February 24, 2017

Sticky Rice Balls with Sesame & Crushed Peanuts 糖不甩

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The end of the Chinese New Year period of festivities is marked by the Lantern Festival 元宵節, a sort of Chinese Valentine's Day.  Lovely glowing lanterns are hung everywhere from rafters and eaves.   Riddles are carefully composed, gracefully written out with brush and ink, hung alongside the lanterns and then the game is on to guess the answers to the riddles.

Traditionally this night is for young men and women to stroll about attired in their best, admiring both the lanterns and potential lovers.  And then if the heavens are aligned, love will blossom.  Or will it?

February 14, 2017

Valentine Heart Candy

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My little girl and I have been brainstorming like crazy what to do for Valentine's Day, something fun and cool and not too hard nor expensive that she could share with her whole class.  And what do you know, we found the perfect thing!  

I was reminiscing that when I was a little girl, all the kid would stuff Valentine's Day cards with heart candies that had cute little sayings on them.  Which we bought at a store back then, of course, and I'm sure that you can still buy it but just not in Hong Kong!  Then I thought, they might not be so hard to make at home, so I had a look around, and what do you know, Valentine's Day Heart Candies are not hard to make at home at all !  Plus you get to write whatever LOVE message you like on them!

February 10, 2017

Chinese Candied Walnuts 琥珀核桃

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I've been wanting to make these special treats for a long time, since last year actually.  I had everything prepared to make it last Chinese New Year but never got around to it...sigh.  I love eating these nuts, it's absolutely my favorite way to eat walnuts!  

These Chinese Candied Walnuts, or 琥珀核桃, are just gorgeous: lovely caramel coated walnuts deep fried to a crunchy deep golden brown sheen.  It tastes like nothing else, the lick of sweetness of the almost burnt caramel in pleasing contrast to the slightly bitter nuttiness of the walnut.  So yummilicious!  

This Chinese New Year we made a whole bunch of these delicious traditional symbols of abundance and wealth and presented them, the lovely darling things, to our New Year's guest as part of the selection in our Tray of Togetherness 攢盒.

February 3, 2017

Bing Tanghulu Candied Hawthorn Stick 冰糖葫蘆

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Gosh darn-namit...I'm super excited about these!  For up to a thousand dusty long years, on any street corner in China might be found a street vendor holding a wood pole spiked with these traditional candy fruit skewers for children.  And since they are a lovely lucky red color and a beautifully rounded symbol of happiness and family reunion, they are especially popular during the Chinese New Year celebrations when all children would get one of these as an extra special treat!  

Besides being super cool and fun to eat and super yummilicious to boot, these lovely traditional Chinese hard caramel coated fruit skewers also have the coolest name: Bing Tanghulu Candied Hawthorn Stick or 冰糖葫蘆.