Easy CNY Recipes to Try At Home

Easy CNY Recipes to Try At Home

Red packets, sweet and savoury nibbles, mandarin oranges, delicious reunion dinner dishes – these are just some of our beloved Chinese New Year traditions! Regardless of how taxing it is to prepare for the occasion, the experience is always one that is extremely worthwhile.

Ignite the spirit of the occasion this New Year. Scroll through our list of four mouth-watering easy ideas below, and try them from the comfort of your home!

1. Har Gow 

A great favourite for young and old alike, the har gow (or chinese dumplings) is customarily enjoyed during brunch as part of a dim sum meal, but there’s no reason not to enjoy this during your reunion dinner too! With only 30 minutes of preparation time, this can easily be a family bonding activity! Simply:

  • Form a smooth dough and knead it into a ball. Leave to rest for half an hour.

  • Prepare the meat filling.

  • Knead the dough and divide into 60 pieces, each about 3-inch diameters wide.

  • Place a tablespoon of filling in the middle of each dough piece. Fold the dough over and pinch the edges to seal tightly.

  • Bring a pot of water to boil, then add the dumplings in.

  • Add half a cup of cold water and bring to boil.

  • Drain, and serve!  

2. Szechuan Shrimp

Amazing in taste with a slight dose of heat, this traditional dish from Szechuan carries an auspicious meaning in the Chinese culture. With the word ‘shrimp’ associated with ‘happiness’ and ‘laughter’ in Mandarin — due to its similar pronunciation — this dish is a must-have for every reunion dinner. Try this easy recipe that takes about 30 minutes:

  • For the sauce: whisk together vinegar, broth, soy sauce, tomato paste, cornstarch, crushed red pepper and sesame oil in a bowl and set aside.

  • Place the shrimp in a colander and rinse with cold water. Drain the shrimp and pat dry with paper towels.

  • Heat a large skillet or wok over high heat and swirl in a tablespoon of oil.

  • Add the ginger and garlic, and fry for 10 seconds. Add the rest of the oil along with the shrimp and fry until the shrimp starts changing colour.

  • Add the bell pepper and salt. Fry for 30 seconds.

  • Add the sauce in. Fry until the shrimp is cooked for 1 to 2 minutes.

  • Serve!

​3. Chinese Steamed Fish 

No Chinese New Year is complete without a plate of steamed fish! Another auspicious dish known to bring an increase in prosperity, this steamed sea bass is a heartwarming cuisine that is sure to be a hit on your dinner table! Try this 40 minutes recipe:

  • Rinse a readily gutted fish and shake off any excess water. Transfer to a heatproof plate.

  • Assemble your steaming utensils such as a heat-proof plate or wok with a metal steam rack.

  • Place the fish in the steam dish and let it steam for 9 minutes. Turn off the heat and make sure the fish is cooked through.

  • Pour all the accumulated liquid and spread some ginger, cilantro and green portions of scallion over the fish.

  • Heat 2 tablespoons of oil and ginger in a saucepan. Once the ginger sizzles, add salt, water, white pepper and soy sauce. Heat until it simmers.

  • Add some oil and scallion. Stir until the liquid simmers.

  • Spoon the mixture over the fish and serve hot.

​4. Chocolate Fortune Cookies

Give these traditional plain cookies a twist by dipping it in chocolate! Check out this 10 minutes no-bake recipe:

  • Line a baking sheet with wax paper.

  • Place some butter and chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Allow to melt while stirring occasionally.

  • Once the mixture is smooth, remove from heat.

  • Dip the rounded ends of the cookies into the chocolate mixture and let the excess chocolate drip off.

  • Arrange the cookies on a baking sheet and place in the fridge for 10 minutes or until the chocolate has hardened.


Excited to try these easy dinner ideas for Chinese New Year? Head on to your nearest Cold Storage store for more inspirations on easy meals for the entire family!

Five Easy Recipes To Try This Christmas

Five Easy Recipes To Try This Christmas

Looking for simple Christmas recipes to sweep your guest off their feet? Try these five simple recipes that are not just easy to make, but is sure to make your party a favourite among family and friends!  

 

1. Chocolate Caramel Pretzel Bites

An incredibly easy candy idea for the holidays, Chocolate Caramel Pretzel Bites are the perfect treat for any sweet tooth. With only 22 minutes of preparation time, pack them into a clear mason jar to make a chic festive gift, or serve them as a snack during your Christmas Netflix binge! Read the full recipe here.

 

2. Rudolph Cookies

Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer…. Had a very edible nose!

Using ingredients such as frosted cookies, Nilla wafers, pretzels, alongside red and white M&M’s (for the nose and eyes), these Rudolph cookies will be the cutest thing that you have ever made! Feel free to opt for store-bought frostings to make your baking experience easier!

 

3. Peppermint Hot White Chocolate (Slow cooker required)

Creamy and ever-so-decadent, Peppermint White Hot Chocolate is the perfect way to stay warm on a chilly night. Topped with whipped cream and crushed candy canes for the ultimate peppermint experience, try it with our detailed guide here.

 

4. Buttery Shortbread Cookies

Using only 3 key ingredients of salted butter, light brown sugar and all-purpose flour, this delicious melt-in-your-mouth recipe can easily be dressed up or down. Ideal for visiting guests, these shortbread cookies melt in your mouth, bursting with flavour! Try the recipe here.

 

5. Salted Caramel Brownies

Fit for all dietary preferences, this gluten-free and vegan recipe is perfect for Christmas parties. A good alternative to the customary Christmas pudding recipe, the brownies are topped with a healthy caramel sauce made from dates! Prefer a more gooey centre or a crispier edge? Just change up your baking time for the desired taste. Check out our guide to this indulgent brownies now.

 

Tempted to whip out your cookware yet? We’re not sure about you, but we sure are!

For all the ingredients needed in the easy Christmas recipes, be sure to drop by your nearest Cold Storage store today! 

3 Different Ways to Throw an Outdoor Celebration

3 Different Ways to Throw an Outdoor Celebration

Whether it’s an anniversary, a party or a gathering just because, everyone loves a good celebration. If you’re looking for ways to have a celebration that is different from the usual indoor dinner or lunch, here are four fun and creative outdoor party ideas to try out:

Backyard Forest   

Turn your backyard or garden into a fun forest with a long wooden table and chairs, tree trunk slices for coasters and green, leafy centrepiecaes on the table. Serve forest-inspired dishes such as acorn cake pops or donuts, toadstool cupcakes, salad bowls or jars and blueberry mojitos that are reminiscent of a clear blue stream in the middle of a forest. Your guests will have an endlessly fun time inspecting and exploring every forest-inspired detail at your party.

Campsite at Home

Camping will always have a classic charm, making it an ever-popular activity among friends and family. City dwellers who are looking to recreate a campsite cookout as a party can do so by incorporating popular camping treats into the menu. For example, s’mores, skewered meats and vegetables, hot or iced chocolate (elevate it with a dash of rum) and one-pot stews or soups.

Picnic, Perfected

Picnics are the definition of a simple and down-to-earth celebration. All over the world, picnics are a favourite weekend or holiday activity, perfect for those who want something fuss-free and relaxing. Have a special occasion coming up? Don’t rule out a picnic. You may be surprised at how satisfying and fun it can be. Sandwiches, salads and lemonades are picnic staples, but try taking it a step further by exploring slightly more complex dishes such as Scotch eggs, feta and olive salad, salmon sushi, cherry pie with ice cream and a healthy version of a peach cordial. You’re sure to have a picture-perfect picnic. 

Make full use of our country’s forever summer weather and take your celebration outdoors. For all the ingredients to create your outdoor adventure, head on over to Cold Storage!

5 Types of Wines Grown in Barossa Valley

5 Types of Wines Grown in Barossa Valley

Nestled in the beautiful state of South Australia, Barossa Valley brims with some of the oldest vineyards and wineries known to Aussies. This age-old wine-producing region is home to the most coveted and prestigious brands including Penfolds, Henschke Cellars, Wolf Blass and Jacob’s Creek. To get a taste of its boozy goodness, here are the top Barossan wine varieties you need to know.

1) Shiraz

Dominating almost half of the valley’s wine production, Shiraz is one of the oldest grown wines since the 1800s. Not only is it prominent for its disease-resistant properties, Shiraz is essentially rich and full-bodied in flavours, accented with notes of berries, pepper, and even liquorice. The acidity from its high tannin level and robust dark-fruit qualities makes it a great complement to meat dishes.

2) Cabernet Sauvignon

With the cool climate of Barossa, Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes with a wide selection of scents and tastes. Although it shares similar elements to the Shiraz, this wine boasts subtle hints of green pepper when not fully ripe and concentrated cassis undertones as it ripens. Its healthy level of tannin serves well with Italian dishes and roasted meats.

3) Riesling

On a sweeter note, the refreshing Riesling bursts with a combination of fruity aromas such as nectarine, apricot, peaches, and pear. The wine’s high acidity gives a crisp and dry flavour to the palate – resembling the tartness of lemonade. For food pairings, Riesling’s sweetness and acidity work wonders with spicy food especially Indian and Thai.

4) Grenache

Widely recognised for its unique blend of Shiraz and Mataro, Grenache is a semi-sweet flavoured wine loaded with ripe strawberries and raspberries, and a touch of peppery goodness. The soft and mild flavours of this drink are fantastic for hearty dishes like roasted ribs and racks of lamb.

5) Mourvèdre

Under the moniker Mataro, this intense, deep-coloured wine hails all the way from Spain. Mourvèdre yields herbaceous, earthy scents as well as an exquisite fusion of pear and black fruits. Containing a high level of tannin, the wine develops rounded and complex flavours throughout its ageing process. Like any full-bodied red wine, Mourvèdre goes hand in hand with meat dishes as well as Portobello mushrooms and lentils that help absorb the wine’s tannin.

Experience some of the best flavours of Barossan. Let your taste buds run wild at Cold Storage today!

Table Setting Tips You Need to Know this Raya

Table Setting Tips You Need to Know this Raya

Have you ever marvelled at the details of a table setting when attending a dinner? Many of us have, without realising that the way a table is set plays an important role in creating an inviting ambience.

Here’s a few tips to creating the perfect Raya ambience through your table setting.

1. Pick the Right Blooms
Choose flowers depending on the look you’re going for and the type of table you have. For example, bright colours will create a vibrant, playful mood while white blooms add sophistication and class. If you have rectangular tables, use multiple bouquets; but for a round or square table, a single vase is perfect.
 

2.  Make Space
Ensure your guests are not too cramped and that they have enough space to eat with ease. To do this, leave at least 50 to 60cm of space between each plate.

3.  Follow the Rules
Dinner plates should be positioned at the center of a place mat, with cutlery on either side. In general, forks go to the left of the plate and knives and spoons go to the right. The knife blade should always face toward the plate. If soup is served, set the bowl on top of the plate and add a soup spoon to the right.

Water glasses should be placed directly above the knives while napkins can be placed under the forks or on the plate. Cups and saucers should go above the spoons with the handle toward the right.

4.  Reflect Light
To create a luxurious and elegant setting, include light-reflecting tableware. Use glass or crystal water goblets and bring out your best silverware!

5.  Go the Extra Mile
Impress guests by adding something special to the table. This could be anything from a simple DIY menu to a personalised mini-gift or a special note for each guest.

6. The Finishing Touch
Be prepared by filling water glasses before guests arrive – leave a pitcher on the table for refills. This will give you more time to interact with guests instead of often heading to the kitchen.