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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The carrot cake that almost started an angry mob

Carrot cake with pistachios and walnuts
Carrot cake with pistachios and walnuts

About two weeks ago, I met an American from Michigan who moved to New Zealand and unexpectedly became a Kiwi farmer. In 2009, he started a WordPress blog called Moon Over Martinborough to chronicle their life in the farm which eventually led to a best-selling book of the same title. Carrot cake everyone wants is the most enticing story behind a recipe that I’ve ever read. It teaches you a lesson about sharing your most beloved recipes, unless you want an angry mob of pitchfork-carrying farmers at your door.

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A road trip

New Zealand passionfruit
New Zealand passionfruit

I wish I was blogging about passionfruit cheesecake and eating one right now. Wishing is one thing, making it happen is another. Perhaps another time! For now I just marvel at the thought and sight of these wonderful, wrinkly, sour and sweet little things called passionfruit.

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IFBC 2013, Seattle Washington

Last year’s International Food Bloggers Conference was held in Portland, Oregon. It wasn’t part of my planned trip to the U.S. so I didn’t go. This year though, I finally did. I took the train to Seattle, Washington and stayed in the foodie capital for 3 days.

The following photos were actually taken a year ago during a road trip to Seattle. They are still valid, I guess. Pictures don’t have expiration dates.

Seneca Street Sign, Pike Place

On the way to the famous Pike Place Market.

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Anything worth doing well is worth doing poorly at first!

Empty plate

“Anything worth doing well is worth doing poorly at first, and it is often worth doing poorly several times until you master it.” ~ Brian Tracy

DISASTER in the kitchen! No, I’m not talking about the time I almost burned the house while frying tofu. This is about two failed attempts at cooking experiments involving flour and pastry (again). First I tried to make vegetable tempura from supermarket bought tempura mix and dark beer. I sought advice from my Japanese friend who at one time brought a platter of vegetable tempura to a party. It was a hit and I wanted to recreate it.  A tablespoon of batter for each tempura and a pair of chopsticks are the secret weapon, she said. I missed to ask her about the rest. I ended up with  tempura that were soggy outside and half-cooked inside. The plate for the photo shoot remained empty. [Read more…]