Food columnist Judi Leaming and her husband, Spence, have backed up the RV and headed out to Wisconsin. She offers up a few favorite recipes from her travels.

We've now been on the road (which definitely means not in the kitchen) for 10 days, and so I haven't had the opportunity to test new recipes to share with you.

We arrived in Wisconsin by following a rather illogical set of travel directions that first took us to Virginia Beach, Va., where we met up with our Lazy Daze RV friends for four days of laughs, kayaking, museum visiting and even recipe sharing.

Therefore, I'll pass along to you recipes that my RV friends shared with me. We happen to be compiling a cookbook of the recipes that we serve at our rallies and you may recall that I have shared recipes from this group before.

A Lazy Daze is what is classified as a Class C motor home, meaning that it has an RV body built onto a truck chassis with the truck cab poking out in the front. Lazy Daze is a family-owned company based in Montclair, Calif., and they have been making pretty much the same styles in the same colors for the past 50 years.

Donna and Bob Shockley live most of the year in Wolfeboro, N.H., and their dog, Elton, accompanies them on most of their travels. Donna contributed the recipe for Donna's Mandarin Salad to our recipe collection. Like many of the rest of us, winter finds them using their Lazy Daze in Florida.

Berlin, Mass. is the home base for Mary Ellen and Barry Matthew, who also spend 10 weeks of each year as campground hosts' at a Florida State Park in north central Florida. They often pass through Delaware because Mary Ellen has a cousin who lives in Milford and she loves to shop at Byler's in Dover. Her recipe contribution is for a Chicken and Wild Rice Casserole.

Virginia Beach, Va. is where Carol and H. T. Pohlman call home when they aren't out on the road traveling. Carol is known for bringing chocolate pies or this wonderful Icebox Coconut Cake to our rallies. They love to travel and H.T. especially loves to check out new restaurants, especially "dives."

Donna's Mandarin Salad


1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

2 tablespoons cider vinegar

Dash Tabasco sauce


1/2 cup sliced almonds

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

1/2 head iceberg lettuce

1/2 head Romaine lettuce

1 cup chopped celery

2 scallions, chopped

1 (11-ounce) can mandarin oranges, drained

Prepare Dressing by whisking all ingredients together. Place in an airtight covered container and refrigerate. Prepare salad by placing almonds and sugar in a small pan over medium high heat and stirring constantly just until the almonds are coated and the sugar is dissolved. Watch constantly so that they do not burn. Cool and store in an airtight container if not using right away. Tear lettuce into bite-sized pieces and place in a large bowl. Add celery, scallions and drained mandarin oranges. Just before serving, add almonds and dressing and toss. Serves 4 to 6.

Mary Ellen Matthew's Chicken & Wild Rice Casserole

1 box of regular Uncle Ben's long grain and wild rice

3 tablespoons cornstarch

1 teaspoon salt

1 pinch pepper

1 (14-ounce) can evaporated milk

1 (12-ounce) can chicken broth

2 tablespoons butter

1/4 cup chopped onion

1 to 2 cups cooked and cubed chicken

1 sleeve Ritz crackers, crushed (1 1/2 cups)

1 tablespoon poppy seeds

1/2 cup butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook rice according to directions on box and set aside. Combine cornstarch, salt and pepper in a large saucepan and mix together. Gradually stir in milk and broth. Bring to a boil and add 2 tablespoons of butter and onion, stirring constantly. Cook for 1 minute (or until mixture thickens). Add chicken and rice and pour into a lightly greased 2-quart shallow baking dish. Top with crushed cracker crumbs. Sprinkle poppy seeds evenly over all and drizzle with the melted 1/2 cup butter. Bake uncovered for 30 to 35 minutes. Serves 6.

Carol Pohlman's Icebox Coconut Cake

1 box Duncan Hines deluxe yellow cake mix

2 eggs

1 1/3 cups water

1 cup milk

2 cups granulated sugar

1 teaspoon coconut flavoring extract

1 (8-ounce) container Cool Whip, thawed

1 (6-ounce) container Baker's Angel Flake Coconut

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9x13-inch baking pan. Combine dry cake mix, eggs and water in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat for 2 minutes. Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 30 minutes or until center springs back when lightly pressed. Meanwhile, combine milk with sugar in a small saucepan and, stirring frequently, bring to a full boil (be sure all sugar is dissolved). Remove from heat and stir in the coconut extract. Remove cake from oven and pierce with a fork in at least 12 places evenly over the cake. Pour hot milk/sugar mixture over the cake immediately and put in the refrigerator until completely chilled. When cake is chilled, frost with the Cool Whip and sprinkle with the coconut, pressing it down lightly into the Cool Whip. Cover and chill until ready to serve. Best if made a day ahead.