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Holiday Cooking

Holiday-Cooking

 By Evanne Schmarder #65409

Maybe it’s because I’m a confirmed foodie or maybe it’s because I’m a dedicated full-time RVer, but, either way, ask me about a gift idea and, like a broken record, I’ll get on the subject of food, glorious food. While that’s my standard go-to all year long, the holidays make this topic tip-top Christmas tree talk. After all, food is fun to make, a delight to give and an absolute pleasure to enjoy with friends and family.

From fragrant liqueurs made for sipping after a satisfying meal, to savory items such as nuts and vinegars that add a little oomph to the table, to downright decadent hot fudge, everyone on my gift list has their favorite. The same most likely holds true for you. Recipes are handed down through the generations, or maybe through Escapades, and become a tradition themselves. Preparing them is a labor of love. Phooey on new fangled recipe delivery apps on my iPad and other electronic devices. The drops and splotches on my old handwritten recipe cards are testament to times in the kitchen with my mom. Even in the middle of a hot summer day, when I’m lazily thumbing through the recipe box and catch sight of an oldie but a goodie, I see us laughing, can hear her gentle patience as she taught me how to roll her famous snowball cookies and vividly remember the way the powdered sugar melted on the warm balls and stuck to my fingers as we removed them from a paper shaker bag.

Those memories are a precious gift. I see it as my duty to carry on, making new traditions, trying new recipes and sharing them with my RVing friends, now like family, as we celebrate the season. But beware, these gifts have the power to instill goodwill all year long, no matter what you travel in, no matter where you winter, no matter whom you’ve chosen to surround yourself with. Try one or try them all and you’ll see exactly what I mean.

Mom’s long gone now, as are most of her contemporaries, but she lives on in snowballs and zoshmushka…but that’s a whole other story. Very merry, everyone, from my rolling kitchen to yours.

Recipe published in the November/December 2012 issue of Escapees Magazine, compliments of RVCookingShow.com.

Haute Fudge

Makes 2–3 cups
6 oz. unsweetened bakers chocolate
3 oz. unsalted butter, cubed
1/3 c light corn syrup
1 c sugar
1 c water, boiling
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract (can substitute mint, rum, banana, etc.)

On very low heat, melt chocolate and butter. Stir to combine chocolate/butter mixture and add corn syrup, sugar and boiling water. Stir well, making sure everything is completely blended.

Gently boil 8 to 10 minutes, without stirring, until thick and smooth. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla or other flavored extract.

Pour into half-pint (1 cup) jars. Tie a beautiful ribbon around the jar top and add a tag with these instructions:

Will keep in refrigerator for several months…but good luck with that! Heat servings in microwavable bowl or cup. Serve over ice cream, pound cake or as a dip for bananas or strawberries.

Recipe published in the November/December 2012 issue of Escapees Magazine, compliments of RVCookingShow.com.

Mom’s Christmas SnowballsMakes 4 dozen
2 sticks butter
¼ c sugar
1 c chopped pecans
2 c sifted flour
1 tsp. real vanilla
confectioners sugar

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Cream butter until soft. Add sugar, pecans and flour. Mix well. Add vanilla.

Shape into balls and bake on an ungreased cookie sheet for 30 minutes.

In a paper bag, put confectioners sugar and toss cookies in the sugar while still hot. Toss again when cookies have cooled completely. This makes them nice and covered.

Package these in a tin or wax paper bag with a pretty ribbon and a note that reads: “How about a
snowball fight?”

Recipe published in the November/December 2012 issue of
Escapees Magazine, compliments of RVCookingShow.com.

Herbed Vinegar
Makes one bottle

One bottle of quality vinegar—I like to use white wine vinegar in a pretty bottle (Star Italian Kitchen found in most grocery stores is my favorite). Make sure the vinegar you use has at least five percent acidity. If you prefer a red wine, champagne, sherry or cider vinegar, go for it—just pair your herbs accordingly. Generous handful of fresh herbs from the garden or the grocery—thyme, oregano, basil, opal basil, rosemary, sage, tarragon, chive flowers, lavender, organic is always best.

You can even add peppercorns, peeled garlic, chili peppers, lemon zest, cinnamon sticks, etc. Don’t be afraid to pair up tasty-sounding combinations.

Rinse herbs well and dry thoroughly using a salad spinner or a paper towel. Open the bottle of vinegar, remove the shaker top and pour a few tablespoons of the vinegar into a nonreactive measuring cup or bowl and reserve.


Feed the herbs into the bottle – stem and all, gently bruising them as they go in. Pour the reserved vinegar over the herbs to the top of the bottle. Put the cap back on the bottle (I don’t replace the shaker top) and label with date and herbs used. Allow to steep at least a week before using. Tie a ribbon around the neck of the bottle and add a tag with these instructions:

This (type of vinegar/herb mixture) vinegar is delightful in salad dressings, marinades, combined with oil for bread dipping or drizzled over steamed vegetables or broiled fish/meat. Enjoy, you lucky dog, you!

Evanne is sure she got the wanderlust bug from her grandparents who traveled the U.S. in their city bus conversion in the 1940s as what we now call “work-campers.” In 2000 she and her husband, Ray, set off on their own adventure, affectionately called Operation Sunshine, from hip but rainy Portland, Oregon, in search of a sunny place to settle down. Twelve-plus years later they’re still roaming the country, sharing interesting destinations and cooking up delicious RV kitchen recipes in their popular RV TV series RVCookingShow.com. Like so many Escapees, they love to travel and love to eat and have adopted the motto: simple dishes as souvenirs and menus as memory makers. You can reach Evanne at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit her Website at www.RVCookingShow.com.

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