I hope that you are all very fat, happy and blessed after the holiday festivities that have ensued over the past few days. I think it's safe to say that 2011 has been quite the eventful year for lots of us, in ways both bad and good. But I'm not here to be a Debbie Downer; I'm here to be thankful for everything that's happened, which in no order includes:
- Being the web editor of appetite.ph,
- Reconnecting with good people,
- and surviving the steep learning curves that life has tossed our way, and all that jazz.
Speaking of good friends, the holidays are also times that you should spend with the people you love. My friends host an annual Christmas Party where we just get together and enjoy each other's company. A lot of things have changed in the ten years that I've known these people. We used to have less food and more cheap booze, and end up going home wasted from too much holiday revelry. Now that we're a little older, we actually make the effort to cook and drink wine. WINE, FOR GOD'S SAKE!
(I guess, deep down inside, growing older scares me a little bit, but that's something we all have to go through.)
Before I bore you with any more of my holiday epiphanies, here's what we each brought to the table that night:
K made this bowl of corn salsa, which was light and delicious, but at the same time, pleasantly spicy. I'm not too keen on bell peppers, but the festive red and green slices added a much-needed punch to the corn, and made the perfect accompaniment to the fluffy pan-fried cream dory she also made for us.
To the right of the fish are the spicy chicken wings, courtesy of S. M provided the dip on the upper right, which was a result of turkey drippings, sour cream, Korean gochujang paste, more peppers, and other things he found lying in the kitchen. I always say that the mark of a true cook lies in his or her resourcefulness, and M has never failed to come up with tasty dishes from scratch. Side note: I could totally drink that sauce if I was feeling naughty. I really could.
Let me start off by saying that I am a purist when it comes to Carbonara. Every restaurant that has Carbonara on the menu makes me wary, because hardly anyone does it right - except for a select few authentic Italian restaurants in the metro.
This is an almost authentic Pasta Carbonara. No, not that Alfredo sh_t that so many lazy people try to pass off as the real deal. This pasta got high marks from me because of the fact that B actually used EGGS instead of CREAM to make the sauce! Take note, people: Don't call it a Carbonara if it hasn't got eggs in it. Call it an Alfredo, damn it!
See? It was so good, just thinking about it makes me swear!
If it had pancetta in it instead of ham bits, we would have ourselves a true blue plate of Carbonara. Perhaps the fact that B refused to tell me how much butter he dumped into the sauce should be a cause for alarm, but hey. It's the Holidays and I'll be fat if I want to.
I admit I could have done so much more with these mashed potatoes if I had more time. Normally, my recipe for Epic Mashed Potatoes (Caps intended) calls for four kinds of cheese, but I only had time to put in cream cheese. Luckily, I didn't hear any complaints.
These mashed potatoes actually sparked a debate over whether Pureed Mashed Potatoes were better than Chunky Mashed Potatoes, but I personally prefer mine with some unmashed chunks in it for texture (Same thing goes with my Turkish Soup recipe, it's actually tastier when it's not pureed!).
Not pictured here are the four family-sized pizzas, video games and ice cream, which goes to show that my friends and I are just a bunch of big kids.