A festive family feast on Christmas Eve

This year my family decided to have a fairly traditional westernized Christmas feast as much as possible. My mum decided to have ham, turkey and duck. Can you believe that? A bit overkill with the meat but you know what? It turned out well…let’s start off with the meats…

My sister prepared the turkey with some baked potatoes (great work with the turkey and potatoes). I don’t usually like turkey but I enjoyed this one…

My dad prepared the duck! First he boiled it, then placed it in the oven…

I told him that doesn’t look cooked, then he told me, “it’s only half way there”. I saw him brushing it with his marinade, then cooked it in the oven for a bit longer and the next thing I knew it was ready and boy did it taste good!!!

Everyone, meat my leg of ham!

That’s right, I cooked the leg of ham and everyone loved it. I felt quite chuffed!

Poked a bunch of holes into it to let the marinade seep into the ham and then marinated it in pineapple juice for 2 days. Before I placed it in the oven I brushed maple syrup all over the skin then every 5-10 minutes I brushed it with my pineapple and maple syrup mixture to keep it nice and moist.

It looks like the pig’s head but really, it’s pork leg…

I know I’m working backwards here but I can’t forget the wonderful entree we had…

Like Joseph’s restaurant @ The Harvest Picnic we prepared a maple syrup and walnut crushed sauce to drizzle on the oysters and of course some lemon and pepper sauce as well…I know a sweet maple sauce on oysters doesn’t make sense but you gotta try it…it’s delish!

Dad also prepared some fruit cheese with some juicy red currants for entree (nice for entree and after dinner)

Then my sister spoilt us with her array of desserts from leche flan (popular filipino dessert…which I’m determined to attempt and ace soon!), a rich and creamy choc ripple cake, beautiful pavlova and some sweet beans (often used for halo halo a filipino crushed ice drink…I’ll do a post one time)

OMG!!! What a feast!!! There were a few other things we had, such as salad, a creamy potato egg and corn salad and my mum can’t go without rice so we mixed up some fried rice for her…okay I admit I had some too.

Meet my family minus myself, as you can see we were all in the Christmas spirit and wore Christmas colours. My little nephew had a little elf outfit on. So cute!!!Then you have Miss Jen as a dorky christmas reindeer…Then me with dorky christmas reindeer!!!

I hope everyone had a fun filled Christmas with lots of joy, laughter and presents and my family and I wish everyone a great and awesome year

Miss Jen’s Secret Garden of Vegetable and Herbs

She gets super excited about growing her own vegetables and greens that she always runs off to Bunnings and buys seedlings and little plants to grow…probably her biggest proud and joy is her cherry tomatoes which she names. Yes she NAMES them, Tom and Tam. She’s persistent that the names are gender driven.

Why? Tom [left] is slightly taller and narrow build while Tam [right] grows wider and produces more fruit. Does anyone agree?

Unfortunately earlier this year the sun was too strong and they withered away…so here’s her next batch…Tom and Tam 2.0.

Look at the concentration in watering those tomatoes…any wrong move and these tomatoes might have the same fate as the previous…

Not satisfied with just cherry tomatoes, a bit of chilli and corriander is worth a shot…

With a bit of love and hypnotism, she may be able to pull this off…

I’ll have to update the progress on my Facebook Page…GOODLUCK!!!…

Whilst Miss Jen was gardening…I found myself mezmerized by the beautiful plants and scenery in the backyard…I thought i’d share a little bit of it here too…

Hofbrauhaus Melbourne – German Pub/Restaurant

Hofbrauhaus (Pronounced Hofe-Broy-House) – To me it sounds like Opera-House

German Food, Beer, Schnapps & live entertainment. That sums up Horbrauhaus. Once you walk in you feel like you’re in Germany, not that I’ve been to Germany but it certainly plays it part with all the German posters, dim lighting and signs of .

What this place is probably famous for is its German beer, served in all different sizes from a standard glass, 500ml and of course your 1L glass (Oktoberfest style).

I wanted to try a few different beers so I went for the 500ml glass but if you know what you want you’re better off going with the 1L because when you’re at Hofbrauhaus drinking is a must! I’m not sure what German beer is supposed to taste like but I’m not usually good with beer but all the beers I tried went down smoothly. Next time 1L glasses all the way!!!

Depending on the time and day they have live entertainment which could be a two piece band to a full band and some German dancing. I went there on a Wednesday for a work end of year dinner, the place was a little quiet but we had two cute German performers in their German outfits playing the drums and accordion. Give them a clap for their hard work and they’ll say a thank you and merrily play their tunes.

I was so hungry I wasn’t able to take a photo of everyone’s food but don’t let the photos deceive you because the food gets served in a very large plate and the vegetables you see on the plate, like the broccoli is massive.
I got the chef’s recommendation which was sausage with mash potatoes, mustard and sauerkraut.
One of my work mates are into schnitzels and I’m pretty sure he ordered a Hahnchen Schnitzel but it looked too dry so he ordered mushroom sauce as a side.

Can’t remember what this was but as you can see the mushroom sauce looked mouth watering.
Hofbrauhaus is definitely a place to go if you want a hearty meal and a whole lot of beer. They also do functions which would be a ball and next time I go I will go during their peak times maybe on a Friday or Saturday and drink til my belly bursts. If you’re stumbling down Chinatown and come across one of my favourite Japanese restaurants Shoya then you will find Hofbrauhaus right across the road or probably more well known restuarant Flowerdrum.

Location: 18-24 Market Lane, Melbourne, 3000, Victoria, Australia
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Lemon Mustard Chicken Salad Recipe – Easy, Fresh and Delicious

Keeping it fresh for the sunny days we have been (momentarily) blessed with in Melbourne, I was inspired by a new recipe I learnt while researching at an Electrolux oven demonstration at Harvey Norman in Sunshine.

This dish was a perfect fit for what I wanted. Here’s the recipe:

Lemon Mustard Chicken Salad


– 3 Chicken breast fillets skinless (I used chicken thighs with the skin on because I like the juicy taste of it but if you have a well circulating oven you can achieve moist breast fillets)
– 3 kipfler potatoes (thinly sliced, about 1/2cm thick)
– 1 avocado
– 3 roma tomatoes
– 200g baby lettuce leaves
– 50g spinach leaves (optional)
– cracked pepper

Marinade and Dressing
– 4 tsp Dijon mustard (you can use more)
– 4 tbsp lemon juice (i used cumquat because we have a fruitful cumquat tree)
– 8 tbsp olive oil (you can use more)
– 2 cloves garlic (crushed)

– Combine all the ingredients for the marinade in a bowl and whisk together. Reserve half the marinade to use for the dressing.

– Trim the chicken. Wash the potatoes and thinly slice (about 1/2cm thick). Marinade the chicken and potatoes for at least 30 mins.

– Preheat oven on fan grill function (if you have that option) at 200°C

– Cook the chicken and potatoes for around 15-20 minutes (depending on your oven cooking time may vary)

– Wash, dry and arrange baby lettuce and spinach (spinach optional) on a serving platter. Cut tomatoes into quarters and slice avocado and arrange on top of lettuce.

– Place potatoes on top of the salad and slice chicken and arrange on top of potatoes. Drizzle dressing over salad and season with freshly ground cracked pepper.


Here’s a few tips:

Scoop out your avocado and keep it intact so you can slice it up and not have it all mushy…

Plate up some baby lettuce leaves on the bottom of the plate (this looks really good on a long rectangle plate but I just used 2 square plates). I kept the baby lettuce leaves the way they were for the bottom then cut up smaller pieces of baby lettuce and spinach, then dressed it up with the lemon mustard dressing…

Place the tomatoes, avocado and potatoes on top of the baby lettuce (I forgot to place the potatoes underneath the chicken but it was too late so I placed them on top)…

Slice up your chicken, as mentioned in the recipe I used chicken leg with the skin on but if you have a good oven it’s probably better to use skinless chicken breast but that’s up to you…make sure to drizzle more of the dressing on top of the chicken and potatoes…

There you have it, it’s not that difficult to pull off an easy summer dish for the family….and in my case a Christmas Summer Dinner!