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Monday, February 7, 2011

Chinese Lunar New Year

I want to start this post with a wish of Happy New Year to my special little Chinese girls (Anna, Mackenzie, and Grace Ingram), and a disclaimer: I don't know how to set a table for a Chinese dinner.  Where do these things all go?  I sort of went with the Western way of doing things here, but I'd love a critique!

This was so much fun.  All that I knew I wanted to do was use gold and black and red.  I had a consultant tell me that much.  Thank you Caroline!  And I had lots of these colors.

A simple white orchid moved to the center of the table.  Easy so far!

World Market's white paper lanterns are battery operated. The arms of the chandalier are perfect for them.  I'll switch them on for you later. 

Then I sprinkled these river rocks and coins on the black tablecloth.  At first, I thought the coins were all alike, but looking closer, I think they were from different dynasties. 

A simple gold charger was topped by this black and white dinner plate from Target.  It is from their basic Home line and is the Black Band pattern.

My trusty red salad plate from Ballard's was next.

These cute rice bowls from World Market have this pagoda design on the outside......

with the tip of the pagoda on the inside.

These tiny little sauce bowls are from World Market, too.  They are only about 2" across.

Porclein spoons can be found everywhere.  I like to use them for single tastes of appetizers and even desserts.

Simple white Palm Restaurant napkins wrapped with corsage bracelets from the floral wholesaler hold red chopsticks.  They show up well on the black tablecloth.

World Market again!  They come ten to a tube.

These old red glass stems are workhorses!  I'll probably be using them again this week for Valentine's Day.

Tradition has it that a red envelope.....

filled with coins bring you good luck.  Well, when isn't money in envelope good luck????

My favorite plates were these dessert plates that tied the whole color scheme together.  (If only I had remembered dessert!)

 We started with steamed pork dumplings and a tangy soy dipping sauce.

Next up was Mr. Pressed Pant's favorite, egg drop soup.

The main course was a double helping of chicken: mandarin orange chicken and ginger chicken in egg noodle nests.  Recipes for the meal will follow. 

How about this photo of the orchid at night?

It was fun and festive and Mr. Pressed Pants proclaimed it a "home run" meal.  Oh, yeah, I promised you the recipes.  Well........just go to Trader Joe's and you'll find everything but the egg nests.  That recipe came from "Tea Time" magazine in their January/February 2011 issue.  They give you a whole menu of tea food for this occassion. In very little time, I was serving!!!!!

This was stepping out of the box for me.  Not the food, (who doesn't order Chinese), but the table.  How'd I do?  

I'm linking up with Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for her Thursday Tablescape party.  Be sure to visit this for great inspiration!


  1. I don't have a clue about proper Eastern table setting, but I do know this all looks spectacular!!! Loved seeing the step-by-step details of how you put it all together. Nicely done! ;)

  2. I never even thought about a proper setting for a Chinese setting. I just went with what I normally do. ;-)
    Your table is lovely. Each detail of red and gold is a sign of good fortune and wealth. Guess 2011 should be a good year!

  3. What a wonderful table -- and even a meal to go with it! The orchid was the perfect centerpiece for an Asian table, and the color scheme is spectacular!

  4. I'm back for another look at this beautiful festive table for Tablescape Thursday. ~ Sarah

  5. I think you did great, but don't take my word for it, since I've never attempted this! Love those rice bowls and the dessert plates. Your table looks so pretty, and the lanterns make it so festive. laurie

  6. Well, you're a better man than I am, Gunga Din...I wouldn't have a clue how to tackle an oriental design....looks good to me! Yes the Kermit mums are pretty much the same color as the Wicker Works, "Baluster" green crystal lamps. I agree...I like them every time that I walk into my living room. Thank you for sharing your lovely design and for stopping by my post. Cherry Kay

  7. Ok, yep...I'm convinced: We were separated at birth!!! ;-) We shop at the same places, like the same color schemes, have similar taste...we're of one mind! Beautifully done table! I have the Emily Chalmers book "Table Settings" that gave me the proper table setting (page 60). While my intent was not to set the table with strict Chinese tradition in mind, it was a good guideline. Here's a link to it: While I almost never completely conform to what is "proper", I find this to be a decent guide. Now, as for those black banded dinner plates, DIE for!!! I haven't seen them in the Target stores here, but they are GORGEOUS! You will get a lot of play out of those in the years to come! Bravo! Thanks for stopping by my blog earlier, and have a great weekend, buddy!

  8. Snow in just isn't right!!!
    This is a gorgeous table setting...I love the uncluttered look of your dishes and setting...
    Thanks for visiting!!! Enjoy your sunshine!!!

  9. I'm right there with the rest of you... NO clue how to do a "proper" Chinese New Year tablescape. But your colors and dishes are great - and you've done a wonderful and visually pleasing table!

  10. I love your color schemes! That white Orchid is to die for. Where did you find that red square dish with the lovely Cherry Blossoms?
    I have a set of 4 round plates and just wondered where you bought yours. I love your blog. Wishing you well,
    Nenette West

  11. Nenette -
    Those square dishes came from Homegoods and were super inexpensive. I think they were aboaut $6 for four plates. They came as a set of four. Thanks for your sweet comments.
    Linda @ A Toile Tale


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