Tag Archives: Chinese New Year

A Chocolaty Chinese New Year Dessert

8 Feb
Gramma's Haystacks

My mom’s dessert was chocolaty and delicious!

I cannot take credit for today’s dessert.

My mom brought these for dessert to our house last weekend after bringing another tray of them to a Chinese New Year party the week before, and she has shared the recipe with me.

In fact, it was her idea to use the Chinese New Year theme on my blog this week, and I took it and ran with it. Alex’s salad yesterday was a perfect addition to my main dish and Mom’s dessert.

My Grandma Rose makes something very similar to these with the chocolate and the noodles and sometimes she puts chocolate and walnuts. These are a little bit different, using the chocolate, but adding butterscotch and cashews along with the noodles.

Really depending on your own personal preferences, you can use just about anything you want in them: peanuts, marshmallows, dried cranberries, raisins.

And really, isn’t anything covered in chocolate just perfect?

I’ll warn you though: it’s hard to eat just one of these. There’s something about the combination of the salty and the sweet that makes you want to eat several of them. It’s a slippery slope, taking that first bite!

Thanks to Mom for bringing dessert and sharing the recipe with me, and thanks to Grandma Rose for sharing these with me over the years!


1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups butterscotch chips (or choose your own ingredient)
One 10 oz. bag of Chinese noodles
1 1/2 cups cashews (or walnuts or peanuts)


Melt chocolate and butterscotch chips in glass bowl in microwave or in sauce pan on top of the stove.

Add Chinese noodles and nuts, as well as any other optional ingredients, mixing well.

Drop by spoonfuls onto waxed paper.

Cool until completely hardened.



Bonus Post: Continuing the Celebration for Chinese New Year: Alex’s Sunshine Salad

7 Feb
This salad was so delicious and Alexandra was so excited that it was her recipe!

This salad was so delicious and Alexandra was so excited that it was her recipe!

We have the tiniest kitchen, and there are five of us, and every single one of us likes to cook and be in the kitchen. Oftentimes I try to limit it to one daughter at a time helping out in there, just because of space limitations.

This week, Alexandra got her High Five magazine in the mail and immediately looked in the Table of Contents to see this month’s recipe.

“Oooohhh this looks good!!” she said.

Sure enough, the recipe did look good, a recipe for an oriental salad which they called Sunshine Salad. We actually had everything for it, even the Chinese Noodles, which we normally would not have on hand.

So that night, it was Alexandra’s turn in the kitchen. Everyone else, step away.

She wanted to be here today when I typed this, but I said she would be at school so she said to be sure to let everyone know that the salad included a homemade dressing.

That she made.

By herself.

This salad was great, and we’d definitely make it again. Everyone loved the addition of the noodles and the mandarin oranges, which they all love. It was quick and easy to make. I chopped the lettuce up for her, but she put everything else in the bowl and made the dressing.

Our nifty container for the dressing is from The Pampered Chef and we use it for all our homemade dressings. It has a pour spout and a whisk at the bottom, helpful for mixing up those oils and vinegars.

Here is the recipe for Alex’s Sunshine Salad from High Five.


Ingredients were appropriately placed in Dora, Little People and Strawberry Shortcake bowls for easy management.

Ingredients were appropriately placed in Dora, Little People and Strawberry Shortcake bowls for easy management.


4 cups mixed lettuce greens (we use Romaine)

11 ounce an of mandarin oranges (we opened and drained three little cups of them)

1/4 cup crispy rice noodles

2 tablespoons slivered almonds

1/4 cup sunflower seeds (I skipped this. All we had were the ones in the shells and I was not going to sit and open up a quarter cup of them one seed at a time, but they would be a great addition to the salad.)


2 Tablespoons light brown sugar

3 Tablespoons Rice Vinegar

1/4 cup vegetable oil (we used olive oil)

A very easy salad to prepare, and very quick too!

A very easy salad to prepare, and very quick too!


Wash and dry lettuce greens.

Tear the lettuce into bite sized pieces.

Put the greens, rice noodles, almonds, oranges and sunflower seeds in a large bowl.

Put the brown sugar, rice vinegar and oil into a jar.

Shake or stir to mix the dressing.

Pour the dressing over the salad. Use tongs to gently toss the salad.

So proud! Enjoy your salad and Happy Chinese New Year!

So proud! Enjoy your salad and Happy Chinese New Year!

What’s For Dinner Wednesday: A Dish In Honor of the Chinese New Year

6 Feb
It's New Year's somewhere, so let's celebrate!

It’s New Year’s somewhere, so let’s celebrate!

February 10 is the start of the Chinese New Year! Since today’s recipe is an Asian inspired dish, I thought I’d share it with you this week in honor of the Chinese New Year. Also, as a bonus, I’ll be sharing an extra-special dish with you tomorrow as well, and then to continue the Chinese New Year celebration a bit longer, my dessert post on Friday will be a perfect Chinese New Year dessert too.

According to Wikapedia, the place everyone says not to rely on for information that I do always rely on for information, Chinese New Year is the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays. In China, it is also known as the ‘Spring Festival’, the literal translation of the modern Chinese name (see Names in Chinese below). Chinese New Year celebrations traditionally ran from Chinese New Year’s Day itself, the first day of the first month of the Chinese calendar, to the Lantern Festival on the 15th day of the first month. The evening preceding Chinese New Year’s Day is an occasion for Chinese families to gather for the annual reunion dinner.”

A couple of weeks ago I was trying to think of what to make for dinner. I wanted something different, not the same old thing, but I had all the same old ingredients to work with: chicken, shrimp and asparagus.  So, I decided to type those three ingredients into Google and see what came up.

To my delight I found this recipe from the blog So Tasty, So Yummy for Chicken and Shrimp with Asparagus. So perfect. The fact that it was Chinese in nature was even better. My family loves Chinese food but we very rarely get to eat it.

This meal was such a hit that there was not even a drop of the sauce leftover. Every single bit went and the kids were begging me to make it again. Five thumbs up for sure. Even Alex liked it, and that’s saying a lot.

I did need to adjust a few things, as I had not quite everything on the list, but enough of everything to make it work. Any adjustments I made I will make note of in the recipe.

So celebrate the Year of the Snake, and try out So Tasty, So Yummy’s awesome meal!

My ingredients, prepped and ready to go.

My ingredients, prepped and ready to go.


1/2 pound chicken, cut into 3/4″ pieces  **I had several leftover cooked tenderloins so I sliced them up very small and used those instead.
1/2 pound shrimp, peeled and cleaned **I used a bag of frozen shrimp from Aldi’s, thawed.**
3/4 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 3/4″ pieces **I used a bag of frozen, again from Aldi’s.**
1/4 onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ginger, minced (or 1/8 tsp. ground ginger)
2 tablespoons oil (we use olive oil)

Seasoning sauce:
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce **I had none so I skipped it.**
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon sherry
1 tablespoon corn startch

1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon sherry
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon corn starch

We don't have a wok, but this worked out great.

We don’t have a wok, but this worked out great.


Whisk together the seasoning sauce ingredients until combined. Add the chicken, marinate for 15 minutes, set aside. Whisk the sauce ingredients until combined, set aside.

Heat oil in wok over high heat. Add onion, garlic and ginger to the wok. Saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the chicken and marinade, stir fry for 3 minutes. Add the asparagus and shrimp, stir fry for another 2 to 3 minutes, until shrimp are pink. Add the sauce and stir fry for about a minute to coat and thicken it. Serve over rice.

**I actually cooked up brown rice and quinoa and served both. The kids mixed them together and put the chicken, asparagus and shrimp on top; they said it was like fried rice.**

I would definitely, definitely cook this again. I would double the sauce recipe because it was “So Tasty, So Yummy,” and there just wasn’t enough of it to go around!