The RV Chronicles — A 2016 letter to Santa from the ‘Jimmy Rockford’ (Recipe: Slow Cooker Osso Buco)

Slow Cooker Osso Buco —

Dear Santa – As you check out your list in the next week, you’ll see that I’ve been (mostly) nice this year.  I know, this puts you in an odd predicament. Relax, because I already have everything I’ve wished for. Our 2016 has been healthy and happy. Catherine began her new career as a teacher; […]

The RV Chronicles — Getting curveballs at the ‘Jimmy Rockford’ (Recipe: Grilled Pita Pizzas)

Grilled Pita Pizzas —

I‘m fast approaching a year’s worth of tight living space, an even tighter bathroom and coin laundry. My journey in the Jimmy Rockford began in early August, 2015. For those 17 of you who have trudged through essays written in the ‘dining room’ of my 32-footer, you know full well that I’ve used this virtual […]

The Unorthodox Epicure — Cheese Manicotti w/ Béchamel & Marinara

manicotti

Stuffed Manicotti is one of those dishes that brings old memories to my forefront. I can count on one hand how many times my father served this dish during my childhood. I enjoyed it every time. So did everyone else. I’m not sure where Dad discovered it — from a magazine cover in a supermarket […]

The RV Chronicles — Getting schooled, and then some

PappardelleBolognese

‘Every year you wait to go back makes it harder to go back at all.’ — Dad, 1990. I tend to do things the hard way. Always have. And for no particular reason. Whether it’s choosing to write a 3,000-word piece just hours before a deadline or sitting through a few extra lights to avoid […]

The RV Chronicles — Minestrone Soup … On a budget and a time crunch

Weeknight Minestrone Soup — Tastes just like Sunday

The best recipes have at least one thing in common — a storied history. Some of those stories only go back a generation or two, such as my mamaw’s chicken and dumplings. She made her version from the cheapest most readily available ingredients (sometimes squirrel or some other feathered animal stood in for the chicken). […]

The RV Chronicles – Alone and lonely

Smoked Sausage w/ Parmesan Pink Sauce — No one needs to know this took 20 minutes.

I am awakened each morning by an alarm clock and a 1960s sitcom. My hand, by habit, extends to my right and finds nothing except mattress. I’m alone. When I cook, it’s mainly for one person. And only one towel hangs in my tiny bathroom. There is no dog sneaking beneath my bed. Nor is […]

The RV Chronicles — Marcella would be proud, I think

Creamy fra Diavlo w/ Calamari Croutons —

Who says one can’t eat like Julius Caesar in an RV? Truth is, I’ve been feeling a little sorry for myself for having to go back to all the stuff I learned on my way to earning my Eagle Scout. Sure, one can make a fine dinner or dessert in a Dutch oven or over […]

The Unorthodox Epicure — Easy Peasy Pizza (No, really!)

Easy Peasy Pizza — No, really! (And it's delicious too!)

Call me a slow learner, but I’m usually the last person to find out about something. In this case, it happened to be something that I’ve been working on for years. Pizza crust. You’ve no doubt heard about this ‘two-ingredient’ pizza dough that basically goes from the mixing bowl into the oven and is the […]

The Unorthodox Epicure — Esquites stuffed Zucchini

Esquites stuffed Zucchini — There's plenty of zing and zest in this Mexican-Italian fusion.

I still remember my first taste of zucchini. Sort of. We were probably seven or eight when a childhood friend’s mom presented us with warm muffins and challenged us to guess the main ingredient. But neither of us could escape the perfectly married flavors of sugar, cinnamon and other spices to even venture a guess. […]

Food Snob Chronicles — Shrimp & Pasta w/ Fresh Tomato Basil Cream

ShrimpTomatoBasilPasta

Aside from citrus, tomatoes are my favorite fruit to grow. And, despite that I’ve propagated dozens of varieties over the years, I’ve neither popped a cherry tomato into my mouth, nor have I indulged with a fresh slice of this nightshade family member. Strange, I know. (Hey, I warned you about people like me!) Because […]