Drum roll please… We have our first Food Blogger Idol finalist.

Things are heating up in the iVillage Food Blogger Idol kitchen.

After receiving hundreds of amazing and delicious entries from some extremely talented home cooks, and after deliberating for many hours, we managed to narrow the list down to the five. And now? It’s time to vote. So let’s meet our finalists…

Sofia Christopoulos

When thinking of a recipe to create for the PAMPAS blogger search competition I could not go past a family friendly recipe that would also make great leftovers for lunch and school box fillers. The flaky, pastry and mince filling is a great combination and let’s face it who doesn’t like to eat with their hands? There seems to be some special kind of enjoyment as you pick these colourful cups and take your first bite……first there is a slight crunch then a big hit from the Mexican spice mince which is then enveloped by the grated cheese, finely chopped lettuce, diced tomatoes and dollop of sour cream. Each mouthful is perfect. Sure a little mess is to be had and fingers are to be licked but that is the best part! I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we all did.

Mexican Cups

  Just as an FYI, you should know that this post is sponsored by PAMPAS Pastry. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100% authentic and written in their own words. 


For the filling:

  • 4 sheets PAMPAS puff pastry, thawed cut into squares
  • 1 cups chicken stock
  • 500 g lean beef mince
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 red capsicum diced
  • 1 green capsicum diced
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • ¼ tsp chilli powder (more if you like it hot)
  • 2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 2 tblsp olive oil
  • 700ml passata
  • season with salt and pepper

For the topping:

  • Shredded lettuce
  • Grated cheesed (I used tasty)
  • Deseeded and diced tomato
  • Sour cream


Step One.

In a deep 30cm sautee pan, add oil on medium heat. Once heated add onions and stir for 2 minutes. Add the green and red capsicums and cook until they are all soft and translucent. Add herbs and spices and cook for 1 minute until fragrant.

Step Two.

Turn heat on high and add mince and cook until browned breaking out any lumps. Season.

"Add herbs and spices and cook for 1 minute until fragrant."

Step Three.

Reduce heat to low and add the passata and stock. Partially cover simmering for 30 mins stirring occasionally. Check seasoning again. Leave cover off for a further 20 min or until the sauce thickens stirring frequently so it doesn’t stick.

Step Four.

Take off heat and spread on a flat baking tray to cool quickly.

Step Five.

Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees Celsius.

Step Six.

Cut thawed PAMPAS puff pastry into squares and lightly spray 3 x ¼ cup capacity muffin trays with oil. Place the squares in pressing firmly. Place the cooled beef mince in the pans.

"Place the squares in pressing firmly. Place the cooled beef mince in the pans."

Step Seven.

Lift the edges of the PAMPAS puff pastry and slightly fold to encase the filling. Bake in oven for approx.. 25 mins or until the pastry is puffed and dark golden brown. Stand for 10 mins and serve with toppings. I like to have shredded lettuce, grated cheese, deseeded diced tomato and sour cream on mine. Have the ingredients as sides on the table so everyone can help themselves and build their own cups! Enjoy!

If you'd like to vote for Sofia to be iVillage's new Food Blogger, you can vote by clicking HERE.

To see the delicious process in full, click through the gallery.

For all the Food Blogger Idol updates visit www.themotherish.com/food-blogger-idol

PAMPAS LOGOWhether you’re still finding your feet in the kitchen or you’re a self-confessed master chef, PAMPAS’ range of pre-rolled pastry sheets and shells are your blank canvas to create. Be it the humble family pie or pastry wrapped asparagus sticks for entertaining, PAMPAS provides you an easy way to create something new or simply make something that little bit better; so you can spend less time in the kitchen and more time enjoying delicious meals with those you love.