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« THE GIFTS OF “NO” | Main | A MOTHER'S STORY (2): So This is Autism. »

Kyra's Perfect Gluten-Free Picnic

By Guest Blogger, Kyra Bussanich of Crave Bake Shop

My husband and I are both avid hikers, and because we are obsessed
with good food, a hike is an opportunity for a picnic. Food always
tastes better when you've physically exerted yourself, but it's not
necessary to travel far in order to enjoy a good picnic. A lot of
public parks have free summer concerts where you can bring food and a
cozy blanket and enjoy the live music.

I absolutely adore picnics! I prefer to spread a blanket out on the
grass and take off my shoes and squinch up my toes in the cool grass,
but in Portland it tends to rain--a lot--so sometimes we light candles
and have a picnic in our living room. Because I always get so excited
about the prospect of picnic dinner, I often end up overpacking and we
end up with enough food for 6 people in addition to us! It's a great
way to make friends (human or furry!) at parks.

Absolutely critical in our picnic dinner baskets:

  • Manchego or Beechers Flagship cheese
  • Quince paste (and a butter knife or cheese spreader)
  • Pears
  • Seedless grapes
  • Cold turkey breast or fried chicken (we make our own chicken using a
  • Combination of rice flour and erewhon corn flakes as a breading)
  • Kalamata olives
  • Baby carrots and boursin or rondele cheese
  • Pinot gris
  • Cheese board and slicer
  • Wine bottle opener and glasses


A Few Dairy-Free Replacements

Sometimes we'll add the Glutino Multigrain Crackers to our basket, but
there's always dessert.


Picnic Desserts (of Course)

Dairy free truffle brownies (see my recipe) travel really well; just wrap them
individually in waxed paper and store in a small container with firm
sides, or pack them on top of the picnic basket so as you're
unpacking, you can get excited about the dessert to follow the meal.

Other picnic treats that travel well: lemon bars or blackberry crumb
bars, or rice crispy bars (or my favorite: peanut butter fudge rice
crispy bars--the recipe will be in my upcoming cookbook). I also adore
chocolate-dipped strawberries, which are super easy and don't require
you to turn on the oven, which is a bonus if it is super hot out.


How to Make Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

Melt good-quality chocolate in a microwave-safe container at 15 second intervals, stirring in between each interval, until the chocolate is smooth. Then just dip your washed and dried strawberries into the chocolate and place on waxed paper or parchment paper and let the chocolate set.

A picnic basket isn't necessary: a small cooler, open top basket or
even a backpack will do!


About Kyra

Kyra BussanichKyra Bussanich is the owner of Crave Bake Shop, and the first gluten-free winner of the Food Network's Famed, "Cupcakes Wars".  Kyra graduated with honors from the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu patisserie program, which gave her a solid foundation of knowledge about classical French baking techniques which she was able to apply toward baking gluten-free.  Kyra was diagnosed with an auto-immune disorder when she was 20 years old. Part of staying healthy meant switching to a gluten-free diet, avoiding all wheat and overly processed foods. Whenever possible, she uses local ingredients, and serves customers with multiple allergies, as well.

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