Dump Soup The Best Cold Weather RV Meal

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Cassidy/Flickr Creative Commons

Here in Texas, cold Winter weather can be unpredictable. Sometimes it snows, but most of the time we get ice and sleet. I guess it really depends on what part of the state you live in. Most Texans I know can put up with the Summer heat, but shutter themselves inside at even the thought of freezing weather. I tend to be one of those folks so, I have the easiest recipe ever for a cold night at the campground.  I call it my dump soup.  So easy and so good, it will warm those old bones up and only requires a few ingredients.

1 pound groud meat

1 package Taco seasoning mix

1 can of rotell

1 can of ranch beans or black beans

2 cans of Progresso Minestrone soup. 

 

Brown the ground meat. (sometimes I add onions and peppers while browning).  Add taco seasoning and the remaining ingredients and let it simmer a few minutes.  It’s that easy. It is extra delicious served with some sour cream, grated cheese and onions (like Chili). However, I like it best with cornbread. Even Fritos work well, too!!! You really can’t go wrong.

Stay warm, friends!

Trash Bag Taco Salad, It’s Delicious

Now, one of my favorite recipes from Evada Cooper is one we have made several times at the campsite. This is what I call “A Prepare in Advance” light lunch that everyone seems to like. This is seriously going to be one of the easiest meals you’ve ever prepared, as well as, cleaned up after! If you are lazy, this is right up your alley.

First, and this is the hardest part. Brown and season 2 lbs. of premium ground beef. I’m talking about the good stuff, get yourself some Black Angus.  RV Nana doesn’t compromise when it comes to main ingredients. You can season your ground beef according to your taste.

Second, package it in 2 freezer bags, 1 for the Trash Bag Taco Salad and the other is for the rest is for whatever I decide to do later. There are so many uses for taco meat. From soup to salad, I love to cook at the campsite, but I also like to have easy, no fuss things prepared in advance.

Now it’s time to pull out a bag or two and warm it up in the microwave. In a clean, UNSCENTED (this is very important) kitchen trash bag, mix chopped lettuce, tomatoes, grated cheese, and drained black beans.

Add the warm ground meat and some Catalina, or Ranch dressing (it depends on which part of Texas you are in).

Now comes the best part, shake that trash bag up and throw it on the picnic table. I like to serve it a small Frito bag on top of the Fritos. Everyone loves it, especially the kids, and it’s an easy clean up…no mess!!!

Of course, I always have some jalapeños, avocado and extra toppings on the side.

Fall Is In The Air And That Means Halloween and Food

Fall is in the air and there is no better time of year to enjoy the RV lifestyle. Campgrounds all over the nation are getting into the spirit of the season by planning big events that both young and old will enjoy. In fact, I am planning to go down to Galveston for a Spooktacular Halloween weekend, complete with an RV Halloween decorating contest and trick or treating. No, I have no little ones at home anymore, but kids are always fun to watch as they get so excited about Halloween.

galvestonislandguide.com

Of course, with Halloween coming, not just food, but creepy crawly looking food will be the order of the day. One of my favorites is Spooky Spaghetti and meatballs, but you have to make the meatballs look like little mice running through the spaghetti. Mushrooms make great mice ears and, of course, a long piece of spaghetti must be strategically places to look like the tail. Peppercorns make great eyes.

Another fun thing to do is to make Poltergeist Punch. Just mix a punch of your choice, drop a lit glowstick in it and you’ve gor yourself one paralyzing. Speaking of glow sticks, you can add an eerie green glow to your campsite by simply dropping glow sticks in water bottles and hang them around your site. I really love this idea because it is a bright, and easy way for kids to help you decorate for Halloween or anytime, really.

Check out this video for some really fun Halloween recipes.

I love new recipes and cooking ideas, especially during the holidays! If you have any you’d like to share with RV Nana, just submit them in the comments section. I’d love to cook up something new and different during my RVing holidays.

Also, remember that most of the parks nationwide will have events and activities planned. Give your favorite parks a call and see what Spookacular Events they have planned. Then go RVing!

Oh, on a side note, but still totally related, if you are looking for great cooking gagets for RVing, check out the FireDisc at PPL Motorhomes. I never leave home without it.

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Nana’s Recipes: Margaritas

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Lindsey Turner, Flikr Creative Commons

Like any truly world changing event, the invention of the Margarita has several origin stories. Anyone who reads this blog will know by now that I am a proud Texan, so the origin story of the Margarita that I prefer to believe happened right here in Texas!

Ahem… it was a dark and stormy night in 1948, and an internationally known leggy lady singer named Peggy Lee sauntered into the Balinese Room in Galveston, TX. She stood there a moment, surveying the room. The South Seas style interior of the club was dimly lit, the bandleader saw her and immediately broke into “Mañana (Is Soon Enough For Me),” which was her song currently at #1 on the Billboard Charts. She nodded to him, then made her way to the bar.

“Good evening Miss Lee. What would you like me to make for you?” bartender Santos Cruz asked as she placed her handbag atop the bar.

“Hello Santo! I don’t know, how about something new? Just for me?” Peggy responded happily.

“Yes ma’am!” he said, fetching down a bottle of Tequila. He scratched his head for a moment, then started to reach to the right, changed his mind, and bent down to bring out a bottle of Triple Sec. He looked around the bar for a short moment, then brought out a small basket of limes.

“Wow, Santo. This is going to be quite the production,” she laughed.

He grinned back at her and set a thick glass on the bar. A moment later he added two ice cubes, poured in a shot of Tequila, added a dash of Triple Sec, cut a lime in half, and, after he’d squeezed the lime over the glass, he rubbed the rim with the lime and sprinkled a tiny amount of salt on the rim.

“With my compliment, Miss Lee,” he smiled, and placed the drink in front of her.

She reached down, smiled, and took a sip.

“Why, this is MARVELOUS!” she sighed. “What do you call it?”

“I don’t know ma’am, I just made it. You said you wanted something just for you, so let’s call it Peggy,” he said.

“No, no, no… this is a Spanish drink. What is Peggy in Spanish?”

“I don’t know… err, what’s your middle name?”

“Margaret.”

“Perfect! Margaret in Spanish is Margarita, so happy Margarita Miss Lee!” he beamed, and thus the Margarita was born. And if it didn’t really happen that way, well, it should have! Happy Margarita from all of us at PPL Motorhomes!

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Nana’s Recipes: Around the Campfire

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simpleinsomnia/Flickr Creative Commons

As I said in the last blog, we spent some tie on the beach with the grandkids last weekend, and there’s nothing quite like spending an evening under the stars with loved ones around the campfire. It’s one of those so completely natural feelings, and every time it happens you wonder why you don’t do it more often. So for today’s blog I thought I’d share a few truly classic recipes for campfire snacks.

The S’More

This snack needs no introduction. If you don’t know Mr. and Mrs. S’More, you’ve never been camping. For the truly classic S’More all you need is graham crackers, chocolate, and marshmallows. Now what kind of chocolate to use I’ll let y’all argue over, because you just use whatever kind you like the best or have on hand. What you do is you take a couple marshmallows, stab them onto the end of a stick and toast them over the campfire til they turn brown. Once they’re brown you squish them onto a graham cracker, put a square of chocolate on another graham cracker and make a lil sandwich out of the two pieces. Enjoy responsibly! Haaa!

The Hot Dog

Another timeless classic that is so ridiculously easy to make yet awesome to eat. Here’s what you do (for you non-campers): take a hot dog weenie, stab it onto the end of a stick, cook it over the campfire until it is cooked to your preferred level of cookedliness, insert into bun, add whatever condiments you like. Enjoy responsibly! Haaa!

Chili Pie

Another so simple a dish it almost embarrasses me to tell you folks how to make it. Open a couple cans of your favorite chili, poor them into some sort of receptacle you can place over the fire, heat up chili, line a bowl with corn chips, pour heated chili into the bowl, enjoy responsibly! Haaa!

We have all kinds of camping and grill accessories here at PPL Motorhomes.com, come check em out!

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Nana’s Recipes: Tex Mex Shrimp Kabobs

Shrimp and Veggie Kabobs

Living on the Texas Gulf Coast, or the Lone Star Riviera to make it sound more exotic, means we have some fairly mild winters at times, as well as handy access to fresh seafood. So, I thought today we’d combine some good ol’ Tex Mex with some Gulf Coast shrimp and throw them on the barbie!

So you’ll need to get a couple dozen shrimp, and a BBQ pit. First you’ll need to peel and de-vein them, and make sure you leave the tails intact. Then you’ll need to mix the following ingredients together in a decent sized bowl:

  • Chop a red bell pepper until you have about a cup of finely chopped bell pepper bits
  • Do the same with a clove or two of garlic (one if you don’t like garlic flavor too much)
  • Throw in a couple teaspoons of lime juice, a teaspoon of cooking oil, a teaspoon of ground red chiles (whichever variety you prefer)
  • Then add a quarter cup of tequila, a quarter cup of red wine vinegar, and a half teaspoon of salt

Blend all those ingredients together real well and then stir in the shrimp. Let the shrimp marinate in the fridge for 30 minutes or so, then bring them out and put them on skewers. Let them cook on a medium heat over the coals for about 5 minutes, and keep brushing the marinade and turning them until the 5 min are up or they start turning pink. Take what’s left of the marinade and put it on the stove and bring it to a boil, then let simmer for 5 minutes or so. Once the sauce has simmered, serve the shrimp with whatever grilled veggies you prefer, and add some Mex style rice, chips and salsa, and some nice warm tortillas. If this doesn’t warm your winter a little bit, maybe add some jalapeño!

Don’t forget to swing by PPLMotorhomes.com and say howdy! We’ve got your parts here waiting for you.

 

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Nana’s Recipes: Fall Cocktails

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ctj71081, Flickr Creative Commons

Fall here in Texas is one of my favorite times of year y’all. The edge comes off the heat, the humidity rolls back…just a little bit, and you know the days will eventually get cooler. Another great thing about fall is the beginning of football season. Everyone knows how big High School, College, and yes even pro football is here in Texas. For those big-time fans that means tailgate season is here as well. So today I thought maybe we could talk about Fall Cocktails. They work especially well if you’re not as big a fan of the game as everyone else at the tailgater!

Apple Cider Mimosa

There’s something almost Martha Stewart-meets-Texas with this drink. You have that Northeastern apple cider flavor and I don’t know very many people down here who don’t enjoy a Mimosa. So here’s what you do: wet the rim of a champagne flute…or heck a keg cup will do…and then dip the rim into a sugar/cinnamon mixture (2 tbsp sugar, 1 tbsp cinnamon mixed together). Fill the glass about a quarter full of apple cider and top off the glass with champagne and enjoy the game!

Apple Pie Bourbon

Now lets mix together two great symbols of America: Apple Pie and Bourbon! This drink requires a little bit of dwell time so plan accordingly. What you do is get yourself a Mason jar and put a cup and a half of Bourbon in it. Then chop one green and one red apple and put the pieces in the jar. Add 4 cinnamon sticks, 3 sugar cubes, 1 slightly shaved nutmeg, and a one inch piece of fresh ginger and let it sit for two to four days. Yes, please taste it after 2 days to see if it is ready. Once it had achieved the level fall flavors you prefer, pour the bourbon through a strainer and into as many different glasses as folks you have whom you are willing to share it with. Then…enjoy!

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Nana’s Recipes: Ceviche!

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Gustavo Andrade/Flickr Creative Commons

As it gets hotter and hotter here in Texas, it’s only natural to think of meals that don’t require heating up the kitchen. Now the only thing better than not heating up the joint would be put put together a wonderful tasting south-of-the-border style meal so I thought today we could talk ceviche!

Ceviche is one of those classic Mexican seafood dishes that oddly enough requires no heat to cook! The secret is this: the lime juice cooks the shrimp for you. Shhhh! Don’t tell anybody. Let’s go!

You’ll need a couple pounds of decent sized shrimp, let’s say three pounds. Peel ’em, devein ’em, cut ’em into quarters and place them in the bottom of one of those glass baking dishes. Juice a half dozen or so limes and maybe 3-4 lemons then pour the juice over the shrimp. Put that dish in the fridge and let the juice work it’s magic for the next two hours. While the shrimp is “cooking” dice up four decent sized tomatoes, no need for seeds by the way. Also dice up a red onion, a couple serranos, a cucumber (peel it first), chop up a fistful of cilantro, and cube up an avocado.

Once the shrimp is “cooked”, throw all those ingredients plus the shrimp into a bowl and add a teaspoon of olive oil, salt and pepper (to your tastes) and then toss it all together. Once everything is good and mixed, put the bowl back in the fridge for an hour or so to let all the ingredients get good and friendly and it’s ready to eat! Granted it’s about 3 hours of fridge time to prepare this meal, but if you like do it the night before and leave overnight, it’ll be just as tasty. And it’ll be ready to go when you are! Speaking of which, when you’re ready to hit the road, hit us up at the website so we can help you get on your way with any parts or accessories you may require.

Nana’s Recipes: Tequila Drinks

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RicanGeek/Flickr Creative Commons

Summer is creeping up on us…kind of slowly this year, but never the less headed our way. The humidity is going to rise after all this blankety-blank rain we’ve been drowning in. You know it’s a wet year when you overhear farmers worrying about root rot and the cost of fungicide instead of the usual drought and pestilence talk. Anyway, the thought of a long hot and humid Texas summer got me thinking about cool refreshing tequila drinks, and there are a bunch of them. That aren’t margaritas.

Tequila Sunrise

Boy this is tasty. Pour an ounce and a half of your favorite tequila into a glass, then cut a lime in half. Squeeze out the juice from one of the halves into your glass, and add three quarters of an ounce of creme de cassis (which is a dark red, kind of sweetish liqueur made out of blackcurrants) and then top it off with club soda. Wonderful, refreshing tequila drink that isn’t a margarita.

Texas Two Step

This one is a for-real mixed drink, so it’ll probably require a trip to the store unless your RV has a fully stocked bar! And you’ll need that super cool James Bond cocktail shaker. So what you need to do is pour an ounce and a half of your favorite tequila into the shaker, add three quarters of an ounce of Texas Grapefruit Shrub, a quarter ounce of Pineapple juice, quarter ounce of Yellow chartreuse, a little wildflower honey, a couple drops of bitters, and a pinch of salt. Stir so the honey gets mixed in, then add ice and shake shake shake senora! Pour into a glass and enjoy!

These two not margaritas ought to do the trick for you folks that enjoy a sip of tequila from time to time. They’re easy to make, smooth to drink, and are thoroughly refreshing after a long hot Texas day!

Remember to swing by the website and say howdy, we’ll be glad to get you sorted!

Nana’s Recipes: Red or Green?

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stu_spivack/Flickr Creative Commons

Sometimes it can be the most difficult question of the day… Red or Green? Salsa that is. And that decision can totally change a meal in wonderful ways. Chicken enchiladas with verde (green to you non-Texans out there) sauce is sooo good, but that red sauce packs a punch too. So today I thought I’d pass along two simple salsa recipes you can make them yourself:

Red Salsa

  • 1 can whole peeled tomatoes (medium size can)
  • 1 Jalapeno pepper
  • 1 Serrano pepper
  • handful of chopped purple onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • handful of chopped cilantro
  • 1 bag of your favorite chips

Heat skillet on stove (medium heat) with a couple drops of olive oil in it. Combine all the ingredients in the blender and puree for 5-6 seconds. Pour ingredients into skillet and reduce heat to low. Let simmer for 45 minutes and stir every 15 or so. After 45 minutes, transfer to a bowl and set in the refrigerator until chilled. Serve and enjoy.

Green Salsa

  • 5-6 tomatillos
  • 1 Jalapeno
  • 1 Serrano pepper
  • handful of chopped purple onion
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • handful of chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice

First take the husks off the tomatillos, then place them in a pan with the lid on. Bring them to a boil then reduce heat and let simmer for 15 minutes or so. Take them off the heat and let them cool in the water. Once they’re cool, take all the ingredients and puree them in a blender for 5-6 seconds. Now this is a recipe that you can make as thick or thin as you like, so feel free to add water if you need to to allow for a texture of your choice…but remember a little goes a long way so start small.

Speaking of texture, the puree times on the blender are just averages. If you like chunkier pico de gallo style salsas, then don’t puree as long! If you like finely pureed salsa, let the blender run an extra second or two. Once you’ve got them cooked and served, leave a comment in the section below and let us know: Red or Green?

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