I know I am terribly over due for a post and I have several (decent) reasons. First is the fact that I went home for my Christmas vacation and although you make think that I would have more time to update since I have no school to distract me, its actual more time-consuming as there are more responsibilities and duties while at home. During the holiday season there are several parties to attend, a lot of shopping/errands to run and many attempts at cleaning the house. Second is the fact that although as readers, there are no new posts, I do work on the behind the scenes stuff. For example, I’ve really been working on generating more readership that is stable. I’ve been joining other blogging/food networks to promote the blog because my secondary goal for this blog is to gain a decent amount of readership. I think I’ve done very well for only 3 months of publication and I hope that things only get better from here on out. I also spend a lot of time uploading/editing photos. My lighting and camera quality are not always the best so I do take the time to edit photos to make them as appetizing as possible. I’m trying to do the research needed to improve my photography skills so that I can cut down on editing. So I’ve caught up on editing, done a good chunk of promotion and gained more readership so now its time to get back to what it’s all about; food posts!

We’re gonna go way back to feature the main party food for this Christmas season. This is what a Filipino feast is like during the holiday season, in particular my home for New Year’s. Warning: this post is picture heavy!

For the annual Christmas day party, our family friends take turn on rotation deciding who will host it. This year it was held at my uncle’s house in Whitby from lunchtime until dinner. It was a potluck event and everyone was required to bring something. My family had decided to bring shrimp & vegetable tempura. It was also our opportunity to open our gifts with everyone else. Shortly after, I fell asleep from just exhaustion of the past few days. I awoke in time to eat a little bit of dinner, picture taking with the family and then headed home. But back to the food. There were tons and I wanted to feature all of them.

This was a black forest cake made by a family friend who specializes in baking. I’m not a huge fan of black forest cake, primarily because I’m not a fan of cherries. However, I was informed by my all-cake-loving sister that it was delicious. It was a beautiful cake fit for the season.

This was the tempura my family had brought. We used shrimp, eggplant, sweet potato and green peppers. It was a hit at the party and there were hardly any left overs. My favourite is always the sweet potato. It wasn’t as crisp as it could be since it was cooked earlier in the day but it was still very delicious and very easy to make.

Click to see more photos!

What Filipino party is complete without some lumpia, Filipino spring rolls. My uncle makes a really crispy and delicious spring roll. I think I might like it more than my grandmother’s (oh my, don’t let her know!). It’s a tad greasy but very crispy and flavourful. It is of course accompanied by a sweet chili sauce.

My grandfather makes a wonderful coconut macaroons. I used to really dislike coconut and now I love it just as much as anything else. These are one of my favourites. Because they’re so small, I sometimes top them off with peanut butter for a different mix but they are definitely good on their own. They are not too sweet and packed with coconut flavour.

Kare-kare is another traditional Filipino dish and one of my favourites. It doesn’t exactly look that appetizing in this photo but there’s tons of delicious, hearty flavours to it. This was made by a family friend. I don’t typically eat the meat so I’m unsure what was used for this particular dish but my family traditionally uses oxtail for meat and flavouring. It is eaten with bagoong to add a salty kick on the side. yum!

Another Filipino staple, pancit is a traditional Filipino dish often seen at most parties. I don’t eat too much of pancit these days just because it’s rather filling and not as flavour to me in comparison to the other food presented at the table. Nevertheless, it is still delicious.

My uncle’s family had recently bought a mini chocolate fountain days before the party and had a spread out just for it. It was a big hit with the kids (of course!) I believe I ate one marshmallow but that’s about it. I’m typically all about the chocolate but it just wasn’t one of those nights. Still a lovely spread.

One of the more unique things on the menu were the mussels. I’m not quite sure who had made them but they were rather delicious. There were two versions (unfortunately only one was photographed). This version had a flavourful tomato broth with lots of spices. The other version was a baked version with cheese and spices made by my cousin. That was definitely my fav of the two although both were incredibly delicious.

These breads are made by my grandfather and is becoming a traditional aspect of our meals. I’m not the biggest fan of them when at room temperature but when heated up, they’re very delicious. He sometimes filled them with a strip of cheese. They’re a great homemade bread and I can definitely respect their homemade appeal to them. I wish I could bake bread. (P.S. he used to work at Tim Horton’s which is where he got some inspiration to bake)

This is fried calamari brought by a family friend. It is typically pretty good. It would have been better when it was freshly fried or rewarmed. Nevertheless I took a few pieces.

This was the luscious lemon cheesecake with a hint of mint that I made for the party. I will feature it with the complete recipe and results on a separate post. I made two for the party and was incredibly delicious. I was pleasantly surprised as it was first attempt at a more complex and flavoured cheesecake. I’ll definitely be making more cheesecakes in the near future.

These were some of the other dishes at the party that I didn’t get a chance to eat so I didn’t want to put my two cents into it. The brownies in the lower right corner were made from a family friend. I’m not really a fan of brownies but I admire her made from scratch efforts. I’m not really a fan of soups which is why I didn’t get a chance to taste it. Everything does look delicious and I wish I had more space to give it all a taste.

This was my final plate. I didn’t end up eating everything on here and got some more of other things. Later in the evening for dinner, my aunt finished cooking a more traditional Christmas feast which included a full turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and gravy. I didn’t get a chance to photograph it as it was served after I woke up. I will say though it was definitely delicious, especially the stuffing which is always my favourite part of the traditional meal.

(On a side note, Christmas is my maternal grandfather’s birthday. He unfortunately passed away many years ago but I think of him fondly on this day. I wish he could have been around to celebrate with us. )

Up next is Part 2 with our feast from our annual New Year’s Eve bash/birthday party.