Friday, September 07, 2018

Fulltime RVing…baking goodies doable in a RV?

Unlike the previous five 5th wheels we’ve lived in during our 24 years of full time RVing, our Landmark 5th wheel doesn’t have a conventional oven.  However, It did come equipped with a convection/microwave oven and we bought a Breville toaster oven so I do have baking capabilities.  I really like the toaster oven but it is the mini model that has size limitations.  Fine tuning operation of a convection oven is a bit challenging but it gets easier with each use.

I don’t bake very often for one simple reason:  if I bake it we will eat it and we don’t need to eat more sweets!

A few weeks ago our friends Sandy and Rick treated us to a delicious catfish lunch at their beautiful home. For dessert Sandy served a blueberry galette.  Wow, we were impressed!  I was shocked when she explained how easy it is to make this tasty dessert and decided that maybe, just maybe, even I could manage it!

I had wild blueberries in the freezer and a pasty shell on hand so my first foray was blueberry much like Sandy’s.  Turned out pretty good!

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GET loves peaches, me not so much, but I decided to treat him on this second attempt;  a little more difficult but not too bad!

I chose Martha Stewart’s Stone Fruit recipe.  I peeled and sliced about six small peaches.  My slicing technique leaves a little to be desired.  Very few nice uniform slices!DSCN0792DSCN0791

Following recipe instructions I first lined my baking pan (also my pizza pan, pans in a RV have to be multi-functional!) with foil and then topped the foil with non-stick parchment paper.  I didn’t have any parchment paper and considered skipping this step but wanted to follow Martha's recipe.  (And I had noticed that Sandy baked hers on parchment – if she did it it must be important to success!)

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The recipe called for lemon juice.  I got creative and included the zest of the lemon.  Cornstarch, sugar and salt rounded out the ingredients.  (Interesting that it called for no spices?)

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Sandy said she uses ready made pie crust so I followed suit.  Pillsbury makes such good pie crust that I don’t think there is a good reason to make my own!  I know there are fabulous made-from-scratch pie crusts, in fact my sister-in-law Lee makes one, but for my level of baking Pillsbury does the trick.

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I brushed a beaten egg on the crust and it was ready to go into the 375 degree oven.  I think that I should have lowered the convection oven temperature to 350 degrees because the peaches got a little blackened on top!

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Looks pretty in the shiny convection oven!DSCN0796

Out of the oven in about an hour, slid onto a polka dot plastic plate, sliced, topped with Blue Bunny vanilla ice cream and served on a paper plate!  GET likes it!

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Baking in a RV…yes, very doable with just a few adjustments!

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Full time RVing…do we cook or do we eat out?

The answer: YES.

We eat at home quite a lot but also eat out quite a lot! Part of the fun of eating out, other than not having to cook, is experiencing the food of a particular area of the country.

Monterey Peninsula in California is our home base and also where most of the country’s artichokes are grown. Our favorite place for artichokes is Pezzini’s Farm Stand and the adjacent Choke Coach in Castroville.

Upon arrival at the farm stand which sits in the midst of artichoke fields, we eat “out” with an order of deep fried dusted with parmesan cheese and a side of home-made ranch dressing.

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Our view while eating is artichokes growing in the field.

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Before leaving Pezzini’s we always grab a $10 bag to take home.  Eating at home, yum.

My preferred (quick and easy) preparation method:

  • Trim the top and some of the side leaves, rinse under running water, drain excess, but not all, water off.
  • Place in a baking dish, cover tightly and steam in the microwave for about 8-9 minutes, depending on the size of the artichokes.
  • When done leaves should easily be pulled off.  We eat them dipped in melted butter.

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Definitely eating out at the Big Texan in Amarillo!  We didn’t even attempt to down the 72oz steak to receive it for free but the food from the menu, GET’s ribeye in the photo, is great!

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Eating out at the Bonsai Food Truck in Santa Fe.  Asian shrimp tacos? YES! 

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We eat tacos out but they are also one of our regular at home meals. I must admit that I love my home made build-your-own tacos!  GET’s build-your-own-doesn’t seem to include much lettuce, does it?

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Eating in…is there any better way than a family BBQ?  My brother Don grilling those burgers and dogs!  How about a perfect strawberry from the Farmer’s Market in Bellingham, Washington?

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When we spent the summer hosting at Lemoine State Park in Maine I ordered lobster rolls almost every time we ate out!  The park rangers treated us to a lobster boil!

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But we ate in when we tried our hand at a lobster boil.  How‘s that for home cooking?DSCN5259

I think everyone has a eat out pizza night!  We loved eating in with the grandkids (they are now teenagers)…they told their Dad that only Grammie knows how to make the best English muffin pizzas!

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Salmon, rice and roasted green beans at home.

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After having a gallette at Sandy and Rick’s home I thought I would try one at home!

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I guess we do eat out a lot…I don’t take photos everywhere and found these in my files really quickly!

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I think we’ll eat in tonight.  What looks good? I see eggs…breakfast for dinner tonight, it is!

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But tomorrow…who knows?  In or out?

Monday, July 09, 2018

Seven windows plus five more! OK, we did it!

I’ve been itching to take on these projects since the day in 2015 we bought this Landmark 5th wheel.  Brown, brown, brown was the theme of the décor and there was plenty of it including the seven windows in the main portion of the coach, four in the bedroom and one in the bathroom.  Why do RV manufacturers think that RVers prefer brown??

Part 1:  Seven Windows

Before:

The bells are Christmas décor.

Valance before

I made several trips to Joann Fabrics and took photos of fabric possibilities.  Some fabric looked good but wouldn’t work due to print size and/or color.  The tan fabrics blended and disappeared into the wall color so they were eliminated.  Some of the prints I really liked were just too big for the 7” high valances. 

And, then, of course , there’s the compromise aspect between GET and I!  We’ve been married a very long time but still don’t agree at first go-round on almost any and all decorating!

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The winner!

It was very expensive at $49.99 a yard but on sale for $19.99 per yard and then I had a Joann coupon so instead of $149.97 my final cost was $51.17!  What a deal!20180209_171654

The “pattern”

Since the fabric was pretty expensive, even with discounts, I wanted to make sure I had it laid out to most efficiently accommodate the seven pieces.  I also made sure I followed  the “measure twice, cut once” rule!

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The bed is my largest flat space so I laid my cutting mat on it and it worked quite well.  Of course, I had to work around the napping little brown dog, Zodiac!

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Stapling the fabric around the valance (or is it a cornice?) is pretty straightforward, although time consuming initially, had to remove the majority of the many staples from the original fabric layer. I didn’t completely remove the original layer.

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After:

I’ve noticed that many who are renovating their RV’s have been hanging traditional curtains.  Our rig came equipped with really upscale shades so no way was I going to remove them.  I also prefer a more contemporary scaled-down look. 

I’ve been following and getting a few ideas from RV Inspiration which is an informative and helpful site for decorating and renovating RVs.  Most of the featured RVs have been done in cottage-type décor but there are still ideas to be had for our more contemporary home.

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We donated the bulky (and pretty uncomfortable} brown leather sofa and replaced it with this contemporary blue sofa.  Yes, that is a real dog!  If I had tried to get Dulee to pose he would have immediately moved or at least turned his head!

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Part 2:  Five Windows

Before:

Really brown aren’t they!

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Stapling in progress:

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After:

Bedroom and bathroom

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Another after:

Don’t have a “before” photo of the headboard but believe me it was very BROWN! Dark brown stained frame and a dark brown fabric insert.

I used the existing headboard, added padding, and tufted it with metal sand dollars.  Couldn’t find burlap fabric I liked so purchased burlap “ribbon” and made my own cording.

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It matches nicely with the comforter set I purchased on-line from Wayfair.

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The bench in the bedroom was upholstered in, NO, NOT BROWN, but ORANGE!  Oh no, almost as bad as brown in my book.

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I really didn’t have enough extra fabric to properly do the bench (a project I really hadn’t planned on ) so the underside is a little rough. Lots of safety, T pins and straight pins.  But, who will see it anyway?  See the patch of original orange fabric?

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We are well on our way to creating a bright and airy home on the road…more ideas in the mill!