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When my mother came up with the name of her first cookbook the term "All-American" only seemed fit. After all, she was 1st generation Chinese married to an American, Irish, Norwegian man living in Nebraska where traditional Chinese ingredients were not made readily available. It isn't until now that I truly understand the meaning of the All-American... (read more)

Archive for the ‘Chinese New Year’ Category

21

Jan

2012

Happy Chinese New Year! The Year of the Dragon 2012

This Sunday we celebrate Chinese New Year’s Eve with delicious food and usher in the Year of the Dragon. It is a special year, not only because it’s my personal Chinese Zodiac sign but more importantly because the dragon is a symbol of power. It’s also the only mythical creature in the Chinese Zodiac which lends itself to beautiful legends and myths for the Chinese people. The Chinese New Year celebration involves great tradition and great food. My brother Jason is living in Taiwan this year and we look forward to seeing his photos and hearing about his experience during the 15-day long celebration.

photo credit: YUM

photo credit: Yum

Last year we celebrated my son’s 1st birthday with a Chinese New Year themed party. Our guests enjoyed tasty dim sum and an over the top dessert bar consisting of both Chinese and American sweets. Click here to view more photos. My, has the year gone by quickly!

chases-1st-bithday

This year, we are adding three new recipes by my mother Lucy dedicated to the Year of the Dragon:

Combination Chinese Chow Mein

Traditional Chinese Chicken Soup

Honey Nut Sticks

Here’s also a sampling of our family’s past Chinese New Year dinner menu:

Fried Wontons with Sweet & Sour Sauce

Pan Fried Gyoza Dumplings (aka Potstickers)

Boiled Soy Sauce Eggs

Chicken Hot & Sour Soup

Mongolian Beef

Baked Soy Sauce Chicken

Oven Baked Pork Ribs

Chicken Chow Mein

Stir-fry Spinach with Garlic

Crunch Tea Cookies

Banana Delight

We hope you and your families enjoy a healthy and prosperous New Year! Happy Eating.

– Melisa & Lucy


3

Feb

2011

Gong xi fa cai! The Year Of The Rabbit

Happy Chinese New Year! Over the next two weeks our family and all of China will be celebrating Chinese New Year, The Year of the Rabbit. Here’s what the zodiac has to say about our furry little friend:

1915, 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999

People born in the Year of the Rabbit are articulate, talented, and ambitious. They are virtuous, reserved, and have excellent taste. Rabbit people are admired, trusted, and are often financially lucky. They are fond of gossip but are tactful and generally kind. Rabbit people seldom lose their temper. They are clever at business and being conscientious, never back out of a contract. They would make good gamblers for they have the uncanny gift of choosing the right thing. However, they seldom gamble, as they are conservative and wise. They are most compatible with those born in the years of the Sheep, Pig, and Dog.

But of course the Chinese celebrate best with food which is why I decided to celebrate my son Chase’s 1st Birthday with a “Year Of The Rabbit” themed bash!  The full recap can be found on my blog Project Nursery but in the meantime here are some fun party pics showcasing the decorative details and food!

Here’s the big one year old himself dressed for the occasion:

Catered Dim Sum was a delicious way to keep my adult guests intrigued. The kids were kept happy munching on potstickers and eggrolls but best of all, it’s a low maintenance meal that I could simply steam and serve. Clean up was a breeze since guest enjoyed eating their finger foods with chopsticks out of Chinese take out boxes.

I had the most fun with the sweets bar however. I transformed my dinning room to make room for guests. We went with authentic Chinese goodies and candies such as Moon Cakes, Sesame Balls, Wintermelon Cakes, Lychee Candy, Haw Flakes, Candied Water Chestnuts and more!

And because the party from held from 5pm-7pm, the children arrived in their PJ’s or “Mandarin Suits”. The big kids watched “Mulan” and “Kung-fu Panda” while making Chinese paper lantern crafts. Adults sipped on fun beverages thanks to a fully stocked bar. And what one year old party is complete without a signature drink or two? Burning Mandarin Martinis were hot but I think I had one too many Lychee infused champagne cocktails myself!

If your looking to celebrate by cooking a few Chinese dishes for dinner, we suggesting incorporating some of our favorite recipes below for the occasion.

Steamed Pork Buns
Wonton Soup
Chinese Slow Cooked Short Ribs
Chinese Steamed Rainbow Trout
Hong Kong Style Crispy Noodles
Chinese Meatballs with Napa Cabbage
Spicy Green Beans
Mandarin Orange Cake

While some of these recipes are not your traditional Chinese New Year foods they do have some symbolic meaning. In China, noodles signify a long life, a whole fish suggests that you will have enough food year round, meatballs mean you will have a smooth, round year and so on…

Wishing you health, peace and prosperity in the New Year!


23

Jan

2009

2009: Year Of The Ox

“Legend has it that in ancient times, Buddha asked all the animals to meet him on Chinese New Year. Twelve came, and Buddha named a year after each one. He announced that the people born in each animal’s year would have some of that animal’s personality. Those born in ox years tend to be painters, engineers, and architects. They are stable, fearless, obstinate, hard-working and friendly.” – infoplease.com

Chinese New Year is one of the longest and most important celebrations in the Chinese calendar. January 26, 2009 is quickly approaching and with it comes delicious Chinese food. I just adore the way the Chinese celebrate their holidays with food. Need a quick tutorial on Chinese New Year history and tradition? Visit here. And If the traditional New Year foods consisting of taro root and turnip cakes doesn’t tantalize your taste buds, Chef Lucy has an All-American feast she’s preparing this week so be sure to stay tuned!

Here’s a peek at her menu…

Fried Wontons with Sweet & Sour Sauce

Pan Fried Gyoza Dumplings (aka Potstickers)

Boiled Soy Sauce Eggs

Chicken Hot & Sour Soup

Mongolian Beef

Baked Soy Sauce Chicken

Oven Baked Pork Ribs

Chicken Chow Mein

Stir-fry Spinach with Garlic

Crunch Tea Cookies

Banana Delight

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