Tag Archives: New Year

Pastry Post-Doc: Pampushky for Malanka – Ukrainian New Year’s Eve

Ukraine FlagHappy New Year! Even though it is almost 2 weeks after the Gregorian calendar marks the new year – January 13 is celebrated as Malanka – “Old New Year’s Eve” – in the Ukraine. The holiday marks the Julian calendar’s new year and is one of the most festive days in Ukraine, full of caroling door-to-door, costumes, dancing the Kolomyjka, merry-making and of course food.  We are novices when it comes to Ukrainian desserts, but we have found a holiday recipe for pampushky – fried donuts filled with poppy seed or prune. These seem to be a cousin of the paczki, another Eastern European donut (this one popularly eaten on Shrove Tuesday). You can find pampushky recipe from Claudia’s Cookbook (below) and Ukrainian Classic Cuisine. Who doesn’t love something indulgent and fried as a perfect cap to the holiday season?

pampushky

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Happy New Year 2017

newyear

We love this Japanese candy advertisement wishing us a happy new year (in 1956) – we hope you have a Happy New Year, too!

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Pastry Post-Doc: Greek Vasilopita for the New Year

GreeceOne of our friends’ mothers recently gifted us a large Vasilopita cake in the shape of a fish (which seems to be one-of-a-kind)! Fish or not, there is a long tradition of having Vasilopita – an orange-flavored cake topped with nuts – on New Year’s Day for good luck. Much like a king cake, there is a hidden trinket or coin in the cake that is said to bring luck to the person that finds it. Vasilopita is popular in Greece and the Balkans, and I have seen several permutations of the cake: some including multiple tiers, or a vanilla glaze. Here is a two-tiered Greek version from Epicurious, a glazed version from My Greek Dish, and a Vasilopita with a more bread-like consistency from Bowl of Delicious. Happy new year! Ευτυχισμένος ο καινούριος χρόνος!

Vasilopita.jpg

Vasilopita by Resturante Kaialde

 

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Try a new type of cake for Chinese New Year: Nian Gao

Nian Gao

Nian Gao in Chinatown, Singapore by Choo Yut Shing

chinaThis lunar new year, the pastry post-doc is celebrating with an entirely new cake preparation format – steamed. Yep, the cake in question, Nian Gao, is actually a sweet steamed Chinese cake made from glutinous rice flour and brown sugar. Nian Gao (or nin gou) is popular across China, and varies widely by region, as well as in the Chinese diaspora. It is considered a lucky food to have around the New Year, partly because of its name. According to Wikipedia:

It is considered good luck to eat nian gao during this time, because “nian gao” is a homonym for “higher year.” The Chinese word 粘 (nián), meaning “sticky”, is identical in sound to 年, meaning “year”, and the word 糕 (gāo), meaning “cake” is identical in sound to 高, meaning “high or tall.”

Nian Gao is traditionally steamed, and therefore has a more gelatinous texture, as in this recipe, though Chow.com also has a baked recipe. Honestly, though the baked cake may be more familiar, I really appreciate the steaming technique, which is definitely not utilized in many Western sweets. Here’s to a sweet new year!

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Happy New Year Pig!

NewYearsPig

Happy New Year from the German New Year’s Lucky Pig, the Glucksschwein!

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Tourtière for New Years Eve in Quebec

quebec2014 is rapidly coming to a close, which means its time to reflect on the year gone by, drink some champagne and make some holiday food. One of the traditional Christmas season and New Year’s foods in Quebec is the Tourtière, a meat pie that is emblematic of Quebecois, and Canadian, cuisine. Tourtière has been around since the 1600s, and usually consists of ground pork in a pastry crust. The dish has since spread south into New England and into Louisiana with the Acadian communities, where the pie has been adapted over time to suit new locations and tastes. NPR’s the Salt has a brief history and a recipe and Chatelaine has updated the recipe with a new shape.

French-Canadian Tourtiere

French-Canadian Tourtière by Jack Letourneau

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Red Tortoise Cakes (Ang Ku Kueh) for Chinese New Year

China flagHappy Lunar New Year! In China, today is the start of the year of the horse, and it’s time for delicious, celebratory treats as well. We’ve always loved the pretty Chinese cakes made in traditional wooden molds, like mooncakes. But the Red Tortoise Cake (In Hokkien dialect, “Ang Ku Kueh”: 紅龜粿) kicks it up another notch by being shaped like a turtle! Red Tortoise Cake is filled with mung bean paste and covered with a skin of glutinous rice flour and sweet potato (colored red), then steamed on a banana leaf.

Red Tortoise Cakes

Red Tortoise Cakes by chooyutshing

The turtle represents longevity, and auspicious cakes are popular for Lunar New Year, birthdays of elders, and to celebrate a baby’s first month. Due to this, you can find them year-round. Along with China, the cakes are also popular in areas with Hokkien-Chinese communities, like Singapore. You can get a turtle cake mold online, and try a recipe from Nasi Lemak Lover. Or perhaps you have your heart set on a tiny, clay rendition of a Tortoise Cake!

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Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! Hope everyone is having a fun/relaxing/festive/delicious start to 2014!

BonneAnnee

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Happy New Year!

Vintage Happy New Year

[Via Van Paris]

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Recipes for Hogmanay, Scottish New Year!

ScotlandFlagWe have not given much coverage to Scotland on this blog (well… any coverage), so we think its time they got a little love. Apparently Scotland is quite well known for the fun and over-the-top New Year’s Celebrations, known as Hogmanay. One of the traditions of Hogmanay is “first footing” where you try to be the first person over the threshold of an house, where you then give a gift of food. Sounds good to us! Common foods given are shortbread (in its many varieties) or a fruitcake called “black bun.” Black bun is a little different than the average fruitcake since it is much richer and denser, and is then wrapped in a pastry case. People with lighter tastes may like cranachan, a type of Scottish trifle.

HogmanayEdinburgh

Hogmanay in Edinburgh by Robbie Shade

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Happy New Year!

[Soviet New Years card via Mazaika]

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Happy New Year!

It’s Lunar New Year – and we are welcoming in the year of the rabbit. To celebrate the occasion several Chicago restaurants are rolling out special New Year’s menus. If you are feeling emboldened by the blizzard you can even head down to Chinatown for a parade on Sunday.

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Happy 2011!

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Ringing in the New Year with a drink for every time zone

2010 is almost here. If you’re looking for a celebratory idea – Chow has an interesting article that gives a different drink for every time zone. Start out slow with water in Kiribati on the International Date Line and finish up with a Lychee-infused Cheehu cocktail in Hawaii

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Getting Ready for the New Year: How to say “cheers” in every language

Though it’s not quite New Years (2009?!)I thought the following link would be appropriate – how to say ‘cheers’ in many different languages. This is the most comprehensive list I’ve found so far – and some of these are pretty interesting! I like one of those listed for Sweden: Helan går (Everything goes) and Bolivia: Salud y amor y tiempo para disfrutarlo (Health and love and time for fun).

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