Follow parentsjourney on TwitterThis year, there will be ten of us together for the Christmas Eve Dinner and celebration. Considerations made to come up with the menu are the following: (1) Budget- the ingredients should not be too expensive. (2) Preparation requirements- some procedures can be done ahead of time to avoid cramming in the kitchen. (3) Health and variety- meat-based dishes should be balanced by vegetables and fruits. There will be pork, fish, chicken, beef, vegetables and fruits. Much as I want to have prawns or crabs in the menu, the artificially high cost of these commodities during Christmas season make me shy away from them.

Christmas Embotido

I have been making embotido for its taste and convenience. My children love them for breakfast and packed lunch. This is very convenient because one preparation can last for weeks in the freezer. Adding a few ingredients will make it a little more special for the holidays. I will make this a week in advance of the Christmas Dinner and a few loaves will be saved for the New Year’s Eve. One kilo of ground pork would be enough for the two occasions. Click here for the recipe.

Sweet and Sour Fish

Sweet and sour sauce will be prepared a day before and will only be reheated before pouring over the fried fish before dinner is served. There are many kinds of fishes suited for this dish. They are the white flesh type and usually the more expensive ones. Tilapia is a more affordable option. One medium-sized Tilapia weighing about 1 kilo will be bought for this dish. You can find the recipe here.

Roasted Chicken
Pollo Iberico or Roast Spanish Chicken appealed to me but I was not able to complete the herb ingredients listed when I tried it 3 months ago. The recipe was further modified when I got tempted to incorporate other ingredients I normally use to marinate the local ‘Lechon Manok’ or Pinoy Roasted Chicken. It turned out great and everybody who tasted appreciated its unique pleasant flavor. One whole chicken will be marinated a day before so what’s left to do on the 24th of December is to put it a broiler. I’m sharing the recipe with you through this link.

Cheesy Beef Caldereta

This is another family favorite. Kids love this dish because it catered to their preference for cheesy, sweet and not too spicy sauce. Half a kilo of beef strips will be marinated and tenderized a day before. The rest of the procedure to be done on Christmas Eve is simple. For the recipe, click here.

Buttered Vegetable

Broccoli, being a very expensive vegetable in this part of the country, is not always served in regular meals. For the Christmas Dinner, the inclusion of broccoli will make this dish so special. Other ingredients are carrot, green beans and corn kernels. My sons will surely dig in to this dish first before anything else.

Sliced and Chilled Fruits

Rather than making fruit salads or floats that would require the use of creams and sweetened condensed milk (my favorite), we will savor a variety of colorful and freshly sliced fruits. This is a healthier and cheaper option I would think…less sweet, less fat and less cost. Fruits more likely to be included are pineapple, watermelon, mango, banana and pomelo. This will be chilled in the afternoon (around 2 pm) of the 24th.
Sliced Fruits photo: / CCBY-SA2.0
Roasted Chicken photo: / CC BY 2.0

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  1. rObrak December 18, 2009 at 10:11 AM  

    I liked the sliced and chilled fruit. Nice idea! I would really love to eat that. Indeed, Christmas is on the way and is getting closer. May I interest you to visit Happy Tiffin It's a site that offers cool and amazing steel containers. Perfect for giveaways and Christmas presents for those who love to bring their packed lunch at work or anywhere. This will suit them because its portable and long lasting.

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About Us (circa 2009)

Our journey led us to this place. A little more than 10 years ago we began our journey as husband and wife. Three years later, we found ourselves with two bundles of joy- a daughter and then a son. They're the children we've dreamed of having.

About five years since the birth of our son, an unexpected gift came- a younger brother to our school-age kids. And soon enough, a baby girl arrived to round the family membership.

Brave was a term used by a friend to describe us. Challenging... and loving it -- yeah, this journey is not for the faint of heart.