5 Kitchen Tips

Great interview on the podcast with our own Chef MJ…Mary Jane Curry… who shares five top RV Kitchen and Cooking Tips with us. If you haven’t done yet, search RV Podcast on your favorite podcast app (iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, TuneIn, etc) and subscribe. Also on the podcast some very interesting RV News (is the RV boom ending?), a cold weather camping tip from Jennifer (keep your hands warm) and a fun off the beaten path report from the Burketts (where waffles are king). Please listen and share!  Order your cookbook soon for holiday delivery.  ~Chef MJ
This week we hear from a favorite, Chef MJ… Mary Jane Curry, who has…

Sales brisk: Small Kitchen Big Flavors!


Small Kitchen Big Flavors has sales that are sky rocketing.  Over 240 copies of this NEW release cookbook have been sold in just the first 8 days!  The book is currently available at a low Introductory offer and holiday wrap and author signing is included.

In addition to friends, family and recipe followers and RV enthusiasts, RV dealerships, private bookstores, wine tasting rooms and even the local hospital gift shop have jumped on this NEW release.

Consider ordering a copy for friends, family and a copy for yourself.  There are 105 recipes of easy to prepared meals and snacks that will assist anyone with a small kitchen as they cook up some great recipes in advance or while on a camping adventure… or new ideas and flavors to enjoy while at home.

Here a few of the reviews:

“Your cookbook arrived today…luv it.  Very easy to read and understand… you done good.  thank you.”  Pat R. Washington state.

“My book arrived today, love it!”  Janet M. Michigan

“Super Idea!  Every RV dealership should order a good supply of these and give them to their customers.”  Mike W. Michigan

“Congrats, ordered mine!”  Pam O. New York

” I just received my book and I’m thrilled with it”  Jill R. C. Washington

“We received your book!  We love it!  Joe and JoAnn R. Virginia

“Your book arrived quickly and was wrapped excellently!”  Jon T. California

Click on the cookbook tab for more information!

~Chef MJ

Cookbook Delivery Date!

My cookbook Small Kitchen Big Flavors! is now published and available!

To reserve a signed copy:  click on the cookbook tab on the home page.  Select the “order”, then click on the secured payment option of choice: PayPal or credit cards listed.  If you are ordering more than 1 copy, send me a message on the number of copies you would like and the addresses to send the books.  I will credit you any excess S&H charges for books sent to the same address.

The Introductory price the cookbook is $17.95 plus $6.50 S&H of $6.50 within the USA.   This price is a $7.00 discount off the list price which is $24.95.

Orders shipped to Canada:  The S&H is $16.50.  You can send the additional $10 in S&H to my PayPal account directly.

Orders shipped to Europe:  The S&H is $23.50.  You can send the additional $17 in S&H to my PayPal account directly.

The cookbook is a good resource for you and also makes a great holiday gift for family, friends and clients.  I will inscribe and sign the first 100 copies sold and send the cookbook to the address(s) provided.  If you have additional addresses for me to mail gift books, you can send me a message @ Your cookbooks will be wrapped in courtesy seasonal (winter) for orders placed through December 20th) along with a note of who the gift is for and who sent the gift!

The book is designed to assist with easy, delicious recipes that you can prepare while on leisure travel or at home.  There are numerous terrific recipes to please vegan, vegetarian diet and also unrestricted diets.

There is one recipe per page, each with a color photogragh.  I designed the book to be a convenient size (7″ x 9″ x 1/2″) with over 100 recipes, making it convenient to reference and take along when you travel.   The book has a variety of cooking methods including microwave, stovetop, grill, slow cooker, convection oven and grill.

In addition to recipe, other chapters include: food safety and storage , stocking a pantry for leisure travel, shelf life of pantry foods, and storage of refrigerator and freezer items, shopping and farmers market tips, creating a menu plan for travel, and tips on how to plate food to look it’s best.

Recipes are presented in easy to follow chapters with similar foods, meals and beverages listed starting with breakfast recipes and continuing through meals and snacks throughout the day.  Each recipe includes: the cooking method, type of diet (Vegan, Vegetarian, Unrestricted) food, difficulty level (Easy and a few Moderate), preparation time, length of cooking required and the number of servings in the recipe.  This information is in the page header just under the recipe title and is followed by the list of ingredients, directions, a color photograph of the finish recipe, any notes or tips, wine and beer pairing suggestions and tips and notes…. all on one page!

Other chapters include information on high altitude cooking, using a convection oven, and Instant Pot and other small kitchen appliances, metric conversion tables and potluck gathering recipes from well-known frequent roadtreking rv lifestyle contributors:  Joe Campbell ‘Campskunk’, Lisa Gruner, Joe Raetano, Jennifer Wendland, Janet Arnold, Jennifer Fawcett, Yan Seiner, Mary Zuschlag, Laura Robison, Cindy Blair, Helen Steinheider, Marilyn Daniel, Joette George, Kiki Dunigan, Jean Boyle and notable southern Blues Singer Miranda Louise.

Thank you for visiting my blog page.

Cookbook orders will be filled on a first come first served basis while supplies are available.  Take advantage of the discounted Introductory price, order today!

~ Chef MJ


Gluhwein Poached Pears

pear red wine

Gluhwein is warm mulled wine (red wine infused with citrus juice, cinnamon and seasonal pumpkin spices.  You can use the gluhwein as a poaching liquid for pears and make a delicious tasty dessert or use the poached pears to accent a main meal salad.

To prepare:  Use a 3 quart Instant Pot or a large stovetop skillet.


2                   pears, peeled, cored, cut in half lengthwise (rub cut side of 1/2 orange on cut pear halves to avoid oxidizing the pears).

Mulled Red wine ingredients – gluhwein

2 cups         red Zinfandel wine

1/3 cup        sugar

1 orange     zest and juice from 1/2 – 1 orange

1 tsp            cinnamon

1 tsp            pumpkin spice


1 1/2 tsp     cornstarch

1 1/2 tsp     water


4 tsp           mascarpone cheese

4 sprigs      mint



  1. To prepare the poached pears on the stovetop:  Combine the mulled red wine ingredients in a large skillet over MEDIUM heat.  Stir until sugar dissolves and spices blend with the wine.  Add the cut pears.  Saute’ 5 – 10 minutes on each side, until the pears are fork tender.   Using a large spoon, remove poached pears to a plate.  Combine cornstarch and water in a small cup, add to the mulled red wine, stir over medium/low heat to thicken, then simmer on low for 5 minutes to allow the cornstarch taste to disappear from the sauce.  Pour sauce in a serving bowl.
  2. To prepare the poached pears in an Instant Pot (IP):  Add mulled wine ingredients to the IP stainless steel liner.  Set IP on saute’ and stir until ingredients are combined.  Add pears cut side down.  Close the IP lid and steam vent.  Turn IP off then back on to MANUAL 3 minutes high pressure.  Use quick release after cooking.  Remove poached pears with a large spoon and place on a plate.  Add cornstarch and water together in a small cup, add to the wine in the IP, stir until thick and cornstarch taste disappears.  Pour sauce in a serving bowl.
  3. To plate the pears:  Add a tablespoon of the wine sauce to each small plate.  Top with a pear (cut side up).  Add a teaspoon of mascarpone to the center of the cored pear and garnish with a sprig of mint.

NOTE:  If you prefer not to make and add the wine sauce, skip the thickening directions and enjoy the hot mulled wine in a mug…






Food for Thought When Preparing your Thanksgiving Meal

Take some of the stress out of preparing a Thanksgiving feast!

Plan your menu in advance:

  1. Consider food allergies and preferences of you, your family and the people joining you for the meal.
  2. Create the menu to include beverages, appetizers, salad, main entrée, side dishes and dessert.
  3. Limit recipes that will be time consuming to 2 recipes.  Make the other dishes simple or semi-homemade or items you prepare or delegate.
  4. Set aside a cook date a week or more prior to Thanksgiving.  Allow yourself  3 – 5 hours to prepare dishes that are able to be made in advance and frozen until the day before Thanksgiving.
  5. Use zip top freezer bags for each item, burp the air from the bag, label the bag with a permanent marker and the contents in each bag), then place each bag flat in the freezer.
  6. Delegate some of the items on the menu to family and guests if possible.  Ask them to bring their dish or beverage with them to the feast.
  7. Let the guests and family know how many servings of the item will be needed and what time to arrive at your home.
  8. Ask each person how much refrigerator space they will need.
  9. Also check if they will need to bake or reheat using your oven or stovetop and the time they will need and any serving utensils, pots or pans, plates or cups they will need for their also.
  10. Ask those that do not cook if they can volunteer to assist in other ways and enlist their help with:  serving, clearing plate or dish duty!


Delegating some of the meal preparations will help you enjoy the holiday and feast and enjoy and recognize their contributions to the meal.

Microwave Pumpkin Cake

Tis the season…  Small Sugar Pumpkins are ideal for making pumpkin pies and other freshly baked breads or custards.

This microwave pumpkin mug cake can be made with fresh or unsweetened canned pumpkin puree.  It is easy to prepare and ready to enjoy in just a matter of minutes.


4 tbsp. flour

2 tbsp. brown sugar

1/2 tsp pumpkin spice

1 tbsp. dried cranberries

1 tbsp. canned pumpkin puree

1 tbsp. coconut oil

1/2 tsp vanilla

2 tbsp  water

baking spray


  1.  Lightly coat a microwave safe mug with baking spray.
  2.  Add flour, sugar, pumpkin spice, dried cranberries and salt to the mug, stir to combine.
  3. Add pumpkin puree, vanilla, coconut oil and 1 tbsp water to the mug.
  4. Stir ingredients to combine.
  5. Float 1 tbsp of water on top of the batter.
  6. Microwave the mug cake on HIGH for 90 seconds.


NOTE:  I used gluten free flour.

Mushroom Wine Sauce

Here is alight tasty sauce I came up with that compliments a grilled or sautéed steak.  You can prepare this easily while on a camping adventure and it is a good choice for entertaining at home as well.   –  Chef MJ

Want more recipes like this?  Check out my NEW cookbook on this blog site!


16 oz          baby bella mushrooms, sliced

1/2 cup     onion, diced

4 cloves    garlic, minced

6 tbsp.      butter

3 oz           tomato paste

20 oz        unsalted beef broth

1 tsp          dried spice herbs de Provence or thyme

2 tsp          cornstarch

2 tsp          water

1/4 cup     red wine

salt and pepper to taste


  1.  Rinse mushrooms briefly, pat dry and slice in 1/4″ wide slices.
  2.  Cut onion, medium diced.  Chop garlic, fine minced.
  3.  Heat a large skillet with butter on the stove top over MEDIUM heat, add diced onions.
  4.  Saute’ onions for 2-3 minutes then add the minced garlic, set heat to LOW for 1 minute.
  5.  Add tomato paste, saute’ on LOW for 1 minute.
  6.  Add broth, herbs de Provence or thyme and wine.  Add salt and pepper to taste.
  7.  Combine cornstarch and water in a small bowl and add to the sauce.  Turn heat to MEDIUM.
  8.  Stir until sauce thickens and lightly coats the back of a spoon.
  9.  Serve over grilled steak and/or mashed potatoes, or as pictured here over cooked noodles.