Tag Archives: Parties

Ming in the Moon (The Autumn Moon Festival)

This weekend is the Chinese Autumn Moon Festival also known as the Mid-Autumn Festival. It is based on the lunar calendar and is celebrated on month 8 day 15. This year it falls on Sunday, September 27th. The moon is said to be the brightest and fullest it will be all year at this time.

It has been tradition for our family to have an Autumn Moon Festival dinner party every year since my daughters were adopted as babies from China. Ming’s roots are in China as well, as all pugs are. Pugs were companions to Chinese Emperors and are one of the oldest breeds of dogs. So, I thought, how fun to have a picture taken of Ming in the Moon!

Ming in the Moon

As part of the celebration we eat Moon Cakes. These are sweet pastries filled with different fillings like red bean paste, lotus seed paste, or a nut filling.  They often also contain a hard boiled salted egg yolk that symbolizes the moon. I prefer them without the yolks, as they are an acquired taste. The moon cakes are round like the moon and symbolize togetherness. We used to order our delicious moon cakes from a bakery every year in New York City’s Chinatown. Moon Cakes are beautiful! Read more about them here. Since becoming gluten intolerant a few years ago, I have made a gluten free version at home instead. The recipe I make can be found on Kirbie’s Cravings.

Gluten Free Moon Cakes

Gluten Free Moon Cakes

 

My older daughter, who is a nurse, came over today and spent the day with me in the kitchen prepping the dishes for the party. It will be a gluten free dinner using some of my favorite Paleo and Gluten Free Chinese Recipes, including the Chinese Five Spice Chicken Bites from my blog. Have you tried them yet? They are so easy and delicious.

Chinese Five Spice Chicken Bites

Chinese Five Spice Chicken Bites

 

As part of the decorations, I made Crepe Paper Party Balls as a party favor for each guest. I found the idea on Martha Stewart’s website under Erin Furey’s craft videos. If you enjoy crafting, there are some great ideas there! I hope they are as fun to open as they were to make! After dinner we will go outside and see the full moon and release colorful Sky Lanterns. It should be a fun time, and Ming Ming will be right there also. She loves a good celebration!

 

Very Vanilla Truffles

Truffles are such a treat for holidays! These truffles have just the right creamy mouth feel when you bite into them, with a little bit of salty and sweet and a hint of rum, which raises them to a whole new level of delicious! The cocoa butter melds perfectly with the almond butter to give you the creaminess everyone desires in a truffle. I love them as a special treat, and I think you will too. They are beautiful to give as gifts in mini muffin papers and then placed in a decorative tin, and equally enticing served on a pretty tray at a party. So, lets get to it! They aren’t difficult, but they are fancy!

Very Vanilla Truffles

Very Vanilla Truffles

Very Vanilla Truffles

Ingredients:

1/2 Cup Cocao Butter (chopped)

1/2 Cup  Almond Butter (no sugar added)

1/4 Cup Clear Honey

1 Vanilla Bean (split and seeds removed then pod discarded)

1 Tablespoon Light Rum

1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract (SCD Legal no additives)

1/4 Teaspoon Himalayan Pink Salt

1/4 Cup Toasted Pecans, finely chopped for rolling the truffles

Preheat your oven 350º degrees. Place the pecans on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for five minutes until golden brown. Set aside to cool.

In a double broiler (You can also use a saucepan and a metal bowl for this to substitute as a double broiler) place approximately 2 inches of water and bring the water to a simmer. In the top part of your double broiler or a metal bowl that will fit on the saucepan without touching the water below, place the almond butter, cocoa butter, honey, vanilla bean and Himalayan Pink Salt. Put the bowl of ingredients over the simmering water and stir with a wire whisk to melt and incorporate the mixture thoroughly. When the cocoa butter is melted and the ingredients well combined, remove from the water and stir in the rum and vanilla extract. It will be quite liquid at this point. Refrigerate the truffle filling in the refrigerator for 1 1/2 to 2 hours until it becomes firm enough to scoop and roll into balls, but not too firm. Meanwhile, finely chop your cooled pecans. I use a Mini Ninja Express Chop for this because it is fast and easy to clean up. When the filling is set enough to roll, scoop the filling with a tablespoon cookie scoop, roll into balls and then roll into the finely chopped pecans. Put them in mini muffin cups and keep in the refrigerator. These will keep for at least two weeks.

Very Vanilla Truffles

Very Vanilla Truffles

Very Vanilla Truffles

Very Vanilla Truffles

These truffles are pretty, delicious treats!

Eat Your Nutrients!

Eat Your Nutrients!

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