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RV Travel Adventures

 

Welcome to Foxcentrals new travel and wellness blog. As we go about our adventures we are hoping to see and experience some wonderful places and meet a lot of interesting people. One of our challenges on the road and living in our little caravan is to stay fit and eat healthy. One would hope that the time factor is on our side and we can be creative in our cuisine keeping it healthy and tasty. Fitness should be happening every day and we will use a lot of exercises from Stephany at the Fit RV.Stay tuned. Jeff also hopes to get more you tubes going at his Fox Central channel.

Happy Trails,  Jeff and Liz  

and from Liz  At Just Around The Bend  ♥

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Turkey, Barley and Mushroom Soup

Bringing you your daily dose of travel and adventure and sometimes some good stuff to eat!!!

This is week # 2.

So how is everyone doing ? Hope you have been trying these heart healthy  RV friendly soups. This healthy soup recipe is chock-full of sturdy root vegetables and whole-grain barley. You can use any combination of dried and fresh mushrooms here. The soup will thicken as it sits on the stove—thin it as needed with more broth or water. Just as tasty omitting the protein. ♥

INGREDIENTS:

1 ounce dried shiitake or porcini mushrooms, soaked in  2 cups boiling water                 NOTE: soak for 30 minutes or can cover and leave overnight overnight for additional flavor

1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 large onion   chopped

3 cloves garlic, chopped

2 medium carrots chopped

8 ounces fresh shiitake or baby bella mushrooms, stems removed, caps coarsely chopped

8 ounces white mushrooms, sliced

1 Teaspoon dried thyme, or 1 Tablespoon fresh diced thyme

1 Teaspoon lemon pepper

Salt and  Coarsely ground pepper to taste

2 Cups of leftover roasted turkey or chicken (1 inch pieces)

6 cups low-sodium chicken broth

½ cup pearl barleyp1000890
Preparation

Soak dried mushrooms in boiling water for 20 minutes or overnight for addition flavor. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve and reserve the liquid. Squeeze the mushrooms to remove excess liquid, then dice. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion cook until slightly caramelized, stirring, until very soft, about 4 minutes. Add carrots, all of the fresh mushrooms, salt, and garlic; cook, stirring, until the vegetables start to soften, 3 to 4 minutes.  Add broth, barley, thyme, the reserved soaking liquid and chopped soaked mushrooms. Increase heat to high and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low, partially cover and simmer until the barley is tender, about 50 minutes.  Add roasted turkey or chicken to heat through .About 4 minutes.

Nutrition information
Serving size: 1¼ cups each
Per serving: 241 calories 9 g fat(2 g sat); 4 g fiber; 24 g carbohydrates; 18 g protein; 44 mcg folate; 38 mg cholesterol; 4 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 3147 IU vitamin A; 6 mg vitamin C; 47 mg calcium; 2 mg iron; 401 mg sodium; 611 mg potassium
Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (63% daily value)
Carbohydrate Servings: 1½
Exchanges: ½ starch, 2½ vegetable, 1½ lean meat, ½ fat

I adapted this recipe from: EatingWell Magazine, November/December 2016. I changed some of the ingredients to lessen the fat and use a leaner type of protein.

Until next week Cheers from Just Around The Bend ♥

Next Week:  Curry Chicken Veggie Soup, very addicting and figure friendly

 

Simple Ingredents

Diet and Resolutions Week # 1 Chicken Chili with Sweet Potatoes

Here we are again looking at another glorious new year and knowing I have to do something serious to get the holiday weight off!!! Oh I am a life time member of weight watchers who like Oprah falls off of the wagon at any holiday, birthday or just a family event. It doesn’t take much for me to gain 5 pounds between Friday night and Sunday morning.  Pizza, a glass or two of wine and ok creme brulee (my Fav) and I am off to a great start. So here’s the deal, no resolutions this year, just good old common sense. Exercise and heart healthy cooking. So between now and when we can get back out on the road with our RV, I will be sharing Healthy RV cooking recipes that all you RVers out there can easily use on the road and still stay fit. So here we go, since it is winter and here in Bend it’s snowing let’s start week # 1 out with soup. ♥

Chicken Chili with Sweet Potatoes

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups cubed sweet potato ( ½-inch)
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
    NOTE: Peppers  can be orange, yellow or green
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder (I used 1 Tablespoon)
  • 3 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 15-ounce can low-sodium cannellini beans, rinsed
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth, homemade chicken stock or (vegetable stock)
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 2 cups cubed cooked chicken ( ½-inch; about 10 ounces) omit for vegetarians
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper

Preparation

  • 25 minutes

  • Ready In 40 minutes

  1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, sweet potato and bell pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are slightly softened, 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in chili powder, cumin and oregano and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 1 minute.
  2. Add beans and broth (or stock) and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, partially cover and simmer gently for 15 minutes.
  3. Increase heat to medium-high and stir in corn; cook 1 minute. Add chicken and cook until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes more. Remove from heat. Stir in salt and pepper. Garnish:  With  a dollop of Liz’s greek yogurt topping, a slice of avocado and a light salad. Yum.
  4. Liz’s Greek Yogurt Topping

    EXTRA GOOD AND HEALTHY: Mix 1 cup of greek 0 percent fat free yogurt with 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice and 1 to 2 Tablespoons finely chopped cilantro , stir well. This is a flavorful topping for soups without the guilt. YUM

Nutrition information
  • Serving size: about 1½ cups
  • Per serving: 324 calories 10 g fat(2 g sat); 8 g fiber; 35 g carbohydrates; 26 g protein; 29 mcg folate; 48 mg cholesterol; 5 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 8680 IU vitamin A; 24 mg vitamin C; 86 mg calcium; 3 mg iron; 570 mg sodium; 793 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (174% daily value), Vitamin C (40% dv)
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 2½
  • Exchanges: 1½ starch, 1 vegetable, 3 lean meat, 1 fat
I adapted this recipe from: EatingWell Magazine, September/October 2016

Tons of spice, corn and bell pepper give this healthy one-pot chicken chili recipe Southwestern flair. This recipe also works well using your crock pot!!

NOTE: Substituting the vegetable stock and omitting the chicken does  not affect the quality and yumminess of this soup, I just add additional vegetables. p1000864I love this roasted corn from Trader Joes , healthy with extra flavor.

Please check back next Friday for  Week # 2 featuring: Mushroom Soup

Until then cheers from Just Around The Bend ♥

Bringing you your daily dose of travel and adventure and sometimes some good stuff to eat!!!

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FORT VANCOUVER

Hub of the “Oregon Trail” Fort Vancouver is a National Historic Site. One of over 380 parks in the National Park System.

Located on the north bank of the Columbia River, in sight of snowy mountain peaks and a vibrant urban landscape, this park has a rich cultural past. From a frontier fur trading post, to a powerful military legacy, the magic of flight, and the origin of the American Pacific Northwest, history is shared at four unique sites. Discover stories of transition, settlement, conflict, and community.

Fort Vancouver was a 19th-century fur trading hub that was the headquarters of the Hudson’s Bay Company. Since 1966 several buildings have been reconstituted on their original location. As you arrive and walk through the front gates it gives you an idea of what life was like when Fort Vancouver was the most important settlement in the Pacific Northwest.

In addition to Ft Vancouver, there is a must visit to Pearson Field, one of the Nation’s Oldest Operating Airfields. The Pearson Air Museum is an aviation museum at Pearson Field in Vancouver, Washington, USA. Managed by the National Park Service as part of the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, museum exhibits …Fascinating and informative self guided tour which takes approx 1  to 2  hours and admission is FREE.

 

After all of the walking and touring it’s time for lunch at “The Grant House”. Tucked away on Officers Row in Vancouver’s Historic Reserve is an exceptional dining experience.  Vancouver’s Best Kept Secret!

Whether you’re in the mood to relax with a glass of wine on their veranda, have a leisurely lunch on the garden patio, or join them for dinner.  We joined the grant house for lunch and it was very memorable. Here is a little example of a featured soup.

F A L L   C H O W D E R   $4/$6
Locally grown pumpkin, butternut squash, yams and sweet potatoes stewed with a fall spiced cream, topped with candied bacon & toasted pumpkin seeds.


Visitor Information:
Address: 1501 E Evergreen Blvd, Vancouver, WA 98661
Facilities at Fort Vancouver NHS, including the reconstructed fort, Pearson Air Museum, and the Visitor Center, will be open Tuesdays through Saturdays, 9 am to 4 pm, and closed Sundays and Mondays.
Phone: (360) 816-6230
Management: National Park Service
Architect: John McLoughlin

Until Our Next Road Trip Cheers from Just Around The Bend ♥

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Savory Herbed Roasted Potatoes

These lemon-herb roasted potatoes have become one of our favorite side dishes. Made with olive oil, herbs and chicken broth, it doesn’t get simpler and so tasty. Roasted potatoes are usually loaded with a lot of butter and unnecessary hidden calories. You will be surprised how wonderful these taste and simple to make, with only 15 mins active time!
Ingredients

4 to 6 medium size yukon gold potatoes (Organic)
1 Tablespoon Olive oil
1 tbsp Herbes de Provence
1/2 Cup to 3/4 Cup chicken broth, I use Better Than Bouillon (Organic)
I use 1 tablespoon in 3/4 Cup water, this is what I baste the potatoes with

3 dashes Black pepper, ground

1 lemon for drizzling  (optional)

Salt to taste (really not needed with the chicken broth)

PREP POTATOES:

The whole secret to these is to not cut completely through the potato.

Place potatoes in a casserole with a lid and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with the herbs. Pour about 1/2 cup of the chicken broth in the bottom of the casserole, (more broth if you’re using a larger casserole for more potatoes). Bake covered for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove lid and baste potatoes with broth from the bottom of the casserole ( this is where all of the flavor is). I baste about every 10 minutes or so, as you baste the broth gets thicker as the potatoes brown .If the broth completely is used up you can add a little more as needed. The potatoes are done when they are tender, you will know as they start to fan out more. Approximately 20 to 30 minutes after you have removed the lid. See pictures below.

OPTIONAL:  

Before serving drizzle with a little fresh lemon juice

CHEERS FROM  JUST AROUND THE BEND  ♥

NOTE:  Next recipe from just around the Bend is HAZELNUT CHICKEN, which pairs perfectly with my broccoli quiche recipe and Savory Herbed Roasted Potatoes. 

 

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Broccoli Quiche Casserole

It seems like Christmas time brings out all of the family tradition recipes.  I cannot tell you how many times my children have either asked for the recipe or requested it to be made at our family dinners. So here is another great family recipe from my home to yours.

PREPARE BROCCOLI

3       Cups broccoli florets (blanched)  Make sure after your broccoli is cooled you remove all          moisture. Place in a 9 X 12 casserole dish.

Large mixing bowl add in order:

4      eggs beaten for 1 minute

Then add:

1      Can cream of mushroom soup

3/4   Cup vegenaise  (or best foods  mayo)

2      Tablespoon finely diced onion

1       Cup sliced mushrooms

1/2   Cup grated sharp cheddar cheese  (divided)  1/4 Cup for egg mixture and 1/4 Cup to top            quiche

When all mixed together pour over broccoli, making sure all of the broccoli gets covered.

Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes. Checking that the middle have gotten fully cooked. We live at 3800 feet elevation so it takes a little longer.

I decided today to bake the quiche mixture in  my cupcake pan, they were cooked in 30 minutes exactly, with a little extra mixture left over. Hence the little red casserole dish. So either way 9 x 12 casserole dish or these little quiche cups it all turned out fabulous.

NOTE: It’s endless what ingredients you can add to this recipe, from asparagus, bacon, prosciutto, spinach, kale and many  different kinds of cheeses. When I make this for Jeff and I, I get very creative, but for the kids I tend to keep it very simple.

Until the next recipe from    JUST AROUND THE BEND ♥

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Peppernuts (Pfeffernüsse)

Peppernuts are another of our family traditions. It began with Gramma Iler in the 1800’s, handed down to her daughter Kathryn (Iler) Thompson and on down to our Thompson Family. Kathryn Thompson always made a very large batch of peppernuts for her youngest son Jeffrey as he was born on Christmas Eve .Jeff can’t remember a Christmas without a special tin from England filled with the special little cookies. Before (Kathryn) mom passed on she handed down to Jeff her special tin she stored her peppernuts in. Now as tradition would have, we store our peppernuts in our special tin from England and share the little cookies with all of our family.

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Original Family Tin

RECIPE

Ingredients

  • 6 cups flour (Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 1 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. Ground Madagascar Cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. Ground Grenada Nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp.salt
  • 3/4 cup shortening
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 3/4 cup white corn syrup
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice or white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tsp. ground Anise seed

Directions

Sift flour, dry spices, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. In a separate bowl, cream shortening and sugar. Add rest of ingredients to creamed mixture in the following order, mixing to combine after each addition: corn syrup and honey; egg; lemon juice and milk; and anise oil. Stir in dry ingredients to the wet mixture, about a cup at a time. The dough will be stiff. Split into four portions, wrap each in plastic, and refrigerate dough for at least 1 hour. Roll each quarter with hands into long ropes about the diameter of your finger. Splitting each quarter in half or thirds may make the dough easier to work with. Cut ½-inch pieces and place on a baking sheet with some space between each peppernut. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 min. or until golden brown. Cookies will crisp up as they sit. Store in an airtight container.

Serving Suggestions

Enjoy with a cup of coffee or tea to experience the full deliciousness of these wonderful little cookies.

Yields

100+ little cookies

Notes and Thanks

This recipe was adapted from Suzanne at Window on the Prairie. This recipe makes a lot of peppernuts, but you can freeze the little cookies to bring out when you have guests!

Thanks to Julie Harvick for the fine china

Savory Spice for the finest spices

Bob’s Red Mill for the best products

 

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HISTORY

Pfeffernüsse are tiny spice cookies, popular as a holiday treat in Germany, Denmark, and The Netherlands, as well as among ethnic Mennonites in North America. They are called pepernoten in Dutch (plural), päpanät in Plautdietsch, pfeffernuesse or peppernuts in English, and pebernødder in Danish.

The name peppernut (Pfeffernüsse, peppernoder etc.) does not mean it contains nuts, though occasional varieties do. The cookies are roughly the size of nuts and can be eaten by the handful, which may account for the name.

I love these old recipes and it turns out perfect everytime

GRAMMA THOMPSON’S ORIGINAL RECIPE

IN A MEDIUM SAUCEPAN place next 9 ingredients to heat and melt

1/4 Cup Crisco

1/4 Cup Butter

1 Cup Sugar

1 Cup Dark Karo Syrup

1/2 Cup Sour Milk

1/2 teaspoon soda

pinch of salt

1/2 tsp. powdered cardamom

1/2 tsp. powdered anise

COOL

Add 4 cups more or less  flour

1/2 tsp. baking powder   – mix well will be thick.

Roll into long fingers, sliced into 1 inch pieces, place on a baking sheet and bake 11 minutes at 350 to 375 degrees

FROM OUR TRADITION TO YOURS – ENJOY FROM JUST AROUND THE BEND ♥

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Wallowa Oregon Road Trip

ROAD TRIP FOR JUST AROUND THE BEND

We aren’t used to leaving home without ” Rufus” our home on wheels, but we have super good friends in Enterprise Oregon who invited us to visit for a long weekend. Took us about two minutes to think it over and next thing you know we are on a road headed to Enterprise, Oregon near the majestic  Wallowa’s. It took about 8 hours of driving to reach our destination, but well worth it, beautiful scenery, good roads and plenty of fueling stations along with lots of good coffee stops (super important).♥

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Wallowa Mountains

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Dave and Jen

Dave and Jen are great tour guides, taking us to some of the most beautiful country that remains to this day untouched by man. Below is a picture of a prairie that has never been plowed or planted by man and  where buffalo still roam freely.

Next stop on our tour was the Ferguson Ridge Ski Area. Talk about take you back in time, this is how it should be. Small, quaint and well maintained. The people here all know each other and meeting at the ski lift is a family event. It even has a very interesting art piece as you enter the ski area. Open Saturday and Sundays, $20.00 for an adult and $10.00 for under 15 years of age. WOW what a deal.

Most of the people that live in this tight knitted countryside are cattle or hay farmers.On this day we ran into a woman herding cattle right down the middle of the roadway on a four wheeler and beside her in an infant seat was her baby.The cattle you see are very specially raised on all natural pasture, no antibiotics and Organic all of the way.  I was ready to move to Enterprise.

It was time for coffee, right!  And maybe a bite to eat.So off we headed to The Red Horse Coffee Traders, who roast their own beans in house and it is fabulous. Our friends highly suggested a Quinoa Bowl, whole size$ 12.00 and half $8.95. We opted for of course the whole bowl and split it, glad we did as it was enormous, but so, so good. Fresh organic ingredients with layers of flavors indescribably delish. If you are ever near Joseph, Oregon look them up you won’t be sorry.

Menu includes: Coffee, Breakfast, Lunch, Breads and Pastries-everything is made with fresh local organic ingredients and  made from scratch in house. Yum

Now that we are stuffed, we needed a walk and our tour guides had another brilliant idea, to walk The Nez Perce Trail. Talk about the most beautiful country, this scenic trail was a easy walk with views of the mountains and  takes you to the beginning of  Wallowa Lake, just spectacular. Good job tour guides. ♥

How do you top all of this off, between the fun stores in Joseph and the amazing places to eat, besides the walking tours, it just doesn’t get better-RIGHT. Well there is always another stop that is one of the best restaurants we have ever eaten at. This will be our 4th time to eat here and reservations must be made, believe me make reservations weeks before you plan to visit.

Vali’s Alpine Restaurant, 59811 Wallowa Lake Hwy, Joseph, Oregon 97846. A wonderful family restaurant, featuring one entree a night including Hungarian classics like

 Chicken Paprikas and Kettle Goulash with Fry Bread (lángos).  You can still get Schnitzel on Sundays and hot fresh homemade doughnuts on the weekends!  Not to mention their amazing desserts all made in house, from scratch with fresh organic ingredients. Needless to say we had another  fabulous dinner and a truly special time with our best friends ever.

Sad to say we must return to Bend, with of course heavy hearts at saying until next time. Dave and Jen  have been so much fun and catching up on old times was healing for especially Jen and I. So goodbye my friends, until our next adventure.

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FROM JUST AROUND THE BEND (LIZ) ♥