Nothin' feels better than filling your belly with good food when you're camping. This weekend, I had planned on making banana pancakes using my dad's Mountain Man Baking Mix. The problem? I forgot to bring the mix!, well at least I had everything to make THIS! Our cabin had a gas stove on the porch that included an oven, so I made some crescent rolls to go with breakfast too! Let me know what you think of this recipe!

2 TBSP olive or cooking oil (I used canola)
4 medium Yukon/gold potatoes, diced
1/2 medium sweet onion, diced
2 tsp. southwestern spice mix (I used Pampered Chef's mix, my fave)
4 eggs
1/2 package Virginia ham (I used Oscar Mayer's in the tub), sliced
handful of fresh baby spinach, chopped

Heat the oil in your skillet on medium high. Add potatoes, onions, and seasoning and cook until tender. Crack eggs over the potato mix so that they look like fried eggs on top. Cook until eggs are done to desired consistency (I like mine all the way done). Add ham and spinach and cook until spinach is just withered, but heated through. You may cover this too, but I didn't need to. Everything cooks so it is like a casserole from a skillet. I didn't add any salt. It didn't need any!

I threw this together for a quick meal last night after getting back from our camping trip. It was crunchy, cheesy, and had just the right blend of everything to make kids and adults love it!

Preheat your oven to 400.
Spray 9x13 casserole dish with nonstick spray.
Layer the pan with corn chips (just enough to cover the bottom)
Then, add ingredients in this sequence:
2 cups prepared rice (brown or jasmine)
1 small can mushrooms
1/2 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar
corn chips or corn tortillas (again, just enough to cover)
1 (15 oz) can of corn
rest of diced tomatoes
1 small can sliced olives
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar

Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until cheese is melted.
Serves about 6-8 people.

*Note: If you don't want the fat/calories from all of that cheese, just reduce it to what you're comfortable with.

The Mountain Man's Baking Mix
for pancakes, waffles, and biscuits

My dad's baking mix is the same mix he's been using for years, and it really is the best from-scratch mix I've had. What I like about it is that it can be prepared in a storage container or bag ahead of time so it's ready right when I need it. I made the pancakes yesterday for lunch, and they were really great! They were a piece of cake, no pun intended! I know, that was a terrible non-joke! Well let me get to the recipe itself. You'll notice there's no sugar in this one. He says that the sugar interferes with the taste of the actual food. I made mine without the sugar and they were fine, but if you have to have it in yours, don't add more than 1 tablespoon for each cup of flour.

This mix makes about (4) 5" pancakes or 2 large waffles, so double, triple, or whatever you need to do for your family.
1 c flour (whole wheat, white, or combination)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 tsp baking soda
* If you need to, you can substitute the tartar and baking soda for 1 tsp of baking powder.
Whisk ingredients in a bowl until thoroughly combined.

For pancakes add:
1 beaten egg
2 TBSP cooking oil
3/4 c milk

For waffles add:
2 beaten eggs
2 TBSP cooking oil
3/4 c milk

For biscuits add:
2 TBSP cooking oil
3/4 c milk

My dad says to: Stir with a rubber/silicone spatula until just mixed. Don't overmix. It's okay to have some lumps in there (mine had plenty, but it didn't matter). Make sure you have enough milk so that when you pour it into the waffle iron, it just pours. It shouldn't be thick enough to need to spread it. 

Homemade Chicken Enchiladas
I adapted this recipe from one I had at my sister-in-law's house about 11 years ago! It is always a family favorite and my husband's been askin for it!

You need:
3 cooked and shredded boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup cooked brown rice
2 small cans sliced olives
2 small cans sliced mushrooms
1 small can green chilis (or jalepenos if you like spicy)
4 cups monterey jack cheese
1 (15 oz) can green chili enchilada sauce
10 flour tortillas

To make:
Preheat oven to 350 and spray a large casserole pan 9x13 or larger with cooking spray. In a large bowl, mix chicken, rice, olives, mushrooms, chilis, half of sauce, and 2 cups of cheese thoroughly. Fill tortillas to desired fullness. Transfer to pan. Pour remaining sauce over the tops of the enchiladas. Cover with remaining cheese. Bake until hot and bubbly for about 30 minutes.

Spinach Berry Salad
This is probably one of the easiest and healthiest salads I have ever made, and it is incredibly delish! Just gather enough to make the quantity you want to make! When I make this using packaged spinach in the bag, it makes enough to feed about 8 people.

You need: 
Baby spinach leaves
about 1-2 cups Fresh strawberries, sliced (you can use any red berry)
Creamy raspberry vinaigrette (my fave is Auntie Annie's)

Mix spinach and raspberries together in a large bowl and add the dressing to taste, then toss! Voila!

Artichoke and Spinach Dip

This recipe has been passed down from my mom, who got it from my sister's sister-in-law, who got it from her mother-in-law! It is by far the best dip I have ever eaten, and I could definitely sit down with a box of crackers and eat the entire pan all by myself! I'll follow up with a picture tonight!

1 jar/can (12-14 oz) artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
2 cups spinach leaves, rinsed
8 oz cream cheese
1 cup parmesen cheese
1/2 c mayo
1/2 c sour cream
1 tsp garlic powder
1 roma tomato, chopped

Preheat oven to 350. Combine artichokes and spinach in a food processor and chop (you can also just chop these by hand). Put mixture in large bowl. Add remaining ingredients, except tomato and mix until all ingredients are combined with an electric mixer. Pour into 9x13 pan. Top with tomato. Bake for 30 minutes.
Serve with baguette, crackers, chips, or vegies.

"Roasted" Potatoes

4 potatoes, any variety
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp dill
sea salt
fresh ground pepper
Cut potatoes into cubes about 1 inch in size and place in a medium saucepan. Cover potatoes with water and bring to a boil. Cook until potatoes are tender.Drain. Transfer to a pan suitable for the oven. Put desired amount of butter on top of potatoes and drizzle with the olive oil. Sprinkle dill, salt, and pepper on top of potatoes. Place pan in oven on rack near top. Broil on high for about 5 minutes. Be sure to keep an eye on them so they don't burn. 

Apple Chicken Legs
This is a recipe inspired by one of my sisters when money was tight. She got pretty creative with whatever was in her frig an cupboards!
1 4-5 lb package of thawed chicken legs, rinsed and patted dry
1 can of frozen apple juice, thawed
1 med. yellow or sweet onion, cut in thin ringlets
2 tbsp. dry mustard
1 tbsp. curry powder

Preheat oven to 450. Place chicken in a 9x13 pan or on a cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Sprinkle dry mustard and curry powder over the chicken and spoon the apple juice over the chicken evenly. Place onion ringlets over tops and sides of chicken. Bake for about 45 minutes or until chicken is dark brown and juice is consistency of a dark syrup. Chicken should come out nice and browned.

Tater Tot Casserole
1 bag of frozen tater tots, don't get the giant bags!
1 can cream of mushroom
1 small bag of frozen chopped broccoli
2 cup shredded cheddar
1/2 pound browned ground beef or chopped ham
salt and pepper for taste
Preheat oven to 450. Spray 9x13 casserole pan with nonstick cooking spray. Combine all ingredients in the pan, but only use 1 cup of cheese. Bake for 30 minutes and top with last cup of cheese for last 10 minutes of baking.

Deviled Eggs with Capers
12-16 large eggs
1 brick cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup mayonnaise
3 TBSP mustard (I like to use honey mustard, but you can use any)
1 small jar of capers (find these near the olives at most stores)

Hard boil 12-16 eggs (I like to boil extra in case some fall apart when peeling). My favorite method is to place eggs in a large pot then cover with water. Add about 2 TBSP oil to the water (it aids with peeling). Bring to a hard boil for about 4-5 minutes, cover, and remove from heat. Leave cover on for about 12 minutes. Drain and place eggs in ice water for about 5 minutes. Peel and cut eggs in half, saving yolk in separate bowl. Place egg halves in serving dish. With mixer on med-high, mix in cream cheese, mayo, and mustard. Place yolk mixture in a decorating bag or similar then fill egg generously with it. Sprinkle paprika over the yolk lightly and top with 4-5 capers per egg. Makes 24 deviled eggs.

Chicken Bacon Tacos
I tried this one out last night with my kids and even my picky 3 year old ate I thought I'd share.   It takes about 30 minutes to prepare and cook and it makes about 15 tacos.
You'll need:
6 chicken thighs
1/2 C favorite bbq sauce (I used KC Masterpiece original)
1 T olive oil
1/2 med. onion
6 slices bacon, cooked
12-15 corn tortilla shells, prepared
1 C shredded cheese, cheddar or jack work best
sour cream for topping, optional

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium high, then add chicken, bbq sauce, and onions. Cook until done, about 20 minutes on medium, checking often and flipping chicken about halfway through. Prepare/bake tortilla shells.While chicken is cooking, chop bacon into rough bits. Use a food chopper or s hand-shred chicken. Add the bacon to the bbq chicken mixture. Scoop about 1/8 cup amounts into the shells and top with cheese and sour cream. Enjoy!!


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