MSR Backcountry Cafe: Speck Pasta

Story and Photos By Tara Alan A few years ago, my husband Tyler and I were cycling through Europe. After pedaling up the Alps through expensive-but-gorgeous Switzerland, we coasted down the mountains and entered a paradise for hungry, food-loving touring cyclists like us: Italy. Besides taking breaks each day for gelato and cappuccinos, we often stopped at the market, where we picked out groceries to cook for supper. One afternoon, during a long, gorgeous ride through the regal Italian lake district, we stopped at a discount supermarket and bought a bag of spinach and ricotta-filled pasta, a few kinds of meat and cheese we’d never heard of, and a bottle of cheap red wine. Just a few miles down the road, we grew hungry, and were unable to resist our curiosity about…

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MSR Backcountry Cafe: Camp Style Lablabi

Story and Photos By Tara Alan, A few years ago, my husband Tyler and I were bicycle touring on Kerkennah, a desert island famed to be Kirke’s isle in Homer’s The Odyssey.   It was there, just off the coast of Tunisia, that we first tried the dish lablabi. This satisfying soup was vaguely reminiscent of the chili I grew up eating in North America, but it was far simpler, made of yesterday’s baguette, a scoop of hearty chickpeas, and an ample amount of spicy chili-garlic paste. Though the dish didn’t win any awards for beauty, the hearty meal was humble, delectable, and inexpensive.

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Help Support This New Outdoor Camp Cookbook: Bike. Camp. Cook

Story and Photos By Tara Alan A few years ago, my husband and I embarked on a two year journey across Europe and Asia. We spent most of the adventure on a pair of touring bicycles, with everything we owned packed in our panniers. After returning, I set about writing a cookbook for other two-wheeled wanderers. Bike. Camp. Cook. is the result of my labor. Despite its obvious focus on cycling, the book is a beautiful, informative, food-centric journey for anyone to enjoy. In the cookbook,  I show you the tools and techniques you’ll need for cooking on the road. Then, I provide a delicious collection of gourmet recipes that you’ll love making at camp. 

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