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Dec 30, 2011

Savoury Pastry Munchies & Bloggers Unplugged

These are about the cutest, chubbiest Christmas trees and stars. So good for a snack, with a good cuppa or/and a/several good beer(s) … kinda like a bowl of peanuts, pretzels .. you know, bar munchies, stuff that you just keep on popping into your mouth and just can't stop munching on. This was inspired at the very last minute by Sissi (go check out her pretty, pretty stars!) and I love her to bits for it. That also saved throwing away the leftover pastry for the Turducken pies. No wastage and soooo easy! Roll, cut, brush eggwash, sprinkle on your favorite toppings and bake. Do you really need a recipe?! Good grief! Okaaay, fiiiine, here ….


leftover puff pastry (ok, it doesn't have to be leftovers)
cumin seeds
poppy seeds
sesame seeds
coarse sea salt


Preheat oven to 180˚C.
Roll out pastry to very thin. (Remember to flour your board generously or you'll get out of shape starfish-looking stars like mine when it gets stuck and you try peel them off).
Cut out to desired shapes.
Place on a lined baking tray.
Brush with eggwash, sprinkle with toppings, bake 15 - 20 mins or until golden and puffed.

*Tip: It doesn't have to be any particular shape or size or even a need to use a cookie cutter. Just any odd-shaped tiny bite-sized pieces would do just fine. But if you choose to do that, it might be less time consuming to eggwash your pastry as a larger piece, sprinkle the toppings and then haphazardly chop them up into pieces, otherwise you'll be eggwashing until the turduckens come home!

Bloggers Unplugged

Right. This has been long overdue what with all the hoohah of the season. Sissi tagged me, Charles tagged me and before it starts to seem that I'm being rude not responding to their tags (sorry for the tardiness, guys), here it is …

1. What, or who, inspired you to start a blog?

Hmm …. the 'what' would be when I had to keep typing out and sending out recipes to friends who asked me for them and I got tired of sending the same recipes so many times, I decided to put it all in here and just tell them, "Go look at my blog." :D
The 'who' part would be a little more difficult … let's just say we had some really bad food at a very well known restaurant, paid through our noses and decided we could do better and let people know how easy it is to make stuff at home and not having to bust a hole in your pockets nor suffer the rudeness of chefs and waiters when told their food is crap.

2. Who is your foodie inspiration?

Another hmm … there are quite a number to name here. It would mainly be my mom and mum inlaw.

3. Your greasiest, batter-splattered food/drink book is?

I have a TON of cookbooks! None of them are greasy nor batter-splattered. Tsk. I love my books.
My favorites would be Nyonya Flavors for the taste of home, How to be a Domestic Goddess (Nigella) … I love how she makes things so easy and the way she describes them. (I wish I could write/talk like that). And of course my cooking bible, Joy of Cooking.

4. Tell us about the best thing you have eaten in another country, where was it, what was it?

Gosh, that's hard. At different stages of my life, I have different tastes and that too depends on what I crave for at the time. I can remember clearly enjoying one of the best Veal Steaks in a Trattoria in Assisi. I don't know if it's because we were starving or because of the atmosphere or the company (that's so important as well), but I remembered finishing every morsel and wishing it were a bigger piece.

5. Another food blogger’s table you’d like to eat at?

Everyone's!! It's gonna be one humongous table!

6. What is the one kitchen gadget you would ask Santa for this year (money no object of course)?

Too late now to ask Santa for anything. He'd probably forget this next year but it's worth a try …

Dear Santa,

Remember the range oven you brought about 15 years ago or so? Well, the door is almost falling off its hinges now. I've been good and haven't asked for a new one and have been struggling with all my baking stuff for so long, I think it's about time I threw that out, don't you think? It has certainly served me well and I love it to bits, that's why I've kept it slogging away for that long. Poor thing. I'm hoping you'll remember this request for next Christmas. Maybe if you just put it in the calendar on your Ipad or Blackberry (that I don't have), it might help you get a little more organized. Just a suggestion.
Rest well, dear old man. See you next year. Love lots. Ping.
PS. Just another teeny request … throw in a chest freezer too if it's not too much trouble. Thanks xxoo.

7. Who taught you how to cook?

Self taught and then from everyone I've clicked! :D

8. I’m coming to you for dinner, what is your signature dish?

Haha! There are friends who know me well enough to tell you not to expect the usual and normal stuff when you eat here. It's always something different. Nothing exotic or strange, just regular dishes done in my own way. Therefore, the answer to this would be …. DIFFERENT.

9. What is your guilty food pleasure?

This one's easy ….. FOOD.

10. Reveal something about yourself that others would be surprised to learn?

I actually have a brain. I just pretend to look and sound stupid.

Was I suppose to tag people? I can't remember. I'll do it anyway coz I had fun with this and here's hoping this short list of taggees will have some fun with the questions too. No obligations.

1. Veronica @ QuayPoCooks
2. Veronika @ Eattheroses
3. Veronica @ Veronica's Kitchen

Can you tell I'm having fun with the Veronic(k)as from different ends of the world?

Christmas Buffet 2011


  1. These look amazing! I love savory puff pastry :)

  2. Those crackers do look appetising. I bought some puff pastry other day, I will try soon.
    You forgot to tell Santa about the voltage and shape of the plugs in your country. You can always modify it but since he is buying it and carrying it all the way he will feel better if its ready to rock and roll as soon as its plugged
    #10 - I am not surprised at all. We can't see how you look also:)

  3. BTW, to avoid confusion, I guess my last sentence can be interpreted in different and completely opposite ways. But you know which one I mean, the good one:)

  4. Ping-those savory cut-outs do look so cute, and inviting. I'm no "stranger" to puff pastry, just wish I could make it homemade, which is rather time consuming, so I'm happy with the local Pepperidge Farm brand which is an excellent quality!
    I haven't made them with the Christmas cut-outs; only with the biscuit cutters for using it as little bites of shrimp, or other spreads on top!
    Great idea, and cute snacks!
    Love your responses in the tagging...don't think I could go through all these questions again, as I have last year, so good thing you just decided to tag the Veronicas...ha, ha!
    I'm still laughing at're hilariously funny!
    BTW-Your Christmas Buffet collage is you are glad that's over!
    Happy New Year my dear friend!

  5. Chubby! I love that you called these chubby :) They are adorable and if they're your 'different' on the food blog table, count me in!


  6. What a great way to use puff pastry!!!

  7. Fabulous pastry treats and what a fun tag game. It was fun to read a little more about you. Happy New Year!!!

  8. Ping, they are extraordinary!!! And you have even made Christmas trees! They are so cute, I know what I'm buying for next Christmas ;-)
    Thank you for testing my recipe! You cannot imagine how happy I am seeing these chubby snacks on your blog! I'm thrilled every time someone trusts my messy, badly explained recipes and I'm so proud when they actually work ;-) Thank you so much for the kind words about my stars. I'm touched and flattered. I mean it :-)
    I am glad you have managed to find some time and answer these difficult questions. It was a real pleasure to read your answers. I love your sense of humour. Even though I haven't thought about it, I also think bad dishes and/or service and/or prices in restaurants are one of the biggest reasons why I cook so often. (Why would I make such masochisticly difficult and smelly things like tempura?). I also have Joy of Cooking, but I must have made only two recipes... You make me feel I'm completely unconscious of the treasure I have!
    I hope Santa Claus mixes up the seasons and comes with the gift before next Christmas. I cross my fingers!

  9. Ah, I thought these looked familiar! I'll definitely be trying these when I'm back from my vacation. They look so easy and delicious - can't wait :) Thanks for doing the "bloggers unplugged" too, Ping :) It was so nice to read your answers! I'd love an oven range... they're so wonderful so that's a good wish!

  10. Kiri W: Hi! Thanks for the visit. Yeah, it was a nice change from all the sweet ones.

    3Cookies: Thanks, Mr T. Haha! I'm sure Santa's got all the details since he's been to this part of the world before. (I sure hope he gets a change of outfit for our climate tho). Not to worry about how your comments sound. I'm not super sensitive (not yet, wait til I menopause) and I'm ok with looking dumb ... the term 'dumb blondes' always depict a super looking woman ... I wish.

    Elisabeth: Hello, my dear. Yeah, I can't steel myself enough to make my own yet. The store bought ones are pretty good anyway, why bother. Maybe I'll try it once, just to see how it works ... one day. And yes, I'm so glad to get back to regular mode ... for awhile (before the Chinese New Year madness starts). But at least that's not as crazy for me as Christmas. Happy New Year to you too! Hugs.

    Parsley Sage: Haha! Thank you. You'll be welcomed anytime :D Thanks for the buzz.

    Tiffany: Yup, it is, thanks to Sissi.

    Kristen: Hehe ... I had some fun with the answers as well :) Happy Yummy Year, Kristen!

    Sissi: I'm so happy you approve! This was the best, simple idea for awhile. Aww ... you're welcome. Your stars are perfect. Mine look more like starfishes with their straggly ends. But no one actually noticed, they just popped them into their mouths. The trees turned out ok tho. I actually only use the Joy of Cooking book as a reference guide and not for their recipes. Very helpful for tips and such, troubleshooting even. I'd love to get my hands on the book by Mark Bittman - "How To Cook Everything". Haha! I sure hope Santa does the mix up soon! Happy New Year, Sissi!

    Charles: I trust you're having a great vacation ... snow and all, I envy you.
    Yes, these were really good for something so simple. I'll be actually buying more pastry just to make them for snacks. Thanks for the tag. I enjoyed answering them :D My next wish would be for Santa to hurry up!
    Happy New Year, Charles and Mrs Charles!

  11. Yummy ping! These look very festive and not *tooo* hard to replicate. :) Thanks for sharing!

  12. This is a smart way especially with leftover pastry, I must try this one day. Happy New Year 2012!

  13. simple - but very cute. Had to laugh at the Veronica thing..

    Happy New Year

  14. Brown Cookie Blog: Hi there. Yes, they're super easy and super nice!

    Sonia: Thanks, Sonia. Happy 2012 to you too!

    Sarah-Jane: Thank you! Happy New Year to you too! Thanks for dropping by :D

  15. My dear Lucy, clever answers and very witty as always! This Lucy is learning from you hehe... did Lucy wish you Happy New Year already?? If, not let Happy New Year to you and your family. BIG BEAR HUGS!!

  16. QPC: Thank you, Lucy :D Happy New Year to you and your lovely family too! Can't wait to see your answers. xxoooooooooooooooooooo

  17. Your munchies look fabulous!! I love the answers to your questions...and I think we know you have a one as witty as you is anything but SMART :)

  18. Lizzy Do: Thanks Lizzy! Glad you enjoyed that :D

  19. Hey and eeek, I've been tagged! Better get writing!

    Those look wonderful, and as it happens, I do have a pack and a half of leftover puff pastry in my fridge! But, but, I was going to go on a LCHF bend until I lost all the happy pounds! ... Guess I'll have to make them now and feed them to the Skinny Swedes™ (bf and best friend) - and try not to hate them for having the skinny genes! I mean... how scandalous is that, they ate all I cooked for the entire holiday season and can still button their pants! O.o ;)

  20. Hiya V. Haha! Thanks for making the effort. I know how busy you are with your parties and the studying slotted in between :D Yeah, isn't it so unfair the guys always burn off all the fat so easily? Grrr! Be sure to pop some into your mouth ... a piece or two won't hurt ... really. Heh. That's if you can stop. :P