This weekend was filled with a few firsts......
We did celebrate CNY, although from the following pictures, you can tell we are complete novices.....
We didn't have a full blown CNY celebration complete with the outfits, pretty asian decor, red envelopes, etc....... but we did work on a little lantern project and I cooked an authentic meal.
You have to start somewhere right??
I am hoping...okay, I am praying that we will have our baby girl by next CNY and that will be cause for us to do it up right!!
So let's start with the little project. I know this is probably the easiest thing under the sun, but Sarah loved making and decorating the lanterns!! I set her up in the dining room so she could spread out....besides, the kitchen was declared a disaster zone, you'll see why in a few minutes.
It has been a long time since I whipped out the camera just to take snapshots....and honestly..... I miss doing it. I have been so focused on photography this last year and always trying to get the "perfect shot" that I rarely take pictures of the fun day to day things.... that needs to and is going to change.....
Sarah spreading out her pencils and getting her work area all set up!!
As you can see, she takes her artwork very seriously.....and oh yes, blue is her favorite color......at least it was today:)
This one make me laugh every time I look at it...... Our Elmer's Glue Glitter Pens were a little difficult to squeeze. Do you think she is a little frustrated?? LOL....her entire body was trembling because she was squeezing so hard!!!
Miss Sarah was not the only one frustrated this weekend........
Now I know why so many of you told me to go out to eat or to order take out.
Let me see....... the best way to describe my Asian Cooking experience......
I feel like I jumped into the deep end of the pool without learning how to swim first.
Do you want to know what I tried for my first dish??
Yeah, you guessed it...... Asian Dumplings!!!!
They were a lot of work........every inch of my kitchen was covered in flour........and by the time I was done making them, so was I!
Oh, and fool that I am..... I looked at the recipe and didn't think it sounded like enough, so I DOUBLED it....I was rolling dough ALL.DAY.LONG!!!
3 cups all-purpose flour
up to 1 1/4 cups cold water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup ground pork or beef
1 TBSP soy sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1 TBSP Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper, or to taste
3 TBSP sesame oil
1/2 green onion, finely minced
1 1/2 cups finely shredded Napa cabbage
4 tablespoons diced water chestnuts
4 tablespoons diced carrots
2 slices fresh ginger, finely minced
1 clove garlic, peeled and finely minced
Stir the salt into the flour. Slowly stir in the cold water, adding as much as is necessary to form a smooth dough. Don't add more water than is ncessary. Knead the dough into a smooth ball. Cover the dough and let it rest for at least 30 minutes.
While the dough is resting, prepare the filling ingredients. Add the soy sauce, salt, rice wine and white pepper to the meat, stirring in only one direction. Add the remaining ingredients, stirring in the same direction, and mix well.
To make the dumpling dough: knead the dough until it forms a smooth ball. Divide the dough into 60 pieces. Roll each piece out into a circle about 3-inches in diameter.
Place a small portion (about 1 level tablespoon) of the filling into the middle of each wrapper. Wet the edges of the dumpling with water. Fold the dough over the filling into a half moon shape and pinch the edges to seal. Continue with the remainder of the dumplings.
To cook, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add half the dumplings, giving them a gentle stir so they don't stick together. Bring the water to a boil, and add 1/2 cup of cold water. Cover and repeat. When the dumplings come to a boil for a third time, they are ready. Drain and remove. If desired, they can be pan-fried at this point.
2 TBSP of Soy Sauce
1 TBSP of Rice Wine Vinegar
1/4 tsp of minced garlic
1/4 tsp of minced ginger root
1/2 tsp of sugar
4-8 drops of Hot Chili Oil
They were A LOT of WORK......I was frustrated with the rolling, folding, and sealing of the dough. I wanted them to look pretty and they didn't.............BUT
THEY TASTED REALLY GOOD and they got the double thumbs up from the family:)
The main dish was not that difficult....but then again, after the dumplings, anything would have seemed easy!!
I decided to try out an orange chicken dish..........
I threw in some steamed veggies....carrots and broccoli and served it over white rice. If you would like the recipe click HERE. This one was definitely a keeper.....I will be making it again in the near future:)
So there you have it...... Our first attempt at CNY.
Hope you all had a wonderful weekend!! I am a little behind on blog reading, but should be around today........ I am OFF for the holiday....... Gotta love a three day weekend:)
BTW, in the recipe for the dumplings, it mentions only stirring the meat in one direction. Does anyone know the purpose of that? At first I thought it might have something to do with the meat and making it tough or overworked, but then I thought it might be an Asian Tradition or something to do with luck. If you know the answer...... let me know!!
This post was part of Recipe Monday. To see more great recipes or if you would like to post and link one of your own, visit Colleen at THE CRAZY EIGHT.