Happy Chinese Lunar New Year! The Year of the Monkey! And a couple of our favorite Asian inspired recipes!


A couple of years ago we hosted a high school exchange student from China. As a host family we were encouraged to share our different customs. One of the ways we did this was by cooking. She would cook and share some of her traditional Chinese fare with us. And besides our usual ‘American’ everyday food we would cook some Italian and German favorites on occasion. When she was staying with us we wanted to celebrated the Chinese New Year so we ordered out Chinese (which by the way, is nowhere near like the food they really eat in China) and she showed us how to make steamed dumplings…which were delicious.

Since then we continue to celebrate the Chinese New Year by usually ordering out some Chinese food but I came across this Asian inspired recipe and my kids loved it. When I say they loved it I mean it’s a ‘keeper’! In fact I quadruple the recipe (it calls for 1  1/2 pounds of meat and I make SIX pounds and use TWO crock pots. That’s HOW MUCH they like this recipe. Granted I usually double all recipes (since I am cooking for 12-14 people because someone always has a friend over) so in my case I guess I am only technically doubling the recipe!

It’s Slow Cooker Mongolian BeefIt is sooo good!

Another favorite is an easy fried rice recipe that I found on food.com.  However, I have adapted it as below to suit my kids’ taste:

Easy Fried Rice


3 cups cooked rice (I use instant rice and cook it right before I’m going to use it but it would work if you had leftover cold rice)

2 TBsp olive oil

1 medium onion diced

1 ½ – 2 cups frozen peas and carrots

3 eggs, beaten

¼ – ½ cup soy sauce



  1. Heat olive oil in large skillet
  2. Add onion and sauté about 5 min
  3. Add frozen peas and carrots and cook another minute or two
  4. Push veggies to one side of skillet
  5. Scramble eggs in empty side of skillet
  6. Mix eggs into veggies and season with pepper
  7. Add soy sauce
  8. Slowly add in rice until all rice is added and ingredients are well blended
  9. Continue to fry until hot, stirring often

Good luck for this Monkey year.

猴年吉祥 (Hóunián jíxiáng)

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