1 day to Christmas: Last-minute holiday cheats


Posted at Dec 24 2017 06:10 AM

MANILA – Still not ready for Christmas Day 2017? Here are a few tips to help you prepare for tonight's celebration.

Beef morcon. Handout photo

1. Ready to fry

No time to prepare for Noche Buena? There are now easy-to-prepare traditional Pinoy dishes that require just one step – simply fry or pan-heat, and serve!

Fresh Options offers a range of products for your Noche Buena table, like the ready-to-fry crispy pata. Simply deep-fry until it is crispy on the outside and tender and succulent on the inside, then serve with soy-vinegar sauce.

Its Crispinoy Fried Chicken, meanwhile, is marinated in a savory house blend so consumers can easily pop them into a pan and cook until they are deliciously crispy and golden brown. Serve with its classic partner, banana ketchup.

Fresh Options also has a ready-to-fry version of beef morcon, another go-to dish that Pinoys look forward to every Christmas.

Catch Me If You Can Turkey Takeaway. Handout photo

2. Takeaway party

If preparing these easy meals still seems like a hassle, there are many establishments that offer prepared food for takeaway.

Café Eight at Crimson Hotel makes traditional festive dinners to go. The Catch Me if You Can Takeaway gives you your choice of roasted turkey, roasted ham, or roasted beef, and a choice of one of three stuffings. A mouthwatering meal is sometimes the only gift a foodie wants.

The Crimson Hotel’s Lobby Lounge will also be overflowing with bread and dessert options made by their pastry chefs.

Crispy pork belly. Handout photo

3. Treat boxes

In the season of sharing and giving, the F1 Hotel has also prepared complete holiday meals and sides with their delightful treat boxes. You can choose from smoked chicken, lechon Cebu, chicken galantina, and crispy pork belly, and all dishes come with your own choice of pasta.

They also have desserts to complete the feast, such as their Christmas Fruitcake or Yema Cake.

Cravings' salt-crusted fresh salmon and pasta paella. Handout photo

4. Party staples

No idea what to bring to your potluck party? Cravings has classic party staples and choice selections from different cuisines that will surely impress.

Specials include Roast Turkey with Chestnut Raisin Stuffing, Salt-crusted Fresh Salmon, Crackling Pork Bagnet with Arroz Valenciana, and Lamb Moussaka.

Classic selections, meanwhile, include Roast Beef with Mushroom Sauce, Chicken Cordon Bleu, Chicken Galantina, Four-cheese Lasagna, and Pasta Paella, which come in family and party sizes.

Cravings also has whole and junior cakes, holiday bars, and best-selling s’mores to give your holiday meals a grand ending.

5. Gourmet platters

Give your Noche Buena a gourmet touch with deli meats, cheese, and wine pairings from Epicurious. Make your own grazing table with Epicurious’ array of deli meats and sausages that include Bavarian Smokies, Kielbasa, Beef Pastrami, and Maple Smoked Ham complemented with favorite cheeses.

You can also go for the pre-made Deli Boards with two-cheese, three-cheese, five-cheese, and ultimate cheese variants. Each comes with specialty cold cuts, sausages, crackers, and spreads.

Epicurious also has Steak and Wine Kits and themed gourmet baskets so you can be sure to have plenty of good vibes to go around.

Baker & Cook's cakes, pastries, Christmas goodies and jams. Handout photo

6. Fresh-off-the-oven treats

Baker & Cook's “Bring Home The Baker” offers that are perfect for endings for your Noche Buena feast. All you have to do is to pre-order through an online platform using this link.

Check out this sumptuous selection: Chocolate Indulgent Cake, Blueberry Cheesecake, Carrot Cake, Quezo de Bola, Fruit Tarts, Pastries and Rolls, Classic/Cranberry Shortcake, Crostinis, Chocolate Chip Cookies, Revel Bars, Brownie Crips, and Meringue Kisses.

It also offers Truffle Pate, Crostini, Snowballs, Granola, Smokey Pepper and Eggplant dip, Lemony Hummus, Tzatziki Dip, and Truffle Butter among others.

Piolo Pascual wears the 'Just Love' shirt in white. Handout photo

7. Gift suggestions

Still haven’t bought a gift? You still have a chance to get ABS-CBN’s “Just Love” shirt for your loved ones. Available in red, green, blue, black, and white, “Just Love” shirts are ideal as holiday gifts.

Each is priced at P375 and may be purchased at Trinoma, Glorietta, Marquee Mall, at major SM Store branches, at the CliQQ Shop at 7-Eleven branches nationwide, and at the ABS-CBN Vertis Tent in Quezon City.

The shirts are designed after ABS-CBN’s newest Christmas station ID, “Just Love.” Also available are “Just Love” mugs, tumblers, pillows, and drawstring bags.

8. Wines and refreshments

Franzia Wines

And if you're planning to throw a Christmas party with the gang, make your shindig extra fun and fuzzy with Franzia Wines. Available in two variants, California Red and Chillable Red, these wines are made from the finest California grapes.

Franzia’s California Red goes well with well with beef, pork, and pasta with sweet and spicy sauces, as well as with seafood like salmon and stuffed squid.

Franzia’s Chillable Red, on the other hand, is softer than traditional red wine, making it a perfect match for a wide range of party dishes like salad and dessert, as well as poultry dishes.

Franzia wines are also available in a box packaging, which can serve up to 27 glasses.

But if you just want to chill night without the kick of alcohol but still with the sweetness of grape, try May 100% Sparkling Grape Juice.

This non-alcoholic drink also goes well with any gourmet meals. You may also use it to blend natural, handcrafted mocktails, as it has no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.