COOKING made Easy

Chinese New Year 2017 – The Year of the Rooster

Happy Chinese New Year for Saturday. As you will get to know I love any excuse to celebrate different occasions throughout the year and always plan menus and crafts to go with them.  We have a huge Chinese community here in Liverpool and so there are lots of Chinese supermarkets to browse for interesting things. There’s a big fireworks display each year complete with Chinese dragon parade and the Chinese arch in Chinatown is something to behold.

I did a lot of travelling in the early days before kids and one of the places we went to was China. There weren’t as many restrictions on hand luggage in those days (how old does that sound?) so we came back laden with stuff. Now, we have a box in the loft full of weird and wonderful things we can get down at Chinese New Year……..traditional instruments, wooden toys, puzzle boxes, calligraphy & stamp sets, scroll paintings etc.

Over the years we’ve done lots of different things to celebrate. One year I bought some cheap garden paper lanterns (from the pound shop) and we painted Chinese blossom onto them. They looked fab hanging up all over the kitchen.

Another year it was Chinese paper craft. Here’s a link – (

We always make prawn crackers. A few years ago I bought a big bag of  clear discs from a Chinese supermarket which magically turn into prawn crackers when fried in hot oil.

The kids love watching them transform and have fun trying to eat them with chop sticks.

This year we’re making fortune cookies and having a banquet (see separate posts). I’m making my own sweet chilli sauce to use in simple Chinese noodle pots and then there’ll be crispy duck  pancakes, a choice of chicken satay or chicken with ginger and spring onion and egg fried rice with lychees and green tea for dessert. After the food we’ll play Chinese checkers, have a go at Tai Chi and do some fan dancing .

I’d love to know what you’re doing to celebrate.

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