My Christmas 2011 in pictures: 3 days of eating

My three days of eating was full of not only food but was full of family, love and laughter.  


The past few months have been a really busy time. Christmas, this time has been dedicated to spending quality time with the family. Time goes so fast and I don’t want to miss any part of it. Working 7 days a week at the shop can make that a little difficult but I’ve learnt to make time for not only with my husband and children but also with my mum and dad. 


I hope everyone had a fantastic Christmas, just like me.


My Christmas celebrations started a month before. I held my annual Christmas Cocktail party for family. You can see the post here


I started my Christmas baking two weeks before the big day. I wanted the house to be filled with the smell of Christmas.  I found a recipe for cute mini chocolate pudding cookies. You can get the recipe here. With the left over cookie dough I made black and white cookies and tea cup cookies. 

I made mini gingerbread houses for the family to decorate. I think the children did a better job than I did.  

Christmas Eve


Noche Buena was held at my parent’s house. Dad worked hard on the barbequed lamb, pork and pork tocino (sweetened cured pork) and all was beautiful and delicious. Mum also had roasted chicken maryland and cooked up an amazing paella. Sis in law and I made salads to complete the feast. 

For dessert, my cousin brough along a box of sweet mangoes. Sis in law made a delicious chocolate and honey cashew bombe wtih mocha sauce. 

My contribution was a Christmas Wreath pavlova. I got the idea from Donna Hay’s Magazine, Christmas issue however, I decorated mine with fruit with Christmassy colours. 

Christmas Day


After the children opened their Christmas stocking presents, we started the day off with waffles with crispy bacon and maple syrup. Hubby made a buck’s fizz for me to drink while I cooked up breaky. 

The chidren then opened up their main presents. Santa was very kind to them this year. To see some of their presents, you can go to Deanna’s blog post here.


For our Christmas lunch, we had goose. I used Jamie Oliver’s recipe. So easy and so tasty. Our sides consisted of roast potatoes cooked in beef dripping, cauliflower cheese, corn cobs, pigs in a blanket, mashed swede and carrot and brussel sprouts with bacon. Needless to say, we were completely full after our lunch. 

For dessert, we had choc-honeycombe ice-cream pudding. A quick and easy cake, I adapted from super food ideas Magazine, December issue. Hubby also had my Christmas cake which I started 2 months ago. It’s the usual recipe I use, which you can get here, but I added chocolate chips to this one just to change it up a bit. 

For late supper, we had my home made country pate with Cheddar cheese and crustini. I made the pate about 4 days before. I try to make this every Christmas so it’s sort of a Christmas tradition in my house now. 


Boxing Day 


Boxing day is traditionally spent at my mother in law’s. As we don’t get to see her on Christmas day, the Moore families head over to her house to celebrate a late Christmas. She put on a lovely spread of roast turkey and ham, assorted roasted vegetables. As usual, we go home with full bellies. 

For dessert we had a mango cheesecake and a pavlova. Yum. 

As you can see my Christmas was fabulously filled with delicious food and fantastic company. 


I hope yours was the same. 


Happy New Year! 


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,


Kulinarya Cooking Club March 2011 : Pinakbet


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 recipes.  By sharing these recipes we hope you find the same passion and love for Filipino food as we do.

This month’s theme is Vegetables.

Filipinos are known for their fatty and fried foods.  But there’s more to Filipino cuisine to just lechon and chicharon.  We love to eat vegetables. We also love seafood since the Philippines is made up of more than seven thousand islands, we are surrounded by ocean.

I chose to make Pinakbet.  This dish is a popular vegetable dish and is usually made up of bitter melon, okra, eggplant and fermented fish sauce.  I rarely have this but when I do, I love all the different vegetables that go in this dish. The bitter melon and okra (lady fingers) are vegetables I rarely eat unless it’s in this dish.  This is my mum’s recipe and she makes it all the time.  Needless to say, whenever I crave this, I just go over to her place to enjoy.

1/4 pumpkin (500g) cubed
1 bunch snake beans cut into 5cm batons
5 lady fingers, topped and tailed
1 bitter melon, halved then sliced into 3-4cm thickness.  Soak in salted water for 10-15mins
1 onion, chopped
4-5 small eggplants, cut into quarter’s lengthwise
1 tomato, large dice
1 knob of ginger, julienned
1/4 cup anchovy sauce (bagoong balayan)
100g pork, diced (optional)
100g raw prawns (optional)

1.  In a large pot, saute the onion, garlic and ginger until transparent.  
2.  Add the tomato and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
3.  If adding pork, add and simmer until cooked a little
4.  Add the snake beans.  Stir.
5.  Add the anchovy sauce that has been mixed with 1/4 cup of water
6.  Add the rest of the vegetables
7.  Add enough water just to cover (about 1 cup)
8.  Add the prawns
9.  Simmer until vegetables are cooked through.
10.  Serve with steamed rice and a piece of fried fish.

You can check out what the other members of the Kulinarya Cooking Club cooked up for this month’s theme here 

Bon Appetite,

Zucchini and Walnut Loaf

I love this!  I’ve never had a vegetable in a cake/loaf before.  I wanted to try this because my brother @MrEdwardPuzon was abundant with zucchinis.  It’s a little dense because it’s a loaf.  And because it’s dense, it’s best served smothered with butter and jam.
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 finely grated zucchini
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1 1/2 cups self-raising flour, sifted
1 1/2 cups plain flour, sifted
extra chopped walnuts
1.  Preaheat oven to 180degC.  Grease 15cm X 25cm loaf pan and line the base and long side with baking paper with 2cm overhanging the sides
2.  Beat the eggs,m sugar and oil in a bowl with electric mixer until combines.  Add the zucchini, nuts and sifted flours in 2 batches.  Mix to just combined.  Pour into the pan.  Sprinkle the extra chopped walnuts.
3.  Bake the load for about 1 1/4 hours or until cooked through.  Let stand in the tin for 5 minutes then turn onto a wire rack and let cool.
note: when you grate the zucchini, squeeze a little to get rid of some of the liquid.

Bon Appetite,

Kulinarya Cooking Club July 2010 : Ginataang Kalabasa (Pumpkin in Coconut Milk)

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 our family recipes.  By sharing these recipes we hope you find the same passion and love for Filipino food as we do.

This month’s theme is Ginataan.

Ginataan is a word that means food that is cooked in “gata”.  Gata is the Filippino word for coconut milk.  There are many varying dishes of this type and it  can be sweet or savoury dish.  

I decided to to make a pumpkin dish for one reason. This is, in fact my most favourite dish in the world!  I love this dish.  My mum makes it all the time and I eat and eat till I can eat no more.

The pumpkin came from my parent’s garden.  They are green thumbs.  It’s just so unfortunate that I didn’t get any of they gardening genes.
The recipe is quite easy however, no matter how many times I cook this, I can never get it to taste the same as my mum.  She goes by taste and feel rather than measurements, which makes it all the more harder for me to replicate.  I did, however, take notes when she made this one so I can include a recipe on this post.


  • 500g pumpkin
  • 300g green beans, topped and tailed
  • 250g raw prawns, peeled
  • 10 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 medium onion
  • 270ml can coconut milk
  • 2 tbl bagoong (sautéed shrimp paste)
  • splash patis (fish sauce)
  • oil

How to make it

  • In a pan, heat oil then sauté the garlic and onion till lightly browned
  • add the green beans and cook for 2-3 mins
  • add the pumpkin, coconut milk and 1/2 a can of water
  • season with the fish sauce and shrimp paste
  • add the raw prawns
  • simmer for 10-15 minutes
  • Serve with steamed rice

Other members of the Kulinarya Cooking Club:


Meatless Day Challenge – Spiced Pumpkin Soup

I am so lucky to have parents and a brother that have shiny green thumbs. I get to have fresh produce and even better, for free.  You can see my post on what I did with @MrEd2U’s eggplants here. My mum has a huge pumpkin patch in her back yard.  I only asked for an eighth of a pumpkin because they are HUGE.  I forgot to take a pic of the whole pumpkin so I can show you.  I only managed to only use half of that anyway.  I peeled and cut the rest and froze for another time.

I decided to make pumpkin soup for Hubby.  The problem is, my Hubby, doesn’t like pumpkins.  In fact he doesn’t like any orange vegetable!  Crazy, I know.  I wanted him to appreciate the sweetness of fresh pumpkin and I thought the best way was to make pumpkin soup.  To entice him a little I added a few spices as he loves them.  I went simple with the spices but any can be used.

  • olive oil
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 onion cut into large slices
  • 1 large potato
  • 500g pumpkin cut into chunks
  • chicken stock
  • salt and pepper
  • cream
  1. Pour olive oil in large pot
  2. Add the spices and gently cook till the aroma comes out
  3. Add the onion, potato and pumpkin
  4. Give it a stir
  5. Add enough stock just to cover the vegetables
  6. Season with salt and pepper. Be careful with the salt as the stock may already be salty
  7. Simmer till the vegetables are cooked through
  8. Blend in a food processor or blender till smooth
  9. Replace back into the pot and gently heat through
  10. Add a dollop of cream
  11. Serve with nice crusty bread.

Spiced Pumpkin Soup @ Group Recipes

I am happy to say that Hubby loved it.  I will definitely make him more with the batch of frozen pumpkins.
Meatless Day Challenge
Other members of the Meatless Day Challenge :

Meatless Day Challenge – Pasta in a grilled tomato sauce

This week’s meatless day challenge was inspired by a dish by Nigel Slater.  Using fresh tomatoes and grilling it and doing very little to it brings out the natural flavour of the sweet tangy tomatoes.

I love the idea of having pasta in a light and flavourful sauce.  The best part of this dish is that it’s not only very tasty but it’s quick, so it’s perfect for a midweek meal.

There really isn’t a recipe set in stone for this.  It really is free form and you can add any herbs you like.

Half tomatoes and place on an oven tray.  I used 6 tomatoes for 2 people but this was plenty.  Drizzle really good quality olive oil over them and season with salt and pepper.  I then added minced garlic and fresh thyme from my herb garden.  

Place under a hot grill and cook for 15-20 minutes or until the tomatoes are soft.  Place them in the bowl including all the juices that collected in the tray.  Pour a splash of red wine vinegar.  Roughly crush with a fork leaving some large pieces of tomatoes.  Mix in some fresh basil.  
To serve, combine with cooked spaghetti pasta and enjoy.
Meatless Day Challenge

Other members of the Meatless Day Challenge :