I have never celebrated Chinese New Year in my life. But last week, I heard someone mentioning it, and I thought to myself, “What a fun excuse to have a dinner party with friends! (Not that I need an excuse) ” With less than five days notice, I called some friends and invited them over to join us for a fun and delicious night. And what a fun dinner party it was! 


I got to work shopping for decorations and Chinese New Year themed table top items. I wanted red to be the most prominent color, but I also wanted to incorporate other colors in so I bought bowls in three colors to use with my basic white plates. I found porcelain white Chinese soup spoons for 1.00 each at World Market to use along with bamboo chopsticks. 

For a table runner, I found a black asian inspired print fabric and a simple red fabric. I cut and sewed them so I could layer them like you see above. Just the look I wanted!

I found the pleated circular fans hanging on my chandelier at Party City. Do you see the Chinese hats hanging from the sconces on the back wall (Actually you can only see one. The other one is hidden behind the hanging pleated fan)? Another Party City find. Love them all!


I found these Chinese lanterns at Party City too. I just love these paper lanterns. 


This is the year of the horse. Luckily my boys had this horse in their room. The animal changes every year. 


According to Chinese beliefs, during this time you should display oranges and tangerines. They symbolize wealth, happiness and health.  Yep…. three good things.


It is also a Chinese tradition to hand out money in red envelopes. Instead, I gave everyone a red bag filled with “silver” chocolate coins, “gold” kisses and “fortune” cookies. Our guests are sure to have a prosperous 2014!


I laid out Chinese almond cookies along the table runner along with some other Chinese knick knacks I found at World Market. As you can see… so many fun symbols to decorate with for a dinner like this! We also printed out the background and meaning of the different animals that one is according to your birthday month and year so we could read up on it. It is very interesting and for me it was spot on! I am a dragon. Great conversation starters as our friends were arriving and mingling. Here is the table right before our guests arrived. 

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I opened up our front door and ….. what a fun sight! Mike and Cora… you are so awesome!

thai chicken

The food was not so much Chinese food. I would call it Asian fusion. This was a Thai curry inspired stir fry. We also started with a Thai soup and lettuce wraps. 


This is an Asian salad that is out of this world good! 


Salmon with an Asian flavored glaze. One of my favorites.

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For the finish we had chocolate flourless cakes served with coconut ice cream and a raspberry sauce. Don’t worry … this is going to be a future class menu (most of them at least). Has to be!


Ok friends, you have a whole year to plan a fun Chinese New Year dinner party yourself. It was loads of fun and so delicious. But the best part was spending it with wonderful friends. Perfect way to start off a new year!