Lauren Carpenter knows how crazy the holiday season can be for parents. After all, she has three kids herself. (Two of her kids like to cook with her in the kitchen — but all three like to eat!)

As a partner in Yellow Hen, a boutique catering and personal chef company, Lauren specializes in busy families. Yellow Hen provides a full spectrum of chef services, from weekly meal deliveries to party catering to fully-staffed corporate events. Lauren and her business partners Colleen Bock and Jon Allen like to be creative with both their food and the presentation. Everything always has a personal touch.

“Nothing makes me happier than a house full of family and friends, cooking, eating and just being together,” said Lauren.

She put together four easy (and delicious!) appetizers that are perfect for your New Year’s get together. Asian Pork Dumplings are a particular favorite for Lauren, who loves making them with her own kids. Don’t be intimidated and get your hands messy. “They’re really easy!” she said.

And if you find that the holidays are just too nutty to cook, give Yellow Hen a call. They can make them and drop them off. (Hello, #parenthack!)

See more recipes from Lauren in this year’s Holiday Guide!

Easy Homemade Pork Dumplings
Easy-to-make pork dumplings for Lauren Carpenter of Yellow Hen.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
10 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
10 min
  1. 1 lb ground pork
  2. 6 scallions, chopped
  3. 2 tbs soy sauce
  4. 1 tsp fish sauce
  5. 3 tbs grated ginger
  6. 2tbs sesame oil
  7. 1 egg, whisked
  8. 1 package wonton wrappers
  9. 1 bowl of water
  1. Mix all ingredients except water together in a mixing bowl.
  2. Lay wonton wrappers out flat on lined baking sheet. Place a heaping teaspoon of filling in each.
  3. Place finger in water and run it around the edge of the wrapper, fold and press to seal. Repeat.
  4. Heat oil in skillet.
  5. Place dumplings in the skillet and cook until the bottoms are golden brown. At this point, add 3-4 tbs of water, cover and reduce heat to low.
  6. Cook approximately 4-5 minutes.
  1. Equipment to grab before you get the kids in the kitchen: mixing bowls, lined baking sheet, latex gloves (well, because it’s just more fun to get your hands in there), skillet with lid or foil to cover, and spoons.
(cool) progeny
Photos by Laura Black Photography.