eating the holidays away

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 brods

Tuna 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)

Shrimp, shells and corn soup with chili leaves
Pesto chicken and penne
Spaghetti with seafood marinara sauce
Pan-fried malasugi with lemon-parsley butter
Native lechon
Chili-garlic shrimp
Leche flan

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 noche

Cream 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
Austrian beer

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!

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4 thoughts on “eating the holidays away

  1. 50 guests? puede nang one-woman catering service!

    There are good and affordable Spanish, Italian, S. African and German wines (in Treffpunkt?). Saan ang Treffpunkt diyan? Strawberry wine, anyone? 🙂

    Ano ang malasugi?

    Penge naman ng easy to cook recipe ng soups. TY.

    1. Sa Cubao ang Treffpunkt, along EDSA-Main Avenue. I haven’t tried their wines kasi may suki ako na wine cellar in Gateway and Shang. Saka mas interesting yun mga Austrian beers e. Next time we’ll try their version of the beer barrel dispenser, refillable daw, you can just have it refilled tuwing may inuman. How cool is that?

      Malasugi is fish with white meat. Swordfish ata ito.

      The easiest soup is to just boil potatoes and onion leeks in water. Better if you have soup stock, otherwise plain water with lots of leeks will do. Pag luto na ang patatas, just mash & mix with a fork or blender, season with salt and pepper. Can be served hot or cold.

  2. beer barrel dispenses?! siguro if you are into beers try brewing your own, pero medyo complicado yata. or inom lang? also try belgian beers (duvel) if you find any.

    may sherry is good for sauces. kaya lang medyo mahal yata. gin bilog na lang. lolz.

    thanks for the soup recipe.

    1. I have contemplated on making my own cheese and baking my own bread, but brewing my own beer, di na ata yan kaya ng powers ko. Sige i’ll look around for Belgian beer. Alam ko may Belgian restaurant hidden somewhere in Silang. Baka meron sila.

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