Category Archives: Make It

Top 5 Nature-Themed Bento Lunches

If you have a desire to make healthy food that’s fun to eat, you should learn about bento lunches! This traditional Japanese method of making segmented lunch is also great for people who have food allergies and specific dietary needs.

Sometimes labor intensive, creating bento boxes is a great way to show your spouse, children and other loved ones how much you care!

There’s also a lot of room for creativity, as you’ll see in this list of our top 5 nature-themed bento lunches. Enjoy!

1. Camping Bento 

Top 5 Nature Themed Bento Lunches

Image: www.beneficial-bento.com/2012/06/camping-bento.html?m=1

It may not seem like it considering the current weather, but camping season is coming back! This beautiful camping-themed bento from beneficial-bento has a cool purple sky made with “forbidden rice”.

The creator of this bento really amped up the nature theme with some zucchini trees (not to mention the delicious sounding combo of lean ground beef and lentils for the ground). Oh, and the moon and stars are cheese.

2. Wildlife Veggie Bento

Top 5 Nature Themed Bento Lunches

Image: www.veggie-bento.com

We love wildlife here at ParksByNature and this next beautiful bento art is from veggie-bento. The totally cute bear is a cheese sandwich and he’s caught a gummy fish! Art imitating life.

Let’s not forget about those asparagus trees and carrot flowers! Not only does it make us happy to look at, but it looks good enough to eat.

3. St. Patrick’s Day-Themed Bento

Top 5 Nature Themed Bento Lunches

Image: www.pinterest.com/pin/263671753156137132/

Irish-themed bento! That’s right—we didn’t forget it was St. Patrick’s day today! Enjoy the holiday, and maybe eat something green and healthy. All those green foods up there look tasty and are an explosion of color for the eye. We’re feeling inspired to eat some greens just by looking at it!

4. Heron Bento

Top 5 Nature Themed Bento Lunches

Image: www.flickr.com/photos/kitsa_sakurako/475692905/in/set-72157603564413806

Yep—that’s a heron. Made out of egg. (Which is some good protein for your hike or birding activities!) And look at that blue rice sky! How did they get it so blue? This bento art comes from Sakurako Kitsa, who has made many beautiful bentos with themes ranging from a movie to nature scenes to animals.

5. Goose Bento

Top 5 Nature Themed Bento Lunches

Image: www.flickr.com/photos/kitsa_sakurako/1208491716/in/set-72157603564413806/

Well, what can we say. If you made it on this list you really know what you’re doing! And lunch artist Sakurako Kitsa has some great nature-themed bentos. Here’s a couple of Canadian geese looking majestic against some sky blue rice.

Bento Lunch Boxes for the Trail

There are a lot of cool products you can use to take your bento creation on the trail. You grab your Pocket Ranger® app and you’re ready to go and enjoy eating some bento nature scenes while you enjoy looking at real nature scenes! Here are a couple of product options for bringing your bento lunch on the trail: 

Top 5 Nature Themed Bento Lunches

Image: www.ecolunchboxes.com/ecolunchbox-three-in-one/

This ECOlunchbox Three In One is great for packing a nice lunch for the trail, and of course its reusability makes it eco-friendly! Careful though—these aren’t totally leak proof if you’re packing wetter foods.

 

Top 5 Nature Themed Bento Lunches

Image: www.justbento.com/bento-box-spotlight-light-my-fire-lunchbots-rosti-mepal

This design from Light my Fire looks almost as cool as your inevitably awesome bento lunches will look! It comes with a spork and some other pieces if you get the whole meal kit. Both of these lunch boxes are a good size, perfect for when you go out for a picnic.

Handmade bento lunch is a craft that has experienced a revival in recent years and we hope this list inspires you to think about some fun, creative and healthy ways to bring lunch on your next outdoor activity. So use your Pocket Ranger® app to find a new location for a picnic or a hike, pack a lunch and let’s enjoy nature and have fun!

Mardi Gras Recipes You Can Make at Your Campsite

There’s no doubt this has been a rough winter, so when Fat Tuesday rolls around next week, we think everyone deserves a little celebration. You don’t even have to be in New Orleans to get a taste of Mardi Gras. Case in point: these 5 delectable Mardi Gras recipes. Do Fat Tuesday right and stuff yourself to the gills on one (or all!) of these delicious and traditional New Orleans entrees. Best of all, these Mardi Gras recipes are easy to make right at your campsite, so if you plan to celebrate the holiday in the great outdoors, you won’t have to trim any of the fat from your Fat Tuesday festivities.

Gumbo

Courtesy of Add a Pinch

gumbo

Image: www.addapinch.com

Ingredients

  • 1 2-3 lb. whole chicken
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 2 medium bell pepper, deseeded and diced
  • 2 cups sliced okra
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb. smoked Polish sausage, cut into 1-inch slices
  • 1 cup diced smoked ham
  • 1 14-oz. can diced tomatoes, with juices
  • 1 14-oz. can diced tomatoes with peppers, with juices
  • 1 10-oz. can Navy beans
  • 2 tbsp. Ole Bay seasoning
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 lb. raw small shrimp, peeled, deveined, and cleaned
  • 4 cups cooked rice (optional)

Directions

  1. Wash chicken and place into a large Dutch oven. Cover with water plus about 2 inches. Bring to a boil over medium heat and simmer for about 2 hours. Remove chicken from water and set-aside to cool. Add butter, onion, celery, bell pepper, okra, and garlic to chicken stock.
  2. Pull chicken from the bone and add back to the stock. Add in Polish sausage, and ham. Cook for about 10 minutes to allow all the juices to incorporate.
  3. Pour in diced tomatoes and diced tomatoes with peppers. Smash Navy beans with a fork while in the can and then pour into the Gumbo.
  4. Bring Gumbo to a boil and stir in additional chicken stock. Cook for 10-15 minutes and then stir in shrimp. Cook until shrimp has turned pink, about 5 more minutes.
  5. Remove bay leaves from the Gumbo and the Dutch oven from the heat. Serve Gumbo over rice (optional) or by itself.

Serves 10.

Notes

You may use a rotisserie chicken rather than cooking a whole chicken. If doing so, adjust the recipe as follows: Heat Dutch oven over medium heat. Melt butter and add onion, celery, bell pepper, okra and garlic. Saute until tender, about 3-5 minutes. Continue with remaining steps of the original recipe and add 4 cups of chicken stock to Gumbo when recipe calls for 2 cups. Using rotisserie chicken will reduce cooking time by 2 hours.

Seafood Jambalaya

Courtesy of Scouting Magazine

seafood jambalaya

Image: www.scoutingmagazine.org

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. boneless chicken breast, cubed
  • 1 lb. mild Italian sausage, chunked
  • 1 lb. mixed seafood (shrimp, crab, crawfish)
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1 large onion, sliced and chopped
  • 1/2 cup celery, chopped
  • 2 small red or green peppers, quartered and sliced
  • 2 medium tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 1 14-oz. can chicken broth
  • 3 cups okra, sliced
  • 2 cups mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp. white pepper
  • 1 tsp. gumbo filé (powdered sassafras leaves)
  • 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 2 to 3 cups long-grained white rice

Directions

  1. In a deep, 14-inch Dutch oven, heat chicken and Italian sausage until cooked through, but not browned.
  2. In a separate pot, steam seafood mixture until done (shrimp will turn pink).
  3. In the Dutch oven lid or another pan, sauté onions, celery, and red or green peppers until tender.
  4. Add the sautéed mixture, along with the tomatoes, broth, okra, and mushrooms to the chicken and sausage. Mix thoroughly.
  5. Add dry peppers, gumbo filé, and rice. Mix thoroughly.
  6. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer.
  7. Add Worcestershire sauce and orange juice.
  8. Add water as necessary to cook rice.
  9. Add steamed seafood mixture.
  10. Simmer for another 10 minutes.

Serves 8 to 10.

Notes:

Crushed and dried hot red peppers can be used instead of cayenne.

Cajun Perch Po’ Boy

Adapted from About.com

perch po boy

Image: www.fishcooking.about.com

Ingredients

  • 1 recipe Spicy Sweet Pepper Slaw* 
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp. Louisiana hot pepper sauce (such as Crystal)
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 cup white cornmeal
  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • ½ - 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp. thyme
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 tbsp. milk
  • Oil for frying
  • 1 1/4 lb. skinless ocean perch fillets
  • 1 large, narrow loaf (about 24 inches) French bread (or Cuban bread or baguette), or 2 12″ loaves
  • 1 large ripe tomato, thinly sliced

*Ingredients for Spicy Sweet Pepper Slaw

  • 3 cups very finely shredded green cabbage
  • ½ of a large green bell pepper, very thinly sliced
  • 6-8 sweet gherkins, very thinly sliced
  • 1 large jalapeno pepper (seeds and ribs removed), very thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp. sweet pickle juice
  • 2 tbsp. white wine vinegar (or rice vinegar)
  • 1 tbsp. thinly sliced scallion (green parts only)
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Prepare the Spicy Sweet Pepper Slaw by combining all ingredients (except salt & pepper) in a large bowl. Mix well. Add additional pickle juice and/or vinegar to taste. Add a pinch of salt and black pepper, if desired. Place in a cold cooler.
  2. In a bowl, combine the mayo, hot pepper sauce, 1/2 tsp. black pepper, and 1/2 tsp. garlic powder. Mix well and place in cold cooler.
  3. In a shallow bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour, salt, 1 tsp. black pepper, 1 tsp. garlic powder, cayenne pepper, and thyme.
  4. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs well with the milk.
  5. Heat 1/2 inch of oil in a deep skillet or Dutch oven to 360 degrees.
  6. Dry the fillets and dredge them in the flour mix, shaking off the excess.
  7. Dip the fillets in egg; let excess drip off, then dredge in flour.
  8. Fry the fish in batches and let drain on a rack or on plain paper towels.
  9. Cut the loaf in half lengthwise and spread both cut sides with the mayo mixture.
  10. Add the fish fillets in a single layer, and top with tomato slices and Spicy Sweet Pepper Slaw.

Makes 2-4 servings 

Muffuletta

Courtesy of Food and Wine

muffuletta

Image: www.nolacuisine.com

Ingredients

  • 5 oz. pimento-stuffed olives (1 cup), sliced, plus 2 tbsp. liquid from the jar
  • 6 oz. chopped giardiniera (pickled Italian vegetables) (1 cup), plus 1 tbsp. liquid from the jar
  • 2 tbsp. drained capers, plus 2 tbsp. liquid from the jar
  • 3 oz. pitted Calamata olives (1/2 cup), sliced
  • 2½ tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp. minced shallot
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. dried parsley
  • Pinch of dried thyme
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large loaf seeded Italian bread (about 1 1/4 pounds), split
  • 1/4 lb. sliced fresh mozzarella
  • 6 oz. sliced capocollo or prosciutto
  • 1/4 lb. sliced Genoa salami
  • 1/4 lb. sliced mortadella
  • 1/4 lb. sliced mild provolone cheese

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, stir the pimento-stuffed olives with the giardiniera, capers and their respective liquids. Add the Calamata olives, garlic, shallot, oregano, parsley, thyme and crushed red pepper. Stir in the olive oil and let the mixture stand for 1 hour.
  2. Open the Italian bread on a work surface.
  3. Spoon the olive salad on both sides of the bread and spread evenly.
  4. Arrange the mozzarella slices on the bottom half of the bread, then top with the capocollo, Genoa salami and mortadella.
  5. Arrange the provolone cheese on the top half of the bread, covering the olive salad completely.
  6. Carefully close the sandwich.
  7. Wrap the sandwich tightly in plastic and let stand for 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.
  8. Cut the sandwich into 8 pieces.
Makes 8 servings.

Notes

Step 1 can be prepared and refrigerated for up to 2 days ahead of time.
The wrapped muffuletta can be kept at room (or outdoor) temperature for 2 hours.

Shrimp Creole

Adapted from Love the Outdoors

shrimp creole

Image: www.mommypotamus.com

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 14 oz. cans whole tomatoes, chopped with liquid
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 6 oz. can tomato paste
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 2 tsp. Creole seasoning
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • ½ tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1½ lb. medium fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Cooked rice

Directions

  1. In a large Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, bell peppers, celery, and garlic; cook 6 to 8 minutes, or until tender.
  2. Stir in tomatoes, broth, tomato paste, sugar, Creole seasoning, bay leaf, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper; bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  3. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 20 minutes.
  4. Add shrimp; cook 4 to 5 minutes, or until shrimp are pink and firm.
  5. Serve over hot cooked rice.

How will you be celebrating Fat Tuesday? Will you be making any of these Mardi Gras recipes, or do you have other plans in mind? Let us know in the comments!

Making Your Own Walking Stick

So, maybe you’re thinking of creative ways to add some flair to your hiking gear. One way hikers have been doing this for centuries is by making their own walking sticks or hiking staffs.

You could be walking along the trail looking like Gandalf with an awesome staff! (Beard and wizard hat not included.)

Making Your Own Walking Stick Gandalf.jpg

Just don’t go telling everyone on the trail they ‘shall not pass’
[Image: www.funwallz.com/image/ian-mckellen-gandalf-the-grey-hobbit-pic-hd-wallpaper-91585.jpg]

Metal or Wood?

Walking sticks can be used for fitness purposes or just regular old walking. There are all kinds of synthetic materials that are lightweight and really get the job done (the job being creating a top-notch walking stick.) Check this one out:

Making Your Own Walking Stick

Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Solo Trekking Pole
[Image: www.pocketrangerblog.com/gentd/shop.php/P-696799/Black_Diamond_Alpine_Carbon_Solo_Trekking_Pole.html]

So we know what you’re thinking: why would I choose wood over obviously superior metal? Well, in addition to the fact that wood is clearly the preferential staff material for magic users, you also have the fact that wood can be a local product. Made by local artisans. You could be that artisan!

Also, wood has that natural feel—it came pretty directly from nature. (Although, in a way, so did metal, so maybe this is kind of a philosophical question.)

You can also go around telling people with pride that your walking stick was “made in the USA!” or “made in Brooklyn!” or whatever the case may be.

Making Your Own Walking Stick

First choose your wood; you probably want something lightweight, like dried yucca stalk (if you’re in the desert), or the solid and durable hickory, ash, blackthorne, and yew.

You might want to pick something native to your area! Just don’t take wood from a state park or preserved site—you should leave all that stuff there. Also, you can choose dead wood; it will have more stiffness which is what you want for your walking stick.

You will have to decide the right height for you (elbow, armpit, shoulder, etc.) and how thick you want it to be.

Making Your Own Walking Stick

Making Your Own Walking Stick
[Image: www.pad1.whstatic.com/images/thumb/a/a3/Collect-wood-to-make-a-walking-stick-Step-6.jpg/670px-Collect-wood-to-make-a-walking-stick-Step-6.jpg]

Next, you are going to have to use a knife or small saw to strip off the outer layer of bark, sand the stick and put some sealer on it. If you are like us and aren’t already a master whittler, check out one of these sessions at state parks with some walking stick experts who will teach you how to do it. It can also be a good activity for kids.

Here’s a hiking and walking stick workshop coming up at Lake Eufala State Park in Oklahoma. Choctaw artist Ron Willison teaches this workshop. Participants can decorate their walking sticks with a provided selection of natural materials. The cost of the workshop is $20.

This is another one in Arkansas at Lake Dardanell State Park. This one isn’t too soon in the future, so mark your calendar and start looking for wood!

Of course you already know you can use your Pocket Ranger® app to find local walking stick crafting activities at state parks in your area.

Hiking Stick Medallions

Your walking stick may have personal significance to you because you took it on a lot of cool hikes, up mountains and whatnot.

Historically, hikers would put medallions on their walking sticks in Europe. These medallions are a visual way to commemorate hiking different trails. These days there are some gift shops that have medallions for state and national park trails and attractions.

Making Your Own Walking Stick Medallions

Show off your medallions
[Image: www.bushcraftusa.com/forum/showthread.php/103686-Let-s-see-your-hiking-stick-medallions]

Decorating Your Stick

This is an area where you can get really creative. If you want to take your walking stick to the ‘next level’, here are some ideas for decoration.

Using rope weaving techniques, you can weave your own handle for your walking stick. You can pick up some para-cord in different colors for this activity. Check out the weaving instructions here.

Making Your Own Walking Stick Weaved Handle

Weaved Handle
[Image: www.walking-hiking-sticks.blogspot.com/2012/05/making-hiking-stick-scouts-how-to-make.html]

If you want to build a storage compartment into your stick so you can feel like some sort of Bond villain, you can do that, too. This one is definitely more advanced but still a pretty cool idea. Did you know that people once hid swords in secret compartments of their walking sticks? We guess this is a good time to say that even though sometimes people think walking sticks can double as a self defense tool, most people who make them for hiking agree this is not one of their intended purposes.

Making Your Own Walking Stick Storage Compartment

Walking stick with metal storage compartment
[Image: www.instructables.com/id/Multi-Function-Walking-Stick-II-Storage-Compart/]

You can even make a torch out of yours. We’re going to go ahead and say this idea is expert level only , but it still looks really cool!

Making Your Own Walking Stick Torch

Walking stick with torch attachment
[Image: www.instructables.com/id/Multi-function-Walking-Stick-III-Torch-Bearer/

It’s time to take your walking stick on an epic journey! Head to a nearby state park and check out some of their hiking activities:

What To Do At Hanging Rock State Park

Hiking the Enchantments

Best Hiking Trails in the U.S.

Walking Stick Adventures at Quechee Park

Aside from making your own walking stick, can you think of some more ways to make your hike more creative? Maybe like sewing patches onto your backpack? Or creating a special hat or something? Let us know your creative ideas!

Never a Bore: 4 Twists on the Classic S’more

Yes, it’s true: s’mores never get old (you always want s’more!) but it’s fun to branch out in dessert camping territory. That’s why we’ve collected four of our favorite twists on the classic s’more recipe! So start setting up camp and sitting ’round the fire, because these treats are the perfect way to kick off a sweet new year.

Chocolate Fondue

Adapted from Mother Nature Network, www.mnn.com

chocolate fondue dessert camping recipes

Image: www.mnn.com

We’re feeling a little Top Chef-esque. Inspired by the principles of molecular gastronomy, this twist on the classic s’more recipe is a deconstructed version of a deconstructed food!

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces semisweet chocolate
  • 2/3 cup cream
  • 2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1-2 cups food to dip (fruit, marshmallows, bite-size pieces of cake, etc.)

Directions

At home

  1. Store cream in insulated container, and pack other ingredients in leak-proof containers.

At the campsite

  1. Break up chocolate, if necessary, and place in pan or bowl.
  2. Bring some water to a boil, and then pour just enough water into the bowl to cover the chocolate. Let the chocolate and water sit for about 10 minutes, and then drain the water off the top.
  3. Pour in the cream and vanilla, stir well, and start dipping!

Mess-Free Campfire Cones

Courtesy of Johnie Gall (dirtbagdarling.com), from Blog.FreePeople.com

campcone  twist on s'mores

Image: blog.freepeople.com

A s’more masquerading as an ice cream code? Don’t mind if we do.

Ingredients

(for one cone)

  • 1 waffle ice cream cone
  • ¼ cup semi-sweet dark chocolate chips (for added antioxidant powers!)
  • ¼ cup mini-marshmallows
  • ¼ cup diced fruit like strawberries or bananas
  • You can also add ¼ cup of toffee chips, brown sugar, almonds, coconut or dried fruit.

Directions

  1. Mix your chocolate chips, marshmallows, fruit and nuts together in a large bowl.
  2. Scoop a cup of the mixture into your waffle cone and wrap securely in a sheet of tin foil, making a seal on one side of the cone.
  3. Heat up the cone over a campfire or over a grill once your coals have turned gray, rotating often.
  4. In about 5-7 minutes your cone should be ready to eat!

Tortilla Dessert Roll Ups

From EchosOfLaughter.ca

tortilla_desert_roll_ups_twist_on_classic_s'more_recipes

Image: www. echoesoflaughter.ca

It’s like a wrap—of dessert!

Ingredients

  • Tortillas (wheat or corn)

And whatever things you like, such as:

  • Chocolate chips
  • Marshmallows
  • Bananas
  • Almonds, peanuts or walnuts
  • Chocolate chips
  • Peanut butter
  • Nutella

Directions

  1. Spray tin foil sheets lightly with cooking spray.
  2. Lay out tortilla. Add whatever morsels you like and pile them together in the middle.
  3. Roll up tortilla with seam facing down.
  4. Place on hot grill for 10-15 minutes.
  5. When the inside is melted and gooey, the dessert is ready!
  6.  Cut tortilla in half and serve.

Pot of S’mores

Courtesy of June Dress, TasteOfHome.com

pot_of_s'mores_twists_on_classic_s'mores

Image: www.tasteofhome.com

Who needs a pot of gold when you can have a POT OF S’MORES?

Ingredients

  • 1 package (14 1/2 ounces) whole graham crackers, crushed
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup butterscotch chips
  • 2 cups miniature marshmallows

Directions

  1. Prepare grill or campfire for low heat, using 16-18 charcoal briquettes or large wood chips.
  2. Line a Dutch oven with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Combine cracker crumbs and butter; press onto the bottom of the pan. Pour milk over crust and sprinkle with chocolate and butterscotch chips. Top with marshmallows.
  3. Cover Dutch oven. When briquettes or wood chips are covered with white ash, place Dutch oven directly on top of six of them. Using long-handled tongs, place remaining briquettes on pan cover.
  4. Cook for 15 minutes or until chips are melted. To check for doneness, use the tongs to carefully lift the cover.

What are your favorite recipes to make fireside for twists on the classic s’more? Let us know, in the comments below!

Wild Game Recipes

Now that it’s winter, you may be hankering for some heavy-duty meat dishes to keep you warm and full. But wild game can tend to taste, well, “gamy”, which is why you need to make sure your cooking techniques and sauces complement the meat’s flavor. Luckily for you, we’ve collected some of our favorite wild game recipes, just for this expressed purpose! Some may be old favorites, swapped with a gamier meat, some may be gourmet, and some may seem completely unusual, but we assure you that they’re all worth a try. So, grab your gun, get hunting (or head to your freezer for your already-hunted meat), and prepare to cook up a storm.

Wild Boar Meatballs

Courtesy of Georgia Pellegrini at GeorgiaPellegrini.com

wild game recipe wild boar meatballs

Image: www.georgiapellegrini.com

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds ground wild boar meat (as fatty as possible)
  • ½ cup finely chopped flat leaf parsley
  • ½ cup finely chopped fresh basil
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ cup finely diced shallots
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup ricotta cheese
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup Marsala wine
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tablespoons grape seed oil
  • 3 cups tomato sauce
  • Fresh linguini, cooked according to package instructions (or your other favorite pasta!)

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients except the oil, tomato sauce, and pasta. Mix well with a wooden spoon or spatula until uniform in consistency.
  2. Heat the grape seed oil in a large heavy bottom sauté pan.
  3. Roll the wild boar mixture with your hands into 2-inch balls. Place them in the hot oil and cook for 2-3 minutes on all sides until well browned.
  4. Add the sauce and simmer covered for 10 minutes.
  5. Spoon the meatballs and sauce over your favorite pasta or rice.

 Chili Cocoa Crusted Venison with Berry Reduction

Courtesy of Stacy Harris at GameAndGarden.com

chili-cocoa-crusted-loin-wild-game-recipes

Image: www.gameandgarden.com

Ingredients

(For the loin)

  • 1/3 cup coffee grounds
  • ¼ cup cocoa
  • 2½ tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ venison loin
  • Olive oil for browning

(For the berry reduction)

  • 1½ cups blackberries
  • ½ cup blueberries
  • ½ cup red wine (cabernet-sauvignon)
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • Kosher salt, to taste

Directions

(For the loin)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a medium sized bowl, mix coffee grounds, cocoa, salt, brown sugar, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper in a bowl. Rub mixture into loin.
  3. Heat cast iron skillet to almost smoking. Place loin into skillet and brown on all sides.
  4. Place loin in 350-degree oven 4 to 5 minutes, depending on size of loin. Remove to a cutting board. Let rest for at least 5 minutes.
  5. Slice into 1-inch pieces on a platter and spoon berry reduction on top of venison. Serve with collard greens.

(For the berry reduction)

  1. Place blackberries, blueberries, red wine, sugar, and lemon juice in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce the heat to simmer and reduce by half.
  3. Season with salt.

 Squirrel Pot Pie

Courtesy of Grace Noll at Sportsmansguide.com

squirrel pot pie wild-game-recipes

Image: www.squirrelsnsweets.blogspot.com

Ingredients

  • 6 to 8 squirrels
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • Dash of salt
  • Dash of pepper
  • 6 to 8 potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup diced onion

Directions

  1. In large pot, cook squirrels by boiling in water to cover until tender.
  2. Remove from cooking broth, reserving broth; when squirrels are cool enough to handle, pull meat from bones, discarding bones.
  3. In mixing bowl, combine flour, egg, milk, salt and pepper. Work into a small ball.
  4. On lightly floured board, roll dough 1/8 inch thick. Cut into 3-inch squares.
  5. Heat reserved broth to boiling. Drop dough squares, squirrel meat, potatoes and onion into boiling broth, adding in layers until everything is in the pot.
  6. Cover pot and cook for 20 to 30 minutes, or until potatoes are tender and dough squares are cooked.

Duck Prosciutto

Courtesy of Georgia Pellegrini at GeorgiaPellegrini.com

duck prosciutto wild game recipes
Image: www.georgiapellegrini.com

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Kosher salt
  • 2 duck breast fillets, skin on or off
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • Cheesecloth
  • Kitchen twine

Directions

  1. Pour half of the salt in a non reactive container that will hold the breasts snugly without touching.
  2. Place the duck breasts on the salt, skin side up if the skin is still on. Pour the remaining salt on top and pack it well with your hands.
  3. Cover the container with plastic and place it in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
  4. Remove the breasts from the salt, rinse them well under water, and pat them dry. They should be a deeper red and feel firm to the touch.
  5. Dust the breasts with pepper and wrap them individually in cheesecloth. Tie one end with a piece of string which you can use to hang.
  6. Hang in a cool place (50-60 degrees) with relative humidity for 5-7 days until the flesh is stiff but not hard throughout. Remove from the cheesecloth and slice thinly to serve. These will keep refrigerated for about one month or so.

 Fried Gator

Courtesy of Paula Deen at FoodNetwork.com

fried gator nuggets wild game recipes

Image: www. foodnetwork.com

Ingredients

  • 1 pound alligator meat, cut into chunks
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Flour, for dredging
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup hot sauce
  • 1 bottle store bought ranch dressing, for dipping

Directions

  1. Heat a deep-fryer to 350 degrees F.
  2. Lightly season gator meat with salt and pepper prior to dredging them in flour.
  3. Combine buttermilk and hot sauce into 1 mixture. Dip the gator meat into the buttermilk and hot sauce mixture and dip, once again, in flour.
  4. Place in deep fryer until golden brown, just a couple minutes.
  5. Drain on paper towels and serve with ranch dressing.

5 Tasty Vegan and Vegetarian Camping Recipes for Your Next Outing

We’ve all seen articles about delicious camping recipes for all occasions, but what about ones specifically for vegans and vegetarians? Don’t worry; we haven’t forgotten about all of you!

We understand it may at times be difficult if you’re the only vegetarian or vegan in your group of friends (and especially at dinner parties), so camping isn’t any different. Lucky for you, we think everyone’s food choices should be respected on any dining occasion, even when out camping. We’ve compiled a list of some tasty vegan and vegetarian recipes for your next outdoor adventure.

                                   Barbecue Backed Sweet Potatoes 

                                              Adapted from BBC Good Food
Vegetarian camping recipes

Image: www.bbcgoodfood.com

This delicious vegetarian dish is simple and pretty easy to make. All you have to do is cook the potatoes on the grill and add in your favorite ingredients. Here’s the recipe from GoodFood.com.

Ingredients

  • 8 medium sweet potatoes
  • 4 tsp olive oil
  • 4 tbsp Greek yogurt
  • 1 spring onion, sliced

Directions

1. Rub each potato with a little oil and salt, then wrap in a double layer of foil.

2. As soon as the barbecue coals are glowing red, put the potatoes directly on them. Cook for 15 minutes.  Turn them using tongs before cooking for 15 mins more. Remove one, unwrap and check if it is cooked through.

3. Peel back the top of the foil from each potato, split open and top with a spoonful of yogurt and a few spring onion slices.

                                                 Grilled Pasta Packets                                                             

                                                Adapted from Tasty Kitchen 

Vegetarian camping recipes

Image: www.http://tastykitchen.com

If you’re going to be outside for a while, you’ll probably want to stack up on some carbs. This fantastic vegetarian recipe is sure to fill you up for a while.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb whole grain spaghetti, cooked slightly less than al dente per package instructions (subtract 1 minute from cooking time)
  • 6 roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped coarsely
  • 4 oz fresh goat cheese
  • 1 lemon, cut into 6 wedges
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil

Directions

1. Preheat grill to medium heat (if you are using the previous Grilled Garlic App recipe, just reduce heat to low after you pull your garlic off of the grill).

2. Cut one dozen 8×12″ pieces of aluminum foil.  Layer foil so that you are using 2 per packet.  In a bowl, toss together pasta, chopped tomato, basil, salt, pepper, garlic and olive oil.  Spoon one serving of pasta mixture (1 1/4 cups) into the center of each packet.  Squeeze lemon wedge over pasta before adding to packet.  Spoon a few teaspoons of goat cheese into packet.

3. Bring long edges of foil together, then roll to secure.  Roll edges of packet to form a closed space (do not squeeze out all air).

4. Reduce grill heat to low, then place packets on grill.  Cook for 10-12 minutes, shaking packets halfway through cooking.

5. Remove from grill and serve immediately.

                                        Rockin’ Moroccan Stew

                                                      Adapted from Yummly

Vegetarian camping recipes

Image:  www.yummly.com

This North African-inspired vegan camping recipe is a bit more involved, but we’re sure it won’t disappoint.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (250 ml) vegetable broth made from bouillon
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 sweet potato, diced
  • 1 cup (250 ml) dried green beans
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) soy chunks
  • 28 oz can (796 ml) diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp (2 ml) thyme
  • 1/4 tsp (1 ml) ginger, ground
  • 1/4 tsp (1 ml) nutmeg, ground
  • 1/4 tsp (1 ml) cinnamon, ground
  • 3 cloves
  • pinch chili flakes
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) prunes, pitted and halved
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) dried apricots, diced
  • 8 oz can (250 ml) artichoke hearts, reserve juice
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) black olives, pitted
  • 3 tbsp (45 ml) brown sugar
  • pinch saffron
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 cup (250 ml) slivered almonds, toasted
  • 3 cups (750 ml) couscous
  • 4 1/2 cups (1125 ml) boiling water

Directions

1. In the wok, heat the oil and sauté the onion and garlic.

2. Add the sweet potatoes, beans, red peppers, soy chunks, tomatoes and all the spices except for the saffron and cook at a high temperature for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

3. Add the vegetable stock, prunes, apricots and the liquid from the artichokes.

4. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.

5. Stir in the artichokes, olives, brown sugar and saffron. Simmer for another 5 to 10 minutes.

6. While you are waiting, toast the almonds in a dry frying pan.

7. In a separate stainless steel bowl, pour 3 1/2 cups (875 ml) of boiling water over the couscous and let it stand for 5 minutes.

8. Fluff the couscous with a fork.

9. Serve the stew over the couscous and garnish with toasted almonds.

                                     Basic Grilled Squash Recipes

                                                      Adapted from Examiner

Vegetarian camping recipes

Image: www.examiner.com

Vegan readers: how does grilled seasoned squash sound? This vegan/vegetarian camping recipe only requires a grill, olive oil and seasoning.

Directions

Preheat your grill to medium high. Place the squash skin-side down on the upper rack. The skin tends to be blacken, which is OK since it’s not eaten. Grill for about 30 minutes, then flip and grill for another 10-15 minutes. Use a fork or toothpick to test if it’s done.

                          Spiced Grilled Sweet Potatoes 

                                    Adapted from Whole Foods Market

Vegetarian camping recipes

Image: www.wholefoodsmarket.com

This vegan/vegetarian camping recipe is also gluten-free. When finished, the potatoes look like grilled chicken, but don’t judge this book by its cover. Spread your favorite spices on the potatoes to give it that extra kick! Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 4 medium sweet potatoes (about 3 pounds), scrubbed well
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Directions

Cover potatoes with cold salted water in a large pot, then bring to a boil. Simmer until slightly resistant when pierced with a sharp small knife, 5 to 7 minutes. Drain well. When cool, slice potatoes lengthwise. 

Mix together salt, spices and apple cider vinegar; add oil in a slow stream. Brush this mixture on sweet potatoes. 

Grill potatoes on a lightly oiled grill rack over medium heat, until grill marks appear and potatoes are cooked through, about 15 minutes. 

Serve potatoes warm.

How to Keep the “Game” Out of Your Turkey Brine For This Year’s Thanksgiving Feast

Here at PBN, we’re all about game—except when it’s gamy. (You know, when the meat of the wild animal you just took tastes and smells too strong and like it’s slightly spoiled!) Since Thanksgiving is only a few days away, we’re thinking about turkey nonstop, but a small part of us worries over the potential gamy factor. So, that’s why PBN Founder Brett Melillo shared his go-to recipe for turkey brine! Make it, brine it, share it, get creative with it! The only rule? No “gamyness” allowed.

Brett's-Brine-Recipe (2)

 

Did you use Brett’s recipe? Or do you have your own favorite turkey brine? Tell us in the comments!