Daily Horoscope: July 11, 2018
 
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Chinese calendar:
Day of the Wood Dragon
Month of the Earth Horse
Year of the Earth Dog 2018

Polarity of the Day: Yang
Polarity of the Month: Yang
Polarity of the Year: Yang
Lucky directions: East-South-East
Lucky colors: All colors
 

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Even if the Wood Dragon is ambitious and overbearing like all Dragons, his discreet charisma and spontaneous generosity tend to make his intentions more praiseworthy.

Entrepreneur, full of tricks and with a limitless reserve of energy, the Wood Dragon can adapt to all types of situations, and fortunately, because he also has an unfortunate tendency to disperse.

During a Wood Dragon day, we’re constantly attracted by distractions that can keep us away from our main daily goal. We must therefore try to simplify our timetable and take advantage of the analytical qualities of the Wood Dragon by concentrating only on one or two tasks that seem to us the most important. With your lover or family, in case of a dispute, try to remain calm in all circumstances, even if you are persuaded to be right.

Daily Energetic chart: Balanced
Birth's character and destiny (BaGua): The Peace

The Lodge of the Moving Chariot is beneficial. Wednesday, the Water element and the planet Mercury are symbolically attached to this house. Synonymous with wealth, the 28th lodge of the Moving Chariot is associated with the transport of tributes destined for the emperor of China. It’s beneficial to vehicles and transport, but also to marriages and births.

Who is General Tso?
 
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General Tso is one of the most popular dishes at Windchimes. This sweet yet spicy, deep-fried chicken treat brings customers in but leaves them with the popular question of "who is General Tso?"

This dish is said to be named after Zuo Zongtang, a Qing dynasty statesman and military leader. There is no real connection to him or the dish from the Hunan Province and even his descendants, when interviewed, had never heard of the dish. There is also claim that a Taiwan-based Hunan chef named Peng Chang-kuei invented the popular dish. Peng started inventing new dishes and modifying traditional ones during the early 20th century when he moved to New York to open up a restaurant. He was not the only to lay claim to the dish. Shun Lee Palaces in New York City clamed to be the first restaurant to serve General Tso's chicken and states it was invented by a Chinese immigrant chef named T.T. Wang in 1972. 

"We opened the first Hunanese restaurant in the whole country, and the four dishes we offered you will see on the menu of practically every Hunanese restaurant in America today. They all copied from us."[2]

Even though there are several claims to the General Tso's history it can be reconciled that the current General Tso's chicken recipe was introduced by Chef Wang but as "General Ching's" a name which still has trace appearances on menus on the Internet (the identity of its namesake "General Ching" is, however, unclear); whereas the name "General Tso's chicken" traces to Chef Peng, who cooked it in a different way.

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He may not be an actual person but General Tso sure does leave customers at several Chinese restaurants very, very pleased! Thank you!

 

The Legend of Potstickers
 
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Potstickers are one of my favorite dishes. These simple, little fried pillows filled with meat leave you wanting more. Usually they are an appetizer and meant to share but sometimes you just want them all to yourself. How did these little dumplings become so popular and why are they so delicious? 

The Chinese have been enjoying these little treats since the Song Dynasty. No one knows the exact origin of how they were created but according to legend they were invented by a chef in China's Imperial Court who accidentally burnt a batch of dumplings after leaving them on the stove for too long. The dumplings were overcooked and burnt on the bottom but not on top. The Chef went with this mistake and said it was a new dish and was supposed to be served in this style, leading to the Potstickers we enjoy today. 

 
 

Typically, potstickers are made with a hot water dough that uses boiling water, giving the dough greater elasticity so it can hold it's shape. Though, if you are trying to make these at home you can usually pick up Gyoza or wonton wrappers to create a similar substitute. After they are made you want to fry them up and flip over with the brown side up. Then after they are finished and plated up you can use a variety of dipping sauces to bring out the delicious flavors of the pork inside. 

There are other types of potstickers from different regions of China but these fried delights are my favorite. Come into Windchimes today to taste them for yourself. And be prepared not to share!

Daily Horoscope: June 13th, 2018
 
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Chinese calendar:
Day of the Fire Rat
Month of the Fire Snake
Year of the Earth Dog 2018

Polarity of the Day: Yang
Polarity of the Month: Yin
Polarity of the Year: Yang
Lucky directions: North
Lucky colors: Green
 

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THE FIRE RAT IS ENDOWED WITH AN AMAZINGLY PASSIONATE NATURE, WHICH HE WILLINGLY SHARES WITH THE PEOPLE HE LOVES.

Intelligent and lively, he succeeds in expressing his creativity in group activities to the best of his ability: he is more willing to be a director or an actor than a painter or writer.

On a day of the Fire Rat, work meetings, so often boring and unnecessary, bear unexpected fruits. Dialogue and interaction between usually lonely personalities make it possible to clear unexplored territories for the greater benefit of the community.

Young lovers take advantage of the evening to declare their flame for the first time. If a few springs have already passed since your first kiss, offer your partner flowers and an impromptu getaway, whose simplicity and freshness will only revive the memories of your never forgotten first moments together.

Daily Energetic chart: Lack of Wood element
Birth's character and destiny (BaGua): The Inner Truth

Solar calendar: Gemini

 
My First Chinese Restaurant Experience
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I remember my first Chinese Restaurant experience fondly. There was something special about it that has left an impression on me and my memory. When I think about it I've been to so many different restaurants in my 32 years of life and most of them I don't remember but New Peking Chinese Restaurant will always have a special place in my heart. 

Honestly, I don't really know if this was the first time I had actually had Chinese food or not but this place I remember going to as a family. We would go with my mom ,sister, Grandpa and Japanese Grandma to this spot off of North Dixie in a semi tiny strip mall (where all the good food is in the midwest). I just remember it having a big red door that transported you into a different world of smells and visual memories. We would always go on a Wednesday when my dad would be out golfing with his friends and we got to treat ourselves to some dinner out. I remember the menu having so much food that ranged not only from Chinese food but also Korean. This was the first time I had ever seen Bipmpop and it was impressive! 

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Since I was a pretty picker eater those days so I was scared of half of the menu because I didn't know what to expect. I had always liked chicken and thought that you couldn't really go wrong with something that could be both sweet and sour and ordered that dish in hopes that it would be ok. And boy was it! The taste was so new and interesting and left my taste buds confused and excited made me really interested in the wold of Chinese food and what it all had to offer. In a way I couldn't believe that there was this food out there and so many varieties of it. Even though New Peking is no longer around I will always remember that red door and how it opened my taste buds to new experiences and every time I taste sweet and sour chicken I think not only of that but also the wonderful times I had there with family and how Chinese food can bring people together.

Color in Chinese Culture

China is a large and old country that has a lot of traditions and ties to culture that a lot of people don't know. One being the symbolism of color the meaning behind certain ones.

Each color represents one of the five elements that hold a special place in China's culture. Here is the break down :

Black

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Black represents water. In China, as elsewhere in the world, black 黑 symbolizes something serious, very formal. It was the color wore by the imperial dignitaries,  much like the outfits of our lawyers back in the West. Black also expresses the secret in Chinese, something that is happening in the shadow like the mafia. Black is also considered as a neutral color. Thus, in modern China, people usually wear black clothes in their daily life and white is usually for funerals.

Red

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The second color is red. It represents fire. Chinese people usually believe that red can be a sign of joy and fortune. It has been common color in Chinese New Year and other official or traditional holidays. That is why many older people or people that have been married usually give red envelope as red is a sign of good luck. Red in Chinese culture is not usual for an event like a funeral because it  represents happiness. Thus, it can be pretty offensive to wear red clothes to the funeral ceremony.

Green

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In China, green color usually carries a negative meaning. The Chinese think that someone who does not feel good has a green face. “Having a green face” also means to be angry. Another popular meaning is to cheat on someone. “Wearing a green cap” means being unfaithful to your husband. Generally this term is used for a woman who had a relationship with another man and therefore dishonored her husband.

White

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The fourth color is white. It strongly symbolized the purity and brightness of the metal. It is the official color of clothes in a funeral ceremony. The Chinese are also obsessed with the white skin, as it is usually related to your position in the society.

Yellow

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The last color is yellow as a symbol of earth. This color, very important in Chinese symbolism, represents glory, wisdom, harmony, happiness, culture. Yellow is reserved for the Emperor, it is the color of royalty. Later, it took very different meaning as yellow is also the color of sex and pleasure.

As we quickly approach summer we are seeing all the colors that come out in nature and also our food. So, next time you are enjoying your delicious food from Windchimes take a look and see what colors your see and what they might mean!

NEW Ordering Apps Added
 
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Did you know that you don't have to call in your food order anymore? It's pretty wild but you are now able to order from several different food applications straight from your phone. Windchimes food is now part of Doordash, BiteSquad and Postmates delivery services.

This is perfect for the busy parent who needs to order dinner for their family and don't have time to pick it up. The food gets quickly delivered to you and ready to eat. I've used these services several times when I'm putting my baby to bed and he falls asleep on me. It's great because I can just take out of my phone and quietly order my food while he snoozes. 

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All these services make it so much easier and gives you a much needed break where you can catch up on the news or just browse Facebook for a while as you wait for your food to come straight to your front door. This is perfect for the summer months because you can now enjoy all your favorite Chinese dishes outside. Why not have an impromptu picnic out back or have people over for a buffet style dinner? The opportunities are endless. Make your dinner a fun experience and take out an annoying step of having to pick it up!

Inspiring Foods: The History of Moo Shu
 
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Last week I decided to be adventurous and try a new dish at Windchimes. I searched through the menu as my mouth watered at all the delicious sounding food when I finally found what i wanted. I wanted the Moo Shu Chicken.

This stir fried dish served with your choice of meat with cabbage, bamboo shoots, carrots and egg in a plum sauce sounded really good. Though there was an interesting element that caught my attention and was the reason i wanted to try this dish out. It came with a pancake?! What did that mean? I had to try it and I was not disappointed.

Afterward I was curious about how this dish was created since a lot of the Chinese food comes from different regions that specialize in their own flavors or types of food. This dish comes from the northern Chinese origin originating from Shandong, a coastal province and appearing in the United States in the late 1960s. Typically the Moo Shu dish is created with pork tenderloin, cucumber, and scrambled eggs, stir fried in sesame or peanut oil together with mushrooms and minced ginger and garlic. As this dish grew popularity in the United States the chefs had to start to modify the recipe to use ingredients that are easier and more available in the states. This is why they started to use green cabbage, carrots, scallions and bean sprouts a lot more in the dish. Like most dishes that are popular there are a lot of different variations of them from restaurant to restaurant adding their own flavor and twist on it.

 
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My favorite adaptation in the pancake that is served with the dish. The pancake is a white tortilla-like wrapper made of flour and is used to hold all of the contents of the dish. It's basically eaten like a taco and there are even some Chinese restaurants that began serving Mexican style flour tortillas with the dish. I love the way that food has come to grow and adapt to their surroundings and the culture around them that is different then their own. It really illustrates the beauty of America and how we are a melting pot of so many different cultures. 

 

Daily Horoscope: May 8, 2018
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Chinese calendar:
Day of the Metal Ox
Month of the Fire Dagon
Year of the Earth Dog 2018

Polarity of the Day: Yin
Polarity of the Month: Yang
Polarity of the Year: Yang
Lucky directions: North-East
Lucky colors: Green

 

LIKE HIS PEERS, THE METAL OX IS A CONSERVATIVE, FOR WHOM WORK AND FAMILY ARE PARAMOUNT TO HIS PERSONAL WELL-BEING AND DEVELOPMENT.

 

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The Metal Ox is little talkative, preferring to express himself by concrete gestures rather than by speech. It is also when he acts of his own free will that the Metal Ox feels really happy and fulfilled. Indeed, while he hates to be given orders, he is always ready to serve others. A Metal Ox day is beneficial to the business world, especially if you’re an entrepreneur or if you run a department within your company.

Today, you’re able to use discernment and skillfully convince your interlocutors, even more since you won’t hesitate to wet your shirt in the process. In love, if you’ve been married for a long time or if you’ve been in a couple for a short period of time, a small symbolic gift (for example a rose or a bouquet of flowers) to your partner will only strengthen your union by the simplicity and elegance of your gesture.

Daily Energetic chart: Weak in Wood element
Birth's character and destiny (BaGua): Moulting
 

 

Lets Eat!: Shareable Foods
 
 Chicken Lettuce Wraps meant to be shared!

Chicken Lettuce Wraps meant to be shared!

 

Food is an important part of Chinese people's lives. Food is not only seen as enjoyment but also a way to bring others together such as family and friends. 

There are several dishes on the Windchimes menu's that "shareable". Such as the Shrimp Toast, Chicken Lettuce wraps, or the Mango Shrimp. Just look at the portion of food that is presented when it comes hotly out of the kitchen. It's HUGE! It' also, usually, plated in a way that makes it easy to share and allows everyone to enjoy in the deliciousness of the food!

Sharing isn't just a nice act to do when enjoying a meal, it's also good manners in Chinese culture. Food is very important and has a deep rooted history of not only flavors but also courtesy. There is a lot of respect that goes into dining like presenting the best food to senior members of the family first to honor them. Also celebrating special moments in ones life like a birthday (or maybe Mother's Day) at a Chinese Restaurant to eat noodles not only shows respect for tradition but also is a great way to enjoy a meal with the important people in your life.

 Sharing with family

Sharing with family

Being able to share food is also a way to be more adventurous and try a few different flavors. Why not try Hunan Pork or the Sizzling House Noodles. Take your taste buds on an adventure and why not bring a friend along for the ride.