Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Hello from the middle of the desert

It's actually been over 2 years since I can say we have boondocked... but here we are. Frank is working a job with rv armor out here in Quartzsite AZ and we are out here on the BLM land for the week with friends. It's been really fun hanging out with treasured friends and meeting new people again! Tonight we are going to bake bread on the campfire to go with our pasta and make some campfire popcorn. It's reminded us of so many of the reasons we fell in love with doing this. That may sound crazy since we are boondocked. And no. We have no hookups BUT our camper holds plenty of water and a generator so we are not without amenities but have to use them in careful reserves.  The boys have pulled out their chessboard and are entertaining themselves. And yes. We are actually having an amazing week despite the lack of hook ups!

Thursday, January 7, 2016


So yesterday had wicked wind and rain.... and out here in the Mojave desert that means Key's point in Joshua Tree National Park may have gotten some snow!

And yes. It did.

So this is the 1st time the three year old has ever really seen REAL snow.

We did a little hiking and a little climbing today and enjoyed the afternoon sunshine even though the clouds in the distance threatened us a few times.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Me vs the Instant Pot

Like a bunch of other hopeful cooks we ordered the Instant Pot over black friday.

Unlike many of my friends it was not love at first sight.  In fact, My first few meals kind of flopped. And flopped meals for a family of 8 seemed like a HUGE waste.

A friend online  suggested that we stop trying to do more advanced recipes so I figured before I threw it in the dumpster we would give it a shot.

So... we cooked a few chickens and made some hard boiled eggs and well.... I didn't hate it as much. My husband even made perfect rice. Perfect. Absolutely perfect cilantro lime rice.

And then we discovered how to make IP cheesecake.  OK so now it was worth keeping.

I think I was a pretty good cook before the IP but you have to start over. Pressure cooking is an entirely new way to cook.

Potatoes  (both sweet and idaho) come out pretty fantastic!

Cooked meat comes out tender although you have to rethink seasoning and you have to braise the outside or the color is a bit off on the outside.

So far we have done a few soups and they have also turned out well.  The color and the consistency of the veggies as well as the flavor is better than any stove top or cockpot  method I have used..

But am I sold that this thing can revolutionize my kitchen? How important is it really to cook frozen meat in  30 minutes?

What I have learned is it takes planning. With only 1 IP, and , really where would I store 2 anyway, and a limited power supply living in an rv without blowing a breaker it still takes planning for a family our size . Once you figure out what works and what doesn't then you have a starting point.

But honestly,  my family loves the cheesecake the best.