I was stoked when my proposal for Foodbuzz 24×24 got accepted. Each month, 24 Foodbuzz Featured Publishers are selected to blog their most over the top meal on the same day (with cash stipend from Foodbuzz). This month, Foodbuzz partners with Electrolux where the stipend is matched with a donation to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund.
So, free meal with friends? Donation to the OCRF? It’s a Deal! 🙂
Just to tell you a bit about ovarian cancer…
Do you know that there are about 7,387 women in the Philippines estimated to be diagnosed with ovarian cancer? That’s more than the islands comprising our Archipelago! Ovarian cancer is usually asymptomatic at the outset and many cases are detected late. It is usually detected because of an abdominal mass, or mass felt during pelvic examination. Therefore, women, especially those 40 years old and above, should undergo thorough pelvic examination to detect early stages of the cancer. If you love your mother, wife, sister, or friend, spread the love by informing them about ovarian cancer and how to prevent it.
And speaking of spreading love, let me show you how I shared love through my very first Foodbuzz 24×24 last September 4.
As always, I had an ambitious menu and I planned it without considering my available resources and time. It was by some stroke of luck that I was able to pull it off altogether.
I invited hubby, my office friends, and hubby’s friends to partake on the meal that I prepared for this month’s Foodbuzz 24×24. I actually had a week to prepare although technically, I should have been able to buy more time had I checked my email earlier 😛 My concept was to serve Filipino-inspired dishes and use colors that would complement Teal, the official color of ovarian cancer awereness.
I did the table setting (including the DIY vases made out of acetate paper, the menu cards, and name cards). With some gift wrappers, ribbons, and specialty papers, they’re done. Also, thank goodness there’s free menu and name card templates from Martha Stewart 🙂 As for the candles, I found this great idea to style the candles using a big glass bowl filled with water and a drop of food color. Then again, I was also fortunate that my office friends volunteered to get flowers and to arrange them for me. *cheers*
When the flowers were arranged and the table has been set, we were ready to rumble.
Here’s my menu:
- Appetizer: Tropical Shrimp Ceviche
- Soup: Clam Soup
- Salad: Bagnet Ensalada
- Main Dish: Baked Chicken Adobo
- Desserts: Banana Cream Pie and Blueberry Cheesecake Shots
- Drinks: Dalandan-Pineapple Juice, Pandan Iced Tea, Kapeng Barako, Early Grey Tea
For the appetizer, I prepared Tropical Shrimp Ceviche. This is inspired by our Filipino dish called Kilawin. Here, our Kilawin is made of seafood that is cooked in acid, traditionally, vinegar. For the shrimp ceviche, I used lime juice and lemon juice, and seasoned it with salt, pepper, and sugar. I served the shrimps with onions, tomatoes, ripe mangoes, and cucumbers. It’s a refreshing dish to start the whole meal 🙂
I next served Clam Soup. In this country where blenders became popular at a much later time period, our soups have traditionally been made of leftover fish or chicken stock. The soup that I prepared was a clear one (as compared with a rich clam-chowder soup) using fresh clams. I cooked the clams in Sprite over sauteed garlic and ginger. The soda added a touch of very mild sweetness to it. And the ginger? Ugh, nothing can go wrong with ginger in it! 🙂
For the salad, I prepared Bagnet Ensalada. Bagnet is a famous dish from Ilocos that is made of deep-fried crackling pork. To make it into a salad, I mixed it with blanched mustard leaves and served it with chopped tomatoes and a drizzle of Bagoong Balayan, a special local fermented fish paste that is bordering on the flavor of anchovy sauce. This is somewhat unique and has an acquired taste but believe me, it is a delicious and brilliant combination of flavors 🙂
And now for the main dish 🙂 There’s nothing else that came to my mind but our famous and classic Chicken Adobo. To add a twist to it, I cooked it three ways. I first fried it for a crunchy texture, then I poached it, and then I baked it. I added button potatoes which I baked along with the chicken. I served my baked chicken adobo with hard-boiled egg, asparagus, cucumbers and white rice. I drizzled some of the adobo sauce on top to finish it off.
Even my drinks were Filipino-inspired. I prepared Pandan Iced Tea which was served with fresh mint leaves, and Dalandan-Pineapple Juice which was served with fresh dalandan slices. Dalandan is our local orange.
I also served Kapeng Barako (Liberica coffee beans grown in our province, Batangas… yeah, we’re known for our coffee… and beaches!) and Earl Grey Tea to go with the desserts.
The least Filipino-inspired among all dishes would be my desserts.
Initially, I intended to make banana fritters with purple yam filling and serve it a la mode with a drizzle of homemade creamy caramel sauce. However, I could not find any good purple yam to go with the bananas. I simply changed it then to banana cream pie. To add a touch of something Filipino, I used Lucban Broas (local lady fingers). I assembled the banana cream pie in my huge trifle bowl alternating broas, cinnamon-vanilla pudding, and banana slices. I smothered everything with a heavy cream mixture and chilled the pie before serving.
I also prepared blueberry cheesecake shots. Obviously, this is non-Filipino but I made it still. Just because! Well, because I can 😛 It’s no-bake blueberry cheesecake served in shot glasses.
Let’s now go check out my guests 🙂
Do you know that a party isn’t great with great food alone? A party becomes a success largely because of the kind of guests you have. My lunch party was a success because my guests were fun and fabulous!
They said, if you feed your guests well, it will show 🙂 See for yourself… (by the way, the chef went goofin’ around with her guests too) 😀
All in all, it was a fantastic experience to be doing this for Foodbuzz. A chance like this one doesn’t come too often and I have lots to be really thankful for.
To my guests ~ Cherie, Charade, Christian, Marianne, Shalu, V-anne and GP ~ thank you for coming and for sharing with me my very first Foodbuzz 24×24. Hopefully it’s not the last 😛
To Charade, thank you for the beautiful photos, and Christian for your blog entry and photos, too! I wouldn’t be able to capture everything as finely as you guys do. By the way, all the photos in this post without watermark are Charade’s. She’s a superb photographer and if you need her, grab her! Go!
To my dear dear Herbi, thank you for letting us use your family rest house as the venue for this event and thank you for always being supportive in what I do. I will never get tired of cooking for you. I love you with all my heart. Yihee! 🙂
And to Foodbuzz, thank you for believing in my proposal and I wish I didn’t let you down. Here’s hoping for a next time 🙂
The recipes will be posted separately so watch out for them. You will drool over the photos. Promise! 🙂
Recipes to be posted:
Tropical Shrimp Ceviche
Baked Chicken Adobo
If you want to know about the drinks or desserts, how I planned it, or what I used for the decors, just pop me a comment and I’d gladly answer your question 🙂