>Gong Xi Fatt Chai – CNYeve Meal and Baking Goodies Galore

>What a week it has been. First of all Gong Xi Fatt Chai to all celebrating! What an exciting time of the year especially when traditions and customs are followed – I’m talking about food and money of course! All the other superstitions are something to observe and respect, but personally not necessary followed.

I had a great time preparing, organising and laying out a menu for Chinese New Year eve dinner, I thought about the cooking and baking that I would be doing about 2months ahead because I was so excited. Chinese New Year eve is when family get together to celebrate the end of the year and the start of the new year with lots of food, chatter and noise. Mom told me that there should be fish, meat, vegetables, basically all the food under the sun. It symbolises all the foods that you will take over with you to the new year. So I made sure that I had all of those and they each also symbolises something like prosperity, wealth, etc. I don’t know what they are so I will not attempt to even try to explain.

I made a whole load of cookies as these were the ones that are our family’s traditional cookies. Mom makes them for us so I will continue to follow her. There are some new ones though like these Red Bean Muah Chee, I made it just because I wanted to eat them. They turned out fairly well for my first time. I am very happy with them and when I took a bite, they were melty, soft and sweet, just like they sell in the shops! 🙂

I also made a few extras, like these Danish butter cookies, which were fillers for my husband’s colleagues. I put together little red bowls of goodies for each of them, to share the Chinese New Year festivities.
Kuih Bangkit, apparently they’re a CNY tradition? Thought they were Malay cookies. I wanted to make these again, to satisfy my tastebuds. They were crumbly, smooth and delicious!

These were left over sweet pastry which I had so I made little flower cookies out of them. They turned out so cute and crumbly which was nice. This one recipe is a family recipe too. One I share with my mom.

Mom’s all time famous Almond Cookies. I am so glad that she shared this recipe with me, mom makes THE BEST almond cookies ON THE FACE OF THE EARTH! Of course she does it better, with the egg wash on top as well, super crumbly, super creamy and fragrant, just SUPER! Mine was good too. Wish we could do a little swappy but pictures have to suffice for now unfortunately. Thanks mom for sharing this with me. This is one cookie that I will carry with me and be so proud of. It’s a no fail recipe for sure!

Pineapple Tarts!! YAY! My favourite! Me and mom used to make these throughout the night, including Egg Tarts. The sweet pastry recipe is used here, another no fail recipe. We use the same recipe when we first made a fruit tart at home. Aaahh… memories.

Now to the Chinese New Year eve dinner, I was so excited!! I planned out these dishes ages ago, researching and enquiring about recipes and discussing with mom. My CNY menu was:

Siew Yoke (Roast Pork) – It turned out GREAT! u.P, this one is dedicated to you! The top was crunchy and chewy at the same time, the meat was juicy and just delicious. Considering this was my first try, I was pretty happy about it. My husband loved it, he took roast pork sandwiches for lunch the past 2days and thoroughly enjoyed it. I roasted a 400g pork belly, rubbed and coated with salt and 5 spice powder.

Mixed Vege – Mom’s ultimate favourite dish, which is mine too. Mine didn’t have all the ingredients, as we didn’t go to Dragonmart, but we made do with what we had. Garlic, onion, anchovies, cabbage, fried tofu puff, black and button mushrooms, baby corn and carrot. Simply marvelous!
Steamed Pork and Prawn Wontons – These were beautifully made by my husband. It was his first time, he did a good job of it, very patiently and carefully moulding and folding the wontons. Well done honey! Ingredients were of course mince pork, mince prawns, coriander, spring onion, diced carrots, soy sauce and pepper. Wonton skin were found at Choitrams! Yay! We have so many left over, to enjoy the rest of the week without having to think about cooking.

Pork and Yam Stew – Another beautiful delicious dish, we both enjoyed immensely! It had pork cubes, yam and sweet potato, boiled egg, 5 spice powder, black bean sauce, garlic and onion and stewed on the stove top for 1hr on low heat. The dish was made ‘messy’ in purpose, however there is the option of baking the dish which I didn’t want to. I remember mom used to cook this and wanted to make it like hers. Although I’m sure her’s look much better than mine, but don’t let looks fool you, it tasted absolutely divine!

And of course, steamed fish is a must. I don’t know why but there should always be fish on the table. Something to do with water? Prosperity? Wealth? Or just that fish makes you smarter? Maybe that’s it. This is a very simple dish, just steamed with salt and pepper and coriander on top.
And finally, noodles. I made some fresh egg noodles with tofu fish ball, onions, garlic, coriander, spring onions, mushrooms and carrots. Cooked in soy sauce and sesame oil made the dish so fragrant and filled the apartment with memories of the old days. Never break or cut the noodles as we want them long to symbolise longevity in our lives, right?

We have so much left over. As you can tell that all the baking and cooking above was made for only 2 people, we’ve been eating it since we cooked it and I’m sure we’ll be eating it till the end of the week too. Some had to go in the freezer so it looks like it’ll roll over to next week as well!!

In case anyone’s wondering about Valentines Day, we’re celebrating it this weekend. My husband told me that he would make me whatever I wanted to eat for Valentines, no matter how difficult or easy. Suffice to say menu’s all set and instructions given. Keep watching out for next Sunday’s post when it’ll be up here in all it’s glory! 🙂