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  • Mom Shares Affordable But Bongga Noche Buena Ideas For As Low As P95!

    Dishes to add a dash of magic to your holiday table.
    by Angela Baylon .
Mom Shares Affordable But Bongga Noche Buena Ideas For As Low As P95!
PHOTO BY Michelle Dacumos-Alingarog
  • Filipino families are big when it comes to celebrating Christmas. Aside from gift-giving, it's the family bonding over meals during get-togethers or "salo-salo" that makes the Christmas season more special. That's why many would really go out of their way to prepare the best holiday dinner they can.

    Case in point: Michelle Dacumos-Alingarog, a mom of two who loves to bring her creativity to the table (literally!). Last Halloween, Michelle impressed with her spooky table set-up complete with props and a scrumptious meal that's thrilling to look at. (See photos here)

    This Christmas, SmartParenting.com.ph has enlisted Michelle's help to share some recipe recommendations that will surely add a dash of magic to your holiday spread.

    The best part is, Michelle made sure that all these recipes are simple and easy to follow, so you can have more time to enjoy the Christmas break with your family. What's more, her creations look straight out of a Pinterest board!

    Mommy Michelle's Christmas table screams Holiday cheer!
    PHOTO BY Michelle Dacumos-Alingarog

    Since restrictions are still in place because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Michelle wants her two kids to still feel jolly 'tis season through her food. "I want to make it special rin by prepping yummy dishes so that the kids still feel the holiday spirit," she tells us.

    Still clueless about what to cook? Here are 5 festive recipes to try:

    If you’re already thinking of your Noche Buena menu, turn to these recipes by Michelle. Each dish will totally double as festive centerpieces!

    1.  Baked Chicken Horno with roasted veggies (Php240)

    Let's start with the main course!

    PHOTO BY Michelle Dacumos-Alingarog

    You'll need

    • 1 tsp salt
    • ½ tsp paprika
    • 2 tsp yellow mustard
    • 1 tsp olive oil
    • 1 whole medium chicken
    • 1 carrot
    • 1 potato/ kamote
    • 20 pieces green beans


    Mix first four ingredients in a bowl and rub on chicken. Marinate the chicken for 20 minutes. Chop the last four ingredients into chunks and drizzle with olive oil, and then sprinkle with salt, pepper, and parsley flakes.

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    Arrange on a pan and bake in an oven for one hour. Another way is to cook it in the air fryer for 25 minutes at 200°C. Flip the chicken and cook for another 20 minutes at 180°C. Baste with drippings during flips Serve with gravy or ketchup.

    2. Easy Lasagna Roll Ups (Php590)

    This recipe is a potential crowd favorite!

    PHOTO BY Michelle Dacumos-Alingarog
    You'll need
    • 1 pack lasagna noodles
    • 1 450g or 500g ready to heat meaty spaghetti sauce
    • 1 200g packet carbonara or bechamel white sauce
    • 1 cup shredded mozzarella
    • 1 tsp butter to grease the baking pan


    Cook the lasagna noodles, drain, wash and set aside. Rub butter on the baking pan until all interior sides are well oiled. In another pan, heat the spaghetti sauce and let it cool.

    Now, get one lasagna noodle and spread the spaghetti sauce on it. Roll the lasagna noodles gently and place on the baking pan. Repeat until your baking pan si filled up with lasagna rolls. One baking pan is filled, pour the bechamel sauce and top it with grated mozzarella. Bake for 30-45 minutes or until the mozzarella is golden brown.


    3. Gingerbread Men Pizza (Php250)

    For when you want to serve something unique!

    PHOTO BY Michelle Dacumos-Alingarog
    You'll need:
    • 1 pack pizza crust
    • 1 400gl can Capri diced tomatoes
    • dried basil, oregano, thyme
    • ½ cup grated mozzarella
    • bell peppers
    • olives, ham and pepperoni for toppings


    Cut out your desired Christmas shape on the pizza crust. Michelle went for the gingerbread man. Spread the diced tomatoes on the crust. Sprinkle it with dried basil, oregano, thyme and the mozzarella. And don't forget to decorate with the toppings

    Bake at 200°C for 10 minutes or until cheese is golden brown, or cook in the air fryer at 180°C for 10 minutes. And voila, fun pizza bites for Christmas!

    4. Strawberry panna cotta (Php95)

    Now, time for some dessert!

    PHOTO BY Michelle Dacumos-Alingarog
    You'll need:
    • 1 sachet clear gelatin
    • 1 sachet strawberry flavored gelatin
    • 1 250ml all purpose cream
    • 1 250ml evaporated milk
    • 8 tbsp white sugar
    • 1 tsp vanilla flavoring


    Pour the evaporated milk into a small bowl, and mix with the gelatin powder. Set aside the mix.

    In a saucepan, stir together the heavy cream and sugar while cooking it over medium heat. Once in full boil, pour the gelatin and milk into the cream. Stir until completely dissolved.

    Add four tablespoons of white sugar and cook for one minute while stirring the mixture constantly. Remove from heat and add in the vanilla flavoring. Pour the mixture into the individual cups or ramekins.

    Let the cups cool without any cover at room temperature. Once cool, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least four hours

    Cook the strawberry-flavored gelatin according to package instructions and add four tablespoons of sugar. Pour the cream mixture over the gelatin. Optional: serve with fresh strawberries and blueberries on top.

    5. Christmas waffles (Php120)

    The perfect treat to start Christmas morning with something sweet.

    PHOTO BY Michelle Dacumos-Alingarog
    You'll need
    • Pancake mix
    • Candies and chocolate for decoration


    Prepare the pancake mix according to package instructions. You can use a waffle maker or simply cook the batter on a nonstick. Cut and shape the waffle/pancake to your desired Christmas shape. Use candies or chocolates and decorate it with your kids!

    Lastly, Michelle has tips for a hassle-free Christmas celebration. She says the trick is to plan everything in advance, "prepare a shopping list ahead of time, and have a meal plan already."

    She explains, "Prepare some dishes in advance para bake or reheat na lang sa Noche Buena para you can also enjoy time with the family and you're not slaving away in the kitchen.

    Looking for more recipes? Click here.

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