Easy Baked Beans

What BBQ is ever complete without baked beans? In our house, never! This dish is a staple every 4th of July. It just wouldn’t be a 4th celebration without baked beans! I would say that I even like this more than any of the other dishes (besides the dessert and fruit). 

I was having a housewarming party for the RV (RV warming?), and my mom brought this dish. She heated it in our oven and then took it out to the table. Well, it was a glass table and even though we had a hot pad underneath it, the table shattered from the heat. While we managed to save everything else, the baked beans were gone. I was heartbroken. I literally was trying not to cry because I was so looking forward to having some (I was also 7 months pregnant at this point. Food was a huge deal for me). One of our friends who hadn’t arrived yet picked up some canned baked beans. It was a very disappointing substitute. 

The fun part about these is that these are what I like to call “semi-homemade”; having the baked beans easy to make and just as delicious as ones made fully from scratch. It’s literally cooking up some bacon, sauteing onion in the bacon grease and then combining everything into a pan and baking for about two hours.

I bet you’ll be be impressed by the taste and easiness of this recipe. Try it out and let me know what you think!

Easy Baked Beans
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  1. 8 slices of bacon
  2. 1 cup onions, diced
  3. 4 15 oz. cans of pork and beans in tomato sauce
  4. 4 Tbsp. brown sugar
  5. 2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  6. 2 tsp. prepared mustard
  1. Preheat oven to 325. Fry bacon over medium-high heat until crisp; drain, reserving 4 tablespoons drippings. Saute onions in remaining bacon grease until tender. Add all ingredients to a 13x9 pan and mix to combine. Bake, uncovered, for 1 hr. 45 min. to 2 hours. Enjoy!
Goldilocks Domesticated

How to Hand Wash Laundry in a RV

A lot of the fancier RVs these day have a washer/dryer combo installed on them. This makes it fantastically easy to do your laundry while on a trip or living in a RV as long as you have full hookups. However, the travel trailer we live in doesn’t have one of those handy gadgets. So that leaves two options to getting your laundry done: laundromat or hand washing. Neither are my favorite, to be honest. However, we are blessed to live close to my parent’s for now, so when we go to church on Sunday, we bring all our laundry from the week and wash it. If we don’t finish our laundry before we head home, my mom will finish washing and drying the clothes and then put them in garbage bags for us to transfer home. I do all the folding at home before putting them away. 

There are those times when we’re sick and can’t make it on Sunday or we need something washed that day. Packing up three young children to go to the laundromat is a bit excessive in my opinion, especially since I would be there for hours. Even the RV parks that have a coin operated laundry on site do not appeal to me. In the 9+ months that we’ve been living full time in our RV, we’ve only been to a laundromat once and that was a couple weeks ago! (Our son peed all over our bed, so we needed the sheets washed before bed that night). 

So that leaves us with hand washing. The best way to do it is with a bathtub; unfortunately our RV only comes with a shower. So the next best thing is a 5 gallon bucket. I also have a mobile washer (it’s like a plastic toilet plunger with holes in it) that I bought years ago. That’s really all you need besides your dirty laundry and laundry soap.

Washing clothes by hand really isn’t that hard and is easily achieved in just a few steps. The only part that I find difficult is wringing out jeans or pants. You can buy a wringer for that, but they tend to be over $100 for a good quality one that won’t fall apart, so we haven’t gotten one yet. Anyways, here are the basic steps to do your laundry at home.

Step 1: Gather the clothes you need washed. How many pieces you can wash at a time is dependent on your container size. For a five gallon bucket, I usually can fit in a couple pairs of underwear, a couple shirts and a few pieces of my kids clothing. These go about halfway up my bucket. Any more than that and there wont be enough room to fully wash the clothes. Add clothes to your container.

Step 2: Fill bucket 3/4 full with water (I wash with cold water), making sure clothes get fully soaked. (I do all of this in shower, making spills easily go down the drain and easy to drain/fill the bucket.)

Step 3: Add a tiny amount of laundry soap. I use Trader Joe’s laundry soap which is highly concentrated and only put in a tablespoon of soap at the most. 

Step 4: Using mobile plunger, plunge clothes for 5 minutes (or 10 minutes if using bathtub or bigger container). Drain.

Step 5: Fill with water again.

Step 6: Plunge clothing again for 2 minutes. Drain.

Step 7: Pull out each item and wring out as much water as possible. Hang clothes to dry.

I hang the clothes in my bathroom, draped over the shower and cabinet doors. Our shower is a corner shower, so I can’t add a shower bar inside to hang our clothes on that. If your shower doesn’t have that problem, place a spring loaded shower/curtain rod high up in the shower and use hangers to hang the clothes for drying.

The picture above shows when we were living on private property and had permission to hang up a clothesline (really just rope tied around a few trees). All the campgrounds I have looked into and stayed at since then have not allowed this. So using the shower/bath is the perfect solution (also great for wintertime no matter where you live!).

So this is what we do for our clothes. While I haven’t done all our laundry by this method, it’s so useful for when we miss a week of laundry or need something washed right away. My aim is to be able to hand wash everything except our bedding, rather than relying on someone else or the laundromat for our laundry. In our setup, bedding is almost impossible, so while traveling, we will be using a laundromat for those items. 

How do you do your laundry in your RV?



Homemade Queso

This coming Sunday is Father’s Day, so to celebrate my amazing husband, I’m posting about one of his favorite recipes we have (the Instant Pot Hearty Chili is another recipe he loves). Combine the two and my husband is in heaven! So here’s a little back story about my husband eating queso for the first time around me…and how it didn’t turn out like you would think! 

One of the first dates I went on with my boyfriend (now husband) was to a football game. His best friend played, and his sister and sister’s friend did cheerleading for the team. The whole family had gotten involved at first by helping with selling concessions. So, of course, we had to stop by the concession stand and get some food. HoneyBear order nachos. I remember the people behind the counter pumping out this thick, golden yellow goo that was known as queso. Now, I’ve eaten it before, but I think it was at that time that I really started not liking queso. In the dim interior of the concession stand, it almost seemed to glow a faint neon yellow. 

So why am I posting about queso? Well, the answer might surprise you and it definitely doesn’t make any sense. I tried some queso in Texas at the recent family reunion and happened to like it. Encouraged by my finally liking this favorite food of my husbands, HoneyBear began making queso regularly. I didn’t mind and it actually was pretty good.

Now, though, I eat it fairly regularly and for a pretty bad reason. I’m experimenting with being gluten-free (that’s a whole other story) and I feel much better when I don’t eat gluten. Queso is free from any gluten ingredients (that I know of) and I eat plain tortilla chips with it (also gluten-free). So I traded gluten for chemicals. Now, I know this isn’t ideal and I’m working on a recipe that uses real cheese, but for now, this is what I eat.

Plus, this one really does tastes like the queso that is served at most concession stands. It’s nice and thick, but runny enough to serve over chips or to add to chili or hotdogs when it’s warmed up. We use green chilis in this recipe, but feel free to try jalapeƱos instead to bump up the spicy flavor. If you’re looking to make queso for pennies and not as many chemicals as the stuff sold in stores, this is the way to go! You won’t be sorry you did!  

Homemade Queso
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  1. 2 lb. sharp cheddar velveeta
  2. 2 cans (4 oz.) diced green chilis
  3. 1 cup milk
  4. 2 Tbsp. butter
  1. Dice the velveeta into 1 in. cubes. Add green chilis to a blender and blend until mostly smooth. Place all ingredients in a medium sized saucepan. Heat over medium-low heat, until velveeta has fully melted; stirring constantly. Serve warm and enjoy!
  1. You can substitute some or all of the green chilis with jalapeƱos. The more you substitute, the spicier it will be.
Goldilocks Domesticated

5 Road Trip Tips with Young Children

Recently, our family of five went on a road trip from Houston to Seattle. We were in Texas for a family reunion and decided last minute to buy a car and drive back home. Seeing as we had three young children (3, 1 and 2 months; all in diapers) and no vehicle (we’d been borrowing my parent’s car), this was actually a pretty good idea. We had flown to Texas and I didn’t like it at all. So, after the fun of buying the car, now we had to figure out the logistics of transporting our family cross-country with no preparation.

First was packing our small duffel bag with all the clothing essentials for the trip. This would let us bury the bulky suitcases and not have to move them. Next up was a grocery trip. Here, we bought drinks, snacks and sandwich fixings for the journey. The grandparents donated an ice chest, so that was taken care of. All that was left was packing everything up and heading out. We learned a few things and wanted to share them with you!

1. Buy groceries for the trip

We only planned for one meal a day to be eaten out. This saved us lots of money on food in the long run. Plus, since we had bought plenty of fresh fruit, cheese, meat and crackers, there was plenty to give the girls whenever they were hungry, instead of making them wait for meal time or having to buy expensive, crappy junk food from the gas station we were at. 

2. Pack necessities in an easy to reach bag

The last thing you want to do when you stop (especially when it’s cold) is to be digging through tons of stuff to find what you need. Pack everything you need in a smaller bag, you’ll be glad you did!

3. Pack lots of extra clothes

There would be times when the children would sleep, so we’d keep driving and driving to stop and find out that the kids had leaked their diapers. We used all the clothes we packed and could have used even more! Next time, we’ll make sure the children’s suitcase is the easiest to access! 

4. Kids don’t need as much entertainment as you would think

Our two oldest barely played with anything on the trip. Neither did they have movies to watch. They both had a bag full of their new Christmas toys to play with, plus coloring supplies and books. Instead, they mostly slept or played with their clothes, legs or shoes.

5. Make sure you take a long rest stop a couple times a day

A lot of the stops were just filling up with gas, changing diapers and handing out food. However, we made a point to have a few rest stops a day where we let the kids really run around and burn off energy. This helped keep the whining at bay when in the car and kept up mama’s spirits too! 

Our family had a blast road tripping across the US and hope to definitely do it again in the future. (I’m rooting for this winter, when HoneyBear has three to four weeks off at a time…fingers crossed!) The kids were easy, the miles flew by and we had lots of fun! 

Would you want to travel with your young kids?