Marzipan Yarn Ball and Knits Tutorial

It looks like in response to the overwhelming response VeganYumYum received for her awesome vegan cupcakes topped with marzipan knits, she posted a tutorial on how to make the yarn balls, as well as how to create the knitted texture. You can see her detailed step-by-steps and clear pictures at the post How to "Knit" Marzipan.

Edible Vegan Knits

While I love cheese and ice cream too much to ever be vegan, I have been drooling over the delectable veggie dishes at VeganYumYum for a little over six months now. I really hope she reaches the world-wide acclaim of Chocolate and Zucchini some day, because her darling petite deserts and inventive veggie dishes are just too amazing. And if that cooking ninja ever lands a book deal for her recipes, her book will have the honors of being the first ever vegan cookbook to end up on my dedicated vegetarian cooking shelf.

And I dare you to say "no" to these cupcakes with "knitted" marzipan! So cute!

New Year Cupcakes

Every crafty ninja needs a healthy dose of sugar now and then. And what's a better way to get your dose than with some super-cute Chinese New Year cupcakes from Cupcake Momma? I am seriously in love, here. I've always been a stickler for cute sugar cookies, so I might just be her next customer.

Feast of the Boar

On Chinese New Years Eve (today), families will hold a reunion dinner where members near and far celebrate together. The majority of foods eaten are homonyms to words relating to prosperity and wealth, symbolizing the positive hopes for the new year.

A traditional dinner includes chicken and fish. Only part of the fish will be eaten, the remainder saved overnight to symbolize a wealthy coming year. This practice comes from the Chinese phrase nián nián yǒu yú, meaning "may there be surplus every year." The phrase sounds similar to "may there be fish every year." Via Wikipedia.

Other foods that might be found on the dinner table tonight include Buddha's Delight, a vegetarian dish that contains anywhere from 10 to 35 ingredients. For the new year, a version of this dish called Luóhàn quánzhāi (made from 18 ingredients) is served. Much like curry, each family has its own unique recipe.

Another dish might be dumplings, as it is believed the shape resembles ingots (gold Chinese money from the past). Oranges are also popular during the New Year as they are plentiful in China during this season and symbolize wealth and good fortune.

If you wish to join in on the festivities, below are more resources on foods to feast on.

Chinese New Year Eve Dinner:

Halloween Menu

For me, the best part of a party-prep is the food. I love food. I adore food. There's nothing better than a warm raspberry pie with a large dollop of ice cream after a hard day fighting enemies with my special knitting ninjutsu. And to combine my love of food with the creativity of preparing for a party—well, that's just ecstasy.

And forget All Recipes when it comes to finding recipes on the net (those people wouldn't hire me, much less interview me). No, my favorite recipe site is Epicurious. The recipes I've gleaned from them are mouth-watering compared to the bland community-based recipes from All Recipes. Strange, I know; you'd think it'd be the other way around. Surely recipes from real people would be much better than those from the culinary snobs who contribute to yuppie gourmand magazines. My only explanation is that the average American doesn't appreciate flavor when it comes to food. And yuppies do. Or something....

For Epicurian Halloween munchies, I'm eyeing their Brandied Pumpkin Pie and their Curried Pumpkin Seeds. Of course, I'm not such a devotee that I'm planning a menu based solely from them. Also in the mix is pumpkin bread (recipe to be determined), my mother's Cranberry Streusel bread, and Jell-O shot eyes (if I can find a round ice cube tray). If the Jell-O shot eyes are successful, I'm thinking of floating them in a spiked punch ala the Witches Brew from Kraft.

Lastly, check out these awesome food ninjas and their Halloween Supper. Truly a force with which to be reckoned.