My holidays officially end today. You’d think three weeks of christmas vacation would be enough but it hardly was. On some days i’d be dead tired cooking and serving food to guests, other days i’d be dead tired cleaning up after the mess that party guests left. And just this week i was tired day after day looking after my incredibly active little boys, then sneaking up on some cooking, cleaning and laundry while they sleep, just because i sent yaya on vacation (househelp deserve holiday breaks too). Despite the exhaustion, christmas remains my favorite season. I can’t believe I keep looking forward to such a tiring time of the year.
So how were your holidays?
I probably gained a few pounds from eating too much holiday food. Heck, I don’t keep cooking just to watch all the good food disappear in front of my eyes. I also eat what I cook, y’know?
And before I forget them, I’m listing down some of the great holiday menus I came up with for this year. A lot of seemingly fancy but very easy to prepare food fare for the most special of your guests.
Christmas party for Turo’s fraternity brodsTuna kinilaw salad Beef hofan Bacon-chicken liver skewers Pan-seared pink salmon on a bed of cauliflowers and peas plus pork barbecue, pancit malabon and pichi-pichi brought by guests
This menu consists of food that Turo and I and the kids all love to eat, which we think our guests would also enjoy. Thankfully everything was deliciously prepared and our guests did enjoy. Plus the food that guests brought were equally yummy and complemented the rest of the menu. Nothing’s worse than a potluck dish that’s a far cry from the rest of the food.
Noche Buena (we were at my in-laws and they don’t have a holiday cook so i came up with a ready to eat menu for father, mother and brother)Mapu red wine (Chile) Cracked pepper and smoked vintage cheddar cheese
Cold cuts platter from Treffpunkt French baguette slices
Father received as a christmas gift some gourmet handcrafted cheeses from his Australian friend. I wasn’t present during noche buena but we got to taste what was left of the cheeses when we got home and they were heavenly. The cold cuts were pretty good considering how inexpensive they were. And the wine, I must say this is the first time I actually liked wine that’s not French.
Christmas party for Father’s family (the Alforte’s)
Sorry there are no food photos for this particular menu. We served food to more than fifty guests so imagine all the kitchen chaos I created that left me with no opportunity to take pictures. Needless to say, this is a very well thought-out menu, considering the limited prep time and the overwhelming number of guests. The dessert and all the sauces were prepared a day before. On the day, I started cooking after breakfast, shortly after the lechon was delivered, and everything was ready as the guests arrived for lunch. Using only a two-burner stove and our usual set of pots and pans, I couldn’t be prouder. I’m turning out to be a professional party host.
Family media nocheCream of mushroom soup Brie cheese fondue with cauliflower, green peppers and mushrooms
Baked tomatoes with crusted parmesan cheese Baked scallops with caper-raisin sauce Penne with tomato and three-cheese sauce
While being the most special, this was the easiest to prepare of all the menus I did this entire christmas season. It took me an hour thirty to cook everything plus a potluck dish and dessert for a new year’s eve party at my grandmother’s later that evening. The cheese fondue and the beer were this menu’s highlights.
I don’t have any resolutions for this year. I just want more efficient and exceptional use of my time for all sorts of activities, including those done in the kitchen. Cheers to 2010 and may there be more parties to come!