I'm a dinner party sort- I like setting the table, entertaining, cooking and conversing over glasses of wine or my drink of choice, the sedate and boring Minted Iced Tea.
Sometimes I'm in the mood for formality, and wish for a huge dining set seating 12-20!, with crystalware, sterling silver, fancy shmancy napkin folds, maybe personal butlers even? Nah, that's too fancy for me (the butlers, I mean. I still want the rest. :))
Most of the time I gather close friends and neighbors for dinner on Fridays, and if I'm too lazy to set up, then I use my "everyday" dinnerware and go casual. It's the food, company and conversation that count anyway. Plus I may have beautiful napkin holders, but I don't have starched napkins to go with them!
So far I've served the following during these get-togethers:
* Grilled Pork Neck, Beef Tadyang, Butternut Squash, Okra and Eggplant in Coconut Milk, Fried Boneless Bangus, Garlic Rice
* Baked Potato Skins with Chive and Truffle Salami Studded Sour Cream, Mushroom or Seafood Risotto, Cream of Pumpkin-Carrot or Broccoli with Cheese Crisps
* Minced Roast Goose/Duck with Pine Nuts and Puffed Vermicelli on Lettuce Cups, Asian-Style Chicken with Tortilla Wraps, Spicy Pork Ribs
* Calamari with Dill Dip, Mediterranean Style Farfalle with Sun-dried Tomatoes, Spaghetti Scampi Tossed with Pesto and Cherry Tomatoes
* Nachos with Spicy Minced Beef, Sour Cream, Salsa and Jalapeno, Chilli Con Carne
* Patola Shrimp Soup, Baked Beef Ribs, Prawns in Garlic or Prawns with Aligue
* Tomato and Barley Salad, Truffle Salami and Brie on Melba Toast, Scampi in White Wine Cream Sauce or Spaghetti Marinara/Arrabiata, Roast Herbed Chicken with Gravy and a side of Mashed or Baked Baby Potatoes
* Beef Sukiyaki, Japanese Fried Rice or Tonkatsudon, Cold Udon Crabstick Salad
* Caramelized Onion Beef Burgers with Home-Made Potato Chips
* Lokal stuff like Pinaputok na Kesong Puti, Crispy Tadyang, Aligue Pasta, Mango Taho, Kangkong Atsara, Chicken Sisig, Fried Fish with Mango Curry Glaze, Green Rice
I really miss: baking my own pizza. Yes I used to do that, let the dough rise, knead it, shape it and lovingly bake it on a pizza stone. I even had a paddle back home!
I also miss: a barbeque grill with outdoor cooking area facing a pool!
And Kesong Puti! And Laing!
Last night we tried this Laksa Boxed Set (HKD 27 for 2-3 servings). For an instant meal it wasn't bad at all. It even came with laksa leaves and sambal chili paste. I just added shrimps, chicken and tofu fish blocks. Hubby enjoyed!