If you like good food in the great outdoors
Makings of a Book, Work

If You Like Good Food in the Great Outdoors…

I recently returned from a road trip around the Southwest and the Rockies, two weeks spent visiting family in Nevada, staying in an Earthship in New Mexico, attending a wedding in Colorado, and touring national parks in Utah. It was part pleasure, part work. (Though when your work is pleasure, it makes a photographically gorgeous trip like that so sublime.)

Along the way, we camped and cooked in a variety of kitchens both indoors and out, built crackling fires beside high alpine lakes, and spent happy hour on a sunny riverbank. It was a fun-filled journey of good food in the great outdoors, and I’m ecstatic to finally share the news with you: I’m writing a new book!

It’s a cookbook aimed at campers, adventurers, and day trippers, or people who simply love to cook outside, over a fire, or on a grill. If your favorite kitchen implements include cast iron and skewers, if you like meals with minimal clean-up, and if you think food just tastes better with a bit of char, then this book is calling your name.

Grilling at Chinns Lake in Idaho Springs, Colorado

Grilling foil packets for dinner

I’m working with the fine folks at Voyageur Press again and it’s slated for release in Summer 2017. While it still sounds eons away, I’ve been waist-deep in recipe development for the past couple of months, and Will (who photographed my first book, The CSA Cookbook) is lending his talents (as well as his taste buds) to the new title.

I have to say… this is a dream job for us. It’s a topic we know well, and it’s a book I feel I’m meant to write. Last year, when I asked readers what they might like to read about if I was offered a second book, whole foods, outdoor cooking, and adventure traveling were clear themes in the comments. My editor was intrigued, the publisher was on board, and a deal was sealed just after the New Year.

Coffee with a view

This will not be another camping cookbook filled with canned chili and hot dogs, or old standbys from your Scout days. At the same time, it won’t discourage novice camp cooks with obscure ingredients and elaborate steps. It’s truly a reflection of how Will and I cook in the outdoors, with recipes that follow the seasons and meals full of fresh fruits and vegetables (as well as boozy concoctions to accompany them).

Happy hour on a riverbank

We had a slow start to the book (because… oh, you know, I had a baby in the middle of it all) but things are cooking along this summer and I’m so excited to see the manuscript take shape. Our boss is making sure we stay on track (my dad calls her Baby Boss!) and I’ll be sharing more updates in the months ahead.

The baby boss supervising a shoot

Cooking (and shooting) at camp

In the meantime, I would love to hear about your favorite camping traditions or meals! Do you have a go-to destination every summer, or a cherished memory spent in a tent, around a fire, or in the woods? What inspires you to get outside?

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  • Leighe

    I don’t camp anymore, but I love cooking outdoors here on the ranch. Very excited to see your recipes. Love, love my cast iron pans! Bought 3 copies of your first book as gifts for friends. Will do the same with this book as I do have quite a few friends who camp.

    • Thanks so much for sharing my first book with your friends! I highly appreciate your support of the new book as well. It’s been an insane summer of traveling, camping, and cooking, so I’m looking forward to relaxing a bit before the next wave of editing starts. 🙂 Stay tuned for more details!

  • Thank you for linking my recipe! Summer was incredibly busy between the book, baby, and traveling for it all, but I’m excited to get back to my blog this fall with new content and a redesign in the works! I hope you check back soon!

  • lg

    I can’t wait! For car camping, we like bananas roasted with chocolate chips and mini-marshmallows, lots of grilled corn, sweet potatoes in the coals and a simple veggie curry with coconut milk and curry powder (not authentic but good and filling). I like grilled or one-pot/pan dinners because of the cleanup issue, too.

  • KW

    Love the idea – especially the part about minimal cleanup! I camp a lot, but the cleanup is what always gets me (and is why more often than not my camping dinners are hot dogs on sticks over the fire – maybe with a bit of homemade sauerkraut). Since I’m also sure your book is going to include recipes that have at least a bit of cleanup, I’d also suggest that you provide guidance on how to do cleanup when you’re camping. I know this took me a couple frustrating years to really work out, and I wish someone had just told me up front! Since many developed campgrounds don’t provide dishwashing facilities, bringing your own bucket (or a collapsible sink from REI – I love mine so much!) is a must if you don’t want to be that jerk that makes the bathroom sink or spigot gross for everyone else. And of course you’d need something like that for primitive camping too, to avoid fouling lakes and streams. And then you need to properly dispose of your wastewater, which it seems like something few people know how to do.

    • There is a section in the book on setting up a dishwashing station in camp and properly disposing of your graywater! We recently stepped up our own dishwashing station because of the book (and cooking triple the amount of meals we normally make on a trip). You’ll see a picture of what ours looks like when I post the behind-the-scenes shots these coming months. 🙂

  • bodiegroup

    BTW: I can’t wait to try a few recipes on the alvord desert playa with you guys. 😀

  • bodiegroup

    it would be interesting to have a few recipes that have no requirement for a cooler.

  • Caitlin | Our Natural Heritage

    How perfect! I can’t wait to read it!

  • Jeremy Heyl

    Kathy and I used to camp all the time and plan this summer to get back into it. This weekend is our trial run in central Michigan and in early September we’re planning a 10 day trip to Tahaquemenon Falls, Sleeping Bear dunes and probably a spot or two in between. I love to cook outside so count on a preorder. A just out of the water fish is my favorite camp meal. BTW- loved your post on Pagosa Springs, I spent many summer weeks there as a kid (my grandparents lived there)

    • I hope your summer camping adventures went well! Googled both the falls and the dunes (I love looking at new destinations for ideas on future travels) and wow, they look gorgeous!

      • Jeremy Heyl

        Our September trip was fantastic- Saw the Northern Lights on two nights from the shore of Lake Superior! Headed back to Sleeping Bear Wednesday for 5 days- DH Day campground, right on Lake Michigan- and bringing your new book. Kathy’s already made the grilled cheese with avocado and chipotles, and planning a couple others for on our trip.

        • I’ve yet to see the Northern Lights, but it’s high on my list for some day soon! So happy to hear you already got your book and are putting it to good use!

  • Carolyn McBride

    I don’t get out camping much anymore, even my day trips were recently cancelled, but I cannot WAIT to see this new book of yours when it comes out! I’ve been a follower of your blog since I can’t remember when and I was thrilled to see pictures of the new addition to he family. I look forward to the new book with the same amount of enthusiasm. Great news!

    • I’m excited for its release next summer, and hope it inspires you to get out there and camp again!

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