Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Chinese New Year

We live near Austin's Chinatown, which is teeny-tiny -- it's basically just a shopping center with various restaurants, shops, and a big supermarket that's fun to wander around in.  On Sunday, we headed over to check out their Chinese New Year festival.

Several different dragon dance troupes paraded around the parking lot, staging dances and "battles" along the way.  The kids in the troupes wore surgical masks to keep the smoke out of their faces -- smoke from the thousands of firecrackers that were popping and snapping all over the place as part of the celebration.

A strange-looking creature came up and waved hello to us...

and before we knew what was going on, he/she/it was being mauled by a ferocious dragon!

The creature bravely fought back!

The dragon turned out to be quite docile. He politely posed for pictures. Jackson and Olivia declined having their picture taken with him, though. Jackson said, "No Mommy, I stand right here and hold your hand."

There was also a rock climbing wall...

and a mechanical bull...

But the coolest part, by far, was seeing all the dragons. The troupes must put a lot of effort into making these elaborate dragon costumes and practicing their dances.  Jackson is still talking about the "dwagons."

As we were leaving, we saw more dragons coming down the road, heading for the party!

Truck full of dragons, watch out!

For dinner we had...lasagna rolls! Not Chinese at all, but still tasty.

I tweaked this Giada DeLaurentiis recipe...I used tofu ricotta, soy milk, and Earth Balance, but then I topped the lasagna with real mozzarella and parmesan cheese. That's what works for my family right now. Of course vegans could use Daiya or leave off the top layer of cheese altogether.

We all enjoyed this meal. The individual rolls were easier to serve than a traditional lasagna, and I think also more visually appealing to the kids.


  1. "No Mommy, I stand right here and hold your hand" is the cutest thing I've heard in a long time. Awwwww.

  2. Sounds like such a fun day! My son, especially, would have liked that. I'll have to experiment with lasagna rolls over here. I think visual appeal is paramount with kids, for sure.