Valentine’s Day and Chinese New Year Make This Year Red-Hot!

Make this Valentine’s Day a romantic celebration for two by creating your own intimate retreat at home. Valentine’s Day and Chinese New Year are both February 14 this year.  So follow the three tips below to create a red hot Chinese-inspired party for two and surprise your loved one with a romantic escape for the night.  Setting the stage is as easy as 1, 2, 3…

Hot tip #1—Get romantic with a Chinese Cocktail

Oriental Mandarin

1 hand squeezed tangerine
1 oz Grand Marnier
1 oz Blanco (White) Tequila
2 oz ginger ale

Squeeze the tangerine into a shaker filled with ice. Add Grand Marnier and tequila. Shake well, then top with ginger ale while still in the shaker. Pour into a rocks or highball glass and garnish it with a tangerine wheel.

Or if your guy or gal is all about the beer, try a great Chinese favorite: Tsingtao.

Hot Tip #2 – Create a Romantic Atmosphere

Set the scene for a romantic evening. Add romance and surprise by moving your party for two from the table to a more comfortable location. If you have a fireplace, clear the floor directly in front, spread out a blanket and arrange some throw pillows for comfortable lounging. If you have a faux fur blanket, drape it on the side for cozying up later. If you don’t have a fireplace, locate a cozy corner, light some candles and create your own “fire.” Have the fire lit and lights dimmed when your date arrives. Pick up some red Chinese paper lanterns, they create the look you want and are inexpensive. You can string them from the mantle or hang them above the dining area.

Create a music play list not only as an important element of your romantic evening, but as a love letter to your date and as a keepsake of the evening. You can easily create your play list on iTunes. Turn on the music before the evening begins to get into the romantic mood.  See our how to post with 50+ song ideas for you musical love letter!

Hot Tip #3 – Serve a Chinese Dinner for Two.
Try your hand at some homemade Chinese food. It’s easier than you think. See the recipe and dessert idea below.  If you are short on time, order from your favorite Chinese restaurant, now that’s easy! Make sure to transfer the food from the plain white take-out containers to pretty red ones from your party store. Then add chopsticks and enjoy your romantic picnic!

Recipe For Kung Pow Pork - Serves 2-3

  • 1 lb. pork tenderloin
  • 1/2 cup unsalted roasted peanuts
  • 8 dry red peppers
  • 1 teaspoon chopped ginger
  • 3 cups cooking oil
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil

Marinade

  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons water

Seasoning sauce

  • 1 tablespoon rice wine
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon brown vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil

Directions:

1.  Mix the marinade and set aside.

2.  Pound the pork with the back of the cleaver to tenderize it. Then dice it into 1/2″ cubes. Marinate with the marinade for 20 minutes.

3.  While marinating the pork, prepare the seasoning sauce, chop the ginger, and cut the dry red peppers into 1″ long pieces.

4.  Heat up the wok on high, then pour in 3 cups of cooking oil. Deep fry the pork cubes for 20 seconds. Remove the pork, and drain off the oil.

5.  With the wok on high,  pour in 2 tablespoons of cooking oil. Fry the dry red peppers for a few seconds, or until dark brown.

6.  Immediately add the ginger and the pork. Quickly stir fry for a few seconds. Then pour in the seasoning sauce. Mix thoroughly until the sauce thickens.

7.  Transfer the contents onto a plate. Top with roasted peanuts and serve.

8. Serve with rice (tip:  you can pick up some at your favorite Chinese Restaurant)

Dessert: Dive into cool sorbets in Chinese fruit flavors, like Mandarin.

Tangerine, Mandarin, and Pomegranate (Chinese Apple) are delicious Chinese fruit flavors.  Ciao Bella makes some of our favorite and you can order from them online at http://www.ciaobellagelato.com/.  Scoop up a couple of flavors and put them in a wine glass.  Tops with a sprig of mint and you have a very romantic and refreshing dessert!

For a little crunch and munch with the sweet sorbets order up some fortune cookies. You can dip plain ones in chocolate and red sprinkles to make a special Valentine’s Day Treat!

ENJOY!

8 Responses to Valentine’s Day and Chinese New Year Make This Year Red-Hot!

  1. HiveMama says:

    Unless I’m very mistaken, this is the only time in my life that CNY falls on Valentine’s Day. :) Double treat!

  2. coryanne says:

    oh great ideas, love the cookies!

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  4. chef renee says:

    LOVE IT! So cute. Nice change from heart shaped steak and cardboard boxed chocolates. There is hope to spice up Valentines day! Thank you! Renee

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