UPDATED 01/12/09 @ 3:45PM — I forgot a few more dishes so for those who have already read this post, check the end to see even more food from the party

New Year’s is a huge event for my family because it’s a two fold celebration. In addition to the general excitement for the new year, New Year’s day happens to be my father’s birthday. My family throws an annual New Year’s bash, invite all of our family and friends and party from the afternoon until the wee hours of the morning. Because it is such a long event and there are more people than the normal get-together, there’s a pretty big spread on our table.

After a year of numerous parties, my family tends to feel like we’ve gone through the majority of the Filipino dishes out there. Therefore, we like to attempt to ring in a new year with different food that isn’t always typically seen at a Filipino party. When deciding upon the menu, we consulted a variety of sources for inspiration and recipes and came up with a menu that features some of our most favourite dishes, some experimental food and some tried and true Filipino food.

Recipes that I reviewed

Recipes from various sources

Click to see more food from the party!

It’s unfortunate that as party hosts, my family doesn’t always get the opportunity to sample everything. However, we know it was all very delicious as most of it was gone by the end of the night. Again, this post will be very picture heavy so I do apologize.

Sushi is a favourite of most of our family and friends, if not all of them. Now I wish I could say I made this but unfortunately I just don’t have the time or expertise to make sushi like this. They were bought at the asian supermarket across the street and were a big hit. Definitely no leftovers from this.

This steamed bass with a ginger, soy sauce and spring onion sauce/glaze is phenomenal. The flavours from this fish is to die for. We cooked two and both went fast. It’s my mother’s new specialty and she got the recipe from a cook book. I shall have to make this sometime and pass along the recipe to the food world because this definitely should be cooked and shared with everyone you love.

This is the Sichuan crispy beef that I featured in my review of my favourite restaurant, Chung King Review. It was the first time that we had every served this at a party and the first time for most people to eat it. People kept asking us how we made it, what the recipe was but unfortunately we couldn’t take credit for this spicy, meaty dish. If you want to try some yourself, I highly suggest going to the restaurant if you can and have a taste for yourself!

Filipino spaghetti is incredibly yummy and is very distinctly different to any traditional Italian version. This spaghetti is a comforting classic. While Italian spaghetti has a more sour bite to it, this is much more sweet. The ingredients used for this is Filipino hot dogs, ground meat, prepared spaghetti sauce available at most asian supermarkets, regular spaghetti pasta, ketchup and lots of cheese. I know some of those might sound strange but don’t knock it until you try it. My favourite part is how cheesy it becomes. It would actually make for a really good baked pasta….hmmm, future recipe maybe? :)

Since we had the spaghetti, we wanted to add the elements of meatballs to it. Due to time constraints, we just didn’t have the time to make it from scratch so we opted for a frozen meatball package. Unfortunately, we discovered that the meatballs were in 3 mini containers and already covered with a flavourful sauce. So in the end, we just served them on the side. I didn’t get a chance to taste any of these and since there weren’t any leftovers, I’m assuming they must have been fairly good.

This was another one of my creations. I unfortunately don’t have too many photos of this but I will try to make a separate post with the recipe. I had made this approximately 2-3 times prior to the party to ensure that it tasted good. I made quite a bit, worried that no one would eat it as vegetables can sometimes be a hit and miss at parties. Surprisingly they went like the rest of the food. I only tasted the components but never the final product but I’m sure they were just as good as the times I had made the in advance.

This is my grandfather’s beef steak. It is a favourite of my father’s. I love the flavour of this but not so much the meat, therefore when my family makes it, then tend to put a lot of onions in to compensate for me. So my only suggestion would be more onions since that’s all I eat. Still a very tasty dish.

These are the same breads from the Christmas party made by my grandfather. They had a cheese slice in them and when eaten with the beef steak, they were so delicious. It resembled a Filipino version of the Philly Cheese steak. I also ate it with cream cheese and smoked salmon later on in the week since we were lacking in bread at our house.

We don’t generally make a habit of repeating the same food over again but because it was such a hit during the Christmas party and fairly easy to make, we decided to serve it up again. It was the same stuff; green peppers, sweet potato, eggplant and shrimp. For a different twist, we added broccoli, calamari rings, fish balls and shrimp crackers. We made so much of it that this was one of the few things that we had lots of leftovers for. They would have definitely tasted much better when freshly made but oh well.

My father has a deep love for chicken but when we made the original menu, there was not one chicken dish on the menu. We felt pretty bad and decided to incorporate chicken somehow so we opted for chicken wings, an easy dish since we just bought the frozen kind. I love chicken wings and these were rather delicious. My father had cooked them to perfection.

We like to make pizza as a filler and as a more familiar food for the kids at the party. Nothing particularly too special with these as they were of the frozen variety. However the first pizza in the top picture was so incredible. My family normally eats thin crust pizza but that pizza was delicious despite not being thin crust. I can’t explain what about it makes it better than the typical frozen pizza. It just happens to be much more flavourful and all the ingredients and spices blend so well together.

King Crab happened to be on sale at the Walmart Superstore located near my house so we decided to buy a few bags of the frozen stuff and serve it to our guests. We decided to serve the crab two ways; steamed with melted butter to dip into and a spicy chili sauce infused crab. Both were big hits as it is definitely something unique to our parties. I only ate a very small piece but again, I’m sure it was delicious as there were no leftovers.

I featured Ginling in a previous post. We decided to cook this as we had a lot of ground meat in the freezer and was something comforting and familiar. It looks a little dull here because it was packed down by my sister but it looked much better in person. This would have gone well inside the baked bread from my grandfather.

Humba is a braised pork belly dish. It is stewed with black beans and star anise. It has a melt in your mouth effect. It is definitely not waist friendly but what can you do? I have no idea how to make this. I may give it a try in the future but in the meantime, I’ll leave it to my grandfather’s expertise.

Now the piece de resistance, the Peking duck with all the fixings. Peking duck is one of my most favourite dishes. Duck prepared this way comes out so flavourful, delicate, meaty, fatty and just simply divine. It was accompanied by the wrapper, hoisin sauce, strips of cucumber and green onions. We bought the meat at the asian supermarket close by. This was a huge hit for the party. We cut the skins and most of the meat. Even after it was all gone, people were still picking the bones trying to get as much meat as possible. It’s been a long while since I’ve eaten Peking duck. Unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to eat any that night. However, whatever bones were left over, my family scraped to get every piece of meat off. It was still very delicious and we managed to get a decent amount off. My mouth waters just looking at this photo. I wish I had eaten more of it.

Mango cake is our go-to birthday cake. It goes quickly during the party because it’s a rather small cake considering the amount of people we have. I did a review for the cake and its bakery here. It’s a shame that they don’t make a bigger size. I didn’t get a piece of the cake unfortunately =( Oh well, there’s always next time.

Just like the Black forest cake made at the Christmas party, this Ube cake was made by the same family friend. I didn’t get a chance to eat it but I have eaten her Ube cake in the past. Ube is not exactly my most favourite flavouring for cake but it’s not as strong as I would have thought. The cake itself is very light with the slightest hint of Ube. The cake gets it’s distinctive flavouring from the Ube filling. What’s most exciting about her cakes is the way that she decorates. I loved this particular cake simply because of it more child-like design which is a fun cake for a 43rd birthday. She’s done some awesome designs in the past, and this was no different.

This was the brownie taster that we had made in the event that some of the younger kids wouldn’t like Ube cake or just wanted something other than cake. It was pretty small and meant only to give a tasting. It was a deconstructed s’more. I was told that it was a bit too sweet and I can understand that, however it was just a tasting and it wasn’t meant to be eaten a lot of. I personally ate it and thought that it wasn’t too bad on the sweetness. Of course, I hadn’t eaten much of anything else and definitely nothing sweet.  I liked the idea behind this dessert and it obviously needs more tweaking for the future.

We experimented by making a bellini inspired drink for our New Year’s party. We got the recipe from a newspaper clipping. It basically consisted of vodka, champagne, fruit flavoured sorbet and some frozen fruit for decorative purposes. We unfortunately didn’t have more drink appropriate glassware for something like this (a problem  we fixed shortly after by going shopping for some) It doesn’t taste exactly like a bellini but it tasted rather good. We made a virgin version for the little kids by substituting the alcohol for juice. The juice helped to bring out the fruity flavours. In addition to some ice wine, we toasted to the new year!

This is what the whole feast looked all together. I love our family parties. I just wish there were more leftovers. The next day, my uncle’s family had stayed over so we had leftovers for breakfast along with more traditional breakfast food.  If you have any questions about the food, let me know. I hope you enjoyed all the photos and I hope your holiday season was filled with as much joy and food as mine did. :)

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