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!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

New Year's Celebration Food Quiz + Champagne Cocktail Recipe

Chances are many of us – RVers or not – are busy preparing for our New Year’s Eve celebration. If you are staying in, perhaps you are planning a buffet or intimate gathering. Going out? Maybe you’ve been asked to bring an appetizer or dessert. Either way, enjoy this nifty New Year's Celebration Food Quiz…guaranteed to stir up good party conversation. (Champagne cocktail recipe half way down the quiz.) Give it a go and see how you fare:

1. What traditional food do Asians eat on New Year’s Day?

a. snow peas
b. long noodles
c. wonton soup

2. Which of the following is not eaten to symbolize a financially prosperous New Year?

a. cabbage
b. lentils
c. chicken

3. In Mt Olive, NC New Year's is ushered in with a New Year’s Eve _______ Drop

a. pickle
b. green olive
c. sweet potato

4. In what country is it customary to leave a little bit of each food on your plate past midnight to guarantee a stocked pantry in the New Year?

a. Germany
b. Italy
c. Australia

5. If you're superstitious, which of the following would you avoid eating on New Year's?

a. lobster
b. steak
c. fish

6. What fruit do New Year's revelers in Spain eat at the stroke of midnight?

a. oranges
b. grapes
c. pears

7. A traditional way to ward off evil spirits at the stroke of midnight:

a. eat a bug
b. bang pots and pans together
c. go to bed at 11:59pm

Before we get to the answers, here's a simple and elegant champagne cocktail - 3 parts champagne and one part fabulous fruit juice such as pomegranant, cranberry or peach. If desired, sweeten it up by dropping a sugar cube in the bottom of the glass before gently pouring. 

Okay, let's see how you did:

1. b - In Asian celebrations, long noodles are eaten to bring long life...but don't break the noodle before it's completely in your mouth!

2. c - Chickens scratch backwards, which could cause regret or dwelling on the past. Another theory warns against eating any winged fowl because good luck could fly away.

3. a - Yep, a Pickle Drop! Check out more oddball items dropped in the name of New Year's here.  

4. a - This German tradition is thought to guarantee a stocked pantry in the New Year.

5. a - Sure the backwards walking lobster might signify regression but if it's offered I'm so there.

6. b - Spaniards traditionally eat 12 grapes at midnight - one for each month of the New Year. The tradition began in 1909 as a way to consume the grape surplus in the Alicante region.

7. b - Making noise - banging pots and pans together - is believed to scare away bad luck and evil spirits. Plus, it's lots of fun...only on New Year's!

Happy New Year's to my terrific RV, camping and cooking friends. Here's to a tasty 2011!

RV Cooking Show

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Get Your (Complimentary) ifood.tv Thanksgiving eCookbook

Looking for even more Thanksgiving recipes, tips and tricks? Just in time for the big day, RV Cooking Show friends ifood.tv have put together this complimentary Thanksgiving eCookbook chock full of delicious dishes, lovely libations and terrific tips to make your Thanksgiving meal an event!

ifood.tv Thanksgiving eCookbook

Click on the image to be taken to the ifood.tv eCookbook page where you can browse the holiday cookbook or download a copy for yourself.

Whether you're cooking in your RV kitchen or inside sticks and bricks, you're sure to pick up an "ah-ha" here.

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at the RV Cooking Show!


PS - Sharp-eyed fans might just spy the RV Cooking Show Crockpot Turkey Breast recipe inside!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

RV Cooking Show Thanksgiving Recipes

It's good...very good...delicious, in fact! Direct from our RV kitchen, your RV Cooking Show friends are delighted to deliver our annual Thanksgiving show - Aunt Lucy's Thanksgiving Stuffing & 3 Hidden Gem National Parks/Monuments. This is the stuffing that I grew up loving and look forward to it every single year. Watch the RV TV episode, visit our website for tips and tricks (about the recipe as well as RV travel tips), print your own copy of the RV recipe and enjoy! But a word of caution...watching this RV video might make you want to go RVing!!

Watch previous Thanksgiving episodes, too. Check out Crockpot Turkey Breast (I’ll be making this next week), Gourmet Trash Can Turkey (for those with plenty of non-flammable space in their yard or driveway), and Mom’s Famous Thanksgiving Cranberry Sauce (ranked a top YouTube video across the globe! Mom would be proud!!).

Good food, good treats, good gosh, let’s eat!!

RV Cooking Show

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

MORE Six Words About Your RV Life

With the summer/fall RV travel season coming to a close we thought it would be fun to resurrect a very popular blog post from last September...Six Words About Your RV Life. It's a challenge to travelers everywhere to sum up your RV adventures, desires, experiences and dreams in just six words.

Here's a link to the original post...enjoy reading about the project, amuse yourself by checking out all of the really entertaining 6 word comments and make up your own RV memoirs. Add your 6 RV words (or several sets of 6 RV words) on the original blog post so we can keep a running conversation around this virtual campfire.

Happy travels. See you in cyberspace. (See, 6 words can work wonders!)


PS - We've already had some wonderful 6 RV word comments in this round...plus Facebook fans leaving some goodies on the RV Cooking Show Facebook page...check that out, too and "Like" us if you will...it's delicious!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Visit / RV Las Vegas for Business or Pleasure

For many industries it is convention season and it turns out Las Vegas is a hot spot this year for many of my working friends. And what’s not to love about “visiting” Vegas for business or pleasure (or maybe even a little of both), huh? Flush with cash or watching your pennies, play your cards right and you can’t lose.

While you might have read that Las Vegas is not the free fun playground it used to be, I disagree. Sure, there are plenty of upscale places to dine, triple-digit show tickets, and spa adventures of a lifetime – and if you can swing it I recommend splurging at least once – but there are just as many low or no cost ways to get a lot of bang for your buck.

Remember, LV is desert – be on the safe side and bring a jacket or sweater. Even if it’s not cold outside (and it does cool considerably in the evenings) the a/c is usually blasting inside. And please, don’t forget the camera!

Whether you’ve driven your RV the distance to check this trip off your bucket list, you love the bright lights, or you’re in town for seminars and Expos get out, stretch your legs, and take in all the glitter and glitz! Here’s a short list of some of my favorite free (or almost free) things to see and do in when I’m RVing in LV:

On the famous Las Vegas Strip:

  • Bellagio Conservatory and Fountains
  • M&M World 3-D Movie and Store – near the MGM
  • Mirage Volcano – revamped in 2009 and pretty cool
  • Masquerade Parade in the Sky – Rio All Suite – for a fee you can be in the parade!
  • Star Trek Experience – Hilton (check out their gift shop)
  • Forum Shops at Caesars Palace – free show at the fountains
  • Auto Collection – Imperial Palace – free coupons online
  • MGM Lion Habitat
  • Flamingo Wildlife Habitat – and catch the Bugsy Siegel Memorial on the grounds, too
  • Penske Wynn Ferrari Maserati dealership - $10 (but reportedly worth it)
  • Welcome to LV sign
  • Wander around inside the casinos and you’ll find an amazing abundance of interesting things to feast your eyes upon…seahorses, frescoed ceilings, aquariums, city skylines, and more.  
Off the Strip:
  • Fremont Street – go at night to see the light show (visit the Golden Gate Casino for their famous .99 shrimp cocktail)
  • Neon Museum - along Fremont Street – a terrific walk through Las Vegas history
  • Bass Pro Shops – in the Silverton across I-15
  • Ethel M Chocolate Factory and Cactus Garden – especially nice all decorated for Christmas
  • Red Rock State Park –my favorite Las Vegas place to get away from all the bells and whistles
I recently learned that the Liberace Museum will be closing on October 17, 2010 – if you get a chance and have a few extra bucks ($15/person) don’t miss it.

Eatery “Museums”:
  • Hard Rock Café
  • Harley-Davidson Café
  • House of Blues
  • NASCAR Café
  • Planet Hollywood
  • Rainforest Café
Please note this is nowhere near a complete listing of what Las Vegas has to offer. Hop online and explore for more:
Find more information and other fun LV things to do at this useful website: Vegas.com

Pick up on Las Vegas’ Top Ten Values – changes monthly – direct from the Las Vegas Advisor

Check out some Las Vegas cheap eats here

Looking for same day discounted show tickets? Try Tix4Tonight (they also have dining discounts)

I usually stay at Oasis Las Vegas RV Resort – just south of the strip but people also enjoy the Circus-Circus KOA – both are super convenient to all the happenings on the strip

Watch my RV Cooking Show - Grilled Pizza and Las Vegas episode
Regardless of the purpose of your Vegas trip have a ball...it's all there for you to enjoy!

RV Cooking Show

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Omega-3 Supplements Might Just Rock Your RV World

You know it's pledge drive time on PBS went perennial presenter Dr. Daniel Amen is on again with his Change Your Brain, Change Your Body program (it's a fabulous book, too) ...and I love it! After all this time I don't think I've seen the whole program so I'm usually tickled when I channel surf to it.

The other night I came upon the very beginning and heard him say that a combination of fish oil (about 1K mg/day) and 45 minutes of brisk walking 3 days a week is very effective with weight loss. Either alone is great but put them together and you'll see results in the waistline department.

With the change of seasons and this positive omega-3 news I was reminded of one of my "ah-ha" omega-3 moments. Always interested in learning about having a healthy brain and heart I came across an article in Prevention Magazine by science writer Susan Allport called 'The Vanishing Youth Nutrient'.

In this article Allport points out the difference between omega-3s (what she calls spring fats) and omega-6s (what she calls fall fats) and it made complete sense to me. A light bulb went on!

In one part of the article she writes:
It wasn't until Australian researchers showed a clear difference between membranes full of omega-3 fats and ones full of omega-6 fats - a clear metabolic difference - that I explored the seasonal aspects of these two fats. When Tony Hulbert, PhD, at Australia's University of Wollongong, determined that the metabolism of a species--every species on the planet--is a function of the amount of omega-3s in its tissues, I began to connect the dots...

It is no coincidence that hibernating animals...do not go into hibernation when their diet is full of omega-3s, as it is in the spring and summer. Their diet must change to one rich in omega-6 seeds before these animals will slow down for the winter.

It is no coincidence that animals that migrate long distances...fill up on omega-3s for their long journey. These birds know what human athletes are just starting to learn: High omega-3 concentrations in muscle membranes lead to improved performance.

Read it yourself and see what you think. I'd love to hear your thoughts on the topic...leave a comment below.

RV Cooking Show

Disclaimer: This info is simply my humble opinion and I'm not a medical professional. Please consult a doctor before making any decisions about your health, health care, supplements, etc.

Friday, September 3, 2010

RV Recipe - Salt Potatoes

Want an irresistible dish to wow your family and friends? Careful...they're addictive!

Many moons ago – way before we began our RV adventure – we visited my husband’s childhood friend in central NY and were treated to an easy picnic dish that I have not seen anywhere else – salt potatoes. A wonderful addition to bbq fare, this tasty little side dish is a staple in this part of the country. Almost every grocery store in the area carries a 5 pound paper bag of

Hinerwadel’s Famous Salt Potatoes – small potatoes and a bag of salt.

Why salt potatoes here? Turns out Syracuse, NY was a major salt producer. According to http://www.ilovethefingerlakes.com/:
“Commercial salt production from brine wells began in the Finger Lakes on the shore of Onondaga Lake in Syracuse when it became difficult to obtain salt from abroad during the War of 1812 with England. The refining of salt was Syracuse's largest industry at the time, and it supplied salt to much of the country. The building of the Erie Canal allowed the bulky and low-priced Syracuse salt to be transported to Chicago and beyond relatively quickly and inexpensively by way of the Great Lakes. Although the Erie Canal was known by many names, those in Syracuse called it ‘the ditch that salt built.’”
Many of the workers were Irish and brought potatoes for their meals to be boiled in the salty water from Onondaga Lake – thus the humble beginnings of the salt potatoes we know and love today. The going salt to water ratio is 4 ½ pounds of potatoes to 1 ½ cups of salt but those numbers can be adjusted to your personal taste. If, by chance, you get the water too salty you can rinse some of the potatoes to mitigate the salt.

Here’s how it’s done:

Salt a large pot of water using the ratio noted above and bring to a boil (you could do this on an outside burner), add the scrubbed potatoes (peels left on please) and boil until cooked but still firm – about 10-12 minutes. Serve with plenty of melted butter. If desired, sprinkle and mix with chopped parsley or rosemary.

Cook the whole batch at once – you’ll save propane and if you have leftovers for the next day all the better.

I enjoy salt potatoes even when I’m not in the central NY area by picking up a pound of small white potatoes and using kosher salt in the water. Try it and don’t be surprised if salt potatoes become a family favorite in your RV!


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

RV Collectables - Town Names

We RVers have been known to collect all sorts of interesting things in our travels and the smaller and lighter the collectable the less friction on the road (ladies…many of you know exactly what I mean and I’m not talkin’ wind drag here…). Popular memory joggers in our house include photographs, soap, and, of course, yummy consumable food items. Some of my RV friends collect words…bumper stickers, clever church marquee sayings – even unusual vanity license plates. Though I don’t know anyone personally that collects town names, it is intriguing.

I recently came across a piece in Reader’s Digest that caught my eye because the first line mentioned the town of Boring, Oregon. Many years ago I lived in Portland, not too far from Boring, and I know firsthand that here are no greater or fewer number of dull people in the town…but what a name!! Read this fun story written by humor editor Andy Simmons.

Best Town Names

“I was holed up in Boring, Oregon wondering whether I should try someplace different. So I hopped in my car and drove to Why, Arizona, to figure things out. After a few days I found my answer in Whynot, Mississippi: I needed a town with some life to it. I made a beeline for Disco, Tennessee, where I danced so much I wore out my shoes. The next day I headed to Loafers Glory, North Carolina, for a new pair. Afterward I looked sharp enough to take a break in Handsome Eddy, New York. Eddy wasn’t around but I knew where to find him – in Loveladies, New Jersey, where it seemed all the women were trying to get to Husband, Pennsylvania. It was a tough town. One gal told me my romancing needed some work and sent me to Sweet Lips, Tennessee. Heartbroken, I put the car on cruise control and drove to Lonelyville, New York, for a stiff drink. I made a pit stop in The Bottle, Alabama, and finally hit rock bottom in Condemned Bar, California. Not surprisingly, I woke up the next morning in Cranky Corner, Louisiana. I knew that if I continued like this I would be headed straight to…Hell, Michigan. Pulling myself together, I grabbed breakfast in Oatmeal, Texas, lunch in Sandwich, Massachusetts, and dessert in Pie Town, New Mexico. I should have stopped eating after Greasy, Oklahoma, because I was feeling pretty sick by the time I left Lick Skillet, Tennessee. In Brilliant, Ohio, it finally dawned on me – I had to cease my wandering ways. I was parked in Do Stop, Kentucky, took out the map, and chose my new home. I didn’t need Wealthy, Texas, or Fame, West Virginia. I found everything I needed in Happyland, Oklahoma."

Have you been to any of these towns? Any other amusingly named places you’ve been to?? Do tell…I’m Eager, Arizona, to know and will most certainly Jot ‘Em Down, Texas. Who knows, it might just be my own Little Heaven, Delaware.

Happy travels,

Evanne - RV Cooking Show - http://www.rvcookingshow.com/ ...feelin' Carefree, Arizona without a Worry, North Carolina in the world...

Friday, June 25, 2010

RV Cooking Show Auditions for Oprah

Well, when I tell you what I've been up to you'll understand what's been taking up a good chunk of my time...I'm auditioning for the Oprah Winfrey Network. I believe it's high time RVing and camping took it's rightful place along side other modes of getting away from it all. In fact, isn't camping and RVing the original way to get away from it all?

You can help me in my quest. Visit my audition page and vote for the RV Cooking Show. Don't delay...show me some love...that's road love...visit and vote today! And in an odd twist, you can vote more than once so give it a good going over. Again and again, if you please.

I'm honored and humbled to share this amazing world with you. Thanks for letting me come along for the ride. See you at the next campsite!


Tell Oprah that RVing is the way to roll. Vote now. Vote often.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

VW 5th Wheel Shadow Camper Package...Circa '74

Attention RV owners and dreamers…are you looking for a weekend trek to a “not too distant Shangri-la”? Direct from the trailer state of Indiana, here’s a snappy solution…circa 1974. You know how small spaces can make us campers cranky…"we suggest the occupants be friendly," okay?

Look out…this short RV video will have you grinning from ear to ear, make you say groovy…and most likely both! It really is far out.

Remember, drive carefully, show a little courtesy and you’ll have a much happier trip…bye, bye.

Did you know that 2010 celebrates the RV Centennial - 100 wonderful wandering years!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Joy of Being an Artist on the (RV) Road

Donna and her husband Jeff pulled in next to us not too long ago. They were our neighbors for a couple days before we had an opportunity to chat. Once we did we became fast friends. Donna told me she was an artist and invited me in to show me some of her work. Wow - I was extremely impressed. Prior to seeing her work we were talking about careers and ways to make money on the road. Once I saw her art I knew she'd never be at a loss...she's amazingly talented. Donna graciously agreed to pen a few articles about being an artist on the road  - in her case in a trusty Airstream Travel Trailer. Enjoy this, her first installment - Evanne - RV Cooking Show

For the past 3 years my husband and I have been fulltime RVers and can’t imagine a more wonderful life. I am a fabric artist, my husband a writer, poet, composer and musician at this point in our lives. The places that inspire my artistic vision are often in places we could never afford to buy but RVing affords moments of these to absorb, enjoy and take away in memory. The changing of place and surroundings, the seaside spot overlooking a bay, the sunsets are visuals that encourage me to look at color, shape and hue. Inspiration from nature outside our back window continually nourishes my creativity and appreciation for this lifestyle.

My ‘studio’ consists of any spot available but primarily the table where the wrap-around windows allow me light and view. My previous art studio was a 14x18 foot room so the conversion to smaller projects was a must and a challenge since we live in a 27’ Airstream Travel Trailer. You might wonder how I made this work.

Here is how I did it: When we began our fulltime adventure I brought almost all of my fabric (hard to imagine!) and placed them by colors in 4 snap top containers; they live in the truck bed under the truck cover along with one box of other necessary tools. There is also a small art bin of paints (watercolor and fabric) as well as a container of beads - I am a long time beader and do mixed media pieces.

In the coach, whom we call Lily, is the art work(s) in progress plus a number of finished pieces. This consumes much of the under-the-bed space with an iron pad, etc. and Bernina 440QE sewing computer (when not in use) on my side of the bedroom walkway. As you may be able to extrapolate, my husband is incredibly supportive of my art endeavors – a real must in such a cozy space.

It’s no surprise that flexibility is the key to RVing so I take this to include “doing yoga” while I cut fabric on the floor or have to contort my body to squeeze in and out of my sewing space. This often means across my beloved’s lap and his small classical guitar when he is playing. It brings ‘mindfulness’ to our life; in more ways than one.

I try to remember to take a moment, breathe in and breathe out and feel grateful for how lucky we truly are to have this ever-changing, adventurous life filled with love, freedom, art and new friends.

Next time I’ll share with you the challenges of creating my art while on the road in my RV.

Donna Hamson Cooney is a multimedia fabric artist who may be contacted at DonnaHCooney@yahoo.com

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

RV Towable and Vehicle Weight Ratings - Rules of the Road

GVWR, CCC, UVW, GAWR…UGH!! Acronyms like these can make your head spin. One of the secrets to a pleasurable RV experience lies in knowing what each of these mean and applying them to your specific situation. It’s widely known that an overloaded or underpowered rig can be a challenge to drive but the other side of the equation is safety. Let’s explore the common vehicle weight rating acronyms you are likely to encounter when RVing.

If you happen to be in the market for a new (or new to you) RV make sure you understand these terms and make a suitable match...espescially if you are purchasing a towable/tow vehicle combo.

GVWR – Gross Vehicle Weight Rating

GVWR is the maximum allowable weight of a vehicle – be it a truck, car, trailer or motorhome – regardless of storage space. The max weight reference refers to a fully loaded vehicle and includes fuel, people, cargo, etc. The GVWR may never be exceeded!

UVW – Unloaded Vehicle Weight

This is the weight of the vehicle as it comes off the manufacturing line PLUS a full fuel tank (full generator tank also), oil, coolants. The UVW does not include the weight of any dealer or after market installed upgrades such as a sleeper sofa instead of a J Steel, TV or satellite dishes, awnings, etc.

CCC– Cargo Carrying Capacity

The CCC refers to the amount of weight (or cargo) you can load into the vehicle. This is GVWR minus UVW, full fresh water weight (including water in water heater), full LP gas tanks, and passengers.

So, for example:

GVWR is 12,000 pounds (the max it can weight)
UVW is 10,000 pounds
Less fresh water (in your fresh tank plus your water heater) @ 8.3 pounds per gallon
Less propane @ 4.5 pounds per gallon
Less passenger weight

By the way, did you know that the average full-time RV carries 2,000 pounds of "stuff"...that's a ton! Be careful here. Just because there is bin and closet space does not mean the vehicle is equipped to roll packed to the gills.

GCWR – Gross Combined Weight Rating

The combined weight of your fully loaded RV and your towed vehicle or your tow vehicle and fully loaded trailer is the GCWR. The GCWR may never be exceeded!

GAWR – Gross Axle Weight Rating

Each axle is rated to carry a maximum amount of weight thus the GAWR. You may not exceed this number on the front axle and make up for it on the rear axle – it is the weight per axle. The GAWR may never be exceeded!

Tow Rating – Used in reference to a tow vehicle – the tow rating is the maximum weight that the vehicle will safely tow. The tow rating may never be exceeded!

Now that you are familiar with these terms where can you find out your vehicles specs? Cars and trucks usually have a sticker with these ratings on the inside of the driver door. Towables have a sticker on the front left side exterior wall as well as a spec sheet inside a cupboard door. Motorhomes will have this information on the driver door edge or pillar.

Armed with this knowledge, it’s a great idea to weigh your RV regularly – once a year or so should do it. Truck stops typically have scales and charge reasonable fees of less than $20. Prior to being weighed fill your fuel tank, make sure your holding tanks and LP tanks are as you usually travel with them and your passengers are seated in the vehicle. This should give you a true to life picture of your RV’s weight. Remember, never exceed your weight ratings – travel smart – travel safe.


Sunday, April 18, 2010

It’s RV Buying Season

No surprise, with pleasant temperatures, warm sunshine, and longer days, thoughts naturally turn to the great outdoors and one of my favorite topics – camping / RVing. Whether you are new to the game or like almost every RVer I know…always in the market for a new camper – this spring RVers will find plenty of terrific buying opportunities in today’s economy. And there’s a lot to consider before making that final decision. In this post we’ll talk about a few things you should consider when looking to buy an RV.

Begin by identifying the type of RV you’d like: Class A or C motorhome, Class B van-type, pull-behind travel trailer, 5th wheel or toy-hauler. If you are unsure, visit RV dealers and your local RV show to get a feel for each type. Regardless of what style of RV you choose it’s vitally important to make sure either the vehicle used to tow the trailer can adequately handle the weight of the RV or the ‘toad’ (tow behind car) is suitable as a towed vehicle. Consider talking to other RVers about their campers…they are a wealth of knowledge and almost always willing to share.

As you think about your adventures and look around at a variety of RVs here are some points to keep in mind:

How will you use the camper?

Will this be a weekender, a part-time or full-time home or a trusty steed to take you on a cross-country summer sojourn? Based on your answer you’ll want to consider the RV’s storage capacity. Are the outside bins adequate for the gear you’ll want to carry? Are the inside pantries, cupboards, drawers, and closets spacious enough for your belongings and food stuffs? Be realistic.

If you are going to be in the camper for an extended period of time will you travel with crafting, workshop or other materials that will need space?

Do you have pets that want to roll? Are you a camping family or independent couple? Might you have kids, grandkids, friends or other family come along on occasion? Make sure there’s plenty of room for all travelers.

Where would you like to camp?

Campsites run the gambit from ultra-fancy big wide sites to cozy wooded just big enough sites. Many state and federal parks have length and slide-out restrictions so if that’s your dream, plan accordingly.

If the mountain west is on the agenda you’ll need a camper with hard walls in order to camp in many ‘bear country’ parks.

Make sure the engine or tow vehicle is capable of handling mountain driving (prevalent all across the US)…both up and down.

Are you planning on doing some snow camping? Make sure the RV you choose has proper insulation.

If you intend to do a lot of boondocking or dry camping does the RV have or will you install solar panels? Also consider fresh water, waste water, and propane tank capacities.

Slide-out Considerations

Slide-outs are great when they’re open but if they fail to operate or you’re having lunch at a rest stop will you still be able to get to the kitchen and/or bathroom with them closed?

Be Safe…

If there are two adults both should be comfortable driving the unit…just in case.

If you think you’ll stay at Wal-Mart or other such locations on occasion will you feel safer if you have a motorhome as opposed to a pull-behind that would require you to move from the trailer to the truck in case of an emergency?

Remember the PDI

Once you’ve made a decision – whether it be a private or dealer transaction – you absolutely must do a pre-delivery inspection. I’ve made it easy by providing another post on this topic as well as a link to a handy dandy pre-delivery inspection checklist. Take it from an experienced RVer…not only is this important, it's smart.

In our next RV Cooking Show blog post I’ll teach you how to decipher RV weight ratings. Stay tuned…the virtual campfire is stoked and crackling!


Sunday, April 4, 2010

Deviled Egg Recipes Compliments of South Padre Island KOA RV Resort

Deviled egg lovers rejoice…Easter is here and after the hunt households across the land will be turning those colorful orbs into delish deviled eggs.

Not too long ago my friends at South Padre Island KOA had a deviled egg contest and were kind enough to share a few of the winning recipes with me. Now I’m going to pass them along to you.

Just in case your “eggs” are the pull apart plastic variety, my gal pal – the domestic diva Martha Stewart – shared her no-fail boiled egg technique with me (and her other 2+ million “Living” readers) and I’ve found it to be nearly foolproof. She suggests:

Bring fresh eggs to room temperature. Place them in a large sauce pan and cover them with cool, generously salted water. Bring the water/eggs to a rapid boil. Cover the pot, turn stove off, and allow to sit for 12 minutes. Transfer eggs from the hot water to an ice bath. Peel under a trickle of cool water – shells should slip right off.

While everyone knows deviled eggs are delicious and are an RV park potluck staple, you may not know how the term “deviled” came about. The earliest mention of it in writing was in the 1786 Oxford English Dictionary and read: "Devil...A name for various highly-seasoned broiled or fried dishes, also for hot ingredients. 1786, Craig Lounger NO. 86 Make punch, brew negus, and season a devil.”

In the early 19th century they deviled all kinds of food including meat, fish, and even biscuits! In the late 1860’s the Underwood boys tinkered with ground ham and seasonings and poof…deviled ham and the Underwood Devil.
Another interesting piece of trivia I discovered is the use of the terms "salad eggs" or "dressed eggs" in the South and Midwest to describe these potluck or covered dish standbys - particularly when the dish is served in connection with a church function presumably to avoid dignifying the word "deviled".

Fast forward to 2010 and the terrific South Padre Island KOA Deviled Egg Contest…

RVer Pat Dahl took first place with this tasty concoction:

1 dozen eggs, hard boiled

Cut in half and remove hard yolks to a mixing bowl. Mash with a fork and blend in:

1 c mayonnaise (appx)
1 T mustard
1 t vinegar
1 ½ T dried minced onion
1 T dried minced garlic
1 T dill pickle juice
½ t garlic powder

Before stuffing egg whites, cover the bottom of each egg half with real bacon bits. Stuff and garnish with sliced green olives.

Second place went to RVer Mary Freiberg’s Beautiful Island Festive Deviled Eggs:

18 eggs, hard boiled

Place peeled eggs in a plastic bag and add:

1 can sliced beets
2 T pickling spices
½ c tarragon flavored vinegar

Allow to marinate in the fridge for 2 days.

Cut in half and remove hard yolks to a mixing bowl. Mash with a fork and blend in:

1 t yellow mustard
3 T mayonnaise
1 t sea slat
1 T tarragon flavored vinegar

Stuff mixture into egg whites and garnish with cracked pepper and slim slice of beet (curved) and cilantro leaves.

Third place was captured by RVer Betty Buol:

1 dozen eggs, hard boiled

Cut in half and remove hard yolks to a mixing bowl. Mash with a fork and blend in:

12 eggs
½ c mayonnaise
½ t balsamic vinegar
2 t sugar
¼ t celery salt
2 T grated onion
4 strips of crisp bacon, chopped
dash of pepper

Stuff egg whites and enjoy!

Martha has a couple other tips including how to get a clean cut when halving eggs – use a sharp paring knife and wet the blade between cuts – and a taste tip for extra rich and delicious yokes – add a ½ t melted butter.

As for me, I never forget the paprika – both in the yolk mixture and sprinkled atop for color. Bonus for your taste buds if it’s smoked paprika (like we used in the RV Cooking Show episode featuring amazing panini burgers at Theo Roosevelt National Park)!

Check out all of the fantastic looking deviled eggs on the South Padre Island KOA video below (and look for other fun vids on their channel, too). They’re also on Facebook and, of course, Twitter. If you stop by – virtually or in person – tell the terrific Stacie hi for me…she’s a real good egg!!

Do you have a winning deviled egg recipe? Share it by leaving a comment below.

Here's to an egg-cellent springtime,


Monday, March 8, 2010

RV Cooking Show Crew Discovers Stone Crab Floaters

I’m not a cheapskate and on occasion I’m not even frugal (as evidenced by the $50 FitFlop flip flops I bought not too long ago. They are supposed to firm and shape my thighs and butt so I listed it in the “workout expense” column. How’s that for rationalization, ladies!). Like most of us, however, I do want my dollar to go as far as possible. That’s why I was tickled to learn about stone crab floaters - and you might be, too.

The RV Cooking Show was doing some research and development in Old Homosassa, FL and discovered a little fish market right on the water. Showcased were some big and beautiful stone crab claws along with big and beautiful prices. Lucky for me I’m the curious kind and that really paid off when I saw 'floaters' listed on the board in the stone crab section at only $4.50/pound. Turns out floaters are a hit with the locals, go figure. Stone crab floaters are claws that have molted and the meat has not yet fully filled out in the shell. They are called floaters because they float to the top of the boil basket when cooked.

Turns out the floaters I enjoyed were a nice size, very meaty, sweet and delicious. It’s simply untrue, as I’ve read on the web, that they are void of meat. Nope. In fact, they were so good I went back and got more. This photo from the RV Cooking Show kitchen is a full pound of stone crab claw floaters…prior to supper!

No wonder they are a locals favorite! You can enjoy stone crabs warm or cold and lots of folks dip the meat in melted butter, mustard sauce or apply a squirt of fresh lemon juice. The RV Cooking Show crew loves them cold and as they are – no sauce or anything (but plenty of napkins – the boiling water gets inside and can be very messy)…delish!

Unfortunately for us, we saw this tip too late – a website suggested the best way to crack the claws – as opposed to a cracker or mallet/hammer – is to hold the tips of the claws in your fingers and smack them against one another. Supposedly this cracks one of the claws perfectly. If you try it let me know how this technique works.

And a few closing stone crab facts:

Stone crab season in Florida runs October 15th to May 15th. By the way, stone crab is renewable seafood – they take just one claw and toss the critter back to regenerate. This is akin to a lizard tail and if you’ve ever tried to catch one by clapping down on the tail you know what I mean. It takes a stone crab somewhere between 12 and 24 months to regenerate a legal-to-harvest size claw. Claws are graded according to size: medium = 5 to 8 claws per pound; large = 3 to 5 claws per pound; jumbo = 3 claws per pound; and colossal = 1 to 2 claws per pound.

While it may appear that the moral of the story is if you save a bundle by eating stone crab floaters you can buy more shoes…but really, it’s live it up every day, try local foods, and savor all an RV destination has to offer. Not sure? Ask a local – they know all the best deals!

Bringing you local flavor direct from my RV kitchen,


Monday, February 22, 2010

RV Cooking Show special recipe: from the “try it…you’re gonna like it” files

Hello friends,

It’s no surprise to my many RV Cooking Show viewers and readers that I’m no baker. However, pre-RV I was once known as the “marvelous Mrs. Schmarder” when I (frequently) showed up at my husband’s workplace with a plate full of these delicious cookies. Fast forward several years and I was visiting with an RV friend just before the holidays and the talk turned to cookies. Apparently, his sis has a cookie biz and my special recipe got his attention.

You are probably thinking “c’mon…what kinda cookie...get on with the recipe” right? I hesitate only because you might wrinkle your nose and stick out your tongue before quickly navigating away from this page. Hold on now…please don’t get scared and run away. Before the 'reveal' I want to tell you my friend made my special cookie recipe for his family over the holidays and they all raved…couldn’t put their finger on the special ingredient that gave them a rich and delicious taste…even the cookie seller sis…really.

Okay, here it goes…introducing my Garlic Chocolate Chip Cookies. There, I said it…are you still here??

Yes, I know it sounds kooky but I got this recipe a long time ago (I didn’t even know what an RV was back then) when searching for something to bring to a 'garlic' party and they are fabulous. Truth is, you DO NOT taste a full on garlic taste but rather something subtle, sweet, and flavorful in the aftertaste.

The how-to is simple and you probably have the “special” ingredients on hand: 2 small cloves of finely minced garlic and pure maple syrup (not pancake syrup, okay?).

1. Place 2 small cloves of finely minced garlic in a small bowl or ramekin.

2. Cover with pure maple syrup.

3. Allow to mix, meld, and mingle while you whip up a batch of your favorite chocolate chip cookie dough. I use the Tollhouse recipe on the back of the bag…nothing fancy there. The longer it sits the more mellow the flavor...give it at least 30-45 minutes (in case you are a fast baker).

4. Right before you are ready to scoop and bake add the garlic/syrup combo, mix well, and commence baking.

Now here’s a tip…don’t tell anyone about our little “secret ingredient” (or they might not take a chance on them). Instead, see if they can guess…betcha they can’t.

Direct from my RV kitchen, give these cookies a go and let me know what you think…I dare you.


Let's Connect!!
I'm on Twitter
and have an RV Cooking Show Facebook Fan Page...

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Do Fulltime RVers Get Any Respect??

I often read stories about individuals that are doing unique, interesting, and unconventional things with their lives. Whether it’s moving overseas with their children, choosing an unusual career path, studying spirituality in India, being on and winning a reality TV show, or just providing their personal and often spunky view on a topic, these folks offer a peek inside lives that many of us only dream of. And then there’s the fulltime RVer.

As a proud, card carrying fulltimer those I meet (and even some friends and family) are either awestruck and a little envious about my lifestyle or, with eyes downcast, concerned about my economic situation. In both cases they are eager to know how I got here (made a conscious choice) and what my plans for the future are (keep doing this until it’s time to do something else). While times are difficult across the nation it’s important to recognize that many – maybe even most – fulltime RVers are on the road by choice not circumstance and are living their version of the American Dream...carving out their own paths.

For many young fulltime RVers (those not yet retired and eligible for traditional social security and medicare benefits) the decision to break the mold comes from a sense of adventure, self-assurance, and a huge dose of “what-if”. Some of us took an early retirement buy-out when our company downsized, were simply let go, or chose to explore a life outside the usual and customary. Living this lifestyle requires a drastic adjustment. Space is tight, alone time is more challenging to find, “things” must be left behind or sold, there’s always a new grocery store, gas station, or post office to locate and navigate, your support circle must become a “virtual” safe place, you’re always a new patient at the doctor’s office, and there’s always a new, unknown route to navigate.

Why do we do it? Maybe it’s the age-old question…what’s around the bend. This might and can be interpreted literally but is usually meant in the bigger context of life. For me (and many others) it’s freedom - seeking new ways of seeing the world and defining success as a personal matter. The most frequent comment I get from older fulltimers is that they wish they had of begun this lifestyle earlier – when they were healthier and more physically able to explore. One young fulltime couple I know recently left “the road” to move in and financially assist mom. They wrote me saying “We sold our RV and truck and are considering going into business for ourselves. If fulltime RVing and workamping has taught us nothing else - it is that we are able to reinvent ourselves when we choose to.” Talk about freedom, right?

So do we get any respect? I suppose fulltime RVers fly under most radar and perhaps we like it that way. We pay our taxes, register our vehicles, carry insurance, spend our money at local groceries, restaurants, and shops, buy tires and have our vehicles maintained at local garages, and are good neighbors. It rankles me when I read stories in the media about us…missives to park owners to beware…our kind (I think they mean those of us that stay in parks seasonally) might not mix well with travelers and could taint their businesses, school districts that might have to absorb a child that does not…gasp…live in a stick home (property taxes are built into our site fees), or political groups that try to amend our rights as US citizens to vote.

You, me, everyone chooses their own life adventures – raising children, developing big careers, experiencing other cultures. Just like any of the remarkable folks listed in the opening paragraph, we young fulltime RVers ask the same questions: Who says that we must live by what today’s culture tells us is good and right and who exactly decides good and right anyways? With courage, strength, an ability to let go, a strong sense of humor, and making choices along the way we’ve designed our very own, personal, respectable American Dream.

I’m very interested in your take on this topic. Fulltime RVer or not, young or young at heart, traveler or homesteader…leave your comments below.

RV Cooking Show

Sunday, January 10, 2010

2010 RV Resolutions – a Roadmap

So here we are, a week-plus into the new year, and I’m wondering about your resolutions. Specifically your 2010 RV resolutions. After all, RVing is an exciting topic – it’s easy to dream about hitting the open road, seeing old friends and making new ones, experiencing the great outdoors…the freedom of an RV getaway. Did you make any RV resolutions this year??

Ask any expert and they’ll tell you that resolutions, goals, objectives...whatever you want to call them – must be specific and obtainable, in writing, include action items, and reviewed frequently.

“I’d like to travel more” or “fix up the camper” may not cut it. Begin by realistically reviewing last year…did you have RV resolutions at the start of ’09? What worked? What didn’t? Why? Once you’ve thought through the past year you’ll have a better idea of what to shoot for in 2010 and how to approach it.

Using the “travel more” example here’s how your RV travel resolution might look:

Take the camper out 4 times in 2010

To accomplish this I’ll:

• Talk to my family about their RV travel desires
• Research destinations within a 100 mile radius of my home
• Explore events, festivals, and activities in those destinations
• Surf the internet and ask friends about RV parks and campgrounds
• Create an RV travel fund – setting aside $XX/week

Even if you are a fulltime RVer (and even if you are not) there are plenty of topics you can “riff” resolutions on:

• Theme-travel
• Connecting with family and friends
• Green RVing
• Volunteer programs
• Sharing your travels
• RV/camper projects

The list is as rich as your imagination. With RV travel as the topic it’s not too difficult to quickly identify what RV-specific goals you want to focus on in 2010. Make a date with yourself to review your RV travel goals at least once every other month. Revise them if you must…it’s your life and circumstances change. No pressure.

I thought I’d share a few of my 2010 RV resolutions…my RV roadmap for an exciting and successful 2010. Some of these are personal and some are professional and I’ve only listed the general goal – not the action items:

• Embark upon a bicycle theme this year – specifically rails-to-trails
• Explore the concept of food as medicine
• Seek out new ways to further green my RVing lifestyle
• Recarpet my RV
• Communicate with RV Cooking Show viewers and readers weekly
• Continue to bring value to RV Cooking Show viewers and readers via new concepts, web extras, inside scoops, etc.

Here’s to a healthy 2010 full of safe and exciting RV travels, friends at every stop, and delicious dishes in your RV kitchen!!

If you have some 2010 RV resolutions to share I'd love to hear them. It's always fun to exchange ideas. Leave a comment below.

I hope to see YOU on the road this year!!


P.S. I'm on Twitter and have Facebook Fan Page. Follow and friend me and we'll enjoy this crazy RV-ride together!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...