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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas Gastronomic Favorites and Discoveries

The season of Christmas will never ever be complete without food on the table. It is usually at this time that I get to eat my favorite holiday treats and also get to discovery new gastronomic delights.

Let's start with Noche Buena/Birthday dinner of my Tita Bess. Part of our family's tradition is having dinner on the 24th at their place coz other than celebrating her birthday, it is also where our clan and our clan's friends gather around to wish everyone a merry Christmas. It is at this event that the buffet table overflows with sooooo much food because every family brings a dish or two to share with everyone. This year, Chris and I brought Creamy Baked Potato and Brownies.

Christmas ain't Christmas without my Tita Bess' famous Ham. She usually cooks this whenever they have birthday parties at home and everytime that happens, this delicious home-cooked Ham of hers always make me remember of Christmas. This is my best favorite of all the Christmas treats--tender, moist, just the right sweetness.

This year, my Grandma cooked one of my Christmas favorites---the Hamonado!!!! It's been awhile since I've had this for Christmas. Hamonado is a favorite of mine because this dish reminds me of Christmas spent in our Taytay home. My mom and my Grandma cooks the perfect Hamonado ever.

Two gastronomic discoveries on the 24th were the Baked Salmon in Tomato and Sansrival.

The Baked Salmon in Tomato dish is perfect for parties--delicious, healthy and very easy to prepare.

One of our family friends brought this massive Sansrival cake that measures about 15x4 inches. A very different Sansrival as it was made in merengue, hence, the thickness. Made by a Filipino pastry chef, this dessert is a wonderful treat to guests--sweet, buttery, crunchy and nuttty.

After the party at my tita's place, we went home and invited our friends to join us for Noche Buena.

This year, my Husband and I had a more simple Christmas table at home when the clock struck midnight. We decided to cook Penne Boscaiola (a pasta dish, Husband requested for white pasta) and bake Brownies for dessert and that was it. I made sure that we had Champange (not wine)--I wanted bubblies this year--more festive and celebratory. Very different from last year's buffet table. The reason being was that our Christmas calendar's busy--we had been invited to a couple of parties and so it is only at home that we get to rest our tummies from all the eating.

Christmas day, we attended a birthday party and just look at buffet table! It is at this party that I got to eat Morcon and Lechon!!!! Yummy to the max. No photos of the Lechon though, Husband and I were so busy eating.


On Sunday, we attended another party at Mounties--a great buffet discovery!!! This is so far the best buffet (a.k.a. All-you-can-eat) we've eaten. Wide range of selection, delicious food, good presentation and ambience.

Yesterday's visit at our friends' home, we were served a pasta dish called Festive Fusili and cheese called Halloumi Bites. A great discovery because it is not only delicious but very easy to prepare. Our host told us too that the Festive Fusili had Vodka (yes, the alcoholic drink) as an ingredient and all I said was "You got me at Vodka!" hehehe. And the Halloumi Bites, which went well with the Festive Fusili, is cheese so that's enough reason for me to love it.

What about you? What Christmas gastronomic favorites and discoveries have you eaten this season?

With all the eating, I'm gaining pounds by the second! But then, happiness is eating and sharing food with loved ones during this season, isn't it?

Personal note: To everyone who greeted (via phone, snail mail, email and messages thru FB, twitter, plurk and multiply) and gave gifts, thank you very much!!!! May the spirit of Christmas be always in our hearts, not just this season but everday and always.