Food And Fun At Women’s Chinese New Year Party 2011

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Special Chinese New Year cake

Special Chinese New Year cake

It’s still Chinese New Year and I’m still having fun. Chinese New Year is celebrated for 15 days. I mean 15 days! How cool is that! I still have time to make some new year resolutions…haha. Well, I didn’t really cooked a lot this year and didn’t have much time to bake, too, except a batch of Super Easy Almond Butter Balls. But I did have a great time with my friends.

I went to a friend’s Chinese New Year party last week. ONLY for women! Women do need space to enjoy. As usual when the lot of us women gather together, it just seems like heaven on earth. It was all about food, fun and laughter. That’s what women want and that’s what keeps women young….*wink wink*.

Chinese New Year means a lot to us who live far away from home. Let me share with you what Chinese New Year mean to our group of women here in Aberdeen. I hope you have as much fun as we have here in Aberdeen, Scotland. Oh, let me clarify. We did not leave the men out. There is going to be another one in another friend’s house. It will be different…..hehe.

Sweet Food

The cake creator and maker

The cake creator and maker

Who doesn’t like sweets and desserts? Chinese New Year is about lots of sweet food, like candies, biscuits, cakes, puddings, etc. It’s symbolic of a year of sweetness ahead. The special cake above was the highlight of the party, specially made by my American friend shown in the picture here. She is a very sweet and friendly lady, a fantastic creator and maker of this beautiful cake. She had never done anything like that before. She even took the trouble to look out from the internet for the Chinese words and wrote them on the icing of the cake. That’s truly creative and inspirational. It was an awesome hazelnut cake. See such joy written all over her face!

Abundance of Food

An array of food

An array of food

Chinese New Year is about an abundance of food. Chinese believes in lots of food and eating during this auspicious time. The best is to have leftovers. It symbolises abundance in overflowing measures. Leftovers are eaten the next day or even more days after. So, we had lots of food, more than enough for everyone to go second and third rounds. I brought the green spinach and curry puffs. If you are interested to make, click on Healthy Spinach Pancake Rolls For BreakfastSpiral Chicken Curry Puffs (Part 1 - Filling) and Spiral Chicken Curry Puffs (Part 2 - Pastry)

Chinese New Year Salad (’yee sang’)

Yee sang (Chinese New Year salad)

Yee sang (Chinese New Year salad)

‘Yee sang’ is actually  a big plate of salad, most of the time with fish in it. It symbolises abundance, prosperity, good luck and vigour. This dish is very popular in Malaysia and Singapore. It’s always the first dish to eat, as an appetiser. It is my favourite dish.

Tossing yee sang

Tossing yee sang

The fun part of it is tossing the ‘yee sang’ with chopsticks and chanting greetings and prosperity to each other. The higher you toss, the better it is. It means more luck will come. It’s actually very exciting when everyone does it together…..noisy, happy and fun.

Beautiful Chinese Cheongsam

Pretty ladies in cheongsam

Pretty ladies in cheongsam

Chinese New Year is about dressing up in pretty new clothing, cheongsam if possible. I love the Chinese cheongsam. It’s meant to be very fitting. I think it looks especially classy and beautiful on tall, slim and flat-tummy women. I need very high heel shoes to pull it off. Wait, I’ll wear one next year. I need time to slim down and hopefully to grow taller a bit…haha…as if I will.

I’m really amazed to see that some of my non-Chinese friends love the cheongsam, too. See how pretty they all look.

Chinese New Year Greetings

Chinese New Year greetings

Chinese New Year greetings

Chinese New Year is about wishing each other health and prosperity when we meet each other. Now these 2 ladies are practicing the greetings. But I think they look like playing boxing…haha. They must be the happiest ‘boxers’ that I have ever seen!

The Lion Dance

Playing the lion dance

Playing the lion dance

Chinese New Year is about lion dance. I really miss that. It’s so fun to watch, especially when the lion dance involves martial arts and skill in getting the ‘ang pao’ from a high place. The lion dance symbolises power, wisdom and good fortune. Since we can’t get to see one, we play make-belief lion dance. That’s when a long scarf comes very handy. It was so hilarious watching our 2 friends here performing the lion dance , followed by a funny Chinese dance. See, we never grow old….haha.

Photos for remembrance

The only man

The only man

Oooops…there’s a man around! He followed his wife to come…the only thorn among the roses. He was fortunate to have a glimpse into the real women’s world. To join in, he has to help take photos. But he and his wife left early so they did not get to see the lion dance and other fun dances and songs.

Never Too Young

chopstick magic

chopstick magic

Oooops….I forgot. There’s another man here…a tiny thorn among the roses….never too young to join. When he joined us last year, he was just a little baby. But he has grown. Now, I think he’s trying to show us how to play magic. It’s so easy to divide a chopstick into 2….just put in the mouth….haha.

It was truly a wonderful time that we had. Our tummies were full, our cheeks were sore with lots of laughter and our hearts were light with joy. We must have burnt off lots of calories. I wonder how many went back and cooked dinner that day. I was too lazy to cook…..hehe

I hope that you have a most fun-filled time if you are celebrating Chinese New Year. If you haven’t joined any, try to find some Chinese friends and join their Chinese New Year party. There’s still time.

Quote of the day……

“Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood.”

- Helen Keller

Keep Learning Keep Smiling

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suituapui  on February 9th, 2011

Gosh! “Girls just wanna have fun!” Wah…so many Asians there. Bet you did not miss home then…so enjoyable there.

claire  on February 9th, 2011

Looking at the pictures showed very clearly that everyone had a good time.. from the abundant food, cakes to Miss Cheongsam, then to liondance by the ladies, wow… I love to be there too!!

Jeannie  on February 9th, 2011

Obviously you were having a whale of a time Mary….for me it’s a quiet celebration and lots of relaxing time and catching up on sleep lol! Gong Xi Fa Cai!

sushma  on February 9th, 2011

wow seems like u had a lovely party Mary:) hope u have lots of fun …..

Nasifriet  on February 9th, 2011

Looks like you girls had a LOT of fun! Super! Happy Chinese Lunar New Year to you and your family.

My Man's Belly  on February 9th, 2011

Looks like you had a lot of fun, and food. Happy New Year!

Mary  on February 9th, 2011

@suituapui - Yes, enjoyable time! But miss home, too. Hope you all men have fun too :D

@claire - Yes, it was a real awesome time that we had! Wish you were here. The we will have more lion dance and singing :D

@Jeannie - Haha…you are very right. Otherwise we will miss home too much :D I think I have not caught up on my sleep yet…hehe

@sushma - Yes, we have lots of fun here…not over yet :D

@Nasifriet - It was total fun :D Thanks very much for greetings!

@My Man’s Belly - Yes, indeed we had. Thanks very much for greetings :D
Looks like you had a lot of fun, and food. Happy New Year!

Angie's Recipes  on February 9th, 2011

wow Mary, what a fun and delicious CNY party you had! The cake of rabbit looks so cool.

Mary  on February 9th, 2011

It looks like you had a wonderful time and had lots of wonderful food. It is so nice to be able to recreate the celebrations we love when away from family. I hope you have a great evening. Blessings…Mary

Shirley@kokken69  on February 9th, 2011

What a fun party! Loved the different spread you have on the table…there’s even kueh doh doh! Yum!

Faith  on February 9th, 2011

Looks like such a wonderful time, Mary! The spread of food is fantastic — what a gorgeous cake! And the ladies definitely looked lovely in cheongsam!

anncoo  on February 9th, 2011

WOW! That’s a big spread on the table and those ladies with cheongsam…I want to be too!

veggietestkitchen  on February 9th, 2011

wow, thanks for sharing that with us. it looks like you ladies had a wonderful time! i am really excited to learn about this holdiay. maybe i can celebrate it next year =)

pigpigscorner  on February 9th, 2011

wow, that’s so much fun! Love the cake!

Biren @ Roti n Rice  on February 9th, 2011

Gong Xi! Gong Xi! It looks like so much fun. The food looks great and there is so much to go around. I like the “Lion dance”. Those two ladies are such good sport! :)

Namitha  on February 9th, 2011 all had a gala happy for you :D

mycookinghut  on February 9th, 2011

Gong xi fa cai!! Looks fun!

Catherine  on February 9th, 2011

Looks like you all had so much fun, and I love all your outfits! :)

teresa  on February 9th, 2011

what a fun celebration! the food and activity looks like so much fun!

Jennifer (Delicieux)  on February 9th, 2011

Looks like a wonderful fun celebration and a wonderful feast too. I love the cake!

Mary  on February 9th, 2011

@Angie’s Recipes - Thanks very much, Angie! :D

@Mary - Yes, lots of food and fun :D

@Shirley@kokken69 - Thanks very much, Shirley! :D

@Faith - Thanks very much, Faith! :D

@anncoo - Thanks very much, Ann! I’m sure you will look very pretty in cheongsam :D

@veggietestkitchen - Yes, it was really fun. Hope you celebrate next year :D

@pigpigscorner - Thanks very much, Ann! :D

@Biren @ Roti n Rice - Yes, lots of fun…so much laughter, especially the lion dance…haha :D

@Namitha - Thanks very much, Namitha! :D

@mycookinghut - Thanks very much! :D

@Catherine - Thanks very much, Catherine! :D

@teresa - Yes, lots of food and fun :D

@Jennifer (Delicieux) - Thanks very much, Jennifer! Hope there’s more food and fun to come :D

lequan  on February 9th, 2011

Oh, you did turn your comments on. I was here earlier but thought you had turned off your comments on purpose. Then I just got your email subscription notification. Good thing I came back to check.
That cake your friend made is awesome! The fact that she took the time to look for the Chinese word and put them on the cake is so amazing. Best cake I’ve seen so far this year! Looks like you all had such an amazing time. Its good to keep the hubbies away sometimes :-D. I love the “boxing” picture - too cute! Definitely the happiest boxers I’ve seen. Teehee. All that food is making me hungry. You know what? My hubby is from HK but he has never heard of this yee sang dish and neither have I until food blogging. This dish has me very intrigued. Thanks for sharing all this joy with us Mary.

kitchen flavours  on February 9th, 2011

Looks like an amazing party! It’s nice for a ‘ladies only’ party once in a while. The food looks delicious and ‘loh yee sang’ is the ’symbol’ of CNY! It is always ‘loh’ in much excitement with happy faces! Everyone loves this!

penny aka jeroxie  on February 10th, 2011

OMG… you girls really rock. So much food. What a feast. :)

Blackswan  on February 10th, 2011

Oh Mary, you always get all the fun! I wish I’ve a all-ladies group like yours where we can gather from time to time. I’m so jealous!

Anna Johnston  on February 10th, 2011

It all looks so wonderful Mary :) The feast looks awesome & i couldn’t agree more, when we women all get together its loads of fun so I imagine a Chinese New Year celebration just for women….. so much fun :)

The Kitchen Masochist  on February 11th, 2011

CNY is much quieter over here, I think. However, nian gao is sold in every supermarket. The lion dance mostly take place in Chinese residents and Chinese-owned establishments.

I have 3 round nian gao cakes in 3 different flavors: pandan, purple yam and classic flavor that were given to me by clients. I don’t really know what to do with them. People here eat them by coating them in whipped eggs and frying them. Are they eaten that way everywhere or is that an exclusively Chinese-Filipino way of eating nian gao?


tigerfish  on February 11th, 2011

What a spread to indulge in, plus the friendship and love around :)

Simply Life  on February 12th, 2011

fun celebration!

Ananda Rajashekar  on February 15th, 2011

This seems so much of fun, with all ladies around it always is! Happy Chines days belated though!

Mary  on February 18th, 2011

@lequan - I was also taken by surprise by zero comments. My blog must have decided to go on strike…haha. Yes, I am really inspired by my friend who made the cake. She took all the trouble to make it for us… sweet of her. True, all women’s party are always so different from parties when men are around :P Wonder what would happen when the world is only full of men…haha…boring?? :P I think yee sang must have come about from some very creative businessman to make money. Basically I think you can create any food and emphasise that it will bring luck and prosperity, it will make lots of money. We better create one…haha

@kitchen flavours - Yes, that was so fun. I think I laughed so much until tears were rolling down my cheeks…haha. I really love the yee sang, both to toss and to eat :D

@penny aka jeroxie - That’s what happens when men are not around…haha :D

@Blackswan - Come, come here, Shirley. We will definitely have more fun if you are around :D

@Anna Johnston - We women really need to have more parties like this. I’m sure all the laughter will keep us young :D

@The Kitchen Masochist - It’s extremely quiet here, that’s why we have to create some fun :D I love the nian gao but never have so many versions like what you get in the Philippines. Yes, my family favourite is to dip in egg and fry it. It’s just SO good…mmmm

@tigerfish - Thanks very much! :D

@Simply Life - Thanks very much! :D

@Ananda Rajashekar - Thanks very much, Ananda! :D

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