Christmas in July dinner with food bloggers

19 July 2010, 07:01

I <3 Christmas. The colourful decorations, the food and the gathering of happy humans makes this eating fest my second fave eating holiday all year (Easter being my most fav). The awesome Billy and The Pom invited a whole bunch of happy food bloggers to eat and be merry at their place on the Central Coast with the theme of Christmas in July. Although we mainly communicate with each other online it is always a blast to get together in real life.

After our drive up from Sydney we take a quick detour for some fish and chips for a late lunch and arrive to find Billy’s kitchen overflowing with worker bees putting the last touches on their food. A menu has been pre planned and each blogger has brought along a dish or two to save Billy from cooking non stop. Though that doesn’t stop him from going all out and creating a meat feast!

While the food is being plated up Minh wraps her Secret Santa gift

The Captain and Billy strike a pose in their finest daggy xmas jumpers

A platter of cheeses materialises from Shez including home made labna!

Billy has baked a beautiful bread wreath and what is even more beautiful is the tub of truffle butter oh baby

Helen’s salad is filled choc a block with huge chunks of roasted pumpkin and crumbly fetta and a sprinkle of almonds

Minh’s sweet corn veloute made from Etch’s recipe is smooth and tastes like 100 corn cobs have given up their souls to create this wonderfully fragrant soup

Behold the classic antipasto hedgehog! Shez and her VTB bring this spiky creation to the table with wide grins and we chortle with glee as we pull out skewers spiked with triple cream brie, olives, melon, tasty cheese and cabanossi

Karen’s oven-roasted mushrooms with garlic and thyme is a mushroom bonanza!

Billy’s caramelised onion and fetta tarts are so freaking moreish especially with the homemade buttery pastry that just melts in the mouth

The Pom likes his brussels sprouts plain and with vinegar but he has also very thoughtfully made another bowl filled with bacon bits. Helen says they’re like eating a mini cabbage and since it was my first time eating brussel sprouts I nod warily and spear a sprout. I don’t mind the taste and find the slightly bitter taste interesting but I have issues with the layers of leaves and have to eat them like Minh- pulling off each leaf layer by layer

Helen’s chicken liver pate is smooth and velvety and I sneakily load up each slice of bread with a huge splodge of the pate and butter. Recipe please!

There was a pause in the incoming of food so it’s time for a photo with humans!

Meatballs from Karen and Shaun elicit immediate calls of balls! Ballllllls! Yep this was the alcohol talking but they were tasty balls indeed

Simon has crumbed and pan-fried angel fish fillets which are golden and crunchy and disappear immediately

Jacq and Sir D serve slices of country chicken and mushroom pie made from Maggie Beer’s recipe. The pastry is golden and buttery, encasing soft chicken and mushroom innards

And finally the moment we have all been waiting for…

Billy’s sexy glazed ham! There was also fan-freaking awesome roast pork and duck fat roast potatos but I uh seem to not have taken their photos erm i am fail.

With stomachs at explodey point we push onto dessert and The Pom brings out one mother honking Christmas pudding and then sets it alight.

Woohoo fire! Flames! So pretty! Burn it baby yeah!

Steph’s strawberry trifle is creamy but light, the sponge layer melding happily with the strawberry jelly on the bottom

Shez’s eggnog bundt cake sparkles not like a certain sparkly vampire hurhur but with the glory that is sugar. The cakes innards are dense and studded with ruby red cherries

What is Christmas without playing Secret Santa?

It’s party time!

A round of alcohol fuelled Pictionary brings out our drawing skillz

While some have piked early

Karen brings out her selection of petit fours- rich and boozy rum balls, uber light passionfruit marshmallow squares and chewy buttery caramels topped with chocolate. The sugar rush sparks some 80’s music karaoke

Richard has brought a wheel of Fromages des Clarines and infused it with garlic, thyme and white wine and baked it until warm and gooey and oh so very melty and tasty. Oishii!

My contribution to the weekend is waking up early and making breakfast though I managed to rope in Simon and Richard to help out hehe thanks guys! We made ricotta pancakes with berries, creamy scrambled eggs and uber crispy bacon rashers. There was also a litre of butterscotch sauce and a bottle of maple syrup floating around because hey why not have some more awesomeness with your breakfast? It’s the most important meal of the day!

And I’ll end this post with a pic of me in my beanie holding some bacon. Mmm bacon. Super thanks again to Billy and The Pom for having us over! I <3 our family!



  1. Beats the fights of real chrismas day!

    Fiona    Jul 19, 08:27 AM    #

  2. ooooh what fun! We may have just had a Xmas in July dinner last night ourselves :)

    Lisa    Jul 19, 09:21 AM    #

  3. Mmmm balllzzz hehehe :) Great photos! Thanks for the awesome breakfast, I ate so much of the pancakes and that delicious, evil butterscotch sauce.

    Steph    Jul 19, 09:42 AM    #

  4. Looks like you all had fun! I adore brussel sprouts and was a little surprised to hear this was your first ever try. You either love them or hate them!

    john@heneedsfood    Jul 19, 09:44 AM    #

  5. BAAACCOOOONNNNNN ♥♥ dudes that all looks amazing! Truffle butter – omgosh. And I see disposable + Instax cameras :D And Billy’s ham looks very sexy indeed. BRB – petting the glazed goodness.

    Your Monday morning food posts are evil. EVIL.

    Maggie    Jul 19, 11:56 AM    #

  6. The petit fours sugar rush was just what we needed. A fantastic weekend spent with amazing friends. Merry Christmas Suze!

    Helen (grabyourfork)    Jul 19, 12:02 PM    #

  7. All nights should end in candy, 80s karaoke and cheeeeese. And whatta feast that was! Ooh it was a good night for porky goodness.

    Karen    Jul 19, 12:46 PM    #

  8. yum yum so much foods! let’s do it all over again next year! btw your bacon was super crunchy awesomeness, how did you get it so crunchy?

    Jacq    Jul 19, 01:16 PM    #

  9. Thanks Suze for coming up and celebrate Christmas with us! So much bacon-love… and oh the butterscotch, I want to drizzle it on everything! LOL

    billy@a table for two    Jul 19, 01:25 PM    #

  10. Everything looks incredible! From the super gooey baked Fromages des Clarines to the pudding and the Petit Fours, even the brussel sprouts look appealing!! Nom nom nom!!

    Emily    Jul 19, 01:35 PM    #

  11. Oh wow what an awesome feast!! I think I would have piked on the sofa too.

    Sara (Belly Rumbles)    Jul 19, 01:41 PM    #

  12. That Christmas pudding is the coolest thing I’ve ever seen!! its MASSIVE!! Love it!

    Rhonda (thedaintybaker)    Jul 19, 01:45 PM    #

  13. Fun times! Looks like your new lens has worked out quite well for you :)

    Your butterscotch sauce was super awesome.

    Simon @ the heart of food    Jul 19, 01:46 PM    #

  14. yummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmy!

    Laura (Starloz)    Jul 19, 02:38 PM    #

  15. Why are all critical, idiotic commenters anonymous?

    Donna    Jul 19, 03:19 PM    #

  16. @Jackie – there are a slew of non-asian food bloggers both in Australia and overseas. I think you just happen to be reading the few that belong in a tight-knit community here in Sydney. Suggest you expand your blog read list!

    @Suze love the pix! Esp antipasto hedgehog, what a cute idea!

    Stephanie    Jul 19, 03:20 PM    #

  17. Wow! What a feast. Can’t believe I have missed out so much. How I love all the Daggy jumpers!!

    Ellie (Almost Bourdain)    Jul 19, 03:22 PM    #

  18. @jackie – you are a racist despite you an asian yourself. What makes a group of caucasian with professional cameras taking photos like lunatics is less annoying to you? You are not just racist, you are also a stereotyping, cowardy hypocrite who reads “asian” blogs. Shame on you for being an Asian actually and feel sorry for you.

    billy@a table for two    Jul 19, 03:40 PM    #

  19. Jackie,

    Firstly – they’re not. I know a lot of food bloggers and they’re not all of Asian heritage.

    Secondly – define “Asian”? You do realise there’s a lot of different countries in the region known as “Asia”? Different countries with diverse cultures, languages and cuisines? Why must you lump all these people together? Would you presume that a French food writer would have the same perspective as an “Australian” food writer of Anglo-Celtic heritage? Because they’re both “white”?

    Thirdly – Don’t like it? Don’t read it.

    Alison    Jul 19, 03:41 PM    #

  20. @Jackie I’m a foodblogger and not Asian. I have also been known to take photos like a lunatic at Zumbos. Please cease the stereotyping.

    Suze, great blog post. Lovely photos! They made me hungry.

    Christine@    Jul 19, 03:47 PM    #

  21. Billy, did you have a hair cut?

    Jackie, blogging is good, taking photos is good, eating is good, but complaining about people enjoying themselves, having a good time and being racist is bad. (Brian who being half asian has a foot firmly in each camp.)

    yewenyi    Jul 19, 03:51 PM    #

  22. Really Jackie? Just because you’re Asian, it makes it less racist?

    You’re probably right. Chocolatesuze and perhaps a handful of others should just change their race to something more diverse. You have anything against blacks or hispanics? I figure while you’re being racist, we may as well incorporate other racial minorities.

    We should also look at the issue of having so many female bloggers too. They are just too many around. They gush so much over cupcakes and Manu. What gives?

    Oh, btw, I’m not being sexist because I’m female. No wait, I’m male, so this must be sexist…

    I’d ask you to blog about if it felt so passionately about it but then you’d be a part of the problem, being so Asian and all.

    Simon @ the heart of food    Jul 19, 03:54 PM    #

  23. I can’t believe that there are people out there that could actually be so ignorant. Yet there’s always someone to prove me wrong – thanks for that Jackie.

    I’m a food blogger and I’m Australian…….Why should it matter what race someone is….it’s the content of the blog, how is someone’s skin colour going to give you variety on the content? At the end of the day, it’s THEIR thoughts and THEIR opinions, and the colour of their skin is NOT going to impact on that.

    Way to be narrow minded. UGH!!

    WE <3 YOU SUZE!!

    Kat    Jul 19, 04:18 PM    #

  24. The question that you bring up Jackie isn’t anything even remotely new to the human race… your inability to understand why Asians are dominating the Sydney foodblogging scene fails the basic acid test for stupid statements, for example:

    “Why are all the basketball players in the NBA African American? I don’t get it. It’s annoying. We need variety.”

    Your post will sound stupid no matter what the subject is. ANYWAY, if you really want to know desperately, this specific topic has been dissected and quantified in detail in other foodie communities (by Asians, of course ;) )

    P.S. are you seriously Asian? Your failure to use the apostrophe shames your parents and ancestors, do I need to cut a bitch around here to see some proper apostrophe use? FUCKING RRRRRRRRRAAAAAAAAGE etc etc hi Suze.

    — Nick    Jul 19, 04:21 PM    #

  25. Dear “Jackie”,

    It saddens me to hear that we make you ashamed of your race. On behalf of my food blogger colleagues, I would like to apologise for our erstwhile behaviour and offer our heartfelt condolences, slitty eyes welling with tears of sincere shame. However, I am unable to ever since I underwent a full tranfusion two years ago and replaced my dirty Asian blood with pure, holy, clean Anglo plasma.

    My sympathies to you and your family.

    The Ninja    Jul 19, 04:22 PM    #

  26. Perhaps us fat Anglo bastards are just too freakin’ lazy to blog…..heh heh. I’m not sure where I am going with this but all I know is I love food bloggers and I don’t care if they are Asian, Eskimo or fat Anglo. It’s all about the food baby, nuthin’ but the food.

    — Annie    Jul 19, 04:26 PM    #

  27. im a skip, cant spel, canty type, canna use a camera
    I still think use is all a bit strange, but then so is puttn crab in an omlette and charging $23 dollars for it!!
    by the way jackie everytime a camera pops up in my shop, i get another 10 customers…cant be all that bad really

    — josh cafe ish    Jul 19, 04:30 PM    #

  28. Oh wow Jackie….. I too am a Sydney food blogger, but not Asian.

    You are reading a post on a tight knit group of friends who happen to be food bloggers and also happen to be Asian, so what? I agree broaden your reading if you find it offensive.

    I do want to thank Suze and Helen for being amazing people who embrace the Sydney food blogging scene. Without these dudes I don’t know if our community would be as strong as it is. Thank you for opening your arms and embracing me in to this community a year ago when I started blogging.

    Sara (Belly Rumbles)    Jul 19, 04:34 PM    #

  29. Looks like a wonderful feast and that you all had a great time.

    I love the look of the pumpkin and feta salad. Deliciously healthy and just what I need right now.

    Delicieux    Jul 19, 04:37 PM    #

  30. yeah! Is it slightly amusing to anyone else that the food bloggers are FEEDING THE TROLL? :p


    Fiona    Jul 19, 04:40 PM    #

  31. Heya Jackie,

    I’m sad that you feel that way. But I hope you understand that your own ethnicity doesn’t preclude your comments from being racist. In a way I’m hoping that you’re just someone young who’s yet to come to terms with their self identity.

    Because self-hatred is pretty sad.

    Mel @ crunchytiger    Jul 19, 04:43 PM    #

  32. Jackie,
    Just because an ‘asian’ has a pro camera in their hand, it doesn’t mean that they’re a food blogger, so there’s no need to get annoyed at innocent people who want to capture awesome zumbo treats.
    I bet you secretly want to be a food blogger, dontcha?

    Betty @ The Hungry Girl    Jul 19, 04:45 PM    #

  33. Back to the food, it looks great :P

    Howard    Jul 19, 04:52 PM    #

  34. APPLAUSE to Jackie for writing the best comment ever! The idiocy of it was so astounding that I had to read it 10 times to absorb the awesomeness. I am amazed at how you function normally in everyday life. Big big fan here.

    Now I have a wooden leg to I’m not being prejudiced against pirates. Oh and I’m an idiot too so you’re safe Jackie. I guess I’m covered. Lets be friends.

    Karen | Asian Food Blogger    Jul 19, 04:54 PM    #

  35. SUZEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE this looks like soo much fun!!!! I want to wear an ugly sweater too! _

    Since when was there a stamp on race when it comes to food blogging??

    If we’re lunatics for having our big cameras out, then why do you read food blogs? if it wasnt for our cameras shoved in front of food, then what photos will there be for you to see and get entertained by?

    Leona @    Jul 19, 05:11 PM    #

  36. Wow, that Clarines fondue looks amazing, I made one with a Rouzaire Camembert this week-end, and it was just running all over the plate, miam! Looked like it was a very fun week-end indeed.
    I’m not gonna add about Jackie’s comment, it’s all been pretty much said in the previous comments, but I’m gonna echo Sara in saying that I’m not Asian and also felt very welcome by Suze and fellow bloggers, voila! :-)

    Sandie @ The French Wench    Jul 19, 05:56 PM    #

  37. Everyone at work thinks I passed out drunk on the couch. Thanks a lot Suze =P

    — Sir D    Jul 19, 06:15 PM    #

  38. Oh Jackie it’s really sad you feel that way. Without a lot of us “Asian” food bloggers you wouldn’t have all these wonderful reviews, recipes and stories to read about. And if we didn’t take the photos, you wouldn’t see all the awesome food that Sydney has too offer. Tsk tsk….

    Brenda    Jul 19, 06:24 PM    #

  39. Good on you, @Nick for trying to answer Jackie’s question.

    @Suze, great post and love the beanie!

    KayB    Jul 19, 06:25 PM    #

  40. Looks like you all had a heap of fun :)
    I’m now craving christmas pudding! Maybe I can convince my mum to make one – My birthdays a good enough excuse!

    Kristy Sayer    Jul 19, 06:42 PM    #

  41. It’s all about the food. It’s always all about the food. It may be steeped in tradition and culture but it is not discriminatory towards by whom it gets eaten.

    mademoiselle delicieuse    Jul 19, 07:35 PM    #

  42. I don’t care if Christmas is five months away – given the weather – I love celebrating it early! And I love the food spread Suze – you can really see the generosity of bloggers come out. Merry Christmas! (in advance)

    Trissa    Jul 19, 07:53 PM    #

  43. @Jackie – It’s annoying? Is it somehow detrimentally affecting you that you have to be “not racist” but post a comment very much to that effect? You can be Asian and be extremely racist towards Asians at the same time – as you have shown.

    Suze – what a great party! Love the looks of the bundt and Billy’s wreath! Hope he puts up the instructions..!

    Tina    Jul 19, 08:04 PM    #

  44. Haha cool party hats

    Jackie be careful you sound kinda bitter. perhaps you should upgrade to a DSLR so your zumbo photos turn out prettier

    grace    Jul 19, 08:32 PM    #

  45. Ha ha, the crashing on the sofa after huge meal – just like real Christmas :) Looks like a super awesome time was had by all. I am most impressed with the flaming pudding, and your beanie. Can I has it? ;P

    shaz    Jul 19, 09:21 PM    #

  46. Ooh, sleepy boy with sleepy cat – made me forget about the fromager des Clarines for a sec there.

    OohLookBel    Jul 19, 10:15 PM    #

  47. WHAT A GREAT FEAST. always good to share the kitchen cooking amongst so many people. that hedgehog is pretty cute and funny. :-) at first i thought this post had lots of comments about the party but then i just realised that nearly half of the 46 comments are all about responding to Jackie’s comment so looks like it got a little side tracked and off subject. i loved ‘josh cafe ish’ comments HEHE so does that mean i can visit and photograph the dishes there now?! i’d pay $23 for a soft shell omelette if it’s bloody fantastic.

    Simon Food Favourites    Jul 19, 10:29 PM    #

  48. Suze your post is great. I love all that food and celebrating Christmas in July and again in December is cool. Yayyy

    Jackie your comment is Lamo. You may be Asian but if I was related to you, I would probably bitch slap you like your Mumma would if she saw your lamo comment. Get back in your hole and don’t comment if you dont have anything interesting or good to say.

    Katherine    Jul 19, 11:36 PM    #

  49. Mmmm that is some uber good looking food. I would make a pig of myself if I had that spread in front of me.

    Mark @ Cafe Campana    Jul 20, 12:03 AM    #

  50. OMGoodness! So much food! That pudding seriously looks like a giant brain.

    P.S Asian’s stick together because we’re cool, but seriously there are way too many Malaysian bloggers out there =p

    angie    Jul 20, 10:57 AM    #

  51. @ Jackie: no need to discriminate. We are all Australian despite the different races.

    Ellie    Jul 20, 02:44 PM    #

  52. aww.. the 3rd post i m reading on christmas in july..i guess this year ppl are pre celebrating it..

    just love how that pudding on fire~ sure taste good!

    taufulou    Jul 20, 05:12 PM    #

  53. Such good times with good friends and company! Can’t wait till next pig out ^^!

    and lol at racist Jackie

    FFichiban    Jul 20, 06:35 PM    #

  54. Yum! Yum! Yum! My favourite is the hedgehog :D

    Ladybird    Jul 20, 09:13 PM    #

  55. FoodieChat is also female and Asian :)

    Foodiechat    Jul 21, 04:53 PM    #

  56. Oh man my comment didn’t show :( here goes again.. Good in you suze for showing ur Asian food blogging pride. You’ve done us proud miss awesome!

    @Jackie go starve itself if u don’t like what you see when you eat out or don’t go out all. The fact your Asian? you should know how much Asians love their food we serve chicken feet at yum cha and tripe in our soup… Pretty much explains everything.

    Leona    Jul 22, 12:08 AM    #

  57. This is such a great food blog. Shame on Jackie who cannot appreciate this blog, stereotyping and causing unnecessary disturbance on this amazing blog. Shame on you Jackie!

    — Lingy    Jul 22, 01:43 AM    #

  58. The food looks freaking awesome but I totally awwwwwed out loud at the sleepy boy and kitty!

    Gem    Jul 25, 09:27 PM    #

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