Dressed-Up Summer Camp Favorites

By Ellie Sher Jun 05, 2013

As our years at summer camp came to an end, our tastes for summer fare never died. In honor of the months spent with bunkmates, cheering in color war games, and dining in mess halls, here are 6 grown-up dishes inspired by our summer camp favorites.

1. Bug Juice

A summer camp classic, bug juice has made an appearance in almost every camp dining hall. Traditionally a combination of fruit juice and food coloring, this overly-sweet beverage is revamped with fresh lemon juice, juicy raspberries, and thyme. Bonus: since camp counselors are a thing of the past, feel free to add your favorite spirit to the mix.

Click here for the recipe. 

2. Spicy Sausage Sliders

Class up the camp cookout with these spicy sausage sliders. Though small in size, these three bite delights deliver a big dose of flavor thanks to a tender sausage patty that’s topped with a refreshing yogurt sauce, grilled onions, and arugula.

Click here for the recipe. 

3. Lemon-Tarragon Potato Salad with Radishes and Peas

While potato salad is a usual guest at any barbecue, this sophisticated version will lock down a permanent invitation. Best served warm, this made-over version is lightly dressed in a lemon-tarragon dressing and tossed with crisp radishes and fresh peas.

Click here for the recipe.

4. Truffle Mac N' Cheese

As a nod to a picnic pasta dish, this dressed-up classic puts boxed mac and cheese to shame. So, do yourself a favor and spring for this adult version laden with roasted cauliflower, black truffle shavings, and béchamel. No need to fight your bunkmates for the crispy corner piece; a mouth-watering layer of bread crumbs and grated Parmesan generously coats the entire top.

Click here for the recipe. 

5. Brown Sugar Popcorn

As you learned at a young age, keep your counselors in the dark when it comes to bunk junk. This brown sugar-coated popcorn forms clusters with the mix-ins of your choice, like chocolate chips, dried fruit, or nuts. Just this once, take this counselor-like advice and stash this addictive snack out of sight to avoid devouring it in one sitting.

Click here for the recipe.

6. S’more Cream Puffs

The traditional campfire treat takes on new form in these luscious cream-filled pastries. Think: light-as-air pastry dough dipped in semisweet chocolate and dusted with graham cracker crumbs and marshmallows. Feel free to eat these sweets fireside, but a kumbaya sing-along is not required. 

Click here for the recipe.