BALLOTINE OF DUCK for Christmas

Our family has decided on a much more casual Christmas this year and part of that is a cold meat and salad buffet. It will be the usual pork, turkey and chicken combo, but if you want something different what about this duck ballotine? It can be done the day before and although a bit more fiddly, it’s well worth the effort especially when all you have to do on Christmas morning is slice it.

FESTIVE CHOCOLATE TEMPTATION

This is definitely a tempting slice, but I’m not sure it needs Festive in the title, I think it would be good any time of the year, not just at Christmas. It’s a great combination of chocolate, fruit and Amaretto biscuits and doesn’t need baking – how can you go wrong with that?

WHITE CHRISTMAS FUDGE

Now the calendar has ticked over to December I’ve realised that I’d better get onto Christmas planning. What’s more important food or presents? How good is it if you can combine the two. When my children were at school I used to make a variety of sweet treats to give to their teachers. I’d put them in a jar or basket decorate, it with with Christmas ribbon and problem solved. One of those treats was White Christmas, made with copha and milk powder. This White Christmas is a step up from that as it uses white chocolate, butter and icing sugar and is great for all those who don’t like copha.

‘UPDATED’ ASPARAGUS ROLLS

When I look at this recipe all I can think of is Mum’s asparagus rolls, that she made for afternoon teas and suppers. They were much, much plainer than these and although we grew asparagus in our backyard, hers were always made with tinned asparagus spears and definitely didn’t have ham or mayonnaise. They tasted good, but I’ve never had much inclination to make them, think I’d give this ‘updated’ version a go though.

LIME MOUSSES WITH RASPBERRY COULIS

When I was growing up everyone had a lemon tree in their backyard. No one would have thought of having a lime tree, but like many people we now have one as well as the lemon in ours. Hopefully we’ll have enough of a crop this year to be able to make this luscious dessert.

CHICKEN KIEV

The Women’s Weekly published this recipe in one of their liftout features back in 1999. I thought it might be of interest as it gives step by step instructions on how to assemble the Kiev. It also came with a couple of useful tips about deep frying it – use a wide-topped deep frying pan, which is half full of well heated oil. If the oil is not hot enough the Kiev will absorb too much oil. Obviously an electric deep fryer takes away that worry.

PASSIONFRUIT BUTTER

Every time I eat passionfruit it reminds me of when I was young. Growing up our back fence was covered in a passionfruit vine. In spring the vine was covered in beautiful flowers and in summer luscious fruit. My brothers and I used to pick them, eat them and then to hide our sin, throw the skins as far as we could onto the garage roof – not something our father was very happy about. Luckily there was still heaps for Mum to pick and to use to top sponges with, put in fruit salad and to make this passionfruit butter. Note: 8oz = 250g, 4oz = 125g