I love mid-week breaks. Yesterday was a holiday here. It was the Inauguration of President Noynoy Aquino, the 15th President of our Republic. Instead of going out, I decided to just invite my best friends over for lunch and watch the inauguration on TV at the same time. I planned a simple and informal lunch for them.
Initially, we planned a dinner. However, it was moved earlier because we still have work the following day. Having moved it to lunch, we agreed not to have anything alcoholic. That meant serving them with my own pandan iced tea. To make it less boring and to make the drink a little more refreshing, I prepared ice cubes with mint leaves inside.
Below is my pandan iced tea. You can make it in two ways. First way is if you have time. Brew tea the usual way you would brew one. Drop in pandan leaves. Let cool. Second way is if you are in a rush (which is what I did). Get some tea bags and soak them in hot water. Drop in a few drops of pandan essence. The result will be the same.
For appetizers, I served my usual gambas al ajillo with pan-grilled crostini. I got this French bread from a local bakery and cut it into slices. I dabbed some butter onto each side of the slice then pan-grilled the slices.
Before I forget, let me tell you that I was also happy to have found this website that shows 27 kinds of napkin folding 🙂 The instructions are so easy to follow. You should try to spice up your table setting coz it’s fun 🙂
I prepared green salad with an overload of Granny apples, grapes, cherry tomatoes and Parmesan cheese. To give my friends more options for the dressing, I served them four dressings. I got the three from my pantry while I prepared the fourth. Those from my pantry were the Caesar, Asian and Honey Dijon dressings. I, on the other hand, prepared the Strawberry Vinaigrette.
For the main dish, I served half-baked and half-fried Blackened Chicken with mashed potatoes and asparagus. I used the same blackening spice mix which I previously used for my salmon dish.
For dessert, I prepared my own version of Banana Cream Pie. I got a glass bowl which is perfect for my pie at a discounted price. I was really excited to use it for my dessert 🙂
Since my friends are also from Batangas like me, there’s no better match for this dessert than a true Kapeng Barako. It’s basically a Liberica variant grown in our province, Batangas. I prefer it to be without sugar and milk. However, I also served whole milk and Muscovado sugar blocks for those who like theirs creamy and sweet.
It was a fun lunch with hubby and my best friends. I have lots of friends who are bugging me to cook for them as well. One at a time, friends! I’m not yet a pro, please.
Then again, I have always loved preparing food for friends so maybe next time. Who knows, it could be next month? 🙂