I attended the launch of Marketplace by Rustan’s on Honestbee last week. I’m so happy to learn that Rustan’s supermarket is now available on Honestbee because now I can buy the things I need for Christmas meals without the hassle of going through Christmas traffic!
Do you already have an idea of what to serve? No? Me, neither!
The reason I am happy about seeing Marketplace on Honestbee is because Marketplace has a better selection of gourmet food items available – more so than other supermarkets. Whenever we want things like horseradish and mint jelly, our first stop is always Rustan’s supermarket.
As I’m writing this blog post, I am going to browse Honestbee until some plan forms in my head 😀 Let’s go.
Of course, the first thing I check is the Promotions section 😀 If I see something nice on sale, I start thinking of ways to use it or incorporate it in the menu.
NOCHE BUENA MENU (DRAFT)
Drinks (Beverage Station)
- Hot Chocolate – Alfonso’s tablea, evaporated milk and condensed milk (order from Honestbee) – easy, will just keep this warm on the slow cooker. 😀
- Cranberry Mocktail – Old Orchard Cranberry Juice I already have, 7-Up and mint + ice
- Chilled Locally Juices – I love the Tamarind and Kamias flavors, but the Kamias has not been available for a while, so Guyabano it is; ordering from Marketplace, Honestbee – on sale for only P20! Was P25
- Smoked Salmon on Cream Cheese and Crackers, Lemon & Capers on the side – order smoked salmon and crackers from Marketplace, Honestbee. I still have lemons, capers and cream cheese
- Tuna Spread on Crackers – just open a can of quality tuna spread from Marketplace, Honestbee and put on the same crackers as the salmon 🙂 top with some orange roe (tobiko) for a pretty presentation. Easy peasy! I can’t find tobiko on Honestbee, but I’m sure Marketplace has them. I’ll ask my shopper to look for it. If she can’t find it, I’ll just put some green onions instead.
- Quinoa Salad with Cranberries and Quorn Chunks – order quinoa, quorn and arugula from Marketplace, Honestbee. I initially wanted turkey chunks, but couldn’t find any, so Quorn Chunks will do and they are healthier. I still have Craisins and things I need to make the dressing with. I have walnuts in the freezer. If you have extra walnuts, almonds, pecans, etc.. freeze them in small freezer bags. They keep a long time frozen.
- Roast Beef Belly with Horseradish Sauce – order Horseradish Sauce from Marketplace, Honestbee; will look for beef belly from other Honestbee merchants
- Farfalle in Pesto Cream Sauce – inspired by Bizu; order pesto from Marketplace, Honestbee; I still have some farfalle (bowtie pasta) and cream. I think using the ribbon-shaped pasta is so appropriate for Christmas 🙂
- Chicken Macaroni Salad – ordering the macaroni from Marketplace, Honestbee, it’s discounted 😀 I still have mayo, pickle relish and pineapple tidbits on hand. My current favorite macaroni salad recipe is the Classic Macaroni Salad from Lady’s Choice.
- Vargas Butter Cake – also ordering via Honestbee; this is a simple butter cake that I can’t forget ever since I discovered them at the Salcedo Market years ago
- Ice Cream – whatever’s in the freezer, we still have a lot from our supermarket sale hauls 🙂
- Marie Pistachio Cheesecake – this will be for New Year’s Eve – also ordering from Honestbee; I tried a sample of this and it was so good! Got to have this for New Year’s Eve!
- Smoked boneless bangus – fried boneless smoked daing na bangus is my favorite bangus and I want to share it with our guests so that they may be converted 😀 will serve this for Christmas Day brunch
I am planning to make things easier for myself this year. No more baking cakes, cupcakes and cookies! I used to make gingerbread cookies or fruitcake, and stuffed chicken… it’s a lot of work and it’s time-consuming. I would start preparing on Dec. 20! Yikes. I would be the kitchen general and everyone at home was my slave, hahaha. Stressful times. Fruitcake making starts in September, and the line at the Quiapo supply store is sooooo long. Not anymore this year 🙂
This year, things should be easier. I can make the Macaroni Salad ahead of time. The appetizers are basically assembly work that I can prepare ahead of time and just assemble an hour before serving. This is also something I can easily delegate 😀
Cooking quinoa is as easy as cooking rice, quinoa cooking instructions from Jamie Oliver here. This and the Quorn chunks can be cooked the day before, put in a container, ready to be mixed with arugula, cranberries, candied walnuts and dressing the next day. I just need to candy some walnuts this weekend. Just google quinoa cranberry salad and you’ll find a lot of recipes.
The Roast Beef Belly should be easy – just marinate and then slow bake in the oven on Dec. 23 (kung palpak, I still have one day to prepare or order something else, hahaha). I Googled and found out how to make roast beef belly on this blog, recipe from El Circulo here. I will just reheat it on Christmas Eve.
The Farfalle in Pesto Cream Sauce is quick and easy – 30 mins, tops. It’s just cooked pasta, a bottle of pesto, good quality cream, salt & pepper to taste, and topped with whatever cheese I have in the fridge, probably some shaved Emmental.
I am assigning my sis to make the Cranberry Mocktail 🙂 Delegating, haha.
I’m sure some of the guests will bring some food, ham or wine, too.
Here’s my Honestbee Shopping Cart:
- The Quorn Chunks are out of stock, so I just got Quorn Nuggets. Hope the chunks will be in stock by the time I order.
- I chose the Vivien Paille Quinoa & Bulgur one because it’s 50% bulgur, 40% white quinoa and 10% red quinoa — this makes for a prettier salad. I don’t speak French, but like some savant, I can understand French cooking instructions, hahaha. When in doubt, use Google Translate 😀 It says add it to boiling salted water and cook for 12 minutes, then drain.
- I ordered two Pistachio Cheesecakes from Marie, one will be gifted 🙂
- There are budget-friendly alternatives to most of these ingredients – for example, instead of cream cheese, you may use any cheese spread; instead of smoked salmon, you may use sliced smoked tanguigue, tinapa flakes, or sliced & lightly fried or toasted luncheon meat; instead of quinoa, you can use brown rice; for the crackers, just use some Ritz crackers. Marketplace by Rustan’s also carries other brands of pesto and other brands of canned tuna salad, or you can make your own; instead of horseradish, you can just serve gravy. Instead of a cranberry mocktail, you may serve grape juice. Instead of roast beef belly, you may serve ham, lechon, roast chicken, embutido, etc… it doesn’t matter. What’s important is that your loved ones are together 🙂
- Woohoo! I found some beef belly at Meat Depot on Honestbee. It’s labeled as Shortplate, Imported.
- This is just what I put in my Honestbee cart in preparation for Noche Buena. Since I won’t be ordering this until around Dec. 18-20, some of these things are bound to change and I might end up adding more thing like eggs and milk just in case we run out or I might be changing some ingredients. Anyway, this is just a draft, but at least I have a shopping list prepared and won’t panic when things get busy as they are bound to do 🙂 Also, I was told that Honestbee will be closed on Dec. 25, so make your orders before then.
The items that are jacking up the total price are actually the cakes, not really the supermarket items. Oh, well, Christmas naman and those cakes are really delicious. It’s just twice a year naman (Noche Buena & Media Noche meals).
I’m not panicking about Media Noche (New Year’s Eve meal) as much because Dec. 26-30 are usually slow days and I have more time to plan. This is when we have time to make something like buko salad or fruit salad or buko pandan.
We’ve got drinks, we’ve got cheese, we’ve got a salad, we’ve got seafood, we’ve got chicken (macaroni salad), we’ve got beef, we’ve got carbs, we’ve got dessert.
I love macaroni salad so I don’t mind the two pasta dishes.
As for colors –
- red – cranberry mocktail, craisins in the quinoa salad
- green – pesto cream, arugula in the quinoa salad
- red orange – smoked salmon, tobiko (orange roe)
- yellow – cheese, crackers, butter cake
- white – macaroni salad, tuna salad
- brown – quinoa, roast beef belly
You have to think about the colors too so that the food doesn’t look boring! 🙂 The eyes eat before the mouth does, hahaha.
FREE MENU TEMPLATE
Of course, I had to go overboard and make a simple menu that I can print and put inside a picture frame to display on the buffet table.
You can access this menu template on www.canva.com, just register for a free account. Click here to access the design. You should be directed to the “Copy of Christmas 2018” file on Canva.com. On the upper left of the screen, go to “File” and then “Make a Copy“. This should give you your own copy of the Christmas 2018 Menu that you can edit on your own Canva account 🙂
Well, okay, that’s my initial plan for Christmas Eve! Thank you for joining me as I plan! I hope this has given you a few ideas on what you can do to make Noche Buena less work and less stress for you, too 🙂
I still want to make gingerbread cookies and stuffed chicken and all that, but I don’t want to do it during the stressful holiday time. I might do it when things are a bit slower, like during summer. 🙂
I hope you enjoyed this blog post. Please feel free to leave a comment below, I love hearing from you!