Gluten Free S'MORES

Camping season is in full swing and we couldn't let this summer pass without a trip to the great outdoors.  In my mind camping is synonymous with s'mores, something I've bypassed the last few years.  I planned to make my own graham style crackers for our Friday night camping trip, but somewhere between Monday and Friday I ran out of time.  Friday morning I found myself dashing to the health food store to find gluten free graham crackers.  I found two brands, Kinnikinnick smorable graham style crackers and Josef.  I went with the Kinnikinnick.  Not only were they almost a dollar less for the same amount ($4.29 for an 8 oz box), but I've tried several of their products and I've been happy with them.

The crackers are a little smaller and a bit thicker than regular graham crackers.  I didn't try one by itself, but with roasted marshmallows and a couple of squares of chocolate they were probably the best s'mores I've ever had!  I still plan to make my own graham style crackers one of these days, but until I do it's nice to have a tasty alternative.  Happy camping!

Yummy S'mores!  Try one today!

Gluten Free Orange Cranberry Muffins

I've been in the mood for orange cranberry muffins and when I remembered that I had cranberries in the freezer I decided it was time to feed my craving. I adapted a recipe from Annalise Roberts Gluten-Free Baking Classics cookbook and they are probably the best muffins I've ever made (although my gluten free Loaded Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins are pretty close!) These are a new family favorite!

Gluten Free Orange Cranberry Muffins - makes 12 muffins

1/4 cup butter, room temperature
1/4 cup nonfat plain yogurt
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups Gluten Free Flour Blend
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoons xanthum gum
1/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon lemon extract
3/4 - 1 cup coarsely chopped fresh or frozen cranberries
Grated rind from 1 large orange
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (juice the orange after you grate the rind)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a muffin tin with 12 muffin papers. Cream butter, yogurt, and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Mix in the rest of the ingredients except for the cranberries until just blended. Fold in the cranberries. Pour batter into prepared muffin tin filling about 3/4 of the way full. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Cool completely before wrapping and storing in the refrigerator. They also freeze well if you don't plan on eating them within a few days.

TIP: When fresh cranberries come on sale during the holidays pick up an extra bag to freeze for later use. They freeze really well and you can freeze them right in the bag they come in.

Gluten Free Peach Strudel - Daring Bakers May Challenge

Making a gluten free strudel seemed like a pretty daunting challenge and I almost gave up before I started. I'm so glad I stuck with it as this ended up being the easiest challenge I've faced as a daring baker. With a little guidance from the Culinary Institute of America I was able to adapt a recipe and ended up with something easy to mix up using ingredients I always have on hand. What more could I ask for!

The May Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Linda of make life sweeter! and Courtney of Coco Cooks. They chose Apple Strudel from the recipe book Kaffeehaus: Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Cafes of Vienna, Budapest and Prague by Rick Rodgers.

Gluten Free Strudel Dough

3 Tablespoons gluten free flour blend
1 egg white (about 2 Tablespoons)
2 teaspoons water
1 teaspoon canola oil
1/4 teaspoon xanthum gum
pinch salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix all ingredients with a rubber spatula to form a thick dough. spread dough as thin as possible onto parchment paper making a 6"x12" rectangle. Bake for 3-4 minutes or until the sheet of strudel lifts easily off of parchment paper. Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees. Place your preferred strudel filling (I made a peaches and cinnamon) about an inch from the edge of the dough and roll up. Brush with egg wash or melted butter and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 15 minutes at 400 degrees. Cool before serving.

You can brush melted butter around the edges to help seal your dough, but I forgot and it turned out fine.
I sprinkled it with sugar before placing it in the oven. Next time I might do a cinnamon sugar mixture to sprinkle on top.

What did you have for breakfast?

Last week at both Target and Meijer Grocery Stores I found boxes of the reformulated gluten free Chex replacing the Honey Nut, Chocolate, Corn, and Cinnamon Chex boxes (no sign of Strawberry yet).  It's so nice to walk into a regular grocery store and be able to find a box of gluten free cereal for around $3.  I've been enjoying gluten free Honey Nut Chex for the last 5 mornings (and an occasional lunch), and they are delicious.  Did I mention they are gluten free?

Beef and Broccoli - Gluten Free

One thing I've learned since going gluten free is that if I want Chinese food I need to make it myself (P.F. Changs does have a fabulous gluten free menu and their Chang's spicy chicken is my absolute favorite, but I can't afford to eat there every time I want Chinese food!).  I found the following recipe in the cookbook "Essential Mormon Celebrations" by Julie Badger Jensen and have adapted it to be gluten free.  It's very easy (under 30 minutes) and very delicious!

Gluten Free Beef and Broccoli

1 pound beef steak (we buy steak in bulk from Costco and freeze them.)
1/4 cup gluten free soy sauce (Walmart's Great Value brand is gluten free and very inexpensive)
3 Tablespoons brown sugar
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/4 cup cold water
16 ounces frozen broccoli florets
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves minced garlic
2 teaspoons sesame oil (this is the secret to make it taste like it came from a fabulous restaurant)

Combine soy sauce, sugar, corn starch, and water in a small bowl and set aside.   Cut steak against the grain into thin strips about 1/4 inch thick.  I find it's easiest to cut the steak when it's frozen (thaw it for 30 minutes so that it's not rock solid).  Heat a large skillet to medium high.  Put the olive oil and steak in the skillet and cook both sides until brown, about 4-5 minutes.  Steam broccoli in the microwave or in a steamer while steak is cooking.  When the steak is brown, add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.  Pour the soy sauce mixture over the meat and cook until it begins to thicken.  Stir in the sesame oil.  Remove from heat, stir in the steamed broccoli and serve over rice. 

 I hope you enjoy this as much as our family does!

Gluten Free Chocolate Banana Peanut Butter Smoothie

After a good bike ride, I usually need something to get some energy back in my body. Meredith came up with this great tasting and very energy packed smoothy, I just had to share.

1 frozen banana
1 cup milk
1 scoop chocolate protein mix
1 tablespoon (or generous dollop) peanut butter.

Blend, enjoy.

It is simple, but helps me get my energy back after a good 25 mile bike ride and ready for the rest of the day.

Gluten Free Chex - Coming to a store near you!

I'm so excited for this! Chex has reformulated 5 of their Chex cereals to be gluten free along with the currently available Rice Chex.  Corn Chex, Honey Nut Chex, Chocolate Chex, Cinnamon Chex, and Strawberry Chex will start appearing on your store shelves in the next month.  Be sure to pick up the box marked "gluten free" as the gluten containing boxes may be mixed in with them until they sell out.