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!

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,


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