Tonight we celebrated the Chinese New Year- not because any of us are of Asian decent, but because we like any excuse to get together and celebrate over a meal. We started with egg drop soup made with chicken broth, spinach, shitake mushrooms and eggs(of course). Then we had chicken lettuce wraps with a puffed sai fun noodle topping, and finished with a pork fried rice and garlic beef and broccoli. For a night of all new recipes it was a success and we were quite proud of our efforts. Next year I plan to put a little more into the planning and do decorations and maybe even try making crispy duck!
This weekend we are off to visit my cousin up north of the city in Grayslake, IL. Every year we join them for their town's annual Chili Cookoff. Last year, theirs was by far the best and I can't wait to taste all the different concoctions people come up with. It is always fun to travel to small towns and get a taste of the simpler life. I like to look at the beautiful houses we could afford if my husband didn't mind the hour commute. We hang out in the saloon on main street and window shop for kitsch and eat bowls and bowls of chili. It is the perfect winter weekend- I just hope the weather holds!