Noche Buena Bliss: Condo Kitchen Ideas Made Simple


What makes Filipino Christmas special? It comes with embracing the culture with distinct Christmas activities like Noche Buena. It stands out as a cherished and one-of-a-kind tradition that encapsulates the essence of togetherness and the festive spirit. It’s a time when families and friends gather together to celebrate a hearty feast.

But for those wandering the culinary wonders of Filipino Noche Buena in the confines of a small condo kitchen, the journey can be a bit challenging. With such limited space and resources at your disposal, you may find yourself thinking about some ingenious condo kitchen ideas to create a memorable holiday feast.

But worry not, for this will be your guide that will offer you practical solutions and easy,mouth watering recipes that can be made in your small kitchen. You transform your condo kitchen into a magical Noche Buena hub where every dish is made with love. So, embark on this journey and celebrate the joy of this festivity with style.


Noche Buena: The soul of Filipino festive cuisine

delicious christmas food compositionPhoto Courtesy of freepik via Freepik

Noche Buena is a beloved Filipino Christmas tradition since the Spanish colonial period. It is a late dinner hosted on the 24th of December that spills into early Christmas Day. This tradition is more than just a savory feast. It signifies strong family bonds and religious devotions of Filipinos. Families gather around the dining table to share meals as it symbolizes unity, gratitude, and faith.

As for its distinct cooking flavors, Filipino holiday cooking comes with a delightful fusion of Spanish, Chinese, and American influences. The Noche Buena table has a wide array of dishes showcasing a blend of sweet, savory, and sour flavors. Some iconic dishes include lechon, puto bumbong, kare-kare, and leche flan. Moreover, such flavors are infused with herbs and spices that tell the story of Filipino culinary history.

While celebrating a memorable Noche Buena, you might find yourself with space limitations, especially when you live in a condo. But it doesn’t have to be a bad thing – in fact, it creates intimacy with your loved ones. Celebrate with your family by gathering them around a cozy table. Try to focus on a few traditional dishes that your family loves or maybe conduct a potluck event and ask family members to contribute their favorite dishes. You can also transform your small condo kitchen with festive decorations to add flair. Keep the spirit alive by sharing stories about past Christmases and sharing what you’re thankful for this year.

With such traditions established throughout the years, Noche Buena is a beautiful tapestry of Filipino culture and cuisine that brings families together. While the dishes are usually the highlight, the real magic lies in the togetherness and shared memories. No matter what the limitations are, embrace the tradition and create an unforgettable experience.


Indispensable tools and gears for condo cooking

young woman surfing laptop in kitchenPhoto Courtesy of Ekaterina Bolovtsova via Pexels

Are you tired of having limited kitchen space? Then, essential tools and equipment are the best option for you. Portable appliances such as air fryers, induction stoves, multipurpose ovens, and instant pots are some examples that can save valuable room while offering the modern, sleek look you desire.

To make the most out of it (and if you have the budget for it), you may also opt for stainless steel appliances which are great to use as they can limit germs and bacteria in the food you’re preparing, storing, and cooking.

Having limited space does not mean you cannot whip up a variety of holiday dishes. Search for versatile cookware like multi-purpose pots and pans as they enable you to efficiently prepare a wide range of dishes while also using the same tools. Cast iron skillets and stainless steel pots are ideal for handling everything from roasts to casseroles as they offer exceptional heat retention, durability, and versatility.

Lastly, organization is key. Keep frequently used items within your cabinets’ easy reach, declutter your countertops regularly, and use clear storage containers to swiftly identify ingredients. Streamline your preparation process by chopping the ingredients in advance or familiarizing yourself with the contents of each cabinet or drawer to have a stress-free and efficient cooking experience. With these tips, your small condo kitchen can become a safe holiday cooking haven.


Delectable Noche Buena recipes

food plating photographyPhoto Courtesy of Rumman Amin via Unsplash

Noche Buena is a big event that you need to be prepared for. Get ready to serve something extraordinary on the table because you’re about to uncover the secrets of kitchen condo ideas for Christmas.

1. Induction stove creamy chestnut soup

soup on white ceramic soup bowlPhoto Courtesy of Pixabay via Pexels

One unique soup to serve during Noche Buena is the creamy chestnut soup. This rich, velvety appetizer is perfect for the holiday season and can be prepared in an induction stove. Here’s how to make it.

Preparation time: 45-50 minutes

Number of servings: 4-6 persons


  • 1 lb fresh chestnuts
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh thyme or rosemary for garnish

Cooking procedure:

  1. Prepare the chestnuts by making a small X-shaped incision on each of them. Boil for 10 minutes, cool, and peel.
  2. In a soup pot on your induction stove, saute the onions and garlic until they become fragrant.
  3. Add chestnuts and cook for extra flavor.
  4. Bring in the broth and simmer for 20-25 minutes until tender.
  5. Mix the soup until smooth. Add the cream, season with salt and pepper, and heat gently.
  6. Ladle into bowls and garnish it with thyme or rosemary.

2. Hot plate vegetable frittata

close up photo of frittata food dishPhoto Courtesy of Steve House via Pexels

Frittata is an Italian dish consisting of cooked eggs with meat, vegetables, or cheese. So for this Christmas, how about exploring your vegetarian options?

Preparation time: 15-20 minutes

Number of servings: 3-4 persons


  • 6 eggs
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 cup mixed vegetables (bell peppers, spinach, tomatoes)
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Cooking procedure:

  1. Whisk eggs, milk, salt, and pepper together in a bowl.
  2. Heat a non-stick skillet on the hot plate, add your preferred vegetables, and pour the egg mixture over.
  3. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese and cook on low heat with a lid until set for about 15 minutes.

3. Mini oven-baked chicken adobo

close up photo of grilled chickenPhoto Courtesy of Omar Mahmood via Pexels

Chicken adobo is a Filipino braised chicken dish that’s cooked slowly in vinegar, soy sauce, and spices until the meat is tender, juicy, and flavorful. For this one though, use the savory, tangy, and a little bit peppery adobo sauce as your chicken wings’ main flavor or dip to add more twist.

Preparation time: 1 hour and 30 minutes

Number of servings: 2-3 persons


  • 1 lb adobo flavored chicken wings, bone in
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup vinegar
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • Parsley for garnish

Cooking procedure:

  1. Marinate chicken in soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, bay leaf, and black peppercorns for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Bake at 350°F for 35-40 minutes until the chicken is tender and browned.
  3. Pour the marinade into a saucepan and cook on low heat. Add some sugar to taste and turn off the stove when the sauce has a glaze-like consistency. You can add more sauce according to your preference.

4. Induction stove veggie curry

cooked rice and curry food served on white platePhoto Courtesy of Cats Coming via Pexels

Enjoy a delicious and comforting meal with this veggie curry. It’s packed with hearty vegetables and fragrant spices which makes this a perfect dish for a cozy night in.

Preparation time: 15-20 minutes

Number of servings: 3-6 persons


  • 2 cups mixed vegetables (zucchini, bell peppers, cauliflower, green peas, carrots, potatoes)
  • 1 cup canned chickpeas, drained
  • 2 tbsp curry paste
  • 1 can (14 oz) coconut milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Cooked rice for serving

Cooking procedure:

  1. Heat the pan on your induction stove, then add curry paste and cook for 1-2 minutes.
  2. Add vegetables and chickpeas, then stir in with coconut milk. Simmer until the vegetables are tender,
  3. Season with salt and pepper and serve it over rice.


Sweets and desserts for the festive season

person serving a freshly baked brownies on a wooden trayPhoto Courtesy of Nicole Michalou via Pexels

You cannot leave the table without having dessert and beverages that can satisfy your stomach. So, here are some suggestions that you may try and baking tips in your condo kitchen.

1. S’mores brownie pie

top view delicious cake with whisk coffeePhoto Courtesy of freepik via Freepik

The s’mores brownie pie is a wonderful dessert made with a graham cracker crust, fudgy brownie filling, and gooey toasted marshmallows. This gives a sweet and tasty flavor and it catches the smokiness from the smores.

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Number of servings: 6-8 persons


  • 1 pie crust (store-bought or homemade)
  • 1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
  • ½ cup melted butter
  • 1 box brownie mix
  • Mini marshmallows
  • Chocolate chips

Cooking procedure:

  1. Mix graham cracker crumbs and melted butter, then press it into the pie crust.
  2. Prepare the brownie mix and pour it over the crust.
  3. Bake until well-cooked according to the brownie mix instructions.
  4. Top it up with mini marshmallows and chocolate chips. Broil the marshmallows until they are golden.

2. Purple yam cupcakes

nice muffin violet backgroundPhoto Courtesy of freepik via Freepik

The purple yam or ube cupcakes is a one-of-a-kind dessert to bake for Noche Buena. It’s a delectable treat sweeter than the purple sweet potato. This is a sure must-try treat.

Preparation time: 45-50 minutes

Number of servings: 6-9 persons


For the cupcakes:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup mashed purple yam (ube)
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp ube extract (for extra flavor and color, if desired)

For the frosting:

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2-3 tbsp whole milk
  • ½ tsp ube extract (for frosting, optional)
  • Purple food coloring (optional, for desired color)

Cooking procedure:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and line a cupcake tin with liners.
  2. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl.
  3. Beat softened butter and sugar until it becomes light and fluffy for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add eggs one at a time and beat well after each condition.
  5. Mix in mashed purple yam. Add ube extract for extra flavor and color.
  6. Gradually combine the dry mixture with milk. Mix until just combined.
  7. Diving the batter among the cupcake liners.
  8. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
  9. Cool cupcakes in the tin briefly. Then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  10. For frosting, beat softened butter until it gets creamy, then add powdered sugar. Adjust the consistency with 2-3 tablespoons of milk. Add ube extract and purple food coloring for flavor and color.
  11. Once it is cooled, frost the cupcakes, and serve it immediately.

3. Tsokolate with cinnamon powder and marshmallow

chocolate in mugPhoto Courtesy of Brigitte Tohm via Pexels

Tsokolate is a Filipino hot beverage made by dissolving cacao tablets in hot water and traditionally mixed together using a batidor, or a wooden baton. But try this amazing version with cinnamon that adds a unique taste.

Preparation time: 5-7 minutes

Number of servings: 2-3 persons


  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2-3 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2-3 tbsp sugar
  • A pinch of salt
  • A pinch of cinnamon
  • Marshmallows

Cooking procedure:

  1. Whisk cocoa powder, sugar, salt, and cinnamon into milk.
  2. Heat and stir until smooth, then serve hot. Top it with marshmallows

3. Salabat with cinnamon sticks

cup of ginger tea with cinnamon sticksPhoto Courtesy of Cup of Couple via Pexels

The salabat is a Filipino tea made from ginger and often sweetened with honey or sugar. Sometimes it is added with a few squeezes of fresh lemon juice for potency. To level it up, you can add cinnamon for a savory taste!

Preparation time: 10-15 minutes

Number of servings: 2-3 persons


  • 2 cups water
  • 1 thumb-sized ginger, peeled and sliced
  • Honey or sugar (to taste)
  • 2-3 cinnamon sticks

Cooking procedure:

  1. Combine water, ginger, and cinnamon in a pot and bring to a boil.
  2. Simmer it for about 10-15 minutes until the flavors infuse.
  3. Strain into a cup and sweeten it with honey or sugar.

One of the baking tips that you need to remember is to keep ingredients and utensils within easy reach to save time and space. You can also use silicone bakeware since they are flexible and space-saving. Moreover, measure the ingredients first and combine the dry ones before starting the baking process to avoid clutter and reduce dish usage.


Noche Buena planning and organization

person holding sliced vegetablePhoto Courtesy of Maarten van den Heuvel via Pexels

Planning and organizing your Noche Buena can be a joyful endeavor. It creates the perfect ambiance for cherished moments when you plan with your family and friends. Ask for their preferences, allergies, or other concerns so everyone can enjoy the dish that you prepare.

As for the menu, always plan what you can work on. Make sure that you have enough resources like time and money when you brainstorm for it. With this article, you can prepare at least four-course meals – the appetizer, main course, desserts, and beverages. You may omit or add more ideas as you please.

For appetizers, it would be delightful to cook the chestnut soup and veggie frittata. Main courses would cover the mini-oven baked adobo chicken and veggie curry while you’ll have s’mores brownie pie and purple yam cupcakes for desserts. And for beverages, make festive rich drinks like hot tsokolate with cinnamon powder and marshmallow and salabat with cinnamon sticks.

For meal preparation, you need to prepare a shopping list after finalizing the menu to avoid going back and forth to the supermarket. On the day before, make first the s’mores brownie pie and cool it before refrigerating. Second, bake the purple yam cupcakes (icing will be prepared on the actual Noche Buena day) and store them in airtight containers. And finally, make the tsokolate and salabat warm during the evening.

Then on Noche Buena day, cook the creamy chestnut soup, vegetable frittata, mini-oven baked chicken adobo, and veggie curry. As your appetizers and main courses are about to finish cooking, warm up the s’mores brownie pie and purple yam cupcakes in the oven. Create the icing for purple yam cupcakes while waiting for it to be reheated and pipe them nicely when the pastries have cooled down. Lastly, prepare tsokolate and salabat while guests are having a chitchat.

Present your dishes to make them visually appealing. Serve the main courses and desserts in big platters or bowls which allow everyone to help themselves. Add a garnish to have an extra pop of color and flavor. And lastly, serve beverages in festive mugs.

As for your interior decorations, your condo dining area needs to be creative. Use red, green, and gold as your color scheme. Adorn your table with holiday-inspired napkins, placemats, and table runners. Add a centerpiece like a poinsettia or a small Christmas tree. Add candles and string lights for a warm ambiance. Finally, incorporate a parol for a Filipino touch.

Consequently, with this Noche Buena plan, you will have a stress-free and beautifully decorated condo dining which ensures a memorable holiday feast.


Creating meaningful Noche Buena memories

asian family eating togetherPhoto Courtesy of freepik via Freepik

Noche Buena is not just about the food, it’s about the memories you make with loved ones. Gather them in the kitchen, assign tasks, and let them contribute their culinary flair. These create cherished moments that define the spirit of the special night.

When setting a joyful and cozy atmosphere in the condo, keep the ambiance intimate and inviting by initiating wonderful conversations. This will create a harmonious night to remember.

For capturing and preserving memories, take candid shots and create a scrapbook to compile photos. You can also share your favorite resolutions for the coming year during the meal. Embrace the opportunity to reminisce and look forward to the memories that each Noche Buena brings.

Key takeaways

Noche Buena is part of Filipino culture. Celebrating this occasion and serving holiday meals will surely make a memorable feast right in the comfort of your home. So, here are some key takeaways:

  • Plan ahead. Before the big night, plan ahead. Decide on the dishes you want to prepare and make a shopping list so you can save time and avoid stress during the holidays.
  • Streamline your kitchen. Condos do have limited kitchen space, so make the most of what you have. Invest in kitchen tools and utensils that can help you maximize your cooking efficiency. Through this, you can make delicious feasts without being overwhelmed by a small area.
  • Embrace time-saving recipes. Look for easy-to-follow recipes that do not require hours of preparation. Consider dishes that can be made in advance and reheated so you can serve them hot and fresh without spending a lot of time in the kitchen.

Are you interested to learn more about DMCI and our communities? Visit our website’s articles here. You can also check out our Facebook page or download the DMCI Communities app on Google Play Store or App Store to stay connected and updated.


Welcome to DMCI Communities, the official, online lifestyle portal of DMCI Homes communities and residents all over the metro. If you are a DMCI homeowner, consider this your online home.


Get up to date with our newsletter.


Local Sales:
(632) 5324.8888

International Sales:
(+63917) 880.8800

Customer Care:
(632) 8555.7700
(+63918) 918.3456 (SMART)
(+63917) 811.5268 (GLOBE)