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How to Celebrate Chinese New Year in Dallas 2014

Every year, as soon as Chinese New Year rolls around, Asia shuts down. Chinese people take advantage of their two-week holiday to get outta town. If a loved one dies during the extended break? Well, you’re pretty much screwed. A lot of funeral homes aren’t open for business, either.

Here in America, Chinese New Year isn’t as widely celebrated for more than one obvious reason. Yet Asian-American households still take it seriously. Especially young kids. For them, it’s like a second Christmas. Per tradition, parents, relatives, and family friends give hong bao (red envelopes) filled with money to children and even young adults. Families gather to eat dumplings, noodles, new year cakes, and fish. It’s always the biggest and best meal of the year. And today all of the multi-day celebrations begin. 2014 is the year of the horse.

Chinese culinary traditions are naturally confusing, even if you grew up with them. But here are some of the foods you need to start the new year off right.

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Blue Bell Releases New ‘I ♥ Chocolate Ice Cream’ Flavor Just in Time for Valentine’s Day

In Texas, we heart Blue Bell just as much as Floridians love their Publix-brand ice cream. And for a V-Day grinch like me, a gal who has the pleasure of assembling a very long list of places to dine out on February 14, there’s really no joy in all this lovey-dovey frou frou.

But if Valentine’s inspires super-chocolate-desserts like Blue Bell’s newest flavor, I can definitely get on board. The ‘I ♥ Chocolate Ice Cream’ flavor is a game-changer.

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Preview: Five Sixty’s Chinese New Year Menu

According to the Chinese Zodiac calendar, The Year of the Horse embodies a sense of energy, intelligence, and ability. That being the case, Wolfgang Puck’s establishment, Five Sixty, atop Dallas’ renowned Reunion Tower, seems the appropriate venue to celebrate Chinese New Year, which starts on January 31 this year. Last night, executive chef Patton Robertson presented a picturesque, five-course prix fixe media dinner centered around the upcoming celebration. Admittedly, this is “Americanized” Asian cuisine, but the views of Dallas are the best I’ve ever seen.

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Where to Book Valentine’s Day Dinner in Dallas 2014

Alright. It’s that time of the year again—when flowers, hearts, chocolates, and all that other ooey-gooey stuff that grinches like me try to pretend don’t exist. But it does.

So, without further ado, I’m presenting you the list of places to book your V-Day dinner. More menus will flood my inbox soon, so fret not. You’ll have plenty of options within the next two weeks. Start booking those places now, though. I hear The Mansion is already almost full. Dang. Better get on it. Lock it down, boys. Lock it down.

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SideDish By The Numbers: The Greatest Hits of 2013

Here are the most-popular posts on SideDish in 2013. It’s a surprising list.

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Taste Test Thursday: Christmas Pork Tamales

“Tamales are a magical thing,” a man named Gustavo Arellano once told the NYT.

In Dallas, these steamed beauties are as part of Christmas tradición as peppermint candies and hot chocolate. We buy them by the dozen, in bulk, and we hoard them in our freezers. We save them for cold weather days, when all you want to do is eat a couple tamales for dinner.

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Where to Dine on New Year’s Eve and Day in Dallas

As 2013 quickly escapes from us, it’s time to start thinking about 2014.

If your New Year’s resolution is to eat better meals, then start with this list down below. We’ve gathered restaurant menus, prices, and all those other goodies for your 2014 celebration. Ring in the new year with a fantastic dinner before you go into full-throttle work-out mode.

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