You're Invited

Two simple words. You’re invited. They make you feel special, and it doesn’t matter if you are the guest or the host. It is always a joy to receive an invitation, but it is just as exciting to give one, don’t you agree? Whether you are a pre-schooler inviting friends to a birthday party or planning a wedding, there is something significant about playing host to friends.

When I saw that Challenge 3 of Project Food Blog was a Luxury Dinner Party, I was so excited. We love to entertain!

For quite a while, I have wanted to host a gathering for fellow Bay Area bloggers. In the relatively short time that I have been writing Kitchen Confidante, I have had the pleasure of “meeting” such a fantastic group of food enthusiasts from all over the world. In the Bay Area alone, there is such a wonderful group of talented and diverse food bloggers, many of whom I have never met in person. This challenge was the perfect excuse to make this gathering a reality!

I’m sure you will recognize some familiar names; if you follow my blog, chances are you’ve run across or follow theirs, too. Some of them are also fellow contestants in Project Food Blog!

Theme and Menu

So, what do you prepare for seven sophisticated Bay Area foodies? Good question!  The challenge specifically called for hosting a luxurious dinner party where your guests will discover new tastes and exotic flavors.”

I decided to create a Filipiniana Theme – to introduce my interpretation of Philippine classics. Despite the growing appreciation for Philippine cuisine in the Bay Area, it is still not easily understood. Those who have experienced Filipino food have typically tasted it from a friend’s kitchen, as street food, from a food truck, or from a casual restaurant. Sadly, diners don’t associate Philippine cuisine with luxury.

There are, however, a few restaurants in the United States that elevate Philippine cuisine to a level that discriminant eaters can appreciate. I think of the now-closed Cendrillon that was located in New York’s SOHO and is now reincarnated as the Purple Yam Restaurant in Brooklyn.

The restaurant’s highly acclaimed owners, Amy Besa and Romy Dorotan, wrote a beautiful cookbook, Memories of Philippine Kitchens, which has been my bedside reading this past summer. I decided to bring the book back down to my kitchen, where it rightfully belongs. I was really looking forward to introducing Filipino cooking to my guests who would be tasting it for the first time.

The menu I created is a fusion of old family recipes, my own rendition on classics, and recipes from Besa and Dorotan’s book. It represents the Philippines’ complex culinary history, combining indigenous dishes with those influenced by the Spanish, Chinese, and their Southeast Asian neighbors.

Planning

The key to any successful dinner party is in the planning and the amount of work you can do in advance. There is nothing worse than hosting a party and not being able to enjoy the company of your guests!

For this party, I had to make critical decisions, particularly with the menu, to ensure that I wouldn’t have to do too much work during the party. Besides the fact that Filipino cooking can be very labor intensive with a lot of fine chopping and prep work, I also did not want to have to rely on my husband’s help with entertaining. We usually have a nice system between the two of us for throwing a party, but for this evening, my intent was to host solo. While he planned to do something special with the kids, I would have a serene, kid-free environment so I could concentrate on my guests.

Make It Easy Tips

• Select dishes that can be prepped and cooked in advance. Dishes that taste better with time (like the Baby Back Ribs) work well.

• Map out your plan of attack and create a countdown (like the one on the left).

• Let your guests take care of a dish or a course. While I told my guests that they did not have to bring anything, for those that insisted, I asked them to bring an appetizer (it’s my least favorite course to plan…shh…don’t tell anyone).

• Involve your guests! Give them a task, such as serving or plating.

• Making individual dessert servings is a lovely touch, but not necessary. Save time by making one.

Ambiance and Tablescape

This is one of my favorite parts of planning a party, and one of the first things I think about, often even before settling on the menu. I think about music, color scheme, and special touches. I wanted my table to be elegant and calm, while calling to mind the warmth of the tropics. Since I was planning the dinner party on relatively short notice, I sent out Evites to my guests, and I was particularly inspired by the colors of this one:

I coordinated some beautiful light blue linens I already own with fuschia fabric scraps purchased at the craft store as accent pieces. Basic, crisp white linens tied it all together, while the rented chairs added to the plantation feel.

A bowl of rosy-green mangos made for a simple but very suitable centerpiece, and silk flowers tucked into the napkins added an extra special touch to each setting.

The Meal

As guests trickled in, it was a great time to make introductions over wine and casual appetizers. I had set out some simple hors D’oeuvres, which were nicely enhanced by the gifts of tapenade, balsamic fig jam, and wine from my fellow foodie bloggers. For most of us, it was the first time we were meeting one another! Everyone dug in to help and it was fun to have the extra hands to serve soup and plate the dishes. Then, it was finally time to begin the meal.

Sinigang na Hipon is a tamarind based soup with prawns that also gets its rich flavor from pork belly. It can be served as a soup, as shown here, or over rice for a hearty meal. Kai-lan greens and spinach make the soup so nutritious, but it’s the Daikon radish that is my favorite part. This complex soup is tangy and vibrant, yet very satisfying. Sinigang could also be made with fish or just pork, and I consider it to be one of the truest native Filipino dishes, for its use of the indigenous sour tamarind.

 

 

Also in keeping with the very distinct sour flavor palate of many Filipino dishes, I served Baby Back Pork Ribs Adobo and Achara. This version of Adobo is from Besa and Dorotan’s cookbook, and not too different from the Chicken Adobo that I make for my family. This adobo sauce has a classic base of apple cider vinegar, soy sauce and garlic, but it has a fantastic hit of heat from jalapeno peppers. I especially loved that most of the dish could be prepared in advance, from the marinade to the braising, resulting in a succulently flavored rack of ribs.

Achara is a traditional condiment of pickled green papaya, carrots and peppers. Since I wanted the flavors to be on the lighter side, with a touch of acidity more akin to a salad, I very lightly dressed the Achara rather than allowing it to pickle into a relish. I also added jicama for a little extra crunch.

Pancit Bihon is a classic rice noodle dish that represents the Chinese influence on Philippine cuisine. In my family, it is my Tita (Aunt) Leah who has the best Pancit Bihon, and she credits the flavor to her homemade stock of pork pata (leg). I definitely take my shortcuts, including using chicken broth, but I agree, homemade stock is best. I still love hers, but I think mine is pretty darned close.

A dinner party is not complete without some wine! This 2007 Martin Alfaro Pinot Noir from Lester Family Vineyard in the Santa Cruz Mountains is beautiful and incredibly well-balanced. With rich berry notes and a smooth, smokey finish, this Pinot Noir pairs well with a variety of foods, including the Baby Back Ribs Adobo.

For dessert, there were individual servings of classic Leche Flan, otherwise known as Creme Caramel or Caramel Custard, which most likely has its origins from the Philippine’s history as a Spanish colony. Indulgent and perfect for special occasions.

The Guests

{from left} Stephanie, Lisa, Trish | Jun, Jean

I think most people would agree that the best part of any dinner party is the company.

Even mediocre food can be forgiven if your guests are having a wonderful time. I couldn’t have asked for a better group of people with whom to share this dinner! I will confess, I did experience some jitters when I realized that I would be hosting fellow food bloggers – there was that momentary feeling of panic when I thought, what if they don’t like my food?

I put those silly thoughts past me. After all, these are people I consider friends in this blogosphere. I have learned that food bloggers are extremely supportive and caring people. And after meeting them in person, I know it to be true.

Besides, I loved that I wasn’t the only person who had a camera at the meal!

Chandara

It was such a memorable night for me:

To be able to talk about blog life with people who understand. To be encouraged to take more photos of my food. To know that they really enjoyed their first taste of Sinigang. To know that my fellow Filipino foodies approved. To know that we were developing new friendships.

I can’t wait to do this again soon.

My heartfelt thanks to all who voted for my second entry to Project Food Blog!! This post is my submission for Challenge 3: Luxury Dinner Party. Contestants were asked to host a luxurious dinner party where guests will discover new tastes and exotic flavors, and to share hosting secrets with readers. Voting for this challenge takes place from 6AM Pacific Time (9AM Eastern) October 4th through 6PM Pacific Time (9PM Eastern) October 7th. Please click here to vote!

Recipe

Though this is a lengthy post, I couldn’t leave you without a recipe! I will post more soon, but to hold you over, something sweet.

Leche Flan

Caramel

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water

Custard

  • 8 egg yolks
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 can condensed milk
  • 1 cup evaporated milk (or water)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • grated lemon rind
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350° F.

For the caramel:

Heat a clean, heavy duty small sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add sugar and water, stir briefly just until sugar is dissolved, then allow to simmer (no more stirring!) until the sugar begins to caramelize and change color to amber. Pour into mold, tilting so all sides get coated.

For the custard:

Beat egg yolks and egg whites at high speed for about 1 minute. Add condensed milk, evaporated milk, sugar, lemon rind, and vanilla. Beat for another 2 minutes. Strain, using a cheesecloth if necessary, and pour into mold. Lightly cover with foil.

Place mold in a large baking pan. Add hot water to come up to half way up the mold. Bake for about 1 hour, 20 minutes, or until the flan is set in the center.

Alternative method: In a large pot, boil about 1 inch of water. Place mold in pot. Simmer for 40 minutes or until firm. Let cool, then place in refrigerator. When completely cold, remove leche flan from mold.

Release from mold:

Run a sharp knife along the perimeter of the mold. Dip mold in a bowl of hot water to help loosen. Place a serving platter over the mold and flip. Remove mold.

 

 

 

Pin It
by Liren Baker on October 2, 2010

121 Responses to “You're Invited”

  1. Debbie October 2, 2010 @ 2:30 am (#
    1
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    wow i love it!! I have also added some new favourite blogs too – good luck, you have my vote! :)

  2. Cathy/ShowFoodChef October 2, 2010 @ 2:33 am (#
    2
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    Liren, absolutely gorgeous post and made me wish I could join the group. The food looks amazing and your information was exciting to learn. Lots of luck!

  3. Mhel B October 2, 2010 @ 2:39 am (#
    3
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    Liren you did an amazing job! Everythings prepped and polished! Kudos for serving Filipino dish to our fellow foodie bloggers! Pinot Noir is a great match for the Baby Back Adobo too! Of course, you always have my vote. Im kinda laxed now, and will be reading your posts! Goodluck!

    • Liren replied: — October 2nd, 2010 @ 2:40 pm

      Hi Mhel – I am so, so pleased that you approve! I hope that Filipino dishes will continue to gain popularity and the recognition it truly deserves!

  4. Spicy Green Mango October 2, 2010 @ 3:03 am (#
    4
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    Okay, Liren. It’s Friday night and I was just about to send some pictures your way and then I wander over to your blog and low and behold, you are WAYYYY too on top of your game. I love it! I have no idea how you were able to tweak the lighting in these shots b/c my camera is still having issues, but OMG…so lovely, my dear. You are probably the best hostess—thank you for a lovely evening. After seeing your shots, I will bow my head in humility.

    • Liren replied: — October 2nd, 2010 @ 2:41 pm

      Chandara, I would love to see your photos – I know you must have captured it perfectly. Thank you again for being part of the evening, it was so wonderful to spend time with you. And thank you for all your help that night, I couldn’t have done it without you!

  5. Jan/Thella October 2, 2010 @ 4:42 am (#
    5
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    so proud of this dinner Liren! :) really glad that you decided to go Filipiniana. the baby back ribs adobo is a great dish and i’m sure it tastes even better. good luck! will be voting for you when it opens :)

    • Liren replied: — October 2nd, 2010 @ 2:42 pm

      Jan, I loved the baby back ribs adobo style! Thank you so much – I’m glad you liked the post :)

  6. Sharlene (Wheels and Lollipops) October 2, 2010 @ 4:42 am (#
    6
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    Liren….Amazing. Would have loved to be a guest at this party. I love the fact that you used the opportunity to catch up with fellow bloggers (great to see pic of them by the way) what better tribute. The dishes look amazing especially the baby back ribs.

    Can’t wait to see you in round 4, you definitely have my vote

    • Liren replied: — October 2nd, 2010 @ 2:45 pm

      Wish I could have invited more people, Sharlene! It really was a treat to catch up with fellow bloggers in person!

  7. Joan Nova October 2, 2010 @ 4:46 am (#
    7
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    Excellent entry! You set the bar so HIGH for the rest of us. Congratulations…you’re a shoo-in for Challenge 4.

    • Liren replied: — October 2nd, 2010 @ 2:53 pm

      Oh, Joan, I am beyond flattered and a little speechless at your comment. Thank you :)

  8. Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite October 2, 2010 @ 5:06 am (#
    8
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    What a fun twist on the challenge and how great to get fellow bloggers involved! Wish I lived in the Bay Area – good luck to you (though you won’t need it!).

  9. Belinda @zomppa October 2, 2010 @ 5:17 am (#
    9
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    How great that you got a group of some incredible folks together for such a beautiful meal!! You got my vote.

  10. elizabeth October 2, 2010 @ 6:55 am (#
    10
    )

    So. Impressed. And envious that I’m not a Bay-Area blogger! You certainly pulled out all of the stops for this–got my vote!

  11. Lisa { AuthenticSuburbanGourmet } October 2, 2010 @ 7:31 am (#
    11
    )

    Liren – thank you again for such a lovely evening! It was truly so much fun to get together with fellow bloggers from the Bay Area and enjoy an evening together. The dinner was amazing and the post you put together is fantastic! Brilliant Job! :-)

    • Liren replied: — October 2nd, 2010 @ 2:54 pm

      Lisa, thank you so, so much for being a part of the evening! I was really excited to meet you, and the fig jam you brought was utterly delicious. I’ve been enjoying it all week, thank you! Hope we can do this again soon :)

  12. Joanne Choi October 2, 2010 @ 7:37 am (#
    12
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    absolutely fabulous post! The photos, the food, the comments….you captured it all so well….

  13. sippitysup October 2, 2010 @ 8:01 am (#
    13
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    Fantastic. You are a wonderful host! GREG

  14. Becky October 2, 2010 @ 8:04 am (#
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    Your prep and execution of the dinner party was impeccable, let alone the food!. Your pictures are amazing. This was a wonderful tribute to your Bay area bloggers. You have my vote!

  15. Kath October 2, 2010 @ 8:21 am (#
    15
    )

    This is a truly impressive entry for Challenge #3. You should sail through to Challenge #4 easily! You had a wonderful idea and it was beautifully executed. Bravo!

  16. obparker October 2, 2010 @ 8:26 am (#
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    )

    wish i had come…looks delicious. you will have my vote!

  17. Jun Belen October 2, 2010 @ 8:40 am (#
    17
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    So honored that Dennis and I were a part of your fabulous dinner, Liren. The dinner was delicious! It really was great to finally meet you, Jean, and the other bloggers! Lovely post!!

    • Liren replied: — October 2nd, 2010 @ 2:57 pm

      Jun, the honor was all mine. Truly. I was so happy to meet you and Dennis, finally! And your kind words about the dinner – that means more to me than you know. Thank you for making the trip out and being part of a memorable evening!

  18. foodies at home October 2, 2010 @ 8:42 am (#
    18
    )

    Beautiful table and your dishes look amazing! Sounds like a fantastic time! We are lucky to have such talented people here in the Bay Area. Good luck in round #3!

  19. nancy@skinnykitchen October 2, 2010 @ 8:48 am (#
    19
    )

    What a beautiful table!

  20. Tracey@TangledNoodle October 2, 2010 @ 9:24 am (#
    20
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    Just brilliant! You beautifully incorporated tips on menu planning, a bit of Filipino food info, gorgeous photography, a recap of a lovely evening with introductions to your fascinating guests and a recipe to boot! Now, I only wish I’d been there, too. 8-)

    • Liren replied: — October 2nd, 2010 @ 3:01 pm

      Tracey, how I wish you could have been there, too! I think we need to do a Filipino Food Blogger’s gathering. In Manila. Wouldn’t that be nice?

  21. CarolineAdobo October 2, 2010 @ 10:29 am (#
    21
    )

    My gosh, where to begin? This has AWESOME written all over it! Like Tracey, how I wished I’d been at your dinner party, too! :)

    • Liren replied: — October 2nd, 2010 @ 3:01 pm

      Caroline, I thought of you as I planned this. When you move up here, let’s get together, okay?

  22. ClassicKitchenTwist October 2, 2010 @ 1:01 pm (#
    22
    )

    Wonderful job! I had a great menu planned for this round but didn’t move on so it’s going to be fun reading all of the different directions everyone will take. Wish I was in the Bay area!

  23. merry jennifer October 2, 2010 @ 1:56 pm (#
    23
    )

    Fabulous. Simply fabulous. The only thing negative I have to say is that I am completely bummed that I don’t live nearby. I would love to come to one of your dinner parties!

    • Liren replied: — October 2nd, 2010 @ 3:02 pm

      MJ, wish you lived close, too! I would love to be a guest at one of your dinner parties, too!!!

  24. Steph (desserts for breakfast) October 2, 2010 @ 2:05 pm (#
    24
    )

    Liren– this dinner was fantastic, and I’m so happy you invited me to be a part of it so that I could meet everyone! Thank you! Looking at the pics, my mouth is watering again. :-D Are you going to post the soup recipe? Pretty pretty please?

    • Liren replied: — October 2nd, 2010 @ 3:03 pm

      Steph, thank you so much! I’m SO happy that you loved the Sinigang, and I promise to post the recipe, just for you! It was wonderful to finally meet you, and I hope we get to do this again soon. Twas fun!

  25. Chef Dennis October 2, 2010 @ 2:36 pm (#
    25
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    LIren
    what an incredible dinner party! your table was positively beautiful and the foods you served were an incredible assortment of flavors and textures, what a perfect pairing these dishes were!
    and your guests added the final touch to this elegant party, what better way to share your creations than with fellow foodies…..I sure it was a night you will always remember!
    Well done my friend!
    Dennis

    • Liren replied: — October 2nd, 2010 @ 3:04 pm

      Chef Dennis, thank you! The guests were indeed, the best part of this dinner :) I will definitely remember this!

  26. Asha@FSK October 2, 2010 @ 2:45 pm (#
    26
    )

    Liren – i love this post! I love the timeline insert. It’s so useful for managing party stress!! and Your post is soo evocatively beautiful! Raising a toast to you as I am 200% sure you are moving on to the next round!

    P.S. : I only humbly request to be invited for some Filipino food! I love Filipino food and was sooo thrilled to recognise some of the dishes on your menu.. YAY!!

  27. torviewtoronto October 2, 2010 @ 2:52 pm (#
    27
    )

    lovely post delicious food presentation
    looks like a lot of fun thanks for inviting

  28. Liz October 2, 2010 @ 6:57 pm (#
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    gorgeous table!!! Mad hostessing skills, you has them.

  29. Brian @ A Thought For Food October 2, 2010 @ 7:01 pm (#
    29
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    Some of my favorite bloggers in one room! I’m terribly jealous! You created one special evening, my friend. One thing I was missing from my dinner party were cloth napkins. But with my messy group, it was probably a good thing we didn’t have them. :-) You know you have my vote… always!

  30. Lea @ Healthy Coconut October 2, 2010 @ 8:44 pm (#
    30
    )

    Wow Liren, I am impressed with your Filipino food spread and I also love the simplicity of your table settings. I think it’s great that you kept the food presentation to a minimal. that way the food is what stands out.

    I wish I lived in the Bay Area, maybe I could have leftovers? ha ha :)

    I agree with what you said about Filipino food not being associated as luxury food, it can be luxury but it just has not been presented that way. When I eat my parents traditional filipino cooking, it brings back feelings of warmth and all the parties while growing up.

    Great job on hosting and all the wonderful food you made. I have always been intimidated making leche flan, I want to try your recipe. I have made cassava cake many times. I love filipino desserts.

    ~ Lea

  31. Monet October 2, 2010 @ 9:27 pm (#
    31
    )

    Can I just say that I am beyond impressed? I just finished my dinner party, and it is no where near yours (in any way!). This is just stunning, and it could easily be the feature of a magazine. I love how you focused on Filipino food too…it is a cuisine that I no very little about, but after seeing this post, I’m eager to explore it more. Thank you so much. You will have my vote!

    • Liren replied: — October 4th, 2010 @ 10:28 pm

      Monet, a magazine? Wow, I am floored. That is the ultimate compliment :) Thank you!

  32. Ben October 3, 2010 @ 2:46 am (#
    32
    )

    Nice work! Looks like a great time had by all.

    P.S. I suspected this was taking place based on your guests’ tweets, and admittedly found myself wondering if I could disguise myself as one of the other bloggers. :-p

    • Liren replied: — October 4th, 2010 @ 10:27 pm

      Ah Ben, you are clever figuring out tweets! We’ll have to have another Bay Area gathering – but in the meantime, will you be attending Foodbuzz Festival? At least there’s a large venue where we can all fit!! Look forward to meeting you in the near future!

  33. Winnie October 3, 2010 @ 7:13 am (#
    33
    )

    WOW! So gorgeous and inspiring! The food looks amazing and you did such a fantastic job with this post. Great job ;)

  34. Jean October 3, 2010 @ 7:36 am (#
    34
    )

    Seeing as I was there, I can attest to what a beautiful evening it was. I was very happy to receive your invitation, to finally meet you in person and your preparation for the party was flawless. You’ve recounted the evening through a very nice post and I appreciate your sweet words. Kinship? I do know what you mean. :-)

    • Liren replied: — October 4th, 2010 @ 10:25 pm

      Jean, thank you again for everything. It was wonderful to finally meet you in person and I never got to properly thank you for the lovely food, wine and help that night! You guys were just awesome, cleaning dishes, too! We really need to do another one of these gatherings again soon!

  35. Cheryl October 3, 2010 @ 8:44 am (#
    35
    )

    What an elegant post! I always enjoy everything you do! I was especially excited about this one, after you told me about it, and of course I was not disappointed…..good luck!

    • Liren replied: — October 4th, 2010 @ 10:24 pm

      I’m so glad you liked it, Cheryl! You are an entertaining queen, that means so much to me!

  36. Lisa October 3, 2010 @ 12:40 pm (#
    36
    )

    Liren, this is amazing! I’m half Filipino and so used to eating Filipino food with just family on a regular night or at a casual mom-and-pop Filipino cafe. A lot of my Filipino friends and I have debated about whether Filipino cuisine could ever be considered gourmet and dinner parties like yours certainly bring it closer to that status! Everything looks so elegant and delicious.

    • Liren replied: — October 4th, 2010 @ 10:23 pm

      Hi Lisa, oh I hope that one day, Filipino food will be appreciated as much as its other Asian counterparts. I think it’s about time, and perhaps people are ready to expand their palates a little more!

  37. Trish October 3, 2010 @ 1:52 pm (#
    37
    )

    Liren, you are a rare creature. You’re so talented, and after meeting you in person I see how authentic and kind you are. You’ve captured your dinner party beautifully. Thank you for hosting a wonderful evening.

    • Liren replied: — October 4th, 2010 @ 10:22 pm

      Trish, I am so flattered – thank you so much! I can’t tell you how fun it was to finally meet you, and to find out that we have the East Coast in common! If you ever need anything, don’t hesitate to let me know :) Look forward to seeing you again soon!

  38. The Cilantropist October 3, 2010 @ 2:07 pm (#
    38
    )

    Wow Liren, you really outdid yourself, this is a truly stunning setting, and all your dishes look beautiful and delicious! Um, I would like to be invited next time please. ;) Also, renting chairs seems like a great idea and I would have never thought of it; is it pricey?

    Wonderful job, and definitely a perfect entry for PFB. :)

    • Liren replied: — October 4th, 2010 @ 10:21 pm

      Hi Amanda, thank you SO much! I would love to have another of these gathering – if only my house were big enough for everyone! But yes, I would love to have you over one day! About the chairs, it all depends on where you go. They’re not too terribly expensive for a small party like this, but the costs can add up of course, depending on the type of chair. I definitely needed it because I wanted everyone to fit at one table rather than splitting up the group, and my dining set only had six chairs. I figured it would be easier to just rent these!

  39. norma October 3, 2010 @ 4:00 pm (#
    39
    )

    My daughter-in-law is half Filipino and I am sending her your post. What a spread…everything was set so beutifully. Very impressive, indeed.

    I am sad because I did not make #3 – but I have so much to learn from you and so many other incredible bloggers.

    Can’t wait to meet you in November and of course I am voting for you….

    • Liren replied: — October 4th, 2010 @ 10:19 pm

      Norma, I’m so sad that you are not in this challenge, but know that my votes were with you! I look forward to meeting you soon – hope your daughter in law enjoys this!

  40. Monique October 3, 2010 @ 9:32 pm (#
    40
    )

    What an amazing post and dinner party! Your dishes and tablescape were so beautiful. I love that you chose Filipino food, a cuisine that’s normally identified by great street food, and made it so refined. I hope to try that Sinigang myself!

    • Liren replied: — October 4th, 2010 @ 10:18 pm

      I will be posting the Sinigang recipe for sure – I hope you do get to try it soon! I’m so glad you liked the post, thank you!

  41. Julie @ Willow Bird Baking October 3, 2010 @ 10:03 pm (#
    41
    )

    So wonderful!! I love recognizing the names of your guests — by the looks of it, they must have had an amazing time. I love your countdown, too, and what an amazing menu!

  42. LimeCake October 4, 2010 @ 1:44 am (#
    42
    )

    what a beautiful dinner party! homey, comforting and inviting, and that’s just the food. your home is beautiful too

  43. Lindsey @ Gingerbread Bagels October 4, 2010 @ 3:10 am (#
    43
    )

    OH MY GOODNESS after reading your entry and looking at all of the beautiful food and decor, I’m just speechless. I am beyond impressed with the party that you gave. It’s elegant but at the same time inviting. I love that you invited food bloggers and made Filippino dishes but with your own twist. Fantastic job and best of luck! Amazing, oh my word! :)

  44. RhodeyGirl October 4, 2010 @ 6:33 am (#
    44
    )

    Just voted for you. As I already told you- I LOVED this entry…. especially your beautiful table!

  45. Mhel B October 4, 2010 @ 8:29 am (#
    45
    )

    by the way, I linked your entry on my blog. Hope that’s ok. Goodluck again and Im hoping to see you to the next challenge….

    • Liren replied: — October 4th, 2010 @ 10:17 pm

      Mhel, but of course it’s okay! I’m quite honored, thank you!!!

  46. Pingback: By the Way « Kitchen Confidante

  47. Lindsey @ Hot Polka Dot October 4, 2010 @ 9:40 am (#
    46
    )

    Beautiful Liren! Your tablescape is breathtaking and I love those layered runners. Your food looks delicious and it seems like such a great party! Do I even have to say it? Of course I’m voting for you!

  48. A Little Yumminess October 4, 2010 @ 10:13 am (#
    47
    )

    Stacie and I are bummed to have missed this!! :( Looks so good…it’s the kind of food I love. You may have to cook for us at some point so I can stop feeling regretful.

    • Liren replied: — October 4th, 2010 @ 10:16 pm

      Aw, you guys were missed! There will be a next time, I’m sure!!!

  49. Sues October 4, 2010 @ 11:34 am (#
    48
    )

    I love your invitation and table setting! Everything looks so pretty… Also, awesome idea to introduce all your guests :) Definitely looks like you had a fabulous party!

  50. jen cheung October 4, 2010 @ 1:13 pm (#
    49
    )

    VOTEDDDDDDD! Good luck! Wish you all the best!

    jen @ http://www.passion4food.ca

  51. Jacob's Kitchen October 4, 2010 @ 2:26 pm (#
    50
    )

    Jaw dropping, as always. I mean it. Everything looks really, really lovely. And lucky you getting to spend so much time with such great inspirational bloggers. And lucky them for getting the invite! Great ideas. Perfect execution. If I wasn’t also competing I’d say that you had this competition in the bag. =) I voted for you (of course). Good luck (not that you need it) !

  52. Whit @ Amuse Bouche October 4, 2010 @ 2:27 pm (#
    51
    )

    Wow Liren, I just love it all! it looks so fresh and your timeline is killer!

    you get my vote for sure!

    http://whitneysamusebouche.blogspot.com/

    Whit

  53. Evan @swEEts October 4, 2010 @ 2:39 pm (#
    52
    )

    Some of my favorite bloggers all around one dinner table eating delicious Filipino food!? I am more than jealous!! Being Filipino I am a huuge fan of all the yummies they have to offer :) On Restaurant Wars last night one of the contestants was opening and “Pinoy” place!!

    • Liren replied: — October 4th, 2010 @ 10:30 pm

      Evan, I didn’t realize you are Filipina, too? Hurray! I’m glad you recognized my wonderful guests – this is what I love about the blog world – it just makes the world of foodies a little bit smaller! Oh, I had no idea about Restaurant Wars – I’ll have to try to find it on Hulu…very neat!

  54. riceandwheat October 4, 2010 @ 2:51 pm (#
    53
    )

    What a party, Liren! You have such an impeccable sense for style – I wouldn’t even know where to begin on such gorgeous table settings and invites. And of course, the food looks absolutely wonderful – by the way, you just added another cookbook to my wish list. :) I love that you invited fellow food bloggers to the party (gutsy move!) – they looked like they had a blast.

    • Liren replied: — October 4th, 2010 @ 10:30 pm

      Thank you!! Oh, you will love this cookbook – love the photography, the history, the personal stories. Definitely one to add to your collection.

  55. Crystal's Cozy Kitchen October 4, 2010 @ 3:05 pm (#
    54
    )

    I love your planning countdown! Your table setting looks so elegant and your food looks absolutely delicious!
    I voted for you again and wish you luck for Challenge 4!

  56. Megan October 4, 2010 @ 4:29 pm (#
    55
    )

    How much fun to have such a stellar cast at your dinner! I love it! Best of luck – Megan

  57. Kashia October 4, 2010 @ 4:34 pm (#
    56
    )

    I love how similar Filipino and Latin American food is, and your dinner looks awesome! Good luck, you’ve got my vote :)

  58. Margaret Murphy Tripp October 4, 2010 @ 4:41 pm (#
    57
    )

    Your tablescape was truly gorgeous and it looked like a wonderful party. And what a guest list! Best wishes moving forward.
    ~Margaret (VOTE!)

  59. Sharon (umommy) October 4, 2010 @ 6:02 pm (#
    58
    )

    gorgeous! looks like everyone had a great time too. You got my vote!

  60. Priscilla - She's Cookin' October 4, 2010 @ 6:56 pm (#
    59
    )

    What an A-List of food bloggers! It’s so great that you all have become such close friends. Everything about your dinner – the tips, the table settings and, of course, your gourmet take on classic Philippine cuisine, is gorgeous. I’ll continue to vote for you, Liren!

  61. Magic of Spice October 4, 2010 @ 9:53 pm (#
    60
    )

    Stunning entry…I have already voted, but wanted to comment too :)
    Excited to see challenge #4 entry :)

  62. Lindsey October 4, 2010 @ 11:39 pm (#
    61
    )

    AMAZING! I recognized one face in those photos, Trish! I would come to your house for dinner any day. Voted!

  63. Debi(Table Talk) October 5, 2010 @ 3:37 am (#
    62
    )

    Liren~ You definitely have the dinner party figured out!
    Great job with this challenge. I love the way you tied the invitation colors into your table.
    Love the plan ahead tips for your readers–well done.
    You have my vote!

  64. fooddreamer October 5, 2010 @ 3:43 am (#
    63
    )

    It looks like you did an amazing job and I think it’s so great that you invited other local food bloggers. This is so VERY worth one of my votes!!!

  65. Lawyer Loves Lunch October 5, 2010 @ 6:18 am (#
    64
    )

    This was such a beautiful post to read from start to finish, I can only imagine how lovely the actual dinner party was! I especially loved your table decor. I’m moving back to the Bay Area and can’t wait to meet this fabulous group of Bay bloggers in person :)

  66. Adelina October 5, 2010 @ 9:27 am (#
    65
    )

    I enjoyed reading your post! Great work and perfect entertaining!

  67. Dexie October 5, 2010 @ 12:05 pm (#
    66
    )

    You get my vote this week. I appreciate the Filipiniana Theme a lot. Thank you.

  68. Heena @ Tiffin Tales October 5, 2010 @ 12:28 pm (#
    67
    )

    Yours was the first post I read and remains one of my favorites. I would have so loved to be there. My vote’s in. Good luck!

  69. Joanne Choi October 5, 2010 @ 1:06 pm (#
    68
    )

    just voted for you! I know you’ll be in round 4!

  70. Judy/BebeLoveOkazu October 5, 2010 @ 1:29 pm (#
    69
    )

    Hi Liren, You are definitely my kind of party planner! Aside from the incredible food, decor and guests (I recognized Jean), I especially love and appreciate the timeline. I’m all about planning and love how you selected the menu and planned everything so that you could spend time with your guests and also enjoy the party! :) You have my vote! Cheers!

  71. Brooke@foodwoolf October 5, 2010 @ 2:05 pm (#
    70
    )

    What a great event and a wonderful way to introduce your readers to a wonderful blogging posse! The meal looked incredible. You most definitely have my vote!

  72. ediblecville October 5, 2010 @ 5:35 pm (#
    71
    )

    OMG, this looks right out of a magazine! So gorgeous. This challenge had me in fits….can I hire you if I need to do an event in the future!? :D Cheers, you got my vote! http://bit.ly/cNNCrR

  73. Jessica October 5, 2010 @ 8:24 pm (#
    72
    )

    What beautiful photos! And your menu looks great! Hope we both make it to the next round! :-) You have my vote!

  74. Sophia Lee October 6, 2010 @ 1:57 am (#
    73
    )

    The visuals are STUNNING. I’m in awe. The food, of course, is awesome too, but sigh. I can’t taste it. I can almost taste it, though, because the colors are just popping out.

  75. Fiona at Life on Nanchang LU October 6, 2010 @ 3:55 am (#
    74
    )

    You lucky devils! What a great meal, fantastic photos, and a chance to chin-wag with other bloggers…jealous!! Still voted though…;)

  76. Charmaine @ Speakeasy Kitchen October 6, 2010 @ 6:54 am (#
    75
    )

    Great post! I love that you had fellow food bloggers over for the meal too! (Just tell me where the next dinner party will be… Please!) Thanks for sharing.

  77. Ruby October 6, 2010 @ 7:28 am (#
    76
    )

    Stunning table, great menu and glittering company! Helpful timeline too – well done!

  78. FoodWanderings October 6, 2010 @ 7:55 am (#
    77
    )

    Hi Liren, Love your table setting your meal…definitely making the Leche Flan and some other items on your menu. Such an elegant gathering you are a super hostess!! shulie

  79. Natty October 6, 2010 @ 9:04 am (#
    78
    )

    The colors of your table are delightfully rich and wow, that pork belly is seducing me through the computer. Great job!

  80. Amy (Sing For Your Supper) October 6, 2010 @ 12:34 pm (#
    79
    )

    What a gorgeous party! You’ve got my vote!!

  81. Daily Spud October 6, 2010 @ 3:37 pm (#
    80
    )

    This post has made me feel special and I wasn’t even there! Just beautiful and of course well worth voting for.

  82. Gay October 6, 2010 @ 10:18 pm (#
    81
    )

    Your dinner looks lovely, the settings elegant. Hope you get into the next round!

  83. Dana October 7, 2010 @ 8:10 am (#
    82
    )

    People may not typically associate Philippine cuisine with luxury, but you’ve certainly proved them wrong! You did a wonderful job, and it looks like your guests had a great time!

  84. Amanda (The Culinary Passport) October 7, 2010 @ 8:23 am (#
    83
    )

    I so love Filipino food! You have my vote :)

  85. jen cheung October 9, 2010 @ 6:29 pm (#
    84
    )

    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 @ http://www.passion4food.ca

  86. Mom of three November 2, 2010 @ 5:21 am (#
    85
    )

    Thoughtful and interesting, thank you. I was brought up in manilla but moved to england at such a young age I barely remember anything apart from the delicious food. I finally found some authentic Filipino recipes if you want to take a look, I thought I’d share it with you!

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    86
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