Celebrating Our Customers
Google Business  Image from one of our customers

Google Business Image from one of our customers

Windchimes has been so lucky to have such great customers through out the years. We are so happy that you enjoy our food and keep coming back for more!

We love to hear from you whether its through liking our Facebook posts or using our hashtag #WindchimesChinese food on any social media to connect all of us together.

One place that we’ve been seeing a lot of love is on Google Business. We get so many great reviews from you on our food and even get some great pictures too! We would love to celebrate how much you love us and will even feature your images on Facebook, Instagram, and Google Business. We love to see you get creative!

We love you and would love to show our appreciation! So, next time you’re in snap a picture and tag us #WindchimesChinese and find us on all the different types of social media!

 
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Year of the Earth Pig: Lucky Foods to Eat
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Theres’s several ways to preserve your luck during this new year! One way is to eat lucky foods.

This years lucky food is Lychee!

During this year of the Earth Pig the two elements that allow the 12 signs of the Chinese calendar to maintain positive harmony through out 2019 are Fire and Metal. These signs are than associated with different features like Fire being associated with red color and Metal with white and grey. Applied to food and Chinese medicine, any food, fruit or vegetable with red and white as dominate colors has the energies (or movements as Chinese elements are called) to Fire and Metal.

Through out the year we want to create a balance or harmony with Fire and Earth in our own signs. Below are foods that will help your specific signs.

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Lucky starters 2019: cabbage salad, mozzarella and tomato salad, white radish salad

Lucky main dishes 2019: Bolognese spaghetti, Neapolitan pizza, seasons pizza, stuffed eggplant, Thai red curry

Lucky desserts 2019: Lychee fruit salad, cherry clafoutis, strawberry tart, raspberry charlotte, yogurt, floating island

Happy Lunar New Year: The Celebration Begins
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Just because the new year has begun doesn't mean you're allowed to rest.

While most countries that observe Lunar New Year offer three to seven days of public holidays, celebrations don't end until the 15th day of the first lunar month, also known as the Lantern Festival. (Lunar New Year in 2019 lasts from February 5 to February 19.)

There is a list of superstitious dos and don'ts for the new year but the rule of thumb is to say a lot of "kung hei fat choy"or "gong xi fa cai," and avoid saying things that may sound like a less auspicious word.

During the festival, people will travel around to visit relatives, who will prepare snacks and fill up candy boxes for the visits -- except for the third day of the month.

It's believed that arguments are more likely to happen on that day -- February 9, this year -- called chi kou (or "red mouth"). Hence, most people will engage in other activities like visiting a temple. In Hong Kong, a major spring festival horse racing event takes place every year on the third day.

During the 15 days, married couples have to give out red packets filled with money to children (and unmarried adults) to wish them luck.

The seventh day is renri, or the people's birthday (February 11). when the Chinese mother goddess Nuwa is said to have created mankind.

The highlight comes on the last day, during the Lantern Festival (February 19).

Being the only day when young girls in ancient Chinese society could go out to admire lanterns and meet boys, it's also been dubbed Chinese Valentine's Day.

Nowadays, cities around the world still put on massive lantern displays and fairs on the 15th day of the festival.

Some create more sparks than others. Like Nuanquan, a small Chinese town that puts on a spectacular "firework" show by throwing molten metal against a cold stone city wall.

Kung hei fat choy!

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Chinese New Years: Lucky Foods
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February 5th is Chinese New Years and there’s so much to celebrate! One thing that is very important to the celebration is food. There are certain dishes that are eaten for the symbolic meaning and luck.

The auspicious symbolism of these traditional Chinese New Year foods is based on their pronunciations or appearance. Not only do the dishes themselves matter, but also the preparation, and ways of serving and eating mean a lot.

The most common Chinese New Year foods includes dumplings, fish, spring rolls, and niangao. We've rounded up 7 essential Chinese, or Lunar, New Year dishes, and included the symbolism behind them all.

Here are the 7 lucky foods to eat:

1. Fish — an Increase in Prosperity

In Chinese, "fish" (鱼 Yú /yoo/) sounds like 'surplus'. Fish is a tradtional Chinese New Year dish. Chinese people always like to have a surplus at the end of the year, because they think if they have managed to save something at the end of the year, then they can make more in the next year.

Steamed fish is one of the most famous Chinese New Year recipes. What fish should be chosen for the New Year dinner is based on auspicious homophonics.

  • Crucian carp: As the first character of 'crucian carp' (鲫鱼 jìyú /jee-yoo/) sounds like the Chinese word 吉 (jí /jee/ 'good luck'), eating crucian carp is considered to bring good luck for the next year.

  • Chinese mud carp: The first part of the Chinese for "mud carp" (鲤鱼 lǐyú /lee-yoo/) is pronounced like the word for gifts (礼 lǐ /lee/). So Chinese people think eating mud carp during the Chinese New Year symbolizes wishing for good fortune.

  • Catfish: The Chinese for "catfish" (鲶鱼 niányú /nyen-yoo/) sounds like 年余 (nián yú) meaning 'year surplus'. So eating catfish is a wish for a surplus in the year.

  • Eating two fish, one on New Year's Eve and one on New Year's Day, (if written in a certain way) sounds like a wish for a surplus year-after-year.

  • If only one catfish is eaten, eating the upper part of the fish on New Year's Eve and the remainder on the first day of the new year can be spoken with the same homophonic meaning.

2. Chinese Dumplings — Wealth

With a history of more than 1,800 years, dumplings (饺子 Jiǎozi /jyaoww-dzrr/) are a classic Chinese food, and a traditional dish eaten on Chinese New Year's Eve, widely popular in China, especially in North China.

Chinese dumplings can be made to look like Chinese silver ingots (which are not bars, but boat-shaped, oval, and turned up at the two ends). Legend has it that the more dumplings you eat during the New Year celebrations, the more money you can make in the New Year.

Dumplings generally consist of minced meat and finely-chopped vegetables wrapped in a thin and elastic dough skin. Popular fillings are minced pork, diced shrimp, fish, ground chicken, beef, and vegetables. They can be cooked by boiling, steaming, frying or baking.

How they're made: Almost all Chinese people can make dumplings. First they mix the dough, second make the dough into round "wrappers" with a rolling pin, third fill the wrappers with stuffing, fourth pinch the "wrapper" together into the desired shape, and fifth cook them.

Different Dumpling Fillings Have Different Meanings

Chinese don't eat Chinese sauerkraut (酸菜 suāncài /swann-tseye/) dumplings at Spring Festival, because it implies a poor and difficult future. On New Year's Eve it is a tradition to eat dumplings with cabbage and radish, implying that one's skin will become fair and one's mood will become gentle.

How to Make LUCKY Dumplings

  • When making dumplings there should be a good number of pleats. If you make the junction too flat, it is thought to purport poverty.

  • Some Chinese put a white thread inside a dumpling, and the one who eats that dumpling is supposed to possess longevity. Sometimes a copper coin is put in a dumpling, and the one who eats it is supposed to become wealthy.

  • Dumplings should be arranged in lines instead of circles, because circles of dumplings are supposed to mean one's life will go round in circles, never going anywhere.

Lucky Saying for Eating Dumplings

Zhāo cái jìn bǎo (招财进宝/jaoww tseye jin baoww/): 'Bringing in wealth and treasure' — a felicitous wish for making money and amassing a fortune.

Read more about Chinese dumplings.

3. Spring Rolls — Wealth

Spring rolls (春卷 Chūnjuǎn /chwnn- jwen/) get their name because they are traditionally eaten during the Spring Festival. It is a dish especially popular in East China: Jiangxi, Jiangsu, Shanghai, Fujian, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Hong Kong, etc.

Spring rolls are a Cantonese dim sum dish of cylindrical-shaped rolls filled with vegetables, meat, or something sweet. Fillings are wrapped in thin dough wrappers, then fried, when the spring rolls are given their golden-yellow color.

Lucky Saying for Eating Spring Rolls

黄金万两 (hwung-jin wan-lyang/): 'A ton of gold' (because fried spring rolls look like gold bars) — a wish for prosperity.

Read more about spring rolls.

4. Glutinous Rice Cake — a Higher Income or Position

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Glutinous rice cake (年糕 Niángāo /nyen-gaoww/) is a traditional Chinese New Year recipe. In Chinese, glutinous rice cake sounds like it means "'getting higher year-on- by year"'. In Chinese people's minds, this means the higher you are the more prosperous your business is a general improvement in life. The main ingredients of niangao are sticky rice, sugar, chestnuts, Chinese dates, and lotus leaves.

Lucky Saying for Eating Niangao

年年高 (niánnián gāo /nyen-nyen gaoww/): 'Getting higher year-after-year by year', can imply children's height, rise in business success, better grades in study, promotions at work, etc.

Read more details on Glutinous Rice Cake.

5. Sweet Rice Balls — Family Togetherness

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Sweet rice ball (汤圆 Tāngyuán /tung-ywen/) is the main food for China's Lantern Festival, however, in south China, people eat them throughout the Spring Festival. The pronunciation and round shape of tangyuan are associated with reunion and being together. That's why they are favored by the Chinese during the New Year celebrations.

Lucky Sayings for Eating Tangyuan

团团圆圆 (Tuántuán yuányuán /twann-twann ywen-ywen/ 'group-group round-round'): Happy (family) reunion!

6. Longevity Noodles — Happiness and Longevity

Longevity noodles (长寿面 Chángshòu Miàn /chung-show myen/) unsurprisingly symbolize a wish for longevity. Their length and unsevered preparation are also symbolic of the eater's life.

They are longer than normal noodles and uncut, either fried and served on a plate, or boiled and served in a bowl with their broth.

7. Good Fortune Fruit — Fullness and Wealth

Certain fruits are eaten during the Chinese New Year period, such as tangerines and oranges, and pomeloes. They are selected as they are particularly round and "golden" in color, symbolizing fullness and wealth, but more obviously for the lucky sound they bring when spoken.

Chinese New Year fruits

Eating and displaying tangerines and oranges is believed to bring good luck and fortune due to their pronunciation, and even writing. The Chinese for orange (and tangerine) is 橙 (chéng /chnng/), which sounds the same as the Chinese for 'success' (成). One of the ways of writing tangerine (桔 jú /jyoo/) contains the Chinese character for luck (吉 jí /jee/).

Eating pomeloes/shaddocks is thought to bring continuous prosperity. The more you eat, the more wealth it will bring, as the traditional saying goes. The Chinese for pomelo (柚 yòu /yo/) sounds like 'to have' (有 yǒu), except for the tone, and exactly like 'again' (又 yòu).


Chinese Food: A Christmas Tradition
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I was recently was looking over the numbers on Windchimes website and noticed that last month on December 25th there was a large spike in business. I know a lot of America celebrates Christmas on that day and typically spend it with family/friends and home cooked meals. But what if that wasn’t your holiday or you didn’t want to cook? The answer is Chinese food.

This is no surprise. The tradition of going out for Chinese food on Christmas day has been around since 1935 when Jewish American’s were one of the largest non-Christian immigrant groups along with Chinese people. That meant there were new populations that didn’t typically see December 25th as a holiday. While a lot of stores/restaurants were closed many Jewish and Chinese immigrants found something of a shared experience of celebrating who they were together in a safe space.

“Chinese restaurants were safe. There was definitely an era for Jews when they felt insecure about being American and being perceived as foreign, especially since a good, good number of them came from Eastern Europe,” said Jennifer 8. Lee, author of Fortune Cookie Chronicles and producer of the documentary film The Search for General Tso. “They knew at least in Chinese restaurants they wouldn’t be judged about being foreign.”

Today you can find more restaurants open on Christmas this tradition has stuck through and through. It’s even been popularized in movies A Christmas Story. Even though the original film has a few flaws on political correctness the remake of it in 2017 fixed that:

All in all Chinese food is a staple during the holiday season so maybe next year instead of stressing out on what to make why not make a new tradition and go out and celebrate at Windchimes! It’ll be great time!

2019: Year of the Pig
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A New Year means a new Animal in the Chinese Culture. The Pig is the twelfth in the 12-year cycle of Chinese zodiac sign. The Years of the Pig include 1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019, 2031, 2043...

Earthly Branch of Birth Year: Hai
Wu Xing (The Five Elements): Shui (Water)
Yin Yang: Yin

People with Chinese zodiac Pig sign are considerate, responsible, independent and optimistic. They always show generousness and mercy to endure other people's mistakes, which help them gain harmonious interpersonal relationships. However, sometimes they will behave lazy and lack actions. In addition, pure hearts would let them be cheated easily in daily life.

  • Strengths
    Warm-hearted, good-tempered, loyal, honest, gentle

  • Weaknesses
    Naive, gullible, sluggish, short-tempered

    As the Zodiac Year of Birth (Ben Ming Nian) for people of Pig sign, 2019 could be a year full of ups and downs in all respects for them. They could receive support and help from their colleagues and leaders, but might feel stressful under too many regulations. The fortune in wealth is fair. Although they can expect a salary increase and also gain more income from financial products, there could be a lot of unexpected expenditure offsetting the favorable money increase. As for love relationship, single females of Chinese zodiac Pig may have a fairly good fortune and could start a sweet relationship in 2019.

Pad Thai: Food History
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What is Pad Thai?

Pad thai is made with soaked dried rice noodles, which are stir-fried with eggs and chopped firm tofu, and is flavored with tamarind pulp, fish sauce, dried shrimp, garlic or shallots, red chili pepper and palm sugar and served with lime wedges and often chopped roasted peanuts. It may contain other vegetables like bean sprouts, garlic chives, pickled radishes or turnips, and raw banana flowers. It may also contain fresh shrimp, crab, squid, chicken or other animal products. Many of the ingredients are provided on the side as condiments such as the red chili pepper, lime wedges, roasted peanuts, bean sprouts and other miscellaneous fresh vegetables. Vegetarian versions may substitute soy sauce for the fish sauce and omit the shrimp.


Where did it come from?

A dish of stir-fried rice noodles is thought by some to have been introduced to Ayutthaya during the time of the Ayutthaya Kingdom by Chinese traders and subsequently altered to reflect Thai flavor profiles.

During World War II, Thailand suffered a rice shortage due to the war and floods. To reduce domestic rice consumption, the Thai government under Prime Minister Plaek Phibunsongkhram promoted eating noodles instead. His government promoted rice noodles and helped to establish the identity of Thailand. As a result, a new noodle called sen chan (named after Chanthaburi Province) was created. Pad thai has since become one of Thailand's national dishes. Today, some food vendors add pork or chicken (although the original recipe did not contain pork because of the government's perception that pork was a Chinese meat). Some food vendors still use the original recipe.

Come in to Windchimes today to try our version! You wont’ be disappointed!

Monthly Horoscope: December
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The Month of the Wood Rat of the Chinese calendar starts on December 7th, 2018 and ends on January 6th, 2019. On December 6th, the new moon announces the passage in the Chinese calendar from the Water Pig Month to the Month of the Wood Rat of the Year of the Earth Dog 2018.

It is a dynamic and warm cycle during which the family ties are consolidated, coupled with an increase in the desire for material possession.

According to the monthly Chinese horoscope of December 2018 and beginning of January 2019, the passage of the Rat (of the month) in the Dog (of the year) announces a period of positive actions supported by an inflexible will to face the difficulties with more ardor and insurance.

A Month of the Rat is an opportunity to explore, delve into and analyze problems in depth in order to find the most appropriate solution to the events that affect our daily lives.

On a social level, one's self-image can momentarily become more important than usual. Elegance and sobriety can take precedence over pageantry and exhibition in order to display an image of stability and anchorage. In addition, the desire to imagine, conceive and give life to new ideas, based on positive and simple values, is definitely relevant.

When starting a new project, the need for approval from one of one's peers isn't felt as much as a necessity. The Rat possesses in him secret and varied resources that allow many new initiatives to emerge from the 12 signs of Chinese astrology. In addition, we can expect help and moral support when our endeavor is implemented. It is even possible to return an unfavorable situation to one's advantage and extract an unsuspected personal profit, provided necessary insurance was in place to begin with.

The only negative point to note for this period concerns the character of the two Chinese zodiac signs whose energies dominate the calendar of the month. It should be known that the Dog (of the year) and the Rat (of the month) have anxious natures. Therefore, care should be taken not to be overcome by pessimism in the event of a delay in the progress of one's aspirations. While hopes are immediate, good things always take time to mature and bear fruit.


The Tien Tisn Pepper
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One thing Chinese food has is great flavor! From sweet to savory it showcases how pleasurable eating can be.

One main element they use in dishes are peppers. They can range from a slight heat to making your mouth feel on fire. A common pepper used a lot in dishes is the Tien Tsin Pepper. You may know Tien Tsin peppers by another, more descriptive name – Chinese red peppers. These are the surprisingly hot, dried chilies that you sometimes find in you Kung Pao chicken or one of many other Szechuan or Hunan dishes. They’re popular to use as a flavoring spice that are removed prior to serving (unless you order your meal extra hot).

Can you eat the Tien Tsin Pepper? Think of it as a small cayenne peppers with extra pop and you’ll be on the right path for both looks and tastes. Tien Tsin chilies are branch-like thin, one to two inches in length. They age from green to a vibrant red, at which time they are picked and dried for their typical usage

The Tien Tsin pepper’s slimness is very reminiscent of cayenne, and it has a neutral, almost musty, flavor behind the heat similar to cayenne too. This is not a complex chili in terms of flavor; the heat is the star here. And that certainly colors how it is used in the kitchen.

All in all it’s a great element to any Chinese dish and makes each bite DELICIOUS!

Tien Tisn Pepper in Kung Pao Trio (look for the pepper flakes in the dish!)

Tien Tisn Pepper in Kung Pao Trio (look for the pepper flakes in the dish!)

The Mystery of Kung Pao
Kung Pao Trio (includes beef, shrimp, and chicken)

Kung Pao Trio (includes beef, shrimp, and chicken)

Kung Pao chicken (Chinese: 宫保鸡丁), also transcribed as Gong Bao or Kung Po, is a spicy, stir-fried Chinese dish made with chicken, peanuts, vegetables, and chili peppers. The classic dish in Sichuan cuisine originated in the Sichuan Province of south-western China and includes Sichuan peppercorns. Although the dish is found throughout China, there are regional variations that are typically less spicy than the Sichuan serving. Kung Pao chicken is also a staple of westernized Chinese cuisine.

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The dish is believed to be named after Ding Baozhen (1820–1886), a late Qing Dynasty official and governor of Sichuan Province. His title was Gongbao (Chinese: 宫保; pinyin: Gōngbǎo; Wade–Giles: Kung1-pao3; literally: "Palace Guardian"). The name Kung Pao chicken is derived from this title.

There are a few different versions of the dish from the original Sichuan version that has diced chicken is typically mixed with a prepared marinade. In Sichuan, or when preparing Sichuan-style Kung Pao chicken, only Sichuan-style chili peppers such as facing heaven pepper or seven stars pepper are used. It is these peppercorns that give authentic Kung Pao chicken its distinctive numbing flavor. Kung Pao chicken starts off with fresh, moist, unroasted peanuts or cashew nuts. These are often used instead of their pre-roasted versions. The peanuts or cashew nuts are dropped into the hot oil at the bottom of the wok, then deep-fried until golden brown before the other ingredients are added.

Versions commonly found in the west, called Kung Pao chickenKung Po, or just chicken chili and garlic, consist of diced, marinated chicken, stir-fried with orange or orange juice, ginger, garlic, chicken broth, sugar, cooking oil, corn starch, and salt and pepper to taste. The dish often includes or is garnished with whole roasted peanuts. Instead of chicken, western variations sometimes substitute other meat such as pork, duck, fish, or tofu.

Come try our version today!