Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas 2013: Family, Food and Fashion

Hi! How was your Christmas break? Mine's been quite fruitful so far, and I'm trying to squeeze in as much bonding time as I can with my family since some of them will be flying back to California on the 4th of January. That's why this is going to be a super quick post since I am also in the middle of doing some errands and spending quality time with them :) I sincerely hope you had a great one and wish that you'll enjoy celebrating the upcoming New Year! I've got a feeling that 2014 will be magical for you and me :)

Food:

I made Lemon and Herb Roasted Chicken for our Christmas Eve dinner. The bird was super tender and moist that when Mama was trying to remove one of the legs the meat literally fell right off the bone! I did my own thing with the gravy with chicken drippings, though, because I don't like using packaged chicken broth. It was very flavorful too, and I was smiling all throughout the time I was chopping herbs (thank you God for making them, they smell soooo good!). Follow the instructions for the oven temperature to a T because it's the secret to getting crispy skin and tender meat.

Tweaks:
1. I also roasted carrots and pearl onions with the potatoes. I had no baby potatoes on hand so I used red potatoes instead.
2. I used baby carrots to cut the peeling time by a huge chunk. Just slice them in half and place them in a bowl containing the potatoes and onions, then toss them with a fair amount of salt, pepper, olive oil, and chopped herbs.
3. I also made a paste from olive oil, a bit of melted butter, chopped herbs, salt and pepper. I rubbed a big portion of it between the skin and the breast meat (don't be scared that the skin will be ripped off, it's fairly easy to do and will help you get super moist and flavorful breast meat), then rubbed the rest all around the chicken. Make sure you get it between every nook and cranny to ensure that ALL parts of the chicken will taste delish :)

Here's the result:

The skin was very crispy and tasty. It reminded me of chicken from Max's, a popular restaurant in the Philippines.

Yummy! Oh, and here's the recipe:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/tyler-florence/lemon-and-herb-roasted-chicken-with-baby-potatoes-recipe/index.html

For Christmas lunch with the extended family, I baked Chocolate Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese-Butter Pecan Frosting. The cake base lacked a bit of chocolate-y flavor and the frosting was a little on the sweet side, hopefully I'll remember to add more chocolate morsels and reduce the amount of powdered sugar the next time I make it. I might have to add a splash of milk too because the cream cheese flavor might be too much for some people.

Here it is with cake toppers inspired by this blog entry: http://ohhappyday.com/2013/12/christmas-forest-cake-topper/. I seriously wish I made more of these cute trees but I was already running late so I had to make do with just two pieces :( (the sour cream I bought just the other day had mold in it so I had to rush to the nearest grocery, and then in the middle of whipping the cream cheese, one of the whisk attachments on my electronic handheld beater broke. But whatever, I did not let those mishaps ruin my Christmas :) )



Here's the recipe: http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/chocolate-velvet-cake-with-cream-cheese-butter-pecan-frosting-10000000554777/. The toasted pecans in the icing were DIVINE, they were like little crunchy, tasty surprises in every bite. I bought a huge bag of them for a much cheaper price at Costco :)

Fah-shion:

And here I am with a blue Candie's dress I bought from Kohl's during their recent Black Friday sale. The cut and color are very flattering, and the bow at the back adds cuteness without being overbearing. I balanced the girly look by wearing black semi-opaque tights and pairing the dress with black leather wedge booties from Nine West :) The tips of the boots are a little pointy and will help elongate anyone's legs, which is the reason why I love this silhouette so much! <3 Many thanks to Mama who took my pictures hehehe. My purse is from DKNY (c/o TJ Maxx, I love this place) and is reminiscent of Chanel's iconic quilted bag.




Whew! Now off I go to finish some other stuff and maybe put in some time watching Regular Show episodes with my not-so-lil bro :)

Toodle-oo!

<3,

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