The fact that I decided to start off my new post with mine and Katrina’s menu for the night for us and our closest circle of friends says a lot. Bahahahaha! Loads of funny stories and awesome moments with only the best set of friends in the world!

What you see above is the menu that me and my bestfriend Katrina decided to cook for our surprise dinner with our friends last night (sans the Blueberry Cheesecake and Avocado Ice Cream for dessert). Yesterday was my first time cooking! Katrina was the head chef and me of course, the sous chef (it has such a great ring to it. HAHA). It was REALLY difficult, especially when it came to the chopping board! I got really scared of the knives, and I think it may have contributed to the slight delay. But being the bestfriend ever, Kat was so considerate on my speed and poor chopping skills, constantly telling me that “it’s okay.” She told me I was eventually going to have to learn in order to cook up my own Vegan recipes :) (you’re so mushy in your own way! love you tse :>)

But before I get to that.. let me rewind to lunch. I met up with Katrina in Ayala, and we ate in Red Kimono. They had a good vegetarian menu and Katrina never tried eating there, so it was a good choice. Katrina wanted to order unique sets of maki that they had, but I wanted to keep my lunch light for the heavy dinner later. Hahaha! Sorry K :P

I had the Spicy Eggplant with Miso Sauce as an appetizer. Yum! I had the sauces on the side as usual, for control. I realize that sometimes it kills the point of having the dish, but I also like being able to control how much of the sauce can influence the taste of the eggplant.

For my main course, I had Veggie Teppanyaki, like your typical Chicken Teppanyaki, but with faux meat instead of chicken – I ended up eating just the veggies and a few tastes of the fake meat. The dish had too much sodium for my liking. Either way, I was stuffed from the eggplant!

Katrina had Gyoza (Japanese pork dumplings) for her appetizer.

She had Grilled Chicken Miso for her main course, and just like my Veggie Teppanyaki, she found it too salty.

I think too much salt kind of ruined our dishes, but just slightly. It was still good! And it’s a good value for the amount we paid for it, so we’re not really complaining. After we ate lunch, we went straight to the groceries to purchase the ingredients we needed, and from 3 pm til 6:30 pm, we were cookin’!

We didn’t take much pictures cause the moment the dishes were done, our friends were already waiting and hungry downstairs. So that kind of explains the poorly taken pictures for the finished food. Hahaha!

Appetizer: Bruschetta  - arguably my favorite dish we made! The bread was so crunchy, and the flavors of the toppings (tomatoes, basil, onions and olive oil) just fused together. Isn’t the flower arrangement of the bread pretty?! I arranged it! :>

Appetizer: Tuna Maki – Since it’s Japanese, it seemed kind of odd to be present in what seems like an Italian menu. But anyway, most of our friends love maki, and we love maki, so we made maki! I have to admit, I’ve never had mayonnaise lotion before, til I made maki! I couldn’t quite get it right, and Katrina was such a pro at rolling them. I was the one who cut them up (which kind of explains its odd non-circular shapes) and I couldn’t cut them in one slice too, so they ended up being squished while being sliced. It’s okay, it doesn’t look that bad afterwards, which is what kind of matters, right? The picture lacks a maki, someone couldn’t hold their appetite! *cough*Whitney*cough*

Main Course: Bacon, Eggs, Tomato Pizza – Katrina wanted to make a breakfast pizza, so we decided on BLT, but we found it odd for lettuce to be there, so we took it out. Agree with me that eggs define “breakfast food”! Haha. Katrina cracked two eggs right in the middle of each pizza. One turned out right, the other.. not really – but it’s all good! The flavor was really good!

Main Course: Garlic and Tomato Chicken – This one was the best surprise we had! Me and Katrina thought that it was bland and hopeless, but it turns out our friends loved it. So I’m not sure if our taste buds differ from theirs, or we just made it accidentally delicious! Initially, we coated the chicken with garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper, tomatoes and a tablespoon of Jacob’s Creek Chardonnay Pinot Noir (yes, you read that right) before baking it in the oven. When it came out, it didn’t taste quite as good as we hoped – so we added some more salt and pepper and decided to pan fry the chicken – and I quote – “to a good shade of brown” as suggested by Katrina. And boyyyyyy, did they love it! This is a Katrina & Rochelle Original Recipe, everybody! (Hi Irina, we all know you loved it so much you ate 2 pcs of chicken. Or 2 and a half.)

Dessert: Despite being served last, we made Avocado Ice Cream first, since it required a lot of chilling time. We weren’t able to take pictures, but we all know how avocado ice cream looks like anyway. Unfortunately, chilling time wasn’t enough, so the avocado ice cream didn’t harden in time. It was still good though. Katrina also served some Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream which she’d made beforehand. Delicious!!

And of course, what’s a meal without a set of friends to accompany it with? The night was really full of laughter – such a great way to end the already-great day! I had a nice experience cooking for the first time, who else better to spend it with than my best buddy, who by the way reeks of awesomeness when it comes to the kitchen.

Til next time! :)

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(I am still very committed to maintaining my healthy lifestyle, but Katrina says, and I fully agree with her, that with the effort I put in cooking the above dishes, I should be allowed to enjoy it too. But no, this will not be an excuse for me to create dishes that go against my commitments in the future.)

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