Saturday, January 31, 2015

The Great Water Dump - Frozen rinse/waste tanks

Image from
Our winter Rving adventure continues.  Previously, we posted How to Thaw and Drain Waste TanksSo far, that method has been working good.  However, today dumping was quite an ordeal.  We had two electric heaters in the compartment where the waste tanks are and a propane camp stove for heat.  It took about 4 hours before the valves would even move.  But, it was also 0 degrees.  Right now, it is 18 degrees and feels like 2 with the windchill.  It is going to be really cold this week as well with lows below zero and we are supposed to get lots more snow Sunday night into Monday.  No relief in sight.

So....back to the Great Water Dump - once we finally got the valves to move, we were able to dump.  But, then, we noticed another problem.  In spite of putting salt in the tanks, there were clumps of ice in the tanks.  We could see it when we looked down the toilet into the tank.  So, we filled up 5 gallon buckets of hot water and flushed out the tanks....still parts were frozen solid.  Next, we filled up buckets of hot water again and let it sit in the tanks to hopefully melt the ice.  It melted some of it.  But, not all.  So, we went through the whole process again - this time we included salt to try to melt more of the ice.  That finally melted almost all of it.  Poor Chad is all tuckered out now from carrying so many 5 gallon buckets back and forth.  (It ended up being about 15 buckets of water.)  We didn't know this was going to take up most of the day.  But, just another "joy" of Rving in winter.  We will be using our water in very limited amounts this week.  We would like to go as long as possible without needing to dump again.  However, we usually can't make it more than a week.  But, we will see.

A friend suggested using heated pads on the tanks.  We are going to look into that.  The only electrical outlet close by is the one we have our fridge plugged into.  So, we will have to figure something out. 

And, now, I'm going to do laundry.....

Related Posts
How to live in an RV during Winter
How to Thaw & Drain Waste Tanks 
Our Water Pipes Froze 

Friday, January 30, 2015

Chad's Basic Marinara Sauce (Gluten Free)

Chad's Basic Marinara Sauce (Gluten Free)

Marinara sauce over marinated mozzarella balls

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

Peel the garlic cloves and add to a sauce pan with 2 Tablespoons of olive oil.  Crush the garlic cloves with a potato masher.  Sauté over med-high heat until the cloves are golden brown.

Add the can of tomatoes and crush the tomatoes carefully with a potato masher. (I say carefully because they are full of juice and you don't want them to splatter everywhere.)

Add the 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper, & 1/2 Tablespoon of dried basil and let simmer partially covered for about 15-20 minutes or until it has achieved the desired thickness.

Serve over your favorite gluten free noodles or meatballs.  This is also delicious with Italian gnocchi noodles, in lasagna, with cauliflower, or spaghetti squash.  The possibilities are endless.  (I'm having mine over marinated mozzarella balls - delicious!!)  

By the way, this always tastes better the next day as the flavors have had a chance to marinate.

Bon appétit!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Winter Storm Juno in the RV

Well, we cut our trip to Boston short to hurry back home to the RV because we didn't want to get caught in Winter Storm Juno. This was supposed to be a huge storm & we were supposed to get over a foot with blizzard conditions. Well, in many areas the storm was as bad as they said it would be; it just didn't hit us very hard.  We were all excited and prepared with lots of food, water, gas, & propane in case we lost power. Well, let me tell you, it was all a big disappointment where we are parked. True, we did get some snow. But only about 6 inches and hardly any wind. I guess it's a good thing.  It's still snowing some, but the sun is peeping through the clouds now, so I think it's about over for us.

Here's some pics......

Related Posts
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Sunday, January 25, 2015

Leaving the RV unattended in Winter

I have to admit, this makes me pretty nervous.  Plus, I don't like leaving the RV because I miss it.  I'd rather take it with us.  But, this time we decided not to because we will only be gone for a couple of days - headed back up to Somerville, MA near Boston for another volunteer project.

The weather is supposed to remain below freezing while we are away.  So, we really need to make sure our pipes won't freeze while we're away.  

We emptied and salted our rinse and waste tanks and filled up the fresh water tank.  It will be less likely to freeze with more water in it.  And, we are making sure the water pump is shut off.  We are leaving the furnace thermostat set at 40 degrees.  And, leaving an electric heater on low under the cabinet.  Also, we are leaving all the cabinet doors open where the water pipes run so the heat can reach them.

And, we are leaving a heat lamp shining on the water pump.

And, we left towels around in the roof leak locations just in case it leaks while we are away.

By the way, we got 4-5 more inches of snow yesterday.  Here's a few pics....

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Gluten Free Broccoli Casserole

Gluten Free Broccoli Casserole

This recipe is originally from my cousin.  I started making it as a teenager and it was always a family favorite in our house.  Enjoy!  :-)

1 onion
1 stick of butter
1 Bunch Broccoli 
1 11 oz. can of mushroom soup (Progresso makes one that is gluten free)
1 Cup mayonnaise
2 eggs
1 Cup grated cheddar cheese

Dice the onion.

Sauté the onions and butter. 

Cook the onions until they are starting to caramelize, 20-30 minutes.

While the onions are cooking, chop up the broccoli into small pieces.  Bring 2 cups of water to boil in a saucepan and add the broccoli.  Cook until tender.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Drain the broccoli.

Add the broccoli to a casserole dish.
 Add the onions, soup, & 1 cup of mayonnaise to the casserole dish.  (Use less mayonnaise if you have a larger can of soup.)

Beat 2 eggs with a fork in a bowl.  Add to the casserole dish.

Add the eggs to the casserole dish and mix everything together.

Grate a cup of cheese.

Sprinkle on top.

Bake in the oven 45 minutes.

Bon Appétit!

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Friday, January 23, 2015

Gluten Free Salted Caramel Chocolate Mug Cake

Gluten Free Salted Caramel Chocolate Mug Cake

(All images from

Wow!  This is a delicious simple recipe to do when you just need something sweet to eat.  And, it is a single serving, but I couldn't eat it all at once.  I stretched it to three servings.  I also made a few substitutions and it was very good. 


I used Bob's Red Mill 1-2-1 Gluten Free Baking Flour for the flour.
Substituted coconut milk and used coconut palm sugar.

And, I actually didn't add the caramel because I didn't want the extra sugar.  I ate it with coconut milk ice cream and it was very delicious!!
Click here for the recipe.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

How to connect an RV gas/electric hot water heater to AC power

Back in September, we bought a new hot water heater.  It was an Atwood gas/electric model.   But, we had been running it off of propane only.  However, a couple of weeks ago when the temperatures really dropped, Chad decided we should really be using the electric as well in case we run out of propane during the night.  If that were to happen, the whole hot water tank would likely freeze. Chad actually "adapted" it to run off of AC power.  This way we have the option to only use propane.

Here's how.....

He bought a cheap electrical cord from the Hardware store and cut it to remove the female end.

Slit the cord to expose the wires.

Twist together the new wires from the electrical cord with the wires from the hot water heater.  Connect positive with positive (white) and negative with negative (usually black).

Add wire nuts.

Then we fed the electrical cord out to the outside of the RV and plugged it into the outlet located beside the hot water heater compartment.

Friday, January 16, 2015


This week we have another Cuban recipe contributed by Susy....and it's gluten free.  :-)
Buen provecho!

P.S. Picadillo Habenero (Ground Beef Havana Style)

Gluten Free Apple Crisp

Gluten Free Apple Crisp

This recipe is one I copied from a friend and I adapted it to be gluten free.  It's very good, not too sweet, & easy to make.  This is also a good recipe to "double" if you'd like to make extra.

 3 Medium Apples (peeled & cut)
2 Tablespoons Almond halves (or chopped)
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 Cup Brown Rice Flour
Pinch Salt
2 Tablespoons Oil
1/2 Cup Apple Juice
3 Tablespoons Honey, Maple Syrup, or Agave

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Peel & cut the apples into chunks.

Combine the apples, 2 T. almonds, & 1/2 t. cinnamon in a baking dish.  

Combine the 3/4 C. oats, 1/4 C. flour, pinch of salt, & 2 T. oil.  Mix until crumbly and cover the apples with the crumbs. 

Combine the 1/2 C. apple juice with 3 T. honey, maple syrup, or agave.  Heat until it blends and pour evenly over the crumbs.  

Bake 30-40 minutes (until apples are tender)

Serve with yogurt, cream, or ice cream.  (I'm having mine with vanilla coconut milk ice cream.)

Bon Appétit!