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  #1  
Old June 9th, 2011, 10:02 AM
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Beau Johnston
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Living Overland's Recipes, Reviews, & Techniques

I would like to thank CrhisvonC for inviting me to be apart of this forum.

I just wanted to quickly let everybody know about a new blog I created to act as a resource for individuals interested in creating simple gourmet meals when out on the trail.

http://www.theoverlandgourmet.com"]www.theoverlandgourmet.com[/URL]

I am an avid outdoorsman who enjoys hunting, fly fishing, camping, rockhounding, and just relaxing in wild places. I am also a self-proclaimed 'Foodie Camper', and love to cook and eat well when camping. In preparing for trips I began noticing a general lack of information regarding the topic and decided to take the plunge into the Blogosphere. I plan to use this blog to explore the idea of gourmet cooking in the outdoors and collaborate with others to further develop recipes, discuss equipment, techniques, and pre-trip preparation.

I want to make sure the average camper can prepare the recipes I discuss, so I won't be using elaborate equipment or gear. I am currently camping with a 1960's Coleman 2-burner liquid fuel stove, a small 10" non-stick skillet, a medium sized GSI Glacier Stainless Cookset, a stainless percolating coffee pot, and a Rubbermaid cooler.


I hope you enjoy!

You can also find our feeds updated on facebook,The Overland Gourmet


------ Follow up post added June 9th, 2011 08:03 AM ------


Whether you are taking a bottle of your favorite balsamic vinegar with you to camp or are returning from a trip to California's Sonoma Valley with a bottle of your favorite Syrah it is important to protect them from being damaged during transport. We were once forced to wrap our bottles in an extra T-shirt or bubble wrap, place them in our chuck box or luggage and hope they made the journey undamaged. No matter how well we packed, there was always the possibility of a bottle breaking and leaking onto and damaging or ruining the the items around it.


Specifications
We no longer have to worry about bottles breaking and leaking with our VinniBag. Retailing for $28, the VinniBag is designed to securely hold a standard 750ml wine bottle but can be used for a multitude of fragile items. Instructions are printed on the bag and are clear and easy to follow. Bottles are inserted into the bag, the bottom is rolled up and secured, and the air chambers are inflated.


The air chambers provide a thick cushion around the wine bottle, protecting it from the abuse of airline travel, while the dry bag like seal keeps the contents of a broken bottle in the bag and not on your clothing.

To read more or our thoughts on VinniBag, visit our website at www.theoverlandgourmet.com, or by clicking here.[/URL]
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  #2  
Old June 14th, 2011, 04:14 PM
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Stuffed Peppers

Bell peppers were in season during our trip to Chile and we couldn't help but begin to crave stuffed peppers as we walked through the produce market in Pucon. Not having the equipment to bake the dish back at our cabin, as we would at home, we decided to try blanching the peppers prior to stuffing. Although the dish lacked the crunchy texture of an oven-baked stuffed pepper, we were pleasantly surprised by how well it turned out.

The produce market in Pucon, Chile




Ingredients
  • 1lb ground beef
  • 3/4 cup cooked white rice
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 3/4 cup diced zucchini
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2/3 cup Queso Chanco (Monterrey Jack would work as a substitution)
  • 4 large bell peppers
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 avocado, sliced
Serves 4
You can find the entire recipe on our website www.TheOverlandGourmet.com or by clicking here.
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  #3  
Old June 15th, 2011, 11:10 AM
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Review of Magellan's Travel Supplies' Bottle Armor


As we were preparing for our 16-day trip to Chile, it was becoming obvious to us that we wanted to bring home some Chilean wine to share with our family and friends. We have traveled with wine tucked away in our checked luggage before and have always feared arriving home to find our bottle broken and our clothing covered in red wine. We contacted Magellan's Travel Supplies and they sent us a pair of their Bottle Armor to review.



Specifications
Bottle Armor can be purchased directly from Magellan's Travel Supplies for $24.85 a pair. The set includes a corkscrew, which stores away in the convenient pouch located on the back of every Bottle Armor. Bottles are protected from damage using a thin layer of bubble wrap which is secured within a durable nylon shell. The shell is designed to be puncture resistant and in the event a bottle does break it is designed with a double zipper-lock closure to prevent liquid from leaking out. Bottles are simply slid inside and the end sealed up by pressing the zippers and adjoining the Velcro.
Bottle Armor can be purchased in two sizes, standard and XXL. Our Bottle Armor was the standard size.



To read more or our thoughts on Bottle Armor, visit our website at www.theoverlandgourmet.com, or by clicking here.
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  #4  
Old June 15th, 2011, 11:15 AM
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Good stuff, Beau. I need to try that stuffed peppers recipe.
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  #5  
Old June 28th, 2011, 09:28 PM
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Beau Johnston
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rijosho View Post
Good stuff, Beau. I need to try that stuffed peppers recipe.
Glad you like it! Let me know if there are any recipes you would like to see.

------ Follow up post added June 28th, 2011 07:28 PM ------


Ingredients
  • 1.25lb chicken breast
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped fine (about 2/3 cup)
  • 6 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 pound broccoli florets, trimmed into 1" pieces
  • 1/2 lb penne pasta
  • 3 ounces Parmesan cheese
  • 1 Tbsp fresh parsley
  • Kosher Salt
  • Ground Pepper


You can find the entire recipe on our website www.TheOverlandGourmet.com or by clicking here.
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  #6  
Old June 29th, 2011, 11:47 AM
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My lesson learned from MAR is that my biggest area of needed improvement in my overland setup is not my vehicle, but my kitchen setup and camp cullinary skills. This has become my 2011-2012 goal. Keep it coming!
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  #7  
Old July 11th, 2011, 12:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Overlander View Post
My lesson learned from MAR is that my biggest area of needed improvement in my overland setup is not my vehicle, but my kitchen setup and camp cullinary skills. This has become my 2011-2012 goal. Keep it coming!
Thanks! The good thing is everybody can learn to cook!

Here is another one for you:

Tapioca Parfait Topped with a Strawberry and Fennel Compote


This is the perfect desert for relaxing after a long day of exploring. The dessert can be quickly assembled on the trail by performing much of the prep-work at home. The tapioca can be made prior to the trip and stored in a reusable plastic container, ready for use.


Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup small pearl tapioca
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 quart strawberries, trimmed
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 3 TBSP sugar
Serves 4
You can find the entire recipe on our website www.TheOverlandGourmet.com or by clicking here.
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  #8  
Old July 11th, 2011, 09:10 PM
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I made this tonight, well, with some variation, as always. Pretty tasty.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Foodie View Post


Ingredients
  • 1.25lb chicken breast
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped fine (about 2/3 cup)
  • 6 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 pound broccoli florets, trimmed into 1" pieces
  • 1/2 lb penne pasta
  • 3 ounces Parmesan cheese
  • 1 Tbsp fresh parsley
  • Kosher Salt
  • Ground Pepper
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  #9  
Old July 12th, 2011, 02:03 PM
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Beau Johnston
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ren Ching View Post
I made this tonight, well, with some variation, as always. Pretty tasty.
Glad you enjoyed it!

Review of GSI Outdoors Pinnacle 10" Frypan

As we prepared for our trip to Chile, it was apparent we needed a new frypan, our 12" cast iron just wasn't going to cut it, so we contacted our friends at GSI Outdoors and they sent us their 10" Pinnacle Frypan. Since its arrival, the frypan has followed us on our snowshoeing, Chile, and Yellowstone trips tucked away in our backpack or in the back of the 4Runner.


Specifications
Major Dimension: 10"
Weight: 17.8 oz.
Dimensions: 11.1" x 10.6" x 2.8"
Material: Non-Stick Coated, Hard Anodized Aluminum
Product Use: Car Camping
For our full review, visit our website at www.theoverlandgourmet.com, or click here[/URL].
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  #10  
Old August 3rd, 2011, 03:24 PM
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Beau Johnston
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Freezing Beer for Your Cooler

Freezing Beer for Your Cooler

If you are anything like me, you read the title of this post, tears welled up in your eyes, and you screamed expletives up to the heavens. I assure you no (good) beer was severely injured in the making of this post.

Background
A couple of long-time river rafting friends of mine and I were discussing coolers and keeping food cool when they mentioned 18-day trips they had taken down the Colorado. "We would just freeze our beer," they said, "and we could make the entire trip without ice." " I am sorry," I said to them, "you lost me at 'We would freeze our beer.'". The two of them proceeded to explain how they would utilize two sets of coolers for their river trips. One set would be filled with cans of beer, which would then be placed in large commercial freezers.
The other set of coolers would be used to store their perishable foods. Frozen beer would be used to keep these coolers cold and as the beer began to thaw they would replace these cans with fresh ones from the 'beer coolers'. Now, I remember my roommate in college forgetting about some beer he had placed in the freezer to chill and when we discovered it the next day, several of the cans had exploded. They explained to me how they had made the same discovery and said we would be fine as long as I did not freeze 'Light' beer.
The Experiment

As we contemplated how we would test this technique, we knew we wanted to keep this relevant to the beer we, and our friends, typically drink. We chose to experiment with New Belgium's Fat Tire, Cerveza Tecate, Pabst Blue Ribbon, and Coors Light to show 'what not to do'.

Before we got started we contacted New Belgium Brewing to inquire into the possible ill-effects of freezing beer and we got this response back:
"...unfortunately it will only keep your food cold, it will not keep the beer flavor. When you freeze beer- it basically turns the solution back into a mixture of frozen highly alcoholic beer and ice. So when you thaw, you will have high octane beer and water mixture- no bueno. But, if you were REAL thirsty, I bet you would not mind that much."
We pressed on in the name of 'Science' to determine how well this technique really worked. We established a test plan for the experiment:
1. freeze individual cans
2. freeze a 12-pack and a Starbucks Coffee Traveler bladder
3. place the 12-pack and bladder in two separate coolers
4. measure the temperatures in the coolers, seeing which of the two coolers stays the coldest
5. determine which, the beer or the water, thaws the fastest.
Individual cans, of each of the four beer brands, were frozen one at a time in a plastic container to ensure we wouldn't end up with beer on the inside of our freezer.
For more information on this technique and to find the results from our testing, visit our webiste at www.theoverlandgourmet.com, or click here.
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  #11  
Old August 9th, 2011, 04:23 PM
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Beau Johnston
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Chorizo and Black Bean Breakfast Tostada

Ingredients
12 ounces chorizo, casing removed
1 16-ounce can black beans, rinsed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 tostadas
1 16-ounce carton Egg Beaters
1 avocado, peeled, pitted, diced
1/2 cup grated 'Mexican-Style' cheese
1 cup cherry tomatoes
Serves 4
You can find the entire recipe on our website www.TheOverlandGourmet.com or by clicking here.
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  #12  
Old August 17th, 2011, 10:45 AM
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Beau Johnston
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Review of Fire Wire Flexible Skewers

Kabobs are an easy and fun way to prepare a meal when in the back country. There are several materials and styles of skewers on the market to choose from, and now INNO-LABS is changing everything with their FireWire flexible stainless skewers.
Specifications
Material: Stainless Steel
Length:
Quantity: 2 per package
Price: ~$10 per pair
Our Thoughts:
We had the opportunity to take a pair of the FireWire flexible skewers on our Independence Day Weekend camping trip. We used the skewers, in combination with one of their many their marinade kit varieties, to cook some chicken and vegetable kabobs.
For our full review, visit our website at www.theoverlandgourmet.com, or click here.
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  #13  
Old August 17th, 2011, 01:43 PM
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So Beau when are you going to get a Land Rover?
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  #14  
Old August 17th, 2011, 02:36 PM
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Timely. Just bought a set of these a couple weeks ago, but haven't used them yet.
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  #15  
Old August 22nd, 2011, 10:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neil McCauley View Post
So Beau when are you going to get a Land Rover?
One never knows!

Quote:
Originally Posted by newfD90 View Post
Timely. Just bought a set of these a couple weeks ago, but haven't used them yet.
Let me know what you think!
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  #16  
Old August 22nd, 2011, 11:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foodie View Post
Review of Fire Wire Flexible Skewers

Kabobs are an easy and fun way to prepare a meal when in the back country. There are several materials and styles of skewers on the market to choose from, and now INNO-LABS is changing everything with their FireWire flexible stainless skewers.
Specifications
Material: Stainless Steel
Length:
Quantity: 2 per package
Price: ~$10 per pair
Our Thoughts:
We had the opportunity to take a pair of the FireWire flexible skewers on our Independence Day Weekend camping trip. We used the skewers, in combination with one of their many their marinade kit varieties, to cook some chicken and vegetable kabobs.
For our full review, visit our website at www.theoverlandgourmet.com, or click here.

We use these regularly. They work great on a round grill like our Webber. Only issue I have found is the head of the skewer that you poke through the food is much larger than the wire in addition to the way its crimped makes it tough to remove the meat and veggies once cooked. Other than that they work great. You can load them up with meat and vegetables, roll them up, stuff them in a gallon ziplock bag with marinade and throw them in your frig. With the prep work already done it makes an easy meal at camp.
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  #17  
Old August 24th, 2011, 11:01 AM
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Skillet Peach Cobbler

Skillet Peach Cobbler

Ingredients
Topping:
2slices high quality white sandwich bread, torn into large pieces
1/2cup shelled pistachio nuts, chopped coarse
4tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/4cup packed (1 3/4 ounces) light brown sugar
1/4teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8teaspoon salt
Filling:
2pounds frozen peaches or fresh peaches. (If using frozen peaches do not thaw unless they are in a solid block and only thaw to separate. If using fresh peaches make sure they are fresh but firm.)
1/2teaspoon ground cardamom
1/3cup (2 1/3 ounces) granulated sugar
2tablespoons unsalted butter
1/8teaspoon salt
4teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2teaspoons cornstarch
Serves 4 (easily halves to serve 2)
You can find the entire recipe on our website www.TheOverlandGourmet.com or by clicking here.
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  #18  
Old August 30th, 2011, 05:47 PM
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Review of KnifeSafe by LamsonSharp

Review of KnifeSafe by LamsonSharp



Knife safety is crucial during extended camping trips in the back country. As with anything, it is important to use the right 'tool' for the job. Although pocket knives are fine for general camp use, they were not designed for chef work and can result in cut fingers. A proper set of kitchen knifes would be ideal, however a blade stored incorrectly can become damaged by other objects as you drive down washboard roads. Worse yet, an improperly stored blade can be dangerous to remove from a cluttered gear drawer.

Our Observations


We have been using our set of KnifeSafes for a couple of months now; transporting our knives to cooking classes and on camping trips. Knifes are protected from damage with a hard plastic case that wraps around the blade. The two halve,s which form the KnifeSafe, are connected via a plastic hinge and held together with locking tabs. The locking tabs hold the blade securely between four rubber pads, preventing it from slipping out.

For our full review, visit our website at www.theoverlandgourmet.com, or click here.
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  #19  
Old September 1st, 2011, 09:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foodie

Let me know what you think!
They worked great! Beef satay:
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  #20  
Old September 7th, 2011, 01:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newfD90 View Post
They worked great! Beef satay:
Excellent!

Here are a couple more reviews. Yesterday we published a doubleheader.

Review of Chef'n SleekStor VeggiSteam



We love to eat fresh vegetables at home and as we travel. Until we discovered the Chef'n Sleekstor VeggiSteam we had often wished we could find a light-weight vegetable steamer that we could easily take with us as we travel.

Specifications
Major Dimension: 8-1/2" Diameter
Weight: 3.75 oz.
Material: Silicone
Intended Use: Home Cooking
Price: $11.99



Our Observations
We were able to use the steamer, on a recent trip, to cook four servings of green beans. We found the VeggiSteam to fit perfectly into our medium sized GSI Outdoors Glacier Stainless Pot. After we inserted the steamer and filled the pot with the required amount of water, we were able to quickly steam our green beans to perfection. We liked the convenience of the two handles, which made it easy to remove the beans from the pot to prevent overcooking. Cleanup was simple with minimal soap and water thanks to the silicone material; and the steamer stored nicely with our other camping gear.

For our full review, visit our website at www.theoverlandgourmet.com, or click here.


Review of KAI Magnetic Blade Guard



Keeping your favorite chef knife from being damaged during travel and keeping your fingers safe when reaching into your kitchen drawer or chuck box is essential to being able to prepare a meal on the trail. Chipped or dull blades can make cutting food difficult, requiring additional force, which can lead to injuries. A fail-proof method of protecting your kitchen knives is crucial for the chef on the trail. The KAI Magnetic Blade Guard is designed to protect your knife's blade from damage during transportation.

Specifications:
Material: Silicone and magnetic tape
Dimensions: S - 6"x1.5", M - 8"x1.5", L - 10"x2.5"
MSRP: S - $13.00, M - $19.00, L - $25.00

Our Observations:


We have been using our set of Magnetic Blade Guards to transport our kitchen knives on recent outings and to cooking classes. The design uses a silicone outer shell and hinge in combination with two magnetic strips on the interior. When closed, the blade is held securely in place by these two magnetic strips, one on either side of the blade. The guard, which can be cut to length, wraps fully around the blade and protecting it from damage. Although KAI recommends placing the back of the blade facing the hinge, we felt more comfortable with the the edge facing the hinge; just a little bit of extra insurance against possible damage.

For our full review, visit our website at www.theoverlandgourmet.com, or click here.
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