FRIED RICE – Gluten Free

When I was a kid Fried Rice was an exotic Chinese dish which you bought from the small local Chinese café down the street. When my Mum started making it she would cook the rice first, let it go cold and then add it to the pan with spring onions, bacon and of course, the fried eggs. My husband’s mother used the absorption method like in this recipe, which is more like the Italian risotto technique. This old recipe was put out on a sheet of SEC (State Electricity Commission – Victoria) Tested Recipes, I don’t think my Mum was ever convinced it was a better way that hers though. I still make it like Mum did, but my husband swears by his mother’s method…………

AMARETTI (MACAROONS) – Gluten Free

Do you know the difference between macarons/macaroons? As far as I can work out the French style macarons are multi-coloured and layered together with a ganache. Macaroons, are possibly Italian and are shredded coconut and egg whites. Then we have these Amaretti ones which are ground almonds, caster sugar and egg whites and which according to this cutting are Sicillian – confused? I am. They all taste terrific though….

BAKED RASPBERRY ALMOND CHEESECAKE – Gluten Free

In the past the cheesecakes I made all had a biscuit base, usually Marie biscuits. These days, with my husband being among those who don’t tolerate gluten, I’ve started looking for gluten free alternatives. Gluten free ginger biscuits work really well, but I thought this recipe, which was published by the Women’s Weekly in 1999 was interesting. It uses Amaretti macaroons and brown rice – I’m going to give it a go next time I’m making a cheesecake.

CREAMED RICE WITH MANGO – Gluten Free

As a Christmas fundraiser I bought a tray of lovely mangoes intending to take them to our family Christmas in NSW. Like many families around the country those plans were thrown into chaos and we spent Christmas here in Melbourne. We love mangoes, but we still have quite a few left. This could be a good gluten-free way to enjoy them.

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.