Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Gastro-magnifique Christmas and New Year

Our family picture for 2013 with the "Puzzle Queen"
My life had been in the fast lane this past 2012.   I have often concluded a day with a quote "24 hours is not enough for me to do all the things I needed to accomplish for a day."   Nevertheless, it has been quite a ride. I met new friends, bumped into some old friends and endured life's challenges.
Now that it is already 2013, I do however look positively forward to anything life may throw at me.   For behind all the mountains we may find blocking our way, though the climb would definitely be hard but I know in every step of the way I am not alone.
I would forever be gracious to all the people who have welcomed me in their life, be it through this blog or in extra personal ways.   This blog had definitely been a window,a fore-sight of how you might describe or find me.   It is my utmost obsession to move people in exceptional ways by educating readers or by just sharing a bit of our family's experiences, either by trying out restaurants or driving miles to visit uncharted places, or just be sharing recipes that have won my dearests' hearts.

It so happened that this year-ender post had been a front-liner to my 2013 posts.   No matter what, I just hope you find this amazingly encouraging.   Oh and thank you for putting up with my angst and corny antics this past year, btw, more of it will be seen on the following posts, but will try my best to deliver more exciting reads.

Holiday Food

These are the only dishes I had prepared for the holidays, Christmas and New Year.   Sorry I would have prepared good stuff, like how I did last 2011 to 2012, which was planned initially but things happened which made me set it aside.
Here is the post about last year's Christmas and New Year's family feast:

A Year-end of Gastronomic Family Bonding


 Kesong-Puti, Rostaed Bell Pepper and Bacon Truffles, rolled on toasted ground pistachios.  Great as an appetizer and goes well with red wine.  (Check out my blog post on this)
 Red cabbage Slaw with Mangoes
A healthy rendition to the regular coleslaw.  It has the rich color of the red cabbage, giant red bell pepper, lettuce,  black pitted olives and slices of luscious ripe mangoes.  Any dressing would be good for this, but what I made is a concoction of light mayo, lemon and orange juice, salt, pepper and garlic powder.
Easy Bruschetta, Tous Les Jour's baguette, sliced toasted and topped with Bravo's Tomato Garlic Dip.

 Chocolate Santa Cake form Tous Les Jours 
(check out my blog on this HERE)
Mango Cream Pie form Conti's. 
 I was actually aiming for Mango Bravo but the Nuvali, Sta. Rosa branch, flocked with customers on a Christmas noon, didn't have it.  All they had were boxes of brownies and these Mango Cream Pies, so I settled for these as our dessert.   But sad to say it got me disappointed.   The trick to enjoying this is to eat it immediately, else, the pie filling will melt.   After a few hours the pie looked disgusting as it melted away, leaving only the mango slices and the soaked crust eatable.  
 New Year

Carbonara and Fried Chicken Wings

Hawain Meatloaf
Dark Chocolate Cupcake with Raspberry Cheesecake Frosting\

Both our Christmas and New Year were spent at a rented house in Tagaytay, with my in laws and our nieces and nephew.   

Tagaytay Trail-blazed


 Bali Village
A short and sweet visit to Bali Village had been set by my clients to be wed here on Jan. 18.   Purplelines Events' first wedding for 2013.  
The facade of the venue hall
Bag of Beans
Coffee and endearing chat  2012 with my sister in law and her husband, Len and Erwin
 December 25, lunch at Ryuma, Sta. Rosa.
For the kids, the best part is free soft ice cream and toys from  Ryuma Japanese Restaurant and Ramen House

At Nuvali, Sta. Rosa

New Year 2013

 People's Park
 At the ruins of Palace in the Sky
Going down the parking area from People's Park
 At a cliff side house in front of Bag of Beans (it is for rent!)
 The house gives out one of the best view of Taal Volvano and Taal lake,  from  this site is a spacious veranda which is suggestive of a mid-level party venue with a glorious view of the lower Batangas.

From the living room  area.  
 The pool area of Puzzle Mansion (check out my blog post on this  HERE)
 At the entrance of the museum where the Guinness Record for the largest puzzle collection with my four kids and our dog.
Dinner at JT's Manukan before heading back to Manila
This restaurant is said to be owned by the famed Ilongo actor Joel Torre.  This is the first time we tried their version of chicken inasal and batchoy.  The big serving of the chicken inasal were admirable.  The chicken meat were soft and juicy but lack something which I could not really think of.   But don't get me wrong, the inasal was tasty without being salty, the outside is not burnt, and not torridly grilled but smoked to perfection.    Though my youngest enjoyed a hot bowl of the batchoy,my husband found it just so-so.   Bhogs finally blurted, "I'm now looking for the that oomph we had with Deco's La Paz Batchoy."


  1. That was a really busy Christmas and New Year as you've been in a lot of places but that's what holidays are for, a time with your love ones.

  2. What a lovely holiday vacation for the family. Filled with several places to see, gastronomic adventures and chats with family. You're family is blessed with so much love and joy. May you're entire year be filled with it. Happy New Year!

  3. You really enjoy your Christmas Holiday with your friends and family. Great Christmas and New Year Timeline sis. Happy New Year and Happy 3 Kings to you.

  4. What I love is the salad, red cabbage is new to me so I'll try this one for my salad recipe.

  5. Oh! You surely had wonderful times celebrating Christmas and New year. You seem to have passion in cooking. The foods look delicious.

  6. Those appetizers surely looked so appetizing that I want to eat them right now! Haha. What great family bonding you had in the last holiday season. :-)

  7. I agree that 24 hours is not enough... I wish we could have a more longer day so we can do all the things we want... this new year, I had a tummy ache from eating too much... so, it's better not to over-indulge ourselves no matter how good the food is...

  8. omg i want the mango cream pie looks yummy and the one with kesong puti! but all of them is dangerously looking so yummy not good for those who on diet haha xx

  9. i become nostalgic when i saw your people's park in tagaytay... had pics with family on the same spots... hahaha. from the foods, i'm curious with the hawaiian meatloaf. Yahweh bless.

  10. Even the cake was modernist! :) Looks like you guys had a ton of fun :) I don't often go out of town for long holidays and I have to say I'm a tad bit jealous.

  11. Sa Christmas and New Year activities mo , kulang nga ang 24-hrs na gugulin mo. You really are a very-busy person. :) Yung mga foods, medyo ilan pa lang doon ang natikman ko. That is my reward for being so lazy spending outdoor event with my family. Cheers for 2013.

  12. I like the Red cabbage Slaw with Mangoes! You had a healthy dish during the holidays. Ako kasi, wala. Lol

  13. I thought you are going to say that the trick to eating the mango cream pie is eat it fast because your friends might not leave anything for you to eat. LOL!

  14. I can't agree more that 24 hours aren't enough most of the time. Anyway, I'm glad you had a wonderful Christmas and New Year celebration. Love the photos! :) Anyway, wishing you and your family good health and prosperity this 2013!

  15. Wow! you did spend a magnificent holidays with the family! I'm sure 2013 will be another great year for you! Just take it easy ok?

  16. Well I hope a day consists of more than 24 hours, lets say 30 to 36 hours in a day probably. Anyway, its nice to know you were able to spend Christmas and New Year without any hassles. ^_^

  17. You got me at your appetizer. Pistachios are my favorite. I wanna try it. Sayang about the mango pie... :(

  18. That is an awesome holiday with your family. All of you looks like had a blast. I want to eat carbonara right now!

  19. Spending the holidays with your loved ones are always enjoyable and memorable. Nice photos. :)

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