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Ring in the New Year with Festive Asian Flair

Thu, December 22, 2011

Christmas is coming fast and furious and New Year’s Eve will be following right behind. Now is the time to start thinking about what you will be doing on December 31st at midnight! Might I suggest a fun little soiree with your closest friends that plays on the well known celebration of “Chinese New Year”…

This fun event was inspired by my travels to Asia every year and the amazing two week traditional celebration that takes place every February in China. A Chinese proverb states that all creations are reborn on New Year’s day. The Chinese New Year is a celebration of change - out with the old and in with the new! I love that sentiment and it translates beautifully to the American celebration of New Year’s Eve. With a few touches of Asian decor and a delicious menu of oriental favorites you can create a memorable event that your guests will be talking about for years to come…

Start with pretty chopsticks in multiple colors so your guests can keep track of their set. Fill a small bowl with rice and you’ve got a great way to display them on your table… 

Find take out boxes at your local Chinese grocery store and simply fill with an arrangement of flowers. You’ll find a tutorial in The Happy Everything Cookbook - so cute!

Embellish the flower arrangements with paper cut-out animals from the Chinese Zodiac calendar for a great effect. This coming year, 2012, is the year of the dragon which should provide lots of inspiration for fun decor! You may even want to have a zodiac chart at the party to see what year your guests were born in and if they attribute the traits of their animal…

If you’re feeling really crafty you can fold up pretty scrapbook paper into origami lotus flowers or cranes. We used paper with a metallic finish that really looked elegant! 

Fill your mantle with clocks of all shapes and sizes and watch as the time closes in on midnight. Set the alarms to go off as the clock strikes twelve!

It makes a great spot to stand by and do your countdown. 10…. 9…. 8….

Lastly, don’t forget your Happy Everything platter  {we used our new Chinese take out box attachment that is coming soon…} but in the meantime the champagne attachment would be perfect!

Now what’s on the menu…? Start with super authentic Steamed Pork Dumplings {recipe found on page 157 of The Happy Everything Cookbook}. 

You can easily find bamboo steamer baskets to cook the dumplings in {often at your local grocery store} that will lend to the theme perfectly. Don’t be intimidated, I promise they are easy to use!

Other yummy offerings include Sesame Seed Salmon {page 161} and Sweet Chili Noodle Salad {page 163}. These are delicious paired together and are a light and fresh combination your guests will love.

Follow with Asian Sticky Ribs on the grill {recipe on page 159 of The Happy Everything Cookbook}. Be sure to have lots of napkins on hand as these ribs are finger lickin’ good!


Finish with a WOW by serving Grand Fortune Cookies {page 167}. They are truly ‘grand’ oversized cookies you can fill with hand written fortunes, chocolate pudding, whipped cream or fresh fruit. Have your guests write fortunes for each other - that could get pretty funny!!

And to wish your guests a wonderful new year, end the evening with the amazing Thai sky lantern tradition. Watch your worries float away as you light these paper lanterns and release them into the midnight sky.


If you do throw an Asian New Year’s Eve event, we would love to see your pictures. Please share them with us on Facebook and you could win a Happy Everything Cookbook! Speaking of pictures, we have started pinning pictures that inspire us over on We have a board devoted to our Asian New Year celebration and the ideas we have found are never ending! Be sure to follow us so you can keep up with the ever evolving styles and trends that swirl around on Pinterest - we love it!!
As we bring this year to a close, I hope the New Year brings you a little HAPPY in everything!!


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