Royal Seafood: A Singaporean Chinese New Year Feast

It’s difficult being far from home at the holidays — which is what makes February a trying time most years.

Living in New York, far from the Chinese new year feasts and festivities of Singapore, I always feel like I’m missing out. Thankfully, though, there was a special dinner this year — on the seventh day of the lunar new year no less. Now, the seventh day is the day that Chinese celebrate as “Ren Ri,” the day that humans were created. (According to Chinese mythology, the first life-form the goddess Nu Wa created on the first day of the year was the chicken — go figure.) And since it’s the birthday of humans, the Chinese celebrate it as everybody’s birthday.

So it seemed fitting to be heading out to a Chinese new year celebration at Royal Seafood in New York on a day that we could toast everybody’s birthday …

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Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms: Pretty Tasty

One of the perks of having a terrific chef for a dear friend is the kitchen lessons you’ll inevitably get.

On a recent weekend, I noticed a lovely bouquet of yellow and orange flowers in chef Simpson‘s kitchen.

“How pretty,” I said.

“Dinner!” was his reply.

Turns out the blooms were zucchini flowers — how was he planning to cook them? I didn’t have to wait long to find out …

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