February 7, 2016 § Leave a comment
Xin Nian Kuai Le! Gung Hay Fat Choy! Happy Chinese New Year! Today, February 7, is not only Super Bowl Sunday but Chinese New Year’s Eve! This is one of my favorite holidays to celebrate because it’s a time where there is an emphasis on family and gathering around a table to enjoy a feast together. Basically this holiday revolves around family community, tons of delicious Chinese food, and giving and receiving lai see (red envelopes) filled with money so I think you can see why it’s so great!
This year is the Year of the Monkey and some CNY traditions to bring prosperity and good luck throughout the year are:
- Family feast on New Year’s eve
- Eating long noodles (for long life), wontons (for wealth, shaped like gold ingots that used to be part of Chinese currency), and other types of “lucky food”
- The color red, which sounds similar to the Chinese word for “prosperous”. You’re sure to see lots of red and gold during this holiday, ranging from firecrackers to the lai see
For this New Year’s, my mom and I made homemade pork and shrimp wontons and dumplings. Since my mom immigrated from China to the States at a young age, she didn’t learn to cook traditional Chinese food. Fortunately I wasn’t completely deprived of that, thanks to nearby relatives. However this year, I really wanted to try my hand at making wontons and dumplings!
I was thrilled with how well these turned out! They were juicy, flavorful, and satisfying- just what I craved on a cold winter’s night. It was made easier by using store-bought wonton and dumpling skins. I filled them with a savory pork and shrimp filling, boiled the wontons, and pan-fried the dumplings so they would be crispy. I also made a quick spicy chili oil that provided just the right amount of heat and acidity from the vinegar.
Since the folding of the wontons and dumplings are a little labor intensive, it was nice doing it with my mom and I recommend getting some family or friends together to help out since it’s more fun as a group activity!
Even though I made these specifically for Chinese New Year, I already know I’ll be turning to this recipe throughout the entire year!
February 1, 2016 § Leave a comment
I’m super excited to show you my first monthly blog post with Cookie Cutter Kingdom!! This company has an amazing variety and selection of cookie cutters, including animals, sports, and holiday-themed ones, and you can pick sizes between 2″ to 5″. If you still can’t find the exact cookie cutter you’re looking for, you can ask CCK to make a custom-cutter specially for you! These cutters are great for cookies but who says they can’t also be used for savory foods?!
Whether you get together with your friends for the Super Bowl to watch the actual game, halftime show, or just the commercials, there always need to be awesome game day snacks involved! I used the 4-inch Football Helmet Cookie Cutter to cut out football helmet-shaped pieces of dough and then filled them with beef and cheese for a winning flavor combination.
These beef empanadas satisfy every craving for something meaty, cheesy, and flaky and are sure to be a crowd pleaser. To make them even better, I served them with guacamole on the side. They can also be prepared the day before to make your life a little easier if you’re hosting the party this year.
These are perfect for the Super Bowl, football team celebrations, football-themed birthday parties, or just a fun addition to a meal during the week!