DIY: Memorial Day Weekend Menu

Pinterest may not be planning my unrealistic future wedding, but it is feeding my imaginary kitchen with delicious meals.

Since Memorial Day Weekend is coming up in T-minus four days, as well as a birthday tomorrow, I’ll be spending my weekend camping on Usal Road.

I wanted to put together a tasty three-day menu of savory and sweet dishes for on-the-go and on-the-grill. The prep-work for all of this takes about three hours of your time (not including grocery shopping).

For me, I plan for lunches to be quicker and easier than dinners because I assume that’s the time for activities! You’ll also notice that I’m a realist – I start off advantageous and get lazier so the meals get easier throughout the weekend.

Note: This menu feeds two people.

Saturday: Breakfast

Banana Bread Pancakes with Vanilla Maple Glaze

Recipe from How Sweet It Is

*Make this prior to leaving. And see below how to make it camping friendly.

Ingredients for Pancakes
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2/3 cup milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 large ripe bananas, mashed
2 tablespoons butter, melted

Ingredients for Vanilla Maple Glaze
1/2 cup maple syrup
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Prep-Work for Pancakes
1. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
2. Whisk together.
3. Stir in milk and vanilla extract [the mixture will still be dry].
4. Add in mashed bananas and mix.
5. Add in melted butter and stir until batter is somewhat smooth.
6. Spoon 1/3 cup into as many snack-sized baggies as you want – ie. as many pancakes as you want to make. When you’re ready to cook, you’re going to cut a corner off. See below. The result is no dishes – just throw away the bags. I’m eco-friendly most days, but camping convenience aids in my relaxation. Just please – pick up ALL of your trash while in the wilderness.

Prep-Work for Glaze
1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir until smooth.
2. Store in a baggie.

Easiest thing you’ve done all day, aye?

Cooking Directions
1. Heat a skillet to medium heat [luckily most one-setting camping grills have this as their default heat].
2. Cut the corner of each baggie off and pour the batter into rounds, one by one.
3. Cook until bubbles form on top – about 2-3 minutes.
4. Flip and cook for a minute or two more.
5. Repeat with remaining batter.
6. Serve hot with butter and syrup or pour the vanilla maple glaze over the top.

Saturday: Lunch

Grilled Provolone, Goat Cheese & Avocado Sandwich

Recipe from TastingSpotting

*What’s great about sandwiches is you can prepare them before you leave and wrap them in tinfoil, so that all you have to do is throw them on the grill when you’re ready to eat. If you’re away from a grill – this one is just as good cold.

Ingredients
4 slices wheat bread
4 tablespoons pesto
4 slices provolone cheese
Handful baby spinach
1/2 avocado, sliced
4 tablespoons goat cheese, crumbled
Butter

Directions
1. Butter one-side of each slice of bread.
2. Spread about 1 tablespoon of pesto onto each slice of bread (on the side without the butter).
3. On one slice of bread, add 1 slice of cheese, sliced avocado, crumbled goat cheese, spinach, second slice of cheese, then top it with the second slice of bread.
4. Press together gently.
5. Cook until bread is golden brown. Press down on the sandwich lightly, then flip the sandwich over and cook until second side is golden brown. It’s best to put it on a low-setting, cover the pan with a lid and let it melt for a longer period of time. It’ll make sure the center is gooey without burning the bread.
6. Repeat for second sandwich.

Saturday: Dinner

Fire Cracker Pork Chops with Tropical Salsa and Baked Beans

Recipe from A Spicy Perspective

*Make the salsa and marinade ahead of time. Bring a bag of chips in case you have left over salsa for next-day’s lunch or snack.

Ingredients for Pork Chops
2 boneless pork chops, 3/4 – 1 inch thick
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tsp. mesquite liquid smoke
1 tablespoon Sriracha
3 tablespoon honey

Ingredients for Tropical Salsa
1 cup fresh diced pineapple
1 cup diced red bell pepper
1 cup diced kiwi
1/4 cup diced red onion
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon Sriracha
Salt and Pepper

Ingredients for Baked Beans
Buy a can of Bush’s Baked Beans… yep. That’s it.

Pre-Work for the Pork Chops
1. Pour the soy sauce, liquid smoke, hot sauce and honey in a large zip bag.
2. Shake to mix then add the pork chops.
3. Let marinate during the car ride and your first camping day! [or at least 30 minutes]

Prep-Work for the Tropical Salsa
1. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and toss.
2. Add salt and pepper to taste.
3. Put in tupperware and cooler until you’re ready to use!

Cooking Directions
1. Preheat grill. Once the grill is hot, grill the pork chops for 3-4 minutes per side. You want the pork chops to be slightly pink or just barely cook through, but not dry.
2. While the pork chops are grilling, add beans to a pot and heat until warm.
3. Back to the chops – cover with foil and allow them to rest at least 5 minutes before serving. This step allows the juices to settle and they’ll be more flavorful.
4. Serve warm with fresh salsa piled over the top.

*This dinner will taste great with a mellow sipping Tequila found in our modified Pelican Case that has become the Traveling Liquor & Cigar Bar.

Prototype I

Sunday: Breakfast

The Classic Meal: Eggs & Bacon

*This is self-explanatory, but feel free to throw some hot sauce on the eggs for an extra kick or use the left-over tropical salsa from dinner the night prior.

Sunday: Lunch

Southwestern Grilled Chicken & Black Bean Salad

Recipe Modified from Skinny Taste

Ingredients
2 grilled and sliced chicken breasts; use leftovers from the dinner before you leave on your trip or grill prior
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can sweet yellow corn
1 chopped tomato
1 diced avocado
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1 lime (juice of)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
Salt and Pepper

*This yields 12 half cup servings. Keep some for your arrival home or cut the recipe in half.

Instructions
1. Combine chicken, beans, corn, tomato, onion, cilantro, salt and pepper.
2. Mix with lime juice and olive oil.
3. Place in individual tupperware bowls and allow to marinate for at least thirty minutes. Doesn’t need to be kept cold, but it does taste better.
4. Add avocado before serving.

Sunday: Dinner

Easy Chili

*This is my own recipe that we make almost every time we go camping because it’s really easy to do. I make it in a crockpot the day prior and it’s literally just canned beans, onion and meat. To make it easier – don’t add meat or the onion. It still tastes great.

Ingredients
1 (15 oz) can drained red kidney beans
1 (12 oz) can chili beans
1 (12 oz) can pinto beans
1 (15 oz) can stewed tomatoes
1 (8 oz) can tomato paste
1 (8 oz) can green chiles
1 packet Lawry’s Chili Seasoning
1 pound browned ground beef
1/2 diced and grilled red onion

Instructions
1. Combine all of the ingredients into crockpot.
2. Cook on low setting for 8 hours. Combine in the morning, come home to a cooked meal. Great for busy days, too.
3. Store in individual containers.
4. Grate some cheese on top before closing and storing.

*Whiskey or scotch goes great with chili. Very cowboyish. Just saying…

Sunday: Dessert

Oatmeal Lemon Creme Bars

*Saturday was a heavy day for food and Sunday was light, so it deserves a dessert! I think you should share these with anyone in the campsite, as they are bound to make you some new friends. And they’re good for camping, the prep work is minimal because we’re not doing from scratch and they’re very summertime-ish.

Ingredients
1/2 cup cold butter
1 pouch Betty Crocker® oatmeal cookie mix
1 egg
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated)
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1/4 cup lemon juice (about 2 lemons)

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Spray the bottom and sides of an 8-inch square pan with non stick spray.
3. In a large bowl, cut the cold butter into the cookie mix with a fork or pastry blender.
4. Stir in the egg until the mixture is crumbly.
5. Press half of the dough into the bottom of the greased pan and bake it in the oven for 15 minutes.
6. While that is baking, mix the sweetened condensed milk, lemon zest and lemon juice in a small bowl until thick. This is the lemon mixture.
7. Spread lemon mixture over the oatmeal cookie baked crust.
8. Evenly crumble the remaining dough on the top.
9. Bake for another 25 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
10. Let cool and refrigerate for 30 minutes or until set.
11. Cut into bars, put into tupperware or zip-lock baggies and store in the refrigerator until you leave for your trip. They’re fine outside of the cooler for a few days.

Monday: Breakfast

Maple & Brown Sugar Instant Oatmeal with Peaches

*By this time, you’re tired – so I suggest making instant oatmeal and cutting up some fresh fruit. My favorite is Quaker Instant Oatmeal Maple & Brown Sugar with sliced peaches. Surprisingly, the ones out of the can are the best because they add a little goo to the oatmeal. But freshly sliced is phenomenal, too. Mmm…

Monday: Lunch

Leftovers

*If you don’t have any – bring a box of Kraft Deluxe Mac and Cheese. It’s quick to make, filling and isn’t perishable should you have any leftovers that you need to consume.

Monday: Dinner

Easy Chili Cheese Burgers

*A crockpot makes a lot of chili. If you didn’t add meat, this is the best way to kill two birds with one stone. Even if you have meat in there, I’m sure this is good anyway!

Ingredients
Leftover Easy Chili from yesterday’s dinner
Hamburger Buns
Hamburger Patties
Pepperjack cheese slices

Instructions
1. Heat chili on the grill.
2. Grill hamburger patties until pink in the center and brown on either side.
3. Place a slice of cheese when they no longer need a flip and are 2-3 minutes from done.
4. Toast buns (optional).
5. Place grilled patties on buns and top with chili.

Monday: Dessert

S’mores with Peanut Butter

Can’t Remember Where I Saw This Idea

Ingredients to Bring With You
Full-size Reese’s peanut butter cups
Large Marshmallows
Graham Crackers
Wire coat hangers or s’mores sticks

Instructions
1. Do your usual thing by roasting a marshmallow and sticking it between two crackers with a delicious Reese’s PB cup inbetween!

I’m going to make this easier if you’re interested in mimicking this menu: Click to Download the Grocery List Here!

With that out of the way – which recipe is your favorite and what’s on your menu for Memorial Day Weekend?