Home Sweet Home

Via De Lunares Y Naranjas

My brother Mark flew in from NYC two nights ago and it finally felt like Christmas.  Yes, we had been cooking, feasting, drinking and eating our merry way through last week but it’s never quite the same until the whole family is all together. For all the time we spend apart and distances between us throughout the year, we’re making up for it by cramming ourselves under one roof.  In a small 2 bedroom apartment.   Let’s see if we make it until the new year without killing each other!

Yesterday morning (which was more like noon because everyone’s on different time zones), we woke up to our postponed Christmas day and gathered around our tabletop tree with its drooping branches to open our gifts. Mark got us some wonderful gifts from MOMA, Karla made sure we will all be warm with cozy gifts from Shokay and we all got many books to keep us curious, hungry and inspired.  I’m excited to try the recipes from my new Lucky Peach cookbook!

Via Aster and Beau

When all of us come together, it’s almost always about food.  Who am I kidding, it’s pretty much all about food.  Our kitchen island is currently overflowing with snacks and treats that we all stocked up to share with each other.  Dad lugged tins of our favourite Fortnum and Mason cookies from Hong Kong, Karla packed homemade cookies that she orders from an American expat in Shanghai, I ruined them with this seriously addictive cookie discovery, and Mark brought over a homemade lemon poppyseed loaf made in his kitchen in NY.  And that’s just the kitchen island.

The fridge is filled with leftovers from our family dinner marathon all week.  I’m talking about a delicious homemade lasagna that Karla and I made for Christmas dinner at Auntie Aza’s house, care of Michael Smith.  It was a hit!  Everyone loved it!  It was so good we had to take a good chunk of it home with us.  There’s also the leftover roast chicken from Christmas Eve dinner, that one was courtesy of Gordon Ramsay.  Stuffed with chickpeas and a thick layer of tarragon butter crammed and smeared  between the skin and the breast.  Oh baby, that was a hit too.


And the desserts! If you know the Sys then you know we all have a penchant for the delectable, the sweet, the incredibly rich and indulgent pleasure that is called dessert. There are lemon squares waiting to be devoured in the fridge, slices of delicious prune cake that my cousin made for Boxing Day dinner (if there are any left), homemade ginataan (my Dad’s favourite Filipino dessert), homemade Filipino-style fruit salad, baked taro and tapioca custard, and chocolate cream pudding.  Not to worry Mom, we made sure our sweet tooths will be taken care of this holiday season.


So last night, instead of going out, we got cozy in our PJs, cleaned out the leftovers for dinner, and gathered around the TV to watch Joy while we nibbled on cakes and puddings and sank into a sweet oblivion. There’s nothing that says the holidays at the Sy household more than an obscene amount of cooking, eating, and sweets to send anyone’s blood sugar into overdrive. Mark is here!  Let the holiday gluttony begin!





  1. So wonderful to hear about your holidays. We love you and miss you talking with you so much. Wonderful recipes and we actually watched the episode where the tarragon chicken was done. It is also a recipe from the English chef whose name I have forgotten at the moment


  2. Great blog Stephanie. I finally read it carefully rather than a quick glance on my cell phone. Sounds like you are having a wonderful time. Best wishes. Take care.

    Sent from my I Pad.



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