My Fun Night With Ling Ling: 6 Ways to Celebrate the Chinese New Year

This post was sponsored by Ling Ling, all opinions expressed in my post are my own.

I had the BEST time ever cooking with Chef Katie Chin and Ling Ling in Boston. Find out two amazing recipes, as well as 6 ways to celebrate the Chinese New Year. #ad #LingLingAsianFood #BOS #asianfood #chopsticks #easymeals #friedrice #delish

I can’t help thinking right now about where I was a week ago tonight!

I was having the BEST TIME EVER with Chef Katie Chin and Ling Ling in Boston! I admit that I was nervous. I think that my mom always says it best that the things you are most nervous/unsure about, are often the most fun. I mean, you all know me pretty well. I can be pretty extroverted. That said, I can also be nervous and awkward too. I never really know how I’ll be at a public blogger event, but I was so humbled and honored to be invited. The thing is, I used to live in San Francisco so I am familiar with celebrating the Chinese New Year. Also, I’m quite familiar with Ling Ling products, thanks to my husband’s great taste. So this night was all around a win. I got a night out in Boston without kids and WITH much excitement and fun!

And learning, great food, and great company.

I had the BEST time ever cooking with Chef Katie Chin and Ling Ling in Boston. Find out two amazing recipes, as well as 6 ways to celebrate the Chinese New Year. #ad #LingLingAsianFood #BOS #asianfood #chopsticks #easymeals #friedrice #delish

Once we all introduced ourselves to one another, took photos, and had cold drinks, Chef Katie Chin introduced herself and told us about her background. She was so warm, open, inviting, and inspiring. Then we set to work and cooked, with her help. I loved that I could ask her questions, and that she would walk around and check on our dishes. I was on a “team” at a station with two other woman, and they instantly felt like friends. We were all there to learn and support each other.

We made two dishes: Asparagus Stir Fry with Shiitake Mushrooms and Caramel Glazed Brandied Oranges.

Asparagus Stir Fry with Shiitake Mushrooms

Asparagus Stir Fry with Shiitake Mushrooms

Ingredients

  1. 2 teaspoons all-purpose cornstarch
  2. 2 teaspoons cold water
  3. 1 Tablespoon neutral oil, such as canola
  4. 2 gloves garlic, minced
  5. 1 teaspoon fresh minced ginger
  6. 1 pound asparagus, ends trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces on a diagonal
  7. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  8. 4 oz. fresh shitake mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced
  9. 1 Tablespoon oyster sauce
  10. 1/2 cup chicken broth

Instructions

  • 1. In a small bowl, mix together the cornstarch and water.
  • 2. Heat the oil in wok or skillet over medium-high heat.
  • 3. Add the garlic, ginger, asparagus and salt and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes.
  • 4. Add the mushrooms and continue to stir-fry for 1 minute.
  • 5. Stir in the oyster sauce and chicken stock and heat to boiling.
  • 6. Pour in the cornstarch mixture and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce thickens and all the ingredients are nicely coated, about 30 seconds.
  • 7. Serve immediately.
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I had the BEST time ever cooking with Chef Katie Chin and Ling Ling in Boston. Find out two amazing recipes, as well as 6 ways to celebrate the Chinese New Year. #ad #LingLingAsianFood #BOS #asianfood #chopsticks #easymeals #friedrice #delish

I had the BEST time ever cooking with Chef Katie Chin and Ling Ling in Boston. Find out two amazing recipes, as well as 6 ways to celebrate the Chinese New Year. #ad #LingLingAsianFood #BOS #asianfood #chopsticks #easymeals #friedrice #delish

I had the BEST time ever cooking with Chef Katie Chin and Ling Ling in Boston. Find out two amazing recipes, as well as 6 ways to celebrate the Chinese New Year. #ad #LingLingAsianFood #BOS #asianfood #chopsticks #easymeals #friedrice #delish

You could tell from the pictures that I was really happy! The dish was delicious and I even got leftovers. For the dessert, it was so easy and so shockingly delicious, that you HAVE to try it. Simply take 3 large navel oranges, 1 tablespoon of brandy, and 1/2 cup of sugar together. With a vegetable peeler, remove three 3-inch-long strips of orange peel (about 3/4 inch wide each) from the oranges and cut the strips lengthwise into thin slivers. Cut the remaining peel and white pith from the oranges, and then slice the oranges into 6 thin rounds and place them in a deep platter, overlapping slices. Sprinkle them with brandy and orange peel. Meanwhile, cook sugar over medium heat in a skillet until it melts and becomes a deep amber color. Stir to dissolve any lumps and then drizzle caramelized sugar over oranges. Garnish with orange peel slivers.

You can serve it warm or at room temp, or refrigerate and serve chilled.

I had the BEST time ever cooking with Chef Katie Chin and Ling Ling in Boston. Find out two amazing recipes, as well as 6 ways to celebrate the Chinese New Year. #ad #LingLingAsianFood #BOS #asianfood #chopsticks #easymeals #friedrice #delish

I had the BEST time ever cooking with Chef Katie Chin and Ling Ling in Boston. Find out two amazing recipes, as well as 6 ways to celebrate the Chinese New Year. #ad #LingLingAsianFood #BOS #asianfood #chopsticks #easymeals #friedrice #delish

After we cooked, they set a wonderful table for all of us to eat our own creations, and also to eat delicious Ling Ling products. And it was nice for all of us to really talk and get to know each other. Some of us even knew each other before!

I had the BEST time ever cooking with Chef Katie Chin and Ling Ling in Boston. Find out two amazing recipes, as well as 6 ways to celebrate the Chinese New Year. #ad #LingLingAsianFood #BOS #asianfood #chopsticks #easymeals #friedrice #delish

I learned more about Ling Ling products. Their delicious Fried Rice dishes from Japan and China are authentic recipes, expertly crafted and made with tender vegetables, delicious proteins, and flavor infused rice. They taste great down to the last grain! You can try Chinese Style Vegetable and Yakitori Chicken. Then there are Noodles! Ling Ling’s authentic Asian style noodles are infused with delicious sauces, succulent proteins, and vegetables. You can choose from Drunken Noodles and Yakisoba Noodles. Definitely use their store locator to make sure you know where to find Fried Rice, Noodles and Potstickers near you. And let’s not forget the Potstickers! They are well known and well loved, made with chicken or pork.

They also combine in tender vegetables in a mouthwatering dumpling wrapper. Each comes with a signature dipping sauce.

Here are 6 Ways to Celebrate the Chinese New Year, as taught to me by Chef Katie and Ling Ling!

1 – Refrain from using foul language or bad words on NewYear’s Day or they will follow you throughout the year.

2 – Washing hair is not allowed because you will wash away your good luck for the year.

3 – Greeting friends with oranges or tangerines during the New Year will ensure that your friendships remain intact.

4 – No sweeping on New Year’s Day as you’ll sweep all your good luck out the door.

5 – Stepping into new shoes on New Year’s morning to start your year off on the right foot.

6 – Distribution of Red Envelopes (signifying Joy and Luck) filled with money starts the year with prosperity.

What’s your favorite Ling Ling product? Have you ever been to a blogger event in a city?

Because Why Not?

And that’s exactly what Lea Grover wrote about answering these 15 random facts/questions about yourself.

It’s a bit silly because they aren’t really facts, so much as questions. Right? And I really do love this method of old school blogging in which we answer memes. The original memes. They’re more like questionnaires. Sometimes it’s so indulgent and maybe a bit vain to write them and think people want to read them, but you know what?? Someone out there does! Hi, Mom. Also, when people post them, I totally read them. So since I find people to be endlessly fascinating, maybe someone out there finds me endlessly fascinating? Someone? Anyone? In fact, I wrote five fun facts about myself this morning. It was hard!

Fun fact: I still have this outfit:

Five Fun Facts About Me:

1 – Doesn’t own ONE pair of solid-colored socks. They are all zany and colorful and magical.
2 – Has traveled all over the United States specifically for moose and landscape photography.
3 – Identifies strongly as a Ravenclaw. Used to want to be Gryffindor, but that’s a big NOPE.
4 – Moved all the way across the country twice in two years, which isn’t recommended at ALL.
5 – Is a SuperTaster. It’s not always the easiest way to eat, but feels like a superpower too!

You’re welcome for that. You’re welcome for this. Feel free to answer one in the comments or blog your own answers!

1 – Do you make your bed? I mean, sort of vaguely. I guess? Cassidy sometimes makes it super pretty for me. I definitely pull up the covers so I’m going to say that there’s some effort involved but no hospital corners or anything.

why not

2 – What’s your favorite number? It’s always been four. It’s because everything good happens in threes (like I probably had three crushes at once in 6th grade, if we’re being honest) and then there’s one for good luck. Just like a good birthday cake.

3 – What is your dream job? I sort of have it and sort of don’t. It’s because dreams change. They get bigger and smaller and also take on forms you never knew existed. I have spent my life wanting to be a photographer and writer. I am both. That said, maybe I thought I’d be a world famous photographer or an author, rather than a book co-author. Well, author is author, but I digress. I didn’t know what journalism would be like or that supporting myself and helping to support my family and having my photographs on many people’s walls, just not everyone’s, is all ok. Did I think I’d write sponsored posts? No. I would have thought that was selling out. Now I know it’s not. It’s important to me to retain a lot of my “me-ness”, though.

Sometimes I get a little lost or I get bad advice or I give it. I’m still in here, though.

why not

4 – If you could, would you go back to school? I was just telling our close family friend that I still have anxiety dreams that I’m late to school or that I have finals coming up but I haven’t gone to the class all semester. Or multiple classes. And sometimes it’s that I have to cram a whole semester’s worth of work into one night. To answer the question, I don’t know. I seem to have many heebie jeebie feelings about it. And I don’t need another degree. Maybe photography school someday?

why not

5 – Can you parallel park? I CAN and I HAVE (like back at my driver’s test and when I lived in San Francisco), but I haven’t in ages. There are some things out there that I do exceptionally well once or twice, but never consistently. It’s like terrific or terrible – with no in-between. I will absolutely and always park farther away, rather than attempt a parallel parking spot.

Raise your hand if you would too! Don’t be shy. Especially if you drove that giant brown van behind me that my parents had:

6 – Name a job you had, people would be shocked at? Is anyone really shocked anymore, considering that I often write about bad jobs I’ve had and how I sometimes quit them in un-classy ways? Probably no surprises but if you didn’t know me well you might be surprised to hear that I used to be a Pizza Delivery Girl, an Urban Innkeeper, an Operations Admin at a cuckoo school for life coaches, and an Office Manager for an online dating service run by the biggest nutcase ever. And I have worked for a lot of nutcases. Hence, why I don’t do that anymore. I work for the BIGGEST nutcase ever, though.

Myself.

7 – Do you think aliens are real? I think it’s really hard not to think that. I like to imagine Star Wars universes out there. MARVEL Universes. Doctor Who Galaxies. Or something else we have never even thought about. hmm…?

8 – Can you drive a stick shift? My cousin tried to teach me when I was 19 and my brain did that thing where it short-circuits and I give myself a learning disability and it didn’t work and I’ve never tried again. There’s potential, otherwise?

9 – Guilty pleasure? Peeling things. (gross) Like skin or glue. Hallmark movies. Us Weekly. Music that makes me think I could dance professionally. Ice cream with WAY too many sprinkles. Mashed potatoes with so much butter that it almost becomes liquidy. Popcorn in the same format. Am I gross yet? I also like using up all the hot water and taking hour-long baths.

10 – Do you experience depression? It’s complicated. I HAVE and I know for a fact what it feels like – like a colorless world and feeling like nothing will ever be the same again, or even happy, and the absence of feeling that is so strong that it you know it’s not really an absence but a presence, but you can’t really get off the couch or bed or out of the clouds in your head to feel it or fight it. I’ve never had it for extended periods of time. It’s either been situational (death, move, breakup), or it’s been a short (3-4 days) bout of growing pains, and I always come out better and more colorful on the other side.

I don’t take it lightly, especially with my anxiety, and I do imagine the suffering of experiencing it longterm.

why not

11 – Do you talk to yourself? Funny about that because I DO, but when there’s a cat, a dog, various workmen, and an Alexa in the house, is it ever really talking to myself? Some of those things talk back to me. I’M NEVER ALONE. HELP.

why not

12 – Do you like doing puzzles? You know, I DO, but how often do I do them? Not often. I like word puzzles too.

13 – Favorite Music? I’m never going to be able to answer it all because there’s such a range, with dance music for the inspiration and 80’s music for the memories. And I secretly or not so secretly love Phish but it’s like a THING to make fun of their 27,000 minute jams, because generally I love my music to have rises and falls. Peaks and climaxes and whatnot. In maybe 4-6 minutes! Deep stories! Lyrics! Although I do love classical music. That said, here are some lifetime and new favorites: Bruce Hornsby, Tom Petty, Tori Amos, Ben Folds, Regina Spektor, Eric Clapton, The Cranberries, Counting Crows, Steely Dan, The Police, John Williams, Danny Elfman, Toad the Wet Sprocket, Sia, Flo Rida, P!nk..and probably much more!

14 – Coffee or tea? COFFEE times a million. Tea has NEVER once done a thing for me. Ick.

15 – The first thing you remember you wanted to be growing up? A garbage man, if we’re being honest.

why not

What about you? What’s your favorite question? What’s your own answer?