You might have had a mild inkling that I am not an outdoorsy girl. Particularly if you have seen my instagram feed. Or my shoe collection.
When I was invited to this camping trip, a good friend asked if I even was going to have to buy new shoes so that I had appropriate footwear. (Clearly I own appropriate shoes – this first picture is proof…)
I was very much undecided about a weekend filled with nature. I hadn’t been camping since Girl Scout Camp when I was 10. My idea of visiting nature is a mile or two hike through the forest preserve. Not spending 3 days away from civilization.
Somehow, I let them talk me into going. I am still unsure how that happened.
It started with crazy Chicago traffic, a third person I didn’t know, a broken down car and an emergency car rental. That first car ride is what made our trip. My friend Helen and I bonded with an acquaintance who needed a ride to the camping trip. (This was greatly aided by the Sour Patch watermelon candies that I grabbed on impulse at the grocery store…)
There was a lot of laughter. A little bit of singing. A lot of games. I spent time with acquaintances that I rarely get to see in real life. I bonded with some of the girls over our lack of outdoorsy-ness. We all got a little silly. We even got to watch lanterns released in lieu of holiday weekend fireworks.
So, if I ignore the fact that there were bugs and dirt, it was a pretty ok time. And the food was pretty spectacular.
It had to be the best – people expect things when you blog about food. Plain old burgers and dogs wouldn’t cut it if I was going to live up to my reputation. But I also had to be careful. There were 30 people on this trip, and I had to make sure that I didn’t end up coming in contact with food that would trigger an allergic reaction and necessitate an emergency room trip.
My solution to a crowded grill filled with gluten was a foil packet dinner. Packing up veggies and meat with something to add flavor makes for jealous camping buddies when your food is better than their burgers. This type of cooking is also great for cookouts where there is a shared grill, or for nights when you want to put together a fast and easy dinner using the grill so you don’t heat up your kitchen.
Honey Mustard Chicken & Sweet Pepper foil packet dinner
Recipe Type: Entree
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 25 mins
Total time: 30 mins
An easy to prepare dinner for camping, cookouts and family dinners on the grill.
- 1 lb chicken tenders (about 12 tenders)
- 8-12 small sweet peppers, seeded and sliced
- 1/2 cup honey mustard
- Salt & Pepper
- Start your grill or fire and let it get hot – it should be hot enough to cook a burger.
- Set out 4, 12″ long pieces of foil.
- Divide the chicken and peppers evenly and center them on the pieces of foil.
- Sprinkle with salt & pepper.
- Pour 2 tablespoons of the mustard on top of each group of ingredients.
- Bring the short ends together and roll them down together, then roll up the open sides to create a packet.
- Place on the grill or over the fire, but off to the side so it isn’t directly over the flame, and cook for 20-25 minutes. You want the chicken to get golden brown on the bottom and the honey in the honey mustard to start to caramelize.
I love summer, and all it entails. Festivals. Evening concerts with friends. Barbecues every weekend.
I really love a good barbecue. The friends, the food, maybe a cold gluten-free beer or a margarita.
But the part I love the most? That they are special even when they are last minute. They can be fancy affairs with sandals and dresses. They can be celebrations for just making it through the week. Or they can be celebrations of great love.
Just last week I invited the whole dang family over to celebrate my parents and godparents 35th wedding anniversary. And we had a barbecue. Complete with potato salad, jicama salad and a grape salad. There was meat on the grill and several types of sangria. The whole thing was gluten-free. And it was a dang good cookout. People were just there, celebrating and relaxing. Being family and enjoying some good food.
I want everyone to be able to have a cookout like that, for any occasion.
So, I gathered some blogger friends and planned a virtual barbecue.
There are main dishes, desserts and even some sangria. I brought some gluten-free vanilla on chocolate cupcakes. My friends brought the rest, and we wanted to invite you to the party.
Thanks for dropping in!
Pam from I’m A Celiac made Slow Cooker Pork BBQ
Taylor from Gluten-Away made Gluten-Free BBQ Burgers
Cindy from Vegetarian Mamma made Eggy Potato Salad
Cara from Cara’s Cravings made Fudgesicles (recipe review from the Great Vegan Bean Book)
Betsy from Gluten Free Betsy made Old School Potato Salad
Melissa from Stockpiling Moms made GF Strawberry Pretzel Salad
Alissa from Breaking Up with Captain Crunch made GF Pasta Salad and DIY Sorta Sangria
Iris from The Daily Dietribe made Coleslaw
Alison from A Girl Defloured made Strawberry Basil Paletas
Mel from GeekilyGF made Peanut Butter Ice Cream Sandwiches
Erica from Celiac and the Beast dishes barbecue survival advice with Don’t Burn Bridges Or The Burger: Gluten Free BBQ
Gluten-Free Vanilla on Chocolate Cupcakes
Recipe Type: Dessert
Prep time: 45 mins
Cook time: 25 mins
Total time: 1 hour 10 mins
The cake recipe is adapted from The Cake Bible – a book every baker should own.
- For the cupcakes
- 85 grams (3/4 cup + 3 tablespoons) unsweetened cocoa
- 1 1/2 cups (354 mL) boiling water
- 3 large eggs
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 300 grams (2 cups + 1T) gluten-free all purpose flour*
- 1/2 teaspoon xantham gum**
- 434 grams (2 cups firmly packed) light brown sugar
- 11 grams (2 1/4 teaspoons) baking powder
- 4 grams (3/4 teaspoon) baking soda
- 5 grams (1/4 teaspoon) salt
- 237 grams (2 sticks) butter, softened
- For the Frosting
- 2 sticks (225 grams) butter, softened
- 675-900 grams (6-8 cups) confectioner’s sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
- 1/2 cup (118 mls) milk
- pinch of salt
- food coloring
- Whisk together the boiling water and cocoa until smooth. Cool to room temperature.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, the vanilla and 1/4 of the cocoa mixture.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine all the dry ingredients and mix for 30 seconds – just long enough to create a uniform mixture.
- Add the butter and remaining cocoa mixture to the dry ingredients. Mix on low until the dry goods are moistened. Increase the speed to medium and beat for 1 1/2 minutes. Scrape down the sides.
- Add the egg mixture in 3 parts, mixing for 30 seconds on medium after each addition and scraping down the sides.
- Fill the cupcake tins 2/3 full and bake for 15-20 minutes. Cakes are done when they bounce back after being tapped gently with a finger or a tester comes out clean.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer combine the butter, 450 grams (4 cups) of the sugar, the milk and the vanilla.
- Beat on medium for 3-5 minutes.
- Gradually add the remaining sugar 1 cup (115 grams) at a time, beating for 2 minutes after each addition.
- When the frosting is firm enough to pipe, stop adding sugar and add the salt and color. If the frosting is not pipable with all the sugar, put it in the fridge for 10 minutes – it means your butter was a little too soft.
- Pipe a generous amount of frosting on each cupcake when they are completely cool.
*This recipe was tested using Cup4Cup Gluten-Free all purpose flour, but will work with your preferred blend as long as you measure by weight. **Omit if using a blend that already includes xantham gum.