With less than 48 hours until the official debut of the Year of the Dragon, many communities are getting a jump-start this weekend by hosting parades, festivals and firework displays.
Chinese New Year is a festive holiday that celebrates family, friends and new beginnings. If you don’t live near a city that is commemorating the event with special activities, then host your own party. Gather the kids, hang up some red streamers and gold balloons, and then get busy in the kitchen whipping up some simple Chinese dishes, including:
HOMEMADE FORTUNE COOKIES
1 egg white
Dash of vanilla extract
1 pinch salt
1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup white sugar
Type or write fortunes on strips of white paper approximately 4 inches by 1/2-inch.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Grease two cookie sheets.
Beat the egg white and vanilla until foamy but not stiff.
Sift the flour, salt, and sugar and fold gently into the egg white mixture.
Place a teaspoonful of the batter onto one of the prepared cookie sheets, and tilt it so the batter forms a circle about 3 inches in diameter.
Repeat, leaving at least 2 inches between each cookie.
Put the first sheet into the oven and bake for about 5 minutes. When the cookies turn golden brown around the edges remove the pan from the oven.
Repeat with the second cookie sheet.
Once the cookies are done, you need to work quickly lifting the cookies off the sheet and onto a wooden board.
Place the paper fortunes in the middle of the cookie and fold the cookie in half.
Place the folded edge across the rim of a glass and pull the pointed edges down, one on the inside of the cup and one on the outside.
Place the folded cookies in a muffin tin so they can hold their shape as they cool.
Makes a dozen cookies.
EASY CHINESE NOODLES
1 (8-ounce) Chinese noodles, cooked
2 tablespoons peanut butter
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon Thai chili sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 clove garlic, minced
1 green onion, chopped
2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
Melt the peanut butter in a pan over medium-high heat.
Whisk the honey, soy sauce, and chili sauce into the melted peanut
butter, then stir in the sesame oil and ginger.
Add in the garlic and green onions and toss with the noodles.
Place the noodle mixture in a large serving bowl and top with sesame
seeds and cilantro.
Serve with grilled chicken or shrimp.