An ant infestation with a happy ending

A couple weeks ago, we woke up to the worst infestation of ants we’ve ever had. We’ve only had a few (and only once before in the RV) but wow, this was a doozy. We’d moved to a new park the night before, and I guess they thought we were a new food truck rolling into town. We discovered them when we opened the pantry to make breakfast the next morning. The ants were everywhere. They marched right up the rear jack beneath the pantry, and found an entry point. They were also entering through the front door, but that must’ve been very new because they hadn’t reached any food yet. They were just wandering aimlessly. The pantry in the RV is quite large, and it was full. We lost about $100 worth of food. We’d become a little lax about the types of open packages that stayed in the …

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Keeping the Spices on the Spice Rack While Driving Down the Road

This project isn’t technically complete, but I’ve wanted to do something like this since we first moved into the rig, so I’m sharing my proof of concept. I’ll probably update this when it’s prettified. This spice rack was designed and handmade for me by David, when we first moved in together. Back then, he had converted his garage to a full wood shop and made incredible furniture and projects. This was also back when cooking was just a hobby. Since the celiac diagnosis and the discovery of food allergies and sensitivities, we have to cook EVERYTHING at home, and a well-stocked spice rack is the key to making that not suck. There was no way I was giving up my spice rack when we moved into the RV. Since it was very tall, David cut it into two pieces. It now fits perfectly in our RV kitchen: the larger portion …

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Rainy Weekend and Snacky Sunday

It was a rainy weekend in Crescent City, so I did a few things inside the RV while David took a few urgent repair calls. There was another Siete cooking class… I missed out because I was a little too exhausted this week. But look at these adorable gifts! I did make one part of the dish made in class: chorizo refried beans. Two cans of pinto beans blended with a packet of Siete chorizo seasoning. So good with chips! There were naps. I reorganized the cooking gadgets cupboard. We’ve grown a lot since the first time we did this: we love our 3-quart Instant Pot so much that we decided to get a 6-Quart with an air fryer lid. The air fryer broke recently, and we replaced it with an Instant Pot brand air fryer lid. Our two saucepans are in the top shelf behind the blender cups and …

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Adventures in Air Frying!

Update, June 2021: our air fryer stopped working! We used it very regularly (at least once a week, usually 2-3 times a week) for 8 months. Then one day we were making fries (or chips, if you’re one of our English friends). In the middle of the cycle, it started smelling of ozone and just cut off, never to turn on again. We loved having an air fryer so we’re going to try again with a different model. But we can no longer recommend this MooSoo model referenced in this post. Stay tuned for a future update. We never use our RV oven because it’s terrible, as RV ovens tend to be. Since we cook everything in our Instant Pot or on the stove, we haven’t missed the oven too much, but we do miss being able to cook extra crispy foods (without lots of oil or heating up the …

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10 of Our Favorite RV Gadgets

The more we do this and live this life, the more we learn. We learn, our needs change, technology changes, and new cool things come out all the time. We don’t buy the latest and greatest, and we prefer to live simply, so maybe this list is a bit lower-tech than you’re expecting. But here are 10 of our current favorite RV doodads, in no particular order: 1. Happy Campers RV Holding Tank Treatment This stuff is amazing. It has no smell or added perfumes, it’s a simple powder that deodorizes holding tanks. We use this in our black tank, but we also add it to the gray tanks on occasion, if we notice any kind of odor. It works within a few hours, and lasts a long time. Now that we have a healthy colony of bacteria taking care of our black tank, we only ever notice a smell …

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Avocado Chocolate Pudding (vegan, gluten-free, grain-free)

We recently bought a Ninja Nutri Blender to attempt to make our own nondairy milks. I have celiac reactions to oats, and the oat milk fad has contaminated all the nut milks we usually buy, so we’re going to try making our own. But first… chocolate pudding! I’ve been thinking about avocado chocolate pudding since we shared an amazing cup of it in Chico, California, at Live Love Juice. We’ve made this a few times. It’s best with nondairy whipped cream, but a few chocolate chips and Dandies marshmallows are also fantastic. Ingredients 1 avocado 1/4 cup coconut milk 4 tbsp maple syrup 3 tbsp cocoa powder 1/4 tsp vanilla (extract, paste, etc) Generous pinch sea salt Instructions Blend ingredients until smooth and serve immediately. To save for later, the avocados will oxidize and the pudding will look less delicious. Melt chocolate chips with coconut oil and poor a thin …

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Cassava Flour Tortillas: gluten-free, grain-free, vegan

Here is a little-known fact about us: we LOVE tacos. I mean, we really love tacos. On our whirlwind month-long trip from Arizona to Florida to get to David’s RV tech program (with a short detour through Georgia to avoid Hurricane Dorian), we had tacos almost every day. Unfortunately, tacos with celiac and food allergies can get a little complicated for such a simple yet perfect little food. I am a super-sensitive celiac, which means that it’s a little more difficult than simply looking for gluten-free labels on foods. I have been glutened several times by corn tortillas, because it’s nearly impossible to find certified gluten-free corn tortillas, or non-certified tortillas from companies that test their batches for the presence of gluten. Legally in the U.S., naturally gluten-free foods processed on equipment shared with wheat may be labeled “gluten-free,” even if the final products are not tested for the presence …

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Doubling Our Usable Kitchen Drawer Space

I borrowed this idea from my father. My dad added several pull-out storage areas in their kitchen pantries as well as interior drawers similar to this project. This additional pull-out storage made much better use of the space, making the contents neater and easier to access.

Our utensil drawer is definitely in need of a space utilization improvement project. The standard silverware organizer does do the job, but the drawer itself was never more than half full.

View of the utensil drawer before the project to add an interior drawer started

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Creating a Gluten-Free Kitchen

A basket of gluten-free flours and baking ingredients, with a set of measuring spoons and cups on top.
RV life required downsizing a large cupboard of baking ingredients. It turns out that everything I need will fit into this basket in the cabinet over the stove. It took some trial and error to find my favorite flours, but nowadays I prefer teff, sorghum, and arrowroot. Psyllium husk and xanthan gum provide some of the binding that gluten normally provides in baked goods, but they’re not required and they’re used so sparingly that a small package lasts for years.

When I realized it was going to be impossible to avoid gluten contamination if I lived with a gluten-eater, we immediately decided to make the whole house gluten-free.

I wish I could say a mixed-gluten kitchen was easier in a sticks-and-bricks home, but our apartment kitchen at the time was a little smaller than our RV’s kitchen, so that’s not true. The fact is, it’s extremely difficult to maintain a mixed kitchen, and impossible for us personally. So in preparation for a very a deep cleaning, we sorted everything in the kitchen to decide what could stay and what must go.

Maybe this post will help you if you find yourself in a similar situation, following a celiac diagnosis or eliminating gluten for other health reasons.

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Gluten-Free Travel

Finding gluten-free food on the road can be tough. This is not a post about finding gluten-free restaurants, or about all the magical gluten-free dining experiences a traveler with celiac disease might find if only they were brave enough or bold enough. I am a super sensitive celiac. I am more sensitive than the average celiac, and it takes me longer to bounce back than many of my celiac peers. Once, I was glutened so badly by a careless restaurant that it took me over a year to feel “normal” again. Consequently, we don’t eat out much. So this is a post about where to find gluten-free groceries while traveling. Even before RV life, when we traveled, we brought a suitcase for our clothes and a suitcase for our food. (The food suitcase was usually bigger.) RV travel has made eating on the road MUCH easier and simpler, but there’s …

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