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Gluten-Free Warm Autumn Salad | FrannyCakes

Gluten-Free Warm Autumn Salad

I really don’t know how pumpkin became the official squash of Fall. Is it because it is the orangest? Because it was voted most likely to have a kooky face carved into its side? Is it because that’s what Cinderella’s castle was made from? There was hold over from a little bibbity-bobbity-boo?

Pumpkin isn’t the only squash in town, even if it does have some lingering magic power. (Like the power to make the entire world go bananas for a latte that can be ordered with just three letters).

Kuri Squash with Quinoa, Fennel & Fig
(I even stuffed one of those “other” squash back in the day before I wrote FrannyCakes…)

There are kuri squash and spaghetti squash. Butternut and buttercup squash. Delicata and fairytale pumpkin. And so very many more.

Warm Autumn Salad with Acorn Squash, Beets, Fennel and Pomegranate | Gluten-free, Dairy-Free, Vegan | via FrannyCakes.com

Today, I bring you the humble acorn squash. A green-skinned squash with a yellow-orange flesh, Acorn squash is indigenous to North America and keeps well for several months (so grab some at your local pumpkin farm while the getting is good). It belongs to the same species as zucchini, which makes it more related to summer squashes, even if it is considered a winter squash itself.

This recipe highlights the delicate sweet flavors of the squash, the earthy flavor of the beets and the spice of the fennel. The flavors pop with the addition of pomegranate arils and some fresh herbs.

Warm Autumn Salad with Acorn Squash, Beets, Fennel and Pomegranate | Gluten-free, Dairy-Free, Vegan | via FrannyCakes.com

Gluten-Free Warm Autumn Salad
Recipe Type: Salad
Author: Mary Fran Wiley
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 40 mins
Total time: 55 mins
Serves: 4
This recipe, adapted from Jamie Magazine, is gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan. It is packed full of seasonal flavors and is a perfect sort of comfort food – hearty and healthy.
  • salad
  • 1 acorn squash
  • 4 beets
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 fennel bulbs
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds (1 tsp if all you have is ground)
  • 1 small bunch of mint, leaves picked
  • 1/2 bunch of flat leaf parsley, leaves picked
  • 1 pomegranate
  • 5oz (1 1/4 cups) feta cheese (optional)
  • dressing
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Cut the acorn squash in half and save the seeds to roast later (like pumpkin seeds). Cut each half into quarters, use a sharp knife to peel the pieces away from their skin and arrange in a roasting tray or sheet pan lined with parchment.
  3. Peel beets with a vegetable peeler and halve (small ones) or quarter (large ones) them. You want your pieces of beet to all be about the same size. Place them in the roasting tray. Cut the onion into sixths and tuck between the other vegetables. Remove the fronds from the fennel (if they came with it) and cut each bulb into sixths. Spread around the roasting tray. Drizzle the vegetables with a little olive oil.
  4. Use a mortar and pestle to crush the coriander with a good pinch (1/4-1/2 teaspoon) sea salt and black pepper. Sprinkle over the vegetables and toss to coat.
  5. Roast for about 40 minutes, tossing the vegetables about halfway through. The onions and fennel should be soft and golden and just starting to caramelize. The beets should be easily pierced with a fork. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.
  6. Meanwhile, make the dressing. Combine all the ingredients in a jar with an airtight lid and shake until well mixed.
  7. Toss dressing, roasted vegetables, mint, parsley, pomegranate and feta (if using) to serve.


gluten free churros and pumpkin pie dip

gluten-free churros and pumpkin pie dip

gluten free churros and pumpkin pie dip

I have spent all weekend trying to write this post, and I am not sure why the words are not finding their way to the page.

I keep writing. And deleting.

And writing.

And deleting.

So, I think it is best just to move on to the food. Because I really can’t think of something witty to go with these delicious treats. Other than I have now learned my lesson: frying food before work is not a good idea when you have a 9am client meeting. Because you will spend the whole meeting wishing that you were outside the conference room eating. You will have your fingers and toes crossed and then you will eat 4 of them after the meeting. And still want more. Because they are all you have thought about since 5am. So just don’t do it.

I first made these bad boys last Sunday, when I was busy on a Mexican-themed cooking blitz. (I came up with the chilaquiles and a vegetarian taco bake that you will be able to find on Stockpiling Moms next week). I was bringing the taco bake to a dinner that some of my coworkers have with their friends on a regular basis, and I had to make sure that my food was worthy.

You know that is a major concern. I wanted to be invited back.

You are going to a potluck with people you don’t know. You have to bring food. And, if you are me, you want that food to be something stand out that people are going to remember.

And then, you have to make a dessert. Because, first, you are FrannyCakes. Second, you always want dessert and the likelihood that someone is bringing a gluten-free dessert to a potluck is highly unlikely.

So, I tweeted, and got a response.


How do you argue with that? Particularly since it was someone else who was going to be there.

Well, they were a hit – the people who didn’t know that I am gluten-free were genuinely surprised by that fact.

I made them a second time this week, to test some additional changes to the recipe, and it was the first time an office treat was gone before lunch.

Gluten-Free Churros with cardamom & ginger and pumpkin pie dip

Recipe Type: Dessert
Cuisine: Mexican
Author: Mary Fran Wiley
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 20 mins
Total time: 40 mins
Serves: 24
I started with a [url a href=”http://www.blackbird-bakery.com/baking/gluten-free-churros-with-coconut-chocolate-dipping-sauce/”]gluten-free churro recipe[/url] from my friend [url=”http://www.blackbird-bakery.com/”]Karen Morgan of Blackbird Bakery[/url]. I have adapted her recipe to work with an all-purpose blend and to work with weight measurements. I use vanilla bean paste because I feel it has a stronger vanilla flavor and additional spices in the sugar give these a bright flavor that goes very well with the pumpkin pie dip.
  • For the Dough
  • 70 grams (5 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 7 tablespoons milk
  • 5 grams (1 teaspoon) sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 egg white
  • 11 grams (¾ teaspoon) baking powder
  • 80 grams (1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon) gluten-free all purpose flour with a binding agent such as Cup4Cup or Jules’ Nearly Normal Flour*
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • Vegetable Oil
  • For the sugar coating
  • 200 grams (1 cup) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the butter, milk, sugar and salt together and bring to a boil.
  2. Lightly beat together the eggs and egg white. Add the baking powder to the eggs and let stand for about 5 minutes while your ingredients are heating up. The baking powder should start to foam.
  3. As soon as the mixture is boiling add the flour and stir like crazy. A paste should form leaving a film on the bottom of the pan and it will start to turn into a ball.
  4. Place this dough ball into a food processor and pulse for about 20 seconds to loosen it up.
  5. Add the egg and baking powder mixture to the food processor, making sure that you get all the baking powder in. Also add the vanilla bean paste.
  6. Let the food processor run for 2 minutes.
  7. Put the paste, which will be really sticky, into a pastry bag fitted with a star tip.
  8. Let the dough stand for 20 minutes.
  9. In a pot or frying pan with at least 3″ sides, bring 2″ of oil to 350 degrees (if you don’t have a thermometer, the oil is hot enough when you put a skewer in the oil and bubbles form around it).
  10. Pipe 4-5 inch snakes of dough into the oil, using a sharp knife to cut the dough from the pastry tip.
  11. Cook them for a minute and a half on each side. They should be a deep golden color.
  12. Drain on paper towels.
  13. When all of the churros have been cooked, combine the sugar and spices in a 9×13 baking dish and toss the churros in the sugar mixture to coat.
  14. Serve promptly. These go great with my pumpkin pie dip.
If you don’t have those, use: 1 tablespoon sorghum flour, 2 tablespoons tapioca flour, 5 tablespoons cornstarch, 1 teaspoon guar gum

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pie Dip

Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: Mary Fran Wiley
Prep time: 5 mins
Total time: 5 mins
Serves: 24
This dip is great with the churros, but would also make a great filling for cream puffs or as a layer in a fall trifle. You could even serve it on a fruit tray at a party.
  • 1 15.5 ounce can (~440 grams) pumpkin puree
  • 1 16 ounce package (~450 grams) marscapone cheese
  • 100 grams (1/2 cup) brown sugar
  • 170 grams (1 1/2 cups) powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the pumpkin and marscapone.
  2. Add the brown sugar, beat in and scrape down the sides.
  3. Mix in the powdered sugar in 2 parts, scraping down the sides to make sure everything is mixed evenly.
  4. Stir in the spices and adjust to taste


gluten free chilaquiles a.k.a. breakfast nachos

It’s time to fall in love (Gluten-Free Chipotle Chilaquiles)

with brunch.

Oh, you thought I was going to tell you that there was some handsome and worthy gentleman caller  in my life? I appreciate you thinking that I am a worthy lady, but that is not where I am going with this.

Unless you are a handsome and worthy gentleman caller. Then, by all means, send me an email. I’ll bake you some cookies. It could be fun.

Besides, a lady never kisses and tells.

I just want to talk about food today.

Not about who I go out to dinner with. Or who I want to see again. Or who I managed to mess things up with. Even though there are some pretty funny stories there. I am just not ready to share those with you.

I don’t want to talk about football, and how the Illini are still not any good at it. (At least those Bears are doing alright…)

I don’t want to talk about those teeth that got pulled Monday because of a paralyzing fear of the dentist.

And definitely not about the friend who is losing her mom to cancer.

I want to talk about the food.

Just the food. There is no deeper meaning here. No search for something better. Just some good food.

I want to talk about the warmth of a breakfast with my parents on a Sunday morning. The crisp, cool breeze of an October morning tempered by a cozy sweater and a hearty brunch.

I want to talk about breakfast nachos. It is a real thing with a name: Chilaquiles.

You cook up some tortilla chips in a sauce, top it with some more things like chicken, cilantro and cheese. Then, if you are really hungry you can add an egg.


gluten free chilaquiles a.k.a. breakfast nachos

Gluten-Free Chicken Chipotle Chilaquiles

Recipe Type: Breakfast
Cuisine: Mexican
Author: Mary Fran Wiley
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 25 mins
Total time: 30 mins
Serves: 6
This recipe is adapted from Rick Bayless, and was made with [url href=”http://gowaybetter.com”]Way Better Snacks[/url] tortilla chips (which were provided for me to use by the company and which I wouldn’t use if I didn’t love eating them).
  • 1 28-ounce can whole fire roasted tomatoes (regular is fine if that is all you can get
  • 3 chipotles in adobo
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large white onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • Salt
  • 1 bag each Whole Grain & Blue Corn Way Better Snacks Tortilla Chips (~12 ounces of chips)
  • 4 cooked chicken thighs, shredded (about 2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup crumbled queso fresco
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro leaves
  • Sliced radishes to garnish (optional)
  • One egg per person (optional)
  1. In a blender, combine the tomatoes and the chipotles. Blend until smooth.
  2. In a very large, deep skillet or dutch oven (I would recommend a 5 quart), heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.
  3. Add the 2/3 of the onion and cook until transparent and starting to brown, 5-6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
  4. Pour the blended tomatoes and chipotles into the skillet and cook until the sauce thickens, about 5 minutes.
  5. Stir in the broth and cook for an additional 2 minutes – you want the sauce to thicken back up.
  6. Stir in the chips and make sure they are evenly coated in the sauce. Cook for a minute or two, really making sure they are all covered.
  7. Now is when you should fry up the eggs if you are making them.
  8. Divide up the chips into individual bowls or put them into a large serving dish.
  9. Top with the chicken. If you are making this ahead of time, you can stop here and place in a warm oven (150 degrees Fahrenheit)
  10. When ready to serve, top with remaining onion, cheese, cilantro, radishes (if using) and eggs (if using).

[box] The chips used in this recipe were provided by Way Better Snacks. I met some of their staff at the Gluten & Allergen Free Expo back in April, and frankly, I was hooked on the Sweet Chili flavor of chips the minute I tried them. I wouldn’t have used them in a recipe if I didn’t actually like and purchase the product. however, this recipe will work if you just have plain old every day tortilla chips. [/box]


gluten free pumpkin mousse pie

GF Ratio Rally: Pumpkin Mousse Pie

gluten free pumpkin mousse pieI am going to dedicate this post to my mom. She helped me pull together the recipes for this month’s rally while I am supposed to be on bed rest. And this month you will really see where I get my baking sense from.

Oh, you read that part where I am on bed rest? I had surgery last Thursday and it was a little rockier than we had anticipated. I am waiting for electric leads to scar into place in my spine and because they were placed with no wiggle room, I have to stay put so that everything stays where it was placed. The good news is that the surgery was successful, and when you are reading this, I will be at the doctor’s office for my post-op appointment. And hopefully talking my sister into some Pei Wei.

Now, back to the pie.

I have baked this crust before for Gluten-Free Girl’s summer Pie Party. And I love it. It is light, flaky and delicious.

You can bake pie crust from scratch. Really, you can. It is not scary, and you never need to buy frozen pie crust again. Just make a double recipe of crust and freeze the spare. If you have a food processor, this takes about 10 minutes and once you make it a couple of times, you will never need a pre-made crust again.

The entire rally this month is full of proof.

gluten free ratio rally logo

The crust is great. The ratio is so basic, I will never forget it. 3-2-1. Flour-fat-water. I should be telling you that the ratio reigns supreme. But as important as the ratio is, there is a secret. The secret to pie crust is not the ingredients, or their amounts, but how cold your ingredients are. I keep my vodka in the freezer at all times, if you don’t you’ll want to prepare ahead. I also tend to keep an extra pound or two of butter in the freezer (I buy it when it goes on sale). If you only keep enough butter on hand for your current baking (if such a person exists), then you need to freeze your butter (or vegan alternative). This recipe will also work with Crisco in pace of butter. But again, you want to make sure that it chills in the freezer over night.

There is no need to vary the ratio. You can add a teaspoon of sugar for a sweet pie, if you want. But you don’t need it.

Now, onto the pies. That’s right, pies plural. Mom and I made 2. I will link you to the Apple Maple Cream Cheese pie, but I want to talk to you about this pumpkin mousse pie. Yes, pumpkin mousse. I love traditional pumpkin pie. I really do, but I was certain that someone else was going to post about it (and they did, so go to the list of posts if you want a traditional pumpkin pie). I wanted to do something that put a new spin on a perennial favorite.

Mom and I made a pumpkin mousse pie to do just that. You simmer the pumpkin and cream with spices and then chill it and fold it to some cream that you have whipped and make an incredibly light and airy pie with just the right amount of spice for the season.

Before you bake my pie, make sure you take a moment to see all the other delicious pies from this month’s Ratio Rally hosted by Lisa from Gluten Free Canteen.

Charissa from  Zest Bakery made Apple Galette with Pisco Soaked Golden Raisins
Claire from Gluten Freedom made Autumn Pumpkin Spice Pie
Meredith from Gluten Free Betty made Blueberry Pie
Jean Layton made Cheese Crusted Apple Pie
Erin from The Sensitive Epicure made Chess Pie 
Silvana Nardone from Silvana’s Kitchen made Chicken Potpie
TR from No One Likes Crumbley Cookies made Chocolate Mousse Pie
gretchen from kumquat made deep dish chocolate bourbon pecan pie
Lisa from Gluten Free Canteen made Frangipane Apple Pie & Tart
Shanua from Gluten Free Girl & The Chef Fresh made Pumpkin Pie
Caneel from Mama Me Gluten Free made Green Tomato Pie 
Kate from katealicecookbook made Kale & zucchini tart
Caleigh from Gluten Free[k] made Leek and Potato Pie 
Rachel from The Crispy Cook made Maple Walnut Pie 
Morri from Meals With Morri made Spinach – Prosciutto Ricotta Quiche & Muffin Tin Pie Variations 
Brooke from B & the boy! made Pot Pie
Mary Fran | frannycakes made Pumpkin Mousse Pie and Apple Maple Cream Cheese Pie
Jenn from Jenn Cuisine made  Sweet Potato and Duck Pot Pie 
Meaghan from The Wicked Good Vegan made Vegan Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pie with Pumpkin Seed and Ginger Topping 
~Mrs. R from Honey From Flinty Rocks made Mock Apple Pie
Irvin from Eat the Love made Double Butterscotch Apple Pie



Pumpkin Mousse Pie
#ratingval# from #reviews# reviews
Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: Mary Fran Wiley
Prep time: 30 mins
Cook time: 2 hours
Total time: 2 hours 30 mins
Serves: 8
A twist on a traditional and well-loved pie.
  • For the crust
  • 15 grams ground flax seeds
  • 45 grams brown rice flour
  • 45 grams sweet white sorghum flour
  • 30 grams sweet rice flour
  • 20 grams tapioca starch
  • 20 grams corn starch
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick butter, frozen
  • 1 tablespoon vodka, ice cold*
  • 1/4 cup ice water*
  • For the mousse
  • 1 15-oz can pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup plus 2 cups chilled heavy cream
  • cup granulated sugar
  • teaspoon cinnamon
  • teaspoon fresh nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 4 fresh cardamom pods
  • 3 star anise pods
  • 2 tablespoons chopped crystallized ginger
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 empty teabag meant for loose leaf tea or spice bag
  1. In a food processor, combine the flours, salt and butter. Pulse until the mixture resembles sand.
  2. Add the vodka and then add the water a little bit at a time. You want to add water just until you can get the dough to start to come together. If you add too much water, your crust can get tough.
  3. Pat the dough into a 4″ disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill for at least 30 minutes while you make the filling.
  4. In a medium saucepan, stir together the pumpkin, 1 cup of the cream, the cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. In the tea bag, add the cardamom, star anise and ginger. Close and add to the pumpkin mixture. Bring to a simmer and stir constantly. Simmer for 5 minutes. This is really more of a popping than a simmer because the mixture is so thick. Remove the tea bag of spices.
  5. Put the mixture in a bowl and refrigerate.
  6. Meanwhile, roll out the crust. Put in a pie pan, crimp the edges and pierce the bottom with a fork. Blind bake the crust with pie weights or dry beans in foil for 35-40 minutes. For the last 5 minutes of baking, brush with an egg wash if you want your crust to brown further.
  7. Chill the crust completely.
  8. Whip the remaining 2 cups cream until you have peaks. Fold 1/2 of the whipped cream into your pumpkin mixture to lighten it up. Then gently fold the pumpkin mixture into the whipped .
  9. Fill the pie crust with the mousse and decorate with some star anise and cinnamon (don’t eat the anise!). You will have some extra mousse. Just eat it with a spoon. I won’t tell. Or make a second crust and don’t fill either as full as the picture.

Don’t have a scale? Use 1 1/4 cups of a commercial all purpose blend.

You might not need all the water, be careful or your dough will bake up hard on the edges and be hard to cut.

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gluten free iced double chocolate chunk ginger chip cookies

Chocolate & spice cookies

gluten free iced double chocolate chunk ginger chip cookies

I have been having an incredibly busy couple of weeks. Have you missed me? Life has been topsy turvy, I launched 2 website redesigns at my day job, have a third one launching this week. I am probably going to be having surgery on Thursday (if everything goes according to plan). Needless to say, October has been one heck of a crazy month.

I also realized that the month is mostly over, and I haven’t baked much at all this month. There has been so much going on that I hadn’t been able to just stop and take a few hours to create a recipe and bake something. And I really needed to bake something. And I had no idea what to bake. So I did what any baking-obsessed girl would do. I pulled out 2 things from my cabinet and hoped that I could make a dessert that would be delicious. Thank goodness it worked.

Lately, I have been obsessed with ginger. There were brown butter ginger doughnuts, bourbon ginger peach pie, ginger pumpkin doughnuts. I had been buying these awesome ginger chips (chocolate chip sized bits of candied ginger) until they stopped carrying them at Williams-Sonoma. I had to settle for regular crystallized ginger & chopped it myself. and I finally got my hands on some of those new Enjoy Life Mega Chocolate Chunks. So clearly I had to make ginger & chocolate cookies. I am in love with the texture of these. They are soft but not crumbly. They are wonderfully delicate with just a touch of chew.  I want to start a campaign to get Enjoy Life to add these cookies to the package. They are that good.

Iced Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies with Ginger Chips
#ratingval# from #reviews# reviews
Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: Mary Fran Wiley
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 7 mins
Total time: 27 mins
Serves: 60
Chocolate & ginger make a delightful pair and in these cookies, they dissolve in your mouth.
  • 385 grams (3¼ cups) gluten free all purpose flour*
  • 1½ teaspoons xantham gum**
  • 55 grams (6 tablespoons) cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 170 grams (1½ sticks) butter or Earth Balance Buttery Sticks, softened
  • 215 grams (1 cup firmly packed) dark brown sugar
  • 1 large egg***
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 100 grams crystallized ginger, chopped
  • 100 grams (1/3 package) Enjoy Life Mega Chocolate Chunks
  • 170 grams (1½ cups) confectioners sugar, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon milk****
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  1. Sift together flour, xantham gum (if using), cocoa, cloves, cinnamon, baking powder and baking soda. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer (this recipe won’t work with a hand mixer – the dough is too stiff) cream together brown sugar and butter.
  3. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the egg. Beat to combine.
  4. Pour in the vanilla, scrape down the sides and beat again.
  5. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in 3 even groups, scraping down the sides between additions.
  6. Mix in the ginger & chocolate chunks and stir until they are evenly distributed.
  7. Separate the dough into thirds, put them into seperate ziploc baggies and chill the dough for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 days.
  8. When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  9. Grease or line your cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  10. Divide the dough (it will be pretty stiff) into balls the size of ping-pong balls (about 2 tablespoons of dough) and as you put them on the cookie sheet, smoosh them so they are about 3/8 of an inch thick. Leave about an inch of space between the smooshed dough.
  11. Bake for 6-8 minutes.
  12. Once your cookies are baked, combine the sifted powdered sugar, milk and lemon juice together. Dip the still warm cookies into the glaze and set on a cooling rack (put news paper or a cookie sheet under the rack to collect drips). If the icing is too thick, add more lemon juice or milk ½ teaspoon at a time to achieve your desired consistencey.

*I used Williams-Sonoma Cup for Cup flour blend, but I also highly recommend the Jules Nearly Normal flour for people who can’t have dairy (I also use this blend fairly regularly). You can also use this all-purpose blend from No Gluten, No Problem.

**If your blend already has xantham gum (or Expandex, guar gum, etc,) you can omit this.
*** If you can’t have eggs, dissolve 1 tablespoon ground flax with 3 tablespoons warm water.
****Feel free to use any kind of “milk”. I use the So Delicious unsweetened coconut milk, but you can substitute with what you prefer (Soy, almond, hemp, dairy, etc.)

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