Camping Pt 3 – Caramel Grape Delight and Pretzel Stuffed Mushrooms

I don’t know how your family is when packing for stuff but mine is notorious for over packing and our NASCAR family is just as bad.  So by the end of the trip we always still have tons of food left.  This year for the final night we decided to have an appetizer night and invited people from other camps as a way to get rid of some of the left overs.  We had planned for an appetizer to have one night, my Caramel Grape Delight, and we decided to save it for this night.  We also had some left over mushrooms from our dinner night so I decided to do a stuffed mushroom.  Lastly, we had leftovers from our dinner so I chopped up the chicken and veggies and threw it in the orzo and made a cold salad which was super yummy.  I’m not sure most people realize how many people camp out at NASCAR.  It literally becomes a city with the number of people there.  There is even a grocery store in the middle of the campgrounds!  Previous years the store was a Basha’s and it was absolutely amazing and had almost anything you could think of (except hard alcohol).  This year it changed and was a Safeway.  It was pretty disappointing and only had about a third of the stuff that the Basha’s used to have but at least it was something I guess.  For the mushrooms I was thinking of something with cream cheese, cheddar cheese, bacon and green onion but all we had was the bacon from another camp so off to the store we went.  Well, they didn’t have any cream cheese or green onion so that put a bit of a damper on that plan so we got the cheddar cheese and headed back to camp.  One thing I’m pretty good at is just throwing something together with what I can find (my sister is always amazed with what I do and asks if she really had all that stuff in her house).  So I went hunting around to see what there was.  Since we didn’t have the cream cheese I decided to do some sort of bread stuffed mushroom.  We had hot dog buns but had donated them to another camp so there was only one left but they had some pretzel buns so I decided to use those.  Here is what I came up with and it was quite tasty if I do say so myself.

Pretzel Stuffed MushroomsIMG_20131110_174537

  • 1 pack of button mushrooms
  • 2 pretzel buns
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 5 slices of bacon
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese

Remove the stems from the mushrooms and then take the gills out using a spoon.

Fry the bacon up until crisp.  Remove and drain on paper towel.  Chop up into small crumbles.

Remove all but about a half tsp of the bacon fat.  Add butter and olive oil to the bacon fat.  Chop up the pretzel rolls into small cubes and add to pan.  Sauté until golden.  Add the garlic and sauté for an additional minute or until fragrant.  Remove from heat and stir in bacon and cheese.

Fill the mushroom caps with the filling and then place in an aluminum pan.  Sprinkle with additional cheese.  Place on BBQ and cover.  Check after 10 minutes.  The mushrooms should be tender when done.

IMG_20131110_173935

The second appetizer is much healthier than the mushrooms and really quite addictive and refreshing.

Caramel Grape DelightIMG_20131110_173326

  • green grapes
  • low-fat caramel fruit dip
  • mini-chocolate chips
  • chopped nuts

Clean the grapes and put on a plate in a single layer.

Heat the caramel in the microwave in 30 second increments until it easily drips off of a spoon. (Do not heat entire container do small amounts in a separate bowl)

Using a spoon drizzle the caramel over the grapes trying to ensure that each grape gets some.

Sprinkle with mini-chocolate chips and nuts.

 

That brings our culinary camping adventure to an end.  Everything turned out wonderfully and not only was the food amazing but it was great to visit with our NASCAR family!  Now to start planning next year’s menu…….

 

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