Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Camp? What's that?

This summer, for the first time in my existence, I will be going to summer camp. I've done day camps and stuff like that, but this year, I will go to an overnight camp for almost an entire week.  (Sunday through Thursday.)
The camp I'm going to is called "4-H Junior Camp."  I am really excited about this camp for 2 main reasons:
1 - We will be sleeping in dormitories, instead of tents, which have AIR CONDITIONING!!!
and 2 - There will be SHOWERS!
And believe me, I have two brothers who just finished Boy Scout Camp, and I have heard SEVERAL times that this is not a "REAL" camp.  Yeah, we're not sleeping in tents, we don't have to hang up our food in trees to keep the bears away, and we are allowed to stay sanitary... but it's STILL camping.

campingpresent participle of camp (Verb)

  1. Live for a time in a camp, tent, or camper, as when on vacation.
  2. (of a man) Behave in an ostentatiously effeminate way: "he camped it up a bit for the cameras".
See, I don't HAVE to sleep in a tent to be considered a camper.  And, I am on vacation.  There will still  be small chores, but I will be hanging out with friends, getting nothing done, and (hopefully) having a good time.  So yes, I will be a qualified camper.
In this camp, you get to sign up for 3 different classes to do during the day.  I signed up for a high ropes course, gardening, and a percussion type thing.
The high ropes course is for rock wall climbing, and stuff like that.  I really want to do the gardening class because here in our little town home, we are not very successful with planting.  Well, my mom is.  She is growing two tomato plants and a fig tree, but I want to REALLY garden.  And it's always really hot here in VA, so most of the time, I don't even try.  The percussion class is for making instruments out of common household items.  The best part is that you get to come up with a song to play at the last campfire, in front of everybody - so hopefully we'll come up with something good.
I'm not exactly sure if I will get these classes.  It really depends if I turned my forms in soon enough.  I'm sure that a lot of people will want to do the high ropes course, so I'm really hoping I'll get that one.
This week I started packing for camp, and believe it or not, I don't have a lot of camping clothes.  I couldn't imagine wearing any of my clothes to camp, because I would be screaming the whole time, "No!  This shirt cost me ___ BUCKS!  Keep that water and mud and WHATEVER that stuff is AWAY from me!!!" 
We don't really have the money to go and buy a whole new wardrobe for me, so my mom took me to a thrift store.  Usually, I hate thrift stores.  There is always a lot of weird/creepy stuff in there, so most of the time I try and stay as far away from there as I can.  But mom took me to a really nice shop, where all the clothes were completely organized into sections.  This meant that I didn't have to sort through everything, which saved me a lot of time.  I came home with a lot of nice stuff, which were perfect for camping, but still had a little style.  I even found some brand name stuff that looked like they hadn't even been used.  Mom and I spent a total of 50 some dollars, which originally would have been about 80 if it wasn't a discount day.  With 50 dollars, I could only buy about 2 or 3 things at some of my favorite stores, but at this thrift store, I got about 11.  I was so happy!!!  (Plus, mom got some really nice stuff, too.)  I wouldn't be surprised if I shopped there again.
So now I'm all set for camp, and am really excited!  Two of my other friends are also going, which keeps me from worrying about not making any friends.
Okay.  I've probably talked enough now.   Thank you for listening.  ;)

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Day 7 - Crustless Chicken Pot Pie

2 tablespoons olive oil
1  1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts (I used 3), cut into 1-inch pieces
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon dry white wine
1 1/2 cups water
2 celery stalks, chopped
1  green bell pepper, chopped
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

First, heat the olive oil in a large skillet, and then add the chicken pieces.  Cook until they are a light tan color.
Then add the garlic and cook for about 3 more minutes.  Next, sprinkle the chicken pieces with the salt and pepper.  Cook another full minute, and then add wine and water.

Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally until cooked completely.  This should take about about 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees, and blanch the celery and green peppers until soft.  Drain and discard the liquid.

After the chicken is done cooking, drain it, keeping 1/2 cup of the liquid.
Mix the chicken, vegetables, and leftover liquid together, and pour into a pie pan.  Then sprinkle with cheddar cheese and bake for 20 minutes.


Mom - It was yummy, but I sure do miss the crust.
Dad - It was pretty good, but it needs a little more.  (Like the crust.)


For dessert we had 2 scoops of some "Carb Smart" vanilla ice cream.

Day 6 - Curried-Basil Chicken

2 tablespoons olive oil
4 large boneless skinless chicken breast halves
salt to taste
black pepper to taste
1 garlic clove chopped
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
2 tablespoons dried basil
4 large romaine lettuce leaves

Heat olive oil in a large skillet, and add chicken.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook or about 3 minutes.
Next add the garlic and cook for about 30 more seconds.
Add in 1/4 cup of cream and 2 tablespoons water.  Lower the heat to medium strength, cover, and let it simmer for about 6 minutes or until the chicken is thoroughly cooked.

Lay the chicken on a plate, and set aside.
Add the remaining cream and curry powder.  Bring to a simmer.
Add basil, salt and pepper.

Put the chicken pieces on the lettuce leaves,  pour the sauce over top and serve.


Mom - LOVE the curry and basil seasoning.
Dad - The flavor of the sauce had a nice flavor.


For dessert I used one of those Jell-O mixes for the dessert Temptations, Boston Creme Pie flavor.  It was VERY good.  It wasn't a sugar free dessert, but didn't have THAT much sugar.  And plus, it's Friday night.  You gotta get a little crazy.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Day 5 - Beefy Cream Cheese Roll-Ups

1/2 pound leftover cooked steak, rib roast, or other lean beef, cut into strips
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
4 ounces cream cheese
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 tablespoon chopped pitted green olives
1/2 tablespoon chopped pitted black olives
1/4 teaspoon dried sweet basil
ground black pepper to taste
8 large lettuce leaves (I used more like 16 leaves)
chopped fresh chives

I changed the order of this recipe around a little, so I'll just tell you how I did it.

First, mix together the mustard, cream cheese, salt, mayonnaise, lemon juice, olives, basil, pepper, and chives until smooth.

Divide the mixture into 8 parts, and spread on the lettuce leaves.
Then, lay down a meat strip or two.
And then roll up the lettuce leaf.  (Or just lay another one on top, like I did.)

Do the same with the rest of the lettuce leaves.

Mom - I LOVED the steak.  And it was a very nice, fresh way to present the steak.
Dad -  The sauce was really good, and all the different flavors went well together.


For dessert I served some sugar free strawberry jello that I made earlier today.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Day 4 - Cabbage Rolls with Turkey-Cheese Stuffing

1 head savoy cabbage
1 pound ground turkey
1 egg
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon sage, crumbled
1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
salt to taste
black pepper to taste
1 1/2 cup dices mozzarella (I used shredded)
6 bacon slices

And before any of you guys ask, I did not make Greek Salad today like I said I would because dad was complaining about eating salads all the time and that he wanted some real meat.  So I changed the recipe and made something different so dad could have some "real meat."

Peel twelve leaves off the cabbage.  ( I had a little bit of trouble with this, as the cabbage leaves were so intertwined that I couldn't peel off the leaves with out tearing.  I think I got one leaf off okay before I got frustrated and started madly attacking the cabbage head and ripped it to pieces.)

After my temper tantrum with the cabbage, I blanched each leaf (or part of leaf) for 1 minute and then set aside.

 Next, I combined the ground turkey, egg, 2 tablespoons of water, sage and parsley.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and then divide the turkey stuff into 12 parts, and form into "ovalish" shapes.
Then, lay a turkey oval on top of a cabbage leaf with some cheese, fold in the sides, and roll up.  (Since I didn't have any good sized cabbage leaves, I just laid the turkey on top and left it like that without rolling it up.)

Then, lay the somewhat cabbage rolls with turkey-cheese stuffing in a shallow baking dish (I had to use three dishes), and pour the remaining water over top of them.
Precook the bacon very lightly.  Then cut each strip in half and lay over the cabbage rolls.

Bake the rolls for 30 minutes, and baste twice (which I didn't do ;), until all cooked.


( I really like it with salsa, while mom and dad prefer it with hummus.)

Mom - I really enjoyed the cabbage, it had really nice flavor - wait no, it had no flavor.  But it was good.
Dad - Nice tender cabbage, and good flavor throughout the whole thing.


For dessert I served some sugar-free chocolate pudding I had made earlier in the day.  It was really good, especially since it had no sugar.  It didn't leave an after taste, and was really rich.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Day 3 - BLT Soup

4 slices smoked bacon (I suggest doubling it :)
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 quart chicken broth
1 medium tomato, diced
Chopped or shredded romaine or arugula
1/2 cup heavy cream (I used 3/4 cup)
Salt and pepper to your taste

Fry the bacon crisp, and crumble when cool (leave some big chunks in there so someone might get a tasty surprise.)  Set aside.

In a soup pot melt the butter, and saute (again, pretend there's and accent mark there) the onion, green pepper, celery, and garlic.

Afterwards, pour in the chicken broth.

And bring to a boil.
Later, lower the heat and let the soup simmer for about 10 minutes.

After simmering, add the tomato, romaine, crumbled bacon, and cream.  Mix well, and then serve right away.  Top with as much salt and pepper as you like.

Mom - "Nice flavor and very colorful.  It's like a party in a bowl!"
Dad - "I thought it was very nice and tasty.  It was an excellent soup, and went with the salad nicely."


Sorry guys.  I got lazy today and just served some Popsicles I found while shopping that had a surprisingly low amount of sugar and carbs.  :(  The Popsicles weren't near as pretty as they were on the front though, because it looks like someone took the box out of the freezer, and then decided they didn't want it and set it down someplace else.  Then an employee probably found it and put it back in the freezer, but not soon enough to stop them from melting.  So I just scraped the frozen Popsicle into a bowl, and tried to make it look pleasant.