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Chinese New Year

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Stacked Tables

It’s time to table your traditional New Year’s Party and try something from the Far East. Whether you celebrate Chinese New Year, or you just want to put a twist on your New Year’s celebration, you’ll love this party plan. Send out these interesting invitations to pique interest, then impress your guests with rich and elegant Chinese décor—all with minimal effort. In a quick trip to the Chinatown in your area, you can get most of the materials you need to get started. Chinese New Year’s Eve is translated “Change Eve.” Embrace change with this fun and unique party!

Checklist

  • Two 8ft. Lifetime Tables. Put them end to end to form one long banquet table.
  • Lifetime folding chairs: enough for each guest
  • Red Doupioni silk fabric, large enough to cover your table and go to the floor.
  • Inexpensive black or red Chinese silk pillow covers. (Go to your local Chinatown, they usually come with a tassel on each corner and measure about 15 inches square.)
  • Handmade invitations: Mailing tubes, Red and Gold paper, Gold tassel, Feng Shui coins (one per guest), Glue stick, Fortune cookies (optional; 2 per guest), printable Chinese Luck symbol.
  • Chinese chopsticks
  • Shiny red plastic cylinder vases
  • Chinese decorations (paper fans, Chinese lanterns, figurines, Chinese robe, etc.)
  • Red Gerber daisies and green berries
  • Either all black, white, or red dishes

Make Invitations

 

  1. Cover small round mailing tubes with red and gold paper.
  2. Print out downloadable Chinese Luck symbol from your computer using red, white, and black Chinese-themed paper.
  3. Glue it to the center of the tube.
  4. If you'd like, glue a Feng Shui coin at the top (for extra luck!).
  5. Thread a small gold tassel through the lid opening, attaching the invitation to it so when the recipient opens the mailing tube, the invitation comes out attached to the lid!
  6. You may want to put a fortune cookie inside, as well, or better yet, write your own fortunes!

Set the Table

  1. Cover your Lifetime Table with red Doupioni Silk. You may have to sew two pieces together to make a cloth large enough to go to the floor.
  2. Use the inexpensive black or red silk pillow covers as your placemats. Simply lay them flat on the table.
  3. Put the Gerber daisies in the cylinder vases filled with water and set them in the center of the table.
  4. Add atmosphere by setting out the Chinese decorations on the table or hanging them from the ceiling and walls.
    1. To get wrinkles out of your pillowcase placemats, simply lay them on a flat surface (other than your silk table cloth) and mist with a spray bottle filled with water. As they dry, the wrinkles will start to disappear.
    2. Use your Lifetime Table as a workspace to make the invitations. Have all your materials ready before you start.
    3. Give them an authentic experience! Fold the table legs under and place your table on 2 ft. high blocks of wood, cover with the silk fabric, tucking the ends under the table. Place cushions or pillows on the floor around the table and invite your guests to sit and dine!
    4. Try printing the menu on your computer and placing it on the table. Use a font like Copperplate or Kunstler Script. Dress up the menu with a motif (perhaps a Feng Shui coin theme) that matches your party.
    5. Printable Quon Mon's Asparagus Beef recipe.
    6. Printable Chinese Good Luck Symbol.

Tips

Quon Mon's Asparagus Beef

Serves 4

  • 2 cups fresh asparagus (cut diagonally into 1/4 inch slices)
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 4 T. peanut oil
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 lb. flank steak (cut diagonally into 1/8 inch slices)
  • Chinese salted spiced black beans
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 T. soy sauce
  • 1 T. Hoisin sauce
  • 1 tsp. freshly grated ginger
  • asparagus liquid
  • 1 T. cornstarch
  1. Place the fresh asparagus into a saucepan of boiling water. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove asparagus and retain the cooking liquid.
  2. Heat the peanut oil in a wok until smoking. Add the flank steak, season with sea salt and quickly sear the meat. Remove meat from skillet.
  3. In a bowl, mash together the black beans, garlic, soy sauce, Hoisin sauce, and ginger. Place mixture in the wok and add a cup of the reserved asparagus liquid. Cook for about 4 minutes. Mix the cornstarch with a little bit of cold water, then add to the black bean mixture and stir until sauce is thickened.
  4. Add the beef and asparagus and cook for about 1 minute. Serve on top of hot steamed rice or noodles.

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