Monday, October 31, 2011

Menu Plan Monday: Week of October 31st, 2011

I started out my week aggressively trying out new recipes from gluten free bloggers across the web.  We had Chicken Croquettes, Favorite Chicken Breasts and Chinese Egg Rolls.  I mastered a method for making Mummy hotdogs.  I even converted one of my favorite bloggers Molasses Cookies into a gluten free recipe.  As far as the kids opinion goes, they both declared that the cookies and the mummy hot dogs were too good to be true.  I personally appreciated the gluten free egg rolls.  As long as I fried the properly, they were crunchy and awesome!

Happy Halloween Everyone!

It is Halloween today.  A quick dinner is needed.  I made up these Mummy Hot Dogs already all that is needed is the face.  Maybe I will make a pizza to go along with this.  Mummy pizza?  Pumpkin shaped?

Happy Birthday to my wonderful little boy.  He turns 9 today.
I am not sure what he will want that is special 
(probably chicken and dumplings, in which case I will need a rotisserie chicken) 
but for now Hamburgers is on the menu.
I already made the home made buns.

Photo Credit: Betty Crocker, photo is linked to her recipe.
Church is serving BBQ Nachos, yum!

In honor of all that snow my mom had this weekend!
I am going to have to make my son's birthday cake and cupcakes today.

My son's Birthday Party.
I am serving Hotdogs, Nacho's with Rotel Dip, Soda and Cake

Creamy Kielbasa vegetable soup in the Crock Pot 
(recipe to follow this week, it is a sure fire winner)

Spaghetti and Sausage
We love Spaghetti on Sundays, it reminds me of when we were little
My little Italian mother would cook the sauce all day.

Head on over to Celiac Family's Gluten Free Menu Swap for more inspiration on Gluten Free Menu's.
Or OrgJunkie's Menu Plan Monday for a wide range of Menu Planning ideas.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Gluten Free Mummy Hot Dogs

Pillsbury's Version
Don't these look fun?  I saw this idea on and knew immediately that my kids would love them.  But we are gluten free and do not have access to convenient bread in a can.  Does that mean we should miss out on all the fun?  Heck no!  I knew I had to figure out a way to make these safe for my family to eat.  I tried a variety of different methods to accomplish this task.  As you may recall from my Menu Plan post this week, I was going to try Pie Crust. I did that earlier this week.  I got this idea from reading another blog who's name escapes me now (sorry).  The pie crust idea was not a great one.  The whole concept of a pie crust is flaky with very little gum to hold it together. It fell apart way to easy and the texture was wrong.  But that is how we learn, right? Though experiment.  What I ended up doing is make long thin strips of yeasted bread dough and doing a quick bake without a rise.

my own Gluten Free Version - Before Baking

Don't be perfect in rolling the bread strip up. The messier the better.  Just grab a package of hotdogs.  Make one batch of Gluten Free Rolls (click here for recipe).

We are going to oil our hands and roll that batter up into thin strips.  Wrap each strip around the hotdog Mummy Style.  I won't lie to you, its very difficult to roll out the very sticky nature of Gluten Free Bread.  I just used my fingers to stretch and connect what I could. No need to be exact, a rough looks makes the mummy look more realistic.  Do leave space between the bread strips for expansion during baking.    

Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for about 15-20 minutes until bread dough is light brown and hot dogs are heated through.

Serve to you Gluten Free kids and soak in the praises.  Relish in the idea of being a Rock Star Mommy!!!

My son wanted to know how this breading tasted better than the usual rolls I make.  Such a funny comment considering its the same roll recipe I use every week.  I am so excited that they loved it.  In fact, they want me to make them again tomorrow.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Gluten Free Pot Stickers

The basis of this filling is Use Real Butter's Pot Sticker filling. I made mine a tad bit more americanized by using regular cabbage and button mushrooms.  I also left out some of the more traditional ingredients.  If you want to make the real deal, see the link below and head on over there for the most superior photo instruction tutorial on the web for making Pot Stickers and Dumplings.  This recipe is close enough to the real thing to make us happy!

The main purpose of my blog is to create gluten free copycats of recipes we used to enjoy ~ with ingredients that can be found locally. Because this is my mission, my version of this recipe had to be made americanized ;-). The closest town is about 1 hour away and I am not about to drive one hour for bamboo shoots or what have you...LOL. The filling for these dumplings smell wonderful and the taste is fantastic.  The dumpling dough is the same gluten free recipe being shared across the blog world.  I am making it my own by using my own preferred flour blend.

Do not be intimidated by the idea of rolling these out.  Seriously, it is much easier to do than you think.

Dumpling Dough (makes 20 to 24)
2 cups Flour Blend
11/2 teaspoons Xanthan Gum
2 eggs and 6-8 Tablespoons Water

Dumpling Filling
1 pound Pork
1 cup Cabbage, finely shredded
1/4 cup Button Mushrooms, finely shredded
3 Scallions, finely chopped
3 cloves Garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons Corn Starch
1 teaspoon ground Ginger
3 teaspoons Gluten Free Soy (like LaChoy)
2 teaspoon Sesame Oil

  • Pulse pork chunks in a food processor until finely minced.
  • Place pork in a mixing bowl and add cabbage, mushrooms, garlic and scallions into food processor until finely chopped.
  • Add remaining ingredients into mixing bowl and mix with you hand like you are making a meatball.
  • Set aside.
  • Add flour's and gum into food processor.  Give it a quick pulse to combine.
  • Add egg and water while pulsing.
  • Dough should form a ball around the blade.
  • Take dough out and turn out onto a oil sprayed piece of plastic wrap.
  • Roll dough out into a 2" in diameter snake on oiled plastic wrap.
  • Slice off 1-1/2 inch segments of dough and keep the rest covered with a wet paper towel
  • Flatten out segment and then roll into a 2 1/2 inch diameter circle (no need to be exact here).  I find using an oiled piece of plastic wrap and a oil sprayed wood rolling pin works best here.  I had no sticking problems at all (even without the extra flour).
  • Add slightly less than 1 tablespoon of filling into middle.
  • Moisten half of the dough circle and close to form a half moon.  (my pinching shut technique is really bad so you are on your own with that one! LOL)
  • Set aside on  a plate covered with a paper towel while you work on the rest.
  • Close to form a half moon.
  • Steam for 15 to 20 minutes.


Monday, October 24, 2011

Menu Plan Monday: Week of October 24th, 2011

Gluten Free Blogger Appreciation Week

Last week Gluten Free Menu Swap's theme was something new.  I totally missed the boat on that feature but would still love the opportunity to participate and feature some of my favorite Gluten Free Bloggers and their recipes. As my mother always said, "better late than never".  This week I am combining the "Spooky Delights" theme for this week together with last weeks "Something New".

It was an extremely busy weekend but I still managed to make most of these recipes ahead of time so the dinners will be easy to make.  Diane's Croquettes...check, Linda's Favorite Chicken marinading...check, pie crust for mummy hotdogs...check, Heather's egg roll filling...check, dumplings...check, chocolate cake for Halloween Party this week....check.  Yep, looks like I'm ready for a busy week at school without missing a beat at home.

Photo courtesy of Diane of The Whole Gang
Philadelphia Dining Car's Chicken Croquette Recipe
Made Gluten Free by Diane of The Whole Gang

Photo courtesy of Linda of Gluten Free Homemaker
Gluten Free Homemaker's Favorite Chicken Breasts.

Wednesday (church dinner):
Photo Credit: Pillsbury
Mummy Wrapped Hot Dogs and Worms and Dirt
I am going to use a savory pie crust recipe and slice into strips.
I am also crumbling some chocolate cake to make the worms and dirt.

Salisbury Steak with Mushroom Gravy

Photo courtesy of Heather from Celiac Family
Gluten Free Chinese Dinner
Fried Rice, Dumplings and Egg Rolls
I am using Heather's recipe over at Celiac Family for 
the Gluten Free Egg Rolls

Head on over to Celiac Family's Gluten Free Menu Swap for more inspiration on Gluten Free Menu's.
Or OrgJunkie's Menu Plan Monday for a wide range of Menu Planning ideas.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

What I am Reading: The Hour that Matters Most

What I am Reading: The Hour that Matters Most

What is this mysterious hour I speak of?  Why dinner of course.  I am all about family dinners.  Maybe the fact that I blog food may lead you to understand that this topic may be important to me.  The truth is, we have very little time to sit as a family for dinner.  I feed my children dinner right after school at 4pm.  My children and I sit and eat together but my husband does not come home from work until 6 ~ 6:30 pm.  Remember those days when Daddies always came home in time for dinner?  No?  Well I do, I am older than you perhaps.  I am in my 40’s and old enough to recall a day when children went outside to play after school while mommy made dinner. Daddy arrived home just in time for everyone to sit and eat together.  Children play outside by themselves?  What planet am I from?!?!?!?!  LOL.  I digress.

When this book, The Hour that Matters Most, came across my path and I knew I had to look it over.  I guess you can say it “spoke” to me.  The very first thing I read was the inside page just beyond the Table of Contents.  It was titled, “A note from Tina and Stephanie”.  In this note it explains that Tina was diagnosed with cancer just after the book was wrapped up.  They explain how this diagnoses only locks in their purpose.  Have a “meal” together with your family every day. Take time to connect with your family because you never know when life is going to change.  As a cancer survivor myself I know all too well what exactly they mean here.  Sadly most of us will never fully understand this until something earth shattering happens to them.  Don’t be one of those folks that have to make a mistake to learn from it like I was.  I was once a career driven, kids in daycare 12 hours a day sort of mom.  Dinner was on the run and quality time was only on weekends between errands.  I emerged from my illness knowing one thing as true.  My family and my children were extremely important to me and I was not giving them nearly enough of my precious time. 

This book was wonderfully laced with stories, how-to information and recipes to inspire you and start you off on your own journey.  My final say is that this book is a delightfully enlightening read.  The book is designed to help you strengthen your family relationship…..around the dinner table perhaps.

If you are interested, the book is available from Amazon for about $15.99.

Disclaimer: I am in no way benefiting from this review or this book in any way.  

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Pumpkin Cheesecake Cupcakes

I made the Pumpkin Muffins this past week and had leftover Pumpkin Pie puree.  "What should I do with the other half of the can of pumpkin? " I thought to my self. The answer was clear, "Make Pumpkin Cheesecake Cupcakes of course!"  This recipe below is simply the Whole Pumpkin Cheesecake recipe I have posted here on my blog only with 1/3rd removed. This is not a cake recipe, the muffins and cheesecake were not combined.  Tho I do believe that would be an incredible idea.  I am not using a crust either but some Mi-Del Gluten Free Ginger Snaps would probably be a lovely idea as a crust.  The whole cookie or just crumbles.  You decide.

2 (8 ounce) packages of Cream Cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup  Coconut Sugar (alternatively Dark Brown Sugar)
2 eggs, room temperature
3/4's cup canned Pumpkin
1 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Line muffin tin with foil muffin liners.
Spray papers inside with oil.
  • Keeping mixer on LOW speed, whip up the cream cheese, sugar and spice until there are no lumps. 
  • Add Eggs one at a time and mix until JUST incorporated. Do not over mix and keep mixer on low ~ this will help with the middle sinking. 
  • Place 3 to 4 Tablespoons of Batter inside each cup. This cheesecake only puffs slightly so you can fill them to just about the top.  Recipe should make about 16 regular sized cupcakes. 
  • Place muffin tin inside a sheet cake pan and fill half way up with water. 
  • Place both pans inside oven and set timer for 35-40 minutes. (it takes a bit longer to cook these due to the added pumpkin puree. I could have added another egg to fix this but I don't like eggy cheesecake)
  • When timer is up, insert knife into the middle of one of your cupcakes.  A knife that comes out clean means it is time to turn oven off and leave door slightly ajar for 1 hour. This step should prevent sinking. You MUST do this or your cupcakes will form upside down domes.
  • Remove cooled muffins from oven and chill. 
  • Top with your favorite topping.  We enjoy ours with pumpkin spiced whipped cream.
  • Enjoy! 

  1. This recipe makes about a 16 cupcakes or 2 dozen mini cupcakes. 
  2. If making this recipe into mini cupcakes, I suggest cutting cooking time down to 20 minutes. 
  3. If using Splenda, I would suggesting using less first and taste to see if it is sweet to your liking. I personally find that Splenda is sweeter in baking than sugar.
  4. Did your cheese cake crack even with a water bath?  Probably cooked too long.
  5. Did your cheese cake sink and look like an upside down dome?  Probably cooled too fast.


Monday, October 17, 2011

Menu Plan Monday: Week of October 17th, 2011

This week I broke down.  I was so upset.  Sometimes having a child who's very livelihood depends on feeding him/her a certain way is more than I can bear.  Especially in this tiny town where you can find only a tiny portion of products to get by.  As some of you may know, I am going back to school and time to make everything from scratch is no longer always an option.  I started to have our local foods store "order" some convenience foods such as Udi's rolls, bread, pizza crust and Applegate Farms Chicken Nuggets.  At first I would immediately purchase the whole case because I did not want the store owner to be "stuck" with the products that nobody else wanted.  As time went on and we found other Celiacs in town I started to realize that leaving some for the other folks who were as needy as we were for such products would definitely be a good thing.  After all, helping other Celiacs is what I do, right?

Fast forwarding to this week.....Chicken nuggets are a big must have item around here since this is what both of my children eat for lunch most days.  I ordered a case of nuggets from my whole food store and waited the two weeks.  She had enough on hand to get us by so everything was fine. One day I walk in and the lady behind the counter says your nuggets are in (in her usual excited happy tone).  I look and there are no nuggets.  Apparently there is a newly diagnosed kid in town.  This person or this person's parent came in and purchased every last box of the nuggets and did not even leave one box for us to "get us by".

Have you ever watched Extreme Couponing on TV?  Those ladies say, "Well you should have beat me to the store".  Yuck.  That is wrong on so many levels.  Especially when you have kids involved.  I broke down, feeling crushed and heartbroken for a few hours.  I know, pick yourself up and dust off already.  There are whole food options.  Make your own nuggets! OK, fine.  In the mean time, I need to find myself other ways to purchase the foods I need because the availability of gluten free foods has become cut throat in my tiny town.  :-(


Chicken Nuggets at Church
I am going to serve the men Oatmeal Parmesan Crusted Chicken
with Mac and Cheese

Chicken Fried Steak with Cream Gravy,


Philly Cheese Steaks, Steak Fries

Saturday (to the Zoo):
Packed Lunches 
Chili and Crock Pot Baked Potatoes

Tinkyada Spaghetti, Meatballs
tossed Green Salad and Garlic Bread 
made using leftover Cheese Rolls

Be inspired! Head on over to my favorite Menu Planner at
She is the new host of Gluten Free Menu Planning.
Or and read her Menu Plan Monday linkup!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Gluten Free Bread Machine Recipe for White Bread

Some of my longer term readers may recall this recipe from a previous post.  I am so sorry I had to delete that recipe but I received so many complaints about it being poor quality, I had to take it down.  My goal for this blog is for it to be a Gluten Free recipe Safe Haven.  A place where you can go for recipes that work and will not disappoint.  These are my recipes and my pictures and I take great pride in providing recipes to you that will work and look just like what I have photographed.

This bread is much taller than it looks.  Expect hearty 5x4" slices
I believe the problem with the previous recipe was two things.  The measurement for Brown Rice Flour was off and the water included in the old recipe also accommodated the water needed to reconstitute Powdered Egg Whites.  If you exchanged whole egg whites and still kept the full amount of water, then it was too much water and would collapse.  With that in mind, I took the recipe down and set forth to master this recipe step by step.

I know, I know....It has been a while since I promised I was working on my Bread machine recipe.  It seems like forever actually. But wait no more! This is my new and improved, set it and forget it, gluten free...bread machine....white bread recipe.  The skeleton of this recipe is the Udi's White Bread copycat recipe I have created here on my blog. I tweaked to accommodate the bread machine.  The quality of this bread reminds you of a good hearty potato sandwich bread or Italian sandwich bread (the kind we used to eat before Celiac). Do you remember eating those before going gluten free? Not sticky, not TOO dense and not at all crumbly.  Once defrosted it will brown nicely when toasted.  If you take slices out of the freezer to make a sandwich for lunch, it will not be on the way to staleness by noon.  It will not crumble under the wet lettuce.  I think this recipe is finally ready to share with the world.

These are massive sized slices
Please Note:
This recipe was developed to make one 2 pound loaf 
in my Xojiruchi programmable machine.
It will overflow a smaller bread pan.

First things first.  How do you program a gluten free bread cycle for your bread machine?  After several trial and errors, this is what worked for me.

Preheat: 20 minutes
Knead: 18 minutes
Rise 1: 1:00 hour
Rise 2: Off
Rise 3: Off
Bake: 1:10 hours
Warm: Off
Crust: Dark

Dry Ingredients
2 cups Tapioca Starch
1 1/2 cups Brown Rice Flour
1/2 cup Potato Starch
5 Tablespoons Sugar
4 teaspoons Xanthan Gum
2 teaspoons Salt
2 teaspoons Baking Powder

Wet Ingredients
6 egg whites, lightly beaten
1 1/4 cup Warm Water (approximately 110 degrees)
1 teaspoon Vinegar
4 Tablespoons Oil
4 teaspoons Yeast

  • Combine dry ingredients (first 7) and mix well.  Make sure those dry ingredients are fully incorporated.
  • Add yeast in warm water.  Allow sit until it starts to become foamy.
  • Add egg whites into a bowl large enough to beat with a fork.
  • Whip egg whites with a fork for 2-3 minutes or until light and fluffy, ALMOST soft peaks.  We are just looking to break up the egg white jell here, not to foam it up to soft peaks.
  • Add oil and vinegar to egg mixture and place into machine pan with paddles inserted. (first layer)
  • Add yeast/water as next layer. (second layer)
  • Next add the dry ingredients gently over top. (third layer)
  • Set your machine according to the programming up top.
  • Machine will beep once mixing cycle is almost complete.  Take this opportunity to check batter consistency, scrape the batter down with a spatula and remove paddles if necessary.
  • One bread machine beeps to alert you to the baking cycle being complete, take loaf pan immediately out of the machine.  
  • Gently tap the side of the pan to loosen the bread and take it out.
  • Cool COMPLETELY on a rack until bread is room temperature.  Dont' cheat here, it needs to cool.

I can't stress this enough, take the bread immediately out of the pan once it is finished baking in the bread machine.  Otherwise too much moisture will cause the bread to collapse.

Try adding dry powdered milk for the nutritional value (if you can tolerate it).  I have small children with growing bones and added Calcium and Vitamin D would definitely help.

I am using Instant Dry Yeast and I am proofing it first even though manufacturers say you do not have to.  For some reason it works better for me this way.  The non proofed yeast results in a more dense bread.

Dough that is perfect for the bread machine will form a soft peak. Dip a spoon or spatula into the batter and pull gently up.  Dough will just drop over at the very top is the correct softness.

Humidity and where in the world you live has a huge influence on your bread.  Try the recipe first.  If you need improvements or have issues, start by leaving out 2-4 tablespoons of water and look for the correct consistency during the mixing cycle.

If you never made Gluten Free bread before, it will not look like gluten bread.  It will be more dense and sticky and should form soft peaks (like egg whites).

I will posting this recipe to:


Monday, October 10, 2011

Menu Plan Monday: Week of October 10th, 2011

Well we survived our camping trip.  Better in fact, it was one of the best Cub Scout Camporee's ever.  The food worked out nicely but I should have brought some cole slaw and hamburgers.  Next time!  The weather could not have been any nicer.  My son developed a love for golf during his camporee activities.  My step father would have been proud!

Brown Sugar Chicken served over rice with a side of Green Beans

Hamburgers, Oven Fries and Corn
I think I will be making some home made buns for this meal.

Pizza at Church


Philly Cheese Steaks, Steak Fries

Cheese Enchiladas, Mexican Rice, OEP Refried Beans, Chips and Cheese dip

Tinkyada Spaghetti and Meatballs with Prego three cheese spaghetti sauce,
Garlic Bread made out of leftover stale Hotdog Buns

Need more excellent ideas?  Go head on over to and look over her Menu Plan Monday post.


Crock Pot Brown Sugar Chicken

Now that I am busy during the day with College the need for quick and easy crock pot dishes is needed now more than ever.  I originally seen this over at a Year of Slow Cooking.  Don't you just love her site?  She challenged herself to use her crock pot (some time ago) every day of the year.  Such bravery with young children in the house.  With each recipe she would come back to and tell you the verdict so you can weed out the stellar ideas from the not so great ones.

This recipe, titled Crock Pot Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken, happens to originally come from back in 2002.  I realize that you sure do not need me to re-invent this wheel but I am going to go ahead and post this anyhow because I would like to have a complete resource of recipes we enjoy on this site.  This means my children really did enjoy this dish THAT much!

The final result reminds of of an Asian dish and BEGS for some pineapple and fresh bell pepper diced up. Though my kids would not have eaten it had I done that.  I really liked the idea because you could easily use the cheaper cuts of chicken with good results.  The final result turns out a wonderfully caramelized chicken thigh.  Don't let the name turn you off, its not too sweet.  It is the perfect balance.  Go ahead, give it a try.  I promise you won't be disappointed.

1 cup Brown Sugar
8 pieces of Chicken Thighs
1/4 cup Lemon Lime Soda
2/3 cup Vinegar (white)
2-3 Tablespoons Garlic
2 Tablespoons La Choy GF Soy Sauce
1 teaspoon Pepper

  • Place chicken parts on the bottom of a 6 quart crock pot.
  • Add remaining 6 ingredients.
  • Still it up a bit.
  • Set crock pot on high for 4 hours. (my crock pot has a set it and then switches to warm feature which is a great idea for a dish like this.  It cooks up really quick and tends to fall apart at the 6 hour setting)

Other Great folks who also posted this recipe:
A Year of Slow Cooking (Crock Pot Brown Sugar Recipe) recipe # 16531 (Crock Pot Garlic Brown Sugar Recipe)


Monday, October 3, 2011

Menu Plan Monday: Week of October 3rd, 2011

As of Friday this week, we will be camping so the end of this week reflects camping meals planned.  

I will be making Alton's Grilled Pork Tenderloin recipe made in the crock pot.  Served with Wild Rice and Green Beans.
I have never made this particular recipe in the crock pot before, but I am still willing to bet that this is still an outstanding Alton recipe in the crock pot. 


Nacho's, Cheese & Chili at Church.

Meatloaf and Mashed Potatoes

Below is my planned camping menu.  Click here for my Gluten Free Camping Ideas Post.

Friday Camping Menu:
Lunch:  Sandwiches (either Balogna or Ham and Cheese), Mayo, Lettuce & Tomato with Chips
Dinner: Open Fire Grilled Hot Dogs and Baked Beans
Dessert: Smores using my home made Graham Crackers

Saturday Camping Menu:
Breakfast: Scrambled Eggs, Foil Packet Potatoes, Hormel Little Sizzler Breakfast Sausages, Udi's Toast.
Lunch: Sandwiches (either Balogna or Ham and Cheese), Mayo, Lettuce & Tomato, Chips and a drink.  Back packing lunch.
Dinner: Marinaded Chicken (Wishbone Dressing), Instant Mashed Potatoes, canned veggie.
Dessert: Smores or maybe we should try out Hobo Pies with Udi's bread and my apple pie in a jar!

Sunday Camping Menu:
Breakfast: Pancakes and Hormel Little Sizzler Breakfast Sausages
Lunch: On the Road
Dinner: TBD

Find other fabulous menu planning ideas over at Orgjunkie's Menu Plan Monday.


Gluten Free Camping Menu

My little cub scout has a family camping event this next weekend and we decided to go as a family.  Traditionally parents feed kids cereal or pop-tarts for breakfast and sandwiches for lunch at these events because the scouting activites mean that you are out and about all day long.  Cereal is fine, we can do cereal but pop tarts are not exactly Celiac friendly. And thinking about sandwiches right before our first trip, I was not even sure that bread was do-able.  Not to mention that I do not have very good luck with bread that is not eaten right away.  Gluten Free bread around here tends to get stale.  Tho I did accidentally leave out the Udi's bagels and the next day they were still super soft.  Maybe I'll be packing those instead.

This is not the first time we camped as a Celiac Family.  This past summer we camped our way across country (cool huh?). We packed a footlocker full of Gluten Free non perishable foods such as Tinkyada spaghetti, Puffins breakfast cereal, Idahoan instant mashed potatoes, canned vegetables, Pamela's pancake mix, trail mix, Sunkist fruit snacks, Glutino chocolate cream cookies, Peretzels with Lays Cheese dip, and small bags of potato chips. The list is pretty long but I am sure that you get the picture. We shopped for fresh meats along the way. It really is not as intimidating as it may initially seem.  As long as you do all of the necessary planning you can enjoy eating just about anything you do at home.  I am not one to go "all out" while camping though.  My idea of camping is providing easy to prepare foods.  Limited packing space prevents us from bringing all sorts of ingredients to camp for one weekend.

I do recall planning for our first camping trip as a family.  I was completely overwhelmed at the idea of planning a trip where all your comforts were literally still at home.  I knew just who to call for advice.  My mother and brothers used to go camping and all the really owned was a tent.  They told me that they would bring two cinder blocks and the grate right off the grill out back to cook.  Sheets and pillows came from the beds.  They owned nothing that was purchased only for camping.  Foods were anything they can cook right off that grate (chicken, steak, hotdogs). I am sure they too had some sort of quick breakfast foods.  

Most of the prep work for our camping trip will be done at home.  The chicken will be marinaiding in a ziploc, steaks will be tenderized or marinading, Hobo packs will be fully prepped and seasoned, foil potatoes will be fully baked, sliced and layered with butter and onion, eggs will be pre scrambled and kept in a portable container and even the pancake mix will be premixed.

OK, are you ready for our weekend camping trip plan?  OK, here it is...

  • Pancakes (batter premixed) and Hormel Little Sizzlers
  • Eggs (pre-scrambled), Hormel Little Sizzlers, foil packet potatoes and toast

  • Sandwiches on Udi's Bread. (Hope this works out otherwise its chili)
  • Chili and Foil Packet Potatoes

  • Oscar Mayer Beef Hotdogs grilled over an open Fire (bun-less, just like my kids like it)
  • Chicken marinaded in Wishbone Italian Dressing and Instant Mashed Potatoes
  • Hobo Packets (Ground Beef and Veggies cooked over a fire)
  • Foil Packet Potatoes is a side for breakfast or dinner

  • Skillet Apples (apple pie in a jar cooked in a skillet) with Udi's Granola topping
  • Hobo Pies (Udi's Bread with Apple Pie filling)
  • Roasted Marshmallows with Home Made Graham Crackers (Smitten Kitten's recipe made GF)

  • Enviro Kids Chocolate and Peanutbutter bars
  • Carrot Sticks with Ranch Dressing 
  • Old Wisconsin Meat Sticks
  • Trail Mix Crunch (nuts and dried fruit)


Saturday, October 1, 2011

Gluten Free Graham Crackers

Well its camping season for my little cub scout and our tiny town does not sell gluten free Graham Crackers.  Crackers are one of those things I always wanted to try and make home made so I suppose I was motivated.  I was not motivated enough, however, to do this task from scratch without a recipe.  Especially not with only a week to go at the point I finally decided I wanted to bring them to camp.  So I did an internet search.  Smitten Kitten had a pretty popular recipe (not to mention picturelicious) on her blog.  Several of her readers even said that they had accomplished this task gluten free tho none said exactly how.  So I thought to myself, "lets convert that recipe to be gluten free shall we?"  It is simply amazing how much these crackers taste like the real thing.  Better in fact.

I am a visual learner so I tried to pass on a few helpful pictures to help you along as well.  Just in case you are a visual learner like me.

So my final word is, do not go camping without the graham crackers!!!  Make some crackers, its easy....I promise ;-)

3/4 cups Sorghum Flour
2/3's cup Brown Rice Flour
2/3's cup Tapioca Starch
1/2 cup Millet Flour
1/2 teaspoon Xanthan Gum
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
1 cup Dark Brown Sugar
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
3/4's teaspoon Salt
7 Tablespoons Cold Butter, cubed
1/4 cup Honey
1/4 cup Cold Milk or Water
1 teaspoon Vanilla
Cinnamon Sugar blend.

Preheat oven to 320 degrees
Line baking sheet with parchment paper sprayed with oil

  • In a large bowl, whisk together flours, xanthan gum, cinnamon, sugar, baking soda and salt. 
  • Add flour blend to food processor and add in cold butter cubes. 
  • Pulse until crumbles form the size of small peas. 
  • Add Honey, Milk and Vanilla. Run food processor until the mixture starts to come together. (not all of the batter will come together due to the amount in the processor but it will if you squeeze it together with your hand) 
  • Take out of food processor and place either into a greased bowl or onto a greased counter. 
  • Kneed slightly until the dough comes together, forms a ball, and is smooth. 
  • Divide dough in half place one half aside.
  • Press dough out on the parchment lined backing sheet. 
  • Take your greased marble rolling pin and roll out dough (inside baking sheet) until it is the shape of a rectangle.  About 1/8th inch.  Seriously if you have never used a greased marble rolling pin (the kind that fits inside the baking sheet) you simply MUST.  It really works wonderful.  It will make you so happy to not be frustrated with dough sticking to your roller.
  • Measure out and cut (I used a pizza cutter) the crackers into the size you wish.
  • Prick with a fork and place into the refrigerator for about 1/2 hour.  You want to chill this just enough to separate the crackers and to prevent too much spread.  (Note: My crackers [see top picture] had a rugged edge because I baked them not separated as pictured in the grouping above.  The line totally disappeared so I re-cut the crackers while they were still hot).
  • Bake for 25 minutes. 
  • Remove from oven and sprinkle with Cinnamon Sugar while crackers are still hot.
  • Allow to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before attempting to move.  

Other great Graham Cracker Recipes on the net:
Living Without Graham Cracker Recipe (tho their picture looks suspiciously like regular crackers, but hey who am I to judge?)

I will posting this recipe to:

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