Hot Sandwiches for a Cold Day

While winter is going to wind down soon enough, the weather’s still going to be cold for a while. If you’re out in your RV in the cold, nothing’s better than a warm meal. Cold sandwiches are fine, but a cold day calls for something warm, toasted, and melty. Try making this sandwich the next time the weather gets cold and serve it with your favorite soup.

HOT BUFFALO CHICKEN & BACON GRILLED CHEESE

INGREDIENTS

  • non-stick cooking spray
  • 8 slices bacon
  • ¾ cup hot buffalo sauce
  • ¼ cup cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1½ cups shredded rotisserie chicken
  • half a stick celery, chopped
  • ¼ cup green onions, sliced
  • sea salt, to taste
  • fresh black pepper, to taste
  • 8 slices sourdough bread
  • 4 thin cheddar cheese slices
  • butter, for melting on skillet

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Lay the bacon slices on the lined baking sheet and cook in preheated oven for 12-15 minutes. Take bacon out of the oven, then lay bacon slices on a plate lined with paper towels to soak up bacon grease.
  2. Warm the hot sauce in the microwave for 30 seconds, then set aside. In a large mixing bowl, mix together hot sauce, cream cheese, and cheddar cheese until cheeses have melted. Fold in the chicken, celery, and green onions. Season with salt and fresh black pepper to taste.
  3. Prepare the sandwiches. Top one slice of bread with a generous amount of buffalo chicken mixture, two slices of bacon, a slice of cheddar cheese, then cover with the other slice of bread. Repeat until all the buffalo chicken mixture is used up.
  4. Cook the sandwiches. Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Melt a pat of butter on the skillet. Place a sandwich on the skillet and cook until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes. Add another pat of butter to the skillet, turn the sandwich over, and cook for another 2-3 minutes, or until golden brown and cheese has melted. Repeat with remaining sandwiches. Serve immediately.

Visit Jim’s RV Center

Before you head out on your trip, be sure to stop by Jim’s RV Center to pick up any RV accessories you may need or to have your RV serviced or checked before the trip.

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Must-Have RV Kitchen Gadgets

Cooking in your RV’s compact kitchen can seem difficult at first. However, with the right set of tools, you can prepare all of your favorite meals and sweet treats while living life on the road. The following are a few must-have kitchen utensils for the upcoming RV season; most can be found at any store that sells kitchenwares as well as our very own RV accessories department at Jim’s RV Center.

Collapsible Everything

If it can collapse, it’s your best friend in the RV. As most any veteran RVer can tell you, about 90% of RVing is being efficient with your space (the other 10% is figuring out where to go next!). Your kitchen especially needs to maximize space. While some RV kitchens aren’t too tight, if it’s a choice between something bulky and something slick, choose slick all day, every day.

When it comes to slick, nothing beats collapsible kitchenwares. Collapsible dish rack, collapsible strainer, collapsible mixing bowls, collapsible measuring cups… heck, if they had a collapsible oven, you’d bet we’d take one!

A Quality Slow Cooker

If you want to cook consistently in your RV’s kitchen and avoid sandwiches and fast food six nights out of the week, you’ve got to get a slow cooker. Even a good one won’t set you back more than $60 and it’ll pay for itself within a month. Slow cookers are perfect for the RV lifestyle, because, let’s face it, you’re traveling to have fun, not play house. A slow cooker means that you can do both: prep your meal in the morning, throw it in the slow cooker, set it for however many hours the recipe calls for, go out and have fun doing recreational type activities, and come back in the later afternoon to a meal that’s ready to go just in time for dinner. Easy.

Fridge Braces

Show me an RVer who has never heard of fridge braces and I’ll show you an RVer who’s cleaned up a fair bit of spilt food and busted containers at the end of a long day of travel. RVs being what they are tend to move throughout a day of travel (you don’t say!). All that movement is bound to shift anything that’s not heavy and strapped down. Your fridge, unfortunately, is usually the earliest and most gruesome casualty. Fridge braces are cheap, plastic, and effective. They’ll hold anything that you don’t want to slide in place through even the bumpiest of rides.

Visit Jim’s RV Center

Find all of these must-have items and countless others, ranging from kitchen appliances to grilling gear, right here at our Jim’s RV Center online parts store.

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Soup Month: 2 Easy Soup Recipes

The best soups are cooked all day long, but when you’re in an RV, that’s not always feasible. You can still make a great soup in 20 minutes or less and have it taste great – and have something that will warm you up after a day spent playing or working out in the cold.

Chicken Corn Chowder

  • 1 tbs. Butter
  • 6 green onions
  • 2 tbs. All-purpose flour
  • 2 cups chopped chicken breast, cooked
  • ¼ tsp. Salt
  • ¼ tsp. Ground black pepper
  • 2 10-ounce packages frozen corn, thawed and divided
  • 1 14-ounce can chicken broth – may use fat free, less sodium
  • 2 cups milk – may use fat free
  • ½ cup cheddar cheese, shredded

Instructions:

Melt the butter in a Dutch oven or crockpot over medium high heat. Chop the green onion tops and set them aside. Slice the bulb portion thin. Add the sliced onions to the pan and saute them for 2 minutes. Add the flour and cook the mixture for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in the chicken, the salt, pepper, 1 package of corn and the broth. Bring the mixture to a boil.

Reduce the heat and simmer it for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the rest of the corn and the milk in a blender and process it until it’s smooth. Add the mixture to the soup and simmer it for 2 minutes or until it’s thoroughly heated. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with the green onion tops. Sprinkle cheese over each serving. Makes 4 servings.

Pasta Fagioli Soup

  • 12 ounces sausage, halved lengthwise and then sliced – may use chicken sausage, brats or kielbasa
  • 3 cups chicken broth – may use fat free, less-sodium
  • ½ cup uncooked small shell pasta
  • 2 cups zucchini, coarsely chopped
  • 1 14.5-ounce can of stewed tomatoes, do not drain
  • 1 tsp. Dried basil
  • 1 tsp. Dried oregano
  • 1 15-ounce can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/3 cup Asiago cheese, shredded

Instructions:

Heat a large saucepan over high heat. Add the sausage and cook it for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the broth and the pasta. Bring the mixture to a boil. Cover and reduce the heat. Simmer for 4 minutes. Add the zucchini and the tomatoes and bring the mixture to a boil. Cover and reduce the heat. Simmer the soup for 3 minutes or until the pasta and zucchini are tender. Sprinkle each serving with cheese.

Visit Jim’s RV Center

Before you head out on your trip, be sure to stop by Jim’s RV Center to pick up any RV accessories you may need or to have your RV serviced or checked before the trip.

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Planning Christmas Dinner on the Road

Enjoying the holiday season in your RV is one of the best ways to celebrate. However, those large family meals can present a bit of a problem in your RV’s compact kitchen. These simple but useful tips will help you create the perfect holiday meal while living on the road.

Think Ahead

One of the biggest differences you’ll notice between preparing meals at home and on the road is that you don’t have as much cooking or prep space. To combat this problem, prepare side dishes, desserts and appetizers ahead of time, then simply reheat or serve on the day of your get-together.

Get Creative with Creating Space

Another downfall of limited counter space is that you’ll have a hard time displaying all of your foods in one place when it comes time to eat. This means it’s time to get creative. Use makeshift tables, like ironing boards or card tables, to create more counter or serving space. Cover your new tables with festive table cloths to decorate your RV and hide undesirable blemishes.

Use Pre-Made Items

It may seem unnatural to travelers who are top-notch cooks, but purchasing a number of pre-made dishes can ease your stress and save room in the kitchen. Dips, desserts, rolls, salads, and even some sides can be purchased at markets, delis, or grocery stores that specialize in creating delicious dishes that taste homemade.

Go Outside

If you’re traveling in a warm destination for the holiday season, it pays to hold your party outside of your RV. Picnic tables and outdoor chairs serve as ideal places to dine without crowding or dirtying the interior of your home on wheels. Even better, you can prepare or heat some additional dishes over a fire or on a portable camp stove.

Visit Jim’s RV Center

Need a larger RV to accommodate the holiday parties you’d like to hold? Stop in and see us at Jim’s RV Center this holiday season to find a new RV that’s perfect for you and your loved ones this December and beyond.

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Celebrating Thanksgiving on the Road in Your RV

Part of the fun when RV traveling is the option to dine in with delicious meals prepared in your kitchen or dining out with something extra tasty on the grill or simmering over the campfire. With Thanksgiving just a couple of weeks away, there’s still time to plan a delicious holiday feast.

Turkey Options

Determining how much cooking room and cooking time you’ll have is the first place to begin.

  • Start with a check list of everything you’ll need.
  • The meat is the main attraction and if you’re planning to serve turkey, you’ll need ample time for the bird to defrost.
  • If your RV’s oven is large enough to accommodate cooking a turkey, choose the appropriate size. A Tom turkey is generally larger than a hen so that gives you an option.
  • If possible, cook the turkey at home before leaving. This eliminates any cooking issues.
  • Smoking or frying the turkey is also an option. Allow plenty of time for smoking and enough oil for frying.
  • Instead of cooking a whole turkey, choose turkey breast or drumsticks or cook a small ham.
  • The easiest option is to order a turkey already cooked so all you’ll need to do is pick it up at the store, heat, and serve on Thanksgiving Day.

Side Dishes

Turkey day isn’t complete unless you have traditional side dishes such as collard or turnip greens, deviled eggs, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie. Consider these cooking options to help save time for those items you want to prepare yourself.

  • Cut down on preparation time by using as many packaged, canned and frozen goods as possible. This includes instant mashed potatoes, stuffing mix for the stove top or microwave, and canned cranberry sauce.
  • There are excellent choices in canned greens complete with seasoning.
  • Pick up additional side dishes already prepared at the grocery’s deli such as potato salad, gravy, and fresh cranberry-orange relish.
  • Desserts are a big part of the day. Purchase whipped cream to go along with a slice of frozen or fresh-made pumpkin pie.

Visit Jim’s RV Center

Before starting your holiday traveling, schedule an appointment at Jim’s RV Center. With complimentary overnight facilities while waiting for service, you’ll be ready to take to the highway just as soon as your RV is ready to roll.

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Easy Lasagna Roll Ups

These lasagna roll ups take some time and a touch of skill to make, but the end result is worth the effort. If you want to liven up your dinners while you’re out on the road this fall, plan to make these zucchini lasagna roll ups. Paired with a fresh salad, some flaky bread, and your favorite drink, it’s the perfect meal to end the day.

Zucchini Lasagna Roll Ups

Ingredients

  • 8 lasagna noodles
  • 2 cups marinara sauce
  • 1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese
  • chopped fresh basil, optional, for garnish

Zucchini Filling

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 medium zucchini, grated
  • 1 cup + 2 tbsp ricotta cheese, part skim
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and set aside a 9×13 inch baking dish.
  2. Cook lasagna noodles according to package directions. Meanwhile, crush garlic cloves and finely grate zucchini, patting dry with paper towels to remove excess water.
  3. Place a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add oil and garlic and saute garlic cloves for about 30 seconds. Add zucchini and saute for 4-5 minutes.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine zucchini, ricotta, Parmesan, egg, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl.
  5. Lay noodles out flat on a work surface and spread 1/3 cup of zucchini mixture across each noodle.
  6. Roll up each noodle into a bundle with your fingertips, then set aside.
  7. Spread 1 cup of marinara sauce into a baking dish. Place rolled noodles, seam-side down, onto marinara.
  8. Ladle remaining marinara sauce evenly across the tops of the rolls. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top.
  9. Bake for 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and top with the optional basil.

Visit Jim’s RV Center

Stop by Jim’s RV Center this fall to tour a new or used motorhome or travel trailer. Find an RV that’s perfect for all of your fall travel plans. Even if you’re not looking to buy, Jim’s RV Center can help you with RV service, parts, and accessories.

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Make Your Own Dog Treats on the Road!

If you’re taking your dogs out on the road with you, everyday is a treat, both for you and your pups. If you want to give them a special treat, however, and have a little time at the RV park or campground, try making your own dog treats. With just a few simple ingredients and supplies, you can make these healthy and yummy treats that any dog will love.

Peanut Butter & Coconut Oil Dog Treats

Ingredients

  • 1/8 cup NaturVet Powder
  • 1/8 cup all-natural peanut butter
  • 1  cup all-natural coconut oil
  • Silicone paw molds (or whatever mold tickles your fancy)
  • Squeeze bottle (optional, you can also opt to use a freezer bag)
  • 1 (or 2) quart-sized freezer bags

Directions

Place the coconut oil in a ziploc bag, and place the bag in hot (not boiling) water, until it warms up and turns to a clear liquid. You may need to massage the bag to get it to completely liquify. While that is warming up combine the peanut butter and NaturVet in a bowl, and mix until it forms a pretty solid dough.

Begin forming this mixture into small balls. Place your silicone mold on a tray or pan that will fit in your fridge or freezer. Then place a peanut butter ball in the bottom of each mold. Once coconut oil is completely liquefied, snip a corner off the ziploc and empty into a squeeze bottle (optional).  Fill each mold with coconut oil. The coconut oil will solidify at temperatures below 86 degrees, so if left at room temperature it should solidify again, but placing the mold in the fridge or freezer will speed it up.

Store them in an air-tight container and keep them cool so that they don’t melt.

Visit Jim’s RV Center

Stop by Jim’s RV Center this fall to tour a new or used motorhome or travel trailer. Find an RV that’s perfect for all of your fall travel plans. Even if you’re not looking to buy, Jim’s RV Center can help you with RV service, parts, and accessories.

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Cannoli Pancakes

Try these special pancakes the next time you want something a little bit sweeter for breakfast. They’re extremely customizable, so try different flavor and topping combinations every time you make them to keep them feeling new every time.

Cannoli Pancakes

Ingredients

  • 2 c. heavy cream
  • 1/3 c. powdered sugar, plus more for garnish
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 1 c. ricotta
  • 2 c. mini chocolate chips, divided, plus more for topping
  • 1 box Bisquick, plus ingredients called for on box
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1/4 c. Powdered sugar, for dusting
  • whipped cream, for garnish

Directions

  1. In a large bowl using a handheld mixer, beat together heavy cream, powdered sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg until stiff peaks form. Fold in ricotta and 1 cup chocolate chips. Set aside.
  2. Make pancakes according to box instructions, with the addition of the remaining cup chocolate chips.
  3. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat butter. Make large pancakes, then stuff with ricotta mixture and fold like a cannoli.
  4. Garnish with powdered sugar, whipped cream and more mini chocolate chips. Serve.

Visit Jim’s RV Center

Stop by Jim’s RV Center this summer to tour a new or used motorhome or travel trailer. Find an RV that’s perfect for all of your summer travel plans. Even if you’re not looking to buy, Jim’s RV Center can help you with RV service, parts, and accessories.

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Try a Twist on a Classic Grilled Cheese

Grilled cheese sandwiches are a simple and classic favorite loved by both kids and adults. They’re a great go-to recipe for RVers since you don’t need many ingredients and they can be made quickly so that your day isn’t bogged down with cooking. But sometimes a plain grilled cheese just doesn’t cut it. If you want to spice up your grilled cheese, try this twist on the classic.

Pizza Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Ingredients

  • 6 slices of bread
  • 3 tbsp butter spread
  • 1 1/2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 21 slices of pepperoni
  • 3/4 cup marinara sauce

Directions

  1. Spread about 1/2 tbsp butter on one side of each slice of bread.
  2. Spread 1/4 cup of cheese on three slices of bread, on top of unbuttered side. Spread 7 slices of pepperoni on top of cheese for each of the three slices . Spread 1/4 cup of marinara sauce on top of pepperoni for each of the three slices. Spread another 1/4 cup of cheese on top of the sauce. Place remaining slices of bread on top, to form sandwiches (with butter side facing up).
  3. Place frying pan on stove and turn to medium heat. Once hot, carefully place one sandwich in the frying pan, cooking the bottom buttered side until golden and toasty and the cheese is melty. Then carefully flip over and cook until other side is also toasty and cheese is melted. Repeat with remaining sandwiches. If cheese does not melt to your desired consistency, you can briefly microwave sandwich for about 10-15 seconds before eating.

Visit Jim’s RV Center

Stop by Jim’s RV Center this summer to tour a new or used motorhome or travel trailer. Find an RV that’s perfect for all of your summer travel plans. Even if you’re not looking to buy, Jim’s RV Center can help you with RV service, parts, and accessories.

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Make Some Sweet and Savory Fresh Bread in Your RV

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This unique recipe is both sweet and savory. Good for any time of day from breakfast to a bedtime snack, its versatility and flavor will have you craving it all the time. It’s a great recipe for an RV and makes your rig feel more like home.

Cheesecake-Stuffed Banana Bread

Ingredients

To make the bread:

  • 2 large very ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
  • ⅓ cup salted butter, melted
  • ¾ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour

To make the cheesecake filling:

  • 6 oz. cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 tbsp all-purpose flour

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9×5 loaf pan with nonstick spray.

Banana bread dough:

In a large bowl combine mashed bananas, butter, sugar, egg, vanilla and baking soda. Stir until combined. Gently stir in the flour. Mix just until incorporated. Set this aside.

Cheesecake filling:

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or with an electric mixer) beat the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add in the egg and vanilla and mix until smooth, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary. Finally, mix in the flour and stir just until combined.

Assembly:

Spread half of the banana bread batter into the bottom of your prepared pan. Evenly spread the cream cheese mixture in top of the batter. Spread the remaining banana bread batter on top of the cream cheese mixture.

Bake for about 50-60 minutes until the center of the bread is set. If the bread is browning too quickly, tent the pan with aluminum foil.

Allow the bread to cool in the pan for 20-30 minutes before removing. Cool before slicing and serving.

Visit Jim’s RV Center

Visit Jim’s RV Center this summer to tour a new or used RV and find one that’s perfect for your next road trip.

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