside! I personally love these silver placemats from Coco Blanca–perfect for glamping!
Signature drink: while in most cases this would be beer or a bottle of whiskey passed around, why not use the other half of that watermelon? Mix some of the left over watermelon in with some fruit juice, sprite, or adult beverage like vodka! Looks beautiful and tastes even better!
Appetizers: I made this for a group of friends in May when we were at a bluegrass music festival. It was in between bands and no one was ready to eat dinner, but they were hungry for a snack. Layer refried beans on the bottom of the skillet, then add a layer of salsa, chips, then cheese, add black beans, chips. Repeat until skillet is full. Top with cheese and black olives! Cover with foil and sit on the coals for about 15-20 minutes! Yum!! I suggest bringing an extra bag of chips to help with digging in! The refried beans act as a buffer to keep the bottom from burning, and the foil keeps the heat inside the skillet.
Foil Dinners: chop up your veggies, place a tablespoon of olive oil in the center of the foil- layer with veggies, protein, spices, and liquids. A crowd pleaser: onions, small sections of bacon slices, steak tips, carrots, brussels sprouts, garlic, and a splash of white wine! Tightly fold along the edges into the center of the pouch, leaving a 1 inch area of space above the food. Make it look like a tent (see what I did there?), roll up the remaining two edges and wrap the entire pouch in an extra layer of foil. The tent like structure helps steam the veggies, while keeping all the juices in the bottom to cook the meat! Nestle the pouch into the coals, and let it cook 15 minutes per side. This technique is also encouraged for breakfasts!
Kid Favorites: quesadillas! These are so unbelievably easy: cook chicken or steak first if you want them to include a protein. Add cheese to tortillas, fold in half. Cook on both sides for a few minutes. I like to add a couple dots of hot sauce, and rub the chicken with cayenne pepper and garlic salt. Boom! Upgrade to an adult meal!
Dessert: banana boats! Slice open a banana. Place inside mini chocolate chips, marshmallows, nuts, and or peanut butter. Wrap in aluminum foil and cook on the coals for 5 minutes- crack open the boat and eat with a spoon! Yes… This is the messy part. Follow up with hand wipes.
We can’t forget what to wear! Comfort is really key when glamping. Try these fun flowy embellished pants we just got in. Accent with earthy accessories (think natural stones or druzy), a navy top, and navy joie sandals. An old wives tale claims navy keeps the mosquitoes away! (It has yet to be confirmed.)
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2205 Mount Vernon Avenue
Alexandria, VA 22301