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, March 27, 2008

I took a shortcut...and it was delicious...recipe included!!

It's been one of those crazy busy weeks for me...in an excellent way...but crazy busy just the same. These circumstances always make me crave "comfort food". When I was a kid one of my favorite comfort foods was creamy, oozy chicken pot pie. I remember buying frozen pot pies for a quarter a piece and loving them...until the day I turned one out of the shiny aluminum pie tin to find they had done away with the bottom crust. Yikes!!! That was cheating...no fair.

Fast forward years later and rarely do I frequent the grocery's frozen pot pie section - and they are certainly more than a quarter nowadays! But pot pie I do prize so I make my own but with a twist - BBQ Chicken Pot Pie - using mostly readymade ingredients. It's quick, easy and comforting.

Here's my recipe for this tasty BBQ Chicken Pot Pie courtesy of your friends at the RV Cooking Show:

BBQ Chicken Pot Pie

Preheat oven to 350-400 degrees

• 2 "deep dish" pie shells (one package) - try to find some made without lard if possible

• Half a bbq flavored rotisserie chicken - skinned, boned and shredded

• Small bag of frozen mixed vegetables - cooked (in microwave)

• Small potato - cubed and cooked (in microwave)

• Bottle of high quality bbq sauce - try to find some without high fructose corn syrup - Trader Joe's brand is excellent

Take pie crust out of the freezer to thaw - separating the two shells.

Combine chicken, vegetables, potato cubes and half a bottle of bbq sauce in a large bowl and mix together. Add more bbq sauce if not moist enough (remember - the sauce will be absorbed so make it wet to start).

Spoon chicken mixture into one pie shell. Top filling with a thin layer of bbq sauce. Carefully turn remaining pie shell out of tin and place atop the filling - making a top crust. Pinch edges together in an eye-pleasing fashion and cut 3 to 4 vent holes in the top of the crust.

Bake for 35-45 minutes or until the crust is golden brown*. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 to 10 minutes.

Slice and serve with an easy green salad tossed with Ranch dressing and extra bbq sauce on the side for dipping.

*Tip - My oven doesn't brown so well but if yours does consider using aluminum foil to cover the pie crust edges so they don't burn. Remove the foil about half way through cooking so they can get all brown and crusty...mmmm.

See what I mean - my husband doesn't call me "Shortcut Schmarder" for nothin. Sorry I don't have a photo for you...I guess I was in too much of a hurry to eat! Enjoy this simple recipe and feel free to fuss with it - making it your very own.

RV Cooking Show

Saturday, March 15, 2008

RVing Then and Now

On the ride from my Wisconsin hotel to the airport the driver asked me the typical ice breaking question…where are you from? I get all types of responses when I tell them I’m a full time RVer ranging from “fantastic” to “not me”. This very kind fellow told me he and his wife gave it a go when he retired a few years ago. Turns out during some inclement weather at a stop in Albuquerque, NM at $25+/night, they saw a motel sign advertising $35 rooms. He was loving the travel…she couldn’t bear the close quarters and missed the grandkids. They stayed in the motel a couple nights. When they returned home after 6 months on the road they sold the truck and 5th wheel.

I remember when we began our RVing adventure 8 years ago we averaged $13/night. Back then we wouldn’t even consider a park that was $20 or more unless it was a super special occasion. Nowadays we find we’re paying nearly $30/night and I wonder if our standards have changed or if site fees have risen that much that quickly.

And wow, fuel prices have skyrocketed since then. We were pleased to have a truck that used the less expensive fuel – diesel – at $1.50-ish a gallon. Today I passed a station selling diesel for $4.19 – ouch! Yet we continue to travel at will. In comparison to the cost of home ownership we think we still have it pretty darn good.

What you think about all of this? Leave a comment below. How often do you travel? What do you average per camping night and will high fuel prices change your travel habits?

BTW - the lovely hotel room I stayed in last night ran $78/night. It was clean, had a TV, fridge, microwave, desk and bed…but sure enough, it wasn’t home. I couldn’t imagine most of my travels in that manner. On the plus side, the one item treasured above most for many RVers was present…a bathtub! Gotta love it! All that being said, I’m delighted to be back in my very own personal box on wheels…a.k.a. home.


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Organic Purple Potatoes

Strolling my local farmers market last week I came upon a fellow selling potatoes. And not just any potatoes either - purple organic potatoes. He didn't know too much about them except his wife urged him to offer them and they were big sellers.

Always interested in trying new things (I also tried kumquats that week...not for me but our park manager loved them), I bought a half dozen of the small, slick skinned, beautiful potatoes, brought them home, cut them up, ohhed and ahhed at the amazing lavender colored flesh, steamed them in my microwave and mashed them. Not only are they eye candy but they are delicious, too. A bit starchier than normal russets but tasty just the same. Tonight I'm going to cut them lengthwise and make baked french fries to serve with bbq chicken.

Look for these purple potatoes to co-star in my next RV Cooking Show - Morro Bay and California Seafood. Can't wait to share...


Sunday, March 9, 2008

Gotta Fly...Literally

Back in the days of my old life - bRV (before RVing) - I traveled a lot for business. It was nothing for me to whip out the 'ol carry on, fill it up with the standard business attire and find a long term parking spot. I could do it in my sleep (think I did so once or twice).

Fast forward several years later and my preferred mode of travel is the open road. Except this upcoming week I have a business commitment that requires me to fly - yep, the friendly skies - to Wisconsin. Which got me thinking...

RV travel is fantastic. You make your own schedule - leave when you want, stop for lunch when you're hungry, "get there" when you feel like it and sleep in your own bed. Not to mention the packing (shouldn't that be a four letter word?). Inevitably, and even for this two night trip, I pack more than I leave behind...just in case. You know the feeling. It might be "fill in the blank" (warm, cool, wet, pooltime, etc.). Of course, in my RV I'm always prepared for any situation that may arise - from walking the beach to making a snowman.

In our RV we travel with folks we know and love. If they are sick, well, we give 'em a smooch anyways. We are responsible for the route we take and oxygen is plentiful just outside the window. Nothing beats arriving at a campground, getting parked, firing up the bbq, cracking a cold one (be it a beer, pop or sparkling water) and making friends with our temporary neighbors.

Sure, I'll get up at the crack of dawn, empty my pockets and remove my shoes at security, hoist my carry on into the overhead compartment and promptly - after following along with the aircraft safety instructions - take a snooze...dreaming of my next RV adventure. You??

Happy travels,

RV Cooking Show

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