March has always been a month of parties for us because it is my and my husband’s birthday month. This year, we thought it would be a great idea to give a new meaning to March Madness and have a joint party that would highlight the two things that we are most passionate about: in my case, it’s food, and for him, it’s music. Thus, when Foodbuzz sent out the call to submission for March 24×24, I didn’t hesitate to propose a Rockaoke party called “Food, Love, and Rock & Roll” where hubby’s band will provide music and entertainment and I shall take care of the food.
As most of you already know, Foodbuzz 24×24 is an online round-up of 24 over-the-top meals hosted by Foodbuzz’s Featured Publishers within 24 hours in 24 different parts of the world. This is the third time that I’ll be hosting a party for Foodbuzz 24×24 (the first one was for the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund and the other one was a Modern Thanksgiving Wine and Dine affair) and I’m always thrilled whenever my proposal gets chosen!
“Rockaoke” is coined from the words “rock” and “karaoke” and it literally means a live rock-band karaoke. My husband is the drummer of an all-lawyer band called Nota Republic (“nota” means a musical note in Filipino). It’s a fun fact that all of them are lawyers in that band and that Nota Republic sounds like “Notary Public.” 😀 Anyhow, husband’s band provided music for the night and the stage was opened for guests to sing along! I courageously sang “Ironic” by Alanis Morissette by the way 😛
Let’s now go into the details of the party, shall we?
One of the things I prepared was the party invite. Our party invites are in the form of a rock concert backstage pass which I placed in clear ID holders.
I also made menu cards and my hands got sore from cutting those little stars! I just hate that it’s so hard to find specialty papers in Manila. I only used cheap colored construction paper in making the cards and thought they look crafty but still, the stars are cute, don’t you think? 😛
No party should be complete without the swag bag. I hand-made the bags and it’s a mistake to use cartolina paper because it’s just too thick. But after some workout, I managed to make bags out of them 🙂 I did find some great post-its which my sister got for a dollar at Target and I think they made pretty labels for the swag bags.
I didn’t have fancy loots actually. I only intended to give away mints, gums, and matchsticks which I believe suit the concept of a rock party well. Hubby recorded songs and gave away some CDs too.
Prior to the Rockaoke party, we had a little gathering for family where we served roast beef with mashed potatoes, chicken barbecue, spaghetti, puto, and others. Some guests who arrived early were able to enjoy the food with us.
I did not plan to really serve luxurious dishes for the party. Hubby just wanted familiar food he eats or orders whenever he goes out with friends for a drinking spree. In keeping with what he wanted, I decided to come up with sweets that are also not luxurious. I just served sweet little things that anyone can just pick up and munch on even as they sing 😀
I prepared two tables for the party. The first table is the booze table with all the food that go well with alcohol 🙂
- Local Name: Lechon
- Rockified Name: Warpigs, a Black Sabbath song and one of the best covers by Nota Republic
- Description: suckling pig; whole-roasted pig
The Philippines is famous for delicious lechons and according to Anthony Bourdain, the best one is from Cebu. We had lechon at the party and it’s been chopped and served in bite-size pieces but the part that ran out fast was, of course, the crispy skin 😀 Anyhow, just to show you how big the whole-roasted pig is…. tada!
Local Name: ISAW
Rockified Name: Spiral Starecase, the quintessential one-hit-wonder famous for More Today Than Yesterday (1969)
Description: Grilled chicken intestines
I hope this doesn’t turn you off but it’s a famous street food in the Philippines. Isaw is made from barbecued pig or chicken intestines. Here, we got the chicken version. The intestines are cleaned, turned inside out, and cleaned again, repeating the process several times. They are then boiled, and then grilled on sticks. They’re usually skewed in a zigzag or spiral. We ordered isaw from my cousins’s restaurant, Garahe 25. We had our joint birthday celebration last year in Garahe 25 and our friends loved their isaw.
- Local Name: Squid Balls
- Rockified Name: Great Squid Balls of Fire as lifted from Jerry Lee Lewis’s Great Balls of Fire (1957)
- Description: squid balls served with sweet-chili sauce
Squid balls is another favorite booze food here. They’re a variety of Chinese fishballs but they’re technically not made of squid. Squid balls in the Philippines are usually made from pounded cuttlefish and sometimes pollock. They’re also a favorite street food and our favorite dipping sauce is the sweet and spicy one. I bought the squid balls in packs from a local grocery store and fried them. I used store-bought sweet-chili sauce and it complemented the squid balls well.
Local Name: Hotdog balls
Description: hot dog balls with cheese filling
Yeah, they’re just common hot dog balls but I got those that are really good. I got these cheese dog balls that I first tried last New Year. I thought they’re really yummy and that serving them at the party would be a great idea. Turned out that the hot dog balls were a hit!
Local Name: Nuts and Chips
Rockified Name: Peanuts and Cracker Jacks, a line from the song “Take Me Out to the Ball Game”
Description: mixed nuts, green peas, corn bits, and chips
I got huge bags of mixed nuts, green peas, corn bits, and chips and served them on the booze table. Peanuts are commonly served in what they usually call a “poor man’s gimmick” because peanuts are relatively cheap. However, they’re a crowd favorite in that we even had a San Miguel beer commercial where our very own Manny Pacquiao referred to peanuts as “roasted highland legumes.” That’s a nice name actually to gourmet-ify peanuts, if there’s such a word 😀 Unfortunately, I lost my mixed peanuts photo and can’t retrieve it anymore 🙁
Local Name: Cheesesticks
Rockified Name: Queso, a not-so-famous local band also called Cheese
Description: sharp cheddar cheese wrapped in phyllo then dusted with cheese powder
I made cheese sticks for the booze table as well. While I’ll be posting the recipe in another post, let me just say here that I made them from sharp cheddar cheese which I wrapped in phyllo. The sticks were deep-fried then dusted with cheese powder. The cheese sticks can be eaten as is or dipped in a simple garlic-mayo-ketchup dip.
For the booze, we had a 30-liter beer keg, vodka, and whiskey. I set up a DIY mixology section where guests can concoct their own blue kamikaze and vodka raspberry. I’ll be posting the recipes in another post.
As for the sweets table, we had:
I placed a bowl of assorted local candies. We had Chocnut, a local chocolate candy that doesn’t taste like the usual chocolates. It’s a combination of peanuts, milk, sugar with only a little hint of coca. It’s somehow crumbly but once in the mouth, it tastes sweet and creamy. It’s a real favorite around here.
I also served Flat Tops, a local chocolate candy made by Ricoa. This is more milky and smoother in texture than Chocnut. It’s my favorite local chocolate!
We also had Choco Crunchies from Fibisco which are actually chocolate-coated biscuits. It’s a favorite snack especially by the young kids and I thought serving them will bring back a lot of childhood memories. They sure did!
Chocolate and Strawberry Wafer Sticks
I also served chocolate and strawberry wafer sticks. I thought we’d only have grown-ups at the party but it turned out that we also had kids and it was a great idea to serve wafer sticks because the kids loved them!
I ordered Mister Donut Smidgets in different flavors and served them at the party. I don’t think they’re the best doughnuts in town but I love Smidgets because of the memories they bring. Back when I was a kid, my mom enrolled me and my sister in a ballet-jazz school where a Mister Donut shop is located at the basement. After practice, we would go to the shop and hang out with friends in tights and tutus and buy Smidgets because those are the only ones our money can afford. Smidgets bring back happy memories so I reckoned they should be at the sweets table 🙂
Gums & Mints
I served Juicy Fruit gum and Mentos which our guests could take home in their swag bags. I thought serving them would be in keeping with the “rock” theme as most rockers would chew gums or take mints 😛 Anyhow, I wanted my guests to have something that would refresh them from a night of drinking and singing (and smoking) so I gave them gums & chewable mint candies.
I also served water, soda, and coffee for the non-alcoholics. I played crafty with the water bottles and decorated them with black & pink glittery construction paper and handwritten labels.
Now, let me show you how my guests rocked the night away 🙂
I’m really thankful for a successful Rockaoke party. Everyone had fun! The food we had may be simple but we enjoyed all of them especially the lechon, isaw and hot dogs. We also loved the booze especially the Vodka Raspberry and Blue Kamikaze. The loots were also simple but my guests found the match sticks to be very useful 😛
Everybody was game and owned the stage with awesome song renditions. It was a really fun night and we hope there will be a next time. For now, I can only thank Foodbuzz for choosing my proposal and letting me and hubby bring our Rockaoke concept to life 🙂