Holiday Dinner with friends- 12/16/2017

Holiday decorations, music and festivities surround us this time of year. People are busy decorating, sending cards, buying presents, playing holiday music and attending holiday parties.

It is such a busy time of the year and this is the only week left before Christmas, so I am taking the  opportunity to gather around our table with friends and enjoy a special meal.

Christmas decoration are brought to create a welcoming and festive tablescape

 The table is set up, festive, colorful, and cheerful menu cards are printed out.


I created 3 Christmas centerpieces with the use of silver vases and filled them with a variety of pine branches and added some red berries.

All the greenery and the red berries are from my garden.


It is definitely looking a lot like Christmas...


Each menu card has a different design


Once a year, I get to bring out my special reindeer Christmas plate for the special occasion


I tried to make each plate setting as festive as possible by using colorful ornaments.

More plate setting...



Table overview.


Lots of Glassware are also brought out for the occasion...


Close look at the centerpieces.  I like to way they turned out!

Very festive and it does put people in jolly mood!

I also used large glass ornaments to decorate the table.

The glass ornaments are very festive bright, and sparkling.


Group pictures with the ladies...

Ha, Hanh N. Hanh P., Me, Huyen, Loan, and Maily

Hanh N. brought a bunch a scarves for all the ladies..Maily is checking out one of them..

on the left, Loan is also trying out a red scarf...


Dinner time starting with the menu


I prepared an Italian 5 course menu for this special occasion.


Course #1-Acorn Squash Sformato, roasted shitake mushrooms, caramelized cippolini onion, crispy smoked pork jowl, and Coppa.

I ate this dish at Babbo (Mario Batali's restaurant) in New York and I really enjoyed so I am re-creating it but I am adding a few more ingredients to the dish.

Click on Link to see your dinning experience at Babbo


Course #2 - Grilled octopus, sautéed spinach & fresh diced tomatoes, caramelized onion.

This dish is an inspiration from Fratello a restaurant in San Jose and also from our travel to Sicily.

Course #3: Squid ink tonnarelli, grilled octopus, sautéed calamari, roasted baby tomatoes, caramelized onion

This dish is an inspiration from my travel to Sicily.


Course #4: Homemade potato gnocchi raviolo al Uovo (egg), Swiss chard & ricotta filling, crispy smoked bacon, crispy sage leave.

You can see the preparation here.


Course #5: braised pork belly in red wine, winter vegetables served with crispy sticky rice cake.

For dessert we had tiramisu but forgot to take any pictures after dinner...
We had too much fun and forgot about every thing else..


Merry Christmas and happy holidays!


Filed under: BBQ/Thanksgiving/Holidays parties



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