A Cheat Day Birthday Menu

Boodle Fight On The Cheat Menu

I say it in good fun, as this is not just any old man whose birthday menu we were plannning for. It happens to be MY old man whose birthday menu this was for. And this being a birthday and all allowed me the perfect opportunity to create a CHEAT MENU to celebrate my father’s big day. No better day to have a cheat day than a celebration right?!

The Theme Of This Birthday Menu

We decided to go with something we hadn’t done before. And that was to create a “boodle fight” style menu and setting for my dad’s birthday party. A boodle fight is a traditional Filipino way of serving food on banana leaves and eating said food with bare hands. The food we chose to go with the theme would consist of mostly seafood dishes and pork dishes. Although traditional Filipino dishes made up the majority of this menu, other items on the menu such as steamed crab legs and sauteed shrimp can be claimed by numerous cultures. But again, the overall theme of this party was that of a boodle fight, bringing everyone closer together by sharing food, fun, and conversation over a table covered with banana leaves.

What Was On The Menu

The recipe for each dish that was served at my father’s recent birthday party can be found in the recipes category, ON THE MENU. of course there were some chips and salsa and some nuts for snacking on, but we will just go over the main dishes for today’s post. Everything on the menu for this birthday “cheat day” meal was edible by hand except for the two stew dishes and the subsequent dessert dishes. This was an all-you-can-eat style arrangement and for those who walked in after everything was on the table, they were surely pleased with what they saw! A whole lotta of food!

The Main Course

The main course consisted of the following. The two stars of the show, which were dinuguan (pork blood stew) and kare-kare (peanut-sauce stew). Now, these are two stew dishes, so they were NOT placed directly onto the banana leaves. Those who chose to eat these two dishes (everyone did), spooned their servings onto their plate or bowl from their respective pots. What was on the table and what made up the boodle fight were steamed crab legs, sauteed shrimp, grilled pork, sliced mangoes, grilled tilapia, puto (steamed rice cake), and tinapa (smoked fish). Of course we had some sauces/garnishes on the side, consisting of pico de gallo (salsa) and bagoong (shrimp paste).


For dessert we had halo-halo (shaved ice mixture), maja blanca (coconut pudding) and egg tart. For the halo-halo, everyone’s turned out a little different as everyone chose different items based on their personal preference. I like to make to mine practically all purple, and you can check out the recipe for it to see what I mean. The picture below will also give you a hint as to what MY halo-halo looked like.


So the birthday menu may seem impressive at first glance, but you gotta check out the pics below to see for yourself just how glorious this cheat day birthday menu turned out! It was a lot of fun, my favorite part consisting of us all at the table, sipping on Corona’s, while eating crab legs, laughing and having a good time. A cheat meal is a great way to get people together, and so is a birthday celebration. However, with a little extra planning and thought put into the whole scheme (theme) of things, this party turned out even better than expected. Let us know in the comments below how you plan a cheat day birthday menu, or any cheat day celebration!

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