Baked Green Chile Fries

One thing I love about being in New Mexico is the unique foods we’ve been able to try.  On our visit to Ojo Caliente this past July we were able to enjoy these fabulous Green Chile Fries!

Green Chili Fries at Ojo Caliente

They were fabulous!  Slightly spicy with a wonderful breading that made us go back for them three separate times.  🙂

One thing I love to do when we eat something from a restaurant that we really enjoy is to try to recreate it at home.  This can be somewhat of a challenge but it sure was fun.  Here is my take on these fries.  I actually baked them to keep them a bit healthier but all in all they were delicious.  The vinegar dipping sauce was a bit harder to recreate but I think I came pretty close.  Let me know what you think if you make them.  Always looking for feedback on recipes!  Enjoy!

Baked Green Chile Fries w/Vinegar dipping sauce

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 40 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

Vinegar dipping sauce (see below)*

6-8 large poblano peppers (or jalapeños or any large spicy pepper)

1 cup all-purpose flour, plus 2 tablespoons

3 large eggs, beaten

1/4 cup milk

1 cup Panko bread crumbs

1/2 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp cayenne (optional)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Remove the seeds from all of the peppers and cut into 1/2-inch lengthwise strips.

Set up a breading station: 1 pan of 1 cup of flour, 1 pan of eggs beaten with milk, 2 tablespoons of flour and mustard, and 1 pan of bread crumbs seasoned with cheese, and salt and pepper, to taste.

Coat the peppers in the flour, then in the egg mixture and then in the bread crumbs.

Arrange the chili fries on a nonstick baking sheet and roast for 18-20 minutes, turning once.

While chile’s are cooking, prepare the dipping sauce:

Ingredients for dipping sauce

1/2 cup white distilled vinegar

2 cloves crushed garlic

1 tsp black pepper

1/4 tsp cayenne

pinch of kosher salt

1/4 tsp red pepper flake

1 tbsp honey or Agave

Instructions

Whisk together all ingredients until honey/agave is dissolved and then refrigerate.  You can make this the day before to help the flavors meld even more!  Just be sure to mix it up again before serving.

 

 

Our Quick Truck Camper Makeover

When we bought our truck camper at the beginning of July we knew we only had a couple of weeks to get it squared away for our trip to South Carolina at the end of the month.  We were on a time crunch to say the least!

The first thing we did upon bringing it home was to check all systems out.  Everything works (that we can tell at the moment) and it was good to go.  We could have taken it the way it was but honestly it smelled like it had been closed up for a long time and it really needed some deep cleaning.  Next thing I know I am going on a painting frenzy!

The interior was outdated and blah.  We thought white cabinets would brighten every thing up!  It sure did.

I will be adding a tile backsplash but for now some leftover yellow paint from the cabin works just fine.

I had the teal left over from our cabin door.  I really like how that pop of color looks!

Didn’t do a drastic change in the dinette.  The cushions and fabric were still in good order but we added new curtains and of course painted all the cabinetry white.  The walls we went with a real light tan.

The bathroom before had that hideous wallpaper.  I stripped it all off and then painted with an exterior semi gloss paint.  I know it won’t hold up forever to the water.  When we get back we will be tiling the walls of the bathroom and replacing the flush toilet with our compost toilet.

Bedroom before

The bed area before had a cabinet above where our heads were.  The space is tight enough without that cabinet so we removed it.  Painted the walls a lighter version of the bathroom by adding some white to it.

Whew!  It was a lot of work and we accomplished it all in just two weeks.  We also redid the floors!  We had some leftover flooring from the cabin.  We think it turned out great.

Floors before and after!

We have made our way out to South Carolina – an 1800 mile trip!  It’s been a lot easier than pulling the trailer (even we did tow our 4 Runner) and so far everything’s been great!

Before leaving for South Carolina we went to Ojo Caliente Mineral Hot springs.  I will be doing a post on that amazing place soon!

Our New Rig

Well, new to us that is. 🙂 We have downsized to a 1986 Lance 900 series truck camper!

The camper is in great shape and all systems work! The only thing it doesn’t have is AC but it is wired to have an AC unit in it. At some point we will add one in.

Our 1986 Lance 900 series and 2006 GMC 2500 HD

Looking good on the GMC!


Inside is a bit dated of course. What can you expect from the 80’s? So, our mission is to totally update it and make it a bit more modern! And as we are leaving for South Carolina on July 25th we better get cracking!

What will we do for AC in the south? Well, we are just going to throw a window unit in it as a temp solution. Yeah, it will be a bit redneck-ish but better that than melting in the heat!

LOVE the counter space in the kitchen!
The fridge works great!
Large booth seating with a nice window for views
Queen size bed with lots of storage space
Full bathroom but will be using our composting toilet instead

In the next couple of weeks we will be adding solar, repainting everything and generally just giving it a really good cleaning. There are some minor repairs to make but nothing that is too difficult.

We will get as much done as we can before leaving for SC and our daughters college graduation and will finish up all the renovations when we return in August!

Our plan is to leave our little off grid cabin before the snow flies (generally October) and then hit the road for the winter!

Stay tuned for our maiden voyage. Hopefully it all goes as planned but you never know with us. 😜

Snow Day in April!

This past week we knew we had a storm coming.  It mostly just showed rain but to be on the safe side we loaded up on propane, groceries and the like. And it’s a good thing we did!

Over the weekend we had a bit of rain and snow but it didn’t stick around and it really didn’t seem all that bad.  Then Sunday it all changed.  Around 3pm a little light snow started coming down.

A little light snow. No biggie!

And then around 5pm it really started falling.

Getting heavier!

The weather service predicted about 1-2″ of snow fall.  Boy, were they wrong!

Good morning! A good 6 inches or more and still falling!

The snow was supposed to stop by 10am.  But as of this writing at 11am it is still coming down heavy.  It’s supposed to turn to rain later in the day which will of course melt it all off and make everything a soupy, muddy mess.  As we are a mile and a half down a dirt road we will be staying put until everything dries out.  The 4 Runner can make it out if necessary but it’s better to stay put and enjoy this last (hopefully) snow storm of the season!  It really is quite beautiful and our new metal roof on the cabin is holding up well. Cheers!

Early morning light. Tons of snow!
The cabin looks so magical in the snow!  You see our wind turbine?  🙂

And the RV looks pretty damn cozy too.

Winter?? No wait, it’s spring! Hello, New Mexico! 

It’s a good thing we don’t have to be anywhere – we are pretty well snowed in for now. 🙂  We had to get up on the roof of the RV and clean off the solar panels and run the genny for a bit!  It’s always nice to have a back up system.

The road out. Not going anywhere!

Essential Oils are awesome!

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I love Essential Oils!

Have you ever been curious about Essential Oils and their uses?  Do you want to learn more about them and how they can help you?  I’ve used Essential Oils (EO’s for short) for many years.  They have always been a part of my life for as long as I could remember.  As a former massage therapist, I can’t begin to describe the benefits that EO’s can have.

When I discovered Young Living EO’s I thought they would be a perfect fit for our current lifestyle of travel and exploring.  And because I believe in them so much I realized I wanted everyone to benefit from these wonderful and natural products as much as we do.  So I became a distributor!

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Young Living has a great introductory kit for someone just starting in the world of EO’s.  It’s called their Premium Starter Kit.  Now, there is no obligation to ever purchase anything again if you choose not to, but if you do and want to start your own little EO business then this is the kit to get!  Here are the details:

New PSK

Enroll with the ultimate Young Living product and business experience! An extraordinary value that offers a comprehensive introduction to the power of essential oils, the Premium Starter Kit is the perfect option for those who are serious about transforming their lives.  All of this for $160 (plus shipping).

Your Premium Starter Kit Includes:

  • Dewdrop Diffuser
  • Premium Essential Oils Collection;
    • Lavender 5-ml
    • Peppermint 5-ml
    • Lemon 5-ml
    • Copaiba 5-ml
    • Frankincense 5-ml
    • Thieves® 5-ml
    • Purification® 5-ml
    • R.C.™ 5-ml
    • DiGize™ 5-ml
    • PanAway® 5-ml
  • Stress Away™ 5-ml
  • AromaGlide™ Roller Fitment
  • 10 Sample Packets
  • 10 Love It? Share It! Sample Business Cards
  • 10 Love It? Share It! Sample Oil Bottles
  • 2 NingXia Red® 2-oz. samples
  • Product Guide and Product Price List
  • Essential Oil Magazine
  • Essential EdgeMember Resources

Also, by signing up as a distributor you will receive 24% off retail prices!! That just seems like a no brainer to me and why I choose to go this route.  I love EO’s, I know the benefits they can provide, so why not make a little money and save some as well?

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Please be sure to contact me at:  boondockorbust@gmail.com should you have ANY questions!  I am here to help!  And click the image below to join me in promoting a healthy lifestyle through Essential Oils!

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6 nights, 7 days, 2500 miles

And we are HERE!  We made it to Idaho! Yeah, we know it’s been over a week since we’ve been here but we’ve been busy! 🙂

Idaho or Bust!
Idaho or Bust!  We are finally here!!

We left South Carolina as originally planned on June 29, 2015 and arrived on July 5, 2015!  When we set off we had agreed to going about 300-350 miles a day, depending on traffic, road conditions, etc.  We managed to do about 360 miles per day (on average) and made it here in 7 days.  We stayed fairly close to the interstate every night to make it simple to get back on the road each day.  We stayed at a couple of decent RV parks but for the most part they were pretty crappy.  If it hadn’t been so hot we would have done the Walmart boondocking thing.  But seeing how it was 85+ each day I just couldn’t do it (I can’t deal with the heat when I sleep).

We were very pleased with how our truck pulled our new trailer.  We averaged about 10 MPG on the trip out here so all in all, that worked for us.  We had no troubles at all and it was really a great trip!  The gas did get more expensive the further west we went but other things got cheaper, so it averaged out, IMO.

I put together a list of the parks we stayed at and the price we paid, along with a little review of each.  Granted, these were not destination areas but just a place to lay our heads each night.  Photos of our travels out here are at the end of the post in a gallery!  We didn’t take a lot as we were in a mad dash to get here but there are some fun ones.

The parks we stayed at along the way and the price we paid each night:

1st stop:

  • Chattanooga, TN (382 mile drive)
  • RV Park:  Holiday Trav-L-Park
  • Price paid:  $35
  • Overall a decent park with easy access to the interstate.  The sites were decent with little grassy areas and picnic tables.  Nice trees and shady.

2nd stop:

  • Mt. Vernon, IL (375 mile drive)
  • RV Park:  Archway RV Park
  • Price paid:  $33
  • Pretty crappy park for the price.  Front desk people were clueless and there was a lot of road noise but not surprising considering the interstate is so close.  It was convenient and that’s all.

3rd stop:

  • St. Joseph, MO (387 mile drive)
  • RV Park:  AOK Campground
  • Price paid:  $27
  • Easy access to the interstate.  Very small park up a very steep gravel road.  They have a pond in the park that made the bugs really bad but as it was only an overnight we could live with it.  Would not stay long term.  Also, the sites were not level with all of them going downhill.

4th stop:

  • North Platte, NE (363 mile drive)
  • RV Park:  Holiday RV Park
  • Price paid: $35
  • Easy access to the interstate.  The bugs were HORRENDOUS!  Sites were very very close together.  But what made me mad is we were told one rate and I had to give a credit card over the phone to hold the spot (due to the holiday weekend traffic) and we were charged a lot more ($27 versus $35).  Would never recommend this park as I hate shady dealing.  Also, the water pressure was almost nil.

5th stop:

  • Rawlings, WY (376 mile drive)
  • RV Park:  RV World Campground
  • Price paid:  $27.50 (water & electric only)
  • Again, easy access to the interstate.  This place was nothing more than a gravel parking lot with hookups.  Spaces were so tight that the first spot they put us in we didn’t fit and our trailer is only 30′ with hitch.  But again, as we were only staying one night it worked.

6th and final stop:

  • Snowville, UT (358 mile drive)
  • RV Park:  Lottie-Dell Campground (no website) (435) 872-8273
  • Price paid: $26
  • Not far from I-84 right before the Idaho border.  This rustic campground reminds me of what it used to be like before “glamping” came along.  All grass spaces, very nice, wide and long with full hookups.  This place is done on the honor system if you come in late and the owner is very pleasant.  There is a driving range with golf clubs and balls located in the check in office!  Sweeping views of the mountain ranges and far enough from the interstate that it was a very pleasant evening to stay here.  By far my favorite spot of the cross country trip!  Not sure I would stay here long term but it was very relaxing after 6 days on the road.

On our last day we drove 268 miles to our final destination in Caldwell, Idaho.  We are currently at Country Corners RV Park and will be here another week before heading off to Oregon (I will do a review of the park when we leave).  We’ve had a lot of fun visiting my mom and checking out all the wineries that have sprung up here in the last 30 years.  It’s amazing how much this place has changed!  But the wind is already calling to us and we are keen to be off.  🙂

Enjoy some of the photos from our travels that week!

Composting toilet and solar install

When last we left off, we had just purchased our new home and had plans to install solar and a composting toilet to get us set up for being completely off grid (boondocking) before our departure date of June 29th (now June 30th).  Well, we are very happy to say we accomplished both these goals!  Our wonderful friends (who will be going full time themselves next month in a vintage Avion!!) came over and helped Mark get it done in ONE DAY!  Yep, solar AND composting toilet complete.  There were a few things that had to be tidied up in the days following that Mark took care of, but the majority of hard work was completed in just a few hours.  And in 100 degree heat, no less.  Needless to say, we bought them a really nice dinner at our favorite place – May River Grill!

When we installed the composting toilet (Nature’s Head on Amazon) , we had to add a piece of wood to give it a little lift on the floor to get above the hole to the black tank.  No big deal for a master carpenter like our friend Doug!  He had that thing measured and cut out in no time flat!

Doug installing the wood piece to raise the toilet above the black tank hole
Doug installing the wood piece to raise the toilet above the black tank hole

Next the guys had to cut the hole in the floor of the RV to install the venting tube.  They did that with no trouble and it looks great (didn’t get a photo of that.. boo)!  I will need to stain the wood piece the toilet is on but that is the last of my worries for the moment! 🙂  Here is the toilet installed:

Composting toilet installed - success!
Composting toilet installed – success!

As of this writing, we are pleased to say that the toilet works like a dream!  NO SMELL and it’s very low maintenance!  If you are curious about what a composting does and how it works, be sure to check out Gone With The Wynn’s video on it.  They do a great job of explaining it!

Also, we will be taking their advice and will be combining our grey and black tanks to extend our boondocking adventures!  This great video of theirs explains how they do it in a very simple and easy manner!  Check it out:

Our solar install was pretty simple as we had previously installed solar on our Georgie Boy.  We removed the solar and batteries when we traded it in and just moved it to our new rig.  We have 4 – 100 watt – solar panels (Renogy Solar on Amazon) with 400 AH of AGM batteries.

Our batteries we installed in our storage bin pass through.  Mark used some 2×4’s as brackets to hold them in place.  The GoPower! 1500 watt Pure Sine Wave inverter (Go Power on Amazon) was installed close by with the battery monitor being installed in the closet of our bedroom.  All neat and concealed!

400 AH of AGM battery goodness!
400 AH of AGM battery goodness!
batterymonitor
Battery monitor
inverter
1500 watt pure sine wave inverter and charge controller

The solar panels were mounted on the roof (picture coming soon) with plenty of room to add more if needed!  We are using the Renogy tilt brackets and they are nice and sturdy for securing them to the roof.  Dicor sealant makes sure they won’t go anywhere.

When we purchased our new rig we had a list about a mile long of everything that we wanted to get done before we departed for our trip.  I am so glad to say that list is nearly complete!  Just a few more things.  It does look like our trip might be delayed by one day but that is no big deal in the grand scheme of things.  Sometimes plans are set in jello and you just got to go with the flow!

So where are we headed, you ask?  We are off to IDAHO!  Why Idaho?  Well, my (Shelly)’s mom lives there and it’s been a long time since we’ve seen her.  Then it’s off to Oregon, Washington, Northern Idaho and Montana (possibly – again, jello plans) until it’s time to head to New Mexico for the Balloon Fiesta in October!

Idaho or Bust!
Idaho or Bust!

We will be pulling out of here on June 30th and making our way via South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming, Utah and then finally… Idaho!  Whew!  2500 miles.  We plan to take about 7 days (or more) to do the trip.  Hopefully all goes well!  I will be posting along as we go so it could get interesting. 🙂 Stay tuned and thanks for dropping by!

Shelly & Mark ~ Boondock or Bust!