A tribute to Chinese New Year’s dinner, two weeks late! This was the first year I haven’t spent Chinese New Year’s with my family. Off in D.C., my boyfriend went in my place. The best thing about Chinese New Year is the delicious dinner my dad cooks. He tends to spend several days preppin food, and on Chinese New Years Eve, spends all day in the kitchen. It’s assumed that only Chinese celebrate Chinese New Years. But the celebration transcends ethnicities. Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, Burma, all celebrate “Chinese New Year”. And among these traditions, each family carries on their own customs. Much of my family remains in Taiwan, so our celebration in the U.S. includes my parents and sisters. The past few years, boyfriends have become involved and the family celebration is growing! I was a pescatarian for 7 years so I’ve missed out on many of my dad’s meat dishes. Last year I made the decision to eat meat for a few months and for the first time in 7 years, I was able once again to savor my dads dishes. The photos above are from last year. He cooked his famous whole red snapper drizzled with a special sweet and sour tomato based sauce. Also, a traditional Chinese New Years dessert, Eight Precious Pudding. Shrimp toasts, Taiwnese salt and pepper chicken nuggets, stir fry snow pea leaves, three cups chicken, bean curd with chives and sticky cake (nian gao — this is my favorite!)
THE BEST VEGAN CUPCAKES
Most vegan cupcakes that you buy in cafes or bakeries are often not moist or flavorful. My childhood friend, Amy French makes the best vegan cupcakes ever. She started baking vegan goods our freshmen year in college and every year they improved until they were perfected. Her cupcakes are very moist and full of flavors and she uses real ingredients. She also makes cookies and cakes and the best thing: THEY ARE ALL VEGAN! My favorite cupcakes from her are the almond mocha and mint chocolate (my fav flavor). Her coconut cakes are also delicious. Amy not only bake delicious goods but she dabbles on domesticity, always trying to create her own things. She writes a blog on baking, cooking, gardening and crafting: Dabbling Domesticity
If you are in Central Texas and craving home baked vegan goods, give Amy a shout. Above are photos that she baked for her own wedding reception, how awesome is that?
Typical plate for hot pot. I like to call it the Asian fondue. Once the temperatures fall below 70 degrees, my parents bring out the hot pot and take a trip to Houston to stock up on Hot pot goodies. It’s fun to cook your food in a boiling pot of broth. Nathan and I started to have our own hotspot but its not as much fun with only two people. So I invite friends to come try.
I miss hot pot with my family. Hot pot would be nice in the below freezing temperatures in DC.
I love tom kha soup. I can never make it as good as Thai restaurants though. :(
NAAN PIZZA! This is our favorite go-to lazy night meal! It is delicious and easy to make. I use pesto instead of tomato sauce (pesto is very easy to make), mozzarella cheese, your choice of veggies, garlic and I use veggie sausage. Put it in the oven for 20 minutes until golden brown. So good!
This is one of my favorite dish to cook, flowered chives with eggs. The chives naturally flavors the dish and all you need to add is salt and white pepper. I love eating it with plain rice. Sadly, I am not close to a grocery store in D.C. so it is hard to have access to my Asian veggies. :(
Pan seared bass with spinach and cous cous. I love cooking fish!
Ja Jiang Mien, vegetarian style with soy meat and baked tofu.