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. 

 

Inspiring Foods: Mongolia & Indonesia
 
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Women in Indonesia

 

China is a large continent which boarders and in close proximity to other countries. Just as we’ve learned from previous blog posts there are different cooking styles/flavors from other regions of China. This also spreads over to the different influences that China has picked up on countries that are close by such as Mongolia and Indonesia.

Let's start with Mongolia. This country is sandwiched between China and Russia, both very large and in charge countries with their own complicated history to Mongolia but this didn't mean they wouldn't be influential. Since this is a landlocked country on a rocky, mountainous terrain they are not able to produce a lot of vegetables or spices limiting them to a meat and dairy based diet. A lot of the Mongolian people raise their own animals and have created several dishes such as mutton and even have their own version of a dumpling called Buuz. Even though Mongolian cuisine primarily consists of meat it is still influential showcasing how even when you are limited you can still make amazing food

 Buuz - is a like a dumpling.

Buuz - is a like a dumpling.

Now on to Indonesia. The flavors in this country, since way more south of Mongolia and China, create a whole different palette. Their food consist of a lot of flavor and spices that really give your food a kick and a more complex flavor. Bali curry typically consist of meat that is cooked in a curry paste that is combined of several different spices to give it a unique flavor. This then is boiled in coconut milk and a variety of vegetables can be added such as potatoes, green beans, and carrots. As you can tell these dishes are both different but similar stemming from the concept of using what is around them where they live.

 
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Even though these two countries are very far apart they still have a common thread of food. Sure, their flavors may be drastically different but there is a reason why Windchimes has both on their menu. These two countries are important cultural influences to China whether you realize it or not. We live in an age where these different flavors be carried out in all parts of the world. With the ever expanding food scene we are able to give people not only a taste of China but other places like Mongolia and Indonesia.  There are so many cultural influences on food and that’s what makes it so magical. We are able to bring so much of ourselves and interests into it and share it with the people who are curious to try it. So, why not be that person and come in and try our Mongolian Style cooking and Bali Curry. I know you won’t be disappointed!

What's the Difference?: Szechuan vs Hunan Chicken
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Chinese cuisine is very important in their culture. It not only showcases the flavors of China but also the different regions that they originated from. Two particular styles of cooking that sometimes get confused with one another is Szechuan and Hunan. They seem similar but they have particular differences that you might not pick up on right away.

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Here's the breakdown:

Szechuan cuisin (sometimes also known as Sichuan) is a style of Chinese cooking originating in the Sichuan Province of southwestern China. This region is famous for their pungently, spicey flavors. There is usually a generous amounts of garlic and chili peppers in this dish along with citrus like spices that could produce a "tingly-numbing" senations in the mouth. This dish also pairs well with peanuts, sesame paste and ginger that can give it a more dynamic taste. Szechuan's flavor is known more for it's sweet and spicey taste rather it being just hot.

Hunan cuisin (also known as Xiang) originated in the Xiang River region and the Western Hunan Province. This style also has a "hot tongue numbing" seasoning known as 'mala'. It, too, has a lot of garlic and chili pepper with the addition of shallots. Though, it may seem like it is similar to Szechuan, Hunan is more for dry and purely hot with an oiler taste. Even though it's a more plain flavor there still is a range of fresh ingredients used that changes seasonally to combate with the weather around the region.

Who knew that cooking could be so regional!?! Come back and learn more as we unpack the Windchimes menu and find out more history where these food favorites comes from. 

Do you have a favorite? Did you even know the difference between the two? Come into WIndchimes today and try both out and see which one you like better!

Daily Horoscope: April 11, 2018
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Chinese calendar:
Day of the Water Rooster
Month of the Wood Rabbit
Year of the Earth Dog 2018

Polarity of the Day: Yin
Polarity of the Month: Yin
Polarity of the Year: Yang
Lucky directions: West
Lucky colors: Red, pink

THE WATER ROOSTER IS THE MOST OPEN-MINDED OF ALL ROOSTERS, EVEN IF HIS PERSONALITY RETAINS A STRONG DOSE OF CONSERVATISM COATED WITH A FORMAL PLUMAGE, WITHOUT WHICH HE WOULD NOT REALLY LIVE UP TO HIS ZODIACAL SIGN.

 A Water Rooster is a calm person who are meticulously responsible, alert, and neat. They are devoted and proud people but don't get too egotistical!

A Water Rooster is a calm person who are meticulously responsible, alert, and neat. They are devoted and proud people but don't get too egotistical!

 

The Water Rooster is a pragmatic being, gifted for everything he undertakes, although he can sometimes be handicapped by his immoderate taste for the superfluous. His excessive ambition and his interest in very diverse subjects tend to make him lose time in his projects. However, his charm and ability to attract faithful and devoted friends around him allow him to compensate for his shortcomings and weaknesses, which are still quite rare.

Today, the energies of the Chinese zodiac sign of the Water Rooster favor artistic crafts. If you are married, enjoy a quiet evening at home. If you are single and you have a romantic appointment, don’t get impressed by your partner's fiery declarations during your date, even though it’s always nice to receive such nicely turned compliments.

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

Wasabi: The Spice of Life
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Ever wonder where wasabi comes from? It seems like the bright green blob squeezed out of a tube was just always like that, a course paste. But was it? And where does it actually come from?

Wasabi is a plant of the  Brassicaceae family, which also includes horseradish and mustard. This makes sense because it has that very intense, up front flavor right as it enters your mouth. The plant that is comes from looks very odd. It has leaves and a very large looking root. But that root is actually the stem to the leaves of the plant and where the wasabi comes from. Yeah, I know that it doesn’t seem like that large, coarse root could contain a bright green paste but it does you just have to know how to get it. When making wasabi you have to use a special metal grater called a oroshigane. This grinds the stem very finely creating the course, green paste that you know as wasabi.

 
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Traditionally it comes from Japan and is known for being used alongside sushi, though there are other ways to use it. At Windchimes our chief has used this spicy paste to kick up the flavors of some food such as tuna and shrimp. The Wasabi Shrimp dish starts off very flavorful and you don’t taste the wasabi right away. Then like a cat stalking a mouse it slowly creeps up on and then pounces on your taste buds. Wasabi provides a fun food experience giving your mouth a different sensation of flavors and spice. Who knew that this stem could pack such a punch and give our food a flavor we didn’t know we needed.

The Beauty of Ugly Delicious

Chinese Food is one of the most popular foods in America. Think about all the Chinese Food places you see around town, small and large. Just think about the iconic image of Apple Pie being “American”. When is the last time you’ve even had Apple Pie? Now think about the last time you’ve had Chinese food. I bet you’ve had Chinese Food way more than Apple Pie. So, does that make it more American?  

Recently I’ve been binging the Netflix show Ugly Delicious where star chef David Chang leads friends around the world discovering iconic twists on traditions and surprising links between cultures.

 
 

The episode that really caught my attention was the episode called Fried Rice. It was talking about the population of Chinese food in America and how it began and the cultural baggage that went with it. Most Chinese people immigrated to the United States during the 19th century working as laborers, particularly on the railways.  During that time there were a lot of angry Americans (go figure) who didn’t want these immigrants taking their jobs, which lead to violence and terrible laws like the Chinese Exclusion Act which prohibited the immigrated from China for the next 10 years of that date. With this act lead a lot of Chinese people who were already in the States needing to find other means of work so they began opening up laundry services and restaurants. This lead to the spread and population of Chinese Food. 

Chinese Food is an American staple. It’s something that we’ve all experienced and taken comfort in. I know for me Sweet & Sour Chicken makes me think of going out to dinner on Friday nights with my parents and grandparents and how it was something special. I know it’s not authentic Chinese but it’s something that makes me all warm and fuzzy inside. I’m sure other  people have their nostalgic Chinese food too but watching this show made me want to venture out beyond my usual too. I feel that Windchimes restaurant is like that. They have all the comforts there but also other more authentic Chinese Food too. After watching this show really wanted me to boarded my horizons to trying new Chinese food and I think this is the perfect place to start. Who’s with me?

 
 Also who says it can't be pretty?

Also who says it can't be pretty?

 
Spring into the New Year

 

Spring is right at our doorstep and we are excited to let it in! 

The Chinese New year is all about celebrating this magical season, even celebrateing it for 23 days straight! 

Here are some of the activities they do to welcome in this season:

  • Many people clean their houses to welcome the Spring Festival. The also decorate their homes by putting up posters and red lanterns as they welcome family in to celebrate with them. The color red is to bring luck!
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  • Many people set off fireworks on the eve of the Spring Festival hoping to cast away any bad luck and bring forth good.
  • Children often receive "luck" money that often come in red envelops.
  • New Years Eve brings family together to celebrate the festival and enjoy each others company
  • According to historical documents this day was regarded as the first day of the first lunar month in the Chinese calendar by the ancient China's mythological emperor, Shun, led the ministers to worship heaven and Earth.
  • Like in the states the Chinese stay up until Midnight to welcome in the new year!
  • Various actives take place during the festival such as beating drums, striking gongs along with dragon and lion dances.
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So, hope you are still celebrating because even with the snow on the ground spring will be here before we know it!