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!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Stocking Your RV Pantry

One of the true pleasures of RVing is the ability to prepare and enjoy meals in beautiful settings, with ones we love, at our own pace. Having a well-stocked pantry offers options and ideas – an opportunity to entertain new-found friends, satisfy a craving or create a culinary sensation.

When considering what you should stock in your RV kitchen think about your cooking habits, likes, and dislikes. Chances are if you never use coconut milk at home you probably won’t use it when traveling in your camper. Be space and weight smart – buy and bring what you most likely will use. Think about the spices you cook with, popular condiments, mixes, and canned goods. Plan to bake? Love to grill? Shop accordingly.

The best thing about a pantry is that you can stock it and forget it (except for spices). As long as packages are not opened for the most part they will stay fresh. Prior to hitting the road (or perhaps when you arrive at your destination) you’ll shop for fresh and frozen foods. Your pantry staples will turn a pound of meat or a basket of veggies into a wonderful meal or snack.

Below is my abbreviated RV kitchen pantry list. Copy the list to a working document, add (I’m not a baker – adjust as needed), delete, print and poof!! – your very own, personal RV kitchen shopping list…


Keep in mind that spices last a maximum of one year so stock only what you think you’ll use. Store in a cool, dark, dry location and give them the sniff test prior to using to assure flavor and freshness.

salt/pepper grinders
garlic powder
chili pepper
chili powder
blackening powder
Williams No-Salt Chili spice (dry)

Spice mixes such as the following make great marinades and are excellent to simply sprinkle on. The varieties at the store are endless.

Caribbean Jerk spice (dry)
Montreal Chicken/Steak spice (dry)
Old Bay Seasoning (dry)

Canned Goods:

whole tomatoes
tomato sauce/paste
spaghetti sauce
beans (of all varieties – even baked)
artichoke hearts
vegetables (to compliment my frozen assortment)
olives – black and green
roasted red peppers
peanut butter
coconut milk (yep, I love it!)
Cream of Mushroom soup
chicken broth (I like the shelf stable boxes)


olive oil (extra virgin)
canola oil (expeller pressed)
dark roasted sesame oil (FYI - goes rancid quickly)
non-stick cooking spray
vinegars (red wine, rice, apple cider, champagne, etc.)
BBQ sauce
Tabasco/hot sauce

Dry Goods:

rice (of all varieties)
rice mixes/blends
soba/udon noodles
whole wheat cous cous
polenta (corn grits)
mac n cheese
corn bread mix (or other breads) in a box
salad dressing mix (dry)
nuts (of all varieties)
raisins/dried fruit
non-crystallized ginger
popcorn kernels
sports/nature bars (my personal fav – Lara Bars – amazing!)
baking powder
corn starch
sugar (white and brown)
tea bags (several varieties)

And, whatever you do, don’t forget to make copies of your favorite recipes to leave in the RV!! Happy camping!!

RV Cooking Show

PS - Yes, all of this DOES fit in my Tango galley - that was a pre-requisite!! I couldn't live without even one of the mentioned items :>

RV Cooking Show Hits the Road in a New Tango Travel Trailer

About two weeks ago my husband and I put our trusty 31' fifth wheel into storage and took off in our new 20' Tango travel trailer. If you had a chance to read my BellaOnline series "Shopping for an RV - Interior RV Quality" and "Shopping for an RV - Exterior RV Quality" you know that I am, shall we say, particular.

The Tango is simply marvelous. With its ease of maneuverability and exceptional tracking we have gone where we would not have in the fifth wheel. We are loving the electric awning and find the setup and break down to be a breeze - even with the weight distribution bars we added (not necessary but we just felt better with them).

The interior is luxurious with rich colors, beautiful cabinetry and an amazing radius countertop that is huge. (You can see it in action in our latest RV Cooking Show - Adirondack Great Camps and Amazing Broccoli Salad.)

I must say that 11' really is a lot of space to give up and truth be told, the downsizing was an adjustment, but by now we are happy as little clams. There's a place for everything and everything is in its place. That urge to buy that "can't live without" souvenir is no longer an issue. Did I mention we are full-time RVers??

We had a chance to tour the factory (Pacific Coachworks, Inc.) in Riverside, CA and shot some video so you can see "How that Tango is Made". I'll make sure to let you know when it's available for your viewing pleasure.

Our travels have taken us through San Francisco - across the Golden Gate Bridge, through the Redwood State and National Parks, up the Oregon Coast and soon a sharp turn east.

Even after 8 years on the road there's still so much more to see - not to mention taste! Our camper's hard to miss. If you see us "on the road" please mosey on over and say hello - I'd love to visit with you!!

Stay tuned for more of our adventures traveling, cooking and eating our way across the USA not to mention RV cooking tips, restaurant reviews and general travel tricks...in our new little Tango, of course!!

Happy Camping,

RV Cooking Show

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