Archives for posts with tag: CNY

A Friday ritual.

A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week.

A simple, special, extraordinary moment.

A moment I want to pause, savor and remember – {this moment}

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My side of the family is going for the CNY celebration today. We had to switch it from yesterday due to schedule conflict (Dai Bee has a choir performance he can’t get out of). Anyway, one sister and I cooked most of the food. I made the tea leaf eggs, braised beef brisket and tendons, and this new dish I learned called “yee sang” (魚生) or “low hey” (撈起) or also known as the “prosperity toss.” It’s the vibrant color of this salad that first caught my eyes. Pretty simple to make, but lots of chopping to do. With smoked salmon (center) and shredded vegetable, this salad is apparently pretty popular in Southeast Asia during Chinese New Year. You can pretty much add whatever you like.

Here I shredded: purple cabbage, carrots, green onions (and cilantro) red and yellow bell peppers. I deep fried the wonton skin strips (in advance) and bought seaweed salad. I also made the special sauce with dill, orange juice, sugar, orange juice and sesame paste. It was a huge hit!img_5874

Some of us grabbed the chopsticks to partake in this tossing ceremony known as literally ‘to toss up one’s good fortune’ in Cantonese). This mixing of the salad is to ring in a new year full of abundance and prosperity. Here’s to a new tradition!

Instead of passing out the traditional red envelopes this year, I’ll be handing out these chicks! I started out with one, and then a brood of them came into life. I’ve only made enough for my nephews and nieces. Not sure if they will keep it, but I had fun making it.

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Just following the Chinese New year tradition – eat eat and eat some more. Here are some homemade CNY snacks/dessert in the last couple of days: 1) coconut glutinous rice cakes (年糕) 2) tea eggs (茶葉蛋) and 3) osmanthus cake (桂花糕).  img_5801img_5804img_5789img_5791

These are marbled tea eggs (茶葉蛋) are one of the more popular dishes on the table during Chinese New Year, but can be consumed all year long! The eggs symbolize prosperity and wealth. Sometimes when I crave for it, I  would buy them as snacks. This year, I found simple recipes online and made a few as one of our dishes for meatless Monday meal.

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Here’s the CNY version of meatless Monday meal.IMG_5812.jpg

Recipe for tea eggs:

  1. boil 6 eggs
  2. in a pot fill up:
    • 2-3 cups of water
    • 2 star anise
    • 1 stick of cinnamon
    • 2 bags of black tea, any kind you like. Pu-erh is traditionally used.
    • Soy Sauce, about ½ cup
    • 1 teaspoon of pepper corns
    • 1 small rock sugar
    • dried orange or mandarin peel (optional)
  3. gently crack the hard boiled eggs
  4. put cracked eggs in the pot and bring everything to a boil. Close lid, simmer for 40-50 minutes.

This is the Open-Year Dinner with my inlaws welcoming the Year of the Rooster! Same menu every year, and always a big feast. Sometimes I wish they are more open to try new dishes. Luckily my side is more receptive, giving me more areas to explore!

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My inlaws celebrated their year-end CNY dinner (團年飯) tonight. This is the first year they don’t require her daughters (who live in the suburbs) to come home for dinner. So it was just our family and the inlaws. Over the years, my MIL would cook up a storm for these new-year dinners. Food is very similar on both days. This year, since it was just the 6 of us, there’s no need to have a full feast. My MIL agreed to make the usual stuff, roast pork, chicken, fish and soup. I made these two and brought over. I made steamed tripes and tofu with broccoli. These are common on my dinner table, but not theirs. They are very traditional folks. I was afraid they might reject the tripes dish because of the “color.” So, I placed it in a red bowl and added some red bell peppers to make it a bit more colorful. They both enjoyed these dishes and there were no leftovers. Whew!

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Here’s the full meal. The chicken didn’t make it to the table on time for this picture.

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Last night our Chinese lesson revolves around CNY theme – writing calligraphy. It is tradition families decorate with red banners inside and out of the house during this time of year. Greetings and phrases related Chinese new year are written on these banners. I had the boys wrote their 4-word greetings on a piece of red sheet. They practiced their Chinese calligraphy as well as learning the words and meanings of the phrases.

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Chinese New Year is around the corner, so I got my boys to help put up some decorations for this festive holiday. You’ll notice I’ve re-use the same decorations every year, but I still buy new one or two every year. So I’ve collected many items over the years.

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Today, my family gathered for the Pre-CNY (團年飯) at my mom’s. As you can see, there were a lot of takeout dishes, including mine. I would have loved to cook except today is also a bit crazy for us. In the morning, we had to make a quick stop at Costco (Dai Bee’s friend broke his glasses and we were headed there to get a replacement). Afterwards, Dai Bee also has an interview with one of the schools he’s applying to. Next stop was Ah Lo’s basketball practice. Then finally, it was time for dinner. Since I was out and about all day long, it was best to order out. And no, we don’t use our hands! We have chopsticks! You probably guessed we had tons of leftovers!

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