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Megans Cookin: Camping Tips and a Panzanella

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Camping Tips and a Panzanella

As you are reading this, I'm on my way to Bodega Bay by the way of Calistoga in the Napa Valley. We take the travel trailer out as much as we can and now that summer is winding down, it's time to squeeze one more camping trip in. I spent yesterday packing, organizing and cooking.
You see, I'm a planner. I plan out the meals and pick the recipes before we leave. So tip #1: I like to bag up the spices to whatever recipe I'm going to be making.Then I don't have to pack all these spices that I only might use once. Or God forbid should I forget a spice. Here's a spice pack for Chocolate Chili! This works great for me. Try it on your next outing.



Tip #2: I also like to make cookie dough and keep it in the freezer. Then I can just slice and bake and we have home made cookies. Here I made a batch of World Peace cookies. They seem to becoming a favorite around here. Much requested by my daughter, a cookie you need to try if you haven't yet! I have the recipe in a cookbook, but you can just Google it if you need it. Believe me, you need it! These cookies are the new Chocolate Chip!

I also had the Barefoot Blogger recipe to make. And I'm so glad I made the time. This recipe was picked by Melissa from It's Melissa's Kitchen. Its a Panzanella. Don't let the name scare you off.

This is just an Italian dish of bread salad. Tip #3: It's also known as leftover salad and it sure was the perfect salad to make before I left for a week. Helped clean out the fridge.

I halved the recipe because there was only 3 of us and I didn't want leftovers. (EDIT: This does not keep.) I also left out the capers because I didn't have any. The yellow pepper was replaced with a green one and I would of love hard boiled eggs in it . But, I didn't have any. This is a great way to use leftovers.


I also used a golden balsamic vinegar that I got from the farmers market along with a really good olive oil in the vinaigrette. That was perfect with the bread!

I just cant say enough good things about this salad. It was that good!!! Even my picky teen loved it and wanted more. Ya gotta try it!!!


Panzanella
By Ina Garten

3 tablespoons good olive oil
1 small French bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (6 cups)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 large, ripe tomatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 hothouse cucumber, unpeeled, seeded, and sliced 1/2-inch thick (Hubby cant eat cukes so I just garnished my plate with these!)
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes (I used green)
1/2 red onion, cut in 1/2 and thinly sliced (I forgot to add this)
20 large basil leaves, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons capers, drained (I didn't have any so I omitted)
For the vinaigrette:
1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons Champagne vinegar (I used Golden Balsamic)
1/2 cup good olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a large saute pan. Add the bread and salt; cook over low to medium heat, tossing frequently, for 10 minutes, or until nicely browned. Add more oil as needed.
For the vinaigrette, whisk all the ingredients together.
In a large bowl, mix the tomatoes, cucumber, red pepper, yellow pepper, red onion, basil, and capers. Add the bread cubes and toss with the vinaigrette. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Serve, or allow the salad to sit for about half an hour for the flavors to blend.

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8 Comments:

Blogger April said...

Have a great vacation!

August 7, 2008 at 8:22 AM  
Blogger Laurie said...

I wish I could be this organized when I plan meals at home! :) Italians utilize bread in many recipes... it's not just for stuffing anymore! The panzanella looks delish! So you really like green peppers over red!:) I can eat red peppers like candy!
HUgs to you..

August 7, 2008 at 8:57 AM  
Blogger Barbara Bakes said...

I love the idea of putting the spices in a baggie! Have fun!

August 7, 2008 at 9:14 AM  
Blogger Deborah said...

I've never had panzanella before. But it sure does look delicious!!

I love the camping tips. I always combine my spices, and cut up any veggies that I can ahead of time. Makes things so much easier!!

August 7, 2008 at 10:31 AM  
Blogger Carla said...

Traveling again? Wish I could go camping with you. Make lots of smores!

August 7, 2008 at 10:34 AM  
Blogger glamah16 said...

You guys eat well on your camping trip, It all looks great. One day I have to try those cookies!Safe travels.

August 9, 2008 at 6:43 PM  
Blogger HoneyB said...

The salad looks delicious! Have fun on your vacation!

August 10, 2008 at 6:20 AM  
Blogger Basically, Baby Boots said...

Looks really, really good! I just joined the Barefoot Bloggers & I can't wait to make this recipe. What a great salad to take on a picnic, or camping. Speaking of camping...mmmmm...roasted marshmallows sounds so sticky good. Be safe and Happy Camping!

August 10, 2008 at 1:31 PM  

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