RETURN OF THE LODGE 8 inch 2 qt L8C03 Dutch Oven

I was pleasantly surprised to see Lodge is once again producing the 8 inch, 2 qt, L8C03, Camp Dutch Oven.

I have 3 of these.  One unmarked and 2 Lodge marked.  I had picked all of them up in the past.  New then, they were selling for around $39.00.  Then Lodge started revamping their foundry and these were suddenly discontinued.

As with anything you can’t get, someone is willing to pay to secure one.  At the highest I saw them new in the box, listed on eBay for $125.00.

They are some of my most coveted pieces of cookware.  I normally solo camp.  They are perfect for that, or for two people.  I would even stretch and say they would accommodate cooking for 4.

Try our lasagna recipe that works perfect and fills it to the brim.  Need to only bake a half dozen homemade biscuits?  How about a small cake, or deep dish apple pie?  The L8C03 handles it with less food waste and fewer charcoal briquettes.   Less space and weight for you campers that have to be more conservative.

Unfortunately they are now listing at $61.00.  That at least is more comforting than what eBay was commanding in the very recent past.

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Its Nearly Time – Cathedral Gorge Dutch Oven Cookoff

Final preparations are going on for me today.  Loading the trailer and taking inventory of camping gear and cooking utensils.

This coming weekend is the annual Cathedral Gorge Dutch Oven Cookoff (September 16th, 2017)  Sponsored by the Nevada State Park and surrounding businesses.  The weather is looking to be near perfect.

This cookoff is a big deal.  At least for the competitions we normally attend.  There are normally around 50 cooks, and some of those preparing multiple recipes.  We have seen crowds of people (250+) showing up to taste, vote on their favorite, and just plain enjoy the day.

If you are in the area, be sure to come out and support the event.  Enjoy the food, enter the raffle, and enjoy the beautiful Nevada State Park.

Cathedral Gorge State Park Website

Map it

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Monterey Chicken Wraps


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Monterey Chicken Wraps
Recipe and Images courtesy of : Rick Beach
Note: This is one of my personal recipes
These can be prepared in a cast iron skillet, Dutch Oven bottom pot, standard skillet, or a wok. This recipe makes 12. But only expect that to feed 3 people. Perhaps 4 if you have some sides. These make excellent appetizers when cut in half after frying them.
Prep Time 30 Minutes
Cook Time 8 Minutes
Servings
Wraps
Ingredients
Prep Time 30 Minutes
Cook Time 8 Minutes
Servings
Wraps
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Fry bacon until very crispy, then crumble. Set aside.

    Pour off the bacon grease and use the pan with the remaining stuck on bacon drippings to cook the chicken breast. Roll the raw breast in the Montreal Steak seasoning before starting to cook. Using medium high heat quick sear the seasoned breast on all sides. Once all sides seared, lower heat to medium low and cook covered. Turn occasionally for about 20 minutes but avoid drying it out. Once thoroughly cooked dice into small pea size cubes.

    Toss the Chopped Tomatoes, Cilantro, Onions, and Garlic to combine. Then stir in the cooked and diced chicken, and cooked crumbled bacon.

    Lay out an Egg Wrap and spoon about a 1/4 - 1/2 Cup (fill as much of the wrap that it will hold) of the combine Tomato and Chicken mixture onto a wrap. Sprinkle a generous amount of shredded Monterey Jack cheese on top of that. Start rolling/wrapping from a corner diagonally. About half way through the rolling, tuck the two side corners toward the middle of the roll. Continue rolling to seal the roll. Set on a clean surface with the tail of the wrap on the bottom to prevent unrolling of the egg roll.

    In a wok, skillet or pan, cover the bottom with vegetable oil and bring up to temperature using medium high heat.

    Place the egg rolls in the hot oil with the wrap tail down until that surface is golden brown. Rotate the egg roll with tongs and brown all surfaces. Once browned remove from the hot oil and place on absorbent paper towels to remove excess oil.

    Serve hot.

    Ranch Dressing by itself makes a wonderful dipping sauce. If you want to ramp it up a bit stir in very small amounts of Sriracha Sauce, taste testing as you go, until you get your desired taste. (Remember many don't care for spicy hot).

    Though this recipe makes 12 Rolls. You will find 4 will be required per person if this is all you are serving. A side of seasoned rice and a nice salad may stretch this to 2 per person. But they are kind of addictive and I doubt 2 per person will be enough.

Recipe Notes

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Spanish Rice

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Print Recipe
Spanish Rice
Recipe courtesy of Rick Beach This is a great side dish. Or for use in other recipes that call for "Spanish Rice" Add an addition of 1lb ground beef (browned) to be used as a main dish. This recipe makes about 3 to 4 Cups of Spanish Rice.
Servings
Ingredients
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in deep skillet. Saute uncooked rice, onion, bell pepper, until rice is brown and onions tender. Add minced garlic toward the end. Stir in and don't burn the garlic.
  2. Stir in water, & tomatoes. Stir in all seasonings. Simmer for about 30 minutes covered. Or until rice is cooked and liquid absorbed.
Recipe Notes

To use the basic Spanish Rice recipe as a main dish.  Add 1 lb of browned ground beef, browned ground chicken, or browned ground turkey.

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Banana Oatmeal Blueberry Muffins


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Print Recipe
Banana Oatmeal Blueberry Muffins
Banana Oatmeal Blueberry Muffins (Recipe and Image courtesy: Rick Beach)
Prep Time 15 Minutes
Cook Time 15 Minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Prep Time 15 Minutes
Cook Time 15 Minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. In medium bowl combine the oats and milk and set aside to allow liquid to absorb.
  2. In large bowl combine the remaining dry ingredients and whisk to combine. The Nutmeg, Sugar, Baking Powder, Baking Soda, Flour, Salt, and Cinnamon.
  3. Stir the melted butter and whisked egg into the milk and oats. Stir in the Smashed Bananas, then the Blueberries.
  4. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry. Stir until well moistened.
  5. Line muffin pan with paper cupcake/muffin liners. Spray papers with spray oil such as Pam. Fill muffin cups 3/4 Full. Bake in preheated oven 425°F for 15 minutes and passes the toothpick test.
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WAFFLE DOG TIME

While many of you have been enjoying camping away the summer months, some of us have been getting “cabin fever”.

Most of the country gets “cabin fever” when cooped up during the winter months.  Ironically those of us that live and camp in the desert southwest mostly “hole” up the hot summer months.  Then start camping as the summer heat starts to wane into cooler temperature of the approaching Fall season.

So for some of us it is time to dust off the waffle dog maker, air out the sleeping bags and tents, and start prepping for prime camping season.

Does anyone have any tried and true recipes for use in a waffle dog maker?  I need one for Corn Dogs, and another for Waffle Sausages.

Email us at :  info@toponautic.com
We will list your recipe(s) and credit your name.

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DUTCH OVEN COOKING COMPETITION Sept 16 2017


It’s nearly that time of year again.  Camping and Dutch Oven Cooking Competition at Cathedral Gorge State Park near Panaca, Nevada.

Link to the official State Park information

Actual competition cooking is on Saturday September 16, 2017

A group of us camper/Dutch Oven cooks have been attending this event for years.  The rangers at this State Park make this the best cooking competition we have ever competed in.  Aside from the awesome prizes the rangers solicit from supporting businesses, they just make this plain fun.

This is not IDOS sanctioned and the rules are lax.  Just plain old fun!  Be prepared to come up against a lot of very good cooks.  The competition is tough!

Be prepared to arrive early and to stay until after dark.

Even if you don’t participate in cooking.  The whole day can be taken up hiking early in the morning, then wandering around watching the cooks prepare the food.  Judging and serving food to the public, is early evening.

Buy your raffles tickets and take a chance on winning prizes and supporting a great event.

Many of us start arriving Thursday and Friday to also spend a few days camping.  Sites are first come first served.  Though the rangers have always made room for everyone even if it means “dry camping” off the edge of the pavement near the picnic area.

This time of year expect warm days and cool nights.  The Milky-way will blanket you in the sky above.  The coyote’s will sing you to sleep at night.

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CORN STICK PAN verses CONVECTION

Las Vegas in the middle of summer is easily hitting 110°F daytime temperatures. For some that is not conducive for enjoying a hot bowl of Chili. Many reserve that cuisine for chilling winter days.

Not me. I enjoy Chili year round. Then Chili isn’t at it’s best, unless you have cornbread as a side to accompany it.

On a hot day outside I often drag out the crock-pot to make a batch without heating up the kitchen. While I am a cast iron connoisseur, I am certainly not firing up some charcoal and Dutch Oven cooking when it is a scorching +110°F outside either. Thinking about getting the kitchen oven up to 425°F for a batch of cornbread doesn’t sound too appealing either. That heats the whole house up.

This is where vintage Cast Iron meets the modern Counter-top Convection Oven. The combination works well together and doesn’t kick my air conditioner on more than normal.

Now I am sitting back enjoying a bowl of Chili. Dipping my hot buttered corn sticks in some maple syrup. What a killer combination. Both in the cooking technique, as well as the food paring.

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Chuck Box – Wood Box

Credits for this Chuck Box version go out to Paul Bridgewater.  Paul was kind enough to share his Chuck Box concept, and some photos.  I am kind of envious.  I wish I had the patience and the work space/shop to produce these.

Paul gives some insight on his design with the photos.  Also some dimensions that might prove helpful.

Paul says his first ones were 3/4 plywood construction.  His words “Too Heavy!”

He now builds these from 1/2 Birch Plywood.  The legs are 1x4x36 Oak.  These are custom made for the Scouts.

The legs are slotted to aid in leveling.  The box is 36″ Wide, 24″ tall, and 15 1/2″ Deep.

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We welcome your donated media material that we can share with our followers.

Email to:   info@TOPONAUTIC.com

 

 

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About the Author

A fellow Cast Iron lover, vintage cookware collector, and Dutch Oven Cook.  Sharing thoughts, techniques, and decades of cooking experience.

With some experience, I feel most people can cook over charcoal, or coals of a campfire, just as easily as cooking in a modern kitchen.  Its all about heat management.  That comes easy with experience.

I retired as a Data Engineering Manager.  During my off time while working, and now during retirement.   I have always attempted to spend as much time outdoors as possible.

I started dabbling with websites about the time I retired.  I even had a joint business venture with my son.  A web presence “on-line retail” for several years.  We went the whole route including trademarking.   That name and trademark was sold off some years ago.  The software application of all of this website structuring is still relatively new to me and doesn’t come without a struggle.  Code is an issue like trying to learn a new language.  But things are coming easier with experience.  When leaving the business world.  Now providing free content on-line.  The whole effort and associated labor has become a hobby that I enjoy.

My real passion is spending time outdoors, outdoor photography, and traveling.  With that it always seems to involve outdoor cooking.  I wish I had the time and the talent to effectively share all the experiences I have had over a lifetime.  From backpacking trips to the bottom of the Grand Canyon, to traipsing jungle paths in Thailand.

After a very successful blog site on the outdoors in general (TOPONAUTIC), and accumulating a large membership following on our Dutch Oven social media group, we decided to dedicate a site just on Dutch Oven Cooking.   A site we hope will appeal to the beginner, and expert alike.

Some of the joys I find revolving around cooking, are competing in Dutch Oven Cook-offs,  instructing those new to the cast iron cooking world, and collecting and cooking with vintage cast iron cookware.

 

You will find me traveling the western part of the USA cooking,  camping, and backpacking.  Some of the cooking is for the love and fun of it.  Other times it is hard core competition with Dutch Oven friends or “soon to be friends”.  

 

Though not always blessed with a competition win, there have been trophy’s and prizes taken along the way.

Friends are always collected during travels and cooking events.  They are like fine vintage cast iron cookware.  Though some may be rusty around the edge, or properly seasoned and seemingly without flaws.  I find they are more valuable than any trinket trophy you will ever earn in any endeavor you may pursue.  Cooking and laughing with friends is the best form of living.  The best medicine you will ever find to cure your ills.

The greatest joy to a cast iron cook, is showing techniques and skills to someone new to the cast iron world.  Such a great feeling to see them catch the passion and fire, to start on the road to becoming a great Dutch Oven Cook.

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Blog

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RETURN OF THE LODGE 8 inch 2 qt L8C03 Dutch Oven

I was pleasantly surprised to see Lodge is once again producing the 8 inch, 2 qt, L8C03, Camp Dutch Oven. I have 3 of these.  One unmarked and 2 Lodge marked.  I had picked all of them up in the past.  New then, they were selling for around $39.00.  Then Lodge started revamping their foundry …

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Cathedral Gorge 2017 Dutch Oven Cook-Off was a fun event

This past weekend (September 16, 2017) had us at Cathedral Gorge State Park, Nevada.  Having some great fun Camping and Dutch Oven Cooking.  For the full story follow the link to the full article on the Cathedral Gorge 2017 Dutch Oven Cook-off. 36 total views, no views today

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Its Nearly Time – Cathedral Gorge Dutch Oven Cookoff

Final preparations are going on for me today.  Loading the trailer and taking inventory of camping gear and cooking utensils. This coming weekend is the annual Cathedral Gorge Dutch Oven Cookoff (September 16th, 2017)  Sponsored by the Nevada State Park and surrounding businesses.  The weather is looking to be near perfect. This cookoff is a …

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