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I don’t know about you but I’m always looking for ways to make dinners easier. In our Summer Box we included a Camp Cooking Guide created by Pantry to Plate (formerly Simply Suppers) to help you do just that. We spoke with the owner of Pantry to Plate, Stephanie, to learn more about how her business helps busy families get dinner on the table whether you are at home or at camp.

Tell us about the Services You Provide

I help busy moms bring their families together for dinner more often. Our Pantry to Plate meal guides provide subscribers with a full plan to make eight meals every month. I take all of the great tips, tricks and hacks you have seen and thought “I should do that” and put them in a step-by-step guide so subscribers don’t have to put those puzzle pieces together.

That means subscribers don’t have to search for recipes, try to figure out what dishes go together and figure out the timing to get everything on the table at the same time. You don’t have make grocery lists or do a bunch of meal planning. My recipes are always written as a step-by-step for how to make a full meal, and use healthy shortcuts (real food, not junk) to make it easier to feed your family. I also include fun conversation starters for every meal and ways to get your family involved. And, I promise no meal prep marathons – because who has time for that, anyway?

What made you decide to start this business?

I am truly passionate about families eating together more often. Many research studies have shown that it’s better for every member of the family. This includes academics, behavioral issues, stress management and overall health. Research studies also show that families are eating together less and less. In fact, in the 1960s the average family meal was 90 min, now it’s just 12 min. And for the first time in history, families spend more money on dining out than they do on groceries.

When I talked to moms about why their families don’t eat together more, I heard over and over again that it was basically an issue of having time to plan and time to cook. Moms want fast, delicious recipes, real food, easy to shop for ingredients, and they want to use the different hacks and tips they see on Pinterest or Food Network, but they just don’t have time to put it all together.  Pantry to Plate is here to help families eat together more often by removing those barriers.

We love working with business owners that are also campers. Tell us more about your camping experience.

I grew up an only child with a single dad in the military, and my paternal grandparents raising me as much as my dad did.  He didn’t have a lot of money or time to do more traditional “vacations” with me, so we camped – in a tiny green and yellow pup tent (anyone who camped through the 80’s knows the exact tent I’m talking about!)  We ate MREs (Meals Ready to Eat, thank you Air Force) and hobo packets, swam in lakes and just had fun.

My husband also grew up most of his young life with his mom being single and his grandparents very involved, not having a lot of money, and camped with them as a child.  When we got together, our first vacation ever was camping on Martha’s Vineyard. He bought what I thought was an obscenely expensive and huge tent….little did I know we would camp in that thing for 12 summers!!! We camped in that tent through storms, with friends, and with both of our sons from them being tiny babies through ages 4 and 6. Getting away to camp saved our sanity during the economic crash in 2008-2009 and has brought us closer together as a family. This year we got a camper!  It’s been so much fun and we have a lot more fun planned.

What is your favorite place or campground to visit?

We LOVE the southwest, specifically Sedona, AZ. We got married there and it is our happy place, but we have never camped there!  It’s on the list.  As far as camping goes, we’re figuring that out. Since we have mostly tent camped, we really loved the state parks in Wisconsin (it’s a great system), but now that we have a camper we are checking out private campgrounds, too, and learning what’s a good fit for us.

What item can you not live without when camping?

This is a hard one – I think I could give up almost anything if I’m camping. Maybe the campfire… I can’t go a single day/night without a campfire while we are camping, and we actually scope out fire pits to decide if a site or campground will work for us. This is also a reason why camping in the southwest hasn’t happened yet – pretty restrictive on fires!

What’s your favorite camping meal?

Campfire Chicken Tikka Masala. It’s just so flavorful. It’s amazing. This recipe is included in the Camping Guide that’s in the Summer Camp Kitchen Box.

What’s your best camp cooking tip/hack?

Do all the prep work for your first night’s meal before you arrive so all you have to do is let it cook. Even though we have a camper now, there’s still set-up involved and it’s so much less stressful not to have to worry about when we are going to eat or having time to do prep.  And setting up while hangry is never a good idea!  We have our go-to first night meal, which is pizza logs, and now it’s a tradition that everyone loves.

You can find more information about Pantry to Plate on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. You can also get a preview of what Pantry to Plate has to offer with by downloading their July Pantry to Plate Guide free! We always love to find new meals to make. What’s your favorite go-to camp meal? Share the recipe or a link in the comments.

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