Saturday, February 3, 2018

Valentine's Day Poción de amor pasión arándano (Cranberry Passion Love Potion)

Spoil your Lovemate in the Backcountry with this winter cocktail

Whether you’re spending Valentine’s Day in a tent under the stars with your honey, or snuggled up indoors, this cocktail is sure to make them buckle at the knees (maybe literally if …)


The key ingredient here is Patron Reposado Tequila. Delicious for sipping on its own and extremely smooth. Reposado is spicy and sweet at the same time, touches of earthy agave, hints of vanilla and honey caramel sweetness, nice linger, full of pepper and spice, lingering sweetness of honey and caramel. Known for its naturally romantic palate.


1.5 oz. Patron Reposado Tequila                                                      

.5 oz. Cranberry-Vanilla Simple Syrup

Squeeze of one lemon

At Home

To make the syrup, combine ½ cup sugar, ¾ cup water, 1 cup frozen cranberries, and 2 vanilla beans in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Allow to cool before proceeding. Combine tequila and simple into a zip-top bag. Slice 1 lemon and pack separately.

In the Backcountry

Squeeze the lemon slice into the zip-top bag, and chill in a cold stream or under snow. Optional to add a small scoop of clean snow and a cranberry garnish.

To Enjoy at Home

Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake and serve over ice with a cranberry garnish.

Use good judgment, don’t get hurt and leave no trace in the backcountry.

Eat (and Drink) Well Outdoors!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Wilderness Restaurant

Please help yourself to an appetizer of Fried Naan Bread with a Spicy Hummus, paired with Honeydew Melon.
Dinner is served, the Chef has prepared a wonderful meal of Jaegerschnitzel with a Sour Cream Gravy on a bed of egg pasta.

For dessert we have Voo Doo Maple Bacon Bars….

Are you in a Restaurant or on a Trail Crew for the Idaho Trails Association? This is one example of an evening meal that featured high end dinning "high" into the Sawtooth Mountains in Idaho.

When most campers are eating freeze dried meals or ramen, our volunteers eat well. It’s part of the experience. We appreciate their hard work, taking time off from family and regular jobs to participate in a work vacation.

The ages for the cast of characters range from 14 to 60 and trail work is hard, really hard manual labor with felling timber, skinning logs and moving boulders.

The Idaho Trails Association has teamed up with an organization - Create Common Good. CCG as they are known, who use food to change lives and build healthy communities. Their foodservice job-training programs help people with barriers to employment achieve self-sufficiency by marrying their talents to the needs of the community. The food production business provides a sustainable model that supports our food training and educational programs.

They primarily use recipes from the Idaho Trails Head Chef Steve Weston. Straight from the cadre of recipes straight out of his Gourmet Snob Cookery Book, In The Wild Chef, they prepare in advance and Cryovac , freeze the food for transport and re-heating or cooking at base camp.

Hydration is important and Chef Steve and Katadyn helped deliver 10 Gallons of "on demand water" daily through gravity fed water filter Bags.

The next time you go to a nice restaurant, ask yourself, could they deliver this meal into the wilderness with their kitchen?

I would like to thank my sponsor companies:

Climb High and Eat Well Outdoors!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Moonlight Snowshoe to Cervidae

Yes, its not cooking but.....every year for the last 8 years, I have hosted or been the Co-Host of the Moonlight to Cervidae Peak in the Boise Mountains. From its meager beginning of 3 people, Sean Duffy, John Platt and myself, its growth has reached close to 20 at times!
1st 2009
Some years its like you believe you are on a real big mountain, especially with the darkness and snow and frigid temps!

Old Glory

As the years accumulate so did the number of interested parties and friends who participated.
We have had all out blizzards and dry warmer moonlight nights. Some snow years
(like the first) were huge. Many a shot of our favorite adult beverage was toasted a top Cervidae on New Years Eve.


Daniel Platt
In 2011 we compiled rock band at the Sawtoothsean Bar (Post Climb). Guests included Rocker Daniel Platt, Sean Duffy on his axe and John Duffy (youngest to climb the New Year Eve Hike) on the Drums.

In 2014, Deb Rose and Steve Weston made the Wall of "O" on the University of Oregon Facebook Page!


In 2015, Steve was recovering from a Congested Liver and was not able to Summit with the rest of the gang. So, we snapped a quick pic with Art Troutner and John Platt.


Gentleman Jack and the Crew Splattski, with Splattski taking the Splattski! Fly me to the Moon....
Moonlight to Cervidae

In The Wild Chef- Out!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Taste of Idaho

So, I am blessed to have good friends, great community etc...

The 2nd Annual Nampa's Taste of Idaho, presented by St Luke's was another wonderful evening. As with the inaugural year, celebrating the harvest brought the community together.

Photo by Amy Bowman
One of my friends most recently used a phrase, Thanks seems so insufficient. Yes,
Dustan Bristol & Robert Sauntman of Brick 29 and Randy King, Michael Zeller & Roberto Roman of Simplot Culinary and Slade Weston of Wild Chef Expeditions ...You guys ROCK!
Dustan Bristol - Photo by Chris Bronson IPT
Mike Zeller - Photo by Chris Bronson IPT
Randy King Left, Slade Weston Middle and Steve Weston right - Photo by Amy Bowman
We fed close to 350 in Lakeview Park in Nampa Idaho. I was the Architect of the menu and Dustan the Meat and Au Gratins. Agri-beef and Simplot were the main in kind Food Sponsors and they really stepped up! Saint Alphonsus for the Salad and Symms Fruit Ranch for the those beautiful peaches and Huston Vineyards for their wonderful Riesling (to give those peaches a bath in)

Grilling Peaches - Photo by Chris Bronson IPT

Photo by Steve Weston
Thank you to Agri-Beef and Simplot who were our food partners.

Thank you to our event sponsors:
The Georgia Touch, Saltzer Medical Group, Saint Alphonsus, Symms Fruit Ranch, Albertsons, Fred Meyer, Idaho Central Credit Union and Amalgamated Sugar.

And a huge thank you to everyone who volunteered.
The Nampa Chamber of Commerce ambassador team - you are super stars - and we couldn't have done this without you!

Nampa Chamber Ambassador Alan Jones - Photo by Chris Bronson IPT

Mike Wesley - Mother Earth Brewing

L to R Slade, Robert, Steve, Mike, Dustan, Randy, Roberto, 2nd Row Arturo, Josh Thompson

Gregg Alger - Huston Vineyards

#nampastaste #nampachamber #inthewildchef #chefinthewild

Eat Well Outdoors!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Idaho Trails Association - Antz Basin Boulder White Clouds

Hey Steve, you wanna go cook for a work trail party in the White Clouds for a week? Me - Uh yeah. So it was decided and on to menu planning with Jeff Halligan, Executive Director of the Idaho Trail Association (ITA).

The menu has to knock em down, shock and awe. One evening we are going to do Swedish Meatballs and another, Fried Rice and Egg Roll S'mores (recipe compliments of Craig Smith). All the recipes are out of my book (or the new book) and they have been trail tested. Man these guys drink a lot of coffee.

The group that has volunteered are employees of the Idaho Conservation League led by one of the Advisory Board Members of the Idaho Trails Association, John McCarthy.

Did I mention they drink a lot of coffee? The role of a backcountry chef takes on a different look with each group dynamic. The certainty is, there must be filtered water at all times for the work party as the work is hard and they must stay hydrated. The food must have horsepower and sustain the calories lost. Fresh fruit and vegetables are more difficult. They don't keep fresh. So, carb loading like Pasta, Rice, Potatoes is the plan.

The new twist for me on this week long is I normally carry (with help) on my back to the destination. In this case we had heavy loads carried for us but some wonderful pack animals.

We had French Toast and Argentine Style Poblano Peppers and Potatoes for breakfast. Plenty of banter, a couple of nice desserts and nobody left hungry.

If you get a chance to volunteer for one of these work parties you wont regret it. It is a wonderful contribution to our backcountry and if it doesn't get done then the trails deteriorate and become impassable and wont be there for future generations.

The ITA Crew Leader was Clay Jacobson, who recently completed the Idaho Centennial Trail. Clay is passionate about what he does.

For more information on how you can volunteer, click here: Idaho Trails Association. It will be one of those things on your tick list you will want to check off.

Special Thanks to:

Jeff Halligan
Clay Jacobson
John McCarthy
Bryce Parker - US Forest Service Wilderness Ranger

And to my sponsors whom without their support, I wouldn't be successful and be able to do what I do.

GSI Outdoors
Camp Chef
Sierra Designs

Eat Well Outdoors!


Photo by John McCarthy

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Reel Recovery

“Reel Recovery was founded in 2003 by a group of avid fly-fishers, inspired by their fishing buddy’s ongoing battle with brain cancer. Witnessing first-hand the beneficial impact fly-fishing provided their friend, they created Reel Recovery to provide the same opportunity for other men battling the disease. Combining expert fly-fishing instruction with directed “courageous conversations”, the organization provides men with all forms of cancer a unique opportunity to share their stories, learn a new skill, form lasting friendships and gain renewed hope as they confront the challenges of cancer”.

I was very fortunate to be able to help these folks out and the Mackay Idaho Retreat in July of 2015. I was honored to cook for the fishing buddies and help out where I could. Having seen my Dad fight (and lose) a long battle with Bladder Cancer for 25 years and losing my father in law to the deadly disease made me curious as to what they were feeling.

I learned that the most common complaint about friends and loved ones is some of them, and in some cases all of them fade away from the person living with cancer. I heard that they felt treated like they had communicable disease. Their friends didn’t understand it or didn’t want to be around it.

Listening to these courageous men put a punch to my gut. Is society mostly walking away from it and not giving their support? It breaks your heart. I felt so small like any of my troubles could compare to the emotional trauma caused by abandonment these men are feeling.

I know, my blog is about camp food, and there was food like that prepared at this retreat. I didn’t see it coming, I felt good initially about going and helping and came home humbled, saddened by the stories of loneliness and battles lost. Also there is a ton of positives, the Reel Recovery organization is incredible. The day we left for our different places of abode was warm and joyful but also full of tears. I for one plan on not taking for granted that people living with cancer. I am going to be there even if it’s a small amount of my life.

Cancer Sucks!

Be Well and Fish On!

Friday, October 23, 2015

Backcountry Cooking Tips


1. Go Fresh

Fresh herbs like basil, rose­mary, and pars­ley can last for days in your pack. Layer herbs between paper tow­els and store in an Ziploc bag. Add to your meal a basil leaf for a refresh­ing taste.

2. Get Cheese

Stock up on high-quality hard cheeses like parme­san or romano, which can go unre­frig­er­ated for extended peri­ods of time. Brie does well on the trail and you can eat with crack­ers or spread over pancakes for a savory breakfast

3. Trust the Pros

If you don’t have the tools to dehy­drate your own meals, or don’t trust your cook­ing to keep you sat­is­fied, try jazz­ing up ready-made meals. Re-package boxed pas­tas with addi­tional freeze-dried veg­gies and salami for a reliable and delicious

4. Real Eggs

Organic eggs from pas­tured chick­ens are safe at room tem­per­a­ture for a few days. Invest in a three-dollar egg car­rier and for­get about pow­dered egg omelets. Just make sure you trust the farm where the eggs are com­ing from, some organic sources are still sus­cep­ti­ble to salmonella.

5. Indulge

Do you secretly love pack­aged moon pies and kit kats? Pack ‘em. You’ll be thank­ful for old favorites out on the trail. Just make sure to bal­ance treats with high-protein, whole-grain meals to avoid burn­ing out.

Eat Well Outdoors!