Filipino Fiesta Party with Style


It was party time!  What better way to celebrate a milestone birthday than to share it with family and friends and plenty of delicious food.  I invited over my food blogger friends and asked them to bring along a Filipino dish of their choice.  Some of them have eaten Filipino food but certainly not one of them have ever cooked or baked it before.

I have held many parties and dinner parties before but I have to say, most of my focus is usually on the food.  This time though, I wanted to have more style and pazzazz at my do.  As this fiesta, the guests were bringing a dish (or two or three) each, I didn’t have to worry whether there will be enough food.  As food bloggers, we tend to over cater.

Thanks to Fleishman Hillard PR company, I was provided with a party kit which included fun retro straws and napkins, deco tea light holders and candles for ambience and a stylish wine bucket to keep the wine and drinks cold.


candles are a great way to create an ambience


Use a stylish ice bucket to keep your drinks cold


Wonderful Pistachios are a wonderful addition to the nibbles

The food my friends brought along were amazing.  I was really impressed at their effort, most especially because they have never cooked Filipino food before.  We also ordered a HUGE lechon.  The meat was so tender and moist and the skin/crackling was so crunchy.  It was amazing.


The table was laden with wonderful and delicious Filipino food. My friends rock!!

My birthday cake was the highlight of the night.  My very good friends (aka #CakeSquad) Shellie and Thanh, made me a ube, pandan and coconut ombre cake, topped with macarons.  AMAZING!



If you follow me on istagram and/or twitter, you will know that I share my birthday with my little boy.  We celebrated his birthday with family.


Thomas with his spider man birthday cake I made for him


photos taken by my bro @epu3on

Here are a few tips from Style and Fashion Host Melissa Hoyer to keep guests and yourself happy whilst entertaining,.

  1. Parties are all about the people so get the guest list right.  Aim to have groups of people with common interests and that you know will “gel” together well.
  2. Three week rule: I suggest inviting your guests at least 3 weeks in advance.  Hosts should give an email address for their guests to RSVP to, that way, the confirmation is saved and you can go back to it when you finalise the guest list.
  3. Be present and available.  This can be hard when you’re constantly refilling the buffet table and justling trays of food.  More importantly, everyone has come to see you and if they see you stressed then they will become uneasy
  4. To theme or not to theme: Themed parties puts a gimmick in every guest but really gives your guests the opportunity to talk about something to other people at the party.
  5. No one goes hungry on your watch: I’m always thinking about my guests, making sure they are having fun and are relaxed.  Keep an eye out for clinking ice cubes.  Offer to refill drinks, as you carry around platter of delicious nibbles such as cheese, pistachios and gourmet dips.
  6. Provide light nibbles that are easy to serve and source: I’m pretty sure that generally people love going to parties because of the sheer hospitality they recieve.  I’m also sure that hosts put on parties to have fun too.   My typical platter of nibbles includes bowls of flavoured Wonderful Pistachios, brie, Camembert cheddar and Jarlsberg and lots of dip flavours like chili crab, guacamole baba ghanoush and beetroot.
  7. Is it OK to ask people to bring something?- Of course! Most people will want to bring something.  I often tend to ask to bring a bottle of something they like drinking.  As a host, be confident to put the request in the invite subtly.

Thanks to Fleishman Hillard for the party kit and for the Wonderful Pistachios,

Bon Appetite,


Ooey Gooey Calamansi Bars




I love calamansi (or calamondin). I planted a tree and waited and waited for it to bear fruit.  If you have been following my blog, then you will know that I do not have a green thumb.  I kill most plants.  So when my calamansi tree started bearing fruit, I couldn’t believe it.  I planted a tree that I didn’t eventually kill.


I eventually started harvesting bags full of calamansi.  I usually just juice them and make calamansi drink or used it as an alternative to lemon juice in recipes.  This time, I decided to bake ooey gooey calamansi bars.  I got this recipe from the Yummy iPad app.  It’s a recipe app that is filled with delicious Filipino dishes and sweets.  It’s also an iPad version of the Yummy magazine.


  • 1 3/4 cup plus 3 tbs all plain flour
  • 2/3 cup icing sugar plus extra for dusting
  • 1/4 cup corn flour
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/3 cups white sugar
  • 2 tsp calamansi zest
  • 1/2 cup calamansi juice
  • 1/3 cup milk


  1. Preheat oven 180degC (160degC fan forced)
  2. In a food processor bowl, combine the 1 3/4 cup plain flour, icing sugar, cornflour and salt.  Add the cubed butter and process for about 15 seconds or until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  3. Press onto a 33×22 cm (13x9inch) baking pan.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes
  5. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, 3 tbs plain flour, calamansi zest and juice and milk.  Pour mixture onto warm crust.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes or until firm to the touch.
  7. Cool on a wire rack.  Slice evenly and dust with extra icing sugar.





Bon Appetite,


Kulinarya Cooking Club June 2012: Tapsilog. Breakfast of Champions.

This month’s theme for our Kulinarya Cooking Club is “Only in the Philippines”. Tina from Pinay in Texas Cooking Corner and I are hosting this month and we wanted to focus on unique dishes that can only be found in the Philippines.

Being a Filipina, I love my rice. Growing up, it would be normal for me to have rice three meals in a day. So I thought it natural for me to chose a rice dish for the theme.

I love rice for breakfast. To make a complete meal, add egg and a meat.

What makes this dish unique to the Philippines is the name. Tapsilog. Filipinos like to abbreviate or replace words with acronyms. Tapsilog comprises of Tapa (Tap) sinangag (si) and itlog (log).

Tapa is cured beef. It’s beef that’s been marinated overnight and in some cases, dried then fried. I like my tapa not dried as it can get tough and chewy when not done right. I left out the drying step.

Sinangag is garlic rice. I love it. It’s rice that has been fried with lots of garlic.

Itlog is egg. An oozy, runny egg is essential for this dish.


For the tapa:

  • 700g thinly sliced beef tenderloin. I used sizzling steak
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 3tbs soy sauce
  • 1tbs mushroom or dark soy sauce
  • Pinch salt

Marinate the beef with the rest of the ingredients. Leave overnight or at least 4 hours.

To cook: in a large frying place the beef and marinade in. Let the beef simmer in the marinade until it dries out. Add some vegetable oil to the pan and gently fry until slightly browned and cooked through,

For the sinangag:

  • 3cups of uncooked rice
  • 1bulb of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
  • Pinch salt

To cook: cook the rice by absorption method. When cooked set aside to cool a bit. You can also use left over rice from the day before. When ready, add a little vegetable oil in a wok and gently fry the garlic till lightly browned. Add the rice and mix thoroughly and add the salt. Turn the heat to low and leave the rice to fry a little and for the garlic to infuse through. Mix every couple of minutes.

Fry the egg to your liking.

Bon appetite,


Minced Beef Pancit

Pancit means noodles in Filipino. Variations of pancit is eaten by all Filipinos on a regular basis. I love the way my mum cooks her Pancit bihon and I’ll always go to her place whenever I’m craving it.

However, once in a while I like to create my own with whatever I have in my pantry and fridge. Just like this version. I created this Pancit dish on the fly one night when I got home from work.

In my fridge I had cauliflower, bean sprouts and carrots. I also had minced beef. I added onions and garlic, which I always have in stock. Another staple in my pantry are dried egg noodles. I keep it for day’s like this.

My family liked it so much, I thought I better blog about it do I have a record of the recipe.

I hope you give this a g or create your own Pancit.

250g beef mince

1 carrot, sliced

100g bean sprouts

100g cauliflower

Egg noodles

2 tbs Black bean sauce

1 tbs soy sauce

1 tbs oyster sauce.

1 onion, sliced

4 cloves garlic, crushed

Bon Appetite,

Kulinarya Cooking Club August-September 2011: Crema De Fruta

Kulinarya was started by a group of Filipino foodies living in Sydney who are passionate about the Filipino culture and it’s colourful cuisine.  Each month we will showcase a new dish along with their family dishes.  By sharing these recipes we hope you find the same passion and love for Filipino food as we do.

This month’s theme is : colours of the Philippine flag. Red, white, yellow and blue.


This theme was very challenging.  All colours need to be represented in the dish without using artificial colouring.  We were allowed to use one colour as a prop.  I decided to make crema de fruta.  It had most colours of the flag: red, white and yellow and it is delicious.  It’s a cake topped with custard then covered with fruit.

I’ve made cream de fruta before many years ago. I’ve forgotten how good this tastes.  For the cake, I used my brown sugar sponge. I just used half the recipe, though you can bake the full recipe and freeze one of the cakes.

Recipe for Custard:

  • 300ml milk
  • 300ml cream
  • 6 large egg yolks.
  • 2 rounded tbs cornflour
  • 4 tbs caster sugar
  1. Bring the cream and milk to the boil in a non stick saucepan.
  2. Beat the egg yolks, cornflour and sugar together in a bowl, then gradually whisk in the hot milk and cream.
  3. Return the mixture to the pan and cook over a low heat, stirring constantly for about 10 minutes.  The mixture should be thick enough to coat the back of the spoon.  Do not let it boil or it may curdle
  4. Transfer to a bowl and leave to cool.
Fruit topping:
  • 825g can of tropical fruit salad mix in juice or syrup
  • 1 tbs of powdered gelatin
  1. Place the fruit mix into a mixing bowl and sprinkle the gelatin on top
  2. Let the gelatin sit for a minute or two then mix.
  3. Place in the microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute to melt the gelatin.
  4. Set aside to cool a little.
To assemble the cake:
  1. Place the sponge cake in the cake tin you original baked it in so it’s the exact size.
  2. If the cake is taller than the tin, trim off a couple of centimetres off the top.
  3. Carefully pour the cooled custard over the cake.  Smooth with a spoon.
  4. Spoon the fruit mixture on top.
  5. Refrigerate for at least two hours or until the topping has set.

Bon Appetite,




Nilagang Baka (Filipino Boiled Beef)

In the midst of Winter, any food that can warm the cockles is welcome on my family table. I love eating nilagang baka. This translates to boiled beef. The beef ribs are boiled in water and onions for at least 2 hours making the beef so tender you don’t need a knife to cut into it. You can also add beef marrow to make it luxurious.

I like to add fresh corn cobs in the last 30 minutes of cooking and eat it separately. The soupy broth is delicious to slurp down on it’s own.

This is a common dish that is featured regularly on the family tables across the Philippines.  I have had this many times on my table and I hope it makes it to yours.

Recipe: (serves 4)

  • 1.5 kg beef ribs
  • 4 medium onions, quartered with core intact.
  • 4 corn on the cob
  • 3 bokchoy bunches, separated and washed
  • 4 medium potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • salt
  • 2 tsp peppercorns
  1. Place the beef in a large pot and cover with about 5 litres of water.  Add the onions, salt and peppercorns
  2. On a medium heat, bring to the boil, then simmer for 2 hours until the beef is very tender.  You may need to add water.
  3. Skim the top of excess fat.
  4. Add the potatoes and corn cobs. Simmer for another 30-40 minutes
  5. Add the bokchoy, continue to simmer for another 5 minutes
  6. Taste the broth and adjust seasoning if needed.
  7. To serve, pour into a large bowl and separate the corn cobs. Serve with steamed rice.

Bon Appetite,


Ginisang Sayote (Chokos with minced pork)

It’s choko (sayote, chayote) season and they are abundant in Asian grocery stores and in my parent’s backyard

I only know how to cook them a few ways.  The first is Chicken Tinola.  This has to be one of my favourite Filipino dishes and it’s a dish I look forward to eating. The second is something I like to make when I need something quick and tasty. It’s chokos that is simply sauteed with pork mince.

I was taught there is a way to cut up the chokos to make sure you get rid of some of the starch inside the vegetable.  Cut about 2-3cm from the top and rub the two pieces together.  Some of the sticky starchiness will come out.  This makes the vegetables less sticky when chopping into pieces. Try not to get any of the starch on your fingers as it’s very sticky.

Recipe: (serves 4)

  • 3 chokos
  • 250g pork mince
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tbs chicken stock powder
  1. Prepare the chokos by peeling and then quartering them. Remove the seed in the middle then slice. Set aside
  2. In a small saucepan, sauté the onion and garlic till opaque.
  3. Add the pork mince.  Cook until brown.
  4. Add the chokos
  5. Add enough water just to cover (about 1.5 cups)
  6. Season with salt and pepper and the chicken stock powder
  7. Simmer for 10-15 minutes until the chokos are tender
  8. Serve with steamed rice.

Bon Appetite,