Birthday Dinner at Home

The other day I posted a preview of the ingredients for the party I was hosting. Here are the pictures of last night’s dinner. I informed my friends that dinner was at 7:00 pm. Janet was the first to arrive and the last group arrived at 8:30. They all informed me the traffic was horrible due to the non-stop rains.


table setting before chaos set in

Chris is missing from this picture because she had to eat and run to another party.

I wasn’t sure if I prepared enough food so my tactic was to stuff them with appetizers and salad. The big hit of the night was the dukkah and olive oil I served with Lartizan’s ciabatta that I bought at Santi’s.

I discovered dukkah when I was in Perth where it was very popular and available everywhere. Dukkah is an Egyptian spice blend made of nuts, sesame seeds and a combination of spices. I made my own macadamia dukkah which everyone loved. You take a piece of bread, dip it into extra virgin olive oil then the dukkah. It was really very addictive.


ciabatta, olive oil & dukkah

I gave each person their own set of olive oil and dukkah. Everyone had at least one refill.

I fried up some squid balls which I bought at Cold Storage. They have very good, dense, chewy and flavorful squid balls.

squid balls

The salad I made was a mix of romaine and arugula greens. I mixed in dried cranberries and chopped glazed pili nuts. I made raspberry vinaigrette to go with it. They finished two huge serving bowls of salad. By this point my friends were already half full. My plan was working!

Deb brought this bottle of wine which we had with dinner. That’s the sum total of the alcohol we consumed for the night. Yes, I know that’s unbelievable but true. We did have a shot glass or two of chocolate liqueur after dinner. But that was really insignificant.

I made linguine with 3 kinds of mushrooms, spinach, a bottle of tuyo in olive oil and tons of garlic and olive oil. I guess they liked it since they took home all the left-overs.

The other bowl had more mushroom on top.

For the meat course, I marinated thinly sliced Angus steak from Santi’s in soy sauce, balsamic vinegar and olive oil. This was simply pan fried in olive oil.

thinly sliced Angus steaks

For a healthier dinner, I served poached salmon in white wine with fresh dill. The frozen salmon was purchased at Cold storage too.

poached salmon

There was strawberry banana salad for dessert.

strawberry banana salad

And I also made an apple marzipan tart. I bought frozen puff pastry, topped it with marzipan and sliced apples then baked it. It was actually very simple to make.

apple marzipan tart

And Janet brought a box of Betty’s sans rival. It was my first time to try Betty’s sans rival although I’ve heard about it before. It was very crunchy and one of the best sans rival I’ve ever eaten.

sans rival

I hope everyone enjoyed dinner. I know they were full because I heard groans around me and a lot of tummy rubbing. This was one of the least stressful dinners I’ve thrown. Now I know it’s best to cook the main course only when everyone has eaten their salad. I have this thing about serving and consuming hot food.

As I write this post half of Manila is under flood waters. One of my bff’s house has water already reaching her 2nd floor. Thankfully they have evacuated already. Please pray for the Philippines and the flood victims. I feel guilty that I am dry and safe in our house while so many are stranded in traffic or fighting flood waters in their homes. I hope all my friends stay safe.

Santi’s Delicatessen
The Promenade Bldg., 198 Wilson Street Corner
P. Guevarra, San Juan City
telephone: 381-2926; 381-2934

Cold Storage
Wilson St., San Juan

telephone: 744-2288; 744-0265

Betty’s Sans Rival
101 M. Cuenco cor. Biak na Bato St.,
Sto. Domingo, Quezon City
telelephone: 712-1752

7 thoughts on “Birthday Dinner at Home

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