Year of the Pig [from Vegas]

{The Bellagio lobby and the Dragon at the Caesars}

The Lunar New Year begins at the new moon that falls between January 20thand February 20th; it is a festival that celebrates the beginning of the New Year on the Chinese calendar. Traditionally the festival was a time to honor deities as well as the ancestors, and was associated with several myths and customs. But, today popular themes used in celebrating are the red paper envelopes for giving money, along with lighting firecrackers, dragon dances, and my favorite the meticulous dishes prepared for celebrating.

{The Year of Pig celebrated at Bellagio and the Wynn Hotels in Las Vegas}

Tony is in Las Vegas enjoying the festivities at each of the hotels, while taking photos of exhibits in lobbies.

I have also begun researching a few of the symbolic dishes served during the New Year. First I want to try making dumplings for “wealth”, then noodles for “happiness and longevity” and lastly, fish “to increase prosperity”.

Celebrate stylishly,


Record-breaking cold has blasted not only the mid-west, but a good portion of the country over the last week with temps falling 50-60 degrees below zero. Plus add a gusty wind and the air now feels like negative 60-70 degrees. Here in the mid-Atlantic we’ve been exposed to temperatures in the single digits to which my oldest brother who lives in Chicago stated this was considered heat wave.

The polar vortex and global warming are definitely issues for us to think about, and topics I must research to understand fully.

My dearest friend Quy bundled up against the cold at the Mosaic Center in Falls Church, and a photo of the frozen trees in our yard at Heath.

Veggie soup with a fabulous homemade beef broth was made to keep the family warm. I combined broth, tomatoes, red beans, onions, celery, carrots, garlic, red cabbage with thyme, oregano, rosemary, and peppercorns. All ingredients were placed in pot to be slow cooked for the day.

Further reading:
National Weather Service
The science behind the polar vortex

Stay warm and comfortable,