There are a lot of benefits to camping in the wintertime. There are fewer crowds, more room at the campground, and new activities that can’t be enjoyed when the weather is warm, such as ice-skating, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, and snowshoeing. When you return to the campsite, it’s important to have a hot meal waiting.

Just the scent alone of the food cooking can make you feel warm and cozy inside as you thaw out from your outdoor activities. These easy-to-make cold weather recipes utilize the handy dandy crockpot (or pressure cooker using the slow cooker setting), and you can do a lot of the prep work at home before you hit the road. And if you have any ingredients that require refrigeration, well, you have Mother Nature to help you out with that!



Is there anything more comforting or reminiscent of childhood than tater tots? The rich and crispy potato is brought to a new level in this casserole recipe. Featuring a few easy ingredients, you’ll have a delicious, steaming meal in no time.


  • 2 cups browned ground beef (about 1 lb)
  • 32 oz bag Tater Tots
  • 2 teaspoons dry onion bits
  • 10 oz can Rotel Original diced tomatoes and chiles
  • 10 oz can cream of celery or mushroom soup
  • 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese


  1. Brown the ground beef and drain well. Or if your like me and love freezer cooking use 2 cups of frozen ground beef and thaw it in the microwave.
  2. Place half the tater tots into the bottom of 4 or 6 quart crock pot slow cooker.
  3. Add the ground beef and spread evenly over the tater tots.
  4. Pour the Rotel over the beef.
  5. Spread the cream of celery or mushroom soup over the tomatoes.
  6. Spread the remaining tater tots over the soup.
  7. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours or high for 4-5 hours.
  8. 30 minutes before it is done sprinkle the cheese over the top, cover and cook until done or the cheese has melted.



Brinner is what’s for dinner, and sometimes, it hits just the right notes. Quickly fry up some sausage or bacon to go along with this sweet main course.


  • 1 (16-ounce) loaf crusty French bread, day-old and cut into large cubes
  • 2 cups milk
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, for serving
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup, for serving


  1. Gather the ingredients.
  2. Place the cubed bread in the slow cooker.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, brown sugar, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and salt.
  4. Pour the egg mixture over the bread and press down the bread to help it soak up the liquid.
  5. Cut the butter into small pieces and dot over the surface.
  6. Cook on high for 2 1/2 hours or low for 4 1/2 hours.
  7. Serve warm, dusted with confectioners’ sugar and drizzled with maple syrup.


Beanies and Weenies

We would be remiss to not include this classic, nostalgic camping dish that gets even more savory when it’s cooked in a slow cooker for a few hours. Mix in other ingredients for added flavor, such as a splash of beer, ketchup, mustard, BBQ sauce, minced onion, or bacon.


  • 60 oz. Pork and Beans (four-15 oz cans or similar)
  • 15 oz beef hotdogs, sliced


  1. Add all 4 cans of beans to the slow cooker.
  2. Heat a medium skillet on medium-high heat.
  3. Brown the hotdogs; add them to the slow cooker with the beans. Stir.
  4. Cover and cook on HIGH for 3 hours.