Friday, December 30, 2011

Non-traditional Christmas Dinners

361 days until Christmas 2012! I hope you all delighted in holiday festivities this year and enjoyed and embraced with loved ones.

This year, we split our time between hubby's family and my family, and lucky for us, that means not one, but TWO Christmas dinners!

Our families are prime examples of how there are many different ways to celebrate the holidays.  One tradition is Asian style (over Korean BBQ or Chinese food), while another is the traditional American feast at home.  Here are some pictures of how we feasted over the holiday.  After all, remember food is just the accessory when you're surrounded by the people you love!

While visiting family in New Jersey on Christmas Eve, we wandered over to Chung Sol Bat in Edison for a fantastic Korean BBQ dinner. The portion sizes were plentiful and the quality of food was very good.  Everything is shared amongst your party and the meats are cooked right in the middle of the table.  If you're ever in the area, this place is a solid choice!

Assortment of banchan (small side dishes) were shared with the table
Kalbi cooking over hot coals
Almost ready to eat!
The whole spread.  Plentiful? YES!
Next up, Christmas day dinner in Long Island.  Usually we do the traditional feast with serving plates covering every inch possible on the dining table.  This time around, we switched things up a bit and had Shabu Shabu!  It's a lot of prep work, as you'll need to wash, cut (if necessary) and plate the vegetables, seafood, meats, and noodles.  You'll also need to get an assortment of sauces.  They actually sell Shabu Shabu sauces in Asian grocery stores, which proved to be a hit at the dinner table!  You'll also need to invest in an electric Hot Pot/Shabu Shabu pot.  Of course, somehow every inch of space was taken up on the table again.  And even though this is known to be 'lighter' fare, we (over)stuffed ourselves silly!  Here are some pictures of our spread.

Fried bean curd, and an assortment of mushrooms.  (Notice the beautiful flowers cut into those mushroom tops? Daddy Piggy has masterful knife skills.) 
Vermicelli noodles, egg noodles, fish balls and meat balls
(From L to R) Two types of beef, chicken, shrimp, mussels, squid
Shabu shabu spread with all the sauces too!
All the family digging in.
The fun part about Shabu Shabu with a big group is everyone gets their own wire basket (see picture above).  You dip your basket in and whatever you pick up in your basket is always a surprise!

When planning a get together, keep these fun, interactive and non-traditional options in mind!

How did you celebrate the holidays?

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year and a 2012 filled with peace, hope and love! Be safe!

Piggy KL


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