Every Day with Rachael Ray Staff

Jess and Bob’s Excellent Adventure Part III

Our art director and her husband are hitting the road in a souped-up campervan for a full-on Wild West adventure! Sleeping in the desert. Crazy road food. The works. Follow them here for the best of what they’re doing, seeing, and eating en route.

Day three:

After a night in our amazing off-road campsite (check out the view!), we said goodbye to Zion for a little while—and hit the road to Bryce Canyon.

But something stopped us along the way: food!! Bob is a man of many breakfasts and by 9 a.m., he was ready for his second of the day. Lucky for us, we happened to be right by the Thunderbird Diner, a local institution founded by a husband-wife team in the 1930s.

 

The wife’s pies were reportedly legend among truck drivers, and if the breakfast we polished off was any indication, her spirit is still alive and well.

As for this sign: The diner’s founder abbreviated “home-made” in a very…particular way so everything would fit on the sign. And you know…the tagline stuck!

 

After the drive to Bryce, we needed a place to crash, but once again, we were thwarted by the kickoff to summer travel season: Every campsite we tried was full. Luckily, we had our home on wheels, and after talking to some super-jealous park rangers who showed up to check it out, we we headed to the highly recommended Dixie National Forest. Beautiful!

 

 

Nothing out there but us and our steak dinner, complete with G and Ts.

One funny aside: Over the past few days, we’ve actually seen quite a few other Jucy vans, a surprise given how recently the company came to the US from New Zealand (2012). Anyway, we all wind up saying hello to each other by flashing our lights and honking. Hilarious!

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Jess and Bob’s Excellent Adventure Part II

Our art director and her husband are hitting the road in a souped-up campervan for a full-on Wild West adventure! Sleeping in the desert. Crazy road food. The works. Follow them here for the best of what they’re doing, seeing, and eating en route.

 

 

Day two:

After a restful night in the Valley of Fire, we woke up to lizards on our car—serious desert road trip cred—and took off early for the 120-mile drive to Zion. The only problem with hitting one of our most amazing national parks? Everyone else wants in on the amazingness, too. Especially over a sunny summer weekend. So we got as far as the Visitor’s Center, saw the crowds and decided to swing back later in the week. So we’ll post a few Zion shots now—because our drive through was epic!!!—then post a second installment from the park a little bit…down the road. And no problem that the Zion campsites were full, too: We had the van! So  after stopping by a great hippie grocery store, we chatted up a few locals and learned about a Bureau of Land Management (aka BLM) spot where we could camp for free, and where the view was priceless! Who needs camp sites?!

 

 

 

 

 

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Jess and Bob’s Excellent Adventure

Our art director and her husband are hitting the road in a souped-up campervan for a full-on Wild West adventure! Sleeping in the desert. Crazy road food. The works! Follow them here for the best of what they’re doing, seeing, and eating en route.

 

 

Welcome to our summer road trip! I’m Jess, Every Day with Rachael Ray’s art director, and joining me is my husband Bob Martus, a photographer. Road trips have always been a big part of our relationship, from the first one we took over Memorial Day weekend five years ago to our two-month Canadian honeymoon in 2012. This time, we’re headed out west in something a bit fancier than our trusty Subaru: a Jucy rental van with a bed and a kitchen! Desert, here we come!

 


Day one: After a long flight from NYC to Vegas and a 15-minute cab ride from the airport, we picked up our new home on wheels and checked out the digs: folding chairs, linens, cookware…we’re set! Next stop, a grocery store to load up on supplies! After that, Hoover Dam, Lake Meade and on to the Valley of Fire!


Loved our first night camping in the van. On the evening’s menu? Pasta and salad with of course some gin and tonics!

Not bad when you can wake up to the mountains out your window!!

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Pet Project: Chow Time!

Not all dog bowls are created equal– or are even suitable for each and every dog. Find the perfect fit for your furry friend with these shopping tips.

 

Your Bowl Buying Checklist

 

The Right Size

Pooches with longer snouts need deeper dishes, while snub-nosed dogs prefer shallow bowls. Deep and narrow feeders are ideal for long-eared dogs– so their ears won’t dip into the food or water.

 

Choice Materials

Top-of-the-line bowls are made of stainless steel. Unlike plastic or ceramic, it doesn’t scratch or chip, so it’s easy to clean and won’t harbor bacteria. If you have a super-playful pup, opt for a bowl with a nonskid base to prevent slipping and spilling.

 

Special Features

Raised bowls reduce joint and neck strain and limit air intake, so they aid digestion and can decrease gas and bloating. For speedy eaters, try “anti-gulp” bowls with ridges inside that force dogs to forage, which slows them down.

 

Click here to see a slideshow of the latest and greatest in doggie dinnerware!

 

By Sarah Zorn

 

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Bake Your Heart Out: Blondies

We love brownies, and we’re  also sweet on blondies, their caramel-flavored cousin. Start with our simple recipe, then fun it up with the same mix-ins and toppings for our Mind-Blowing Brownies (ours are studded with dried cherries).

 

 

Basic Blondies

1 1/2 sticks butter

3/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar

1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1 tsp. salt

2 eggs

1 1/2 cups flour

 

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8-inch-square baking pan with foil, leaving a 2-inch overhang. Coat the foil with cooking spray.

2. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Off heat, whisk in both sugars, vanilla and salt. Whisk until creamy, about 1 minute. Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking well between additions. Add the flour; stir until just blended. Pour into the pan.

3. Bake  the blondies until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs attached, about 40 minutes. cool in the pan set on a wire rack. Using the foil overhang, lift the blondies out of the pan. Cut into squares.

 

 

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Saturday Supermarket Smarts: What the Heck is Ponzu?

This citrus-spiked soy sauce is a Japanese cooking staple. It’s a go-to ingredient because its components hit on all five flavors: sweet (mirin, or rice wine), sour (rice wine vinegar), salty (soy sauce), bitter (yuzu, a Japanese citrus fruit, or a combination of lemon, lime, grapefruit and orange) and umami (seaweed and dried bonito flakes). To really make your stir-fry sing, add a healthy dash of ponzu during the last few minutes of cooking. you can also use it as a dumpling dipper, a fish marinade or a salad dressing– whisk it with a bit of sesame oil before tossing with greens.

Try ponzu in our Shrimp & Snap Pea Stir-Fry!

 

 

Related Links

Color Me Curry

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Bar Coach: Master the Muddle

You don’t need to buy a cocktail muddler to make smashing good drinks. Chances are, you have a tool that can crush herbs already on hand. Three to try: the handle of a wooden spoon or spatula (the fatter the better), the handle of an ice cream scoop or the flat end of a tapered rolling pin. Now that you’ve got the gear, here’s how to use it (like in our brand new Cucumber-Basil Smash!):

 

 

 

1. Place the ingredients you want to muddle (usually fresh herbs and sugar) in the bottom of a pint glass, shaker or sturdy pitcher (for big batches).
2. Using the muddler, press down on the mixture in the bottom of the glass and gently twist. Stop as soon as the herbs release their aromatic oils. (You’ll smell ‘em!) And go easy with the squishing! The idea is to release the fragrance of the herbs without ripping the leaves, which can unleash bitter chlorophyll into your cocktail.

 

Here are some more cocktail ideas for you to muddle up!

 

 

Almond-Coconut Mojito

Pink Grapefruit and Basil Mojito Mocktail

Blackberry Cooler Cocktail

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Where’s the Beef?

Moo-ve over, hamburger! These new patties prove that summer grilling can sizzle even without red meat.

 


 
 

1. Make a smoky turkey burger

 

The patty: Ball Park Flame Grilled Turkey Patty ($8.29 for 6)

The bread: Whole-wheat bun

The toppings: BBQ sauce, sliced smoked cheddar, pickles, red-leaf lettuce
 
 
 
 
 
 

2. Make a masala burger

 

The patty: Gardein Garden Veggie Burger ($4.49 for 4)

The bread: Grilled naan

The toppings: Greek yogurt with curry, sliced tomato, cilantro

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 

3. Make a brat burger

 

The patty: Johnsonville Cheddar Bratwurst Grillers ($4.49 for 4)

The bread: Kaiser roll

The toppings: Sweet and sour red cabbage, German potato salad, grainy mustard

 
 
 

4. Make a brunch burger

 

The patty: MacKnight Atlantic Salmon Burgers ($4.97 for 4)

The bread: Pumpernickel toast

The toppings: Sliced red onion, sliced cucumber, cream cheese with fresh chives
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Saturday Supermarket Smarts: Color Me Curry

Most Thai curry pastes that you find at the supermarket have the same base: garlic, shallots, herbs and spices like coriander and cumin seed. But chiles are what give these flavor-packed sauces their colorful personalities. Spicy red curry paste gets its brick-like hue and earthy flavor from dried red chiles. Yellow curry paste, the mildest of the bunch, is usually a combo of red chiles and turmeric or curry powder. Fresh green chiles give green curry its tint, which may lead people to believe it’s mild. But since green chiles (like the legendary bird’s-eye) can be screaming hot, this one often packs the most heat of all. Bring on the coconut milk!

 

For Red Curry Paste Try:

Vegetable Red Curry

 

For Green Curry Paste Try:

Curried Lamb

 

For Yellow Curry Paste Try:

Smoked Sausage Soup

 
 

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Breadcrumb Battle

In this corner, featherweight champion of the breadcrumbs: fresh! And in the other, the workhorse of the breadcrumb world: dry! In this culinary bout, we’d be hard pressed to pick a winner. The dry guys are best for coating foods, especially those that you’re gonna fry because they don’t absorb too much oil. Fluffy, fresh breadcrumbs are a little larger, so they add a nice crunch when broiled on top of a casserole. They also soak up lots of liquid, making them a great binder for meatballs. Whichever kind your recipe requires, they’re easy to make at home!

 

 

FOR FRESH

1. Remove and discard crusts from a few slices of day-old bread. (Fresh bread can clump together in the food processor.)

2. Tear bread into large pieces.

3. In a food processor, pulse to pea-size crumbs.

 

 

 

FOR DRIED

1. Spread fresh breadcrumbs (see above) on a baking sheet.

2. Bake at 325 degrees until dry and light-golden, 10 to 12 minutes.

3. In a food processor, pulse to very fine crumbs.

 

 

Related Links

Battle of the Rice

Battle of the Egg Whites

Battle of the Peanut Butters