Sloppy Joes and Creamy Potato Salad for Memorial Day

RV camping this weekend? Here are a couple of recipes for your cookout menu!

Next weekend is Memorial Day weekend, and that means it’s time to try out a few new dishes that are easy to prepare in your Texas RV!

As always, The Food Network provided lots of inspiration. For instance, there’s a Creamy Potato Salad that can easily be made ahead of time, and the horseradish gives it a new kick.

CREAMY_POTATO_SALAD_009.tifInstructions:

Boil, peel and cube 1 pound potatoes. Toss with 1 tablespoon cider vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Mix 1/4 cup each mayonnaise and sour cream and 2 tablespoons each horseradish and chopped chives. Toss with the potatoes, 1 chopped celery stalk, and salt and pepper.

Sloppy Joes can be a great main dish with your potato salad, and whether you’re cooking outside on the camp stove or inside your travel trailer in the comfort of your air conditioning, it can be fixed in less than 30 minutes. This video from Rachel Ray demonstrates the fresh, easy recipe.

Where will you take your camper this weekend? The beach? The Piney Woods? We’d love to see photos from your road trips, so come join the conversation on Facebook and feel free to share!

~ G. Elaine Acker

P.S. Is your RV trailer ready to go for Memorial Day weekend? Or are you still shopping for the perfect Fifth Wheel, Toy Hauler, or Airstream? There’s still time to visit our Rockport or Buda locations, buy your new or used travel trailer and go RV camping this weekend!

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with Fresh Limeade

Limeade

Photo of Rachel Ray’s Limeade courtesy The Food Network.

This coming Sunday is Cinco de Mayo this coming Sunday, and the Camper Clinic II crew was just talking about new ways to celebrate. Any excuse for exploring weekend camping spots in your Texas RV, right?

We’re thinking about setting up camp in one of our nearby Texas State Parks, and serving some fresh squeezed limeade for the kiddos using a simple recipe from Rachel Ray. Of course, we may have to whip up some frozen tequila limeade a la Bobby Flay for the big “kids” too!

By the way, check out the Texas Parks and Wildlife Events Calendar for lots of Cinco de Mayo activities.  An RV trailer, good food, and fun times with the family – that’s what it’s all about!

G. Elaine Acker

 

Homemade Eggnog Recipe from Paula Deen

Photo credit: The Food Network

Photo credit: The Food Network

Every RV family needs a good eggnog recipe. But I have to admit, wasn’t a huge fan of eggnog until I found this recipe from Paula Deen, which used vanilla. I think it’s the excessive amounts of nutmeg in the grocery store brands (and most recipes) that bothers me. But with this one, the vanilla adds a great flavor, and you can go really light on the nutmeg, or leave it out altogether.

Ingredients

  • 6 egg, separated*
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 pint heavy cream
  • 4 pints milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • Nutmeg
  • 1/2 pint Bourbon

Directions

In a bowl beat the egg yolks with the 1/2 cup of sugar until thick. In another bowl beat the egg whites with 1/4 cup of sugar until thick. In a third bowl beat the cream until thick. Add the cream to the yolks, fold in the egg whites, and add the milk, vanilla, and a pinch of nutmeg, if desired. (If you’ve got kiddos at the party, save some for them before adding the “nog!” and adjust the amount of Bourbon accordingly!) Chill in the freezer before serving.

There’s a short video on The Food Network of Paula Deen whipping up a fresh batch. It’s her mama’s recipe! (I think she likes a lot more nutmeg than me…)

This is a great party drink, whether you’re at the RV park or by the fire at home. And the kids will feel all grown up when they’re sipping (almost) the same yummy beverage as the grown ups.

Merry Christmas to you and your family! I hope Santa’s good to you and brings you all the best RV goodies on your list!

~G. Elaine Acker

P.S. *RAW EGG WARNING FRO THE FOOD NETWORK
Food Network Kitchens suggest caution in consuming raw and lightly-cooked eggs due to the slight risk of Salmonella or other food-borne illness. To reduce this risk, we recommend you use only fresh, properly-refrigerated, clean, grade A or AA eggs with intact shells, and avoid contact between the yolks or whites and the shell.

New Holiday Traditions

Celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and the Winter Solstice

Camper with Christmas LightsIf you’re adventurous enough to hitch up and go prowling around in your travel trailer, then you’re probably curious enough to explore all the cultures and traditions this holiday season has to offer.

I’ve got lots of friends looking forward to Christmas, which celebrates the birth of Christ (and also involves the traditional retail pilgrimage), while others are celebrating Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or the Winter Solstice. Personally I think any or all of these traditions are best celebrated in a camper!

Yule LogAt their core, all of these holiday traditions are about miracles, love, and family, so wherever you’re celebrating the holidays this year, here are a few ideas for making it a rich, multicultural experience.

Build a solstice fire. The solstice fire was the forerunner to today’s Yule logs, so a roaring campfire is always in order.

Dreidel

Any number of people can have fun playing the Dreidel game at the same time. Photo credit: Roland Scheicher

Play the dreidel game. Spinning the driedel is a fun game for Jewish children. Read about the history of the game and then try playing with your family over the holidays.

Collard GreensSpice up your menu with Kwanzaa foods. The Food Network has a huge menu of foods to choose from, from bacon-topped collard greens to fried deviled eggs.

 

Bake some Christmas cookies for Santa. This recipe for chocolate gooey butter cookies from Paula Deen looks a lot like my sister’s favorite Christmas cookie!

In Texas, Texas Parks and Wildlife offers lots of fun, outdoor celebrations for the whole family at Texas Parks! What are your family’s favorite holiday traditions? Let us know if you find any new traditions to add to your festivities this year!

~ G. Elaine Acker

 

 

 

Celebrating Thanksgiving RV Style

The Thanksgiving Live team of Chefs! (Photo credit: The Food Network)

This weekend, as I was watching The Food Network’s Thanksgiving Live program, I just kept thinking about ways to adapt all those yummy recipes to better suit those of us who just might be celebrating in our campers and travel trailers. I had a couple of “ah ha!” moments, so I thought I’d share.

Photo Credit: The Food Network

For example, Giada De Laurentiis suggested cutting up the turkey before cooking it. It’s funny how often we ignore the obvious. If you look up turkey recipes online, you’ll see beautifully roasted whole turkeys. But for those of us with small RV ovens, or no oven at all, cutting the turkey into pieces before cooking is a useful tip. By cutting the turkey into pieces, we suddenly have lots of new options. We can cook it in the oven (and by cutting it into pieces, it’ll get done quicker). Or, we can explore some outdoor cooking options such as roasting the turkey in a Dutch oven, or by breaking out the deep fryer.

While I’m a fan of the traditional Thanksgiving meal, when I’m in my Airstream, I also want life to be a little easier. This year, I may be prowling through the “easy” recipes section for new ideas.

Photo Credit: The Food Network

The other thing that caught my eye during the Live Thanksgiving broadcast was the Twitter feed along the bottom of the screen. One person tweeted that they were looking for a salad idea that would shock their family. Now, what may be shocking to one family can be positively blasé to another, but I found a recipe involving Brussels sprouts to be a novelty. From my East Texas perspective, this one’s “out there.” It’s a Fried Brussels Sprout Salad, and I’m intrigued. It’s easy enough for the RV, but has enough flavors involved to give it that gourmet twist. Maybe it’s the “fried” part that makes it feel right!

Now that I’ve made myself hungry, I think I’ll go prowl around in the fridge and make a new grocery list!

Are you spending your Thanksgiving in one of our amazing National or State parks this year? What are your favorite recipes for the RV? Feel free to share!

~ G. Elaine Acker

 

Steak and Baked Potatoes

New Twists on an Old Favorite!

Some people celebrate (or mourn) Labor Day as the unofficial end of summer. I like to celebrate it as the kickoff to a great fall season of camping and cookouts! Food just tastes better outdoors. Right?

And, it’s just much more fun to cook in the outdoor kitchen. You can cook over an open campfire, use a Dutch oven, fire up the propane stove, or break out the charcoal or propane grill.

Grilled Prime Rib

Photo credit: Food Network Kitchens

For Labor Day, though, nothing sounds better than good ol’ beef steaks and baked potatoes, but I’m thinking it may be time to try a new twist on an old favorite.

These recipes looked especially good. If you try ‘em, let us know what you think!

Try Grilling your Prime Rib

I’ve tried Michael Chiarello’s recipes many times with good success. This one looks pretty easy. Make a paste and let the grill do the work!

Try a New Marinade

This one’s a recipe from T-Bone Tom’s in Kemah, Texas. It gets 5-star reviews. Note that it looks like you’ll only need about half this recipe.

Try a New Dry Rub

This one’s courtesy of the Taste of South Texas Bar-B-Que Team in Van Vleck, Texas and gets 4-star reviews.

 

Twice baked potato

Photo credit: The Food Network

Add some Twice Baked Potatoes

This one’s a simple recipe you can count on.

How about a Baked Potato Salad?

Guy Fieri can always be counted on to offer those “new twists!” Be sure to scroll down and make a note of the culinary team’s update on the recipe.

Spicy Baked Potatoes

Here’s another Guy Fieri fave with some jalapenos for heat!

I’m thinking I should go for a walk, now. I probably just gained five pounds reading these yummy recipes!

Happy Labor Day, and happy camping, everyone!

~Elaine