donderdag 9 juli 2009

Xmas in July and Foody Friday

in July!

What a fun idea it this.Whilest it was raining today I got in the Xmas spirit and looked at all my old Xmas pictures.
In Belgium we have not a lot of Xmas traditions since up to a decenia or so agoo, Xmas was mainly a Christian holiday. We had a tree with some ornaments and a festive meal and that was it. Now a days with all the influences trought TV and internet and so, Xmas trees and all the decorations are becoming more and more popular.

So I am just going to show you a lot of pictures of my trees and tablescapes. I don't do a lot of other decorations since this is difficult to manage when you have like me a lot of cats. No family pictures either I'm afraid. Since I am cook and host I don't take pictures at that moment.
Because it is also Foody Friday I am putting a recipie for Chocolate Truffles at the end of the blog.
Since Belgium is know worldwide for its very good chocolates I thought this was appropriate. Sadly there are now pictures of them but believe me these truffles are devine.

My first nativity set. I still love it after all those years.People think I am crazy to have a mouse and a cat nativity set but what the heck...I like them!

Xmas trees of the last 4 years

The Bird tree
In 2008 I wanted a non traditional tree with dry branches witch I adorned with 70 white glass birds, some clear glass balls and some pampilles. There where also a lot of tiny snowballs on nylon threads and of course some white lights.


The Snowflake Tree

I was very, very pleased with this tree and it is still one of my all time favorites. On Ebay I bought from a Canadian lady about 170 handmade snowflakes and it made a fabulous Xmas tree. Some clear glass ball and about 600 white lights finished it off beautifully. In the top stood my little Steiff snowman!2007
The Red Roses and Cardinal tree

Sadly I have no really good pictures of this tree. It was fabulous but very hard to take good pictures of. One of those trees I truly was proud of. For the first time ever I bought all new things. The ball I bought on sale. The birds I bought on Ebay and the rest, like the red glass hearts and the velvet balls I bought localy.

The White Tree

Full of white balls and all my mainly white glass figurative ornaments and once again all white lights.

Some of my tablescapes from some years back


This was certainly 6 years back
Of my very best tablescapes, I sadly have no good pictures

Christmas and the cats

When you have cats and love them, Christmas with cats is fun to experience. We have laughts a lot with the fun things they do once the Xmas tree is up. I only have glass ornaments and never, ever will buy plastic ones, just because I have 11 cats in the house. Only kittens will try to climb the tree. My big Maine Coons love to sleep under the tree since I always put a fleece as a tree skirt under it.
I must admid, I am at home all the time and at night the cats don't sleep in the livingroom. So that helps a lot. On the other hand I put unbreakeble things and bells at the bottem of the tree. So I can hear when they are in the vicinity of the tree. Here is an impression of a Xmas with the cats!

BlumaBlue admires the White Xmas tree

Gulara, 12 weeks old is the one and only cat ever to climb the tree!!

The cat Xmas tree. Not meant for the cats but it a tree and decorations with cats.

I collect glass cat ornaments. The old fashioned kind.

In 2008 I designed this Cattery Chrismas tree with wood ornaments I bought at Ebay.I painted them in a greyish/blue color and made some shading on them. Later I gave the ornaments to my daughter since she said that she could not have a Xmas tree because of her 4 cats. This tree is fun for the cats since they can play with the ornaments, sleep under it and if somethings fall out, nothing gets broken.

Koko half asleep under the Cattery tree.

Biggles and Caitlin are garding my Snowbabies collection

Pregnant Poppy sleeping under the Red Roses Xmas tree.

Chocolate Truffles Recipie

This is for a lot of truffles but I assure you, you will need them becauste they are delicious.
Put them in a nice box and you have a perfect gift.
One again my recipie is in metric so please trow it trough a converter program.
You need:
200 grams of real unsalted butter
1500 grams of very good (at least 50% cacaofat) dark cooking chocolate
1 liter of single cream.
real Dutch cacoa powder

Put a pan on the heath and poor the cream in it and let it come to the boil.
Chop the chocolade in small pieces and let it melt aux bain marie and then stirr the chocolade in the cream away from the stove. Chocolade may never cook or become to hot!
Put away in the fridge until the next day. The next day you heat the mixture gently and add the soft butter.
Put in the fridge again until the chocolade mix is hardened.
Then,with a small spoon, you scoop out little balls and quickly roll them in to long our round chapes and dust them with real Dutch cacao powder.

You can also roll them in chopped pistachio nuts, slivered almonds or coconut. You can also give them something extra by adding a small amount of cherry of raspberry liqueur.

While forming them, your hand will get messy real quick. Dust your hands with cacao powder or powdered sugar to prevent the chocolade clinging to them. When your hands gets to dirty wash them and then cool them in cold water before starting again. Or you could do it with plastic gloves.The forming of the truffles is a big job so let your bigger kids help.

Put in a nice box and give them to friends and family.

15 opmerkingen:

LiLi M. zei

Heerlijk! Zit ik even te genieten van Kerst in juli! Met die regen is het echt zo'n donkere dag. Wat een prachtige bomen heb je in de loop der jaren gehad. Een uitdaging om iedere keer weer iets anders te verzinnen. Je laatste takken boom met die vogeltjes en die sneeuwballen vind ik prachtig. Maar ik hoor wel mijn moeder fluisteren: 'wat kost dat allemaal wel niet' en 'waar laat je dat als er weer een jaar achter de rug is?' Maar laat dat jouw pret niet bederven hoor, dat zit in mij! Wil ik je ook nog even zeggen dat het me zo'n deugd doet dat die truffels met echte Hollandse cacao gemaakt worden!
Veel plezier vandaag ook bij de anderen die Kerst in juli vieren!

Robin zei

Oh thank you for showing me around your beautiful home. The trees over the years are so beautiful. That bird tree is unlike any I've ever seen! Love it.
Your cats are precious. I can tell they make you happy. They look so happy and content too!
Lovely post~
Merry Christmas in July!
All Things Heart and Home

DeAnna zei

Oh how creative you are! Such beautiful trees and tablescapes. You definitely gave me a few ideas. Your cats are precious, especially the tree climber! Thank you for joing the party - I hope you had fun!

Shelia zei

Oh, how I've enjoyed your Christmas in July! I even felt a little chill! :) It's only 97' here! It's pretty hot! I loved your nontraditional tree - how clever of you!
Your little cats are so cute! They look trees and the decorations, don't they? :)
It's so nice to meet you and I do hope you'll come back for another visit sometimes.
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Rhondi zei

Thanks for showing us all your trees and your tables decorated for Christmas. It is a very hot day here so thinking about Christmas cooled me off. I love the photo of your cat in the tree. We have had several cats who have climbed the tree.
((hugs)) Rhondi

Bill zei

Perhaps, as you mentioned, Belgium doesn't have as long a history of celebrating Christmas as certain other countries, but it's obvious that YOU took to it in a major way!!! I very much enjoyed seeing all your trees and tablescapes.

The cats are adorable! The truffles recipe seems simple enough that I may give it a try -- they sound absolutely delicious!

Thank you for the nice comment you left for me. I hope you'll visit again soon.

Warm regards,

quitethecrow zei

Holy smokes Mikki...I love this blog entry!

I remember pictures of your 2008 bare-branch tree and fell in love with it. I'm thinking of doing that this year. One year I did something similar with a Norfolk Island Pine that was about 10 feet tall. It was really fabulous.

I also love all your cat tree photos; especially the kitten in the tree.

How I would love to be invited to one of your delicious holiday dinners at one of those beautifully set tables.

I so look forward to each of your foody Friday blog entries. These truffles sound so tempting. It's been years since I've made any. Good chocolate is hard to come by. I think I'd lose my mind if I lived in Belgium and could gain access to the chocolate there!

Anyway...thanks for the eye-candy and I hope Bleu is settling in nicely. I know it must be hard to let the babies go...Elizabeth

The Quintessential Magpie zei

What fun!

Love all of your Christmas decorations, but I have to say I love the Christmas cats best! So cute!

AND I love those chocolate truffles. Delicious!

Happy Foodie Friday...


Sheila :-)

Christi @ A Southern Life zei

Love the Christmas in July. Your kitty cats seem to be having so much fun! Very nice.


Cass @ That Old House zei

The truffle recipe looks divine! and I just LOVE your Christmas in July tour -- what beautiful decorating. Such fun to have a taste of the holidays now...thanks!

Mary zei

I love the thought of Christmas in the midst of a hot July:-) Your photos are wonderful and the recipe for truffles will get much use here. Thanks for sharing everything with us. Have a wonderful day.

darnold23 zei

Viewing your Christmas trees has cooled me off during this July heat wave we are experiencing. And your truffles sound sinfully delicious! Thanks for sharing. Beginning August 5, I will be hosting Crock Pot Wednesdays at I hope you will plan to join in the fun. Thanks. Debbie

ellen b. zei

What a wonderful post! I loved every photo!! How great that you have this archive of Christmas photos...

SavoringTime in the Kitchen zei

Beautiful post! It will come soon enough and light our homes :)

Cami @ Creating Myself zei

All of your trees are fabulous but the bird tree is my favorite....soo beautiful!

Thansk for teh truffle recipe...I LOVE truffles!