Saturday, December 10, 2011

Easy Peasy Christmas Menu

Christmas time is always about parties and family gatherings. I remember my mom, preparing a lot of cold cuts, salad, different kinds of courses, different types of breads, desserts, fruits and the traditional hot chocolate to share for the Christmas eve. I don't have that much talent with cooking and entertaining and in most times, somebody has to push me so I can do some parties at home too. Honestly, I do not have the patience to cut carrots, onions, de-bone stuffs etc etc. So obviously, I'm not the usual domestic diva that I thought I was.

Now, I would like to share my easy peasy christmas menu, it's fast (?), it's easy and it's definitely good but please don't judge me! lol .. as long as my guests enjoy it.. It's all good! 


Spanakopita - is a greek savory pastry. It's made of phyllo pastry, butter or olive oil with spinach, feta cheese filling and seasonings. If you want to make your own, you can click on this  LINK.
Or do what I usually do, buy it frozen and put it in the oven few minutes before the party.

Crackers and Cheese Platter - Have a variety of cheeses, Gouda, Brie, Camembert,  Block cheddar cheese, Block mozzarela cheese cut into small squares. then put some crackers on the side and some fruits arrange them on a plate that should look something like this.

Image courtesy of Jorgy's cafe

Side Dishes

Scalloped Potatoes - again, if you want to make your own, go to this LINK.
But if you want to save some time, you can buy the boxed ones and follow the instructions. It'll be ready in about 20 minutes. I usually buy the ones from Betty Crocker.

Image courtesy of Betty Crocker

Taramosalata - I didn't know about this until I tasted this side dish from a friend's party. She's Greek. You can eat it with a cracker, a bread, or as an accompaniment to Steaks, Roasted chicken or BBQ ribs. Unfortunately, I do not have the recipe but I usually buy this in most Greek store or Greek restaurants, and I put it in a small serving dish to make it more presentable. 

"Taramosalata is a Greek and Turkish meze. It is traditionally made from taramas, the salted and cured roe of the cod or the carp, though blends based on other forms of fish roe, particularly cod, have become more common. The roe is mixed with either bread crumbs or mashed potato, and lemon juice, vinegar and olive oil. It is usually eaten as a dip, with bread or raw vegetables. The colour can vary from creamy beige to pink, depending on the type of roe used. Mass-produced taramosalata is often a bright pink due to the addition of food colouring. The alternative spelling 'taramasalata' is sometimes found"  from Wikipedia

Tzatziki - is made of strained yoghurt (which is usually from sheep or goat milk) mixed with garlic. This is another Greek/Turkish appetizer that you usually see along with Souvlakis and Shish Taouk.  I love Tzatziki, even if  my breath usually stinks after eating it (because of the garlic), I still love it! This is available on most Greek stores and restaurants. 

Kopanisti - you might want to add a little spice on your side dishes. Kopanisti is also a Greek side dish which is made up of whipped Feta cheese and red pepper. I'm sure one or two of your guests would like to have something spicy.

Image courtesy of Krinos

By the way... I do not have a Greek or Turkish blood, but I love their food!


How bout try my Creamy Garlic and Herb Shrimp Linguine recipe? I swear, this will be a hit to your guests!

or my Lasagna Recipe

Main Course

I usually have 2 main courses: Roasted Chicken, which I usually order from Baraka BBQ  and Oven Roasted Baby back ribs or side ribs, whichever is on specials, that I prepare the night before.

Oven Roasted Baby back/ Side ribs - After few tries of different BBQ recipes, I finally got the best one that would finally satisfy my taste buds. I got this recipe from Put Pork on Your Fork website.


I usually order at least 2 pies from Rockaberry (Strawberry Shortcake and  Banana split au chocolat and Apple Crumble are three of my personal favorites).  

Image courtesy of Rockaberry

Or if you want to make your own.. 

Try my Leche flan recipe  which is always a hit to everybody.

and my Oreo cheesecake recipe

So you know what, whether it's a frozen meal, or a store bought food, or you prepared everything out of scratch, when you put them on the table, it will not matter anymore. What would matter the most is that there's something on the table that you can share with each other at this special time of the year.

BBQ Pork Ribs Recipe

I just want to share one of the best rib recipe that I got from the net. I lifted the recipe from Put Pork on your Fork website. To whoever you are, thank you for sharing this recipe! This has been a huge hit to my family.

Preparation: On the concave surface of all ribs is a thin, translucent membrane. This membrane is tough and will prevent any flavouring to get to the rib meat, and so should be removed.

To remove membrane: Insert a metal spoon handle under the membrane at one end of the rib rack and detach a corner. Then grab the detached flap and gently tear it away from the ribs. It should come off in one clean pull.

DO NOT BOIL your Pork Ribs: this has been the accepted method for generations, but there is a better way! If using a dry rub, apply to the ribs. One back rib rack will need about one tablespoon (15 mL) of rub, a side rib rack will need two tablespoons (30 mL). In a cookie sheet or shallow roasting pan, add about 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) of water. 

Add a few slices of lemon or orange to the pan. Place the ribs, meaty side up, on the pan in a single layer. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and place in oven at 325°F (160°C).

Back Ribs: Cook for between 1 and 1 and a half hours, or until meat is easily pierced with a metal skewer.

Side Ribs: Cook for between 1 and a half and 2 hours, or until meat is easily pierced with a metal skewer.

Tip: At this stage the ribs can be cooled and refrigerated for up to three days.

To Finish Cooking: Ribs can be finished on the BBQ (grilled) or in the oven. To finish in the oven, remove foil and turn oven up to broil, brush ribs with your favourite BBQ sauce and broil for about 3 minutes (if ribs are hot) or until sizzling and golden. Turn ribs over and repeat with BBQ sauce and broil again. For the ultimate ribs, repeat brushing sauce and broiling or BBQing on each side. Watch carefully when broiling, so that they do not burn.

Tip: Cooking times can be reduced by adding HOT liquid to baking tray.

Tip: Line the cookie sheet or roasting pan with parchment paper if you are going to finish the ribs in the oven (under the broiler).

Tip: Cooking times will vary depending on how many rib racks are being cooked at once; more ribs means a longer cooking time.

*** I used to marinate my pork ribs for 24 hours or boil it for 2 hours before broiling it in the oven, but it was never that good until I actually try this recipe. Anyway for the sauce, I prefer Bull's Eye Bold and Original. Enjoy! ***

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Freebie Wednesday!

I just want to share this downloadable loots (Quick pages, Papers and Elements) courtesy of My Memories Suite. Just click on the image/link above! An early Christmas gift to all digiscrappers! 

And there's more, please feel free to use my promo code STMMMS92823  to avail of the $10 off your purchase of MyMemoriesSuite Digital Scrapbook Software and a $10 off your purchase of kits, embellishments, or anything else in My Memories Suite online store (about $20 off).


Friday, December 2, 2011

Virgin Diaries???

Virgin Diaries featured couple
Nowadays, we live in a world where pre marital sex is considered to be the norm. You'll see kids as young as 15 have sex like there's no tomorrow. It's sick, but they're proud of it?! Sometimes I wonder if the parents are even concerned about this. These people are so pre- occupied with their emotions that they fail to see the consequences. It's sad to know that our kids are bound to have this destiny, but we have to accept it! If you've been following my posts for quite a while now, I think by this time you knew that I'm in love with Reality Shows! My ultimate dream is actually to produce one, and I'm not kidding! So last Sunday, while I was watching the Sister Wives (another reality show), I saw the preview for the next soon to be most talked about TLC show the Virgin Diaries. It's a show that tackles on people in their late 20s and 30s who choose to wait and save themselves for marriage. Since the sneak peak preview has been shown, the show has drawn so much attention especially with the most awaited first kiss of the featured couple... they didn't even kiss until they finally said their I Dos..
I'm sorry but with that kiss? It's really hard not to look away!
I've got to admit that it is really comforting to know that there are still some out there who are celebrating their celibacy. I'm just not too crazy about the kiss... Virgin Diaries premieres on TLC Sunday, December 4 at 9PM ET/PT.