Celebrating Chinese New Year in Argentina

Get to know Felicia Lim, a Singaporean based in Buenos Aires, who is passionate about freelance writing, recipe development, food photography, and portrait sessions.

17 January 2020 / By SGN

2020 marks an entire decade since I packed up my life into 2 pieces of luggage and uprooted myself from tropical paradise Singapore to the other end of the globe. I decided that 25 years old was as good a time as any to see what life in Argentina had in store for me. Most importantly, I moved to Buenos Aires for love, because my then-boyfriend (now-husband) Juan is Argentine.

I was young, armed with a heart full of hope and a big smile on my face. The prospect of starting a new life in a completely foreign land like Latin America, screamed of adventure.

To be honest, I was over-the-top excited but also insanely terrified of the unknown. I only spoke a smattering of very broken Spanish, didn’t know anybody except Juan and his family, and had just left a cushy job in an international bank back home to see what life, love, and adventure would bring me this side of the earth. I remember giving myself a year to see if things would work out (with the option of returning home to Singapore), but before I knew it, almost ten years have passed.

In that span of time, my life would take a couple of interesting turns. Juan and I eventually got married, and I would leave the finance world to pursue a career in photography, a move that I am constantly grateful for. I now work full-time doing food photography, recipe development, and shooting portraits. You can drop by my food blog, Dish by Dish (http://dishbydish.net) to view my recipes or just to say hello!

Since 2010, Buenos Aires has become my second home. However, as my entire family lives in Singapore, there are times when unexpected bouts of homesickness hits, particularly during the Chinese New Year season.

One of my favorite Chinese New Year snacks are cashew cookies, because my grandmother makes one heck of a delicious cookie, and we only get to taste it once a year during CNY! Given that I won’t be back in Singapore for CNY this year, I wanted to recreate my grandma’s cashew cookies with a gluten-free twist, as my husband Juan has Celiac and can’t eat gluten.

Here are the results – and I’m not shy to say these are insanely good! I’ve shared them with friends, and everyone loves them! Now’s your turn!

Gluten-Free Cashew Cookies

Equipment required:

• High-speed blender or food processor

• Baking paper

Ingredients:

• 350g (2 ½ cups) raw cashew nuts

• 350g (2 ½ cups) gluten-free all-purpose flour

• 200g (1 cup) sugar

• 200g cold butter, solid and cubed

• 1 large egg, or 2 small eggs, beaten

• 40 cashew halves, for garnish

Steps

  1. Place the raw cashew nuts in the bowl of your blender or food processor, until you get a very fine cashew meal. Sift the cashew meal through a fine-mesh sieve to filter out any large pieces and repeat the process.Image
  2. Whisk the processed cashew meal, gluten-free all-purpose flour, and sugar together to combine.Image
  3. Add the cubed butter and use two knives or a pastry cutter to cut at the butter until you get a sand-like mixture.Image
  4. Add the beaten eggs and mix well. Use gluten-free floured hands to knead the dough well until you get a smooth dough. Let the dough chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.Image
  5. As the dough is chilling, preheat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius or 320 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  6. Scoop 1 heaping teaspoon of dough and roll it into a small ball with the palms of your hands. Repeat until all the dough is used up (about 40 balls). Place the balls of dough about 2 cm apart on the prepared baking sheet (you may need two baking sheets) and flatten each ball slightly with the top of your fingertips.
  7. Gently press a cashew half in the middle of each flattened ball.
  8. Bake each batch of cookies for 25 minutes until lightly golden on top. Allow cookies to cool completely before eating.

About Felicia Lim

Felicia Lim is a Singaporean who moved to Argentina for love. Based in Buenos Aires, also known as “the Paris of South America”, she fills her days with freelance writing, recipe development, food photography, and portrait sessions – passions that give her endless joy. When she isn’t typing away at her computer, cooking in the kitchen, or shooting behind her camera, you can probably find her curled up on the couch, lost in the pages of a good book.

Felicia is also the author of the food blog Dish by Dish (http://dishbydish.net), where personal stories intertwine with simple, healthy recipes. Drop by her blog and say hello, preferably with a cookie in one hand and a steeping mug of tea in the other! You can also follow on her portrait adventures on her photography website (http://felicialimphotography.com).

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