Last Saturday I attended the Tiger Beer Chinese New Year Potluck hosted by the illustrious duo, Jackie Gordon and Ken Leung. I love Asian food, but other than the occasional stir fry, I don’t really make Chinese food.

As I said to Jackie at the event, I had this expectation that some of the dishes might be hit or miss, but I was so wrong. Everyone bought their A-game.

The night before the event I googled “easy Chinese recipes” and found  Chinese Honey Walnut Shrimp  on Use Real Butter.  The recipe is actually from the book Easy Chinese Recipes by Bee Yin Low of Rasa Mayalsia which got enthusiastic, positive reviews on-line. It was a big hit at the potluck too. 

Ken from Hungry Rabbit NYC made these almost-too-gorgeous-to-eat Sesame Gold Nugget Cookies.

Dan from Renegade Kitchen made this Five-Spice Almond Cake which I have not stopped thinking about since Sunday.

The Experimental Gourmand made duck pancakes. I’ve never even made duck, but Andy loves duck pancakes with a passion. When I announced I would attempt to make them this weekend, he was overjoyed.

Justin made two dishes, Indonesian-Style Beef Rendang and Philippine Adobo. Both meat dishes were melt in your mouth good and flavor-packed.

And perhaps most impressive, Kirsty from the Good Taste Guide  made homemade fortune cookies!

I loved my fortune.

I also really loved Sarah’s AustralAsian Curry and her friend Allison’s Vietnamese Noodle Salad. The noodle salad was full of fresh vegetables, flavorful herbs and lightly coated with a sweet-spicey sauce. I asked for the recipe, but she didn’t have one. So I decided to attempt my own Vietnamese Noodle Salad with more winter-ish vegetables.

If I can keep bringing out the best in people and continue to challenge myself in the kitchen (and in life!), I think 2012 will be the best year yet.