Cooking Craze Presents Gourmet Cooking While Camping

What tools do you need for a gourmet meal in the woods?


There are only two pieces of cookware needed to make a large variety of fine meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The first is a cast-iron skillet, and the second is a Dutch oven. With these two items, everything from tasty steaks and flavorful omelets to hearty stews and more can be whipped up with ease. The cast-iron skillet will serve well for all meals, but the Dutch oven is also useful for making one large meal that can serve many and last for days, saving campers the trouble of bringing extra dishes and ingredients for multiple meals.

In addition to cookware, a cutting board and a sharp chef’s knife will also make a huge difference in how well a meal can be prepared. It’s not a bad idea to pack a mixing bowl either, depending upon the food that is to be prepared, and of course the availability of space in your camping pack. A pair of insulated gloves is also useful for handling those hot pots.

Lastly, a propane camp stove serves as a much more reliable tool than a campfire.

What food should you bring to the woods?


A cooler full of food can take up a lot of extra space, and the ice will eventually melt anyway, so it’s best to bring food that doesn’t require a lot of refrigeration (unless camping in a cold area). Meats can be cooked the first night, and then there is no need to worry about keeping the meat cold for the remainder of the trip.

Cooking oil is an essential item. Eggs and hard cheeses can last a few days without refrigeration, and vegetables, chili peppers, tortillas, canned foods, dried pasta and grains such as quinoa are all items that don’t need any at all. Bring along some spice mixes and seasonings, and everything needed for cooking gourmet meals while camping will be readily available.

How do you turn a campfire meal into a gourmet meal?


Now it’s all about the food prep and the actual cooking. The internet is full of recipes for camping that have been elevated to the next level. You can find recipes for almost everything – from gourmet mac ‘n’ cheese with smoked paprika and bacon to chicken enchiladas with nachos, as well an Italian gourmet upgrade of the campfire staple Hobo Bundles and pan-seared strip steaks with mushrooms. Don’t forget about delicious chilis and amazing Dutch oven stews.

And remember, a little seasoning always goes a long way. Make sure that everything is well-seasoned — seasoning packets often come with recipes printed on the back for a gourmet meal without any additional thought needed.

10 of the Best Food Bloggers From Around the World

1. North America  Cookie and Kate

Since 2010, Kate and her adorable dog, Cookie, have been running this blog from Kansas City in Missouri. As a full-time blogger, you can expect frequent posts that are of equal quantity and quality. All her recipes are vegetarian because she believes in eating whole foods, which are as close to their source as possible. Now, don’t think that this limits her to anything. In fact, her catalogue of recipes is one of the most comprehensive in this list. Browse through recipes of everything from baked goods, stews, entrées, tips, and monthly guides – complemented by aesthetically pleasing photos.

2. South America  Sweet Life

The meaning behind this blog’s name, to our surprise, doesn’t have anything to do with sugar. Vianney, a foodie from South Texas, grew up in a Mexican household and it is her exploration of childhood memories that inspired her to create recipes infusing flavors from her two worlds. Her blog is offered in English and Spanish, making it accessible for both readership groups. Her recipes vary from the classic tacos and fajitas to more complex dishes, such as Chile lime salmon with Caribbean salsa. She has a special page dedicated to margaritas, with more options than you could imagine, we know which recipes we’ll be testing out this weekend!

3. United Kingdom  Hemsley + Hemsley

Spiced Squash, Butter Bean and Purple Sprouting Broccoli Stew | Cumin-Spiced Goat’s Cheese, Beetroot & Quinoa Towers | Beetroot & Black Quinoa Salad

Six years ago, sisters Jasmine and Melissa Hemsley founded their blog to help people build a better relationship with their food and create recipes for easy to digest meals. Fast forward to today, they’ve written two cookbooks, launched a café, and star in their own TV show, Eating Well With Hemsley + Hemsley. Their blog might be the most professional on this list but their recipes remain close to their hearts, sharing vibrant, nutritious, and simple recipes like courgetti with a butter bean pesto or Earl Grey pan glazed salmon. They’re certainly one to watch out for.

4. Europe  Chocolate & Zucchini

Based in Paris, Clotilde says she has the opportunities to give readers an inside look at the vibrant food scene, from the farmers’ markets to the restaurants. Apart from an immense range of recipes, she provides useful tips and resources to help you enjoy cooking. She states that her signature style is simple, approachable recipes with a creative twist. Of course, she makes classic French dishes like beef bourguignon and cocotte, but she’s also inspired by other cuisines – check out her take on dishes like fish curry and Chinese marinated pork ribs.

5. Middle-east  Masters of The Belly

Noha jokes that food, in her Egyptian household, always felt like the sixth member of their family. “There was always something cooking, and it was always delicious!” she says. Noha continues her love for food in Australia, where she currently lives. Food has many roles in her life, amongst them, celebration, togetherness, and tradition. We love her for staying true to her roots and bringing Egyptian recipes to the international community. She adds modern touches in her technique, plating, and photography. All of which makes her recipes worthy for a cookbook.

6. Africa  9jafoodie

Ronke is a weight loss specialist and the owner of this Nigerian food blog. Her goal is to simplify seemingly complicated African recipes for the everyday home cook. Her recipes use traditional ingredients found in Nigerian cooking, including yams, beans, and plantains. We found it helpful that her posts are often accompanied by step-by-step photos, demonstrating the execution of the recipe. Now, even the most inexperienced cook has a chance. Alternatively, follow the videos she films for her YouTube channel.

7. Asia  The Woks of Life

Their witty blog name has got our attention! Run by a family of four, Bill (dad), Judy (mom), Sarah (older sister) and Kaitlin (younger sister), they master team effort like we’ve never seen before. They created this blog as a way to remain connected as Bill and Judy moved to Beijing from the US, whilst Sarah and Kaitlin stayed. Between their abundant assortment of Chinese recipes, they recount comical exchanges they’ve had in the kitchen because family arguments can’t be avoided. Nevertheless, we’ve got to admit that they are one talented family.

8. Southeast Asia  Ladyironchef

Ladyironchef is actually run by a man named Brad, a man who has a love for food, traveling, and the finer things in life. There’s no reason or meaning behind his alias, just a blog that is well-appreciated by Singaporeans and foreigners alike. He doesn’t create recipes like the other bloggers on this list, but he does write honest restaurant reviews and knowledgeable guides about Southeast Asian food from a metropolitan setting like Singapore. Rich in diversity, it’s the perfect city for a food and lifestyle blog to thrive. Since being founded in 2007, the site has attracted many contributors and it continues to grow.

9. Oceania  The Hungry Australian

Christina, the blogger behind Oceania, stumbled upon fame when she started her blog in hopes of improving her writing. Little did she know that this blog would lead her to opportunities in recipe development, consulting and photography. Born in Adelaide, Australia to a dad from Malaysia and a mom from Hong Kong, she grew up eating barbecue as often as curry. Today, she combines innovative recipes and stunning photos with her own experiences in blog posts like “Quince Crumble and Emotional Eating” or “Being a Parent and Strawberry Basil Granita.” We feel like we’re getting to know Christina as a friend just by browsing her blog!

10. Beijing  LumDimSum

We’ve traveled all over the world and now it’s time to return to Beijing. Similar to Ladyironchef, Kristen’s blog, LumDimSum, is not limited to the topic of food. She delves into discussions about happenings in the city whether it’s art, fitness, nightlife and more. Having lived in Beijing for a decade, her knowledge of the city has vastly expanded and she’s able to offer insider tips to crack Beijing’s foodie scene.

Top 10 Must Eat Foods in Italy

Italian Food

Oh Italy. How stomachs love you, and hips despise you. You never leave tongues unsatisfied with your delicious dishes. This is what most people feel about Italian food, and we’re not talking about the generic, over-salted American-Italian food. We’re talking authentic, one-of-a-kind dishes that are unique in comparison to many Italian dishes we know and love. When traveling to Italy, avoid upsetting the Roman Gods and make sure you try at least one, or maybe all 10, of the yummiest dishes. Get ready to pick yourself up by your bootstraps, get walking and experience the best of ancient eating.

Also, what can really ruin even the most delicious Italian gelato experience is noticing that your wallet is gone when you are ready to settle the bill. To avoid having to go through this experience get one of our stylish anti-theft daypacks and protect your valuables. Best of all, use the discount code at checkout Italy2019 to enjoy 15% off! SHOP NOW

Pizza Margherita

Traditional Italian pizza is a thin crust, similar to baked pita taste and texture. Each family owned business features their special sauce, basil and mozzarella cheese. It sounds simple and boring, but trust thy Roman palate, the exquisite sauce and cheese combinations will make you believe that every fine pizza should be created, Roman style. So the next time the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, devour it.
There is no shortage of gelatarias in Italy, or flavors for that matter. In a cone or a cup, experience the true bliss of gelato. The texture is softer than ice cream and made with different ingredients. Southern Italy founded the dairy-free gelato (sorbets) where dairy based were created in Northern Italy. Whether you like fruit, nutella, nuts, or biscuits, you’ll find a gelato in almost every flavor.

Related Article: Ice-Cream Around the World

Pasta Carbonara - Italian Food

Roman Meals
Also known as “Turista Menu” this four to five course menu varies at each restaurant. Usually the course starts with an antipasto (heavier appetizer), primo (pasta of your choice), secondo (meat with side dish), dolce (dessert) and/or a beverage. Prices range from 12 to 20 Euros. After stuffing yourself like a Roman god, you’ll be thankful walking is the main mode of transportation in Italy. You know what they say, “when in Rome…”
Like gelato, Tiramisu comes in all sizes and styles. Most are the traditional alternating layers of cake and cream, but some restaurants create the tiramisu in ice cream glasses, which feature bulk layers of cream and one thin layer of cake.
Pasta Carbonara
Known to be a creamy pasta in the states, the Italians omit the cream. The combination of egg, bacon, romano and white wine tossed together with rigatoni or spaghetti noodles is a must try while in Italy. It’ll have you hooked and disappointed at the American version.

Italian Coffee
Known as caffee, it’s actually a shot of espresso. Go to a “bar,” which serves traditional shots of Italian espresso. Milk lovers may order a cappuccino while black coffee sippers can order the dark and bold, Americana. Be prepared for small beverages while paying a hefty four to six euro per drink to sit and enjoy the coffee at the café.



One of the best parts of experiencing the world is trying the foods and flavors that other countries are famous for. From the hearty carbs that have lured travelers to Italy for centuries, to the irresistible pastries Parisians have perfected, there is no shortage of spectacular provisions in Europe. Forget the calories (they don’t count on vacation anyway, right?!) and make sure to try these local specialties on your next stop in Europe!

BARCELONA: Small plates and sangria

  • Bombas – Mashed potato balls that are stuffed with pork, rolled in bread crumbs and fried. Usually served with aioli sauce or salsa brava
  • Paella – A rice-based dish with vegetables, shrimp, lobster tails, mussels and saffron seasoning, mixed together and cooked over an open fire
  • Pa amb Tomaquet – Toast topped with garlic and tomato and seasoned with olive oil, salt and pepper
  • Sangria – A wine-based cocktail mixed with fruit

MADRID: Traditional meals with modern taste

  • Bocadillo de Calamares – A calamari squid sandwich served with tomato and paprika puree
  • Churros con Chocolate – Churros served with a bowl of melted chocolate
  • Patatas Bravas – Fried potatoes drizzled with spicy tomato sauce and garlic aioli
  • Huevos Rotos con Jamon – Fried eggs with cured ham served over potatoes

ROME: Carbs, carbs and more carbs

  • Caccio e Pepe – Linguine pasta with pecorino Romano cheese and black pepper
  • Fritti – Deep-fried rice balls, often mixed with ragu and mozzarella
  • Carbonara – Pasta mixed with egg, cheese, pancetta and pepper. Peas are also commonly added to the dish
  • Gelato – A low-fat ice cream alternative

FLORENCE: Food that pairs well with Chianti

  • Schiacciata – Bread, similar to Focaccia, topped with olive oil and salt after baking
  • Bistecca alla Fiorentina – Fire-grilled Florentine steak intended to be shared between two or three people
  • Ribollita – A heavy soup made with bread and vegetables including carrots, beans, celery, potatoes and onions

VENICE: Carbs with a touch of seafood

  • Risi i Bisi – A thick soup with risotto and fresh peas
  • Spaghetti al Nero di Seppia – Spaghetti cooked with squid ink, pieces of squid, onions, tomatoes and wine
  • Baccalà Mantecato – Dried salted cod mixed with olive oil and served on crostini

LONDON: Culturally-inspired comfort food

  • Fish and chips – Usually fried cod with a hot side of french fries
  • Bangers and mash – Sausage and potatoes with gravy
  • Meat pie – Pies come in a variety – beef, chicken, lamb or vegetable – and are filled with gravy

PARIS: Foodie fares and perfected pastries

  • Pain au chocolat – A traditional French croissant filled with chocolate
  • Steak frites – Steak prepared to your liking and served with French fries
  • Escargot – Cooked snails, typically served in a garlic and butter sauce
  • Coq au Vin – Chicken braised with wine, mushrooms and garlic

15 Most Popular Foods You Have To Eat In Japan (2019)

As many of you already know, Japan has a wonderful and unique cuisine but mostly when we think about Japanese food, what automatically comes to our minds is fish and rice. This blog post will help you to have a different view about the food culture in Japan, and will help you to know what to order from the moment you sit at the restaurant.

1. Sushi & Sashimi 

Let’s start with the food item that most of us associates Japan with: Sushi and Sashimi. Sushi is known all over the world and is unique in its creation because every piece of rice is seasoned with a rice vinegar mix (made with sugar and salt) and then mixed with different ingredients such as a variety of seafood, vegetables, nori (seaweed), etc.. You can just grab a piece of sushi with chopsticks and dip it into soy sauce or wasabi, or both. It is truly a mix of flavors in your mouth! Depending on the shape and ingredients that are used, sushi can be called different names: Nigiri sushi, Maki sushi , Oshi sushi , Temaki sushi, etc

Sashimi is basically raw fish or seafood served with wasabi (a spicy Japanese condiment), soy sauce and generally it comes with slices of radish on the side. The name sashimi comes from the tale of the fish the it used to come with the meal to identify which kind of fish you are eating. Sashimi in kanji it is written like this: 刺身 . The first kanji means spine and the second kanji means body. 

15 Most Popular Foods You Have To Eat In Japan (2019)

Here’s a time-saver:
If you are planning a trip to Japan and want to ensure that you have the best possible food experience in the country, you should first check out all the different sushi tours that Triplelights offer – some are truly unique, such as learning how to make and cook sushi in the suburbs, participating in sushi workshops at Tsukiji Fish Market, and even making a trip to the Shimizu Sushi Museum. Feel free to send a message to any of the local guides in Japan if you have questions on how to receive a customized itinerary and quotation to begin planning for an unforgettable food experience.

2. Ramen

 Ramen is one of the most popular options at the moment when choosing something to eat in Japan. It is a bowl of wheat noodles served in a soy sauce or miso soup mixed with many kinds of ingredients. The most typical ingredients are slices of pork, green onions, seaweed and egg. I can´t compare the flavor of this dish with anything else I have tasted before. The most important part of this dish is the soup. It is the most tasty flavor I have ever tried, and can range from soft to strong according on where you order it. The way the pork is cooked, makes it so soft that sometimes it breaks into pieces as soon as you catch it with your chopsticks. With one order of ramen and a side dish of rice, you can be sure that you will be satisfied when you finish your meal… if you can!

There are correct ways of enjoying your ramen, and special ramen such as the Tsukemen Ramen. 

3. Tempura

Tempura is a Japanese fried snack made mostly from seafood and vegetables but you can also find tempura made from fowl and fish, seasoned with a sauce made with soy sauce, ginger and sugar. Tempura can be made using almost any and every vegetable. The size of the piece has to be able to be eaten in one bite and despite being deep fried, does not have an oily texture. Tempura is usually served with Tetsuyu sauce that is a mix of consomme, sweet sake, soy sauce, ginger, radish and spices.

15 Most Popular Foods You Have To Eat In Japan (2019)

4. Kare-Raisu (Curry Rice)

Also a very popular, simple and delicious dish that we can find in Japan, Kare-Raisu is just rice with curry but the taste is certainly different from any other curry dishes I’ve had before. To make Japanese curry, you can use a variety of meats and vegetables. The basic vegetables are onions, carrots and sweet potatos, and the meats used are chicken, pork, beef and sometimes duck. There are different levels of spiciness for curry: soft, regular and hot are the most common. Which level would you choose?

15 Most Popular Foods You Have To Eat In Japan (2019)

Meet one of the best curry shops in Tokyo – Curry Kingdom. They have one of the greatest varieties of curry to choose from that we have ever seen, including fish curry, chicken curry, pork curry and even fruit curries such as the Strawberry-flavored one.

5. Okonomiyaki 

Okonomiyaki is similar to a pancake with the way it is pressed on a griddle but the ingredients are much more different and is usually considered a savory dish. It is typically made with flour, yam and egg, but you can add also anything you like. The most common additions are green onions, beef, shrimp, squid, vegetables, mochi and cheese. In some restaurants, the experience is more interactive because the chef goes to the table and makes it on a griddle while the customers help the chef by adding other ingredients.

15 Most Popular Foods You Have To Eat In Japan (2019)

6. Shabu Shabu

Shabu shabu is essentially a Japanese hot pot dish. For this dish it uses many kinds of meats and seafood, mostly the softer ones, and sides of vegetables, tofu and noodles. The way it works is you grab a piece of meat (you can also pick some of the vegetables) and immerse it in the pot with hot water or consomme. Once it is cooked, you dip it in a sesame sauce with some rice as a side dish. Very delicious!

15 Most Popular Foods You Have To Eat In Japan (2019)

7. Miso Soup

Miso soup is served as a side dish in mostly every meal and with almost every dish. It is a soup made from a miso paste (fermented soybeans) and dashi (the consomme). Inside this kind of base soup, you will find pieces of tofu, onion, wakane seaweed, and sometimes vegetables like sweet potatos, carrots and radish. It is never served as a main dish. It always comes with a bowl of rice and one or 2 more dishes.

15 Most Popular Foods You Have To Eat In Japan (2019)

8. Yakitori

Yakitori is a Japanese brochette, or otherwise known as skewers. Earlier in history, the meat used for Yakitori was just chicken (Note: the “tori” in “Yakitori” means “bird”), but nowadays it can also be made using pork, beef and fish. These brochettes/skewers are essentially a mix of vegetables and meat cooked on a grill and dipped in teriyaki sauce. It is also a typical Japanese fast food dish as well as a dish eaten best with alcohol.

This is one of the options that foreigners are usually more comfortable trying. It has a occidental flavor so if you are not sure about what to taste first or you find out that Japanse flavors are not your thing but you still want to try the cuisine, I would recommend you to start with Yakitori so you can feel something familiar.

15 Most Popular Foods You Have To Eat In Japan (2019)

9. Onigiri

This is the most popular snack in Japan. No matter what time is it, or where you are, if you are hungry and you don´t have time, you can buy an onigiri. Onigiris are rice balls seasoned in many kinds of ways. Some of them are filled with chicken, vegetables, fish, and pork, while others are covered with a seaweed or with a slice of egg. Some of them have just rice mixed with some sauce, vegetables, beans, furikake… etc. As you can see, you can find a huge variety of flavors for all the tastes. There are shops that only make onigiris, but aside from those, you can also just grab an onigiri and go from any convenience store or supermarket.

15 Most Popular Foods You Have To Eat In Japan (2019)

10. Udon

Udon is a thick noodle made from wheat flour. It is commonly served in a consomme with soy sauce and mirin. Most of the times it comes with negi (onion). The shape and the size depends on the prefecture it comes from. Udon can be eaten cold or hot. Soba and Udon are very popular in Japan. It is a common dish for black-coated workers and students when they have lunch time and they need to eat something fast. There are Udon shops everywhere and they are typically always be crowded, so don’t be surprised or worried as you usually don’t have to wait for a long time to be seated. 

15 Most Popular Foods You Have To Eat In Japan (2019)

11. Soba

Soba noodles are made by buckwheat flour which gives it the colour, and are also known as fast food in Japan because they are cheap and popular. Soba noodles are thin (Udon noodles are thick) and they can be eaten also cold or hot. There are shops in Japan that only cook soba, maybe with some simple side dish as tempura. At the supermarket you can find the fresh noodles to cook at home. These noodles can be also be eaten with a simple mentsuyu sauce to make preparation easier.

15 Most Popular Foods You Have To Eat In Japan (2019)

12. Gyudon

Gyudon is basically a bowl of rice with beef on the top seasoned with different ingredients and spices. The most famous place to eat gyudon is Sukiya. Besides the simplicity, it is a very delicious dish, and most importantly, inexpensive. In most places, you can order a Gyudon in a set that comes with a small salad and miso soup. Another important tip about this: the service is very fast! Typically if you order a Gyudon, it will be prepared and brought to your table in less than five minutes. The size of the dish is suitable for every meal, as you can choose from small, medium, or large sized Gyudons. For a quick lunch period, Gyudon is a favorable option.

15 Most Popular Foods You Have To Eat In Japan (2019)

I learned that tea in Japan is almost always accompanied with decadent sweets and is not served on its own at these Tea Houses. The most common sweets in Japan are made with beans or sometimes with matcha. Japanese sweets in Japan are considered art because of their relationship between taste, shape, and color. 

15 Most Popular Foods You Have To Eat In Japan (2019)

14. Soft Serve Ice Cream  

There is an extremely popular soft serve ice cream chain in Japan that runs all year round called CREMIA, and is famous for being made with 12.5% milk fat and 25% fresh whipped cream, making the ice cream soft but decadent. The CREMIA ice cream cone is renowned for being made of “langues de chat” (also known as the “cat tongue” biscuit), giving it a smoother texture than the typical waffle cone that you can find at a convenience store. 

15 Most Popular Foods You Have To Eat In Japan (2019)

Image courtesy of Nissei

15. Gyoza

Gyoza are popular Japanese dumplings or pot stickers that may come in three different types: Yakigyoza (fried), Suigyoza (boiled), and Agegyoza (deep-fried). Fillings usually include chives, thin slices of cabbage, mushrooms, and finely minced pork or chicken, and are made with thin wrappers as opposed to Chinese dumplings (“jiaozi”), which use a more thick and doughier wrapping. As for what the gyoza is eaten with, dipping sauces usually include soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, chili oil, or ponzu sauce, which is a citrus-soy dressing. When in Japan, you should definitely try the Gyoza in Utsunomiya, a city that boasts the largest consumption of gyoza per household anywhere in Japan. Within the city, 30 gyoza restaurants jostle for space. From the newest spots to the most venerable establishments, the restaurants boast their own special brand of gyoza. Feel free to send a message and ask any of the tour guides in Japan through the TripleLights website for a customized itinerary for the best gyoza recommendations.

Want to have the best food experience during your stay in Japan?

It can be difficult to have the best food experience on top of planning your travel itinerary without knowing the Japanese language. Many restaurants in Japan have menus in only one language, so it can be difficult to find the best restaurants as well as order the right items – having a private tour guide from Triplelights or joining a private tour group can eliminate those intimidating factors and risks – not only will you not get lost with the aid of a professional local guide, the guide can lead you and/or your group to  the best restaurants and help you order the most delicious foods hassle-free. Check out TripleLights today and let the guides help you plan the most convenient, fun, and amazing trip to Japan!