Broccoli canapés

Broccoli canapés
Broccoli canapés

I saw a post by Donna Hay about cauliflower pizza base and I thought broccoli sounds more fun to use. Her grain-free, knead-free recipe is simple and has 4 ingredients: cauliflower, almond meal, eggs and parmesan cheese. I don’t know about cauliflower but the broccoli version is a success, so much better than the Paleo pizza bases and toasts I’ve had in cafes around Melbourne. I decided to make a Paleo-friendly version by replacing parmesan with arrowroot powder and sweet potato powder.

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Paleo chocolate cake with creamy avocado chocolate frosting

Paleo chocolate cake with creamy avocado chocolate frosting
Paleo chocolate cake with creamy avocado chocolate frosting

I have been baking chocolate cakes two weekends in a row. Last weekend was a photo assignment for FishHead Magazine with Laura Vincent‘s addictive chocolate cake with vanilla milk chocolate ganache. I tried to paleo-lize her recipe as much as I could and it turned out really well, taste-wise. I was supposed to make another batch using the same recipe but I came across this Naked Chocolate Cake recipe by Teresa Cutter of thehealthychef.com. All the ingredients are Paleo-friendly and her chocolate cream frosting using avocado sounds interesting, so I gave it a go.

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Feasts to end a memorable 2014 and welcome a promising 2015

Christmas feast, Filipino style
Christmas feast, Filipino style

2014 have been an interesting year for me. Over the last five months, I have undergone significant personal changes, from embracing the Paleo way of life to quitting my job and moving to Melbourne. I am excited to be starting afresh in 2015, learning new things and meeting new faces, not to mention doing challenging things like eating meat from four-legged animals (actually, that one was a breeze!).

My mother, sister and I prepared (mostly) Filipino dishes on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve to welcome 2015 with a bang. See for yourself!

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The great escape: Sydney in Winter

Bondi Beach
Bondi Beach

The best time to go on holiday depends on the seasons and the reasons. To escape from a dreadful climate. To escape from a task that you don’t want to do. To escape from boredom. To escape from the drudgery of an office job. To escape from a heartbreak. I don’t know about you. But I go on holiday to escape. Period.

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Spaghetti with chicken sausages and rosemary-flavoured cherry tomatoes

Spaghetti with chicken sausages and rosemary-flavoured cherry tomatoes
Spaghetti with chicken sausages and rosemary-flavoured cherry tomatoes

Over the years I realized that the best pasta dishes I’ve made were the ones where I didn’t have to use a recipe. Once I’ve learned the 4 basic steps, it becomes easy to experiment with different kinds of ingredients and flavours.

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Seafood pasta with fennel and leek cream sauce

Seafood pasta with fennel and leek cream sauce
Seafood pasta with fennel and leek cream sauce

I was staring at this photo of the pasta dish I made using fennel and leeks and I knew, even if it looked perfect, that something was not quite right but couldn’t pinpoint what was wrong. Then it finally dawned on me that I should have used the fennel fronds I set aside as garnish instead of parsley! It would have made sense. It was a fennel sauce after all. If I didn’t forget my fennel fronds, this photo would have been absolutely perfect. Perhaps I should do it again tomorrow? I still have some sauce left. I just have to set everything up again, find that perfect light, shoot from that perfect angle, and make sure I have my perfect garnish. But why always strive for perfection? Isn’t good enough enough?

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Paksiw na Isda (Fish cooked in vinegar)

Paksiw na Isda (Fish cooked in vinegar)
Paksiw na Isda (Fish cooked in vinegar)

Vinegar is undoubtedly my favorite condiment. I have it in different colors (white, brown, black) and different varieties (you name it, I have it!) Have you tried dipping fried tofu in vinegar mixed with chopped onions? Heaven!

Paksiw na isda, or fish cooked in vinegar, is another popular dish from the Philippines. It is next to Adobo and Kare-kare in my bucket list of Filipino-dishes-to-cook-and-eat-before-I-die.

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Shooting for Miss Delaney #1 Spiced chicken thighs with roast broccoli salad

Delaney's spiced chicken thighs with a roast broccoli salad
Delaney’s spiced chicken thighs with a roast broccoli salad

This wonderful pair of recipes came out in the April 2014 issue of FishHead magazine under Delaney Mes‘ My Kitchen column. She creates recipes, I cook and shoot for her. She lives in Auckland and I live in Wellington but in this day and age of email and DropBox, distance doesn’t matter.

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