Kitchen Conversations

Last weekend, I hosted Oster’s KITCHEN CONVERSATIONS along with my dear friends Bebo and Nikki of the Green Grocer. In a nutshell–it was a fun, easy-breezy cooking hang out with 3 couples—the winners of the little contest I ran on Instagram 🙂 As with all my other contests, I always take the time to read each entry and don’t just choose the winners randomly. I guess that’s just how I am 🙂 This blog is very personal so making the connection matters to me. I really enjoy facilitating these contests because it allows me to get to know my readers better and more than anything, it allows me to share a bit of happiness to someone who truly deserves it. Iba talaga yung kilig na nararamdaman ko! I know I won’t be a blogger forever–and so I really want to make these next few years count. I have to admit though, it’s always hard narrowing it down to just a select number of winners, because of all the really good entries I receive! 
For this event, I chose super mom&dad Cheryll and Ryan, soon-to-be-weds Iza and Jong, and the fresh grads Diana and Tenny. It was a good mix because they all represented different phases in their lives. Guys, THANKS again so much for joining this contest and for giving up your Saturday to spend time with me. And for those who didn’t make it to the cut, don’t worry, I promise to carve out more time for interactive engagements like this so stay tuned. 

What a pretty set up!!! And the cookbooks were so nicely designed too 🙂 I was so touched by all the  efforts the Oster Team put in for this afternoon’s cook out. And I also loved the fruit and veggie spread by The Green Grocer. The kitchen was absolutely perfect when I arrived. Great job, guys 🙂 I wish I could take credit for it, but really I just basically showed up and then ATE..a LOT! Hahaha! I really appreciated the ALL OUT support of Oster and Green Grocer! Swerte ko talaga 🙂
For this cooking event, I enlisted the help of our good friends Nikki and Bebo Bharwani of the GREEN GROCER. These two are kitchen magicians. Patrick and I have had countless meals at Casa Bharwani and we always, always, always leave their house with unbuttoned jeans and silly grins on our faces. And BEBO’S STEAK?!?! Oh my! I think I should dedicate an entire blog entry for his steaks. Walang sinabi yung mga fancy-schmancy restaurant steaks that you pay thousands of pesoseseseses for!! Mahiya nalang sila sa steaks ni Bebo. *cue Sinead O Connor’s NOTHING COMPARES TO YOU*

Ok back to the serious stuff–what I love best about their cooking is that it’s always creative and well thought of. And they never make it feel like a CHORE. These two always come up with new and exciting dishes with fresh ingredients (mostly from the Green Grocer of course!) and have a very free-spirited, just-go-with-it approach towards food preparation. which I LOVE. Bebo and Nikki both use the “eyeball” technique when it comes to cooking—in Pinoy terms, tancha-tanchahan lang which I’m sure they’ve mastered over the years. It’s this flexible and fun attitude towards cooking that really appeals to me. It’s so easy to get bugged down by the whole process so having a change of perspective can make cooking an enjoyable activity and no longer a thing to tick off on your long to-do-list. They have great chemistry in the kitchen and are very patient and engaging teachers..SOMEONE PLEASE GIVE THEM A TV SHOW!!!! Hehehe! 

Nikki and Bebo came up with the recipe and we used all natural and fresh produce from THE GREEN GROCER. If you want to see the recipes, just visit the OSTER PHILIPPINES Facebook Page for the full list of ingredients and instructions. You’ll also find the list of Oster appliances we used for the food preps. 
For our starters, we made this refreshing Watermelon&Feta Salad with Citrus Dressing. We used the Oster Stick Mixer to blend all the ingredients for the dressing. This is such a fresh, salty-sweet salad that’s sure to make any hot head cool down in an instant. And wow, these watermelons from the Green Grocer were sooooo juicy and sweet!
Nikki’s All Natural Brewed Iced Tea was a SUPER HIT!!!! I had several servings of this that afternoon. We kept demanding for more, Nikki had to keep making new batches for the group! Hahaha! This was Joanne’s favorite, right dear??? 
The highlight of this whole activity: getting acquainted with my blog readers and their sweethearts!!! I’ve always been so blessed to have such awesome readers and this afternoon was another opportunity for me to make new friends. We all hit it off right off the bat 🙂 I felt so at ease with them because all 3 couples were so funny, engaging and magaan kasama. Learning how to cook with my instant friends made it much more enjoyable for least I didn’t feel too nervous around the kitchen because I was learning with the group. 
 We split into two teams for the main course. Half of us were called the “BLENDERS” because we worked on the Osterizers to get the perfect consistency for the Cauliflower Rice. After seasoning the blended cauliflower with cumin, salt, pepper, garlic and butter—we baked the “rice” in the Oven Toaster. Absolutely NO CARBS in this “rice” recipe! If you’re planning to cut down on your carb intake, this is a great alternative to rice. You can even add quinoa for even more texture 🙂 This is something I’m definitely eager to try at home.

The other half had a bit of fun with the Oster Indoor Grill. They did a fabulous job of grilling the Tandoori Chicken Skewers (we used Bebo’s FAMOUS Chicken Spice Rub for this!!! This is a MUST HAVE in every kitchen. Believe me!) and the tomatoes. Ryan was a master with the kamatis—he grilled them to perfection.

I’m not really a fan of tomatoes but when they’re cooked properly, then my hate turns into love. 🙂 These tomatoes were drizzled with olive oil and a bit of salt/pepper and they were so delicious!
FISH BE WITH YOU! This oven baked milkfish topped with veggies and spices was so good! This goes perfect with the Cauliflower rice too 🙂 Since it’s baked and not fried, you can definitely indulge in this tasty dish without feeling guilty after. 
AND FINALLY!!! DESSERT!!! This dish looked “restaurant worthy”, really snooty and sophisticated looking but actually VERY easy to make! Bebo and Nikki taught us how to make the perfect glaze for the bananas and pineapples and they grilled it using the Indoor Grill (I must say, sob rang sulit young Indoor Grill na ‘to!! There are so many things you can do with this kitchen appliance). The grilled and glazed fruits were already so delicious then Nikki added a scoop of Homemade GELATO to make it a full-on happiness explosion! I WANT THIS NOW!
Thank you again Joanne of OSTER PHILIPPINES for arranging everything. And thanks to your hard working team who supervised the whole event. The OSTER appliances were so easy to use and made our food preps much more enjoyable. No more “slaving” away in the kitchen thanks to these little gizmos. 
And to Bebo and Nikki, we all loved the tricks and tips you shared with us. I can’t wait to execute them in my own little kitchen (it’s not as fabulous as the Miele Kitchen though! Hahaha!) and WOW Patrick with my new cooking skillzzzzzz. Oh yeah!!! Project “MAKE PAT FAT” is now in order!:) 
TIME TO EAT!!!! 🙂 🙂
The biggest surprise of the day: OSTER gave each couple a MY BLEND unit! Wooohooo!!!:) I’ve actually been crushing on this Oster product for some time now. I’ve been seeing it on a lot of international blogs—especially for those fitness freaks who love to make healthy fruit shakes and smoothies. It’s perfect for “I’m late for work” kind of mornings–you just blend and go! This mini blender turns into a tumbler so it’s a really smart little gadget 🙂
Thanks again so much OSTER Philippines for letting me host this event! Through this experience I learned that it just takes a bit of creativity and some TLC to transform your meals from bleh-blah to OOHLALALA! AND…I made some new friends too 🙂 🙂 A win-win for all!

One Response to Kitchen Conversations

  1. Again, thank you for making us part of this event! =) We really had fun and learned a lot. It was also nice seeing and knowing you in person. Beautiful both inside and out. More power and God bless. =)