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Cooking From a Bus With "The Painted Buffalo"

IG: @paintedbuffalotravelingstudio

Web: paintedbuffalostudio.com

Introduce Yourself

Hey! I'm Jessica Rambo, I live aboard The Painted Buffalo Traveling Studio with my family. I'm a Marine Corps Veteran, A Mom of 2, an Artist, and a DIY bus builder. My family and I built our rig in North Carolina from July 2018 - August 2019, and moved in right away. We have been full-time bus lifers for 9 months and are about to hit the road with a full bus, 2 kids, 2 dogs, and a cat. They are in for the adventure of a lifetime. Painted Buffalo Traveling Studio is A 501(c)(3) nonprofit Veteran Artist founded and operated art studio. We seek to build bridges of cultural understanding through artistic expressions for Veteran Artists. We are dedicated to building a bridge between each participant's capabilities and his or her imagination to provide a place where veterans can non-verbally speak through their art. In between national parks and quirky roadside shops, we are handing out art supplies to Veterans for our biggest initiative “The Paint Can Project”! We packed 100 ammo cans with art supplies and other useful Veteran products (like coffee, socks, and clothing) to hand out to our nation's heroes who are ready to tell their stories, through art! For anyone who has made it this far, I just need to let you know, I’m a terrible cook. It’s an art form that I am nowhere near mastering. My kids are the first to tell me that, no need for the hate mail. I try my best, but more times than I can count, we’ve just ate cereal for dinner. I know I know, terrible. But every once in a while I whip up something, and my kids ask for seconds and thirds. It’s helpful that they aren’t really picky and they know that all they have to do is try it. The adventure in food tasting has been an experience all my life. You’d think that because of my love of food, I'd be a better cook… but my philosophy… it always tastes better when someone else cooks it. Growing up, my mom was in the military so we traveled around the world and ate a lot of food that others cooked. Then I joined the Marine Corps, and you guessed it, our family has traveled around the world too. Some countries have some really interesting food options but the things my kids picked to not like?! mushrooms, and chocolate. I can live with that.

Meal Name: Buffalo Tacos (No buffalos were harmed in the making of our tacos)

As a generic dinner rule, our plates consist of a protein, a veggie, and a starch. One meal that consists of all of that and the kids ask for it each week is tacos. Each family has a special way of making theirs. In our family, each kid likes to build their own, put different ingredients in them, and experiment! And when I'm lucky, they ask to help cook.

Chef(s): Jessica and Liam

Serving size: 4 hungry humans (or me and a 9-year-old)

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Cook Temp: the higher the temp the quicker it cooks right?!


-4 Boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1" strips -Salt -Black pepper

-8 Flour tortillas, warmed

-Extra-virgin olive oil


-Thinly sliced onion -Sliced peppers -Diced tomatoes -Lettuce -Shredded Monterey Jack -Diced avocados -Sour cream


1. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat oil.

2. Season chicken with salt and pepper and add to skillet.

3. Cook until golden, approx. 6 minutes.

4. Add spices and stir until coated, approx. 1 minute.

5. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat oil.

6. Add cut peppers and onions to skillet.

7. Cook until golden, 6 minutes.

8. Add spices and stir until coated, 1 minute more.

9. Build tacos: In tortillas, layer chicken and desired toppings.

Special Notes:

We like to keep things extra simple and special around here. When we stuff our tortillas too full and they break apart, we grab a fork and continue to eat!

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