Friday, December 25, 2015

Chia Pudding

Chia Pudding

Chia seeds are very versatile.  They can be soaked in water and tea for a refreshing beverage, sprinkled on salads, and cereals, added to sauces, dressings, and dips, and used as an egg substitute in baking.  Chia seeds are high in protein, omega-3s, minerals, and antioxidants.

Chia pudding was introduced to us by Chad's mom.  It's incredibly easy to make and very nutritious.  This is great for breakfast, a snack, or dessert.  And, this is entirely gluten free.  

1/3 cup chia seeds
1 1/2 cups liquid of your choice (we've been using coconut milk)
2 Tablespoons honey, coconut sugar, maple syrup, or stevia
1/2 tsp vanilla

You can also add fresh fruit, nuts, coconut, mashed banana, mango juice...the possibilities are endless.  This could also be layered with fruit and whipped cream as a delicious dessert pudding.

Mix all ingredients and let it sit overnight or for an hour or two and serve.  It's really that easy!

After the seeds sit for a couple of minutes, you will notice they will start to expand into a gel like consistency.  If you're not comfortable with the consistency, try adding flax seeds.

I found some other great ideas for Chia pudding on TheFitRV's blog.  I can't wait to try their chocolate chia pudding.  Click here for the recipe.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Susy's Fettuccini Alfredo & Shrimp Scampi

Susy's Fettuccini Alfredo & Shrimp Scampi

Here's another delicious recipe contributed by Susy. She made this for us the last time she visited and it is so, so delicious!!!!

Alfredo Sauce

(Image compliments of Susy)

1 stick butter
2 cups heavy cream (whipping cream)
2 cups freshly grated Parmesan
1 clove garlic, crushed or 1 teaspoon garlic powder (Optional)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper 
Pasta cooking water, as needed  
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley before serving (Optional)
16 oz box of Gluten free Pastafettuccini, linguine, spaghetti or angel hair

Cook the pasta according to package directions.

In a saucepan or skillet, warm the butter and garlic (be careful not to burn). 

Add the cream & cook for 2-3 minutes until warmed through. (be careful not to boil)

Add the Parmesan and stir until melted. 

Taste for salt & then season with salt and pepper (taste before adding because butter & Parmesan can add salt)

Toss to combine with pasta, thinning with pasta water if necessary. (1-2 tablespoons of pasta water will help the sauce “stick” to the pasta.  The cream & Parmesan thicken the sauce. Add more if the sauce is too thick, as you prefer.)

Shrimp Scampi

(Image compliments of Susy)


1 stick butter
¾ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 medium onion, chopped (or 3-4 small shallots)
1-2 small garlic cloves, chopped
2 Tablespoons PESTO (store bought is fine)
2 lemons, zest & juice
1 Cup of white wine (Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc)
1 Cup freshly grated Parmesan 
2 pounds of medium shrimp (peeled & deveined)
1 cup of fresh basil chopped and/or fresh parsley
1 medium tomato, seeded & chopped (optional)

Add the butter & olive oil to a large skillet over medium heat.  Add onion, garlic, & pesto.  Cook for 1-2 minutes until the onions are soft. 

Add all the following ingredients: lemon juice/zest, white wine, & Parmesan.

Cook the sauce for 1-2 minutes & then add the shrimp until cooked.  (If using cooked shrimp, just cook until the shrimp is heated through.)

Add the fresh basil and tomato & heat through for 1 minute.

Serve in a separate platter or pour over pasta.

WINE PAIRING:  Pinot Grigio is the best w/ this menu!

More Recipes by Susy
Tostones - Twice Fried Plantains
"Picadillo Habanero" = Ground Beef Havana Style

Monday, August 10, 2015

How to Replace RV Slide Topper Awning Fabric

How to Replace RV Slide Topper Awning Fabric 

Well, this was upsetting.  The wind caught our awning and ripped the fabric.....likely because it was so old and brittle.  But, still...upsetting.  

So, we ordered new fabric and this is how we did the install.....By the way, when measuring for new fabric, the fabric lengths are center to center, arm to arm.

This is for a slide topper awning compatible with Carefree, Carter, & A&E awnings.

We decided to prop the awning arms up at about chest level to make it easier to replace the fabric.

As you unroll the awning fabric, note the number of times you turn the torsion assembly to relieve the tension.  The spring’s tension is exact and will need to be set to this exact point during reinstallation.  In our case, the awning fabric had ripped off, so we guessed 11 times.  Keep in mind that unrolling the fabric tightens the spring and rolling it up releases it.

Hardware will need to be removed only from the side that you will be inserting the awning fabric from.  The rivets (example shown below) have to be removed... well as the awning bracket.

There was also a screw down the track from the bracket that needed to be removed.  It actually had to be drilled out.

When the rivets are removed, the torsion assembly can be pulled apart as shown below.  The cord can be pulled out as well as...

...the existing awning fabric.  Keep in mind that the fabric will be reinserted in much the same way as it is removed.

The next step requires the help of an assistant.  In fact, the help of 4 people would have been ideal, but we accomplished the task with just the two of us.  The vinyl awning fabric came with a cord installed on the bottom and top.  First, feed the cord and fabric into the top rail about 1 foot.

Then feed the cord and fabric into the track on the torsion assembly.  

This is where more people comes in handy as you feed the fabric into the track and keep guiding it down the rail.

The top and bottom need to be fed together.

When the fabric has been fed completely onto the track, the bracket and screw can be reinstalled.

The torsion assembly has a second track.  The fabric has to be carefully folded into this track and then a cord inserted into the track.  This is tricky.  You have to be careful not to rip the fabric.  We used a pin punch to glide the cord down the track.  We also sprayed WD40 on the fabric to make it easier to slide the cord down the track.

We used the blunt edge of a bondo applicator to fold the fabric down the track.

There was an existing stopper piece that we reinserted over the cord before pushing the torsion assembly back into place.

The existing rivets were old/worn, so we used sheet metal screws to hold everything in place.

Carefully roll the awning up into place.

The following are pictures of the awning fully extended.  We are very happy with this vinyl fabric.  It is also working well in the rain.

Yay!!  All finished.

My mom & Chad


Friday, August 7, 2015

Chad's Gluten Free Chicken Parmesan

Chad's Gluten Free Chicken Parmesan

This recipe actually combines a couple of our other recipes.  Chad's basic marinara sauce and Gluten Free Chicken Cutlet, both of which can be made ahead of time.  We highly recommend making the marinara sauce because that is what makes the recipe so delicious.  I'll include all of the ingredients here so you can see what's required at a quick glance.
Marinara sauce Ingredients
1 small bulb of garlic (use more or less garlic to taste - we love garlic)
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
28 oz can Whole Peeled Tomatoes (from Italy are delicious - fresh tomatoes are best)
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon Salt (or to taste)
1/8 teaspoon Pepper (or to taste)
1/2 Tablespoon dried basil
Click here for the recipe
 Gluten Free Chicken Cutlet Ingredients
 1 lb. skinless, boneless chicken breasts
 3 oz. gluten free bread crumbs
1/2 Cup brown rice flour (You could also use coconut flour to give it a slightly sweet flavor)
 3 eggs
1/2 Tablespoon garlic powder
 1 Tablespoon + 1/2 teaspoon salt 
 2 Tablespoons water
Canola oil (or for a healthier alternative use refined coconut oil or extra light olive oil)
Click here for the recipe.  You will need to cut the ingredients in half (reflected above).  Follow all of the steps shown in the recipe.

Additional Ingredients
15 oz. Ricotta cheese
16 oz. Mozzarella cheese, grated
Parmesan cheese, grated or shredded to taste
1 pint Sliced mushrooms (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a 13x9 pan, spread a layer of the marinara sauce, then the grated mozzarella cheese, mushrooms, and chicken.

Layer the ricotta cheese over the chicken, add another layer of marinara sauce, and sprinkle the remaining mozzarella on top.  Garnish with parmesan cheese on top.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 20-30 minutes.

Bon Appetit!
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Friday, July 24, 2015

Gluten Free Fruit Cobbler

Gluten Free Fruit Cobbler

It's summer time!  YAY!!!  That means we can get lots of delicious fresh fruit which is great for making cobblers.  Here's a super easy recipe that I have.  Enjoy!

6 Tablespoons Butter
1 Cup 1-to-1 Gluten Free Baking Flour
1-1/2 teaspoons Gluten free Baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Cup Water 
1 Cup Fresh Fruit 

Since it's that time of year, we picked our own fruit - fresh wild blackberries.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Melt the butter in a square 8x8 baking dish in the oven.  (You will have time to prepare the batter for the cobbler while the butter is melting.)

Whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, palm sugar, and water.

Spoon the batter into the hot butter.

Sprinkle the fruit around in the batter.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Summer in Virginia

Summer in Virginia

Photo Credit: Kmeunierphotography
Our Parking Spot for the moment

We apologize that you haven't heard from us in a while.  We've been super busy, but the main reason was because both of our computers died in the same week.  So, it's been taking us some time to get back up and running.  We're almost there.....I must say, it's nice to be back on the blog....even for a brief moment.  We have a large land survey job that has just come up, so the next couple of weeks are going to be pretty hectic again.
We have been enjoying the summer here.  I really missed these nice hot summers while I was in NY.  And, I think it's been fairly mild so far which is nice.  August is usually the hottest month, so I'm sure more hot weather awaits...Chad has been doing well with the heat, so that is good.  I was a little concerned it might be too hot for him down here.

There's always much to do on a farm and this Spring/Summer this place has been a bee hive of activity.   Last May, the dam broke on the pond and it has been getting repaired the past couple of months.  

The new overflow pipe

New emergency spillway

There have also been many other repairs to do.  My dad has also been working on installing a bathroom into his barn, so the septic tanks were getting installed this past week.  

New Septic Tanks

 And, we helped with getting up 220 hay bales when the field got cut.  

Aerating the hay

Hay Bales

We've also been doing some work on our vehicles.  The heater core went out on our car last week, and Chad also did the body work that it needed to repair the hole in the bumper.  And, this was in addition to our volunteer work.  Never a dull moment....

Buick body work

All finished

My family has 8 outside cats as well....who we are grateful for because we really don't want any problems with mice.  They're pretty funny and cute.  Chad especially loves them.

The Mama Cat

Photo credit: Kmeunierphotography

Photo credit: Kmeunierphotography

Photo credit: Kmeunierphotography

Photo credit: Kmeunierphotography

Here are a few more pictures from our Summer adventures.....


Gone Fishin'

Wheat Field

Large Snapping Turtle

 And, more beautiful sunsets......

Photo credit: Kmeunierphotography

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