Sunday, December 30, 2012

Christmas Eve Dinner 2012

For the last several years, we have been out of the country during Christmas.  But since we stayed home this year, I was able to personally prepare our Christmas eve dinner.  

I remember a few years back we had a Christmas eve buffet dinner in Hong Kong, I didn't fully appreciate the food spread because of the limited time available.  Add to the fact the two younger ones were so much younger then, and needed more assistance.  Eating at home is so much more relaxed.  It is made more enjoyable if, like me, you also enjoy cooking and trying new recipes.

Since I decided that ALL the food are going to be home-made, I started prep work in the kitchen mid-afternoon to make sure that I won't be hurried.  I wanted to enjoy the process since I was going to make it for my family for Christmas Eve. after all.  

Pardon the photos since they were all just taken with my daughter's iPhone cam.  As you know, my hands are tied in the kitchen.... So anyway, here's what we had for our simple celebration:

Caprese Salad on Skewers.  Grape tomatoes, basil leaves, truffle noir cheese, drizzled with extra virgin olive oil, generous sprinkle of freshly ground peppercorns and sea salt.  This is a family staple, even on ordinary days as this is so easy to prepare, and the flavors just pop in one mouthful.


Baked Brie with Truffle Mushroom, topped with Roasted Honey Almonds. You cannot see it here but underneath those roasted almonds is a layer of crusted brown sugar.  This is hands down the favorite dish of the night.  So easy to prepare, but it made my family think the world of me.
Baked pears with caramelized balamic vinegar topped with crumbled stilton cheese and pistachios.  The kids usually refuse to eat any kind of blue cheese, but somehow this one was tolerated somewhat... or they were just being cooperative and grateful.


Roasted chicken with garlic and lemons.  This roasted chicken is another family favorite, and on the few occasions that there are leftovers, I find that they taste even better the next day.

And I just love the roasted garlic... I simply press at the ends and all the garlicky goodness slides out easily.  Mash and eat with the chicken.

Grilled rib-eye steak on a bed of arugula and strawberry salad, drizzled with balsamic vinegar dressing.  My carniverous family could not let a meal pass us without red meat, so I grilled a few slabs of rib-eye and placed them on top of the saladHate to admit, but I prepared the salad to find a way to limit their consumption of red meat.

Linguinie with mushrooms and garilic with truffle cream sauce.  This is a special request from C, and I made sure to make the sauce generously cover the pasta as everyone loves the cream sauce... no fighting over food because it's Christmas Eve.:)

You might notice that I was very generous with using truffle oil, using it even in several dishes; and that is because I bought it at Bacchus Epicerie over at PowerPlant Mall the day before Christmas for 20% off.  I bought a small bottle of black truffle oil (about 25ml if I am not mistaken) from them about six months ago for P1,200.  And for this recent purchase, I just paid less than a thousand only.  

I did not prepare desserts anymore, but I want to share with you that the red velvet cake from Karen's Kitchen is such a stand out that it will soon be a staple on every celebration!  It's so good, so moist and just the right amount of sweet.  

That's about it.  Leaving you all as I celebrate the New Year with a staycation.  See you all 2013!

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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Iloilo: Batang Pinoy National Champs 2012

Just came back a week ago from accompanying a daughter to Iloilo for the Batang Pinoy National Championship. It's J's first time to travel for a swim meet, and she was naturally excited for it. The 5-day sojourn practically seemed like a mini-vacation for her. Imagine, not having to go to school, and being in the company of her good friends. What more can a girl ask for?

In a way, it was also a vacation for me... 4 days of not having to drive/tutor/cook. Could pass for a bakasyon grande... hahaha!
grabbed from my daughter's instagram photos 

On the scheduled day of the opening of the Batang Pinoy games, Typhoon Sendong was also expected to make landfall in the Visayas, causing not a few athletes to be stranded in their hometown. Hence, the games had to be moved a day later, leaving us all with a free day!

Inspite of the typhoon warning and the storm signal that was raised all over the Visayas, the sun dominated the sky in our part of the province.

Instagram photos from the daughter's phone.
Photo-op with Akiko Thompson after the awarding.

And before you now it, we are on our way home. Just as well, since I was starting to miss the husband and two younger ones already.:)
Next post: Where to stay and eat in Iloilo

Monday, December 3, 2012

Kipling: A Brighter Christmas for a Brighter Tomorrow

December is already upon us.  Are you done with your Christmas shopping already?  Gifts to the inaanaks are already wrapped and waiting to be delivered next week; but there are still a few names on my shopping list.

For those of you who are still looking for what to buy, Kipling offers sporty and glam bags that are perfect adventure companions for your daughter, sister, best friend, or even as a gift to yourself.  I love the vibrant red color of the Holiday collection.  Your recipient won't be the only one thanking you for this fashionable gift, the children sponsored by World Vision will be thanking you for your generosity as well.  For every Kipling bag or luggage purchased from December 1 to 31, 2012, Kipling will donate Php 500 to World Vision.  What a fun and generous way to be fashionable!

Press-kit :
             This season of giving, Belgian bag brand Kipling joins forces with World Vision to bring “A Brighter Christmas For A Brighter Tomorrow,” a program that aims to provide additional funds for the education of children under the care of the world renowned Christian development and advocacy organization.

            According to the Benjamin Go, President of Greyhound Marketing Corporation, exclusive distributor of Kipling in the Philippines, the partnership is a timely effort to spread the fun and happiness that’s instilled in every Kipling bag. “There is no greater joy this Christmas than knowing we have brought smiles to others, especially children. Through “A Brighter Christmas For A Brighter Tomorrow” program, we can make not only the holidays, but also the future, brighter for the children of World Vision.”
            “We are very delighted to have this partnership with Kipling, which is known globally for bringing fun and joy through its fashionable bags. We're happy that this time, Kipling has decided to reach out and bring the same kind of goodwill to ensure the education of children sponsored by World Vision,” says National Resource Development Associate Director Jun Godornes.

            Joining Kipling and World Vision in celebrating the launch of this meaningful endeavor are some of the country’s biggest celebrities who are also extending their support to the program. These include Miriam Quiambao, Jasmine Curtis-Smith, Kylie Padilla and Jessica Connelly.

            Fashionable ladies on-the-go can also share in giving children a brighter tomorrow by shopping for a cause.  For every Kipling bag or luggage purchased from December 1 to 31, 2012, Kipling will donate Php 500 to World Vision.

With Kipling Philippines distributors, Benjamin and Polly Go; event host, Miriam Quiambao; and myself
Kipling is available online at and at SM Mall of Asia, SM North EDSA The Block, SM Megamall, SM Bacolod, SM Iloilo, SM Davao, SM Cebu, SM Lanang Premier, Robinsons Place Ermita, Rustan’s Alabang Town Center, Rustan’s Shangri-La, Rustan’s Gateway, Rustan’s Makati, Landmark Makati, Landmark TriNoma and soon-to-open Centrio Mall in Cagayan De Oro. 

To know more, visit Kipling Philippines on Facebook and get to find out more exciting news and promos from the lovable monkey.

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