Saturday, March 13, 2010

Birthday Dinner Menu: Celebrating with Family

For UY and JY, Happy Birthday!

I love an opportunity to cook a nice meal with a friendly audience of eaters.  While living in Hong Kong and Seoul, away from family, most special occasions of cooking required us to invite many of husband's co-workers and friends, so the meals were somewhat large.  Since moving back, I am able to have nice dinners for just some extended family.  Husband's sister lives closeby, so our two families try and meet and have a nice dinner any occasion possible.  Today was two birthdays - niece and sister in law, and so it was another opportunity to have a meal together.

Funny thing is that sister in law is not a "mains" person - meaning she likes to eat sides, but the main course isn't that important.  I always give the privilege of the birthday person to ask what they'd like to eat and sister-in-law a year ago, gave me a crazy list of dishes that did not go together.  Sweet potato casserole, eggplant pasta, macaroni and cheese, and artichoke dip, finished with sweet potato pie.  I asked her if she wanted, along with her dinner, a side dish of indigestion.  She firmly stated that she didn't want a main course and that just all these sides were fine.  I turned her down saying, "I can't cook a meal that doesn't go together!"  I made a couple of things on her list but not all.

This year, I asked her what she wanted and she said, "You know me, I just want some sides and some appetizers."  I thought for a moment and said, "Potato salad?" and she said, "YES!"  I built an entire dinner around potato salad.  After taking into account the kids' and other adult tastes as well I came up with the following menu.

Appetizer
Hot Spinach Artichoke Dip (recipe soon)

Main (cut and prepared ribs the night before.  Sauce prepared day of)
Ultimate BBQ ribs

Sides (prepared potato salad and slaw the night before)
Potato Salad
Ginger Slaw
Macaroni and Cheese

Korean (since Son can't eat the regular meal - and all adults like to finish their meals with a touch of Korean.)
Kimchee
Meeyuk Gook (the original birthday soup)
Rice

Dessert
Vanilla Bean Cake with Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Frosting (still working on this - but a cupcake version is available)

4 comments:

The Marcus Family said...

Do you have a recipe for meeyuk gook?

By the way, a friend introduced me to your food blug -- I love it!

Joanne Choi said...

Hello Beautiful Marcus Family -

I don't have one written out (I have one in my head.) I guess I should post it, eh? Many people have asked so I guess I should bite the bullet.

In the meanwhile, you can check out www.maangchi.com - she cooks quite a few traditional items in her own style and she does have a recipe for meeyukgook.

Joanne Choi said...

and Marcus family? ILL connection - I'm wondering who it is?

The Marcus Family said...

I don't think she knows you...she saved your page on fb and I saw it and clicked on it =)

And I meant food blog, not food blug haha I am sleep deprived with a newborn and 2 year old...I'm sure you can understand =P

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