Saturday, October 2, 2010

Project Food Blog: "Luxury Dinner Party"

Yo DJ, Spin That Track!

"Hey, have you heard that you made it to Round Three?"
"OMG! Are you serious?! You all chose me?!"
No words can express how grateful I am
I'm serious, ya'll are just like fam
How great it feels to make it through
*Teardrop* I think I need a tissue
I was debating whether to end the rhymes
But I'm just having a grand ol' time
So here's another rhyme just for you
Hopefully, you'll like this one too
In this competition, I feel like an underdog
Struggling to survive and glad that you all read my blog
To be honest, I was completely in shock
Now, I'm standing my ground and ready to rock!
Have a Luxury Dinner Party and make a post
You, yourself, will be the host
Create a menu and invite some guests
Sounds intimidating? Just do your best
Be comfortable with who you are as a cook
Don't cook a meal from the fanciest of books
Stay true to what you know
Your efforts will definitely show
Your guests will be impressed with what you serve
The compliments, you will surely deserve
All that matters is to have fun with those you care about
So, while you're in the kitchen, don't freak out
You took the time to create a fantastic meal
The memories you make will be unreal

Don't you love parties? The whole passing out invites, calling people and creating events on Facebook to spread the word gets exciting! There's just something about parties that bring back so many memories. Being with family and friends, eating all the food you can eat (buffet style) and of course, singing karaoke, a filipino staple event. When everyone is loud and you are able to hear laughter from everywhere in the house, you definitely know it's a fantastic party. Sometimes our Filipino parties last until 2 AM!! We do whatever it takes to have a great time! Us Filipinos do it big. ha.

For challenge #3 of this competition, I think Ina Garten said it best when hosting dinner parties, "Keep it simple". Who wants to be in the kitchen cooking during a party anyway? Just because a dinner menu is simple, it doesn't mean it can't be delicious. It can be just as delicious, or even more delicious, as the half-dollar sized food you get at fancy restaurants. As long as you have great food and great people around, memories are bound to be made. That's my definition of a "Luxury Dinner Party". There's no need to stress about having a dinner party. Have confidence in yourself and you'll do fine. Even if you burn the meal, you still get points for effort!

What did I plan for this special event? An "american comfort food" dinner with a twist. This twist being a little upscaling of the meal. Don't be worried when I say "upscaling". It's simple, really. You make a concept for a meal and you simply change the components of some of the dishes so it's not the same ol' dish anymore. For instance, instead of a salad dressed with maybe "Thousand Island Dressing", try a vinaigrette instead and even use a variety of lettuces. Mashed potatoes? Change it up and roast baby yukon gold potatoes. These little changes can change up the whole meal instantly and it makes you look even more gourmet than before, not to mention, it can even save you time. I also decided to keep with the "Filipino Tradition" and keep the main course Buffet Style!!

Pesto Crostini 
Make a pesto crostini the way you want it. Extra Pesto? Extra Garlic? It's up to you.

Mixed Green Salad
Tender, crisp lettuces, crisp and nutty almonds, tart and fruity cranberries, salty feta cheese dressed with a tangy yet sweet white balsamic dressing

I just noticed, with the crostini and salad  already eaten, it's kind of empty. ha. Oh well, we were full on the inside. lol

All American Pot Roast
A delicious, mouthwatering, piece of pot roast that has been cooked until fork tender. Cooked with carrots, celery, leeks and red wine. Served with roasted rosemary potatoes that are crisp on the outside and creamy on the inside and simple roasted green asparagus 

Apple Crisp
An All-American Dessert For An All-American Dinner. Tender yet al dente apples that are cooked with cinnamon and nutmeg. Topped with a buttery sweet and crunchy streusel that is to die for.

Tips/Advice For Dinner Parties 
-Make something you can handle. Don't make something you've seen in a magazine and "decide" to make that day. Using guests as guinea pigs is not a great idea at all. 

-When creating a menu, start with the main course and work your way around it to create a theme.

-When prepping for the party, think of what you can do in advance. Whether it be chopping vegetables, making the dessert and whatnot. Luckily for me, my dishes didn't need that much prep work! YAY!!

-Making everything from scratch is not needed. Take all the help you can get and take short cuts along the way. For instance, pre-made salad mixes have really improved over the years. 

-If your friend/relative offers to bring a dish, let them. Why not? At every filipino at my house, there are at least 3 or 4 dishes brought by someone. The more food the merrier, I always say! ha.

-Most importantly, have fun! There's nothing worse than guests seeing you stressed out.

Don't forget to vote again from October 4 to 7. 
It's simple. Just go to my PFB Profile HERE during those dates. 
Thanks for the support! :)

-Aaron John


  1. that meal looks to-die-for!

    i need to make pot roast asap!

  2. Thank you!! Def. make some pot roast! So comforting and tastes sooo good!

  3. What a perfect menu. Nicely done. I would definitely RSVP.

  4. I love pot roast and yours looks perfect! I would have loved to have braised something but my oven broke! Yum.

  5. great job Aaron! it looks absolutely lovely!

  6. well done Aaron! your rimes are so cute.

    (see my entry here:

  7. what a delicious menu! best of luck on the challenge!

  8. Your posts (and poems) so make me smile. Good luck moving on!

  9. We have a similar concept, AJ! And I love the rap! Voting :)

    My dinner party was designed to take the diner food from Gooch's diner, where my parents first met over 40 years ago, and elevate it to luxury for their 39th wedding anniversary.

  10. VOTEDDDDDDD! Good luck! Wish you all the best!

    jen @

  11. Ciik.Eat.Love: Thanks!! :)

    Natty: Oh no!! Hopefully when you get your oven fixed you'll be cooking pot roast! hehe.

    Whitney: Thank you!! I'll give your blog a look see

    Amelia: THank you so much!! I'll def. check out your entry!

    Claire: Thanks a bunch!

    Foodalogue: Thank you so much!! :)

    Julie: Thanks!! I'm giving you a vote as well. Loved your post!

    Jen Cheung: Thanks!! I'll check out your blog!!

  12. Wish I could come to this dinner party.

  13. Perfect all American dinner party :)

  14. Your posts are always awesome!! And that apple crisp is to-die-for. Love it!


  15. Hey Aaron, thanks for stopping by my blog. Your blog is very cool! And great job with the luxury dinner! Well done! It's amazing how many new blogs I've discovered in the past weeks. Looking forward to your posts!


  16. Hi Aaron

    Just stumbled across your blog for the first time, whilst browsing round 3 contestants on Foodbuzz for PFB, I love your writing style and the rap made me smile! And the food looks amazing too, loving the upscaling idea.

    Have bookmarked your site to have a proper browse later :-)

    Good luck with the contest, I've voted for you!

    Hungry Jenny x

  17. Lovely dishes and photos AJ! Best wishes on advancing to the next round!

  18. You had me at that rhyme : )
    My vote's in. Good luck!

  19. Great post! Simple IS best. And with food like this, who would want anything more? Nice job. I voted for you!

    Good luck! Fingers crossed for us both to make it through to the next round! =)

  20. I love your rhymes, and I love this menu. Comfort, indeed. I want that pot roast. Now. :)

    You have one of my votes!

  21. Your post+rap made me smile! Good work and I hope you make it to the next round!

  22. Rick: Your Welcome anytime! ha

    Evan: Thanks!!

    We Are Not Martha: Thanks you!! :)

    Jun Belen: Thanks!! I know!! So many great blogs!! Love this competition! :D

    Hungry Jenny: Yay!! Thank you so much!! I'm glad you found my blog! :DD I'll check out your blog as well!!

    Lisa: Thanks!! I'm going to vote for you again!!

    Heena: haha. Thanks!

    Jacob's Kitchen: Yup!! Simple is always great! Good luck to us both. Thanks for the vote!! I'm voting for you as well!!

    Onlinepastrychef: lol. Thanks!! I'm voting for you as well!!

    riceandwheat: Yay!! I'm glad the rap made you smile!! haha. Thanks a bunch!

  23. AJ, YOU ROCK! Excellent choices and your twists to comfort food are perfect! Just cast my vote for you again and will continue to the end.

    Keep up the good work

  24. What awesome photos! Like I said earlier, and I'll say it again, you have my vote! You are some serious competition and makin me nervous ;-)

  25. great job on your dinner AJ! :) best of luck to you!

  26. Everything looks delicious - beautiful photos!
    Good luck.

  27. Cute poem! Great job with this challenge.. everything looks delicious... especially the apple crisp. Yum!

  28. Great job and you have my vote

  29. Cyndy: Thank you so much!! It means a lot! :)

    Jessica: Thanks!! haha. We'll see tomorrow.

    Jan/Thella: Thank you! :D

    CrystalCozyKitchens: Thanks!! :)

    danasfoodforthought: Thanks a bunch!

    Ed: Thanks for the support!

  30. Congrats Congrats going onto challenge #4!!! Must be exciting for you! Good luck and all the best. Happy Thanksgiving to you! You'll be getting the next vote from me :) Your awesome!

    Have a happy thanksgiving!
    jen @

  31. Yum, the All American Pot Roast looks amazing!


Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment! :)

-Aaron John


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