Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Happy Year Of The Horse! (2014)

Happy (early) Chinese New Year everyone! Only 2 more days to go before the Chinese Lunar New Year Celebration begins on 1/31!! This year, is the year of the Horse (which just so happens to be my mom's zodiac sign as well!) Our family does celebrate the New Years a bit, and even though we don't go all out with a 15 day celebration, I'm still super excited for the day to come! Usually on these days, we spend our morning calling our family to check in and chat. In the afternoon, we begin cooking our meals for night and at night, we have our huge feast!!
To prep for our feast, my mom went out on Monday and brought lots of delicious Chinese food and treats for us! She also stopped by our family's restaurant and picked up some more food!!

Chinese New Year 2014
This photo was taken on the spur of the moment!  So excuse any mess/tiredness looking.
Chinese New Year 2014

I personally am a huge fan of the snacks that my mom picked up since they are the best! We don't get to have them that often so I am always quite excited when we have them in the house. Personally, I don't like a lot of the restaurant food since I honestly feel that it taste quite different from the Chinese food I grew up with hehe. I also am very limited when it comes to Chinese meals/takeout since I am a vegetarian. A lot of the foods contain meat and even the vegetables are mixed with meat! Thankfully, my family knew this and they prepared an entire container of just fried tofu for me =)


Here are some of the foods that we picked up at the restaurant!
1. Fried tofu- this is delicious and my favorite thing ever from the restaurant. It's basically tofu that is deep fried hehe. Chinese New Year only comes once!
2.Fried Rice- This is pretty delicious too though I don't really eat it. It's fried rice with eggs, ham and shrimp!
3. Sweet and Sour Soup- I like this soup a lot and I actually did not really know the american word for this food item. It turns out that the translation for this soup to English is very similar to it's chinese name!
4. Rice Noodles (?? maybe) - These are super tasty. I love eating these when they are meatless and I actually have these for breakfast sometimes. The noodles that I have for breakfast aren't drenched in sauce. Instead they are wrapped around something called "oil stick .. Youtiao in chinese.. it sounds a lot better in chinese than english hehe!"

Tapioca Pearls Chinese

I was so excited to see that my mom had brought these items! You might not know what these are, but the red bags actually contain tapioca pearls. These pearls are the ones that are used to make Boba tea!!! My mom buys these pearls to use to make her own boba tea! If you've never had boba before, it basically is a sweet tea with these "balls" on the bottom. The balls are squishy and remind me a bit of eating mochi.

In the green bags here, there is what is called glutinous rice flour. Baking with this flour gives a result of a treat that is super sticky. I guess that is what the glutinous stands for?? My mom uses this flour to make something called "Nian Gao." Nian means sticky in chinese and gao means cake so I guess Nian Gao translates to sticky cake!

Green Onion Pancake Chinese New Year

This is another huge favorite of mine. They are called "green onion pancakes" and I actually had these a lot when I was in NY. They are similar to pancakes, but different with the fact that these are more savory than sweet and much. It's contains leeks and after cooking, it becomes very crispy and thinner than pancakes. You can eat these pancakes the way that they are (which is what I do) or you could choose to wrap it around other vegetables/meat. 

Chinese New Year Cookies

These cookies are another big favorite of mine ever since I was a child. I asked my mom to get these and I'm happy that she got two bags of them. These cookies are called "wan wan" cookies and they are a combination of sweet and savory. The cookies itself it very crispy and has a salty flavor to it. However the white pieces that you see on top of the cookie is pure sweetness. The combo of sweet and salty when you take a bite into this cookies is what makes it taste so good to me!! 

Chinese New Year Fried Spice Tofu

Chinese New Year Bean Thread

These two items here are both types of tofu. I'm sure you guys know what tofu is, but you might not have heard of these types. The first one is a fried spice tofu. In my opinion, this is a heavily seasoned tofu that is fried and than frozen. It's very salted, but it taste so good!! My mom usually pan fries it with some vegetables and it makes a pretty good dish! 
The 2nd picture is of something called bean thread. I honestly think these foods sound 10x tastier when said in chinese rather than english. These is basically tofu that is dried and packaged. As you can tell from the ingredients, the bean thread only contains two ingredients, soy beans and water. In order to cook these, you have to first soak them in water for a couple of hours to soften them. We typically cook these by pan frying it with either vegetables or noodles! =)

Chinese New Year Vegetables

Chinese New Year Soy Sauce

The last two items that were purchased are some vegetables and soy sauce!! (hehe yes, soy sauce is a must for us!) We picked up 3 different vegetables- chinese cabbage, taro/yam, and a white carrot. I love chinese cabbage and taro so much. (I could care less for the white carrot!) I love using taro in desserts and steamed buns!

It's been very busy lately in our house as we prep for Chinese New Year. We want to do everything from cleaning to paying bills to shopping before Friday hits. The reason for this is because we want Friday to be completely stress free! It's not good to have stress on this day because that means you will be stressed for the entire year. Before I go, I wanted to share with you some of our Chinese New Year Traditions  =)  -

Have A Clean Home- This is essential since cleaning on Friday = sweeping away your money! 
Eat Sweets- The more you eat, the sweeter your year will be! 
No Arguing/Bad Words- If you argue on this day, it means you will have a bad relationship with that person for the rest of the year! 
No Napping- This is a sign of laziness! 
Don't Wash Your Hair- Like cleaning your house, washing your hair symbolizes washing away your 
wealth!
Wear Red- Red symbolizes luck and fortune so it's best to wear as much of it as possible! 

As you can tell, there are a lot of things you must and mustn't do on Chinese New Year. I don't firmly believe all of them, but I still follow them just because...! The main idea behind all these rules is basically to be on your best behavior on that day and relax. It is believed that what you do on the first day is what you will be doing for the rest of the year! 
With that being said, I wanted to wish all of you a Happy Chinese New Year (if you celebrate it)!! 

Have you tried of any of the foods that we got?
Do you celebrate Chinese New Years?
What are some traditions that you have? 

92 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thank you!! I hope you had a great new years too filled with lots of love and food!! hehe =)

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  2. How cool Mindy hope it bring fortune to you and yours. I learn a little with another blogger about the meaning of the food and CNY so all I remember its you should cook a fish in whole with head and tale serve it without disturbing bones due to losing fortune and never cut noodles you are cutting your life short hope I got it right. Pretty cool celebration now I have a little understanding of it so Happy Chinese New years to you and yours.
    http://tifi11.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you so much for your comment Jackie! I hope this year is going well for you too!
      hehe, the noodles one is true! I'm not sure about the fish one, but I do know that for us, we tend to always eat our fish with the head and tail and bones! I actually though that everyone ate it that way until I talked to my friends hehe!

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  3. I love chinese food!!!!
    Happy new Year Mindy!!!!!

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  4. Your mum so talent, make Nian Gao byself while my family always buy Nian Gou that sell at shop.
    Wish you have a great horse year & happy Chinese New Year!

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    Replies
    1. Happy New Years to you and nian gao is the best!!

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  5. Advance Happy Chinese New Year, Mindy!! I love that it's such a long celebration, you can eat more food and watch more fireworks =D And yayy for the year of the Horse, I'm year of the Horse so I'm hoping for tons of great fortune this year. <3 Best of luck to you too! xx

    Take care always, love Christine ~ xo
    Chriissydollxo Blog | BlogLovin'

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    1. Thank you Christine!!
      Yes, lots of food is a must!! =)

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  6. Will you invite me for dinner? ;) Have a great celebration!

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  7. Happy CNY :) This looks all so yummy!!!

    FOLLOW ME
    http://rimanerenellamemoria.blogspot.de
    https://www.facebook.com/Rimanerenellamemoria
    http://instagram.com/rimanerenellamemoria

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  8. Happy Chinese New Year :)

    Check out my new post Here!!!

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  9. Mindy Happy Chinese New Year!
    Love this post, you're so cute!!
    The Indian Savage Diary

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  10. Happy Chinese New Year!! :)
    Your photos made me hungry haha. I've tried most of them before (especially when I was still living in Thailand, 'cos most of the food you posted are very similar to Thai food). I love all of them!

    http://itsthekyliebabii.blogspot.com

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    1. Happy New Year's to you!
      hehe seeing all these photos again is making me hungry as well!!

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  11. Happy Chinese New Year! That is some pretty cool food! I love to see the unique foods to each culture!

    Rebecca
    www.winnipegstyle.ca

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    Replies
    1. Happy New Years to you as well!! And yes it is very good food hehe!

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  12. Happy Chinese New Year dear :D

    WWW.PUTRIVALENTINALIM.BLOGSPOT.COM

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  13. i cant see you in my followers would you follow me back?

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  14. happy Chinese New Year :*
    kisses x
    http://fashiongirlfromtown.blogspot.co.uk/

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  15. "Chuc Mung Nam Moi" we say in Vietnamese:)
    have a great feast with your fam xx

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    Replies
    1. ohh that is pretty cool!! I didn't know that hehe =)

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  16. I love soy sauce is delicious, and have tasted good dishes you mention but they sound great, I love your post, you're very pretty to share your traditions!

    I want invite you to join to my Etude House Fresh Cherry Tint Giveaway!

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    Replies
    1. Soy sauce is delicious!
      Thank you for your comment!

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  17. Well, then I wish you a happy New Year!!! ^_^
    And wear as much red as possible...

    Follow the Royal Peach

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  18. Thank you for share this with us! But I'm terrible jealous right now, your cusine is my favourite over all. :) In my town there are a Chinese restaurant and I usually go once a month, I can't live without your food .
    - Regando mi cactus

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for your comment!! I
      ohh Chinese food is the best!! You should go get some hehe =)

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  19. Happy Chinese New Year :)

    ps. FOLLOW EACH OTHER ? If yes, visit and follow me, I will follow you back :*
    xoxo
    hypnotizingfashion.blogspot.com

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  20. Happy Chinese New Year Mindy! I hope you have a wonderful celebration. I am vegetarian too so I loved learning more about vegan Chinese cuisine, Its something I barely ever see, sounds so delicious, I wish I knew how to make it! I enjoyed reading about the traditions, very interesting. I really appreciate your feedback on my last post...Happy Friday!

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    1. Thank you Sam!! I had a wonderful time and ohh that is cool to meet another vegetarian! It's definitely hard to enjoy some asian dishes when you are a vegetarian, but it is doable!

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  21. Hi! Happy Chinese New Year to you! Gong Xi Fa Cai!

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    1. Thank you! Happy CNY to you as well!

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  22. Oh my these things make me soo hungry! Mmmmm ^^
    http://www.princesskonakei.com/

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  23. Wow! Happy horse's year! Yummy food!!!!!!
    xx

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  24. Wow, Mindy. This post is so awesome! That is so funny because when I started reading into the Chinese food and snacks --the first thing I thought was WAIT--arent you a vegetarian!! lol Growing up americanized, the chinese food i am used to it all of what they have in restaurants which like you mentioned, i have heard is very different from "grandma's home made chinese food" and thus being the reason i thought meat is in a looooot of Chinese food, if not all. haha ;)

    Interesting new years traditions-- do not wash your hair!! OMG i can maybe do that for a day, but not much longer than that. haha Happy Chinese New Year and I wish you all the best this coming year. I know you will achieve so much. You are so bright and so motivated.

    Thanks for sharing doll!

    Rica x0x
    www.labellavitax0x.blogspot.com
    i comment4comment && follow4follow <3

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    1. Thank you so much Rica!
      hehe, yup I am a vegetarian!! I just have to avoid all the meat in our feast hehe! ohh.. Chiense food from the restaurant here is nothing like what we eat at home. The food there is much greasier and Americanized. (loaded with meat, oil so it taste better) I prefer home cooked the most, but going out is also nice once in a while!

      hehe, yup do not wash your hair is one! I tend to wash every other day (3 days in the winter) so I just had to adjust my schedule a tiny bit here! Thank you so much for your comment and I wish you the best too this year!!

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  25. Mmmmmm delicius!!!! I love it.
    I´m following. kisses.

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  26. Happy Chinese Year to you! :) and this food looks so delicious :D

    http://crafty-zone.blogspot.com/

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  27. look delicius!!
    kisses....

    http://zapatosrojosmoda.blogspot.mx/

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  28. Looks so yummy!! I love how you edit your pictures btw<3
    Happy Chinese New Yearrr!! \'w')/

    christymonicaa.blogspot.com

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    1. It is delicious and thank you!!
      I use pixlr.com for my pictures and I always just hit the "auto-fix" button, crop, and add stickers hehe!

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  29. So much yummy food! :)

    Hope you had a great new year celebration! :) Gong xi fa cai!

    Away From Blue

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  30. happy lunar new year dear :)
    xoxo
    curcolat.blogspot.com

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  31. Happy Chinese New Year to you! Reading your post before dinner is making me hungry. :) I LOVE Wan Wan crackers. They're the best.

    Jen
    www.lifeunrefined.com

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    1. Happy Chinese New Year!! hehe, yes, wan wan crackers are the best!!!

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  32. Happy Chinese new year! All that food look soo soooooo delish!
    X. Pixelhazard | Bright Green Laces |

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    1. Thanks and yes, happy chinese new year to you too!!

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  33. happy Chinese new year dear :) xx
    www.ambifashion.com

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  34. I learned a lot from your post!
    The fried tofu looks yummy :]
    Happy chinese new year <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yay!! That is good to hear!
      And yes fried tofu is the best!!

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  35. Happy Chinese New Year to you too! All the best wishes and great success <3

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    Replies
    1. Thank you!!
      The same for you as well!

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  36. wow, looks yummy, :3

    ohh ya, wanna follow each other?thank you, :)

    www.pieine.blogspot.com

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  37. Happy New Year Mindy!! :D
    Wishing you and your family good health, luck, prosperity, and happiness!

    www.typicaltarene.blogspot.com

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Tarene!!
      I wish you prosperity to you as well!! =)

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