A Lot of Changes Coming

This blog has been neglected and I apologize for that. We’ve had a lot of things going on this fall and we’ve come to realize that some much needed changes need to happen in the new year. 

I will be following up on that in a later post after the first of the year. 

But for now, the first change will be that I’m closing my Etsy store. It’s been a good run but it’s time to call it quits. All my jewelry will be 50% off (prices already marked down). If you’ve ever considered getting one of my unique pieces then now is your chance! 


Thank you to all our followers over the years. I hope what’s coming up will keep things interesting. Link to Etsy shop:

Red Cactus Design

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!

Officially Downsizing!

Ok y’all, we are in the cabin for the summer (woohoo!!) so we’ve decided to put our rig up for sale! We want to downsize to something smaller for our winter adventures but before we do that this one has to go.If you have followed this page this past year you know this has been a fun rig and we’ve had some great adventures in it!  But, we really want to camp in some areas that we just can’t get this rig into so it’s got to go to someone who will enjoy it as much as we have.  So, if anyone is near northern New Mexico and has any interest in this beautiful travel trailer here are the specifics!  Even if you’re not close by, we can certainly work a deal.

For Sale!! 2015 Aspen Trail 2780RLS 30′ travel trailer by Dutchmen.

$16000.00 OBO (no low ball offers, please)

Purchased new June 2015 for $30k.  MSRP $33,900

We are downsizing so our loss is your gain!

Clean title – no money owed on this rig!

This is a beautiful travel trailer and we have hauled it from South Carolina to New Mexico. We traveled full time in it for about a year so all the bugs and kinks are worked out! It is in great condition with only very minor wear and tear.

Features:

Power tongue jack and manual stabilizers.

Included is the anti-sway bar kit with heavy duty tow ball hitch.

One large slide (slide topper) with couch and dinette. Both fold down into beds for the kids! SLEEPS 6!

Automatic awning 18′ with LED exterior lighting.

Gorgeous L shaped kitchen with stove/oven combo, split sink with modern faucet, microwave and dual propane/electric fridge/freezer.  Propane/electric 6 gallon hot water heater.

Lots of cabinet and storage space in this unit.

All lighting has been converted to LED and it has one 100 watt solar panel with a 30amp PWM charge controller and one 100 amp hour deep cycle battery. It is set up to add three more 100 watt Renogy solar panels up top (as the brackets are still there and no holes were put in roof as they were Dicor’d down) and there is a large battery bank area in the pass through to add more batteries. 12 volt plugs have been added throughout for ease of charging phones/laptops or running a 12 volt fan.

Ducted air conditioning and furnace. Both work perfectly!

It has been set up for boondocking (dry camping) and we have a composting toilet that we have removed so it will need a regular flush toilet added which we will be happy to do pending sale – or better yet, just get a composting toilet! 😊

A mattress will also be needed as we kept the Temperpedic we bought for it. It will hold a full length queen size mattress.

Large storage under bed and dinette. Large pass through storage as well.

Everything works and has been well maintained this past year. There are new seals/bearings in the wheels with better high temp grease that is an upgrade from factory. New water pump was installed for better PSI with a water saving Oxygenics shower head.

Spare tire and rack.

Stereo system with outdoor speakers.

So many features it’s hard to list them all!  Just ask if you have any questions.

This is a NON SMOKING rig. We do have a dog but the rig is very clean!

Any questions please Email me at boondockorbust@gmail.com

Located in Tierra Amarilla, NM. More images will be added but here are a few!


Park Review – Tanager Woods RV Park

After leaving North Carolina, we headed south to the Charleston, SC area.  We had to be in Charleston for some doctors and lawyer appointments for Mark for his workers comp case.  As of this writing, we are still waiting for mediation to close the case which isn’t scheduled until March 31st.

When we looked at Charleston for an RV park we were a little surprised at how expensive the parks were for a monthly rate.  I guess we shouldn’t have been considering Charleston is a very active tourist area.  So we decided to browse further afield.

About an hour outside of downtown Charleston is the little town of Dorchester, SC.  A local family has a small (and I do mean SMALL) 12 space RV park (7 spaces are 30 amp only, 5 are 50 amp).  It was a bit out of the loop but the price was right so there we went. Located 1/2 mile down a VERY bumpy dirt road is Tanager Woods RV Park.

Map link to Location:  Tanager Woods RV Park location

We stayed here from the first of January through the middle of February.  And while it definitely had its downsides there are some nice things about it as well, especially if you like solitude.  Here is some info to help you make an informed decision about this park.

Small sign to show you are in the right place
Small sign to show you are in the right place
  • Location
    • Pros: Located about an hour outside of downtown Charleston (could be a “con” for a lot of people).  Surrounded by beautiful farm/forest land with all sorts of local wild life.  Lots of Civil War history in this area.
    • Cons: Getting to the park is relatively easy and they have signs that will guide you in.  Unfortunately, the last 1/2 mile you will travel is a ONE LANE ungraded dirt road.  It is very bumpy and you need to go very slow (5mph or less).  There is also no lighting so if you come in late at night you might think you are lost until you see the signs.  The closest real grocery store is in Summerville, SC about 20 minutes away.  Summerville has all the stores you can think of and has a cute little downtown area with lots of places to eat.  The RV park is really out in “the boonies” (which was ok for us) but if you want close by amenities then this is not the park for you.
Are we there yet? Nope.
Are we there yet? Nope.
What about now?  Still no...
What about now? Still no…
Ok... FINALLY arrived!
Ok… FINALLY arrived!
Like we said... small!
Like we said… small!
The office that's not really an office.  It's not used currently.
The office that’s not really an office. It’s not used currently.
  • Sites/Spaces
    • Pros:  Monthly rates are $450/mo (including electric) for a 30amp space at time of writing and $525/mo for 50amp (could be cheaper IMO considering the lack of amenities, see below).  We were able to get by on a 30amp considering it was winter time and we didn’t run an AC unit.  Daily & weekly rates are listed on their website.  The spaces are large and (fairly) level with all being pull throughs for big rigs.  All sites have water/sewer hookups.  All spaces include a picnic table but no fire rings or bbqs.  We stayed for 6 weeks and the owner only charged us for a half a month the last two weeks which was cheaper than the website stated so that was nice, all in all.
    • Cons:  There are no large trees so there wasn’t much shelter from the wind and it was very windy while we were there.  The sewer drop and the water hookups are pretty far away from each other so you will need either a long sewer hose or water hose or both.
Space #7 - our spot for January/February.  The last spot in this row and the best one out of the bunch.
Space #7 – our spot for January/February. The last spot in this row and the best one out of the bunch.
The view out our front "porch"
The view out our front “porch”
  • Amenities
    • Pros:  Lots of shady tree lined trails to walk. Pet friendly. They built a small (50’x50′) dog run while we were there.  There is a park host on duty.  Why, we have no idea, but he is there.
    • Cons:  There is NO CABLE, NO WIFI and NO LAUNDRY.  This is a bare bones park.  AT&T LTE signal is very good in this area and my Coverage? app shows great Verizon LTE as well.  You will definitely need to have your own internet coverage.
Trail to the large hay field
Trail to the large hay field
The end of the trail.. a very large hay field.  Lots of deer come here!
The end of the trail.. a very large hay field. Lots of deer come here!  Click on it to get the full version.
Hay bale study
Hay bale study
Covered patio(?) area
Covered patio(?) area
  • Pets
    • Pros:  Pets are welcome at this park.  Just remember this is a southern climate and with that you could have alligators in the ponds here – do not let your dog swim in them!  Do not approach alligators for any reason.  Also, when walking in the woods be mindful of snakes.  There are many poisonous varieties here.  See my “con” below that I touch on snake issues here.
    • Cons:   The camp host has two dogs that just LOVE to be outside and bark at the world.  It’s a tad annoying to say the least.  There are quite a few loose dogs in the area that like to wander through the park, including the owners dogs who are not very friendly with other dogs.  So just watch your dog(s) around them.  They like to come by and pee all over your stuff outside and knock over grills, etc.  Grrrr.  Also, both the camp host and owner carry side arms due to snakes and this was in January/February.  I would be worried to be here in warmer months and walking around.  But then again, I hate snakes! 🙂
The new dog run area - 50'x50'.
The new dog run area – 50’x50′.
Bench outside the dog area
Bench outside the dog area
Leading the way back from our walk
Leading the way back from our walk
  • Other thoughts:  The website states it accepts rigs that are only 15 years or newer.  That isn’t the case at all, considering they have two pretty dilapidated travel trailers that are parked here full time.  We had a great spot (space #7) and didn’t have to look at any of the rigs as they were all on our far side but be advised that is what is there.  If you are looking for a “brand new rig only” park, then this is definitely not it.  Most of the people here are nice but of course there is always one bad apple that spoils the bunch.  Our closest neighbor was very unfriendly and rude but we just ignored them so it was all good.
The view behind our rig
The view behind our rig
Spaces are good sized
Spaces are good sized
Don't believe everything you read
Don’t believe everything you read
  • AT&T & Verizon – the AT&T LTE signal is very good here.  According to my Coverage? app it shows a decent Verizon LTE signal as well.

Overall, this little park is just ok but it suited our needs (once we got down the road to it) for the time we were in Charleston.  Probably not something we would come back to as their daily rates are on track with parks closer to Charleston, but the monthly rate was acceptable even with the lack of amenities and it allowed us some privacy and quiet.  It could have been a much better experience if the loose dogs were not allowed to run free and be destructive, tho.

Where are we going next?  Well… we are keeping that under wraps for now.  Until this case is closed we are going incognito.  😉  We will post our plans though when it’s all over!

Will leave you with a few photos from around the park.

Sun
Sun
Another hay field
Another hay field
Swamp! No swimming!
Swamp! No swimming!
Making tracks!  Deer tracks!
Making tracks! Deer tracks!
Beautiful blue skies!
Beautiful blue skies!

Eats & Treats ~ Thai Ginger Chicken Soup

Whoa. This soup just ROCKS! Seriously!
While looking through recipes I found a version of this soup. It sounded so delicious but knew it would need a few tweaks to make it “just right”. So, I set to work and wow were we ever happy! With chicken, ginger, Sriracha and a lot of other yummy Thai flavors this soup is definitely a hit.

2015/01/img_2037.jpg
The recipe is below. If you make this soup let me know what you think of it! Adjust your Sriracha to taste to make it as spicy as you like. Enjoy!

Thai Ginger Soup

1 box Swanson Thai Ginger base
2 cups chicken broth + 3 Tbsp
1lb chicken, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
4 baby bella mushrooms, sliced
1 can unsweetened coconut milk
4-5 tbsp Lime juice
Ground Ginger
Soy sauce (splash)
Sriracha sauce
Salt & pepper
Bunch cilantro
Scallions
Sesame oil – 1 tbsp
1 cup basmati rice

Prepare rice in rice cooker and keep warm. (Or prepare on stovetop).

Cook diced chicken in stock pan with a splash of chicken broth, ginger, salt & pepper, sesame oil & soy sauce until cooked through.

Add Thai Ginger base to cooked chicken, diced red bell pepper, mushrooms, 2 cups chicken broth, lime juice, a squirt of Sriracha and one can coconut milk. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for 10-15 minutes.

Taste soup and adjust seasonings as needed. Add cilantro and scallions to taste. Serve over a scoop of basmati rice. Enjoy! 😊

Chillin’ in Charleston

We are currently hanging out in the Charleston area while awaiting the finalization of Mark’s workers comp case. We have an end in site (yea!!) but not much can be said until all is final.

Workers comp cases are complicated at best so while everything is still open we are trying not to muddy the waters. Hence, we won’t be disclosing our exact location until it’s finalized.

Until then, I have some awesome recipes coming up so stay tuned for food!! Lots and lots of food. 😊.

I did manage to get some new awning lights the other day! Peppers and cactus!! Or “peppers & pricks” as Mark calls them hehehe! Here they are:

2015/01/img_2041.jpg

Chow for now!
Shelly & Mark