Friday, January 30, 2009

Prepping for 2nd Saturday

We've got our artists lined-up and our press releases out. Since we're not on the regular gallery loop, we want to make our reception extra music, yummy desserts and great art. And, as always, beautiful plants. Speaking of which, there are always new orchids in the store...some look like pansies,

pansy-faced orchid
some look like daffodils,

some look like Venus Flytraps,

Lady Slipper Orchid
...but, all look beautiful.

We'll be posting more info soon, but for now, mark your calendar for our special Valentine's Day event:

Tropical Love

2nd Saturday Art and Orchid Show
February 14th
10am to 9pm
Reception from 6pm to 9pm

(For a map to our store, see "How to Reach Us" on the right)

Monday, January 26, 2009

Welcome to Lunar Year, 4707!

Gung Hei Fat Choy!
Today begins the new Chinese year. Based on the lunar and solar cycles, it is the longest chronological record in history. It starts with the 1st new moon after the winter solstice and ends 15 days later with the full moon.

This 15th day is also known as the Lantern Festival and is the traditional day of the...Parade... Dragons! Lanterns! Excitement! In San Francisco, the parade will be on Saturday, February 7th.

At Exotic Plants, we have plants and art to bring the beauty of Asia and other exotic places into your life. Do visit us.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Chinese New Year's Dinner

Here are some ideas for your Chinese New Year's feast (January 26th). The full recipes can be seen at the website, Tampa Bay Online. The author, Jaden Hair, has more yummy recipes served with a saucy style at her website, Steamy Kitchen Modern Asian.

100 Flower Blossoms
100 Flower Blossoms
This dish is meant to wish you a blossoming and beautiful beginning in the New Year. Mom chose broccoli and cauliflower for their plentiful florets, and the carrot slices to add an important splash of vibrant color to the dish. The swirly egg white sauce is luxurious; you also can add cooked crab meat to the sauce, which is what my mom prefers. J.H.

Tea Eggs
Tea Eggs
In northern China, tea eggs symbolize golden nuggets and prosperity. The eggs are hard boiled first, then the shell is gently cracked and simmered in a black tea-soy sauce mixture. Once you peel off the shell, a beautiful marbled design emerges on the egg. J.H.

Crispy Egg Rolls
Chrispy Egg Rolls
No celebration would be complete without my mom's famous egg rolls. Stacked together, they look like gold bars and symbolize wealth. The most important thing is to make sure you get the correct wrappers. Find them at an Asian market, in the freezer section. J.H.

Stir Fried Shrimp with Ketchup Sauce

The word for shrimp in Chinese is "ha," which of course symbolizes happiness! Mom wanted to make sure that I included this dish for you because she wishes you a fabulous year full of joy and laughter. By the way, in Asian cooking, color has significance. You might think that garnish is a waste of food, however a Chinese dish must be balanced in both taste and in looks. For example, this shrimp dish is very red, and Mom asked me to serve it on a bed of crisp, green shredded lettuce because it was important to balance the vivid red with another color and texture, especially for Chinese New Year. (Eye roll ...I know, crazy Chinese, eh? J.H.

The tradition of spending time with one's family and honoring both the older and younger generations and preparing oneself spiritually for the new year is a lovely one. To find out more ways to bring this culture to your home, visit Here are some tempting choices! Gung Hei Fat Choy!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Congratulations and Good Luck Mr. President...May the Year of the Ox Be Good to Us All!
On this auspicious day, we acknowledge our new president,
Barak Obama. Legend has it that in ancient times, Buddha asked all the animals to meet him on Chinese New Year. Twelve came, and Buddha named a year after each one. He announced that the people born in each animal's year would have some of that animal's personality. Those born in ox years tend to be painters, engineers, and architects. They are stable, fearless, obstinate, hard-working and friendly. President Obama's birthday is August 4, guessed it, the year of the Ox!
For more info about the Chinese calendar, visit info please

Gung Hei Fat Choy!
15% Discount on All Blooming Plants Thru February 28th

Only 7 Days Until the Chinese New Year!

Chinese New Year, Yokohama, 2008
Chinese New Year is a rich and complex holiday, filled with family, renewal, beauty and merriment. The celebration is both the start of the new year and the anticipation of spring.
"Every traditional Chinese household should also have live blooming plants to symbolize rebirth and new growth. Flowers are believed to be symbolic of wealth and high positions in one's career. Lucky is the home with a plant that blooms on New Year's Day, for that foretells a year of prosperity." (from the University of Victoria website)

Please join us as we explore this celebration. Each day until January 26th we will have a post...details of California celebrations, recipes, history, and for sure pictures from our retail store which has lovely asian art as well as, ta da... BLOOMING PLANTS!

Gung Hei Fat Choy!
15% Discount on All Blooming Plants Thru February 28th