A virtual cooking class on wheels, the RV Cooking Show takes viewers on adventures to some of the most sought-after or interesting but little known RV locales then creates a healthy, easy destination-related RV recipe in host Evanne Schmarder's RV kitchen. Tune in to our RV TV...it's always delicious!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

A Good Time with Slime - Camping Fun for Kids

There’s nothing kids love more than camping out, roasting marshmallows, making s’mores, and enjoying the great outdoors…except having silly, messy fun that wouldn’t be permitted at home. Here’s a kids camping activity that will keep them occupied, interested and looked forward to the next trip. Slime.

Yep, I said slime – gooey, oozing slime. Don’t panic parents – it’s easy, environmentally- friendly and you might even like to get a piece of the action. Slime is a simple mixture of cornstarch, water and food coloring. Here’s how to do it – you’ll need:

* a large plastic bowl
* a large, strong spoon
* a Frisbee (for each kid) to use as a slime platter
* 1 box of store brand cornstarch
* water
* liquid food coloring (a multi-color 4-pack is a good choice)

Cover your picnic table with a plastic table cloth to protect the tabletop.

Begin by pouring half the box of cornstarch into the plastic bowl. Add a little bit of water – maybe a fast count of 5 under a faucet – and stir. At first it’ll be difficult to get the spoon through but with a little elbow grease the mixture will become rather loose. If it’s too soupy add more cornstarch and keep in mind, you’re looking for a mixed consistency a bit looser than glue.

Give each kid a Frisbee and divide the mixture up between the kids by spooning it into upside-down Frisbees. Next up is the color. Allow each participant to choose a color or a mixture of colors. A few drops should do it. This can be an excellent teaching tool – showing and experimenting on how combinations of colors make other colors. A word to the wise – keep the food coloring in your possession – kids tend to get very carried away with it.

Now it’s time to slime. Let the kids use their hands to scoop, ball, or simply slither around in the slime. Amazingly, the more it is handled the harder it becomes. Make a ball and it holds together. Open your hand and it turns back to goopy liquid.

When the fun is done you can pour the slime down the drain or in a trash can without any environmental guilt or concern. After all, every ingredient in slime is edible!

FYI - Hands may temporarily turn the color of the slime but will come off with washing within a day.

Here's to a terrific Labor Day weekend!



PS - Make this with green food coloring for Halloween and call it "snot"! He! He! More on that later.

PPS - Filming the Labor Day RV Cooking Show episode today - Lovely Lake Tahoe and Lucious Grilled Fruit. I'll post the link here when it's out...it's sooo delicious!!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

How to Prepare for a Fulltime RV Lifestyle

I recently received this email from an RV Cooking Show viewer and thought many of you may have the same or similar questions. Have a look and see what you think. If you are a fulltimer and have some wisdom to share please do so by commenting below.

My wife and I are 35 and we want to fulltime it. We realize that we don't need much, our job has together 24/7, and we've been married for 13yrs. What advice can you give us - we are trying get prep for a three to four year exit, staring from scratch.

How exciting! Fulltiming is a special lifestyle and it sounds like it may be a good fit for you and your wife – there’s a lot of “together time”. Three to four years will give you plenty of time to prepare. Have you camped or RV’d before? If not, it may be a good idea to give it a try. You can rent an RV for not too much money and visit a close by campground. If you live near a campground or RV park (or when doing your trial run) you might spend some time chatting with other RVers – especially the fulltimers. Pick their brains – they’ll be more than delighted to share.

Here are some other tidbits for you to consider:

· Start saving as much money as you can right away. Having cash in the bank will provide you a unique freedom that’s worth every scrimp.

· Start paying down your debts with the goal of being debt-free when you begin your adventure. Again, that’s very liberating.

· Stop buying/accumulating “things” unless they have a critical purpose to your life (helps with the above two tips as well as the next one).

· Now’s the time to begin culling your “stuff”. Be ruthless in identifying what you do and do not need. Give what you don’t need to a worthy charity.

· Attend RV shows and look at as many RVs as possible. Collect brochures for the RV models that interest you. Chances are you’ll purchase a pre-owned RV that’s a few years old. Save those brochures to review when it comes time to make a purchasing decision.

· Review your income sources and talents. Will you work on the road (probably so at your ages)? What marketable skills will you bring with you? Do you need some formal education prior to hitting the road – now’s the time to look into this option.

· Begin researching what state you’ll want to be your “domicile”. Think about insurance – rig/vehicle/health, tax situations, vehicle and drivers licensing, mail – even jury duty calls. Some of the more popular RV states are Texas, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, and Montana. Be thorough and take care to gather all the facts before choosing your state of domicile.

· Develop an exit strategy in writing. Put together a long-term plan – say your four year plan – and when you are three to six months out develop a weekly then daily plan.

· Visit my Young Fulltime RVers page on my website. There you’ll find short videos on a variety of topics on fulltime RVing.

· Log on to www.Escapees.com. Though they are not focused on young fulltime RVers they are the preeminent fulltime RV club.

Best to you. Let me know how things progress,

RV Cooking Show

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

RV Tailgating: The Ultimate Parking Lot Party

Contributed by guest blogger Kristina at Excel Distributors

Football season is a great time to pack the burgers, beer, fire up the RV and head for the game… but, football season isn’t the only time for the perfect tailgate party. NASCAR races, BBQ competitions, concert festivals, and rodeo competitions are a few other season-spanning events at which to host a grand tailgate party – RV style.

Sometimes the best seats aren’t even necessarily “in” the house. These days the party begins in the parking lot with the ultimate tailgater. Delicious and easy food spreads, beverages of your choice, brewing excitement, and the joy of never having to stand in a public restroom line have inspired more and more RVers to turn their RV into the parking lot’s next party stop. Other than a weekend getaway, this is the next best way to enjoy your RV without traveling too far.

A few pointers for throwing the ultimate parking lot party, RV style:

Think Food First – All you really need is a barbecue or smoker. That is what tailgating is all about, after all. Adjust the menu to compliment the event you will be attending. Hot dogs and hamburgers can work just fine for some events or add some excitement to the menu by barbecuing ribs or steak with corn on the cob for night games or a treat before the big race. The microwave, stovetop, and fridge inside the RV make side dishes, appetizers, and proper food storage a cinch.

If you’ll be in the sun all day at an outdoor concert festival be sure to keep lots of water on hand and snacks, such as watermelon and shrimp cocktail, around the RV to stay fueled throughout the day and night.

Jazz up your spread by serving food and drinks on plates and cups in your team’s colors, style with a cowboy theme for rodeos or support your driver with his or her color and number on display at the party!

Scope Out Your Spot – The best parking lot parties happen in the best parking spots! Many professional and college football team stadiums have pre-assigned parking spaces but if you can help it, get there early and snag a spot up front to attract more high-fives from passersby and closer access to the entrance gate so you can spend as long as possible pre-partying before the big event.

Entertain In Style – Be sure to decorate your RV and surrounding area appropriately; wouldn’t want any confusion about which team you’re rooting for or which driver you support! Colorful balloons, banners, posters, flags and face paint showcase your spirit well.

Tailgate Before, During and After – The party doesn’t have to end just because the game/rodeo/concert begins! For those without tickets or those having too much fun to want to go in to the stadium, keep the party going during the event with the television (featuring the event, if possible) on and the food and drinks still plentiful. After the big show, watch highlights or postgame interviews on the TV or listen to an event recap on the radio while continuing the tailgating fun.

Leave Your Parking Area Clean – Be sure to clean up any debris, pack up all your equipment, say good-bye to tailgating neighbors, and make plans for the next event of ultimate RV parking lot partying!

About Excel Distributors

Excel Distributors is the nation’s leading supplier of truck cab accessories, also specializing in RV products. Excel offers RV mattresses , bedding, accessories, and more. At Excel, we are dedicated to providing products that make the miles traveled more enjoyable and the nights more restful.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Best Shopping Option for RVers

I’ll admit it up front - I’m a lousy shopper. In fact, unless it’s grocery shopping (and I love padding up and down those aisles spying and trying new and regional products) I’m pretty much a robot. I know what I’m looking for and make a beeline there and back. Good thing, too, since an RV only has so much room and a definite weight carrying limitation.

While I’m a big supporter of small independent businesses (especially restaurants), in my travels across this great big country as a roaming RVer, I’ve found it beneficial to shop national chains for certain types of products and services. If there’s a problem or I’ve picked up an incorrect size/model (in my haste to get in and out) and have moved on to another great RV locale I can search out the chain store and almost always remedy the concern. Believe it or not, this often times trumps price. Let me give you some examples:

I needed new glasses, shopped for the best bargain, made an appointment, and got new glasses. A month later the arms began to wobble, the small screws fell out and there I was, appreciating paper clip technology. Since they were still under warranty I called the store and discovered that I could get partial remedy (I’d pay shipping both ways and a small fee) if I sent them back and would have to wait four to six weeks for a replacement. Who knows where I’d be in four to six weeks and how was I supposed to see during that period of time? Moral of the story: I’ll be visiting Sears or Lens Crafters for my next eyeglasses excursion – even if they are a bit pricier.

When we got our new little Tango travel trailer we thought we needed a different size socket to torque our wheels so we stopped at Wal-Mart and picked one up. Turns out the Tango uses the same size we already had. Wal-Mart – in another state – gladly allowed us to return the socket. Moral of the story: Love ‘em or hate ‘em, Wal-Mart is just about everywhere and easy to work with. Let’s just say this isn’t their first picnic.

We always buy our truck and RV tires at America’s Tire or Discount Tire (same company). They really know what they’re doing and are competitively priced. As we travel we stop at one of their many locations for rotations/balances. If we have a problem (like the blowout we had near Detroit last summer) we simply visit a local branch and we’re in the system. They take care of us quickly and professionally. Moral of the story: Even as a traveler you can establish relationships. Doing so might even elevate you to a preferred VIP status.

Be a wise RV consumer…shop if you must; just keep in mind where you’ll be down the road in case you have to make a purchase adjustment. In the end it pays.

To great purchases (and uneventful returns),


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