A Fireside Valentine’s Date, Celebrating Lunar New Year
As Valentine’s Day quickly approaches what do you have planned for that special someone? How about a fireside Valentine’s date, celebrating Lunar New Year?
Sometimes the January and February calendar can be oddly compressed together in a short amount of time, with lots of holidays that are not ones you would think of combining:
- Chinese New Year (Lunar New Year)
- Valentine’s Day
- Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday
Sometimes these holidays can even end up on the same day or the same weekend. As I stared blankly at my calendar, I tried to figure out, how on earth I could combine two of these holidays together to create a some kind of a fusion holiday. The only combination that really made any kind of sense to me, was Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day, so a Fireside Valentine’s Date, Celebrating Lunar New Year was born.
* This year we are in luck and Lunar New falls on January 25th as we will be celebrating the Year of the Rat. However, I still think a cozy take out menu by the fire can be a wonderful way to celebrate time with you special someone. As I was brainstorming what this fusion holiday, would look like, it made sense for it to be a romantic fireside “date night”. I was also thinking, the focal color for both holidays are red, which is very helpful. Most people celebrate Valentine’s Day with a dinner out, so why not a romantic dinner in? No one should have to cook on Valentine’s Day, so “take out” it would be. That is how this fireside date night was born.It is no secret that my husband and I both love good Chinese food. To give you little history about us on this topic, I have been going to the same Chinese Restaurant since I was 2 years old. Jade Dragon actually holds a very special place in our hearts. It is the first date I went on with Ron, at the original restaurant location. Prior to it being sold to new owners in 2000. Plus we also had our Wedding Rehearsal Dinner in a private banquet hall within the original location. We had a variety of Chinese dishes, including a full Peking Duck. Imagine a scene very similar to The Christmas Story. Where the duck head was removed on a chopping block right in front of my mother in law to be. Quite the spectacle I must say, and a moment no one will ever forget.So this cozy little date night dinner is the very same chinese food that I have been consuming for over 40 years. In fact we had a little scare the last time we ordered, and were afraid the local Lawrencevillle, take out location, had been sold off as well. I decided for this post I would give it one more try to see if it was the same food I knew and loved, and it was. So the last time we ordered it must have been an off day or they had a new chef in the kitchen or something. I made sure to order all of our favorite things to take us down memory lane, Sizzling Rice Soup, a Tidbit Platter, and several of our favorite dishes. Heck even the menu names kind of have a saucy ring to it for Valentine’s Day, don’t you think? I decide that we should eat directly out of the cartons with chopsticks, California style. Not only does this cut down on the amount of dishes to clean up but leftovers can easily be stored away in a jiffy. I found theses cute Asian motif soup bowls at my local HomeGoods. Which worked perfectly with the thick velvetine placemats and Valentine Day napkin. Yes, I know the mix is very unconventional but I think that is what makes this concept work really well. It is fun and unexpected, and creates an evening to remember. While my husband was building the fire I was able to quickly dress up the fortune cookies included in the order. You can see my full tutorial DIY at Festive Chocolate Fortune Cookies. Just by adding a little melted chocolate and sprinkles they went from ho hum basics to a fun and festive treat. They kind of remind me of a conversation hearts filled with Asian wisdom. In fact, they turned out so cute I would consider doing these as a cute boxed favors or Valentine’s gift for my neighborhood friends. After he got the fire going, we tossed a few pillows from our sofa on to floor to create a cozy little nest. I had already spread out the picnic blanket which matched perfectly. It was a older quilt that was made by my grandmother years ago, because it is a twin size and she only made one, it has rarely been used. In fact it still looks as new as the day she gave it to my mom.
We uncorked a couple of our favorite bottles of wine from Gainey Vinyard. A white, Pinot Grigio for me and red, Merlot for him, perfect for our Valentines theme. Normally, I would recommend a nice plum wine with a Chinese based dinner, but I will say it does tend to be super sweet. We lit a few red lanterns as a nod to the Chinese New Year, and enjoyed of feast.We even got a few of our fur babies to join us. You can see Khalessi is present in this picture. She never misses out on a good crackling fire. She absolutely loves to curl up by the fireplace. We call it her “sunshine in a box” during the winter months.
Just to set the mood a little bit more I hung up some sweet little twinkle lights a little earlier in the day. There is nothing better than twinkle lights, I would keep them up all year if I could. You can see all the supplies I used to create this fun little date night below.
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GET THIS PARTY STARTED: