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The Chinese New Year! We’ve all heard about it and a lot of us celebrate it, but how do you know when it begins?
First of all, you have to understand how the Chinese zodiac works. The date of the Chinese New Year varies within about a month of the “traditional” New year because the Chinese New year follows the “Celestial cycle” of 12 years. This is why Chinese New Years Day differs from year to year. The Chinese New Year always follows the second new moon after the winter solstice. The winter solstice is always on December 21, the next new moon in 2016 will be on January 10, with the second new moon on February 8. Thus February 8 begins 2016’s Chinese New Year!
Unlike many other calendars, the Chinese calendar has names that are repeated every 60 years. Within that system is a shorter celestial cycle of 12 years, denoted by animals. 2016 happens to be the year of the MONKEY. To be precise, the FIRE MONKEY.
What Animal Are You?
Do you ever remember sitting down in a Chinese restaurant and looking to see what “animal” you are based on your birth year according to the Chinese zodiac on the paper placemats? I remember having many conversations with my family and friends about which animal we were assigned, and the characteristics of each one. The MONKEY is ranked 9th of all animals in the Chinese zodiac. MONKEY’S are a clever animal and are frequently compared to a smart person. With 2016 being the year of the MONKEY, here are some interesting characteristics of MONKEY people.
The Fire Monkey
MONKEY’S are considered to be lively, flexible and versatile. They love moving and sports. The FIRE MONKEY is the most active and aggressive of the MONKEYS (There are 5 monkey signs and they align with the elements: metal, water, wood, fire & earth). FIRE MONKEYS are naturally dominant, gravitate towards leadership roles and are competitive in whatever they are doing. Be cautious though FIRE MONKEYS, you have a tendency to be overbearing and impulsive, often leaping where angels fear to tread. This will lead to reckless behavior that sometimes turns out not to be to your advantage. Practice a little more patience FIRE MONKEY…it will be good for you.
So, with that said, FIRE MONKEY, you should take the lead on the Chinese New Years Day and make your family and friends a scrumptious breakfast dessert called MONKEY BREAD. For this delicious recipe you will need:
- 3 -16oz packages of refrigerated buttermilk biscuit dough
- 2 -sticks of unsalted butter (bring to room temperature)
- 3/4 cup of white sugar
- 1/2 cup of brown sugar
- 2 tsp. of ground cinnamon
- 1 gallon Ziplock bag
- 1 Bundt pan
- Pam cooking spray
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
- Spray the Bundt pan with Pam cooking spray
- Separate the biscuits and cut into quarters
- Combine sugar & cinnamon in the Ziplock bag, seal it and shake to mix the two ingredients
- Once mixed, add all of the biscuit quarters into the bag. Shake the bag vigorously until all of the pieces of biscuit are coated with the sugar/cinnamon mixture
- After all of the biscuits are coated, place all of the pieces into the sprayed Bundt pan
- In the microwave, melt the butter & brown sugar together. Do in 30-second intervals, stirring each time. DO NOT BURN THE BUTTER!
- Once melted together, stir the mixture until it turns a dark brown and the sugar has dissolved
- Pour the mixture all over the dough in your pan. Smoosh all of the pieces of dough down into the butter/brown sugar mixture so that everything gets nice and coated
- Bake for 35 mins (times may vary based on your oven) or until dough is cooked through
- Remove from oven and invert onto a serving plate (Warning: this could get a bit messy)
- Serve this gooey, delicious treat warm. Enjoy!
Feel free to add your own personal ingredients to this recipe like adding pecans, raisins, cranberries, etc.
***If you are in a hurry, an even quicker way to make this bread is to use 3 cans of cinnamon rolls (instead of rolling plain dough in the sugar/cinnamon mixture)
Written By: Jackie Palmer