Friday, November 15, 2019

Recipe News for Camping and RV Travel

blog copyright janet groene. For a voluntary one-year subscription send $5 via your Paypal account to janetgroene at

 Have you read Janet Groene's new e-book mystery series? Laugh and cry with a widow and former sailor who now lives in a retirement community and sails the seven seas vicariously via her Yacht Yenta online charterboat business. She copes, cooks, cusses a little while solving crimes. Start with January Justice,  then February and March. 

If you don't have a Kindle get the free Kindle app from Amazon and read ebooks on your tablet, laptop or phone.

Camp and RV Recipe of the Week
Crunchy Stuffing Salad

    Use leftover chicken or turkey, or just grab a deli roasted chicken on your way to the campground and cut it in bite size.

4 cups diced, cooked chicken
3 to 4 ribs celery, sliced
Small sweet onion, cut in thin crescents
1 tart green apple, cored and diced
1 tart red apple, cored and diced
Vinaigrette dressing to taste
2 cups diced, seasoned bread stuffing mix (such as Pepperidge Farm)

    Combine chicken vegetables and apples and fold in vinaigrette to taste. Just before serving, fold in stuffing mix. Serves 6.
    Cook’s note: if you won’t serve the entire recipe at once, refrigerate the chicken mix and add stuffing mix just before serving each portion.

Bonus Recipe: It’s that time of year. Make mulled cider by the gallon in your slow cooker and invite the campground neighbors. 

Mulled Cider
To each gallon (4 quarts)  of sweet cider or apple juice add:
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon each ground cloves, ground allspice
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon orange extract

    Stir, simmer as long as it takes (good idea for a slow cooker)  stir and ladle into mugs, with or without a shot of applejack.

Tips for the Camp Chef

    *  To save the nonstick surfaces on your camping cookware carry a plastic knife (from a fast food place or set of picnic ware). Use it to, say, loosen a bread or cake  before turning it out of the pan or to slice a quiche or pizza cooked in a skillet. 

    *Get more than 200 shortcut recipes for RV travel and camping in one paperback or Kindle book. Cooking Aboard Your RV by Janet Groene.

    * When making soup, chili or stew, add a can of refried beans or pumpkin puree as a thickener, then thin with broth if it’s too thick.

    * Doctors bury their mistakes. Camp cooks cover theirs with gravy. Make onion gravy to moisten grilled meat or fish that got too dry. Goes great too on supper pancakes, veggie patties, potato pancakes. Whisk 2 tablespoons flour or cornstarch into 1 cup cold water. Add a can of condensed onion beef soup. Heat, stir until thick.

    * Mix up a box of Jiffy cornbread and put in 8X8 pan. Arrange fully cooked sausage links in batter. Bake, cut in portions. Serve with syrup, cheese sauce, gravy or warm applesauce.


Campground Potluck Recipe of the Week

Slow Cooker Chili Cheese Dip

    Cook it, carry it, serve it in the slow cooker. Perfect for potlucks, tailgating, picnics, reunions. Dippers can be starchy such as bread sticks or healthy such as veggie sticks.

12- to 16-ounce package of fully cooked beef or sausage crumbles OR
1 package imitation meat crumbles
2 packages, 2 pounds each, process cheese such as Velveeta
2 small cans diced chilies, well drained
15-ounce can tomatoes with garlic and green pepper
1 tablespoon each chili powder, Worcestershire sauce

    Dice the cheese and put everything in a slow cooker. Cook 1 hour on High or 2 hours or more on Low. Stir and provide dippers of your choice. Makes about 2 quarts of dip. 

    Stove-top or campfire method: Using a heavy pot or dutch oven, proceed as above and cook over low heat, stirring often,  until mixture melts.

Freeze-Ahead Recipe of the Week
    This weekly recipe is for solo campers and big families. Make a big, batch batch, then package and freeze for right-size portions for your needs.

Mule Kick Bean Spread


    When you freeze ahead in right-size portions for the size of your camping crew (even if it’s just you), you’ll have just the right amount of a nutritious spread to make sandwiches,  wraps, a dip or appetizers. Refried beans come in regular, non-fat and vegetarian.

4 cans refried beans
24-ounce jar salsa (hot, mild or medium)
10-ounce jar diced roasted red peppers, drained
1/3 cup chopped chipotle peppers in adobo
2 to 3 cans diced green chilies, drained

    In a bowl, mash beans with a fork or use an electric mixer.  Work in remaining ingredients. Spoon into freezer bags. Thaw and serve warm or at ambient temperature.

Friday, November 08, 2019

Camping Cuisine, Motorhome Meals

blog copyright janet groene, all rights reserved. to ask about placing your ad for one year, one link, one low rate on all six Groene sites, email janetgroene at


Skillet Pastitsio


    Here is a shortcut, stove-top  version of the wonderful Greek dish made of ground beef and a creamy cheese custard topping,  All you need is one pan, one burner. 

3 cans, about 15 ounces each, macaroni and beef in tomato sauce 
½  teaspoon cinnamon
1 can cream of mushroom soup
½  soup can milk
2 eggs
about 1 cup grated Parmesan

    Place the macaroni and beef in a  large, nonstick skillet sprayed with non-stiock spray. Stir in cinnamon. Cover and heat over low burner.  In a bowl whisk milk and eggs into mushroom soup and fold in cheese. Carefully spoon soup mixture over hot macaroni.  Do not stir. Cover pan and cook over low heat until topping layer sets, like custard. Serves 4-6.



 Caramel Rice Pudding

5 cups water
½ cup brown sugar
5 cups instant rice
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup golden raisins or craisins
8-ounce carton caramel-flavor yogurt
1 quart frozen whipped topping


    In a large pot bring the water and sugar to a boil until sugar dissolves. Stir in the rice and salt. Cover and let stand 7-10  minutes or until the water is absorbed. Fold in the remaining ingredients. Serve warm or chilled.  Serves 15.
Tips for the Camp Cook

    * The new collapsible kitchen gear (lids, bowls, bakeware, colanders)  is a plus for camping. It’s lightweight, stores flat and won’t break. However, it’s also a place for grime to hide and build up. Fully expand it to wash in hot, sudsy water. Then dry thoroughly before collapsing for storage.

    * I learned by accident that an oily marinade tames an oily fish. Try 1 part canola oil to one part soy sauce plus herbs and seasonings of choice. Marinate, then remove fish and discard marinade. 

    * Supply small disposable (bathroom size) cups for serving foods like  rice pudding (above). They cost very little and are just the right size for portion control.


Love a cozy Kindle mystery? Read Janet Groene’s new mystery series by her pen name, Farley Halladay. Start with January Justice, then February Felony, March Malice and, well, you can guess what comes next.


Tunnel Cake
    Freeze it whole or in single serve slices. It’s easy to wrap and carry because it doesn’t need frosting.


1 box yellow cake mix
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 cup finely chopped nuts
½ cup vegetable oil
4 tablespoons water
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla or rum flavoring

    Grease and flour a tube pan or bundt cake pan and set the oven for 350 degrees. Put 2 tablespoons of the cake mix in a small bowl with the brown sugar, cinnamon and nuts. Set aside.   
    Beat remaining cake mix with oil, water, eggs and flavoring until you have a smooth batter. Pour half the batter into the pan, sprinkle with the nut mixture and carefully add remaining batter.    
    Bake the cake until it’s springy to the touch, about 50 to 55 minutes. Cool it in the pan 10-15 minutes, then remove from pan and cool completely on a rack. Wrap and freeze.
To serve, thaw complete and serve as is or with a glaze, sauce, syrup or ice cream.

Friday, November 01, 2019

Smokin' Hot Recipes for Camping and RV Travel

blog copyright janet groene, all rights reserved. To donate $5 a year as a voluntary subscription to this weekly blog, use your Paypal account to janetgroene at


Fat-Free, Egg-Free Pancakes


½ cup white or whole wheat flour
½ cup mixed grains (a mixture of cornmeal, rolled oats, barley flakes, buckwheat flour, etc.)
1 teaspoon each sugar and baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup water
½ teaspoon vinegar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

    Put all dry ingredients in a zip-top plastic bag and keep dry for your trip. To make pancakes put water, vinegar and vanilla  in a bowl. Whisk in dry ingredients. For a thinner batter add more water. Cook as for pancakes. Serves 2.   


    * Do you love freshly roasted coffee? Pioneers toasted the beans in a dry iron skillet over a hot fire. But beware of scorching them!  It’s an art to learn when they are done by the aroma.
    * Old-fashioned wooden spoons are ideal for camping. They stay cool and they don’t scratch nonstick pans. When they show cracks, deep stains or any spongy soft spots, it’s time to add them to the campfire and buy new.


    * Curl up with a cozy mystery tonight. Latest in the Yacht Yenta mystery series by Farley Halladay, Janet Groene’s widowed sailor-sleuth, is March Malice.

    * Inexpensive coffee filters make perfect clatter-calmers. Put them between  stacking bowls, pans, lids to quiet the ride underway.


   * Old time campers replaced the scratch pad on the side of match boxes with sandpaper. Cut to fit and glue it in place.  Better still, keep matches waterproof in a tightly lidded can or jar and glue sandpaper to the lid.


Pumpkin Pancake Breakfast

This recipe makes a quart of a sumptuous, spicy sauce for your next campground Pancake Breakfast.  The recipe is easily multiplied. Canned apples are a shortcut but you can also use a pint of extra chunky applesauce or 2 cups of peeled, chopped, stewed apples instead of one can of apples. 

Apple-Pumpkin Ragout
1 can pumpkin puree
½ cup maple-flavored pancake syrup
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon butter-rum flavoring
1 can apples (not apple pie filling)
Sugar to taste

    In a medium saucepan whisk together the pumpkin and pancake syrup. Whisk in the spices and flavoring until everything is well mixed. Run a sharp knife through the opened can of apples to chop coarsely. Stir in the apples and their juice. Sweeten to taste. Heat gently. Makes about 3 cups sauce. 

Spaghetti Carbonara Pie


Make these pies any size in disposable aluminum pie pans. Wrap and stack in your freezer to grab for camping trips. Then thaw and bake in the oven or dutch oven. If they are to be nuked, freeze in non-metal pans. This recipe makes 8 servings, allowing 2 ounces pasta per serving.


1 pound thick-sliced bacon, chopped and fried out
1 pound spaghetti or linguini, cooked and drained
1 jar regular or “lite” Alfred sauce
2 eggs
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 teaspoon mixed Italian seasoning
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (optional)

    Grease pans and put desired amount of cooked spaghetti in each one. In a bowl whisk Alfred sauce and eggs until well blended. Stir in Parmesan, bacon and seasoning. Carefully spoon over spaghetti in pans. Top with mozzarella if you wish. Cool, cover with plastic wrap and wrap in foil to freeze. To serve, thaw and heat through. Cut in wedges.

Campers can’t get enough of these silk sleeping bag liners. They come in colors, launder like a tee shirt, feel like luxury all night long.

Friday, October 25, 2019

Autumn Camping Meals Made Simple

Let's go tent  camping or RVing!

Gallop Scallops
    Quick and delicious, all from a skillet. You’ll need a starch to go under the scallops such as cooked rice, baked potato, toast, split biscuits,  noodles or crisp Chinese noodles.
I pound bay scallops
1/4 stick butter
Small can or jar sliced mushrooms, drained
2 tablespoons cornstarch or instant blend flour (e.g. Wondra)
13-ounce can evaporated milk
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon

grainy mustard
Crushed croutons

    Drain the scallops and fry in butter, gradually adding mushrooms until nicely browned. Add water to evaporated milk to make 1 2/3 cups and stir in flour or cornstarch. Stir into scallops, stirring over medium heat and adding Worcestershire sauce and mustard. When scallop mixture thickens, spoon over starch base and sprinkle with crushed croutons.


Pan-Pan Cauliflower

    Serve this as a vegetable side dish on the potluck table or put toothpicks in pieces and serve as an appetizer.
8 to 10 cups bite-site cauliflower florets
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon sriracha (optional)
Small packet Italian dressing mix such as Good Seasons

    Set the oven to 425 degrees. Put florets in a large plastic bag with olive oil and sriracha and toss to coat well. Thoroughly oil or grease a large, rimmed pan such as a jelly roll pan. Spread coated florets in a single layer and sprinkle with dressing mix. Roast 10 minutes, stir, then roast another 10-15 minutes or just until tender. Serves 8 to 10. 

JUST RELEASED! March Malice is Book Three in the Yacht Yenta mystery e-book series by Farley Halladay, Janet Groene's pen name. A beloved dog dies in her arms, her best friend is having the hives over an old boyfriend and one of her best skippers lost his boat and is under drug charges in St. Thomas. March Malice


Tips for the Camp Cook

    * Even if you don’t drink alcohol, consider carrying mini bottles of liqueur and wine to use as a powerful flavor ingredient

    * Be prepared for food emergencies at home and away. Stock your camper grub box, RV pantry or cabin with supermarket staples nd recies for turning them into balanced meals. How much is enough?  Survival Food Handbook was written for campers and boaters.

    * Cut swim noodles to fit in cupboards and the refrigerator as buffers to keep bottles and cans from shifting underway.

    * Make French toast with split croissants for a change.

* Instead of water, cook steel cut oats in almond, coconut or cashew “milk”.

Condensed Italian Sausage Soup

2 pounds bulk sweet Italian sausage
Large onion, diced
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 or 2 boxes, 10 ounces each, chopped spinach
6 cups water
3 tablespoons powdered chicken bouillon (such as Knorr Pollo)
1 tablespoon mixed Italian seasoning
2 cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 or 2 packages frozen potato gnocchi

    Fry out sausage, breaking it up and gradually adding onion and garlic. Spoon off excess fat. Thaw and drain spinach and press try with paper towels. Add spinach, water, bouillon and seasoning. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer until meat is done and onion tender. Remove from heat and stir in beans.  Cool thoroughly, stir in frozen gnocchi and  package for the freezer, allowing 1 to 1 ½ cups per serving.
    To serve: thaw and add ½ to 1  cup water or low sodium tomato juice per cup of condensed soup. Bring to a low boil for three minutes or until gnocchi are tender. .    

Friday, October 18, 2019

Meals and Menus for Motorhome and Camping

Blog copyright janet groene, all rights reserved. To ask about placing one ad, one link,  for one year on all six Groene sites for one low price,  email janetgroene at


Camping and RV Recipe of the Week

Minced Beef Curry

     Humble hamburger makes an exotic and elegant curry, one of the most versatile one-dish meals to serve in your campsite. You might also try it with ground chicken, turkey or pork. 

Curry adds intense flavor and vegetables can be increased by heaps if you like.

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 pound lean, coarsely ground beef (sometimes called chili grind)
2 large onions, diced
1 cup finely diced vegetable (carrot, celery, butternut squash, what have you)
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 bouillon cube (vegetable, beef or chicken)
1 ½ cups water, divided
1/3 to ½ cup raisins
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Salt, pepper to taste
Cooked rice

Garnishes: the more the merrier: peanuts, shredded coconut, chutney, dried cranberries, diced pineapple or banana, crumbled bacon, sliced scallions, mandarin orange sections.

    Heat the oil and stir-fry ground beef, breaking it up as you go. Keep stir-frying while adding onions, additional vegetable and curry powder. Add the bouillon cube , 1 cup water and raisins.
    Cover, reduce heat and cook until vegetables are tender. Stir the cornstarch into the remaining half cup of water and stir into the curry until it comes to a low boil. Spoon over hot rice. Pass whatever garnishes you like.

Tips for the Camp Cook

    We hooked up to the water in a Florida campground and soon the entire interior of the RV smelled like rotten eggs.  The water was supposedly safe and, in fact, some natives say sulfur water is actually good for you. 

 I have a sink-mounted filter system for water used for drinking and cooking, but did I really want to shower in stinky sulfur  water?

    Campground waters vary widely. They may  meet tests for safety but they could be very hard or very smelly with iron, sulfur or chlorine. With a good filter you’re always assured of consistent water as you travel. 


    The new Clear 2O hose filter simply screws onto your RV’s drinking water hose. It filters to one micron and has a natural coconut carbon filter that removes bad tastes and odors, sediment, pesticides, organic chemicals, fungus and many other contaminants for up to six months. 

Just don’t use it for water deemed unsafe to drink in the first place.


Campground Potluck Recipe of the Week

    Everyone loves finger foods for tailgating and potlucks. Cornflake crumbs add a unique flavor and sweetness. Then use bread crumbs for the coating.  Use fresh cooked fish or canned. Serve them warm or cold.

Fish Cake Poppers


2 cups flaked, cooked, drained  fish
1 cup cornflake crumbs
½ cup sliced scallions
1 egg
1 tablespoon each sherry and Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Seasoned bread crumbs
Vegetable oil for frying
Cocktail sauce

    In a bowl combine fish, cornflake crumbs, egg, onion, Worcestershire, salt and pepper. Shape mixture into small patties, using about 1 tablespoon per patty. . Dip in bread crumbs and fry until brown and crispy in hot oil. Remove to paper towels to drain and cool. 

    Place each in  a small tortilla scooper, endive leaf or bruschetta.  Just before serving, top with a tiny dab of cocktail sauce, tartar sauce or remoulade.  Serve at room temperature or chill to serve later.  

Curl up with a good book on your Kindle in the campground tonight. Janet Groene's February Felony is Book Two in her Yacht Yenta cozy mystery series by her pen name, Farley Halladay.

Freeze-Ahead Recipe of the Week

    Make it homemade, then portion it in any size from one to six to thaw on your next camping trip. The best book on the subject is Seriously Good Freezer Meals, a colorfully illustrated book that will be a rock star in your cookbook shelf. Find tips on freezing plus 150 excellent recipes.

Vegan Fried Rice


    This nutty dish makes a substantial side  with meat from the grill or a hearty vegan main dish.  Not everyone in your crew is vegan? Freeze portions in boil-able bags to warm up just for one or two people.  Make it with any rice or a mixture of rices and whole grains.

8 cups cooked  rice
1/4 cup olive oil
    Cook rice according to package directions just until tooth-tender. Do not over-cook. Stir in olive oil while it’s hot.

1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons minced garlic
4 cups sliced mixed mushrooms
4 cups cut-up vegetables such as sweet pepper, asparagus, matchstick carrots, sliced celery, onions, butternut squash
2 cups mixed raw tree nuts such as cashews, pecan halves, blanched almonds
2 tablespoons each tamari sauce and low sodium soy sauce

    Heat olive oil and stir-fry garlic, gradually adding mushrooms. When mushrooms are browned and liquid has boiled away, continue stir-frying while adding other vegetables just until they are crisp-tender and coated.  Stir in sauces. Cool vegetables and fold into rice. Package and freeze.
    Makes about 16 servings of one cup each. To serve, thaw and heat. Serve as is or topped with chopped, roasted peanuts and bits of chopped scallion.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Easy Meals for Camp, RV and Tailgating

blog copyright janet groene, all rights reserved. To donate $5 a year in support of this work, use your Paypal account to janetgroene at

Hot Butterscotch Punch

    Now that cool nights are here, a hot toddy is just the ticket when you’re sitting around a dying campfire under a starlit sky. This punch is a nice break from hot cider.

3/4 cup brown sugar
½ cup water
1 tablespoon butter
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ quarts milk (6 cups)

It's just right for tailgating too!

   Stir sugar and the half cup water over low fire to dissolve, gradually stirring in butter and salt. When sugar dissolves stir in milk and heat to steaming. Serve in mugs, with a shot of butterscotch schnapps if you like.

Cold Oven Pie Crust

    Need a pie crust in a hurry? This is even quicker than making a crumb crust. This recipe makes one pie crust to serve 8. It’s easily multiplied for as many pies as needed.

½ stick butter
½ cup sifted confectioners sugar
1 3/4  cups packaged  shredded coconut
    Melt butter. Mix in most of the sugar and all the coconut. Dip your fingers in powdered sugar to press coconut evenly on bottom and sides of a deep dish, 9-inch pie plate. Chill, then add filling and chill until serving time. Serves 8.
    Suggested filling:
    2 packets 4 servings each, French vanilla pudding mix
    3 ½ cups milk
    4 or 5 coconut “haystack” candies, chopped
    Whisk milk and pudding mix until well blended, then pour into cold crust.  Top with chopped candy.  Chill.  Serves 8.


 Have all of your favorite camping recipes in one place. Cooking Aboard your RV is a good gift for yourself or a friend, and it makes good armchair reading during the week when at home, planning your weekend camping menus and shopping lists.

Tips for the Camp Cook

    * Make a balsamic glaze for grilled salmon. Mix 1/4 cup each honey and Dijon style mustard with 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar. A little goes a long way.

    * Grease spatters in the RV’s porous wall covering? Before trying a harsh cleaner that could bleach out the color, work in some cornstarch with a soft brush. Let it absorb oil, then brush it off. Clean with mild soap solution.

* Need a foot soak? Put the hot water in a styrofoam cooler and it will stay hot longer. 

*Don't have a Kindle? you can read Kindle cookbooks, novels and all the latest books on your phone, pad or laptop with this free Kindle app

* If you are frying or grilling a lot of sausage links, put a skewer through four or five and you won’t have to turn them one at a time.

    * When flouring chicken for frying add a little powdered milk to the flour mixture. Chicken will brown faster.

Bonus Recipe
Ham and Egg Skillet Supper


About 1 pound asparagus spears, trimmed and cut in bite size   
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup chopped onion, pepper, celery mixture
12-ounce package diced cooked ham            
8 hard-cooked eggs, cut up
2 cans condensed cream of chicken soup
1 soup can light cream

    Sizzle asparagus in hot butter in a skillet or saucepan, gradually adding onion, pepper, celery and ham. Add chopped eggs, cover and heat over low heat. Whisk soup and cream, add to pan and heat through. Place some croutons on each plate and smother with ham and egg sauce. Serves 6-8.

Need a cozy Kindle read for tonight in your bedroll? Meet widow Farley Halladay, Janet Groene's new pen name. She's a widow who once lived at sea. Now stuck in a Florida retirement community as a caregiver for her late husband's best friend, she cooks and copes  while solving a mystery and escaping to the seven seas via her online yacht booking business.  First in the new  series is January Justice.

Friday, October 04, 2019

Cooking Easy for Campfire, Tailgate, Motorhome

Peanut Butter Blondies

    Packaged brownie mix is quick and easy but this homemade blond brownie is to sigh for.  Bake ahead of time, cut in squares and wrap individually to serve anywhere.
2 sticks butter
3 eggs
16-ounce box dark brown sugar
1 cup chunky peanut butter
2 cups flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

12-ounce bag white chocolate chips

    Let butter soften and beat in eggs,  brown sugar and peanut butter.
    Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a bag, dump into the butter mixture and mix thoroughly. Spread batter in greased  pan(s).
    Bake 25 to 30 minutes at 350 degrees or until firm and springy to the touch. Sprinkle white chocolate chips evenly on top, let stand a few minutes to melt, then spread to create a frosting. Let cool completely before cutting.

Tips for the Camp Cook

    * Make a quick topping for any fruit cobbler. Whisk together a can of sweetened condensed milk, a stick of melted butter, 1 1/4 cups self-rising flour and ½ teaspoon lemon extract. Pour batter over a casserole filled with fruit of your choice. Bake until topping browns.

    *When buying silicone oven mitts, note their length (for wrist and arm protection) and their temperature limits.

    * Don’t have an e-reader? You can read Kindle books on your phone, pad or laptop. Download the free Kindle app from 


The perfect cozy read for your bunk or the campfire is the new Yacht Yenta mystery series by my new pen name, Farley Halladay. She's a pistol, loves travel, copes and cooks as a widow. First in the series is January Justice. 

     * Make foolproof marshmallow fudge. Line the bottom of a 9-inch square pan with nonstick foil. Spray foil lightly. Arrange 36 marshmallows in the pan. Melt 1 ½ cups chocolate chips with 2 tablespoons butter and ½ cup peanut butter. Pour hot goo over marshmallows, spread evenly and chill. Cut in squares. 

* Buy old-fashioned  hot water bottles in the darkest color you can find. Fill partially (allow room for expansion) and heat in the sun to warm sleeping bags before climbing in.


Do you yearn to sell the lawn mower and snow shovel, buy a self-contained RV, and hit the read as a permanent lifestyle? I did for 10 years and made a living along the way as a travelwriter.  My book tells how to go full-timing at any age. Be sure to get the latest (4th edition) with information on making a living in the Internet era. Paperback or Kindle.

Turkey Gobbler Casserole

    This recipe, popular at church suppers and campground clubhouses, makes 30 servings

2 cups chopped celery
2 cups chopped onion
2 cups small broccoli florets
4 sticks butter
4 small bags herb stuffing
4 cups chicken stock
2 cups mayonnaise
12 cups chopped, cooked turkey
8 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
3 cups milk
3 cups chicken stock


4 cans condensed cream of chicken soup (or cream of mushroom or two of each)
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup grated sharp Cheddar cheese

    Saute vegetables in butter until crisp-tender. Mix with (dry) herb dressing and 4 cups chicken stock. Set aside. Combine turkey with mayonnaise and set aside. Divide half the dressing between two buttered pans and spread in an even layer. Top with turkey mixture and remaining dressing mixture. 

    Mix eggs, 3 cups milk and 3 cups stock. Pour over dressing in pans, cover and refrigerate overnight. To continue, whisk together soups and 2 cups stock. Spread over casseroles and sprinkle with cheese. Bake 45 minutes or until thoroughly heated at 350 degrees.
    Janet’s note: Provide a spoon so guests can serve themselves or let stand 10-15 minutes to firm up and cut into neat, serving-size squares with a serrated knife. Serve with a pancake turner.

    Instead of our usual freeze-ahead recipe, here’s one to carry in the fridge or cooler.

Pickled Veggies to Go
    Do all the cutting, peeling and slicing at home. Then marinate a big bag of raw vegetables and you’ll have enough to last for up to a week in the refrigerator or ice chest. Serve  as a garnish, snack,  relish or  add them to salads. The vegetable mix can be your choice of favorites. You’ll need at least 4 quarts. 



1 ½ cups white vinegar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons seasoned salt
2 tablespoons lemon pepper
2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon garlic granules

Large cauliflower and/or broccoli, trimmed and cut in bite size
Large green bell pepper, seeded and cut in squares
Large red sweet pepper, seeded and cut in squares
Large can pitted ripe olives, drained
2 large sweet onions, quartered
2 cans artichoke halves, drained and quartered
1 quart small mushrooms, cleaned and trimmed
1 pint grape tomatoes

    In a two-gallon zip-top bag, combine marinade ingredients and squeeze bag to mix well. Add vegetables, zip bag closed and refrigerate 24 hours, turning several times to distribute flavors. Use tongs to remove as much as you’ll use each time. Keep cold for up to 6 days.
    To serve all at once at a potluck, use an ice pick to make holes in the bag, drain well (into a container, not the sink) . When vegetables are drained, dump into a big bowl and provide toothpicks. 

Serving note: make salad on a stick. String a colorful selection of pickled vegetables on skewers.