Making My Life Easier In The Kitchen

The kitchen is where I spend most of my time when I’m out with family and friends. There’s just something about cooking for all the people close to me that makes me happy. Since I’m always in the kitchen, I’m always on the lookout for space-saving and time-saving gadgets. What can I say? I’m a gadget hound. The easier it makes my life, the more likely I am to buy it. Luckily enough, we’re running a special on kitchen gadgets and rest assured, I’ve already tried them out and they work wonders!

Collapsible Mini Colander-Bowl Combo

When I’m in the mood for some fresh fruit, I like to give them a good rinse before I start eating them. That’s where this handy little contraption comes into play. I can turn it one way and it’s a colander, for me to wash all those pesticides and dirt off, then turn it the other way and it’s a water-tight bowl. Saving me the hassle of having to have 2 bowls. Less to carry and less to clean.

Bacon Cooker for Microwave

Who doesn’t love bacon? Not anyone in my family, that’s for sure. There’s always a package of bacon in my refrigerator when we’re out on a campsite. I can put a few strips on this handy little plate and microwave up some bacon in a hurry, which is how almost everyone likes it. Not only can I use it for bacon, but I can also reheat pizza and make homemade potato chips. I’ll take 2, please!

Collapsible Salad Spinner

After a rough day, sometimes, I just need a good, fresh salad. It’s OK, I still love my bacon, but I can’t deny my body the tasty vegetables that come in a well-made salad. Fresh lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber and whatever else I dream up. I can throw it all in this Collapsible Salad Spinner and have it made for me!

Get all these gadgets while they’re on sale!

Screen Shot 2014-04-23 at 10.05.43 AM

Nana’s Recipes: Springtime Beverages

 

Photo Courtesy of bettycrocker.com

Spring is such a great time of year. Not only is the sun starting to warm us up, but there’s fresh fruit everywhere! There’s nothing like a tall glass of fresh made lemonade or punch on a sunny day. Here are a few recipes I have for your springtime drinks!

Strawberry Punch

10 oz. Fresh strawberries
12 oz. can of frozen pink lemonade concentrate, diluted, chilled
2 liter bottle of 7-Up or ginger ale

Blend fresh strawberries. Pour lemonade into punch bowl and stir in blended strawberries. Add 7-Up or ginger ale and well until blended. If it’s too tart, you can add sugar.

Pineapple Tea

1 (46 oz) can of pineapple juice
2 packages sweetened lemon-lime flavored drink mix
1 tablespoon instant tea

Place all ingredients in a gallon jar. Fill with water, stir and allow tea to sit overnight in refrigerator. Add more tea to taste if needed.

Pink Grapefruit Punch

1 (46 oz) can pink grapefruit juice, chilled
1 (46 oz) can pineapple juice, chilled
1 (1 liter) bottle 7-Up, chilled

Mix juices and 7-Up together in a punch bowl. Serve ASAP.

Cranberry Limeade

3 cups of cranberry juice cocktail
2 cans (12 oz total) frozen limeade concentrate, thawed
2 bottles (40 oz. total) sparkling water, chilled
Lime wedges
Cranberries

Mix cranberry juice and limeade concentrate in a large pitcher. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Before serving, pour in sparkling water and garnish with lime wedges and fresh cranberries.

What are some of your favorite drink recipes?

 

Nana’s Recipes: Chicken Specialties

Cheez-Its Baked Chicken. Image courtesy of wayofthespatula.com

Chicken is quite possibly the easiest meat to cook and it keeps so well that it could spend months in a freezer. I like to buy the bags of frozen chicken breasts at the grocery store and stick them in the freezer when go RVing. There’s so much you can do with a chicken breast that’s filling and puts smiles on all of our faces. This edition of Nana’s Recipes focuses on the versatility of chicken and some of the delicious flavors you can get out of it with only a couple of ingredients.

Chicken Lemonade

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup of lemon juice
1/3 cup of margarine, melted

Put chicken in a 9″x13″ glass dish. Cover with lemon juice and marinate for 1 hour in refrigerator, turning over often. Drain juice off of chicken and pour margarine over chicken. Bake at 350° for about an hour or until tender.

Nana’s Orange Soda Chicken

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts1 (12 ounce) can of orange soda (I like Orange Crush)
2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce

Put chicken breasts in a microwave dish. Pour orange soda over chicken. Sprinkle with worcestershire sauce. Cover with plastic wrap, folding back the corner to vent. Microwave in high for 4 minutes. Rotate dish 1/2 turn, then cook again, 4 minutes. Chicken should be cooked until juice is clean and meat is not pink in the center. Use a meat thermometer to check that it’s cooked to 165°.

Cheez-Its Baked Chicken

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup sour cream
1 cup crushed Cheez-Its crackers

Roll chicken breasts in sour cream, then in Cheez-Its. Bake at 325° for 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until tender.

Chicken Dijon

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
4 tablespoons dijon mustard
2 cups finely crumbled, seasoned breadcrumbs

Place chicken breasts in a greased baking dish and bake at 350° for 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Generously spread mustard on both sides of chicken, then coat with breadcrumbs and return to baking dish. Bake at 350° for 1 hour. The mustard gives it a tangy flavor and make it moist.

What are some of your favorite ways to cook chicken?

 

Grilling Season Is Upon Us!

There’s nothing like spending some time with your family and friends around a grill. The outdoors, the camaraderie, and, best of all, the tasty meat you’re cooking. It’s one of my favorite things to do! Almost every family get-together ends up with someone firing up the grill and throwing a T-bone on it. The same goes for tailgating. How can you possibly tailgate without cooking out? With the warmer weather coming on fast, now’s the time to get all of your outdoor grilling needs in order. Here are a couple of recommendations I have on making your grilling season the best ever!

Olympian 5500 Stainless Steel Grill

A Stainless Steel Gas Grill that mounts on the side of your RV or may be set up on it’s own stand. The cast iron smoker plate offers the fullest flavor while minimizing grease fires. After the grill is preheated, the food drippings fall onto the smoker plate, where they vaporize and turn into flavorful smoke.

Also included with this stainless steel grill is a quick-connect hose and valve for use with an RV or trailer with a built-in quick-connect low pressure propane connection.

  • High Quality Stainless Steel Construction for long life
  • Patented smoker plate eliminates ashes and  controls grease fires
  • No greasy and messy lava rocks
  • Even heat distribution to minimize flare ups
  • Convenient portable size
  • Built in combined LP regulator and gas control
  • 21-1/2″ W x 8-1/2″ H x 14-1/2″ D fully assembled
  • Grill size – 16-3/4″ x 10-1/2″

InstaFire Fire Starter

Lighter fluid is such a bad idea when it comes to lighting your charcoal. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve almost lost my eyebrows from trying to light my grill. Lighter fluid ignites at a much quicker pace, so it doesn’t allow you to get away from it. If you’ve put too much in, you’ve created a dangerous situation.

InstaFire is a safe, simple, and versatile new water and wind resistant fire starting product. It has a fifteen minute burn time and a thirty year shelf life.

Use it to light campfires, as a bbq grill charcoal lighter, or as a safe and reliable fuel source for cooking or heating.

Grandpa’s Fire Fork

If you’ve put away your grill and are looking for something quick for dinner, you can use your campfire as a grill! You can cook hot dogs and marshmallows from a safe distance and not have to dirty up your meal with a stick that you found on the ground. Just attach the FireFork to the end of that stick and you’ve got a washable, stainless-steel way to cook in a hurry!

Grilling season is my favorite season! Be sure you have all the necessary products to help make it a successful one!

 

Nana’s Recipes

Cooking is one of my favorite things to do when I have family over. Getting everyone together in the kitchen to eat a hearty meal that I (with some help, of course) cooked mostly from scratch. It’s one of those things that never gets old.

When you’re traveling with your RV, you have limited space and cooking for everyone is a chore. Sure, we can buy all the newest gadgets and space-saving kitchen necessities, but that doesn’t help the fact that you’ve only got a limited amount of space in your RV’s kitchen. I enjoy cooking too much to give it up, so I make it work.

There are plenty of recipes out there that only involve 3-4 ingredients, which leaves more space in the fridge and freezer so you can take longer trips and have to visit the corner store less frequently. Here are a few of my favorite recipes that are a space- and time-saver. Try them out and let me know what you think!

Nana’s Quesadillas

1 small onion, chopped
1 to 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
10 flour tortillas

Place a handful of onions and cheese in the center of a flour tortilla. Fold over and secure with toothpicks. Fry in melted margarine on both sides until golden brown.Optional: You can add shredded chicken on top of the cheese and onions to make chicken quesadillas.

Nana’s Crisp Chicken

4 chicken breasts, halved, skinned, boned
2 eggs, beaten
Crushed corn flakes

Dip the chicken breasts in the eggs, then roll in the crushed corn flakes until well coated. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray, place chicken on it and bake at 350 degrees for about an hour. Double check the temperature with a meat thermometer. 170 degrees internal temperature!

These are just a few of many recipes out there that are perfect for making when you’re on a campsite. What’s your favorite?

 

Making Our Lives Easier in the Kitchen

When we bought our first RV 15 years ago, I started filling up the cabinets and adding “stuff” to every nook and cranny.  Now, 5 RVs later (I’m a slow learner) I have come to realize that less is more.  I am still always on the lookout for items that store easily, take up little space, and, of course, items that make my life easier.  These are a few items I have added to the fifth wheel and these items have actually helped me eliminate other bulky items I was carrying. After all, we’re all looking to save a little space.

Collapsible Mini Colander

This is so handy because it is a colander that converts to a water tight bowl.  I love multi-purpose products.

 

 

Collapsible Storage Containers

What a great idea to have storage containers that are collapsible and easy to store.  These take up so little room and I can serve them and store without having to search endlessly through a mountain of plastic containers. I think we all have that one drawer at home when an endless number of plastic containers and lids. That’s a waste of space in a limited space RV.

Collapsible Produce Keeper

Fresh produce is always the way to go. The bad part is, fresh produce goes bad in a matter of days. This produce keeper might extend the freshness by a few days and it also doubles as a colander. The entire collapsible product line was a great invention…especially for the RVer.

 

Microwave Bacon Cooker 

First, I have to admit that I hate cooking bacon, or at least if did until this product came along.  No more grease or mess and easy to clean. Dishwasher safe, so I can cook it, eat it, then stick it in the dishwasher. Cooking bacon can be a messy endeavor without the proper tools. You can also reheat pizza and make your own potato chips on this thing. Genius.

What products have you put in your RV’s kitchen to make your life easier?

Deep Frying Your Christmas Turkey

Turkey. It’s a staple of millions of homes for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner. It’s something I look forward to making every year. When you’re on the road in your RV, cooking a turkey can be somewhat of an undertaking. Luckily enough, deep frying your birds are becoming more and more popular, and it’s quickly becoming the choice of RVers everywhere. With Christmas happening in a few days, I decided to write about how to make your Christmas turkey something to remember, with a deep fryer!

1. Be sure you have a flat surface outdoors to deep fry your turkey

A flat surface is very important to be sure you don’t spill cooking oil all over the ground. Make sure you are far away from wooden decks, homes, plants and anything that may catch fire.

2. Determine how much oil is needed for the turkey.

There should be about 3-5 inches from the fill line to protect it from boiling over and spilling.

3. Preheat the oil to 375 degrees.

While this is going on, prepare your turkey with marinade, seasonings and injectable flavor. You will also need to insert a metal wire and hook to lower and raise the turkey from the cooking oil.

4. Once the cooking oil is the desired temperature, turn the burner off.

5. Lower the turkey into the cooking oil slowly, to avoid spilling and bubbling over.

6. Once the turkey is immersed, turn the burner back on.

7. Cook the turkey for 3-4 minutes per pound of turkey.

Remember, the turkey is not done until the dark meat is 175-180 degrees and the white meat is 165-170 degrees.

8. Once the turkey is done, turn the burners off and slowly lift the turkey out of the deep fryer.

Set the cooked bird on a rack or a bed of paper towels and wait at least 20 minutes before you move it.

9. Enjoy your deep fried turkey!

On thing to remember during this process is that, for all of its deliciousness, deep frying a turkey is extremely hazardous and is responsible for incredible amount of house fires and fire related injury every year. Please, please, please be very careful when frying your turkey. In fact, when you are lowering your turkey into the oil, just go ahead and turn the flame off until your turkey is completely in the pot. This will help prevent fire in case of spillover.

Good luck, be safe and enjoy! Everyone of us here at PPL Motorhomes hope you enjoy your holidays with your family and be sure to let us know how your turkey turns out!

 

 

Thanksgiving in an RV

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I’m sure the question has popped into your head: “How am I gonna cook Thanksgiving dinner in my RV?”. Knowing that your RV has smaller appliances and counter space than your kitchen probably scares you a little bit, too. But not to worry, there are plenty of things you can do to make your turkey day go off without a hitch.

I’ve heard of many RVers who have cooked a turkey in their crock-pot! This will free up your stove and allow you to cook side dishes while your turkey is being cooked. One that I recommend is the Roasted Yams and Apples recipe. Since you’re not using your stove-top just yet, there are a couple of great recipes out there for green beans and a curried butternut squash and apple soup that would be a cinch to make in your RV. Minimal ingredients and a small amount of space taken up.

Some people like to deep fry their turkeys, which is great, because you can do that outside! That just leaves more space inside for you to cook side dishes and desserts. Be sure to bring enough fryer oil to cook with!

If baked turkey is your thing, then I recommend buying turkey breasts at the supermarket. They are more compact than a whole turkey and you can buy a few packages worth and stick them in your freezer.

If you carry a grill with you when you go traveling, you can always grill a turkey on it! You may have to take the top warmer shelf out to get the whole turkey in there, but a 4-burner grill should accommodate a smaller turkey.

Always think ahead when preparing a big meal in your RV, take all the ingredients you can, then stop by the grocery store for the additional items.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving and Happy RVing!

Delicious RV Grilled Chicken

When going RVing, we all know the thing that you are most looking forward to is FOOD! We love to eat while on the road. It makes you feel even more relaxed and comfortable, and it seems that a lot of family events are planned around food. We’re no exception! Our family seems to eat more chicken than you could ever imagine and this is my easy twist on grilled chicken. Try it for yourself!

 

1 package boneless, skinless chicken thighs (you can use breast, but thighs are juicier)

1 package peppered bacon

1 jalapeno pepper (seeded and cut into strips)

1 sweet onion (cut into wedges)

Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder or your favorite Grilling seasoning

 

Wash and pat dry the chicken.  Sprinkle with your favorite seasoning. Place a sliver of jalapeno and as much onion as you like on the chicken and fold it over like a tortilla.  Wrap the pepper bacon around the chicken and secure with a toothpick.  Grill for about 30 minutes turning as needed.  My family loves this served with seasoned rice and a salad. I have also cooked this in the oven at 375 and it turns out great, too!

Everyone here at PPL Motorhomes loves to cook, and sharing recipes with each other is always fun. If you have any recipes you’d like to share, leave them in the comments section below, or on our Facebook page.

2013 Super Bowl Food Recipe – Stuffed Mozzarella Meatballs

You can’t have a Super Bowl party without having some really good food, that’s just a fact! Whether you are having a Super Bowl party at home, or in your RV, I found this great recipe for delicious stuffed mozzarella meatballs. Sure, this is a little bit of a departure from the standard bowl game fare of hot dogs, hamburgers and chips, but trust me, all of your guests will be impressed with your cooking skills when you whip up this easy to prepare and delectable dish.

It can be served with a side of marinara sauce, or eaten as is. The marinara sauce is simply made with tomatoes, pesto, oregano, garlic and olive oil.

What you’ll need:
2 Pounds of Ground Beef
1 Pound of Ground Pork
Tablespoon of Salt
Teaspoon of Crushed Red Pepper
2 Tablespoons of Fresh Chopped Parsley
Teaspoon of Chopped Garlic
2 Eggs
3 Tablespoons of Shredded Mozzarella
About 30, 1 inch x 1 inch blocks of Mozzarella Cheese
4 Tablespoons of Parmigiana Cheese
About a Cup of Bread Crumbs

Who know that your Super Bowl Party could have and Italian twist to it? This Sunday, give this recipe a try and let me know what you think. Plus, if you decide not to cook it this weekend, this is fantastic for when you are our on the road enjoying the RV lifestyle…Italian style! Mangiare!