Friday, January 8, 2016

Easy and delicious dishes all under 15 minutes!

This post is brought to you by Jolly.

So, mga mommies, how was your holidays? Mine was great! I really felt the Christmas spirit this 2015. Nung 2014, hindi talaga (three babies overwhelmed me!) pero game face on lang kasi kawawa naman yung mga bata if I had let Mrs Scrooge out, right?

I don't know about you but I really think holidays (and any family celebration for that matter) are really hard on the mother. Who plans the party, does the invitations and RSVPs, shops for food and decor, decorates the house, cleans the house, cooks the food, entertains everyone, and washes and cleans up after?

The kids will fall asleep right before the party starts, when you still need to do a gazillion things!
The kids will destroy everything. Everything!

I'm not one of those moms who live for throwing parties. I have friends who are like that and I like being their guest! But since getting married and having my own home almost 9 years ago, I have had thrown a few parties now and then and... I don't dislike it that much anymore. To be honest, I dread and whine about the preparation but when the day of the party arrives, I'm really happy and enjoy myself throughout the bash.

After all and sundry, parties at home are still fun.

Here are my reasons why I'm not so much of a party-pooper anymore:
  1. I only invite a small number of people. Nothing more than 15 people in my house. More than that and it's chaos. Besides, meaningful conversations and interactions don't happen in a big party. You have to keep it small so that everyone's forced to talk!
  2. I've learned to relax. My husband Vince hasn't haha He's the one who scrubs the bathroom clean, changes the hand towels, wipes down all surfaces... He's the reason I'm relaxed! (Thanks, bunny!) All I do now is light some candles and cook.
  3. Or not! A big mom hack is ordering food (my go-to party food provider is Almost Gourmet and Eats Happy). Try it! Your sanity will thank you! If you like, you can transfer the bought food onto your own serving dishes and then make everyone think ikaw nagluto hehehe. 
  4. If I do feel like preparing something in my kitchen, I have good stuff in my pantry that I can rely on to whip up something quick. I'll share with you today three dishes I made during the holidays that were fast, easy and delicious!
This past Christmas, we had the Amper Family party at my home. I was a bit fretful because we didn't have a maid to help out (we always let our kasambahay enjoy the weekends and holidays). While it was a potluck arrangement, sa sobra kong busy, I didn't have time to prepare mega dishes. Buti na lang ang dami kong Jolly products in my pantry. Because Jolly has a wide range of products, I was able to prepare lots of food for me and my family without me having to slug it out at the supermarket or take forever in the kitchen.

Here are recipes of the dishes I made the past two weeks using Jolly products:

For appetizer:
I found this recipe in Tricel Nava-de Guzman's book, Yummy, Mommy, a delightful cookbook for moms who have picky eaters for kids. I served this as a grilled cheese sandwich, but you can also serve this as a dip for veggie sticks or as a spread on crackers.

Cheese Pimiento

1/2 cup Jolly Red Pimientos, minced
1 cup grated processed cheese
1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/3 cup Jolly Real Mayonnaise
1/2 cup Jolly Pineapple Tidbits, drained (optional)
  1. In a mixing bowl, mix well the pimientos, the cheese and the mayo. I super minced the peppers because I personally don't like chunky pimiento spreads. And grating cheese—what a workout! Who knew?
  2. Just before serving, fold in the pineapple tidbits. You don't have to do this and I didn't when I made my husband's grilled cheese sandwich (he hates pineapple), but I did put the pineapple in my sandwich and found they added a nice crunch. I won't do it again, though, since I don't like chunky pimiento spreads!

VERDICT: Super good! The Jolly pimiento was super malasa, which worked really well with the sharp cheese. Also liked the smooth and creamy flavor of the Jolly mayo!

For main course:
I adapted this recipe from the one I found in the Jolly Eats Facebook page.

Creamy Mushroom Pasta

250g pasta (any kind will do)
2 tbsp cashew nuts, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 can Jolly Mushroom Pieces and Stems
Half a can Jolly Red Pimientos, minced
1 can Jolly Cream of Mushroom Soup
Half a can (of the mushroom soup can) of Jolly Cow Fresh Milk
salt and pepper to taste
  1. Prepare pasta according to package instructions.
  2. Meanwhile, in a pan, toast cashew nuts. Set aside.
  3. In same pan, add butter and olive oil. Butter will add a silky taste to the pasta while the olive oil will prevent the butter from burning.
  4. Sauté minced garlic. Add the mushrooms and the pimiento peppers.
  5. Add the cream of mushroom soup. Then stir in the milk. Simmer till sauce is thick.
  6. Serve mushroom sauce over pasta, with the toasted cashew nuts sprinkled over it! 
VERDICT: I loved the creaminess of this dish! But it also felt light lang sa tummy.

For dessert:
I have never made fruit salad in my life! That had always been my younger sister's forte. I cook ulam, she makes dessert. Ang dali-dali lang pala nito! In fact, I made two fruit salads in one week kasi naubos agad yung first na ginawa ko. Ganun siya kasarap haha.

Pinoy Fruit Salad

1 can Jolly Tropical Fruit Cocktail, drained
1 pack of all-purpose cream
1 can Jolly Cow Condensada sweetened condensed creamer
1 cup Jolly Pineapple Tidbits, drained (optional)
10 pieces Jolly Maraschino Cherries (optional)
  1. Mix everything together in a bowl. Refrigerate overnight. Serve! That's it! 
You can tweak this recipe, which I found online, depending on your tastes. For example, I found that I didn't need to add pineapple and cherries anymore kasi siksik sa pinya at cherries na yung Jolly Tropical Fruit Cocktail. Also, the recipe called for just half a can of condensed milk. Naman! Live a little! So I poured in the whole can. Sweet! Just like me!!!

VERDICT: Super malinamnam. The fruits in the Jolly Tropical Fruit Cocktail are so fresh. They were crunchy! And I love the smoothness and sweetness of the Jolly Cow Condensada. Sarap papakin!

So there you have it! My easy and delicious dishes all made under 15 minutes! Thanks to Jolly for making my holidays easier and more fun for me and my family!

For more recipes, please like Jolly's Facebook page, Jolly Eats. You can also follow Jolly on Instagram via @jollyeatsph and the hashtag #MakeItJolly.

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