Makings of a Book / Work

If You Like Good Food in the Great Outdoors…

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?

About Author

I'm a plant lover, passionate road-tripper, and cookbook author whose expert advice and bestselling books have been featured in TIME, Outside, HGTV, and Food & Wine. The No-Waste Vegetable Cookbook is my latest book. Garden Betty is where I write about modern homesteading, farm-to-table cooking, and outdoor adventuring—all that encompass a life well-lived outdoors. After all, the secret to a good life is... Read more »