Nana’s Recipes: Dessert Goodies

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Dessert is my favorite part of the meal. How can you resist a delicious cookie or slice of pie? Good thing I’ve got tons of recipes that I can cook up at the drop of a hat, not just for me, but for everyone who’s there with me! Check out these great and quick desserts.

Nana’s Butterscotch Bars

1 – 12 oz. package of butterscotch morsels
1 – cup of chunky peanut butter
6 – cups of Rice Krispies cereal

Combine chunky peanut butter and butterscotch chips in a large saucepan. Stir until smooth over low heat until morsels have melted. Remove from heat and add Rice Krispies. Mix until well-coated. Press into a buttered, 9″ x 13″ pan. Chill for a couple of hours, then cut into squares

Peanut Butter Cookies

1 – 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk
1/2 – cup of chunky peanut butter
1/2 – cup of chopped peanuts

Mix well and drop teaspoonfuls onto a greased and floured cookie sheet. Bake at 375 to 400 degrees for 7 to 9 minutes.

Milky Way Squares

4 – 2 oz Milky Way candy bars, chopped1/2 – cup of butter or margarine
3 – cups Rice Krispies cereal

Melt candy in butter over low heat and stir until blended. Stir in Rice Krispies cereal and mix well. Pour into a greased 11″ x 7″ pan. Refrigerate until firm. Cut into squares.

Chocolate Walnut Drops

2 – 1 oz squares unsweetened chocolate1 – 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
2/3 – cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Melt chocolate squares in a double boiler over hot water. Stir in milk until well blended. Mix in nuts. Drop mixture by teaspoonfuls onto a greased baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes.

What are some of your favorite dessert recipes?

 

RVing With Man’s Best Friend

Leaving your pet behind when you head out for a week, can be hard to do. Pet spas are expensive and there’s no telling how they

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treat your pets when they are there. So why not bring them along? There’s plenty of space in the outdoors for your furry friend to roam around. They would probably have as much fun, if not more, than you would! I have plenty of friends who love to take their dogs with them. After all, if they’re such a big part of your life, why wouldn’t you want to take them with you in the first place? Of course, since they are dogs, they do require a little bit of planning on your part to make sure they are cared for and fed while you’re away from home. Here are a few tips I’ve gathered from a few of my RVing buddies.

Stock Up On Food and Water

Your dogs require a steady diet to stay healthy and if you stray from that diet, they could have stomach issues and be uncomfortable. Be sure to bring enough food to last the duration of the trip to avoid having to make an emergency stop at a convenience store to pick up whatever brands they carry. It may not be that big of an issue if you feed your dog a wildly popular brand, but if you spend a little more money and get the good stuff, your brand will probably not be available everywhere you go.

Carry Your Dog’s Vet Papers

You never know when your four-legged friend could take a spill while hiking or come in contact with a snake, so it’s good to keep their health records handy so you can present them to a vet in case of an emergency.

Don’t Forget The Leash

Most RV parks across the country require that your dogs be on a leash or restrained at all times when outside. A good long leash that can wrap around the RV would give your pup enough space to walk around and even underneath the RV to avoid the sun’s heat.

Keep Them Healthy!

If your pup is on any kind of medication, make double sure that you bring enough to last the duration of the trip! Skipping days could prolong the recovery process and sometimes, even make it worse.

Kennels Aren’t Bad

A lot of dog owners refuse to kennel-train their dogs because they think it’s too restrictive. When you have to make a trip somewhere and your furry friend isn’t allowed, I suggest putting them inside the RV in a kennel. This eliminates the risk of them tearing things apart and making a mess. If your dog is trained properly, they actually regard the kennel as their own space and don’t resist it.

Have you traveled with your dogs? What tips do you have for others who want to start traveling with theirs?

Keep Your Balance In Your RV

Hardwood floors are nice, don’t get me wrong, but they do present a danger. They are slippery and if you aren’t prepared for it, you could take a tumble. I’ve heard of too many people falling inside their RVs because of slippery steps and floors. It’s easy to unknowingly step into a wet spot on the ground, then step into your RV and end up on the floor. Many bruised hips, butts, knees, even broken legs and hips have been a result of it. We’ve got something that will help diminish that risk: the RV Step Hugger Rugs and our 3 piece RV rug sets.

The RV Step Hugger rugs are great for keeping dirt off of your floors and they look great! You can order them 5 different colors so they match the interior of your RV. They are held onto the step using Velcro, for easy removal and cleaning. If you’re adamant about maintaining the look of the flooring in your RV and preventing mishaps on the stairs and interior, definitely check them out!

The 3 piece RV rug sets are also available in multiple colors and made specifically for RVs. With a skid resistant backing, you can be sure that you won’t end up on the ground. Not only do they look great by complimenting the interior of your RV, they can help you keep the rest of your RV clean. they work great on carpet and hardwood flooring!

Stay safe in your RV! I don’t want to hear anymore stories about sprained knees, bruises, and broken bones!

Be Sure To Download These Apps

I love having apps on my iPhone and my iPad. I’m pretty sure that if I tried to download one right now, I’d have to delete another one just for the space! I especially enjoy a good app that helps me when I’m out on the road. When venturing into unknown territory, it’s always good to know that an app has your back and can provide you with the info you’re looking for, whether it be the nearest grocery store or whether or not the RV park you’re headed to has wi-fi. Here are a few new apps I’ve recently downloaded and I can’t get enough of.

Allstays Camping & RVing

This one is more information that I know what to do with. You could honestly buy this app (it’s pricey at $9.99) and never buy another one again. Thousands of RV parks with details about each and every one. You can also set your course on it and see truck stops, rest stops and RV repair shops along the way. If you’re planning on spending a night boondocking, you can search for Wal-Marts and places that allow overnight parking so you don’t have to check into an RV park for just a few hours.

RV Owners Community

Screen Shot 2014-05-11 at 10.45.52 PMThis one is great resources for RV owners. It’s a social media outlet designed for people like us to chat and ask questions about living the RV lifestyle. Make sure you don’t get stuck out on the road when all you really need to do was ask an expert or a few people who have done it before.

 

RV Parks

Screen Shot 2014-05-11 at 10.52.38 PMIf you don’t feel like spending $10  on the Allstays app, this one is a functional replacement. It may not have as many bells and whistles, but it’s still a good resource for over 20,000 RV parks all across the country. Best of all, it’s free!

What apps do you use to help you when you’re out on the road?

It’s Time To Go Green In Your RV

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Going green is great thing. I try my hardest to use less electricity and produce as little waste as I can. That can be tough when you’re out on the road with limited resources. But I think I can help you make better choices and decrease your carbon footprint. Even if it’s just a small amount, it’s better than nothing. Here are a few ways I can think of off the top of my head.

Install Solar Panels

This is the quickest and easiest way to use less electricity. You can get solar panels that you can attach to the top of your RV, or you can just stand them up on the ground and it’ll charge your battery, even while you’re away. I don’t know why solar panels aren’t the standard nowadays.

LED Lights

If your RV still uses normal incandescent light bulbs, it’s time to switch over to some of the low drain LED light. You can purchase replacement bulbs for almost any receptacle and they can provide even more light than the ones you’re replacing!

Seek Out The Shade

This one may not sound like it’ll help you go green, but trust me, it will. If you’re in a shaded area, that means you’re keeping the temperature as low as you can so your air conditioner has to work less time to cool it down.

Use Reusable Plates

I know it’s tough to pack up your plates that you use for dinner when it’s so easy to buy a package of 100 plastic disposable plates. But, those disposable plates are littering our land and they aren’t going away anytime soon. You can always go to Wal-Mart and purchase washable plates for super cheap. They don’t have to be anything fancy.

Clean-Up

No one likes a litterbug. If you clean up your campsite before you leave, be sure it all gets into the trash can and the wind doesn’t take it away. I also recommend keeping a box for recyclables in your truck or RV. If your RV campground doesn’t have a receptacle for recycling, you  can always take it home and recycle it yourself.

What do you do to go green when you’re out on a campsite?

 

Have You Heard Of Workamping?

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It’s a dream for most RVers. Giving up everything we own, except our RVs, and living out on the road. No house payments, less bills, no house to keep clean, having the ability to change scenery with the drop of a hat, all of these sound like a perfect opportunity for us to change it up a little bit. Well, if you’ve made the decision to become a full-time RVer, then you’ve got to make money somehow. That’s where workamping comes into play. Workamping is having a job with an RV campground or resort, where part of their compensation includes a campsite to park your RV for free!

There are plenty of people who live out of their RVs and make a living working for campgrounds, casinos and retail stores. Best of all, they support your lifestyle of being on the road and traveling from city to city. Some are long-term commitments, some are just a couple of weeks. If you’re a maintenance man (or woman), you can surely be hired by one of the many RV campgrounds in need of a handyman to keep things running smoothly.

For example, in Mission, Texas, they are looking for an individual or a couple to do landscaping, light carpentry, repairs, and lawn care for the exchange of a free campground site. For just 10 hours a week, you could save the money it takes to reserve your campsite. Some campgrounds will even pay you an hourly rate to go with the free campground. So not only are you getting free rent, but you’ll be making some money on top of that too! If you’re seriously thinking about quitting that office job and heading out in your RV, definitely keep Workamper.com and WorkampingJobs.com in your bookmarks so you can see where you can travel to and save yourself the money in exchange for a few hours of work. It’s worth it, especially when some of the higher-end RV parks charge anywhere from $75-$100 per night.

Do you know of anyone who has workamped?

Great Destinations: Hill Country

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In the middle of this great state is a picturesque area known as Hill Country. It’s lush, rolling hills, soul-changing sunsets, and miles of wildflowers make it a must visit for me. There’s no way you could possibly see all of Hill Country in one visit, it takes multiple visits in different areas to truly appreciate the beauty of it. There some of the best BBQ joints in the country, delicious wine and plenty of outdoor activity to keep you coming back time and time again.

Natural Beauty

The Hill Country is filled with some of the most beautiful natural land formations I’ve ever seen. Take a trip to Dripping Springs and check out the Hamilton Pool Preserve for some hot weather swimming and hiking. I suggest getting there early, sometimes lines form and you could be waiting up to 2 hours before you can even get inside the park! But it’s worth it. If you take a trip to Mason, you can see one of the United States’ largest bat nurseries. Some 4 million bats live inside the Eckert James River Bat Cave Preserve. Stick around until sunset and you’ll get to see a tornado of bats for about an hour.

Wineries and BBQ

There’s 2 things that we Texans do well. Barbeque and wine. Hill Country wine is highly sought after all over the globe and we can spend a couple of hours exploring the vineyards and tasting the different varieties. I suggest the Heart Of Texas Wine Tours, they take you to some of the best wineries and do the driving! Of course, we all know Texas is the home of barbeque, So you’ll likely have your fill of pulled pork, smoked sausage and anything else you can fit in your belly. Take a trip to Bandera and try out Busbee’s BBQ, or head to Concan and enjoy the sights of the Frio River while you’re listening to some of the best Texas Country musicians in the state at House Pasture Cattle Company.

Sports Everywhere

For the family member who love to golf and fish, you’ll never find a better area to take your RV for a week or 2. Some of the world’s best golfers come here to play the courses and experience the quiet of Hill Country. If you’re a fisherman, you’ll be amazed at the fishing spots located all throughout the area and you’ll want to visit all of them!

Have you been to the Hill Country here in Texas? What did you think?

Support Our Veterans This Memorial Day

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Memorial Day is just around the corner and it’s a special day for me. I give thanks to our soldiers and I believe this day should be dedicated to enjoying the freedoms that we have as a nation because of the brave men and women who have sacrificed their lives defending our freedoms. There are plenty of charities out there that do great work with veterans and families of soldiers who have lost their lives fighting for us. I wanted to highlight a few and ask you to make a donation this Memorial Day.

Special Operations Warrior Foundation

The Special Operations Warrior Foundation was founded in 1980 to provide support and assistance to personnel serving in the U.S. Special Operations Command. SOWF dedicates over $116 million to the education of children who have lost a parent in service. To date, over 1000 kids have gone on to college using the funds from the foundations.

Navy Seal Foundation

The Navy SEAL Foundation provides immediate and ongoing support and assistance to the Naval Special Warfare Community and its families.Established to serve U.S. Navy SEALs, Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewmen, Naval Special Warfare (NSW) support personnel, and their families, the Navy SEAL Foundation provides a comprehensive set of programs specifically designed to reduce the stressors associated with the tremendous amount of uncertainty and pressure that comes with life in Naval Special Warfare (NSW).

Wounded Warrior Project

One of my favorite charities out there. They support disabled or physically-limited soldiers who have returned from the service and works them back into as normal of a life as possible. While providing support the soldiers, they also provide support for the families to deal with injuries and mental issues concerning their return home.

On Memorial Day, don’t forget about the reason you’re enjoying as many freedoms as you are. Give thanks to the people who have fought for everything we have and never forget those who’ve perished in that fight.

Take Your Bikes With You!

Staying healthy when you’re out on the road is a tough task. Sometimes, when we’re in a hurry, we end up going to fast food restaurants. If we keep doing that, we may start to notice a big problem: our waistline.

That’s why I’ve always been an advocate for bringing your bike with you when you head out. They are a great way to get your exercise and see the area you’re visiting at the same time. Here are my reasons for bringing your bicycle along with you using one of our Swagman Bike Carriers to help get them there.

  1. Bicycling is great for your heart. As we all get older, a healthy heart is important to our energy levels and our quality of living.
  2. It’s great for your waistline. You can burn a ton of calories by biking around the park and staying active.
  3. It’ll help you live longer. Maintaining a healthy exercise routine is a great idea, especially if you’re looking to keep RVing after retirement and into your silver years.
  4. It’s great for your stress levels. Taking a half-hour or so to leisurely explore the land on your bike is a good way to clear your head and think without distractions.
  5. It’s great for your immune system. If you’re out on the road for an extended period of time, you don’t want to get sick and keep passing it on to your fellow RVers. Stay healthy and you’ll keep everyone else healthy too.
  6. Compared to running, cycling is much easier on your joints, making it a great alternative if you suffer from joint pain.

Bringing your bikes with you when you head out is easier than ever with a bike carrier from Swagman. We’ve got a few of them, so you can choose which one fits your needs! If you’re RVing with kids, they’ll love the fact that they can travel across the country and never leave their bikes at home. You might want to order them quick because these deep discounts go away on May 31, 2014! Order them now!

 

Bike Carrier Specials

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nana’s Recipes: Bacon Everywhere!

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Bacon never last very long on our trips. I can have a full, unopened package on Friday night, but once Saturday rolls around, I’m already out. Bacon can, honestly make almost any dish better. I have yet to find something that it didn’t. Today I’m focusing on just a few of the bacon-centric recipes I keep handy when I’m on the campsite.

Nana’s Bacon Sticks

10 – strips of bacon
20 – long, thin garlic bread sticks
Parmesan Cheese

Cut your bacon in half lengthwise, making 2 long strips from each slice. Wrap 1 strip in a spiral around each bread stick. Place in pan with a rack so the bacon drippings will go to the bottom of the pan, away from the bread sticks. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes or until the bacon is almost done. Turn bread sticks over and bake until bacon is done. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with cheese.

Bacon Stuffed Mushrooms

1 – lb of fresh, large mushrooms
1 – 8 oz package of cream cheese, softened
8 – slices of bacon, fried, crumbled

Clean the mushrooms and remove stems. Beat cream cheese until creamy. Mix cream cheese and crumbled, fried bacon. Stuff mushrooms with mixture. Place on a foil-lined cookie sheet and bake at 300 for 5-10 minutes or until hot. Broil for a few seconds to brown.

Bacon Wraps

8 – bacon slices
12 – tater tots
12 – smoked cocktail sausages

Cut 4 bacon slices into thirds. Wrap the bacon slices around the tater tots. Arrange in a circle on a paper-towel lined platter. Cover with the paper towel and microwave on high for 3 minutes. Rotate plate a quarter of a turn and microwave until bacon is crisp, about 2-4 minutes. Repeat with the 12 smoked cocktail sausages and microwave the same way.

These are just a few ways to enjoy your bacon. What are some of your favorite recipes that include bacon?