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Just because you’re in the backcountry doesn’t mean you have to eat like it.

Last weekend we had the opportunity to attend the Overland Rally in Springfield,Vermont. The venue was fantastic and scenic with lush mountain views and raging rivers, an appropriate setting to prepare a meal for the group that would be equally fantastic.

The menu was centerpieced by a Filet Minon with Au jus and was complimented by sautéed broccoli, brown and wild rice, as well as squash and zucchini sauté with onion.

Prep was based on the following:

We purchased a beef tenderloin and butchered it into two finished roasts, followed by cutting the remaining pieces and setting them aside. The two roasts were then wrapped in bacon and bound in butchers twine and then placed in our Engel fridge to chill. The cut off pieces of the tenderloin that remained were then placed in a dutch oven with water and garlic and boiled at a temperature of approximately 350° F to produce a fresh beef stock. The stock was then set aside and the beef trimmings disposed of. We were then ready to cook!

Our Snow Peak kitchen with double burner stove, bbq box, and dutch oven tray was then setup to give us our platform for actually cooking this delectable meal. Coals from real wood charcoal were prepared and placed in the bbq box.

Each of the prepared roasts were seared on all sides and then placed in the dutch oven with enough coals moved from the bbq to box to set the temperature at approximately 350° F. The roast was rotated every 15 minutes and the temperature was checked with a meat thermometer until the meat was medium rare.

While the meat roasted, the rice was prepared in minimalist fashion since we were on the trail. Each of the vegetables were diced and sautéed in a garlic salt and pepper blend in olive oil and covered until ready to serve.

When the beef was at proper temperature we pulled it out of the oven and it was tented in foil to rest. Red wine (half a bottle or so) was then used to deglaze the dutch oven over high heat from the propane burner stove and the stock from the initial trimming was added and allowed to simmer, making a delicious Au jus.

The meat was then sliced and veggies were served. I would love to say it was plated and presented to our guests but the meat was gone as quickly as it was sliced.

To say the meal was “délicieux” would be an understatement. It was quick, easy to prepare, and was a fine culmination to a remarkable (albeit wet) time on the trails.

Bon appetit!

Special thanks to 7 Bar Grille correspondents Clint Terrill and John Bailey, as well as Ben Edmonson of Equipt Expedition Outfitters, for their contributions to this article.

Related – Torpedo Farms Roasted Pepper Sausage Frittata

* Published by JPFreek Adventure Magazine – The leader in Jeep and adventure enthusiast publications.

Green tea, white tea, black tea… what’s the difference? The examination of the health benefits from tea consumption date back about 4700 years ago from emperor Shennong of China. A cup of tea has been known to heal, comfort and cross cultural barriers and has so much to offer. The benefits of drinking tea can be significant to your overall health, but we must first understand the different types of teas and the prosperity that each one has to offer.

Oolong Tea

Oolong tea is said to be first produced at Mr. Wu Yi Shan in Fujian Province towards the end of the Ming Dynasty about 400 years ago. Drinking Oolong tea is truly a work of art. In order to enjoy the flavor and its rich aroma, a tiny teapot and teacup are used. This presentation has been handed down one generation to the next. This type of tea contains a large quantity of polyphenol- an ingredient that generates the unique flavor and promotes good health. This tea is a great source of antioxidents, weight loss, and can provide an overall boost to your health.

Green Tea

Green tea is made from the leaves of Camellia Sinensis and originates from China. What sets green tea apart from the others is the way it’s processed. Green tea leaves are steamed, which prevents a certain compound from being oxidized. In contrast, black and oblong tea leaves are made from fermented leaves. As a result of this process, the health benefits to you, the consumer, are significant. Recently, it has been all the rage and has become more widespread in the West. Green tea contains minerals and vitamins such as chromium, manganese, zinc, vitamin C, and certain phytochemical compounds. Studies suggest that green tea can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, kidney stones, cancer, and can help lower cholesterol.

White Tea

Move over Green Tea, a new tea is in town. White Tea seems to be all the rage and is the latest and hottest new food trend in North America. Chinese tea drinkers have known since the Ming Dynasty about the benefits that White Tea can offer. White Tea is also made from the immature leaves of Camellia Sinensis, picked shortly after the buds have opened. White tea lacks the “grassy” aftertaste that Green Tea has, and offers a delightful, smooth and silky taste. White tea health benefits include: boosting your body’s immune system, fighting off viruses and infections, prevention of plaque buildup and tooth decay. With it’s widespread popularity, White Tea has made its presence known, and is here to stay.

Black Tea

Black Tea is a more oxidized tea than oolong, green and white teas. It is generally stronger in flavor and contains more caffeine. Black tea is the most popular tea used in the U.S.  Black tea is often blended with other plants in a variety of mixtures to produce a unique flavor. Some of these blends include: Earl Grey and Masala Chai. Health benefits include cholesterol reduction due to a theaflavin derivative found in black tea, and is high in anti-oxidents. Black tea can be enjoyed alone, as a blend, or as a boost of energy in the morning, and may give you that jolt of energy you’ve been looking for to get you through the day.

There are lots of reasons to enjoy a nice cup of tea. I have only given you a short introduction to the different kinds of tea and some of the amazing benefits to your health that they can offer, and hope that I’ve inspired you to discover the wonderful world of tea on your own. Whether it be enjoying a nice cup of white tea with a loved one, such as my husband and I recently did in the Chinese Gardens of Portland, Oregon, or an ice-cold sweet tea on a hot, summer day- tea is here to stay!

Related – GSI Outdoors Vortex Hand-Crank Blender

– Special thanks to Andrea Ledwell for her contribution of this introductory article with future articles on teas and recipes soon to follow.

* Published by JPFreek Adventure Magazine – The leader in Jeep and adventure enthusiast publications.

If you’ve ever had Jamaican Jerk Buffalo Wings, then you know what we’re talking about. The tangy, zesty twang that hits your taste buds is exhilarating and leaves you begging for more. So, what better than to take this concept and apply it to pizza? Sounds crazy? Well, this recipe from our friends at Overland Adventure Experts proves that Buffalo Wings aren’t the only food to enjoy the “jerk” of Jamaica!


  • Plum Chutney (taken directly from Gilled Pizzas & Piadinas by Priebe and Jacob)
  • ½ cup prune juice
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon dried ground ginger
  • ¼ cup dark raisins
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • ¼ teaspoon chili flakes
  • Tomato Basil Sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup tomatoes (canned or fresh), chopped
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 2 basil leaves, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon sugar
  • Smoked Chicken
  • 3 boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 1 tablespoon jerk-spice dry rub
  • 1 pre-made, refrigerated pizza crust
  • 2 small plums peeled and chopped
  • 4-5 slices of your favorite cheese (we prefer pepper jack) cut into ½” slices
  • 2 tablespoons grated parmesan

Preparation at Home

  • Mix all ingredients for the plum chutney in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer over low heat for about 10 minutes. The sauce will be thick, spicy, and sweet. Allow to cool and place in a reusable container with a lid. Refrigerate.
  • Mix all ingredients for the tomato basil sauce in a reusable container with a lid. Refrigerate.
  • Rub the chicken with liquid smoke followed by the dry rub. Place in a plastic bag or reusable container with a lid. Refrigerate.

Preparation at Basecamp

  • Grill chicken over a bed of coals until completely cooked and dice into bite-size pieces.
  • Roll out pizza dough onto a sheet of heavy-duty, non-stick foil* and place on a grate over the coals for 4-5 minutes or until just browned.
  • Flip the dough sheet over and spread the tomato basil sauce evenly over the browned surface of the dough
  • Evenly sprinkle the chicken over the crust followed by the chopped plums
  • Drizzle the Plum Chutney over the surface of the pizza.
  • Sprinkle parmesan cheese
  • Layer the cheese strips on top of the other ingredients.
  • Place the pizza carefully over the coals and cover with a foil tent. Cook until the crust is browned and the cheese is melted. You may need to place coals on top of the foil to completely melt the cheese without burning the crust. Slice and enjoy!

– Special thanks to Wade Kellogg of Overland Adventure Outfitters for his contribution of this recipe to JPFreek Adventure Magazine, published in the May-June 2011 Issue

* Published by JPFreek Adventure Magazine – The leader in Jeep and adventure enthusiast publications.

With the arrival of the holiday season, what better way to kick back and relax than to come up with an easy, tasty version of our own Egg Nog? So, to kick-off the holiday season we introduce Freek Nog and we hope you enjoy this tasty beverage as much as we have.

After a little experimentation and a whole lot of fun (it’s always fun to experiment with adult beverages), we think we’ve found the perfect Egg Nog for the holiday season and have hence dubbed it “Freek Nog.”  Here’s how to fix it:


  • 6 Large Eggs
  • 1/2 Cup of Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Pint Heavy Cream
  • 1 Pint Milk
  • 1 Pint Whiskey (we went with Gentleman Jack though any mid-top shelf Whiskey will do)
  • 2 Ounces Rum (we chose Captain Morgan Spiced Rum but again, any mid-top shelf Rum will do)
  • 1 Tablespoon Grated Nutmeg


  1. Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites and place the yolks in a large mixing bowl
  2. Add sugar to the yolks and beat them by hand or with an electric mixer until the yolks are stiff.
  3. Mix the egg whites into the yolk mixture and then stir in the heavy cream and milk
  4. Add whiskey & rum, then stir thoroughly
  5. Once stirred, place contents of bowl into a pitcher or equivalent container for serving and then place in refrigerator to chill for approximately two hours (you can cut this short if you just can’t wait to dive into it)
  6. Once chilled, pour into martini glass or equivalent and sprinkle grated nutmeg on top.
  7. Enjoy!

We think you’ll find this to be an enjoyable and tasty way to enjoy the holiday season.  Give it a shot and tell us what you think.  Cheers!

* Published by JPFreek Adventure Magazine – The leader in Jeep and adventure enthusiast publications.

Why would you be reading about cooking camp burgers? Because I believe this one ranks as “The Easy No Mess Method,” in which you’ll dirty no plates, bowls, flatware, nor will you have to tote around (or clean) a disgusting grill.

Cooking your hamburger on a campfire by wrapping it in foil and placing it right on the coals has some big advantages: you get a juicy burger even if cooked to well-done; there’s no mess; there’s no fuss; they taste even better when you cook them with the veggies. Check it out.

• Standard burger stuff: Ground beef patties, your toppings and seasonings of choice

1. Place individual patties on a sheet of aluminum foil (should be large enough to be folded over and fully enclosing the meat and toppings)
2. Sprinkle your seasonings – suggestion: garlic salt and Mrs. Dash
3. Add your vegetables; exceptions are lettuce and tomato which should be added after cooking
4. Wrap the foil around your meal, leave no holes exposed.
5. Using a shovel, scoop out cooking area within your fire ring, and place a bed a hot coals.
6. Place your wrapped burgers on the coals and and cover with another layer of coals.
7. Let ‘em be. Don’t touch. Drink a beer.
8. Check one at 10 minutes. It should be cooked to medium at this stage, and still extraordinarily juicy
9. Serve, eat, and be merry.

Shortcuts & Healthier Versions
• This is the shortcut
• Use ground turkey patties instead of beef

Other Tips
• The options are as endless as your creativity. Sure, wrap your patties in bacon if you want. Add barbeque sauce. Whatever, it’s your food.
• I’m fond of adding red onion slices, rings of green bell pepper, and and sliced jalepeño to the package with raw meat. It sends a rush of flavor to your mouth and you’ll be happy.

The recipe of sorts comes courtesy of Mark Stephens, publisher of Adventure Parents. Visit Mark’s website for more recipes, adventure galleries, and ripping narratives.

* Published by JPFreek Jeep Adventure Magazine – The leader in Jeep and adventure enthusiast publications.

For you trout lovers out there, Chef Mark DeNittis shares an awesome trout recipe from a recent backcountry excursion in his Jeep TJ.  Fix ‘er up and enjoy!

Pub Style Trout with Pretzel and Mustard Crust

2 Each Fresh Mountain Trout right from the stream (gutted)
1 Tbs Mustard ( Yellow Mustard) Dijon or other would work just as well.
½ tsp Black Pepper to taste
½ Cup Snyder’s Pretzels (or your favorite brand), crushed
No salt needed as the salt on the pretzels will do just fine.
1 Tbs Butter
1 Tbs Cooking Oil

Method of Preparation:
Pat dry the skin of the trout with paper towel. Slather the mustard on both sides of each trout. Season with black pepper. Roll the trout in the crushed pretzels. Heat the butter and oil in a skillet or on a griddle on medium heat. Place the trout into the skillet or griddle, cook on both sides for about 4 – 8 minutes depending on the thickness of the trout. Once cooked through, pick the flesh off the bone, sprinkle a little lemon on and enjoy with a cold beer of your choice.


* Published by JPFreek Jeep Adventure Magazine – The leader in Jeep and adventure enthusiast publications.

As we enter the winter season, some spirits are dulled. The bikes are hung, camping gear is stored, and the grills are covered. We start to unload the previously tucked away sweaters, load up on the firewood, and try to build our immune systems to avoid the flu and most recently H1N1.

To help build your immune system this season, stick to those foods that are the most colorful. Not only do they aid in supplying a generous amount of your daily requirements of essential
nutrients, but also boost your intake of antioxidants.

Oftentimes with vitamin and mineral supplements, we won’t absorb the majority of its contents. We like to call it expensive urine. This is because our bodies will excrete the unused nutrients that linger in the gut. You’re probably thinking to yourself, “But, I’m not paying $5 for a ½ pint of blueberries!!” Need not fear my friend, frozen berries are just as beneficial and much easier on the wallet. Even root vegetables such as yams, carrots, and beets can carry many beneficial phytonutrients. Grape juice and cranberry juice are also preventative foods, but be conservative with the sugar content. Increasing your tomato consumption is a great way to boost that immune system, whether it’s spaghetti sauce or a V8. These foods all contain antioxidants (antioxidants), nutrients that help our body to reverse the oxidized cells that become damaged from our environment, be it pollutants, stress, the sun, and even some diets.

By getting these molecules back to their reduced or normal state, our immune system is able to conquer the other bad bugs that our bodies are exposed to such as H1N1 flu. With the addition to antioxidants, staying active becomes more and more important to keep our immune system going strong.

Now, I’m a snow queen and when there is a freshly fallen blanket of snow on the ground, I tend to play harder and stronger. You can’t necessarily run in the snow, but strap on a pair of snow shoes and you’ve got yourself a whole new level of fitness. I was recently introduced to the midnight full moon hike and let me tell you, there is nothing more serene than hiking along a snow packed trail, lit by a brilliant full harvest moon swimming in a sky that is glittered with stars while you’re bundled up, listening to nothing else but the soft crunch of snow and the occasional sniffle as you work your way across a mountain valley. An event that I feel everyone should experience. However, if you’re more of an adrenaline junky, try back country skiing. No need for a $100 lift ticket as back country skiing will give you a whole new experience of shredding the mountain.

Whatever your style is, no need to sulk because your kayak won’t see water for another six months. Instead, experience what amazing activities lady winter has to offer. Staying active and maintaining a healthy varietals diet can help you avoid that nasty flu season and also keep cabin fever at bay. Shred on my fellow mountain shredders, shred on!

* Published by JPFreek Jeep Adventure Magazine – The leader in Jeep and adventure enthusiast publications.

The big trip is soon approaching and you’re in need of an efficient way to clean your cookware, as well as your hands, that doesn’t require packing out in a trash bag while on adventure. Well, the folks at JPFreek recently discovered the perfect solution to an important part of camping. The answer?

Flour tortillas!

Yup, not only do flour tortillas provide an excellent source of carbohydrates while on the trail, they are also easy to pack and make use as an excellent item to wipe your hands and clean used pots and pans. The great thing is that once you’ve finished wiping your pots, pans, and your hands, no disposal is required as you can eat your napkin and save pack space!

So, the next time you’re planning a fun weekend getaway on the backcountry trails, think environmentally-friendly; think space saving; think Edible Napkins!

* Published by JPFreek Jeep Adventure Magazine – The leader in Jeep and adventure enthusiast publications.

Colorado is one of the fittest states in the nation because its inhabitants are so lucky to be living near the Rocky Mountains where summertime is playtime for the majority of folks. Since there are so many activities offered, such as hiking, kayaking, camping, off-highway travel, and so much more, keeping the energy level up can be difficult when taking part in these activities; therefore, many outdoor explorers grab energy bars that will help them keep that high energy level. That’s great but the only problem is, do they know what a good energy bar is?

All energy bars provide energy because energy, in the pure sense of the word, refers to use of calories to propel oneself. Since some energy bars contain over 400 calories (more than in many candy bars) and up to ten grams of fat. Many energy bars do contain added vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and other important substances; however, they do not contain the natural fibers, phytochemicals, and high quality proteins found in less-processed foods.

Here is a simple Fruit and Nut Energy Bar recipe that can be changed into many different bars by changing the nuts or dried fruits:

1 Cup Rolled Oats
¼ Wheat Germ
¼ Cup sunflower seeds
2 Tablespoons Flax Seed Meal
¼ Cup Almonds
¼ Cup Cashews
¼ Cup Dried Cherries
¼ Cup Dried Blueberries
¼ Cup Honey
2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
1 Tablespoon Butter
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
¼ Teaspoon Salt

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a glass pan with cooking spray.
2. Spread oats, wheat germ, nuts, and seeds on a sheet pan and toast for five minutes while stirring occasionally.
3. Combine honey, brown sugar, butter, vanilla, and salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat until brown sugar is dissolved.
4. Add the finished oat mixture to the saucepan along with the dried fruit and mix.
5. Press and form mixture down in greased pan then bake for 15-20 minutes.
6. Cut into eight servings and store in air tight container for up to one week.

Calories: 205
Fat: 8 grams
Saturated Fat: 1.5 grams
Protein: 5 grams
Carbohydrates: 30 grams

* Published by JPFreek Jeep Adventure Magazine – The leader in Jeep and adventure enthusiast publications.

Food is an essential part of any climbing, hiking, or mountaineering trip. Food is so important, that it can make or break a trip. So deciding how much, how often, and what kind of food, is an equally important part of any expedition. Read the rest of this entry »

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