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gluten-free grapefruit guacamole

Cook the Books: Frontera by Rick Bayless and Grapefruit guacamole

Let’s talk vegetables. If you have followed this blog for a while, then you know that I gravitate more towards buttercreams and brownies.

Because, frankly, those are the things I desperately missed when I went gluten-free.

But there is this whole other world of food — one filled with a rainbow of colors and textures. And it has its own type of creamy rich stuff you can put on everything.

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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]