Rib Eye Steaks with Pistachio Butter and Asparagus

The end of last year we realized we didn’t get out to camp at all.  Not even once, and this was really sad as we went the previous year every other weekend.  And, it happens to be something that we really love to do.  So, we started our journey of looking for a van.  A cool “camping” van, with the hopes of getting out into the wild more often.  Now, the van should not be what was stopping us, and it wasn’t, but we realized that while we loved getting out, the preparation could be grueling.  We wanted the van to be ready to go at the drop of a hat.  Last month we found the perfect van, and the beginning of Adventure Year has begun.

Adventure Year


About the same time as the van rolled into our lives, Sunset Magazine reached out as they noticed our love of the outdoors, and asked if we would review their newest book The Great Outdoors Cookbook.  I have been a Sunset Magazine reader for as long as I can remember, from shuffling through my mother’s copies to our own.  It is always my go-to read when we are heading out of town, whether camping or city dwelling, not to mention their delicious recipes.  It was a given that we had to check out this book.  Now we had a fully loaded van, a great book filled with fun camp recipes, there was clearly no excuse for not hitting the high road.


Tomales Bay Oysters




Hog Island Oysters  |  Tomales Bay


As we were not familiar with the new van, we decided to stay somewhat local and head to Bodega Bay for a weekend of camping.  Along the way, we planned on stopping at two of our favorite spots for oysters.  Our first stop would be Tomales Bay to pick up oysters to enjoy at camp, and the second stop would be Hog Island to enjoy their succulent BBQ oysters before continuing up north to our camp site.  The drive through rolling green pastures, past farm animals and dairy ranches, was a welcome retreat from the busy we had had.

Once settled into camp we popped up a bottle of rose, enjoyed the fresh oysters ands started preparing this outrageous recipe for grilled Rib Eye Steaks with Pistachio Butter and Asparagus.  One of the misconceptions about camping is that you need to eat crappy food such as prepackaged food.  This is completely not true, especially if you are car camping.  With a little preparing ahead of time, you can basically cook almost anything.  We took a two-week road trip, all camping, a few years ago.  We planned ahead and primarily shopped the farmer’s markets along the way with an occasional stop at the grocery store.  We ate very well.  For this recipe, I prepared the pistachio butter ahead of time and tossed it into the cooler.  All that was left to do was season the meat, cut the ends off of the asparagus and start grilling.  The nutty pistachio butter is really great on smoky, slightly charred meat, as well as smeared over the asparagus.  I hate to admit it, but we used up all of the butter as it was so good.

Bodega Bay, CA


Rib Eye Steaks with Pistachio Butter and Asparagus


The Great Outdoors Cookbook is full of great recipe ideas, and one of the things I really like about the book is that it is broken down into three sections, campfires, home fires and inspired fires.  That being said it is a great resource for camping as well as at home grilling.  In addition to recipes, they also share tips on “camp kitchen” basics as well as grilling basics, which I found very useful to combine with my knowledge in those areas.  There are recipes that are easy to take in your backpack, as well as tips for foraging.  Everything from cocktails to dessert is covered in this beautiful cookbook as well as great breakfast ideas centered around the campfire or grill.  One chapter we are really excited to explore is dutch oven cooking.  Doesn’t dutch oven cinnamon rolls sound outstanding?




We have been enjoying this cookbook so much that we want one lucky reader to have a copy.  While it is perfect for you if you enjoy the outdoors and grilling, it would also make a great gift for that special dad for Father’s Day, or even a graduate who loves the great outdoors.  Just leave a comment below telling us about one of your most memorable meals around a campfire or backyard grill session.  We will announce the winner on Memorial Day, which is next Monday.  Wouldn’t these rib eye steaks be great added to your Memorial Day menu?

Rib Eye Steaks with Pistachio Butter and Asparagus


To check out more camping photos click over to our online albums!


The winner of The Great Outdoors Cookbook is ……… # 4, Matt Robinson!  



  1. Each Memorial Day, we take boats to a remote part of Kachemak Bay, Alaska and camp on the beach with a group of about 30 people. My favorite dish over the campfire there was the year I took homemade orange cream marshmallows and made Nutella S’mores with them. So good.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  2. Angel says:

    My most memorable camping meal is fresh caught grilled salmon, it was smoky and sweet, perfect !
    I always loved grilled fruit over a campfire to celebrate memorial day as well !

  3. Morgan Lee says:

    My favorite campfire meal was last summer in Big Sur on the top of a cliff with just one dear friend. We cooked “gourmet camp food” and I had planned ahead and brought along individual miso packets to make an awesome miso butter for grilled veggies.

  4. I am definitely getting a copy of that book! We LOVE to camp and didn’t get a a chance to last year either. This year we are taking the boys to Yosemite and plan on making every meal, so this will help!

  5. If you announce dutch oven cinnamon rolls I will invite myself along. No joke. That pistachio butter sounds so good!!

    I love making from-scratch food when we go camping. :-) We usually get crab as a sort of tradition since we head out to Westport every year. Are you guys loving your van?

  6. What a feast! Grilled rib-eyes canNOT be beat. Love the camping shots…makes me want to get outta here for a few days!

  7. I used to do a lot of camping forever ago, from the Black Mountain Music Festival back in the late 80’s and early 90’s (I assume it’s still going on today…) to camping with a few other “couple friends” a few times a year in the mid-90s. We loved it, but we got rid of all our gear since we hadn’t used it since, well, the mid-90s!

    One of my most memorable meals was huevos rancheros made with homemade refried beans all around a campfire at the music festival. So good!

    Now, about that pistachio butter… =)

    PS Hooray for Adventure Year!

  8. Loved camping with my family growing up. Steaks, veggies and S’mores. Good times.

  9. I use to like camping until I found out about hotels.

  10. I’m not a camping girl, but I love looking at these photos. They make me *wish* I was more of the camping type.

  11. David Sean ONeal says:

    Hobo foil packs the firt time (my now) wife and I went camping.

  12. One of my favorite items for the grill: spiced, thick-cut french fries. Super easy, flavorful, and you still get that soft interior of the classic french fry. Never seem to have enough though because they’re gobbled up lickety-split!

  13. I adore meals like this, and yours looks exceptionally well executed. As a Sunset fan, I’m pleased to hear how the cookbook is presented in three sections. Having read your review, it’ll likely end up in my collection. In the 60s, my dad had one of those large green clay BBQs, it was kind of dome or egg-shaped on top. The steaks which emerged from this grill were some of the best memory can stir up.

  14. I’m having a difficult time choosing which picture to pin. The trip sounds like it was amazing and I can’t wait to try this pistachio butter.

    My favorite campfire memories were from summer camp and making s’mores while singing songs. I love a huge chocolate/marshmallow to graham cracker ratio!

  15. It’s been awhile, but I always loved the weekends of sailing on Lake Norman outside Charlotte. We’d sail early morning, anchor out on the water for a lazy afternoon when the wind died down, then come back to the dock to grill steaks with friends. I loved preparing marinated mushrooms to go with the steaks. Then, on those special weekends, we’d all go out for a group sail under a full moon after the wind came back up. Great memories of friends, food, gin-and-tonics, and sailing!

  16. I LOVE your camping van! Is the van that I drive count as a camping van? ;-) We have about 3-4 camping trips already planned for the summer and this cookbook looks fantastic! My most memorable camping meal was last year when the kids were finally old enough to help out a little with the sausage patties and campfire biscuits for our breakfast. Oh, and the campfire coffee :) These are gorgeous photos, Denise!

  17. There’s nothing quite like cooking in the out door! I have so many projects planned for this summer! What a lovely post.

  18. My all time favorite memory of a meal I made while camping was when I was about 18 and took my 2 younger brothers to Yosemite. We caught our fish, prepped it (not knowing what we were really doing), grilled it using whatever flavors we had, and it turned out incredible. Could have simply been because we were starving and likely close to broke, but 25 years later, I will never forget that for some reason. Hope you have a great Memorial Day!

  19. Some of my most memorable camping adventures were way back when I was in the Girl Scouts. My troop was together from grade school and on into high school. We were big on hiking and camping in the wilderness, none of the already set up camps for us! And we actually cooked some great fresh food as well. Your steak and asparagus with pistachio butter look wonderful, Denise!

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