Rick’s Cowboy Meatloaf

skillet logo tablecloth (1)It is week three of the Great Gluten-Free Campout! I hope you’ve enjoyed it so far! From me, you’ve seen an advanced and beginner’s version of campout peach pie, and an amazingly easy loaded baked potato salad with a secret ingredient that might just blow your mind. Today, you get to see my main dish.

I hope you’ve also been visiting my partners in crime in this series to view their yummy creations.

Today’s recipe lineup is exciting!

Breakfast: Campfire Biscuits and Gravy from Better Batter

Side: List of Unrefrigerated Snacks from Angela’s Kitchen

On the Fire (Main): Meatloaf from me!

Dessert: Stuffed Bananas from Gluten Freedom and Loving It

 

 Rick’s Cowboy Meatloaf

Cowboy Meatloaf 9 Accidental OkieMeatloaf in a Dutch oven is a good thing. Unlike the time you decided to fend off mosquitoes with sheer will power, you will not regret this camping choice.

Cowboy Meatloaf 1 Accidental OkieStart by cubing four pieces of gluten-free bread. Any gluten-free bread will do.

You can also use breadcrumbs, but I prefer bread.

 Cowboy Meatloaf 3 Accidental OkieNext, if you’re using bread, soak it in about half a cup of milk. After a few minutes, it’ll be goopy and slop-like. That’s a good thing. Skip this step if you’re using breadcrumbs.

Cowboy Meatloaf 2 Accidental OkieWhile the milk and bread are doing their thang, do your thang. Chop and dice all the wonderful veggies. Start by dicing the garlic.

Cowboy Meatloaf 4 Accidental OkieAnd chopping two big, juicy tomatoes with their seeds. Summer tomatoes and camping – it’s a match made in heaven. Can I get an amen?

Cowboy Meatloaf 5 Accidental OkieAnd rough choping some red onions. When I say “rough chop,” I mean don’t worry about the pieces being super uniform or super small. They’ll cook down in the meatloaf and will provide a nice crunch and subtle flavor. This is a rustic dish, so we can be rustic.

Cowboy Meatloaf 6 Accidental OkieSometimes I forget to buy cilantro for dishes, and I think, “Oh, it’s just cilantro. Not a big deal.”

Now is not that moment. Cilantro is the star of this dish. It is mucho importante. You simply must add cilantro. Lots of it.

You see, this meatloaf doesn’t have a topping. Most toppings create flavor by playing harsh mustard, tangy ketchup and sweet sugar together. This meatloaf achieves that balance of flavors by pairing lots of cilantro with brown sugar. It is amazing.

Cowboy Meatloaf 7 Accidental OkieOops – Rick and I both forgot to bring a mixing bowl. This is a the dishwashing tub (thoroughly cleaned before and after this use).

Mix the meat and veggies, a few eggs, sugar and and soaked bread with two cups of sharp grated cheddar. Add a generous amount of Worcestershire sauce.

Cowboy Meatloaf 8 Accidental OkieAnd mix.

Place it in a foil-lined Dutch oven.

Accidental Okie Camping 6Now it’ll cook in the Dutch oven with about 20 coals on top and eight on bottom, which will achieve an internal oven temperature of about 400 degrees. Replace some of the top coals halfway through cooking.

Cowboy Meatloaf 9 Accidental OkieAnd here is the result.

Sorry for the bright and blurry picture. It was so bright when I took this that I couldn’t really see anything.

We were really camping outside for this recipe. It is legit. And sometimes there are super bright pictures to prove it.

Cowboy Meatloaf 10 Accidental OkieServe hot with your favorite camping sides!

Rick's Cowboy Meatloaf
Print
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
1 hr 30 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
1 hr 30 min
Ingredients
  1. 1.5 c. breadcrumbs - OR - 4 slices g.f. bread soaked in about 1/2 c. milk
  2. 4 cloves garlic, diced
  3. 2 large fresh tomatoes, chopped
  4. 2 small or one large red onion
  5. 1/2 c. cilantro, chopped - measured after it's chopped
  6. 2 lbs lean ground beef
  7. 1/4 c. Worcestershire sauce
  8. 2 tsp. kosher salt
  9. 1 c. brown sugar
  10. 2 c. sharp cheddar, grated
  11. 3 eggs
Instructions
  1. Tear apart bread and soak in milk.
  2. Chop vegetables.
  3. Mix all the ingredients together and place in a foil-lined Dutch oven.
  4. Cook on 400 for 1.5 hours.
  5. In a Dutch oven, 400 degrees is achieved by placing 20 coals on lid of the oven and 8 on bottom. Replace about half the top coals after an hour.
The Accidental Okie http://theaccidentalokie.com/

Easy Loaded Baked Potato Salad

skillet logo tablecloth (1)Welcome to week two of the Great Gluten-Free Campout! Did you enjoy Week One? If you didn’t read Week One and now you’re sad or confused or feeling left out, have no fear. Read the Series Intro and then Week One, and then you’ll be in the club. You’ll soon receive your secret handshake and official sticker.

Well, maybe not. But you will have tools, tips and new recipes to conquer gluten-free camping without fear!

This is Week Two of The Great Gluten-Free Campout, and we’ve got four more amazing gluten-free campout recipes ready for you. Here’s the lineup:

Easy Loaded Baked Potato Salad

Loaded Baked Potato Salad 10 | Accidental Okie

This potato salad has four ingredients. It can have up to six if you want to get fancy and put oil and salt on your potato before you bake it. It is easy and inexpensive and delicious. It has a secret ingredient that will make you wonder why you never thought of it before.

This potato salad doesn’t contain mayonnaise. I’m always so paranoid about mayo in food during camping. Can you imagine getting food poisoning at a campground bathroom? Shudder!

You don’t only have to make this recipe while camping, either. Make it any time you want to look like a fancy kitchen genius who labored for hours, while actually working for about 10 minutes.

Step one in loaded baked potato salad is baking potatoes. My camp cooking buddy Rick and I baked three potatoes, each with a different method to show you all the options. (Read more about Rick in this post. Not only is he a famous painter, he is also the ultimate authority on camping cooking.)  

Accidental Okie Camping 5Poke holes in a few places around the raw potato with a fork.

Loaded Baked Potato Salad 5 | Accidental OkieEach of these potatoes weighed a little over one pound.

Potato 1: We wrapped a potato that had been sprayed with cooking oil and generously sprinkled in seasoned salt in two layers of heavy-duty aluminium foil. We put directly on hot charcoal for about 40 minutes.

Potato 2: We covered in oil and seasoned salt and placed the potato in a small dutch oven and cooked with 1/3 the amount of charcoal under the oven and 2/3 on the oven lid. It baked for about an hour.

Potato 3: We microwaved it on the microwave’s potato setting and then toasted in a toaster oven to get a crunchy skin. 

Loaded Baked Potato Salad 11 | Accidental OkieYou can do any of these methods. You can even bake the potatoes at home and keep them chilled in an ice chest on the camp site. An hour before you’re ready to assemble your potato salad, just warm them up on a skillet or wrap them in foil and crisp them up over charcoal or the grill.

Do whatever you want. It doesn’t matter.

After the baked potatoes have cooled enough to handle, cut them in bite-sized diced pieces. You can keep or discard the skins.

Loaded Baked Potato Salad 3 | Accidental OkieLoaded baked potato salad needs bacon, thick-cut bacon to be exact. Otherwise this salad would have no street cred.

If you’re vegetarian, you can skip this step. If you must.

Loaded Baked Potato Salad 6 | Accidental Okie

Chop up the bacon after it’s cooled. This is another step you can do beforehand, either at home or after making breakfast. Just remember to let it cool and then chill it.

Safety first, fellow campers!

Loaded Baked Potato Salad 4 | Accidental OkieHave I ever told you how essential kitchen shears are to my kitchen tool arsenal? I have three pairs. I use them all the time. They are particularly useful for cutting several green onions at a time, just like I did here.

Okay, are you ready for the secret ingredient?

First, some history.

I invented this recipe in a moment of crisis when I had no starches for dinner except for potatoes, no desire to heat up my house by turning on the oven to make fries, and no butter, milk or cheese to make baked or mashed potatoes. But then I saw the secret ingredient and a little light bulb appeared over my head, angels started singing and a spotlight straight from heaven shone down on me.

Loaded Baked Potato Salad 7 | Accidental OkieWhat is that, you ask?

I’ll tell you.

Are you ready? Are you sitting down?

It is French onion chip dip.

No really, it is.

Not the canned, gross kind in this chip aisle, but the kind you get near the sour cream in the refrigerated section of the grocery store. The first ingredient should be sour cream. I used Hiland Dairy brand because it’s my favorite.

Why French onion dip, you ask? It is the perfect accompaniment to potato salad. It is creamy and has a nice oniony taste, but is not too overpowering. It is already seasoned to perfection. While you may have to make a few small changes, you’re not going to be lugging the entire spice rack to the lake. 

Every brand of dip is going to slightly vary in saltiness and in the strength of the onion flavoring. You may find you prefer your potato salad cut with a little sour cream or you may find you need a little more salt. Adjust as needed.

Stir the dip, potatoes, most of the bacon and most of the green onions together. Taste, adjust. Add a bit of pepper if you want or more dip if the salad is too dry for your liking. Top with the remaining bacon and onions for garnish.

Serve the salad when it’s still warm. Enjoy!

Loaded Baked Potato Salad 9 | Accidental Okie

 

Baked Potato Salad
Serves 4
Easy, four ingredients and tasty. This warm baked potato salad will hit the spot for you and guests!
Print
Ingredients
  1. 3 - 4 pounds russet potatoes
  2. Oil or oil spray
  3. Seasoned salt
  4. 5 pieces thick-cut bacon
  5. 1/2 cup chopped green onions, green and white parts
  6. 12 oz. French onion dip
Instructions
  1. (Optional) - Oil and salt the potatoes.
  2. Bake the potatoes per your preferred baking method.
  3. Fry 5 pieces of bacon until crispy. After they've cooled, chop into large, bite-sized bits. After the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut them into bite-sized pieces. Cut the onions.
  4. Reserve a small amount of onions and bacon.
  5. Mix the potatoes, French onion dip, bacon and green onions until well mixed. Adjust flavorings as needed. Move to a serving bowl and top with reserved bacon and green onions.
  6. Serve warm.
The Accidental Okie http://theaccidentalokie.com/

Campside Peach Pie with Cinnamon Whipped Cream, Two Ways

skillet logo tablecloth (1)Are you so excited about the first week of the Great Gluten-Free Campout! I know I am.

I’m partnering with Better Batter and two other bloggers to present to you a four-week series on gluten-free campout cooking. We’ll be posting camping recipes every Tuesday for the next three weeks, so by the end, you will have 16 gluten-free recipes in your arsenal.

After reading these recipes, camping will be easy. Fun. No one will get sunburned. None of your children will fight or cry in the car. Fire ants and mosquitoes will magically lose their desire to bite.

Okay, those things might not happen, but you will have something to eat. And if you’ve been avoiding camping because you don’t think you’ll be able to eat anything among the sea of convenience foods, hot dogs and s’mores, get ready. Because everything is about to change.

We want you to participate in the Great Gluten-Free Camput too! Create your own recipe and link it in our comments sections. Let’s share as many recipes as we can during the next four weeks and get everyone ready to camp their gluten-free hearts out.

Here’s today’s lineup:

 – Campside Peach Pie with Cinnamon Whipped Cream, Two Ways –

Accidental Okie Peach Pie Two Ways

It’s summer and in summer when I think about desserts, I think about one thing and one thing only. Well, of course, I always think about chocolate. But what I really want and crave and need in the summer are peaches. Lots of them.

I come by my peach snobbery honestly, as you’ll read in this post.

For the Great Gluten-Free Campout, I made two peach pies – an advanced version and a simplified deconstructed peach pie. Both recipes are in this post and both are just as doable on the campsite or in the kitchen.

– Prep Work For Both Desserts –

An important part of successful campout cooking is prep work you do before you get to the  campsite.

My first order of prep work was to wash all my fruit. That’s much easier in the kitchen than the campsite. Wash and dry the peaches.

Tip: if the peaches have produce stickers, keep those on. Peaches tend to bleed out when their stickers are removed, so I keep them on until I’m getting ready to cut them up.

Accidental Okie Camping Peach Pie 1Next, I made a double batch of Better Batter’s pie crust recipe. (If you’re making the pie, make a double batch. If you’re making the deconstructed pie, make a single batch). It was simple and delicious. I did one major variation to the recipe, which was using a food processor instead of mixing by hand. It worked perfectly.

I made each batch separately.

Accidental Okie Camping Peach Pie 2Quickly blend the Better Batter flour, sugar, salt and baking powder.

Accidental Okie Camping Peach Pie 3Add cold butter and butter-flavored shortening. I let the shortening camp out in the freezer for thirty minutes before this step.

Whether you use a pastry cutter, a fork or a food processor, the key to a great pie crust is keeping the butter and shortening in pea-sized chunks. This isn’t cookie dough where you want soft butter to completely integrate into the other ingredients. Using the coldest butter and shortening possible is key.

Accidental Okie Camping Peach Pie 4It’s hard to resist the urge to overmix the butter, I know, but be stern with yourself and leave the pea-sized butter balls throughout. Your pie will thank you. And then you’ll thank you. And everyone else will thank you. And you’ll remember back to that fateful moment when you didn’t over-mix your butter and shortening.

Accidental Okie Camping Peach Pie 5Now slowly incorporate the cold, colorful mix of egg yolk, ice water, ice cubs and vinegar. Acid – be it vinegar or lemon juice – is essential to a successful gluten-free pie crust. It is the ultimate secret ingredient.

Mix until the dough comes together in a big ball. If you have a few stragglers not incorporated, that’s okay. Drop the dough onto the counter and slightly knead it so everything is incorporated. Gluten-free dough doesn’t exactly knead. You just push it around as well as you can and call it kneaded.

Accidental Okie Camping Peach Pie 6Now comes my least favorite parts: wrestling with plastic wrap and rolling out the pie crust. If you think that I’m happy and competent in every area of cooking, let me correct you. Rolling out pie crusts stresses me out and makes me feel like a failure. There, I said it.

After several unsuccessful attempts, I made a two-sheet thick top and bottom of cling wrap with the crust in the middle.

Tip from my sister, the true pastry cook in my family: after you place the cling wrap on the dough, get a big pan and press down on the center of the dough ball.  That will get it a little flatter and will make it easier to roll out.  

Accidental Okie Camping Peach Pie 7And pretty soon, it looked like this. I know, miracles do happen.

Now I repeated and got the second batch of dough ready.

Accidental Okie Camping Peach Pie 8Still in the cling wrap, I folded both crusts into four, packaged into two layers of grocery sacks and placed in an ice chest with an ice pack. I didn’t have any loose ice in this ice chest. If your ice chest does, be extra careful to seal the bags holding the pie crusts so they don’t become invaded by water.

Accidental Okie Camping Peach Pie 9Now it’s time to make cinnamon whipped cream. Start by getting your mixing bowls nice and cold. I choose an ice water bath because my freezer was full. It doesn’t matter how you accomplish this step, just get ‘er done.

Accidental Okie Camping Peach Pie 10This whipped cream will not be consumed for hours, so I took some extra steps to help it stay whipped. Instead of granulated sugar, I used powdered sugar. The cornstarch will help the whipped cream keep its structure.

Accidental Okie Camping Peach Pie 11As it whips, add a teaspoon or so of cinnamon so the whipped cream is not overpowered by cinnamon, but the cinnamon flavor is still prominent. Cinnamon whipped cream and peach pie go together like peas and carrots.

I overwhipped the cream just a bit to help it hold up a little longer. No matter what, the pre-whipped cream is only going to hold up for a day. If you’re planning on making this dish several days into camping, either whip your cream on the campsite by hand or with an electric mixer, or buy a can of whipped cream.

– Campside Peach Pie –

Accidental Okie Camping Peach Pie 12Now we’re at the campsite. It’s time to make some peach pie. The peaches and crust have been chilling all afternoon. They’re ready to go.

Accidental Okie Camping Peach Pie 13We used a deep 10-inch cake pan for this deliciously thick and juicy pie. The crust tore after being folded into fours, but we just pushed it down and smushed the seams together. And everything was right with the world again.

The thickness of this dessert might qualify it as a peach cobbler, not a pie. I’m not sure. All I know is that it’s full of peachy goodness.

Accidental Okie Camping Peach Pie 14Next, we cut the peaces into eighths, about six cups worth. Just go by the size of your pan for this step.

Accidental Okie Camping Peach Pie 15Add cornstarch. This will help the juices form up into a delightful, thick syrup.

Accidental Okie Camping Peach Pie 16I like to keep peaches the star of my peach pies. Just add cinnamon and sugar for flavoring. 

Accidental Okie Camping Peach Pie 17Now it’s time to lattice the top. The first pie crust I made was a touch too dry and crumbly. To help us work with it, we wet our hands. The lattice topping is made up of two-inch strips.

Accidental Okie Camping Peach Pie 18Now this is camping.

Accidental Okie Camping Peach Pie 19Into the dutch oven it goes.

I  learned so much from Rick, a friend who is a famous campfire cook. We placed the pie into a dutch oven that was placed inside Rick’s portable fire ring – a tool he swears by because it’s safer, portable and evenly distributes the heat. We prelit the charcoal and waited until it was gray. That means it’s to temperature. When cooking with a dutch oven at the campsite, the food actually cooks from the top in a one-to-three ratio. One third of the charcoal is on the bottom and the rest on the top. For this recipe, we put about seven pieces of charcoal under the dutch oven and 18 coals on top. This will give an internal temperature of about 400 degrees.

After 45 minutes, we took the dutch oven out of the pit, removing it from the lower coals. It continued to cook for 15 minutes from the top just by sitting on the ground.

Accidental Okie Camping Peach Pie 22The result – a perfectly cooked, perfectly browned, perfectly amazing campside peach pie…or cobbler.

Accidental Okie Camping Peach Pie 29Serve with a generous dollup of cinnamon whipped cream.

Accidental Okie Camping Peach Pie 30Abandon all hope of pulling it out into a perfect piece. It’s too thick and gooey, and you’re camping. No one cares. Besides, they will all be distracted by each delicious bite.

Campside Peach Pie
This delicious deep-dish peach pie is cooked camp side in a dutch oven. It is thick enough to be a cobbler, so you can call it what you want. No matter what, it is perfect.
Print
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
45 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 batches pie crust dough, bought or premade
  2. 6-10 peaches, depending on the size of the peaches and the size of your pan
  3. 1 tbsp corn starch
  4. 1-2 tsp cinnamon
  5. 1 c. granulated sugar
  6. 4 tbsp butter
  7. - Cinnamon Whipped Cream -
  8. 1 pint heavy whipping cream
  9. 2 tbsp powdered sugar
  10. 1 tsp cinnamon
Directions
  1. - Prep Work -
  2. Make pie crusts per your favorite recipe
  3. Make whipped cream by whipping cream, powdered sugar and cinnamon in a chilled bowl with an electric mixer until stuff.
  4. - Pie -
  5. Line a deep-dish 10-inch cake pan with one pie crust. Crimp the edges.
  6. Chop peaches into eighths. Mix with corn starch until the peaches are evenly coated.
  7. Add the sugar and cinnamon and mix again until mixed. Add the peaches to the crust so they come to the top, but not over the lip of the crust.
  8. Cut the second pie crust into strips. Use these strips to create a lattice pattern on the top of the pie. Spring the top with a little extra cinnamon and sugar and top with several pats of butter.
  9. Place in a dutch oven with about seven coals under it and replace the lid. Carefully top the lid of the dutch oven with about 20 more hot coals.
  10. Allow to cook for 30 minutes. Remove the dutch oven from the bottom coals and allow to cook from the top only for another 15 minutes. When it's finished, the crust should be brown and the peaches should be soft and bubbly.
  11. Allow to slightly cool. Serve with cinnamon whipped cream.
The Accidental Okie http://theaccidentalokie.com/

– Easy Campside Deconstructed Peach Pie –

Intimidated by the big pie? That’s okay. I’ve got you covered. Here’s an easy, crowd-pleasing recipe.

Accidental Okie Camping Peach Pie 20Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on your rolled-out pie crust and then cut it into strips about two inches wide and five inches long. A thicker pie crust is better.

Because I made the big pie, I just used leftover pieces from the other crust. So when you do this step, I’m sure it will be much prettier. 

Accidental Okie Camping Peach Pie 21On a griddle, pan fry the stripes with a little oil and butter on a medium-low temperature until both sides are browned and the dough is cooked. (The dough will stay a little chewey, and that’s okay). Those dark bits aren’t burned. They’re just specks of butter-coated cinnamon gloriously glistening in the sun.

Set those aside and save for later. These make tasty snacks, so make sure to store these in a safe place until you’re ready to serve dessert. Otherwise they might just walk off.

And let’s talk about how easy you can make this.

You can make these strips before you go camping. You can buy and then slice up a pre-made frozen gluten-free crust. You can make a deconstructed peach crisp by skipping the pie crust and instead browning a crumbly crisp topping out of butter, gluten-free oatmeal, flour and brown sugar. You can use a prepackaged gluten-free cinnamon crisp cookie. You can use a gluten-free shortbread cookie. You can make these as easy as you want.

Accidental Okie Camping Peach Pie 23On a large piece of heavy duty aluminum foil, cut a peach into eighths with a handful of brown sugar and knob of butter.

Accidental Okie Camping Peach Pie 24Wrap the peach into a double layer of heavy duty aluminium foil. Wrap it so that the folds come to a point and the whole package looks sort of like a clove of garlic. This will keep the juices from running out seams on the bottom and burning your hands.

Put directly onto slightly-cooled coals for about 20 minutes. I put these peaches on after our dinner came out of the fire pit. While still incredibly hot, the coals were on their last legs and were perfect for slowly cooking the peaches. If they were super hot coals, I would have checked on them 10 minutes after going on the coals and I would half the amount of charcoal.  

Accidental Okie Camping Peach Pie 25After 20 minutes, check and see if they’ve cooked enough for your liking. They should be soft and the juices should be dark brown and slightly thick. Because do you know what you made in that little pouch? You made caramel.

You made caramel while camping and all you got dirty was a knife. You deserve a pedicure for that. 

Accidental Okie Camping Peach Pie 26After the pouches have cooled, pour each pouch into an individual serving dish. My peaches created so much wonderful liquid that I had to pour a little out.

Accidental Okie Camping Peach Pie 27Now it’s time to assemble.

Take out your whipped cream. (I kept my whipped cream in an ice chest covered with ice packs on all sides to keep it cold and whipped. Make sure to do that. Also, remember that the pre-whipped cream is only going to hold up for a day). 

Add a dollop of whipped cream and a piece of pie crust for a delicious dish and stunning presentation.

Accidental Okie Camping Peach Pie 28Isn’t that just stunning! This is my favorite kind of camping food – easy, beautiful, tasty and easy to clean up.

Easy Campside Deconstructed Peach Pie
This recipe will wow the crowd, but is quick, easy and tasty.
Print
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
30 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. - Pie Crust Cookies -
  2. 1 batch of your favorite pie crust recipe, raw
  3. 1 tbsp butter
  4. 1 tbsp canola or vegetable oil
  5. cinnamon
  6. sugar
  7. - Whipped Cream -
  8. 1 pint heavy wipping cream
  9. 2 tbsp powdered sugar
  10. 1 tsp cinnamon
  11. - Peaches -
  12. 1 peach per serving
  13. 1 tbsp butter per serving
  14. 2 tbsp packed brown sugar per serving
  15. Heavy duty aluminium foil
Directions
  1. - Prep Work -
  2. Make pie crusts per your favorite recipe, roll out to 1/4 inch thick.
  3. Make whipped cream by whipping cream, powdered sugar and cinnamon in a chilled bowl with an electric mixer until stuff.
  4. - Pie Crust Cookies -
  5. Cut pie crust into strips approximately 5 inches by 2 inches.
  6. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar so the cookies have a nice dusting of each
  7. On a heated dutch oven skillet or the flat side of a griddle, melt the butter and oil. Pan fry the cookies on each side until crispy on the outside and a little chewy on the inside. Add more butter and oil to the pan as needed. Set aside.
  8. - Peaches -
  9. For each serving of dessert, cut a peach into eighths over a double layer of aluminum foil. Add the butter and sugar. Wrap both layers of foil with the edges coming to the top so the package looks like a clove of garlic. Repeat for every serving.
  10. Place directly on charcoal. This works best with charcoal that is not at its peak heat, but has slightly cooled. Allow to cook until soft and tender. The cooking time will vary based on the heat of the coals and the number of foil packets placed on the fire. Check after 20 minutes.
  11. When finished, the peaches should be soft and the liquid dark brown.
  12. In a bowl, carefully pour the contents of the slightly cooled peach packets. Add a dollop of whipped cream and a pie cookie.
  13. Serve.
The Accidental Okie http://theaccidentalokie.com/
Join us in the Great Gluten-Free Campout by posting your own gluten-free camping recipes and linking them on our comments page!

 

Get Your Camp On

I’m so excited about the coming month! I am partnering with Better Batter, one of my favorite brands of gluten-free flour, and several other bloggers for the first-ever Great Gluten-Free Campout.

skillet logo tablecloth (1)

Camping is one of those final frontiers of a gluten-free life. Once diagnosed, we celiacs first shy away from restaurants and flour-centric dishes like cookies and bread. Slowly, we find some restaurants with gluten-free options and a short list of go-to recipes, and life gets a little more normal.

But camping? You’re asking a gluten-free person to be away from their normal products, away from their safe kitchens and often times at the mercy of whoever is cooking for the campout. Frankly, it’s easier to stay home. So that’s what we do.

Not any more!

For the next four weeks, the four of us bloggers will each be creating gluten-free campout meals in four categories: breakfast, snacks or sides, in the fire (main dishes) and dessert. By the end, you’ll have an arsenal of 16 go-to recipes for all your camping needs!

I was an over-achiever and made two extra recipes, so really, you’ll have 18. 

Accidental Okie Camping 5I went out to the lake with my friend and camping cook aficionado Rick Fry. Not only is Rick a famous painter whose works are in the Oklahoma capitol, but he is also an accomplished dutch oven cook. 

Accidental Okie Camping lakeThere’s a lake just 30 minutes from my house. That’s where we set up camp and did some authentic campout cooking.

Here is a preview of what you’ll see from my blog throughout the series.

Accidental Okie Camping 6Tips about dutch-oven cooking, complements of Rick.

Accidental Okie Camping 2Gluten-free lemon blueberry almond pancakes. They were SO. GOOD.

Accidental Okie Camping 4Four-ingredient loaded baked potato salad. Yes, you read that right.

Accidental Okie Camping 1Stuffed jalapeños need no introduction in my neck of the woods. 

Accidental Okie Camping 9Cowboy meatloaf. There’s a secret ingredient.

Okay, I’ll tell you. It’s cilantro. And cheese.

Accidental Okie Camping 8Mojito punch. 

What can I say about mojito punch? It’s sparkly. It’s limey. It’s minty. It’s sweet, but not too sweet. It completes me.

Accidental Okie Camping Peach Pie 22Campside peach pie 1. Advanced version.

Accidental Okie Camping Peach Pie 27Campside peach pie 2: beginners version.

Can you guess which one Rick did and which one I did? Yeah, you guessed right.

Accidental Okie Camping 3Follow this series for the next month, and this napkin might just become your life motto.

Camping in Oklahoma

One summer when I was in middle school and my family was incredibly poor, my dad saved all his loose change in a water jug for an entire year.  By the time summer came, he had $200, and that was our vacation fund.  We lived in San Diego at the time.  With that meager amount of money, we embarked on what would become our favorite family vacation ever – camping up the California coast.

We camped at Pismo Beach at a campground right on the beach.  You could hear the surf breaking in your sleep.  We drove up Highway 1 and camped in King’s Forrest with the giant sequoia trees as our canopy.  My dad accidentally locked the keys in our 1970’s Volvo.  That part wasn’t as fun at the time, but it’s a good story now.

Ever since that time when a camping trip allowed my family to have the perfect vacation when no other vacation was possible, camping has had a special place in my heart.

I recently accompanied The Professor on a camping trip.  This wasn’t just any camping trip.  Oh no, it was for a star party.

The Professor – a high school science teacher – was asked to be a sponsor for an astronomy trip.  The star party is an annual gathering of amateur astronomers from around the world who meet at a campground in the light-pollution-free landscape of the Oklahoma panhandle with their giant telescopes.

The Professor has gone on the trip every year since we started dating.  That first year, he brought me back a necklace sold by one of the vendors.  That was nice of him.  But then he asked me to be super honest with him and tell him if I liked it.  I knew there was a chance that he could be buying me jewelry for the rest of our lives, so I decided I should be honest.  I showed him the parts I liked about it and the parts I didn’t, which ended up hurting his feelings.  Oops.

One of the reasons I’ve never gone on the trip before was because of my gluten intolerance.  What do you eat at rustic camp where no camp fires are allowed (because fire = light pollution), and the meals are cooked by a group of local church ladies and served cafeteria style?  After five years, we finally decided to tackle it.

In the next week, I’ll write a complete post on gluten-free camping strategies.  It took a lot of strategizing, enough for its own dedicated post.

Meanwhile – back to camping, star party style.

I’ve never seen one of these on a camping trip before.  That’s a smaller one of the telescopes.  Some of them were 10 feet tall.  It was quite impressive.

The main events happened during the night when the stars and telescopes came out.  I got to see the moons around Jupiter and a galaxy far far away and a bunch of shooting stars.

Call me old fashioned, but I’m preferential to the Oklahoma sunsets.  Isn’t that amazing?

cactusBecause we had about 20 loud and energetic high schoolers with us, we stayed away from camp during the day so the astronomers could sleep.  Lucky for us, we were close to some great hiking trails and – get excited – the tallest point in Oklahoma.  Are you excited?

Oklahoma has a lot of beauty.  It’s not always in-your-face New Zealand or Northern California beauty – it’s a subtle beauty.  Like this cactus with bright red barbs.

And this flower.  The top was cottony, but brown from the long Oklahoma drought.

And these vibrant yellow flowers against a blue and purple sunset.

grasshopperAnd this giant grasshopper.

Black MesaBlack Mesa is the highest point in Oklahoma.  The hike to the top of the mesa isn’t that long.  I was expecting it to be higher and more impressive.  The Professor explained that the base elevation of this part of the state is especially high, so the mesa on the already high point makes it the highest part of the state.

Black Mesa is just a few miles from New Mexico and Colorado.

Irony: from the top of the highest point in Oklahoma, you can see one of the smallest mountains in Colorado…or something like that.

mesaThe views were beautiful, even if it was so hot that I got a bad heat rash all over my legs – which was crazy since it was in the 20’s at night when we were out looking at the stars.

I have since concluded that my body was designed to exist at a constant state of 72 degrees.

monument
After a long, hot hike, we reached our prize.  We made it to the highest point in Oklahoma, as measured by the Oklahoma Highway Department in 1954.

Being up there reminded me of the movie The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill and Climbed Down a Mountain.  That was a good movie.  Classic mid-90’s, floppy haired Hugh Grant.

Also, I always wondered what the top of a mesa looked like.  I think my ideas came from Roadrunner cartoons where the top was a barren rock.  I was surprised to see that the top of the mesa looked like everything else around, covered in scrub brush and grasshoppers and cacti.  My mind was blown.

After two cold nights and two hot days, we made the eight hour trek home.

Driving through Oklahoma is an adventure.  It’s boring in some places and trafficky in others.  You drive through little towns and posh suburbs and past Mattress Giants and Chili’s.  And then you get to the Indian Trading Post – a Native American run souvenir shop.

gas station

Because you haven’t lived until you’ve used the bathroom in a gas station shaped like a tipi.

artOr eaten a burger next to a bedazzled buffalo.

candy

Or seen this unusual feather lollipop display.

Finally we were home.  I was back to basking in my life as a 72-degree dweller.  I didn’t have to worry about finding gluten-free food and I slept on a real mattress.

But this is what I’ll miss.

Do you have a favorite camping trip or camping misadventure?  Do tell!