Chinese New Year

I wanted to create an affordable dessert table for Chinese New Year, so I searched for things I had in the pantry and came up with some cute desserts made from store bought treats!

These Chinese dragons were so easy to make.  The heads are made from Kellogg's rice krispie treats and wrapped with Fruit by the Foot.  Just add candy eyes, mini m&ms for the nose and yellow Fruit by the Foot for the spikes.  Then just unroll another red Fruit by the Foot for the tail. Super cute (and tasty too!)  For step-by-step instructions on how to make these, click here.

Plum blossom flowers made from fondant and a melted chocolate branch

I made these panda cookies from white chocolate Oreos.  I added a little white frosting and then covered the frosting with black sprinkles then added candy eyes on top.  Using a black edible pen, I drew in the face.  A Junior Mint cut in half made the ears.

Gotta have fortune cookies!

Since these dragon picks require 2 cupcakes, I see no reason why I can't eat both.

I dressed up these favor boxes I had on hand from a previous party with scrapbook paper, stickers and ribbon I also had on hand.

Lucky fruit!

Chinese New Year Tablescape

Chinese New Year is determined by the lunar calendar. Even though it is a celebration to welcome Spring, it usually falls between January 21 and February 20th .  It’s a holiday rich in tradition, with almost of month of celebrations that include large family gatherings. An abundance of food and the giving of gifts have many meanings and customs attached to them in order for good luck.  Coming from an Asian family background, we take "luck" very seriously.

Red and gold symbolize luck and wealth. It’s traditional for the older members of the family to give red envelopes, usually filled with money to the younger unmarried people in the family.  This represents wealth and prosperity for the New Year.  Plum blossoms and lanterns usually decorate the house, these stand for the brightness of spring.   Mandarin oranges and tangerines are traditionally considered symbols for abundance and good fortune.

For our Chinese New Year celebration I placed a beaded gold table runner on a pretty gold tablecloth.  I lined up 3 glass vases and filled them with tangerines.  Then I put tape on the back side of red Chinese money envelopes I found in the greeting card section at the neighborhood grocery store, and affixed them to the vases.  I had some leftover gold branches from Christmas and hung red paper lanterns from Party City on them.  It made for a beautiful and inexpensive centerpiece! 

Chinese beverage napkins were set in the middle of the square plastic plates (all from Party City) and a red money envelope was given to each place setting.  More tangerines were placed in small glass bowls for each guest as a gift of abundance and good fortune.  Lighting candles in red glass holders completed the Chinese New Year table and it looked wonderful!  Here’s to good health, much love, good luck and abundance for the New Year!