Tag Archives: Chinese New Year

Celebrating the Year of the Goat (or Sheep)

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Chinese New Year is almost here. This Thursday, 2/19/15, marks the beginning of the Year of the Goat. Or Sheep. It’s actually the Year of the Ram, but male goats and sheep are both rams, so folks go with one or the other. For us, we like both sheep and goats. But goats have a special place in my heart. They’re so darn… goaty!

YearGoatThe goat in our photo lives at Burleigh Manor Animal Sanctuary in Ellicott City, MD.  She’s not even a ram, her name is Lily and she was rescued over a year ago, now living peacefully with the other goats at the Sanctuary.  But HEY – why can’t it be Lily’s year too? We say, all goats and sheep deserve some love.

Want to celebrate this festive holiday? You can join into the tradition, even at home and even without a goat friend!

There are many cool traditions:  Wear all red on the 19th to welcome good fortune into your life. Don’t sweep your home or business – you may sweep out good luck. Live in a major city? Many have huge parades and festivals to celebrate Chinese New Year, including New York, Washington DC, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Don’t be deterred by the cold – dancing dragons are amazing!

Planning to stay in Thursday? Try our recipe for Chinese Long Life Noodles with Stir-Fry! Many foods have special meaning during the Chinese New Year as well. Long noodles are usually hand made in Chinese families from wheat and water, but we’ve found many varieties at nearby Asian markets and even area grocery stores. The meaning of long noodles is to wish your friends and family a long life. So the longer the noodles, the longer life you are bestowing on them. Cabbage represents prosperity;  scallions, closeness; peas, unity; carrots are for good luck and cashews represent gold bars. So as you can see, by serving this meal to your loved ones, you’re basically wishing them the most wonderful year ever, which is as it should be for the Year of the Goat!

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When you’re shopping for noodles, try the Asian section of your local grocer. You can use rice or wheat noodles, and most Asian noodles cook in much less time that Italian pastas. We tried two varieties, and both cooked in less than four minutes! Be sure you don’t overdo it, the noodles get chewy. If you have a local Asian grocer, you may be able to find freshly made long noodles around Chinese New Year, which are a special treat.

Once your veggies are prepped, this dinner comes together in only a few minutes. Serve it family style with chopsticks, hot tea and a tray of fresh orange slices. The recipe is currently cross-posted on the Sister Eden blog. So click on over and get ready to party like a goat. Or something like that…

Wishing you a very lucky, healthy and happy Year of the Goat!

Welcome to the Year of the Horse!

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Chinese New Year is just around the corner. On Friday January 31st, the world will welcome the Year of the Horse. Here in Baltimore, you can find a few parties happening. But just 30 miles south of us, in D.C., there’s a fabulous parade. Dancing dragons, fireworks. Amazing – worth seeing at least once in your life in some major city – New York and San Francisco also have famous celebrations.

Can’t get to the parade? Welcome the horse at home with this recipe for Slow Cooker Sweet & Sour Tofu. This recipe has a secret – frozen and thawed tofu. For those who have never tried this technique, it’s a good one. We use it all the time. When you freeze and thaw tofu before using it, the block holds its shape better; gains a different, firmer texture and absorbs flavor more as well. Just throw the tofu for this in the freezer when you get home. About four to six hours before you begin this recipe, let the tofu thaw on the counter. Really, it’s like magic. You’re going to want to use frozen and thawed tofu all the time once you try it.

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This recipe is currently on the Sister Eden blog. Just click here and you can find it. And the best thing is – this recipe is REALLY easy. Like most slow cooker recipes, once the veggies are chopped up, all you need to do is toss everything in the slow cooker and walk away.

You can even serve this at a Chinese New Year party next week – it serves six people and is perfect over rice or noodles. It’s gluten-free too, as long as your soy sauce and ketchup are gluten free (check labels!) Want to see this meal again…? Yea, okay. 🙂ChNY_Tofu2_lr

Click on over to Sister Eden’s blog. This tasty meal is waiting to help you welcome in the Year of the Horse!