Happy New Year!! Tomorrow marks the beginning of the Year of the Ox, a sign that embodies prosperity through hard work and determination. The Chinese New Year falls on the first day of the first lunar month in the Chinese calendar. It is the biggest Chinese holiday and is celebrated over the course of 15 days. Typically, on the evening of New Year’s Eve, you gather with family and friends and feast on a big dinner full of "good luck” foods. Foodbuzz does a fun little promotion where they choose 24 meal ideas submitted by 24 food bloggers, all set to take place on one designated day. Each event is then blogged about over the course of 24 hours. I was thrilled when Foodbuzz accepted my 24,24,24 proposal for this dinner because the timing of it was just perfect for my Chinese New Year celebration 🙂 .
THE LUCKY FEAST1) Lychee Bellinis (lychee = close family ties)
Made with canned Lychee Nuts and Prosecco, this was the perfect elegant cocktail for our Chinese New Year celebration. I separated the fruit from the syrup it was soaking in and froze them for any extra icy touch. To assemble the cocktail, blend half of the frozen lychee with some of the saved syrup to make a fragrant puree. Spoon some of it into your glass, pour in the prosecco and top with a whole lychee nut.
This recipe was a little involved, so check out this full post dedicated to just dumplings for the details!
3) Scallion Pancakes (not sure if there is a symbolic significance here...they are just delicious!)
I quadrupled my normal recipe to make a dozen large pancakes. Crispy, flaky, and full of flavor, these made the perfect hors d’oeuvres. Added bonus, I could make them in advance and just pan fry them the day of the party.
Adventures in Amateur Baking and Cooking. Thanks, Ruth! I made mine with orange flavored vodka for some extra fanciness. They were gorgeous, fun, boozy and so festive!
11) Tray of Togetherness (sweets = good luck)
It is customary to start the New Year with something sweet. This tray is full of eight (a traditional lucky number) different treats like candied dried fruits and coconut.
12) Cheeky Fortune Cookies
Fortunes from Fu Ling Yu will have you cracking up. Or not happy at all.
HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR!!!
As a first-generation Chinese-American, I grew up eating lots of delicious, traditional, homemade Chinese food - especially on special holidays, like Chinese New Year. The head chef in my family has always been my grandfather, who worked as a cook in a Chinese restaurant for years. I never learned the tricks of the trade growing up since my own parents were more than happy buying the labor-intensive dishes from the local Asian market, or letting Chef Grandpa do his thing. We always just showed up on New Year's Eve, and the feast was ready. Now that I'm older, and have moved to the opposite side of the country, I realized that I would need to learn to make these dishes for myself if I wanted the traditions to continue. This New Year’s, Hua and I were determined to push the envelope, stay true to our tradition, and create a celebration to remember for our friends. We originally thought it would be an intimate dinner...but our penchant for excess could not be contained, and we ended up partying with 33 of San Francisco’s coolest cats. After some trials, tribulations, a little guesswork at the Chinatown grocers, and many calls to our moms, I think we pulled it off 🙂 .