Emily has been baking the ultimate sweet treat for nearly 9 months now. With the little bun due to rise any day now, I figured it was about time I shared the little celebration we had for her and her little one in July.
Camp Wojtowicz commenced back in July in our parents home town in Plymouth, Wisconsin. We set up camp at a little shelter in Kettle Moraine State Park at Greenbush. Our family has been coming to this place for years, especially in the winter months when fantastic trails open up for cross country skiing. Emily and Travis are an adventurous couple so it only made sense to welcome their new addition in adventurous style. Campers included family and friends excited to help Emily and Travis gather all the essential survival gear and tips for preparing them for their next big journey.
My mom and I scored awesome finds at antique markets and estate sales to add to our vintage camping feel. Other pieces were collected from grandparents, our family cabin, and around my parents house to round out the look for the day. Emily let us use some of the prints she will be displaying in little Wojtowicz's nursery.
We also included an activity in the archery and craft portion of the day camp that helped create little arrows for Emily to hang as a mobile in the nursery. Little did I know, she had wanted to do this very thing but had no gotten around to it yet. With washi tape, paint, and feathers, crafters created arrows adding their own personal touch. I wish I had a picture of the finished product. Each one was so unique and beauitful. I can't wait to see the finished product hung in the little adventurer's nursery.
We gathered for lunch at a long table together donned with wildflowers from my mother's garden. And then we all sat around the mom-to-be with gifts placed in the tee pee (a gift handmade by myself for the new baby).
Guests wrote letters to the parents-to-be (hello muddah, hello faddah) with words of advice, or at least what not to do, and then were sent home with trail mix.
But no one left without one last final catch of the day, gourmet roasted marshmallows. Create your own s'more toppings included dark chocolate and sea salt covered grahams, milk chocolate and peanut butter covered grahams, original honey grahamas, dulce d' leche, strawberry jam, and lemon curd. I couldn't decided which I liked better, the salted caramel chocolate or the lemon meringue pie. Happy Campers all around!
Since this is a food blog, and since many of the guests requested the recipes used at the shower, I promised I would include everything in this blog post. With a nod to wienies roasted over the fire, we had grilled sausages paired with an aoli and mustard. I included only a couple of salads to round out the sausages, tastes of summer overflowing with fresh veggies and fruit. That's how everyone camps, right? Finally, a make your own s'mores bar with gourmet toppings to delight any happy camper. I don't think any one went home hungry, which is how I like to throw a party. Bring these recipes to your next camp out, even if it is in your own back yard. Happy Trails to y'all and we can't wait to meet the newest little camper in our family very soon!
Campfire Kabobs or Chicken Sausages and Sweet Potato with Lemon Garlic Aoli
2 Sweet Potatoes
4 Chicken Sausages
1/4 cup olive oil
1 t rosemary, chopped
salt and pepper
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 T lemon juice
1 t dijon mustard
1/2 t salt
1/4 t pepper
Whole Grain Mustard
Slice sweet potatoes 1/2 inch thick. If potatoes are considerably wider than sausage, half or quarter. Boil sweet potatoes in salted water until just before tender. Drain. I made these the night before which really helped them to solidify making grilling easier.
Mix olive oil, rosemary and a pinch of salt and pepper. Set aside.
Mix mayo, garlic, lemon juice, mustard, and salt and pepper. Set aside.
Slice sausages 1/2 inch thick. Skewer alternating potatoes and sausages. Place skewers on a prepared grill. Brush with olive oil and rotate until grill marks form all around and skewers are heated through.
Serve with aoli and whole grain mustard.
Fir Tree Slaw or Kale and Broccoli Salad
Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen Cookbook
1/4 cup of buttermilk
1/4 cup of good mayonnaise
1 tablespoon of cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon of sugar
1/4 teaspoon of salt
¼ cup red onion, finely chopped
1 small head of broccoli, or half a large
1 bunch kale
1/4 cup of toasted sliced almonds
1/8 cup of dried cranberries, coarsely chopped
Freshly ground black pepper
In a small bowl, whisk the buttermilk, mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar and salt until smooth. Stir in the red onion. Allow the red onion to mellow out in the dressing for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, trim the broccoli, and chop it into large chunks. Then cut chunks into thin slices (you could do the slicing with a mandoline, just watch your fingers!) Chop or shred kale. Toss the broccoli and kale with almonds and cranberries.
Pour the dressing over the broccoli mixture, and add a generous amount of freshly cracked black pepper. Stir the salad until all of the components have been evenly coated. This salad can be served immediately or lasts 3 days in the fridge.
Wilderness Grub Salad or Green Couscous with Nectarines and Sweet Corn
Adapted recipe from Vibrant Food by Kimberley Hasselbrink
1 cup cous cous
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1 small jalapeño, seeded and chopped
Zest and juice of 1 small lime
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 small ears fresh corn, husks and silk removed
Extra-virgin olive oil
Fine sea salt
2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, plus more for garnish
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves, plus more for garnish
2 medium-ripe nectarines, pitted and thinly sliced lengthwise
1/2 cup crumbled queso fresco (I used Feta)
Place israeli couscous in a medium pot over medium heat. Before adding chicken stock, let it toast (dry) for a minute or so. Fill the pot with enough stock to well cover the couscous. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for about 8 minutes. Drain. Toss with a little oil, and set aside.
Preheat the broiler.
To grill the corn, lightly oil both ears of corn and place in a small baking dish. Broil about 6 inches from the heat, turning every few minutes, until golden and blackened in spots, 10 -15 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside until cool enough to handle. Using a large, sharp knife, cut the kernels from the cob to yield about 1 cup. If you have more than this amount, save it for another use. Transfer the kernels to a bowl and toss with a pinch of salt and a squeeze of lime. Set aside.
Transfer the cous cous to a large bowl. In a blender, combine the cilantro, parsley, jalapeño, lime zest and juice, olive oil, a pinch of salt, and 1 tablespoon water. Blend until smooth. Add up to 1 more tablespoon of water to thin the sauce if it’s too thick. Spoon the mixture over the cous cous, scraping any remaining sauce out of the blender with a spatula, and mix until the cous cous is evenly coated.
To finish, add the corn and additional parsley and cilantro to the cous cous. Toss to combine. Transfer the cous cous to a serving platter. Sprinkle the nectarines and queso fresco over the cous cous in even layers. Garnish with additional parsley and cilantro. Best served immediately. Can be made up to a day in advance;bring to room temperature before serving.
Camp Wojtowicz Canteen or Strawberry Lemonade Spritzer
Recipe adapted from Iowa Girl Eats.
Makes 1 drink – multiple per serving
1oz (2 Tablespoons) Strawberry Simple Syrup
1-1/2oz (3 Tablespoons) fresh lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
8oz (1 cup) club soda
strawberry slices, optional
Stir strawberry simple syrup and lemon juice together pitcher. Pour in club soda. Add ice and strawberry slices, if using, then stir. Drink as is or add to white wine to taste.
Strawberry Simple Syrup
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup water
Combine sugar, water, and strawberries in a small saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil and cook for 30 seconds, or until sugar has dissolved. Turn off the heat and allow syrup to cool. Transfer to a food processor or blender, process until smooth, then strain through a fine mesh sieve to remove strawberry seeds (optional.) Chill in the fridge.