Monday, April 27, 2015

Goodbye to Virginia....for now

Well, we had a really nice time in VA.  We escaped the rest of winter in NY, saw the beginning of Spring, got a lot of work accomplished, and enjoyed some warm weather.  Now our RV life takes us back up to NY for work.  But, we plan to come back to Virginia again soon.

Here are some pics from our time in VA.....

It was so nice that we skipped the end of winter in NY.  but, even so, I think this is the happiest I've ever been to see Spring come.  I can't even explain how great it was - I know all of our friends in NY understand...

The first signs of Spring...
Wheat fields

Maple trees
Cherry Blossoms

Beautiful sunsets......

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Friday, April 24, 2015

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies (Gluten Free)

Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

These cookies are quick and easy to make.  And, if peanuts are a problem, just substitute almond butter.

1 Cup peanut butter 
1/2 Cup maple sugar (or you can use 1 Cup brown sugar; I've also had good success substituting 1 Cup xylitol)
1 egg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 Cup chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine all ingredients in a bowl.

Mix together to form a dough.

Form into balls and place them on an ungreased cookie sheet or in a baking dish.

Put into the oven and cook for 8-10 minutes.  Remove from oven and allow to cool.  When the cookies come out of the oven, they will be soft and fragile.  They will become firm when they cool.

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Gluten Free Chocolate Coconut Macaroons

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Sunday, April 19, 2015

Every Campers Nightmare - overflowing toilet

I suppose we have been very fortunate to have made it this far without any major plumbing disasters.  We have been filling up our water tank, but about a week ago we bought a longer fresh water hose so that it could reach a spigot and we could keep the water on all the time.  We have gotten used to hearing the pump run every time the water runs.  That's why I didn't even know that the toilet was running.  It ran and ran until the waste tank was full and then it kept running all over the floor. 

Fortunately, Chad came back in and immediately saw that the floor was wet when he walked in.  It wasn't too bad yet.  And, it was mostly clean water, so that is good.  We used pine sol disinfectant and borrowed a shop vac to get the water out of the carpet.  We are also running the dehumidifier to dry everything out.  I can just imagine how much worse it could have been though!  You don't want that!  We aren't even sure why the toilet was running, unless the pedal got stuck.  But, it didn't seem stuck.  This is another thing to watch out for - make sure the toilet isn't running before we leave the RV unattended.

Related Posts
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Friday, April 17, 2015

Cheese making in the RV

Chad's Quick and Easy Cheese

(Requires about 4 hours and sitting overnight)

1 gallon whole milk 
1/4 rennet tablet (also known as Fromase) - We purchased it from
1/2 + 1 Tablespoon fine sea salt
1 Tablespoon white vinegar

Other required items
4 women's knee high socks (This works better than cheesecloth and we found it for $1 at the Dollar Store)
butter knife
spoon or fork 
large slotted spoon
large pot 

Dissolve rennet in a cup of warm water.  Stir the rennet/water mixture with a spoon or fork.

Put the milk in a large stock pot and heat to 90 degrees.  Stir frequently.  After the milk is heated, add 1/2 Tablespoon of fine sea salt, 1 Tablespoon of white vinegar, and the rennet/water mixture. Stir very thoroughly back and forth for 5 minutes.

  Let sit for about 1 hour. You will notice it will start to become firm.  Check to make sure that the cheese has a "clean break", which means that when you dip your finger in, your finger comes out clean.

Cut the cheese in a grid pattern with a knife.  Make sure that you cut all the way through the cheese to the bottom of the pot.  Let sit for another hour. 

Warm up the mixture over very low heat.  The mixture should now look soupy.
Take one of the knee highs and spread it over a medium sized colander.

Using the slotted spoon, spoon 1/4 of the mixture into the sock in the colander and let the whey drain out.  Hang it above the sink to drain.  Repeat with the other three socks.  Let them drain for a couple hours.

Tie the cheese balls in the socks together.  Twist them to squeeze any remaining whey out.  

Let them sit in salted (1 Tablespoon), ice water for 12 hours.  The water should have enough salt to taste good.

Remove the cheese balls from the water and let sit to drain for 30 min - 1 hour.  Unwrap the cheese from the socks and it should cut nicely and have a nice rich flavor.

Bon appetit!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Chad's Gluten Free Salad Dressing

Chad's Gluten Free Salad Dressing

Last night, we had our first guests for dinner in the RV.  We weren't sure how crowded it would be, but it worked out great.  Chad made his brisket (click here for the recipe).  And, we also made a salad using this dressing.
I think you'll find this salad dressing very delicious, especially if you love lemon, and it's easy to make.
1/3 Cup Olive Oil
1/3 Cup Lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon Sugar
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/8 teaspoon Garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon Dill
1/4 teaspoon Oregano 
1 Tablespoon parmesan cheese (optional)

Combine all ingredients in a small jar and shake.  And, voila!  You have a delicious dressing for your salad.

Bon appetit!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Chad's Brisket (Gluten Free)

Chad's Brisket (Gluten Free)

This recipe is for oven baked brisket.  Chad also uses this combination of spices for making smoked brisket.  

5 lb. beef brisket
1 Tablespoon Garlic powder
1/8 Cup Paprika powder
1/4 teaspoon Cayenne pepper (omit if you don't want it too spicy)
1 teaspoon Onion powder
1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked Black pepper
1/2 Tablespoon Kosher salt
1/2 Cup Brown sugar
1/2 Tablespoon Coffee (Instant or regular is fine)

Preheat the oven to 225-250 degrees F.  Wash the beef and pat dry.  Place in a baking pan.  (You might want to use a disposable foil pan because of all the browning that will take place on the bottom of the pan.)
In a bowl, combine all the spices together.  Taste it.  If it's too spicy, add more sugar.  It should taste good.  

Then, sprinkle the spice mixture on the top.  Place in the oven and bake for 7 hours.

Remove from oven.  The browning that you notice here is not because the beef is burned.  It is a caramelization that takes place.   It's called the Maillard reaction.  Very delicious!!
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