When the food at sleep-away camp trumps yours



Zoe at Camp 080216

Zoe eating a s’more at Camp Young Judaea Texas

My daughter just came home from sleep-away camp where, according to her, the food she was served morning, noon and night was like a thousand times better than anything I make at home. Apparently, I need to step-up my game.

It’s only been a few days, but I made a list of the food she LOVED from camp and have started trying to make a few of the meals. I could use some input from those of you who are experts at cooking for picky-eating kids:

  1. Waffles with whipped cream. I took the lazy-man’s way out and used frozen waffles and whipped cream from a can. She loved it.
  2. Cinnamon rolls. Yes, I’m sure I could make these from scratch but don’t always have the time so fortunately I discovered OU Kosher canned cinnamon rolls from Immaculate. In the Dallas area, these rolls are available at Whole Foods and also at Walmart (much cheaper). Delicious and easy to make.
  3. Pancakes, specifically chocolate chip pancakes. We make pancakes almost every Sunday morning using Bisquick, but I’d love to hear your ideas for adding a new spin on the standard pancake. Add a comment with your thoughts please.
  4. Coffee Cake. Say what? My 10 year-old came home from camp raving about their delicious coffee cake and wanting to know when I could make one for her. I accepted the challenge, found a recipe on the Internet and made coffee cake last night. Sadly, mine did not live-up to the deliciousness of the camp coffee cake. And I have to admit, it was a bit dry. Anyone have a kid-proof coffee cake recipe you are willing to share with me?
  5. Hot dogs. Pretty standard kid fare, but please let me know if you have a new spin on this family tradition. Any ideas?
  6. Taco Tuesday anyone? I’ve made tacos in many ways – fake hamburger meat with real cheese; fake cheese with real meat and the list goes on and on. What’s your fav way to make kid-proof tacos?
  7. Cheese Pizza. My daughter is fairly basic when it comes to her pizza. She’s happy with tomato sauce and one kind of cheese, but I’d love to come up with some creative ways to add some hidden veggies into the mix. Thoughts?
  8. Grilled cheese and Tomato Soup. Well, here’s what I get for trying to be fancy. My hubbie and I recently watched a movie called Chef, where the main character makes this amazing looking grilled cheese sandwich. We tried it ourselves while Zoe was at camp … love at first bite. I tried said grilled cheese on Zoe yesterday … no love at all. But I don’t care. It’s delicious and I’m sticking with it. I’ll post the details of this worthwhile sandwich soon.
  9. Burgers and Tots. Not even sure what to say about this one. Burgers I’m good with. Tots I usually buy frozen, but it’s difficult to find a Kosher version in Dallas. Anyone have a good recipe for homemade, healthy tots? Is that even possible?
  10. Mac and Cheese. Now that camp is over, Wacky Mac is dead to Zoe. She told me she wants the same cheesy mac and cheese she had a camp, and she wants me to use the same “C” shaped noodles. Again, say what? A quick trip to Whole Foods revealed the secret of the “C” shaped noodle – Elbow Macaroni. So today I made a hybrid mac and cheese using the Elbow macaroni, powder from Wacky Mac, milk, butter and some shredded pizza cheese to add extra cheesiness. The dish got a thumbs-up from Zoe, which was much needed after her dismal response to the coffee cake. How about you, do you have an easy kid-friendly mac and cheese recipe that’s healthier than the standard fare?
  11. Zoodles! Wow oh wow for coincidences. I recently came across a cookbook called Superfood Kitchen by Julie Morris. I had every intention to make some of the very healthy-sounding recipes but never got around to it. One such recipe was for zucchini fettuccine with mega marinara (Page 126). I read the recipe, was intrigued but didn’t think I could actually peel/slice the zucchini to resemble pasts noodles so I skipped it. Then, Zoe comes home from camp raving about the Zoodles they had for dinner one night. Out came the cookbook and to the store I went for supplies. The peeling process was much easier than expected and the sauce was out-of-this-world amazing. It was too spicy for Zoe so I’ll have to find a simpler recipe, but I don’t feel so intimidated since I’m made the zoodles before. I’ll post the recipe in the coming days. Have you made zoodles before? Do you have a killer, kid-friendly recipe you could share?

Apologies for the manifesto above but this camp food dilemma has me puzzled. If only Zoe’s camp had a cookbook : )

Again, I’d love to hear your experiences. Do your kids love camp food? If so, how do you replicate it at home in a healthy, Kosher way?

Happy Kosher Treif Camping and Cooking!






4 responses »

  1. I love your blog and the concept or finding kosher products to replace treif food. None of my kids or grandkids ever claimed that camp food was better than home food, thank G-d, and when my younger son was living in the dorm 35 miles away, during his last Semicha program year, I would make a huge batch of banana pancakes for his entire group of Bachurim and bring it there for lunch on Sunday. Here is the link https://koolkosherkitchen.wordpress.com/2016/07/08/plump-banana-pancakes. Enjoy!
    Have a Good Shabbos and an easy and meaningful fast!

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