Tag Archives: gluten free Christmas

A Little Bit of Spice

berrenberg

 

Add a little bit of spice to the gluten free Christmas Stocking this year

Beerenberg is known for their jams and relishes and dressings but now they have added a few more tempting and tantalising  reasons to love their range: slow cooker Spanish Chicken, Moroccan Lamb, Cuban Mojo Port and Hungarian Beef Goulash.

And another good reason to love Beerenberg is that their products are gluten free.

You can find Beerenberg in the supermarkets but gourmet pantries and delis will have a wider range.

VIP Gourmet Cellar next door to the Victoria Park Hotel on Boundary Street South Townsville is well stocked with this new range of slow cooker items as is Christo’s Deli at The Precinct Fairfield.

 

 

 

 

 

Xmas is Just Around the Corner

nadal-4

Gift.Ideas.Menu.Ideas.GlutenFree.Christmas

Xmas is just around the corner or literally just one more turn of the page on the calendar, so  thoughts turn to the Christmas lunch or the Christmas gift…. gluten free of course. And all the extras that go with a family Christmas.

Gift Ideas

Springhill Farm has a gluten free hamper

Smoothie Makers are perfect for all age groups and there are many to choose from on the market.. Nutri Bullet, Magic Bullet. BlitznGo.

Jelly Belly Bean Boozled combines eating jelly beans with a game of chance.

Gingerbread Folk Gluten Free Gingerbread House Kit available online if you can’t buy one in your area or no doubt available in speciality stores in larger cities.

And for more ideas, go to  Yum Gluten Free  for their Christmas Gluten Free Gift Guide.

Also visit my Christmas posts from previous years for a few more ideas.

xmas-1

Menu Ideas

We love our food.  We love our food traditions. We love sharing food with our family. And every year we, family members discuss for many weeks, the answers to the question : WHAT ARE WE GOING TO HAVE FOR CHRISTMAS?  Reality is, that we haven’t had to make too many changes to accommodate a ‘gluten free’ Christmas: gf Worcestershire sauce, gf crackers, gf lasagne sheets, gf cereals for rum balls and Bumble Bees.  Below is a menu from 2013 but I am sure we won’t stray too much from this list.  The phone calls haven’t started yet, but I am looking forward to all that goes with Christmas including the discussions back and forth, the making of lists, the shopping, the planning and then sitting down and enjoying.

Merry Christmas   Bon Nadal   Buon Natale   Joyeux Noël

Starters

Robert’s Signature Dip and Bagel Chips

Pesto and Hand Crafted Corn Chips

Devils on Horseback

The Main Event

Savoury Beef de Brendan

Mama’s Lasagne

Cape Grimm Rib Eye Roast with Cafe de Paris Butter

Nut Encrusted Baked Ham

Bon Nadal Chicken

On the Side

Ines’ Christmas Salad

Crispy Sausage and Potatoes

A Touch of Snow (side of rice)

Fatoush Salad

Something Sweet

Surprise de Terese

Velia’s Plum Pudding and Custard (contains gluten)

Amy’s Christmas Cake

Crème Caramel and Balsamic Strawberries

Christmas Jelly

Afters

Turron Alicante

Turron Jijona

Rum Truffle Balls

Bumble Bees

Sweet and Salty Crunchy Chocolate

 

 

 

Christmas comes but once a year…

PEACE AND JOY

Christmas

May you find PEACE with your coeliac disease diagnosis, knowing that you are on the road to good health and may you find JOY in the gluten free food that will heal your body

A few ideas for gifts to help share in the spirit of Christmas

1. Australian Gluten Free Life  has magazine subscriptions or a “The Box” full of gluten free goodies or you can purchase single copies in newsagencies.

AGFL

2. The Gluten Free Scallywag has been busy and you can now pre-order her Volume 4 Magazine.  If you missed Volume 3, it is available for purchase as a Printed Edition or Downloadable File.

If you want to try before you buy, then download Volume 1 and 2 for FREE!  You won’t be disappointed.

3. Springhill Farm Gluten Free Delights Hamper or the Springhill Farm Gluten Free Sample Pack

4. Jen’s Gluten Free Crackers paired with Beerenberg Red Pepper Relish

IMG_3907

5. Jelly Belly Jelly Beans are a gluten free lolly staple especially at Christmas time. Myers in Townsville are already stocking their shelves.

Jelly Beans

6. The Happy Cookbook by Lola Berry

Happy Cookbook

7. My 2013 and 2014 Blogs for Christmas might also give you inspiration: Christmas Stocking Fillers and A Special Gift for Christmas

GF Christmas Stocking Filler

Jelly Beans

Browsing the Christmas shelves at Myer yesterday, I found the Jelly Belly section and thought that their “Cocktail Classics” was perfect for a Christmas stocking filler for the gluten free teenager in the house.

Recipe Inspiration For Christmas

Xmas Frittata

I picked up the latest  free Coles magazine and found that it is not only jammed packed full of recipes for the festive season but also that many recipes are gluten free by ingredient, are tagged gluten free or can be made gluten free with the substitution of a few ingredients.

While a number of meals will not inspire my gf teenager, I often still make them and hope that his tastes will mature in time and a taste test now, might leave him open to new foods.

Here is a list of some of the recipes that caught my eye:

Pumpkin, Spinach and Brie Frittata

Paprika Fish with Corn Avocado Salsa (substitute flour)

Mexican Corn and Prawn Salad

White Chocolate Raspberry Baked Cheesecake (substitute with gluten free biscuits and chocolate melts)

The Perfect Pavlova

Mango Parfaits

Roast Chicken with Apple, Sage and Rosemary Stuffing and Cranberry Relish (substitute with gluten free bread crumbs)

Apple Salad with Raspberry Dressing

Chocolate Nougat Ice-Cream

Roast Vegetable with Sage Butter

Almond and Marmalade Glazed Ham

If you are looking for inspiration for your Christmas menu, grab your copy now.

If you don’t have access to a Coles supermarket then it is Available for Download online

Xmas Coles

A Special Present for Christmas

Last year I wrote about gluten free food related gift ideas and stocking fillers.  I had satisfied myself that you can find a gluten free food gift at Christmas and I hope that I have also given others some ideas. So with my second blogging Christmas fast approaching I have put my thoughts toward other gift ideas for those with coeliac disease.

Good without gluten 1. Recipe Books

For something special  Good without Gluten

For something practical Taste.com Gluten Free

cook bookFor something personal : if your gf son or daughter is ready to leave home then make up your own cookbook with your tried and tested gluten free recipes.  I made a recipe book last year for my gf son which is filled with all the practical recipes I know he will use and make when he leaves home.  A copy sits on my kitchen bench and is used many many times during the week for flat breads, wraps, bread rolls, granola, pancakes. And it also includes recipe bases for spaghetti bolognese, lasagne, risottos.

2. Kitchen Help download If you have friends or family just starting their gluten free journey then here are a couple of things I have found extremely useful…

Breville Crepe Maker and Stick Blender

3. Gluten Free Box

Australian Gluten Free Life who publish a monthly magazine have launched their “The Box” :a box of gluten free goodies delivered to your door on a monthly basis.  Looks interesting as I see this ‘surprise box’  concept is popular in other parts of the world. This is a great way to try new products that you might necessarily and readily have access to.

The Box

4.. Ready to Make

If you yourself are not a gluten free-er, then you can still put together a package with a recipe card and a few pantry ingredients for the recipe.  Remember, it is the thought that counts and  the fact that you have put a little thought and time makes this gift special. Choose recipes that will only require the addition of a few  ingredients on top of the ones that you have put in the gift.

Chocolate SpidersNoel 2 Spiced Rice and Chickpea Soup Sweet and Salty Crunchy Nut Bars Peanut Brittle Prawn Laksa Hummus Almond and Orange Cake Christmas Jelly Peanut Choc Chip Biscuits

 Noel

Gluten Free Christmas Stocking Fillers

You have those last few things to buy for Christmas gifts and suddenly you realise you need to find something ‘gluten free’ and quickly.

Don’t panic as there are a number of gluten free stocking fillers that are readily available.

I posted a couple of weeks ago a list of gift ideas and published  the more comprehensive list as a page but I thought I would post it as well.

While I am writing specifically for what is available in Townsville and generally Australia, the range of gluten free Christmas stocking fillers can be quite versatile.

So give yourself a bit of extra time when at the shops or think outside the square or do a quick internet search and you WILL find  gluten free Christmas shopping  easier.

NB Specifically for children, Big W has a range of merchandised gluten free products for children eg One Direction, Smurfs, Angry Birds, Barbie…see below

Jelly Belly Leda Nougat Limar Outback Spirit sweet_william_santa_pack Toblerone turron turron 2

1.  By Product

Leda Gluten Free Rum Balls

Leda Gluten Free Rum Balls are already on the shelves and can be  found in the bakery section in  Woolworths and in the gluten free section in Coles.

Nougat Limar  Available in Townsville at Sprout, Angelina’s Deli, Sunvale Meats, IGA Garbutt

Noosa Natural Chocolate Company  Available in Townsville at Angelina’s Deli

Toblerone

Another perfect stocking filler…. and from  their website…..

Does Toblerone contain Gluten?
No. All Toblerone flavours do not contain any gluten ingredients.

Spanish Turron

If you have access to a Spanish or Continental Deli, then look for  Turron.  A traditional Christmas food, you can try Jijona (soft and smooth) or Alicante (hard and crunchy).  I have been able to purchase them from El Mercado in Sydney  and Casa Iberica in Melbourne . They are happy to package them up and mail them to me.

Fudge n Stuff : Gluten Free Fudge, Flinders Street Townsville. Artisan Fudge is becoming popular so I am sure you can find a fudge shop near you.

The Gourmet Nut Co. : variety of flavoured nuts found in Snack Aisle of supermarkets

Outback Spirit Gourmet Packs: Fruit Toppers, Hot Sauces, BBQ Marinades, Chutneys.

Beerenberg Sauces, Chutneys, Jams, Dressings and Marinades :make up a gift basket with this products, available at supermarkets and all good delis.

Jelly Belly Jelly Beans

You can get these jelly beans in Christmas colours in a tube and Hello Kitty tins.  Myer has a huge range of Jelly Belly products.  Please find below their response regarding gluten free.

Question : Are all Jelly Belly products gluten free?

Answer: We do not use gluten in any of our current flavours of Jelly Belly jelly beans; however, we do use corn starch in all of our jelly beans.
Our Jelly Belly jelly beans and Jelly Belly Confections Pectin, Mellocreme and Gelatin candies are gluten-free and considered safe for the celiac-sprue patient to consume.
In addition, you requested information regarding two specific areas:   “The source of our ‘modified food starch’ and which ‘natural flavours and artificial flavourings’ are used in our products.”
In regard to the source of our “modified food starch,” we use corn.  Our “natural flavours” are identified on all packaging, and include fruit juice concentrates, fruit purees, coffee, peanut butter, chocolate, coconut and cocoa powder.  We also use oil of peppermint, lemon, lime and tangerine oils to flavour Jelly Belly beans featuring those particular flavours.
These products contain gluten and must be avoided:
All of our Jelly Belly Confections Chocolate Malt Balls, Licorice Pastels, Licorice Bridge Mix, Dimples, Christmas Dimples, Deluxe Christmas Mix, and Speckled Chocolate Malted Eggs.

2. By Store

Woolworths Supermarket

Toblerone

Macro Free From Gluten 2 Christmas Puddings

Homebrand Chocolate Coated Sultanas, Peanuts and Almonds

(While the packing is basic, why not repackage them in a Christmas themed box or bottle.)

Coles Supermarket

You can find these in the Christmas section of Coles:

Coles Candy Canes

Sweet William Santas

Festive Fudge

Darryl Lea Milk Chocolate Rocky Road Fruit and Nut

Taveners Wine Gums

Toblerone

Jon Jon Christmas Pudding

Simply Gluten Free Mince Pies

Simple Gluten Free Christmas Puddings

Crazy Clark’s (they are an overflow type store)

Kiwiland Peanut Clusters

Kiwiland Hokey Pokey Clusters

Kiwiland Cho Hokey Pokey

Kiwiland Choc Honeycomb

(The packaging isn’t festive so repackage into a Christmas themed tin or bottle.)

Target

Walkers Chocolate Turkish Delight, Chocolate Dinner Mint

Goldbar Milk Classic

Outback Spirit Gourmet Packs: Fruit Toppers, Hot Sauces, BBQ Marinades, Chutneys.

Big W

Jelly Belly Jelly Beans

Walkers Chocolate Turkish Delight, Chocolate Dinner Mint, Milk Chocolate Seashells

Ballantyne Chocolate coated Almonds, Fruit and Nut, Sultanas, Peanuts

Christmas Time Milk Santas, Milk Chocolate Coins

Lunch Box Tin Party Mix: Planes, Skylander

Christmas Stockings and Party Mix: One Direction, Barbie, Skylander, Smurfs, Angry Bird

Sweet William Chocolate : Sweet as Original, Sweet as White Strawberry

Kinnerton Luxury Dark Chocolate

KMart

You can find the following in the Christmas section of KMart:

Thorton’s Fudge Toffee

Hacizade Nougat

Hacizade Turkish Delight

KMart Chocolate Truffles in a tin

Belgian Truffles

Myer

Jelly Belly products in all manner of containers  and sizes including Hello Kitty.

Toffees

Caramels/Fudge

Reflection: This time last year, when we were overwhelmed with the gluten free lifestyle change, I did not have time to browse shops and products for gluten free Christmas gift ideas.  We were too busy getting acquainted with gluten free breakfasts, lunches and dinners. We had no time to shop or think about gifts and luxuries, only time to think about the everyday basics. My son was therefore lucky to get a Jelly Belly Santa Tube and a Toblerone in his Santa sack.

I am so pleased I have had time this year to revisit Christmas and gluten free. Instead of being overwhelmed, I am quite pleased and excited to see so many gluten free possibilities for young and old. And while my son will probably still only get a Jelly Bean Santa Tube and a Toblerone in his Santa sack, at least I know there is a choice.

In the capital cities, there are no doubt gourmet chocolate specialty shops, Italian delis and gourmand boutiques with many more gluten free Christmas stocking fillers.

 Bon Nadal    Joyeux Noël    Buon Natale    Merry Christmas

peace-on-earth

Gluten Free Christmas Gift Ideas

Six weeks to Christmas.

I hope my list gives you a few ideas and takes the worry out of shopping for  Gluten Free Stocking Fillers especially if this is your first gluten free Christmas.

These are my favourites  but I have included a more comprehensive list as a  page under Gluten Free Shopping.

I would love to hear about your special gluten free treats.

Jelly Belly Leda Nougat Limar Outback Spirit  Toblerone turron turron 2

1. Spanish Turron

If you have access to a Spanish or Continental Deli, then look for  Turron.  A traditional Christmas food, you can try Jijona (soft and smooth) or Alicante (hard and crunchy).  I have been able to purchase them from El Mercado in Sydney  and Casa Iberica in Melbourne. They are happy to package them up and mail them to me.

2. Italian Style Torrone

Below is just one product I have found available in our area.  Ask at your local Italian Deli for Italian torrone or Italian nougat. Just check that the wafer is rice based not wheat.

Nougat Limar Available in Townsville at Sprout, Angelina’s Deli

3.  Toblerone

Another perfect stocking filler…. found at most supermarkets.

4. Outback Spirit Gourmet Packs: Fruit Toppers, Hot Sauces, BBQ Marinades, Chutneys.

I have found these at Target in the Christmas section.

5. Beerenberg Family Farm Products

 Put together a small basket or hamper of Beerenberg’s jams, relishes, chutneys, mustards, sauces and dressings:

6. Artisan and Handmade Fudge

Most fudges are gluten free, but as always check.

Fudge n Stuff : Gluten Free Fudge, Flinders Street Townsville.

Spotted Dog Fudge: Available for purchase online.

7. Jelly Belly Jelly Beans

You can get these jelly beans in Christmas colours in a tube.  Found at lolly shops, Big W and Myer.  NB Myer has an enormous range of Jelly Belly products.

8. Leda Gluten Free Rum Balls

Leda Gluten Free Rum Balls are already on the shelves and can be  found in the bakery section in  Woolworths and in the gluten free section in Coles.

 

 

Bumble Bees – A Christmas Tradition

When my children were small and then before that, when  my sisters and I were young, Christmas was a time for making Bumble Bees, Apricot Balls and Rum Balls.

Food trends change and now the fashion is to make delicate chocolates and dusted truffles.  But while we experiment with the more trendy Christmas treats, we always come back to our old fashioned favourites.

This recipe is my mother’s and I am sure the week before Christmas we will be going over to grandma’s with the boys and under her watchful eye, make  Bumble Bees and Rum Balls yet again. We will have discussions about how big to make them, we will spill coconut everywhere and my mother will question why we are in her kitchen making the mess. But we will have fun, we will talk and we will share family time.

I found this quote which says so much:  “Food is about family, food is about community, food is about identity.” (Michael Pollen)

Ingredients

250 g pitted dates, choppedzz

3/4 cup butter

1/4 cup sugar

2 cups Rice Puffs (gluten free)

2 tabs Rum

Coconut

Method

1. Combine dates, butter and sugar in a saucepan and cook on low heat and stir until butter is melted. Set aside to cool.

2. In a large bowl, add rice puffs, rum and date mixture and combine.

3.  Roll tablespoon balls of mixture and coat in coconut.

Thinking about Christmas

For us in the land down under, we are starting to think about our Christmas preparations.

My cousin in Barcelona tells me that they don’t think about Christmas until after “Tots Sants”  and La Castanyada when panellets and chestnuts are food of the day.   I am sure for some of you, Halloween and Thanksgiving  preparations are priority.

I  enjoy reading about the various  connections between food and traditions and particularly about northern hemisphere countries and the influence that the seasons have on food customs. Here in Australia, pumpkin is mainly used for three purposes roasted, mashed or in scones  and chestnuts are found in a tin in the Asian food section of the supermarket.

For us, Christmas is the season for  mangoes and lychees, prawns and bbqs, watermelon and pineapple.  But each year while we struggle with the humidity of the season and try to shy away from the tradition of a hot meal on the day, we fall back into the traditions bequeathed to us by our parents and grandparents and we sit down to a table full of hot food in the sweltering heat.

When each year I try to reduce our Christmas menu, one son will say, but we HAVE to have lasagne.  Another son will say, but we HAVE to have cigrons. And another son will say, but we HAVE to have a nut encrusted baked ham.  And then there is at least one son (I have four) who says, we HAVE to make Bumble Bees… we always make Bumble Bees or Rocky Road or Rum Balls.

So here is my version of White Chocolate Rocky Road with a touch of Christmas colour.

White Chocolate Rocky Road

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20 g  Marshmallows chopped

100 g  Turkish Delight chopped

25 g   Pistachios

400 g White Chocolate

25  g Macadamia nuts, chopped

25 g  Craisins or Glace Cherries, chopped

1/4 cup shredded coconut

(Make sure all ingredients are gluten free)