Monday, January 23, 2012

The Year of The Black Water Dragon

Last week I posted about banana leaf place mats and a potato stamp for Cuba. We are having a great time learning about Cuba and to be honest, we don't really want the end to be drawing near, but today, I am going to tell you about our weekend fun. We got invited to a Chinese New Year Party, so we decided to leave Cuba for a night and celebrate the Lunar New Year with friends. (Don't worry, we'll be back to Cuba on Thursday.) 

Andrea over at Remains of Day, asked if we would like to join her and her family along with another family for a celebration. I did a little research and found a recipe for Nian Gao. Nian Gao, is also known as Chinese New Year Cake. It is considered good luck to eat this during the New Year festivities. The recipe that I found was for baked instead of steamed cake. Yes, steamed cake. I'm not really sure how one is to steam a cake, but given that the baked version looked insanely easy, I opted for that. If you make this, be sure to read the reviews and be prepared for the beans to mix right into the batter, the recipe says to layer it, but the batter is actually quite thin (and I even had to add more cooking time).  

On the way over in the car, Aiden asked me, "Was I born in 2004?" "Yes", I replied. "Woohoo! I'm a Monkey", he shouted. When I asked him how he knew that he said that he learned it from watching Jackie Chan, then followed it with, "You just never know what you'll learn from Jackie Chan." Indeed you don't. (Just incase you're wondering, it's this Jackie Chan, not this one.)Then, I asked him if he knew what 2012 was the year of and he said, "Yeah, the Black Water Dragon." It was then, that I realized, either my first grader knew more than me (I was going to say, "The year of the dragon."), or he was embellishing the Dragon. 

When we arrived Andrea was busy making homemade fortune cookies! I was blown away by her ambition. I always try to make as much as I can at home, but I would never have even thought to attempt fortune cookies. She looked at me and said, "My boys keep saying that this is the year of The Black Water Dragon?!?!?" Obviously, this is an occasion that I needed to make Google my friend. As it turns out, the year 2012 is, in fact the year of the Black Water Dragon. I could try to explain it to you, but since my 7 year old knew it before I did, I'm thinking you might as well read about it yourself here.

Andrea mastering the fortune cookies.
The kids started playing and of course my kids found the music instruments pretty early on. Sometimes when we go to other people's houses it's as if they've never seen music instruments before, even though we have an overflowing basket of noise makers at home. 

Eliana with a tambourine. Sadly, I have no pictures of them banging away on the drum set.
After the other guests arrived we made egg rolls, the kids played and we enjoyed some nice music (other than what was being created by the children, Andrea had some very relaxing Chinese music playing).

The delicious dinner: Egg rolls, broccoli and rice, peanut noodles, two different kinds of tofu, and kimchi. 
After we ate, Andrea helped the kids make dragon puppets, with construction paper, printed dragons and sticks.
Eliana and her completed dragon.
The boys working on their dragons.

 After the dragons were complete, we all sat back down for dessert. We could finally sample Andrea's fortune cookies and the Nian Gao that I made.

Aiden about to break open his fortune cookie. His fortune: You will like green vegetables.
Eliana showing me her fortune: You will be lucky. WOW! Good one.
My dessert plate, with my fortune after I took it out of the cookie. "You will be happy."
Preston's fortune said: You will grow 2 inches.
After dessert, the littles played while the adults socialized a bit longer, in a very adult and non-kid like way, as Andrea is demonstrating in the next photo.

I can't remember why, but Andrea is doing "The Robot" and quite beautifully I might add.
Me with Andrea right before it was time to go home. 
If the evening that we just celebrated with our friends was any indication, then I'd say that my fortune was spot on. We had a great time and we are looking forward to all of the luck, happiness, and green vegetables in the new year, even if those of who are not growing up anymore end up growing two inches (out). 

幸福的新年 (Happy New Year) 

Coming Soon: We're "heading back" to Cuba to do one more thing before the end of the month, then we celebrate Cuba.

I just started a facebook page, if you haven't already, like Mamacita Spins The Globe and see what's going on in between posts. 


  1. You are adorable :) The food looks great and now I'm starving!

  2. Ha! Thanks :) The food was great, I have been thinking about those egg rolls ever since and I want to eat more!

  3. Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving such a sweet comment. I'm so glad you did, I love your blog and I'm following you back.

    You're night looks wonderful. I host a blog party called AfterSchool (on Sundays) with a group of mom bloggers and we are always excited to find blogs like yours. I invite you to link up to the party.

  4. Thank you, Kelly! I will definitely check it out!


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