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Category: Menu Planning & Cooking

Alabama Mardi Gras Comes to Kentucky

January 22, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

To escape winter in north-central Kentucky, we decided to head south to the Gulf Coast and chose an RV park near Gulf Shores, Alabama, for the month of January. As we toured the area, we noticed that slowly the Christmas decorations were being replaced by Mardi Gras colors. Rex, the King of Carnival, selected the Mardi Gras colors in 1892. Purple stands for justice, green for faith, and gold for power. Wreaths, banners, tinsel swags and signs started appearing in shop windows and on homes. Trees were redecorated with new ornaments and garlands in those special hues. Stores displayed hats, beads and party supplies. Bakeries hung signs encouraging hostesses to “Order Your King Cake Now!” King cake is a brioche-type pastry, rolled or braided into a circle. It is flavored with cinnamon and sugar-frosted in Mardi Gras colors. A token — a coin, a bean, or a tiny plastic baby — is hidden inside. Whoever gets the token is the king or queen of the party. Nowadays most bakeries won’t put... [Read more...]

There’s Still More to Love about Texas Food

January 7, 2013 by · 2 Comments 

There’s Still More to Love about Texas Food

Texans take their food as seriously as they do their football. Many Winter Texans and other visitors to the Lone Star State have the good sense to agree with them—that Texan food is that of the gods. 1. Po Po Family Restaurant Bright neon letters spell “CHICKEN, STEAKS, SEAFOOD” across the rock exterior of Po Po Family Restaurant. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved Bright neon letters spell “CHICKEN, STEAKS, SEAFOOD” across the rock exterior of Po Po Family Restaurant, just off I-10, 37 miles north of San Antonio at the Welfare exit #533. The neon and the notice tell you what to expect at Po Po’s: a menu that requires no translation, featuring traditional American and Southern fare, cooked to order. Po Po is not just your ordinary restaurant. This eatery has a unique history with a cast of unique characters and circumstances, a matchless plate collection, as well as some of the best food in the Texas Hill County. The warmth and hospitality are hard to beat. If you have ever... [Read more...]

Giving Thanks On the Road

November 21, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Giving Thanks On the Road

Fall can be the most beautiful time of the year to camp. The seasons are changing and campgrounds and RV parks are not as packed with vacationers as they may be during summer months. If you are fortunate enough to have the time for travel in late November, you could have the unique experience of celebrating Thanksgiving on the road. However, preparing an entire Thanksgiving feast in a camper or RV can be a daunting task and rife with unique complications. If you travel in a large vehicle with a full size oven, your solution may be obvious and your problems, minimal. However, if you are a tent camper or have a smaller travel trailer, as we do, you could experience multiple issues in attempting to achieve your usual spread. Our small 18’ camper certainly contains an adequate kitchen area to meet our usual camping needs: a two burner stove, a small sink and a refrigerator. Indeed, it feels luxurious after many years of tent camping. However, we have no oven in which to cook the turkey. If... [Read more...]

Butterflied Turkey a la RV

November 13, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Last year we celebrated our first Thanksgiving in the RV and I knew I was going to fix a turkey no matter what.  We have a convection oven and I knew the only hurdle I would need to overcome was the size of the turkey.  So, if you’re new to RVing or have not tried cooking a turkey inside your RV, let me share how easy it is. I saw a recipe about butterflying a turkey and I knew that would work for us.  Butterflying would help reduce the height of the turkey allowing it to be on the rack in the convection oven.  I found that a 12 lb. turkey works well.  Once butterflied, the glaze goes on beautifully leaving us with a moist tender turkey. 12 lb. turkey 2 Tbls. salt 2 tsp. pepper 2 tsp. baking powder 2 onions Glaze: 3 cups apple juice 1 cup whole fresh cranberries ¾ cup Maple Syrup 1 Tbls. grated fresh ginger 1 Tbls. mustard Remove giblets and neck from turkey.  Rinse the inside of the turkey and pat dry.  Place the turkey breast side down on a non-slippery surface. With a sharp... [Read more...]

Lose Now, Eat Later!

November 7, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Lose Now, Eat Later!

Do your clothes fit too snugly lately?  Does it feel like you put on 5 pounds by the end of each and every year?  If so, it is time to start losing some of those extra pounds before this year’s “Holiday Eating” even begins. Pondering my schedule for the holidays this year, I couldn’t help but think of all the eating I am inevitably going to be doing.  Because I, like so many Americans, LOVE to eat!  Given the opportunity and availability of delicious food being set out before me (think holiday parties), I tend to overeat.  So by the time I am ringing in the New Year, I am a good 5-10 pounds heavier than I was when wearing my Halloween costume. If you, like me, are not looking forward to the inevitable holiday weight gain, join me in my new found personal weight-loss challenge.  My goal this year is to do what I can to curb my appetite and exercise in the few weeks I have left before Thanksgiving.  Since we all know, there is no dieting during Thanksgiving dinner. ... [Read more...]

Still More Reasons to Love Texas Food

November 5, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

Still More Reasons to Love Texas Food

Texans take their food as seriously as they do their football. Many Winter Texans and other visitors to the Lone Star State have the good sense to agree with them—that Texan food is that of the gods. 1. City Market Barbecue fans head to downtown Luling to satisfy their craving for City Market’s succulent brisket, hot links, and pork ribs. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved One of the great joys of RVing is visiting new places and making interesting discoveries.  Another is just the opposite—revisiting those places that demand a closer look. Sometimes that second chance leads to a third—and a fourth. City Market in Luling, is such a place. The meat-market-turned-barbecue-restaurant started in 1958, and over the years has become a barbecue icon. This is the arguably the best barbeque in all of Texas which helps explain why Luling is perennially included on our Texas itinerary. 2. Lockhart: Barbecue Capital of Texas A short hop, skip, a jump from Luling is Lockhart, the Barbecue Capital... [Read more...]

“THROWED ROLLS”

October 22, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

“THROWED ROLLS”

Have you ever been in a restaurant where the servers throw huge 5-inch in diameter, hot, yeast raised rolls across the room with hopes that you will catch them? If you answered yes, you have most likely visited one of the three locations where Lambert’s has one of their original “Throwed Rolls” cafes. We stopped at Hinton RV Park just off I-55 in Sikeston, MO.  When we checked in, the park attendant handed us a packet of information on local points of interest.  The one that caught our eye was for Lambert’s Café.  We were told that Lamberts would send a driver to the RV Park to pick us up for dinner and then bring us back to our RV.  With an offer like that, how can you refuse? When we arrived at the restaurant our chauffer took us to our table, gave us some preliminary warnings and left us to our server.  At that point, a young man in jeans and red suspenders came down the center isle of the restaurant shouting “Throwed Rolls” and then pitching them to anyone that held... [Read more...]

An Easy Hot Meal for Hungry Campers

October 17, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

An Easy Hot Meal for Hungry Campers

Back about the time the Woodall’s blog first began early in 2010, a colleague of mine posted an absolutely inspired post about the wisdom of camping with your crock pot. An easy way to make great meals to feed hungry campers, she said her family never traveled without one in the camper. Since I read her post, neither has mine. I am writing to share with you today a terrific twist on a family favorite that is sure to satisfy hungry hikers, bikers, campers and outdoors people of all ages: Slow-Cooked Beef Sandwiches with a Southwestern Flair. The ingredients are easy to acquire: 1 beef chuck roast, 2-3 lbs. (I buy whatever is on sale and have never been disappointed) 1 onion, coarsely chopped 1 can petite diced tomatoes 1 can chicken broth Fresh green chilies or 3 cans diced green chilies (the original recipe I modified called for 3 cans chipotle chilies in adobo, but we about burned our tongues off when eating it, so if you are a purist, consider yourself warned!) 2 Tbsps chili powder 2... [Read more...]

An Easy Traditional New Mexican Green Chili Sauce To Make When Camping

October 14, 2012 by · 6 Comments 

An Easy Traditional New Mexican Green Chili Sauce To Make When Camping

Many of you have followed our recent efforts to obtain a case or two of traditional Hatch, NM green chiles. We were hoping to locate a sufficient quantity to use throughout the year. If you have been reading faithfully, you are aware that we did finally locate an available case and prepared them for use by peeling, slicing and seeding them. Those not already consumed currently reside in our freezer awaiting an upcoming meal. My goal today is to share with you this recipe for traditional New Mexico Green Chile Sauce. It is so easy and delicious, it would make a terrific addition to any camping meal. The ingredients are as follows: ½ cup chopped white onion 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil 1 Tbsp flour ½ to 1 can chicken stock ½ cup chopped tomato 2 cups green chiles, peeled, seeded and chopped ½ tsp cumin ½ tsp oregano Salt and pepper to taste Note that if you are not in an area in which you can obtain fresh chiles, you can obtain Hatch chiles online, frozen. If... [Read more...]

Our Hatch Chile Quest Continues…

October 7, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Our Hatch Chile Quest Continues…

At the end of my last post, we had been frustrated in our quest to obtain a case of fresh roasted Hatch, NM chiles by arriving after every store had sold out for the day. But we were determined! After all, the most common question in any New Mexico restaurant is “Red or green?” Diners must select the type of chile sauce they would like on top of their meal.  The only other appropriate response is “Christmas”, which leads to your meal being topped with a combination of red AND green sauce. We had discovered nearly a dozen years ago that we were both “green” lovers. So the opportunity to make some of this delectable sauce from the genuine article, to have for use in our home at our meals, was very appealing. Roasted, unpeeled chile Our neighbor started us on this mission by coming home with 25 lbs of chiles and giving us a quart sized freezer bag to try. Our appetite whetted, we soon went in search of more chiles, realizing a quart would not get us through the winter and we wanted... [Read more...]

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