Entertaining For
New Year's Eve

Champagne and caviar is always nice, but for a festive change, why not count down to the New Year in delicious style with a distinctive Asian-inspired menu and sparkling décor. Food and entertaining expert Sandra Lee shares her favorite New Year's Eve party menu and tablesetting tips to make your New Year's celebration shine.

Sandra Lee New Years Eve Spread

Entertaining tips for your New Year's Eve

Your impressive New Year's Eve party menu isn't complete without glitzy serving ware and décor. Sandra Lee, an entertaining time- and money-saving pro, has a few simple suggestions to give your New Year's Eve tablesetting (inexpensive) glamorous flair.

Multi-purpose napkin rings

These clever napkin rings are vases, too. You can also line up a few sets down the center of your table for a quick, uncluttered centerpiece. Suggestion: A La Carte Napkin Rings, set of 4; twoscompany.com.

Multi-purpose napkin rings

Decorative chopsticks

Simple, everyday chopsticks shimmer with silver glitter. Simply spray the wide end of each chopstick with spray adhesive, and dip into silver glitter. Tap to remove excess glitter, and let dry. Display for guests in an Asian takeout box, or opt for this clever ceramic version. Suggestion: New East Take Out Serving Container; www.bwtc.com.

Decorative chopsticks

Tabletop with sparkle and shine

Add layers of sparkle to your table with a shiny mesh runner, polished reflective tiles, tiny round mirrors, mercury glass votives, and small crystal-like vases. Mix metallic accents seen in the votives and place mats with modern prints like the black-and-white runner at the buffet for a festive and eclectic touch. Suggestion: Silver Gloss Place Mats, Zig Zag Runner; cb2.com.

Tabletop with sparkle and shine

Fortune cookie place cards

White bisque china fortune cookie place card holders mark the spot for your fortunate guests. Suggestion: New East Fortune Cookie Place Card Holders, set of 4; www.bwtc.com.

Not only will adding these sparkly touches to your table serve as eye-catching festive décor, it will also make your already delicious New Year's Eve party menu look and taste even better.

Fortune cookie place cards

New Year's Eve party menu

Entertaining should be a fun and gratifying endeavor. To save money yet still present an impressive party spread, Sandra Lee suggests downsizing recipes. "The practice of serving several smaller dishes instead of one huge entrée is a well-kept entertaining secret -- and it saves you money," the semi-homemade expert says. "All but one of the main dishes featured here start with one pound of meat or shellfish."

Bubbly Coconut Cocktail

Makes 1 drink

Ingredients:
4 tablespoons chilled coconut water, strained
3 tablespoons chilled cranberry juice
5 tablespoons chilled brut Champagne

Directions:
In a tall, slender glass, combine coconut water and cranberry juice. Gently add Champagne.

Bubbly Coconut Cocktail

Beef and Veggie Lettuce Wraps

Makes 6 to 8 servings

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 (1-pound) bag frozen stir-fry vegetables, Birds Eye
1 (1-pound) flank steak, cut across grain into 1⁄2-inch-thick strips
1 (.75-ounce) package stir-fry seasoning mix, Sun-Bird
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons lite soy sauce, divided, Kikkoman
1⁄4 cup shredded fresh basil
Hot cooked rice
14 to 16 Bibb lettuce leaves
1 tablespoon black sesame seeds
1 (9.2-ounce) jar plum dipping sauce, Lee Kum Kee
1 teaspoon garlic spice blend, Gourmet Garden
1⁄2 teaspoon ginger spice blend, Gourmet Garden

Directions:
1. In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add vegetables; sauté for 6 to 8 minutes, or until vegetables are tender and begin to brown.

2. Add flank steak, and sauté 5 to 6 minutes, or until meat is browned. Add seasoning mix, brown sugar, and 1 tablespoon soy sauce, stirring until mixture is well combined and heated through. Remove from heat, and stir in basil.

3. Place desired amount of rice on lettuce leaves. Evenly arrange beef mixture on rice, and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

4. In a small bowl, combine plum dipping sauce, remaining 2 teaspoons soy sauce, garlic spice blend, and ginger spice blend. Serve sauce with lettuce wraps.

 Beef and Veggie Lettuce Wraps

Steamed Pork Dumplings

Makes 6 to 8 servings

Ingredients:
1⁄2 pound ground pork
1⁄4 cup minced fresh mushrooms
1⁄4 cup minced green onion
2 teaspoons ginger spice blend, Gourmet Garden
1 tablespoon lite soy sauce, Kikkoman
1 teaspoon sesame oil, Dynasty
40 pot sticker wrappers, Dynasty
1⁄2 cup lite soy sauce, Kikkoman
2 tablespoons roasted garlic rice vinegar, Nakano
1 teaspoon Thai chili garlic sauce, Sriracha
1⁄2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Directions:
1. In a medium bowl, combine ground pork, mushrooms, green onion, ginger spice blend, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, and sesame oil.

2. Place 1 teaspoon of pork mixture into center of each pot sticker wrapper. Using your finger, wet the edges of wrappers with water. Gently bring 2 opposite corners together (forming a triangle), pressing to seal. Fold the 2 points from long sides of triangles to the center, pressing to seal.

3. Line a steamer basket with parchment paper. Arrange dumplings, 1 inch apart, in prepared basket (about 6 at a time).

4. In a large saucepan, bring 2 inches of water to a boil over medium-high heat. Carefully add steamer basket. Cover, and steam for 6 to 10 minutes, or until wrapper is translucent. Place in a covered container to keep warm. Repeat procedure with remaining dumplings.

5. In a small bowl, whisk together 1⁄2 cup soy sauce, vinegar, chili garlic sauce, and red pepper flakes until well combined. Serve sauce with hot dumplings.

Steamed Pork Dumplings

Zesty Chicken Skewers

Makes 6 to 8 servings

Ingredients:
1⁄2 cup peanut oil
1⁄3 cup Thai-style chili sauce, Kikkoman
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon salt
2 (1-pound) packages chicken tenderloins
14 (8-inch) skewers
1⁄2 cup creamy peanut butter, Peter Pan
1⁄3 cup lite coconut milk, A Taste of Thai
2 teaspoons fish sauce, Hokan
1⁄2 teaspoon minced garlic
1⁄2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons sliced green onion

Directions:
1. In a heavy-duty zip-top plastic bag, combine peanut oil, chili sauce, ginger and salt. Add chicken tenderloins. Seal bag, turning to coat chicken, and place in refrigerator for 4 hours.

2. Soak wooden skewers in water to cover for at least 30 minutes; drain.

3. Preheat grill to high heat (400 to 450 degrees F).

4. Drain chicken, discarding marinade. Thread 1 chicken tenderloin onto each skewer. Grill for 3 to 4 minutes per side, or until chicken is done.

5. In a small bowl, whisk together peanut butter, coconut milk, fish sauce, garlic, and red pepper flakes until well combined. Sprinkle green onion over sauce. Serve chicken skewers with peanut sauce.

 Zesty Chicken Skewers

Hot and Sour Soup

Makes 6 to 8 servings

Ingredients:
1 (48-ounce) container fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth, Swanson
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
2 tablespoons lite soy sauce, Kikkoman
1 (8-ounce) can sliced bamboo shoots, drained, La Choy
1 (8.75-ounce) can baby sweet corn, drained
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1⁄4 teaspoon white pepper
1 pound frozen, peeled, and deveined raw shrimp, thawed
1 egg white, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons chopped green onion plus more for garnish

Directions:
1. In a large heavy-bottomed pot, combine chicken broth, mushrooms, soy sauce, bamboo shoots, and corn; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 6 minutes.

2. Add lemon juice and white pepper; increase heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil. Add shrimp, and cook 3 to 5 minutes, or until shrimp are pink.

3. Slowly drizzle egg white into boiling broth mixture, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in green onion. Serve hot. Garnish with green onion, if desired.

Hot and Sour Soup  

All recipes are reprinted with permission by Hoffman Media, LLC and www.semihomemademag.com.

Tags: sandra lee

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