How we check the torque on our Little Guy Max and the tools we use

As we mentioned in VLOG #10 we put together a video on how to check your torque on the Little Guy Max. We have seen online that people were wondering what tools to get and whether or not you had to have a lot of upper body strength to do it.  This video will show you what tools we use and I even stepped in and gave it a shot – very easy, trust me!

UPDATE 11/25/2018: We followed the directions as outlined in our 2018 User Manual setting torque to 110-120 ft/lbs. It has been brought to our attention that in an August bulletin, it recommends 100 ft/lbs. We have an inquiry into Liberty Outdoors and are waiting for verification on the right setting and will update here as soon as we hear back.

UPDATE 11/30/2018: Liberty Outdoors responded to my request and said they have updated their instructions and you should set your torque wrench to 100 ft/lbs.

Watch the video and we will put links to the tools below. Let us know if you have any questions!

3/8 Inch Drive 20ft lb to 100 ft lb click Torque Wrench

Kobalt 337834 3/8-Inch Drive x 13/16-Inch Spark Plug Socket

Kobalt 337350 3/8-Inch Drive x 3 inch long wobble extension bar

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How to make super easy garlic mashed potatoes in your InstantPot

I don’t know why,  but making mashed potatoes was always a weak point for me. They either came out like mush or paste. Being the stubborn person that I am, I didn’t give up trying and I have finally found a foolproof recipe that has already received rave reviews and will be gracing the table this Thanksgiving for sure!  I do have to give a shout out to my husband for the many years of being my official taste tester.

To make this incredibly easy recipe, gather together the following:

INGREDIENTS:

  • 7lbs of potatoes
  • 1/4 C butter
  • 1/4 C milk
  • 1/4 C sour cream
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 6 C water

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Peel and wash your potatoes
  2. Slice potatoes (about 1/2″ thick) and place into your InstantPot
  3. Add water
  4. Place InstantPot cover on unit and lock in place, make sure the vent is closed. Set on High Pressure or Manual (depending on your unit) for 8 minutes.
  5. Immediately vent after timer cycle ends. When steam is finished, open cover and strain out the water.
  6. Add in butter, milk, sour cream, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Mix to desired consistency.

That’s it!! Clean up was a breeze and cooking this in any kitchen will be a snap. This typically takes me about 30 minutes from start to finish.

NOTES:

  • If you cut the recipe in half, the cook time will remain the same.
  • Make sure to immediately vent and strain after cooking or the potatoes will become overcooked and turn to mush.

 Buy your InstantPot on Amazon now!

Disclaimer: We are Amazon Affiliates and by clicking on our links and purchasing items we may receive a small percentage from the purchase price of your item (no additional cost to you). Funds go directly help support our channel – thank you so much for your support!

2018: Nov 11-17

STOP #1: Jack Daniels Distillery, 133 Lynchburg Hwy, Lynchburg TN

Russ has been looking forward to this part of our travels for a long time as he finally gets to visit the Jack Daniel’s Distillery!  Russ was able to take the Angel’s Share tour – a 90 minute in-depth tour of the distillery which included a tasting of 5 of their signature whiskeys. Russ showed amazing restraint and didn’t buy his favorite, the  Sinatra Select but after hearing him rave about it, my curiosity is piqued and someone may just get it for Christmas just so I can try it too!

Tours run every day 9am- 4:30pm **Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Years Day and Easter**

STOP #2:  We arrived safe and sound at my father’s property in Hartsville, TN. After getting all set up, we ran into a bit of an issue as the cold weather dipped below 30. The furnace started blowing cold air and nothing in the manual helped. Thanks once again to members on Facebook, Russ found the reset switch and got us up and running!

STOP #3:  Mending Fences Cowboy Church  https://www.mfcctn.org/

We were honored to be invited to the Mending Fences Cowboy Church on Veteran’s Day. Words cannot really capture how wonderful an experience this was! Please watch the video…that song gets me every time!

We’re just getting starting in Tennessee so keep an eye out next Saturday for Part II of our Tennessee Travels!

2018: Nov 4-10

This week we started out leaving Baton Rouge but started a bit later than expected. Being able to stop and rest when you are tired is one of the great advantages to traveling with your RV. We knew we were too tired to safely make it to our campsite so we pulled into a truck stop just off the freeway, asked management if we could park for a few hours and grabbed some much-needed rest before moving on. [youtube 

FIRST STOP: Rose Hill Cemetary, 8th St and 40th Ave, Meridian, Mississippi

gypsy-queen
Grave of Kelly Mitchell, The Gypsy Queen

On our way to Oak Mountain State Park, we passed through Meridian, Mississippi and stopped by the Grave of the Gypsy Queen. This grave of a Romany leader is hard to miss – it will be the one at the top of the hill, adorned with beads, trinkets and other offerings. When Gypsy Queen Kelly Mitchell passed away in 1915 due to complications resulting from childbirth, more than 20,000 people traveled to come and pay their respect.  Rumors that the coffin was made of gold and that gold coins were buried within the coffin resulted in the gravesite being disturbed on numerous occasions by grave robbers. It has since been reinforced with better materials and still attracts a fair number of visitors every year. Given our new nomadic lifestyle, we felt a bit like kindred spirits and felt that we had to visit ourselves. Legend has it that if you leave Queen Kelly a trinket, she will come to you in your dreams and solve all of your problems. Russ and I both left a small token but neither of us has seen her yet 😉 SECOND STOP:   Oak Mountain State Park (Campground) 33.3644572,-86.7081025

Teddy at Oak Mountain State Park
Our Little Guy Max “Teddy” at Oak Mountain State Park
Abbey in Oak Mountain State Park
Abbey loving our walks at Oak Mountain State Park

We lucked out and arrived during the peak of their fall foliage display! Oh, how I have missed the smell of autumn. I have included the GPS coordinates above to help get you directly to the campsite check-in office. Our navigation system directed us to the back gate, but I would recommend taking the front gate – especially if you have a big rig. The road to the back gate has a lot of low hanging trees and has a lot of sharp twists and turns. In addition, the back gate closes at 6pm whereas the front gate is open 24 hours. We stayed here for several days. During our time in the area, Russ met up with a friend – Brandon from Adventure Archaeology  Brandon lives in a nearby town and took Russ on his first bottle dig and let me tell you, Russ is so lucky I did not tag along on this one. They dug a hole more than 10 feet deep and I was a nervous wreck watching their video footage! The following day, they went metal detecting and while they didn’t find much they did find some really cool arrowheads. If you are interested in seeing their time “treasure hunting” – you can check out the videos here THIRD STOP: Largest Statue of Liberty Replica  33.4822465,-86.7072872

Statue of Liberty
Statue of Liberty Replica in Alabama

Standing at 1/5th the size of the original, Alabama has it’s very own Statue of Liberty, located in Liberty Park. Just a quick stop off of the highway it was a nice place to stop and have lunch. There is a parking lot but not incredibly big. FOURTH STOP:  Heflin, Alabama Cane Creek RV Park We stayed in Heflin for several days as well and had the opportunity to meet up with Heath from Treasure Mountain Detectors and Scott for some metal detecting in the area. Abbey enjoyed romping through the cotton fields and Russ found a 54 caliber mini ball and 1813 musket ball found in an area Andrew Jackson’s troops fought during the Creek War.

Abbey in Cotton Fields
Abbey in the cotton fields

ISSUE #1 While in Heflin, we had a bit of trouble-shooting to do as well. On a morning where the outside temperature dropped to 37 degrees, we woke to a very chilly trailer. Russ went and checked the propane and realized it was empty. He ran down to a gas station that was close by and exchanged our tank for a new one and hooked us back up. Before he went out with Heath for the day, he asked me to check on the propane tank throughout the morning because he thought there was still a smell surrounding the tank. Everything seemed to be working fine, but when I checked on it a short time later, I noticed the smell he mentioned. It wasn’t incredibly strong but as I pulled my hand away, it hit the hose that connects the tank to the trailer, at which time I heard a loud hiss. I couldn’t see any obvious tears or bubbles so I grabbed a cup of soapy water and poured it over the area. Immediately I saw bubbles right along the area where the hose meets the metal. Now that the problem was identified, Russ went in search of a replacement hose. There was a Camping World close by but it didn’t open for several hours, so Russ went to Lowe’s. Then he went back to Lowe’s. Then to Camping World. Lesson of the day: either take the part you need to replace with you or make sure you get the right size the first time!

Lowes
Russ on one of his many trips to Lowe’s today!

ISSUE #2 Still reveling in fixing the propane tank situation, we realized we were celebrating a bit too soon. Coming back from a walk, we noticed the SmartJack blinking. Russ finally fixed the “flux capacitor” by taking the cover off of the back of the unit, unplugging it and plugging it back in again. We don’t know what caused it, but just in case it was due to water entering through the touchpad, we now cover it (albeit with a plastic bag) and are looking into buying something that looks a bit more attractive. Not that we want any more issues, but there is a sense of pride and accomplishment when we figure out issues when they arise. Russ is proving to be quite the handyman now!! NEXT: On our way to Tennessee!

2018: Oct 28-Nov 3

As you travel along I-10E from Texas into Louisiana, it is hard to miss signs for boudin balls and cracklin’s.  Sign after sign touts that theirs is the best. I didn’t have a clue as to what either one was – I had to google it.  By the time we arrived in Baton Rouge, the billboards had done their job. We would not be leaving Louisiana before we tried some.

But before we get there….

Russ and I were so proud of ourselves! Hitching up Teddy to the truck gets easier every time we do it.

The ride into Baton Rouge was beautiful. The sun was out and a fortuitous traffic delay allowed us to get off the freeway and take an alternate route that led us down picturesque pathways.

Byways of Louisiana
Taken from a bridge in Rosedale, LA
Henderson Lake
On the I-10E passing Henderson Lake, LA

Another detour just off the freeway in Beaumont, Texas was to see a massive fire hydrant. This wound up being a part of the Fire Museum of Texas. Wynell (a.k.a. the nicest woman in Beaumont!), came down from her office in the museum to check out our Teddy. Russ gave her a tour and she reciprocated by bringing him into the museum and even introduced him to the Captain who had just finished up a school tour.

The museum is free (donations welcomed) and only two minutes off the freeway. There are several parking lots close by and we had no problem finding a spot to fit our rig. Definitely worth a stop if you are close by.

Note: The Fire Museum of Texas is located at 400 Walnut St in Beaumont, Texas and is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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Abbey and Billie’s favorite spot so far!

While in Baton Rouge, we stayed at the Baton Rouge KOA. We splurged and ordered pizza from Papa Johns one night – which was delivered right to our door! Can that be done at all campgrounds? It will be fun finding out.

A friend in the area, EJ, gave us a few recommendations on some things to see. Here are some pictures and there is more in the video (at the top of the post – if you didn’t watch it yet, check it out!).

Boudin Balls – Boudin is a pork sausage made with rice and seasoning usually stuffed into a casing. For boudin balls, they remove the casing, roll it into balls and deep fry them. 

Our first try to get them was a bust. The location made them, but only for their catering menu. We did, however, get to try alligator there!

Our second try was a success. It was served with some type of horseradish sauce. Russ liked it but I preferred mine without the sauce. They were good! Russ was also able to try straight-up boudin when he went out metal detecting for an afternoon with EJ and he said the boudin was amazing. Oh! And cracklin’s? I found out those are pork rinds!

Russ was also able to get out and go metal detecting with EJ and Dwayne (a.k.a. Yoda). If you want to see their “hunt” check out this vid below!

2018: Oct 21-28

We just wrapped up 5 days at Rainbows End, an RV park located at Escapees headquarters. The weather did not cooperate much and the sun did not peek out until the morning we packed up to head out, but nevertheless, we enjoyed our time there.

Rainy days at Rainbows End
Rainy days at Rainbows End

Being the newbie RVers that we are, it was great to be at a place that is filled with helpful people to answer all of our questions. We were able to set up our mail service and learned about some of the great programs Escapees offers. They have an RV Boot Camp scheduled next week which is a class for RVers to learn all of the ins and outs of RVing and they even offer informational lessons online as well.

Escapees Trolley
Trolley tours on Tuesdays and Thursdays

Tiny Teddy at Rainbows End
Always easy to find Teddy!

When we first arrived, we were handed a schedule of events for the week. You will never be bored at Rainbows End! There were line dancing classes in the morning, a beginners sign language class in the afternoon, a community social hour at 4pm every day and nightly movies. There are two community breakfasts offered – one on Friday mornings for $6 and a pancake breakfast on Saturdays for $5.  They also have this program & facility on site called C.A.R.E. (Continuing Assistance for Retired Escapees) which Russ talks a bit about in our video below.

We took long walks with Billie and Abbey and took them to the on-site dog park. Lots of people stopped to talk with us and the dogs even made a few friends too.

Most importantly, Russ and I started to figure out how to work and live in our tiny trailer (a.k.a. Teddy).  It is a small space – there is no doubt about that. But it has everything we need and with just a little communication and planning, navigating our way through the day works just fine. Russ will typically get up first and take out the dogs for a quick break. By the time he gets back, the dinette has ‘magically’ turned itself from Abbey’s bed back to a dinette and our bed has been made. We repeat the process in reverse every evening as we set up for bed.

A benefit of the rainy weather last week ….it kept us focused on work! The toughest part about working on the road is the wifi. We quickly hit our max on our Verizon jetpack. Wifi at Rainbows End was fairly good, but you do have to pay extra for it and it is per connected device. We have also considered getting a wifi booster, but haven’t done much research on it yet. We are open to suggestions, so if you have one, please let us know!

I do want to give a shout-out to some of our new friends. Our ‘neighbor’ Dennis who has the coolest set up to see the stars and to Michael and Louise who invited us over for drinks and shared a ton of information about their time living in a tiny T@B trailer (they currently have a Lance 1995).  If you ever hear people ask “where are all the good people in the world” …..I think they have gone RVing 🙂

 

 

It’s official! We’re full-time RVers!

 

My sister thinks we’re crazy. Our kids just shake their heads. We just keep pinching ourselves to make sure it’s all really happening.  You know the saying “Go big or go home?” Well, we are going big and we are determined to make it work because the only home we have to go back to is hitched to the back of our truck!

I initially thought buying the RV (in our case it was a Little Guy Max trailer) was the most daunting decision. I have since changed my mind. Downsizing – really committing to the choice – was the toughest part. We got rid of nearly everything but did wind up renting out a 5′ x 5′ storage unit to put some of the things we just couldn’t part with quite yet. We have a plan to go back to it in a year and reassess what we want to keep and try to pare down further. Other than the storage unit, we have only what fits into our 18ft trailer and the truck. My only bit of advice if you are starting this process, as you downsize don’t dwell on the price you paid for things or even some of the emotional attachments. The song “Let it Go” played continuously in my head during our yard sale. Focus on what you will be able to do once these things aren’t holding you back.

The process is also an exercise in self-awareness. I had to acknowledge I had a problem with letting go of paperwork. I had copies of our tax filings going back to 1991, copies of old utility bills, etc. I shredded A LOT of paper. Anything I couldn’t just let go, I scanned and saved. As each stack of paper disappeared, I felt a huge weight lift off of me.

Watching a lot of YouTube videos and reading blogs from other full-timers really helped a lot. We made list upon list to try to make sure we had all of the “must-have” items.  We are to the point now where we don’t know what we don’t know. So far, we haven’t hit any items that we needed that we didn’t have.

At the time of this post, we have been on the road full-time for 5 days. We are taking things slowly and only traveled 4 hours a day to start as we make our way from El Paso to Nashville, stopping along the way for Russ to meet up with people for his work.  In the five days, we have stayed at 3 different campgrounds. Lots of practice hooking up the water/sewer/electric! That being said, we have yet to USE the bathroom in our trailer. Baby steps! Are we the only ones that the thought of emptying the black tank seems like a process fraught with the potential for failure and catastrophic consequences?

The one thing that we did that I really like so far…..if we see something interesting along our route – we stop, we explore, we take our time. We have traveled back and forth on the I-10 corridor so many times over the years and just focused on getting from point A to B, never knowing what we were passing by. Our days of travel flew by and made the travel so much more enjoyable. Here are a few things to see just off the I-10 between El Paso and Livingston, TX. (We found them using www.RoadsideAmerica.com):

We would love to hear from you! If you are full-time RVers, any tips for the newbies? If you are thinking of going full-time, let us know!

True to the Union Monument
Treue Der Union Monument – taken during the only bit of sunshine we have seen in 5 days!

 

Watermelon Tower
Giant watermelon water tower in Luling, TX

Giant Stag made of Junk
40ft tall stag made from scrap metal nestled in a neighborhood park

Stonehenge II
Stonehenge II  in Ingram, TX

Camper Cooking with Kerry: Instant Pot Beef Stew

Instant Pot, Instapot, no matter how you say it….yes, the hype is real.

This recipe using an Instant Pot is good no matter where you make it, but there are certain benefits that someone cooking in a small space (such as the kitchen in our Little Guy Max) can truly appreciate. Without having to deal with multiple pots and pans it makes preparation and clean-up a breeze. If you are cooking in an RV, trailer, camper, etc it also minimizes the amount of electricity being used (if hooked up to a generator) as well as saving your propane for other uses.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1  1/2 lbs of beef stew meat
  • 1  Tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of pepper
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 3 cloves of garlic (minced)
  • 1/2 chopped onion
  • 8 oz chopped carrots
  • 2 cans whole potatoes (chopped) – or baby red potatoes
  • 2  1/2 Cups beef broth
  • 4 oz can tomato paste (or 8 oz tomato sauce)
  • 4 Tbsp flour

DIRECTIONS:

  1.   We’re going to start off by putting in some olive oil into the pot.  One of the best things about the InstantPot – EVERYTHING is done here. Fewer dishes? Sign me up.
  2. Now select the saute button on the front of the Instant Pot.
  3. As the olive oil heats up, add in the stew meat. We’re going to stir it occasionally so that all sides of the meat brown.
  4. While the meat is browning, add in the pepper and pepper
  5. Now add in some Italian seasoning.
  6. Next, we’re going to add in our beef broth. Slowly pour into the pot and stir, scraping up any bits of meat that might have been stuck to the bottom of the pot.
  7. Add in the Worcestershire sauce
  8. The recipe next calls for tomato sauce. You’ll see that I used tomato paste – it’s smaller and takes up less room in my Little Guy Max kitchen. I just added an equal amount of water to my 4 oz can of paste, mixed it well and then added it into the pot.
  9. Here’s where I cheated a bit by using canned potatoes. They keep longer and take up less room (plus, no peeling!).  The cans with already diced potatoes are diced too small for my liking, so I bought the whole potatoes and chopped them up.  If using non-canned potatoes, go with the small red potatoes.
  10. Carrots. I didn’t use canned carrots because I didn’t want them to turn to mush. I did, however, use baby carrots (again, no peeling!) and just chopped them up a bit smaller, you could just throw them in as is.
  11. Time to add the garlic! I have had this garlic press from Pampered Chef for more than 10 years and absolutely love it. If you don’t have this in your kitchen, you need to.
  12. Last but not least, chop up your onion and add into the pot.
  13. Place the cover back on and turn to lock it in place. Make sure your release valve is set to lock. Press the manual button and adjust the time (by hitting the + or – buttons) to 35 minutes.  After the 35 minutes, let it sit and do what they call a “natural release” of pressure for about 10 minutes.
  14. While you are waiting, equal parts of flour and cool water together to form a paste. Set aside.
  15. After the 10 minutes of natural release, press the pressure release valve and wait until it stops steaming.
  16. Remove the cover and add in the flour/water mixture. Stir well.

All I can say is WOW. From start to finish this took less than hour….and let me tell you, it does taste amazing. The perfect comfort food on a chilly day.

Camper Cooking with Kerry: Making bread without an oven

No oven? No problem! Follow these simple steps to make bread without an oven.

INGREDIENTS:

2 ½ cups Flour

1 cup hot milk

2 1/4 tsp instant yeast (1 packet)

1 1/2 tbsp sugar

2 tsp powdered milk

2 tsp salt

1 tsp butter

STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE:

  1. The first thing you need to do is pour hot milk into a bowl.
  2. Pour in your sugar and whisk the milk and sugar together until all of the sugar has dissolved.
  3. When the milk has cooled a bit (you want it lukewarm), add the yeast to the milk and sugar, stirring just a bit. Let it sit for about 10 minutes to proof. You are looking for the yeast to look a bit frothy.
  4. Once your yeast is ready, add in flour.
  5. Add in powdered milk.
  6. Add in salt….make sure to do it in this order because if you add the salt directly to the yeast, you will kill the yeast.
  7. Now mix together all of the ingredients.
  8. Sprinkle a little bit of flour on a flat surface. Gather the dough into a pile, place it on the table and start to knead. It will be a bit sticky at first but keep working it with your hands, forming it into a ball and then reshaping it. Knead with the heels of your hand, pushing away from you and folding back over. Continue this for about 10 minutes. You know when the dough is ready when is shiny, relatively smooth and springs back when you press into it.
  9. Now take the butter and knead it into your dough. Once it is worked in, set it aside for a minute and grease the bowl that you will use to let the dough rise. To grease the bowl, take some butter and spread it around the entire surface of a bowl. You want a bowl large enough to let the dough expand about twice its size.
  10. Place the dough in the bowl and cover it with a damp cloth. Set aside for 1 hour.
  11. While you are waiting for the dough’s first rise, prep the pan that you are going to cook the bread in by spreading butter on all interior sides and edges. Don’t skip this step as the bread will be very difficult to get out of the pan without doing this.
  12. Now that your dough has risen, take it out of the bowl and punch it down. Knead for again for a few minutes. You are aiming for a smooth dough. Pinch cracks and continue working until smooth.
  13. Place your dough into the prepared baking pan and press to fill in evenly.
  14. Cover again with a damp cloth and set aside for 1 hour to rise.
  15. After about 50 minutes, heat up your “oven”. Any pressure cooker that you can fit your loaf pan into will work. My All American Pressure Canner/Cooker is a bit of overkill and I actually recommend a smaller unit (something like this: Add salt to the bottom of the pan – this is mostly to absorb moisture during the cooking process. Place cutting rings or racks into the cooker to elevate the loaf pan during cooking. NOTE: remove your gasket and weights from your pressure cooker before using. Place cover on cooker and turn on heat to high.
  16. Unwrap your dough and brush the top with milk. The fat and sugars from the milk will help your bread develop a nice golden color during cooking.
  17. Place your bread into the cooker, cover and reduce to medium heat. At about 20 minutes, remove cover and brush bread with milk once more, cover and continue to cook for an additional 10 minutes or until you achieve a nice golden color.
  18. Take your bread out of the cooker and place on a rack to cool.
  19. To help make your bread nice and soft, take a bit of butter and brush it on the top of the loaf.
  20. Once the pan has cooled just enough to handle with your hands, flip over and remove the bread. Wrap the bread in a damp cloth and set aside.

After about 2 hours, unwrap the bread, slice and enjoy!

IMPORTANT NOTE: As I mentioned earlier, my All American Pressure Canner/Cooker was a bit much – fine for a traditional cooktop/range, but I found that when using it in my camper, the cooktop and surrounding countertop became a bit hot – a potential hazard. Using a smaller pressure cooker that doesn’t extend past the sides of the cooktop is much safer. 

-Kerry

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War Eagles and BBQ

If you are ever traveling through El Paso, looking for something to do and don’t want to spend a lot of money, Russ and I have some suggestions for you!

After working hard all morning cleaning our Little Guy Max “Teddy” from top to bottom, Russ and I decided to treat ourselves and go out for the afternoon. That got us thinking if someone were passing through the area and looking for some recommendations, what would we say?

We decided to share two of our favorite places in the area that are not only budget-friendly but RV-friendly as well. Both locations offer ample parking and are easily accessible.

Our first stop was Rudy’s.  Rudy’s is a BBQ place with good food and a ton of character (especially for a chain restaurant). There are two in El Paso, both located just off the I-10 – we usually go to the one at 6401 South Desert Blvd and is the one featured in the video above.

Rudys

Rudy’s is a little different….. in addition to a few sandwich options, you order your BBQ by the pound and it is served on parchment paper, placed in a plastic milk crate/tray and all utensils are plastic. Thick slices of bread are available at no charge with your order, just let them know how many you would like. Traditional sides are available, such as potato salad, macaroni salad, coleslaw and pies and puddings for dessert. They are also open for breakfast with delicious breakfast burritos!

The environment is very casual and set up with picnic tables throughout. There is also a little shop up front that sells snacks, flavored sodas, ice cream and “touristy” type items. Also for your convenience, there are gas pumps out front so you can fuel up before you leave.

After having consumed way more calories than we probably should have, our next stop helped us walk some of it off.  Just 8 miles to the west of Rudy’s is the War Eagles Air Museum. Now technically this isn’t in El Paso, it is actually located at 8012 Airport Road, Santa Teresa, NM, but it is adjacent to it so close enough – right?

Excerpt from the War Eagles Air Museum website:

The War Eagles Air Museum is dedicated to collecting, restoring and displaying historic aircraft of the World War II and the Korean Conflict eras. This unique Museum pays special tribute to military aviation and reminds us all of the significant roles these airplanes, their pilots and support crews played in securing our freedom.

To demonstrate the sights and sounds of these high-powered machines, most of this magnificent collection is maintained in flying condition. These aircraft provide public enjoyment while in actual flight. The Museum features various educational programs, exhibits and special events that help preserve our heritage and promote pride in our country.”

 

landscape War Eagles Air MuseumOpen Tuesday through Sunday from 10am-4pm, you will have plenty of time to enjoy the exhibits (and play in the helicopter!).

Message if you have any questions and if you go, let us know!

 

 

 

 

 

Practice makes perfect?

Russ and I thought we would take a quick trip to get in more practice with our hitching & set up “skills”.  This was only our second outing in our Little Guy Max travel trailer so it is still relatively new to us. Which was quickly apparent ….

If you need a place to rest for a bit and you are traveling through the El Paso, TX area, this will fit the bill. Basically, it’s a gravel parking lot with full 30/50 hookups as well as a few tent sites where you will find plenty of space, lots of pull-thru spots and the mountains in the distance make up a bit for the noise from the freeway.

IMG_1795
All set up! View from spot I-4

 

 

There is a trailer on site which houses two private restroom/showers as well as 4 washing machines and 4 dryers. Fees to wash are $1.50 per load and to dry are $0.25 per load.

Look for the giant dog bone to head over to the dog park and children’s play area. Each section is provided with a picnic table and an awning cover. The dog park was well stocked with doggie bags and a trash can to dispose of any waste.

Quick facts:

ADDRESS:  901 S Leisure Fun Road, Anthony, TX

AVAILABILITY: Open year-round

COST: Fee was $40/night for a pull-thru site with full hook-ups

This is a KOA property and as Russ mentioned in the video, there was thankfully a Camping World adjacent to the campground, so if you forget anything (like we did!) they have got you covered.

Even though Russ tried to pass the blame for his forgetfulness and I made a mess in the kitchen (make sure to watch the video above!), it was still fun to get away for a night. Maybe next time we will remember everything!

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Abbey & Billie keeping an eye on things

 

 

 

 

Camper Cooking with Kerry: California Rolls

Last week, I showed you how to make SPAM musubis and since I had a bit of nori left over, I decided to make our daughter’s favorite – California Rolls!

Russ and I met while we were in the Air Force many, many years ago. So we were incredibly proud when our daughter, Kiana, decided to join the Air Force as well. She represents the fourth generation of our family to serve in the USAF and recently got married to a wonderful young man who is also in the Air Force. 19399661_1159832684121428_6766478793540998871_n

Kiana would always ask me to make this recipe and now, whenever I make this, it is hard to not think of her as I do so. Now that we have our Little Guy Max, we definitely plan on getting out to visit her more often!

 

Before I get into the recipe, I want to share a little hack for giving me more workspace in the kitchen. Pull the dinette table over towards the sink and it provides a nice L-shaped counter area to really spread out while cooking.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1  1/2 C of Calrose (or any sushi rice)
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 carrot
  • 1/2 lb crab meat (imitation crab meat is fine)
  • 1  1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 C rice vinegar
  • 3/4 C mayonnaise
  • salt & pepper to taste

YIELD:  15-18 pieces (you can actually make more if you double the rice

EQUIPMENT:

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. PREPARE CRABMEAT FILLING: Chop up the crabmeat, add in the mayo and garlic powder (you can also add in salt and pepper to taste). Mix well and put in the refrigerator to chill. IMG_6110
  2. PREPARE RICE: Put uncooked rice into a container and rinse/strain several times until water runs clear enough for you to see the rice through the water. Place cleaned rice into pot and add 2 cups of water and let sit for 15 minutes.
  3. COOK RICE: Bring rice to a low boil, put the cover on the pot and reduce to a simmer for 10-15 minutes. When rice is done cooking, remove from stovetop and mix in the rice vinegar.Rice when finished
  4. WHILE RICE IS COOKING:
    1. Peel the cucumber, scoop out the seeds and cut into long, thin strips.IMG_6095
    2. Peel the carrot and cut into long thin strips. img_6097.jpg3. Cut avocado in half, score lines and scoop out. Continue to cut pieces into strips. IMG_6099
  5. ASSEMBLE THE ROLLS
    1. Place a sheet of nori onto the bamboo mat
    2. Using a rubber spatula, spread rice evenly over the entire surfaceIMG_6119
    3. Spread some mayo over the top of the rice, which will help smooth and even out the rice layer further. IMG_6122
    4. Scoop out some of the crab meat mixture and place in a horizontal line on the lower half of rice.IMG_6124
    5. Place a strip of cucumber just above the crab mixture and a strip of carrot below (sandwiching the crab mixture between them). Place avocado pieces on top of the crab mixture.IMG_6114
    6. Roll from the bottom to the top, exerting equal pressure. Set aside, seam side down. If needed, dip a finger in water and run along the seam. IMG_6115
    7. The ends are typically messy and uneven so I will cut off the outer ends (I usually have someone lingering close by to gobble them up!).  Continue to slice into pieces to your desired thickness. california rolls finished

 

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