Sparkle & Shine New Year

Budget-Stretching Meal

The practice of serving several smaller dishes instead of one huge entrée is a well-kept entertaining secret—and it saves you money. All but one of the main dishes featured here start with 1 pound of meat or shellfish or less.

Beef and Veggie Lettuce Wraps

  • 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®
  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. 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.
  2. Place desired amount of rice on lettuce leaves. Evenly arrange beef mixture on rice, and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  3. 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.
  • Yields: 6 to 8 servings

Steamed Pork Dumplings

  • 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
  1. In a medium bowl, combine ground pork, mushrooms, green onion, ginger spice blend, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, and sesame oil. 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. Line a steamer basket with parchment paper. Arrange dumplings, 1 inch apart, in prepared basket (about 6 at a time).
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  • Yields: 6 to 8 servings

Hot and Sour Soup

  • 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
  • Garnish: chopped green onion
  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. 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. 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.
  • Yields: 6 to 8 servings

Bubbly Coconut Cocktail

  • 4 tablespoons chilled coconut water, strained
  • 3 tablespoons chilled cranberry juice
  • 5 tablespoons chilled brut Champagne
  1. In a tall, slender glass, combine coconut water and cranberry juice. Gently add Champagne.
  • Yields: 1 drink

Zesty Chicken Skewers

  • 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
  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°).
  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.
  • Yields: 6 to 8 servings

Reprinted with permission by Hoffman Media, LLC.

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. (Source: A La Carte Napkin Rings, set of 4;


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. (Source: Silver Gloss Place Mats, Zig Zag Runner;


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. (Source: New East Take Out Serving Container;

Place Cards

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