“‘Tis the season”

Alright…so I’m going to go Martha Steward on you on this post; but what the hell, it’s the holidays!!!!!

I absolutely love the holidays, I guess it goes back to when I was a child in Switzerland when every year, my mother made sure to create the most unbelievable Christmas experience for me and my 2 brothers. Year after year we all looked forward to mom’s megalithic christmas tree, the room full of presents and the crazy delicious turkey dinner. It was all very much done American style, as both my parents were born in the US; and that was no small feat! In Switzerland there was NO turkey, no christmas tree light and ornaments, cranberries…well you get the picture! So every year, around November, a small fleet of post office trucks would arrive at “Villa Soldanella” (that’s the name of our Swiss villa), with everything from, cranberries, ornaments, presents, Christmas lights and all sort of ingredients for mom to do her stuff.

On the 24th evening, we would join the adults for the very glamorous, full pomp & circumstance, jacket & tie, christmas dinner with all the good china and silver in full display and around 10pm, it was bed time for a few short hours, just enough time to allow Santa to make its way down one of the 10 fireplaces in the house (never quite knew which one…). At midnight, mom would wake us up and in our semi-awake trans we would run down the stairs to the tree room to find it full with what seemed thousands of presents!!!! Ahhhh those days…now I’m lucky if my if I get a smelly candle for christmas from anyone! Those amazing memories left a lasting impression on me and since then I have tried to share my enthusiasm and Christmas cheer with my family and friends when given the opportunity.

Let’s start with some pictures of my tree!!!! Through the years I’ve collected many tree ornaments from all over the world that once a year I get to enjoy on a 10 feet tall blue spruce that I wrestle with all the way from the nursery to my fourth floor apartment (yes…it does NOT fit in the elevator); but once in place I turn into a Christmas nightmare: Andy Williams, eggnog…oh yeah, it’s serious!!!! Have fun decorating your tree, In the US it’s so easy to find great ornaments and christmas lights; go to any arts & crafts store and be creative: add your own touch to the tree, as I have! I made all those gold bows out of wrapping tape to add a little “Je ne sais quoi” to my display.


My beautiful Christmas Tree 


My ornaments


This is one of my set-ups for a sit-down Christmas dinner; I cut off branch from the tree in the back where no one sees and with a few left over tree ornaments or pinecones, I make a center piece for the table…add some candles and voilà!!!!


My Christmas sit-down dinner table


Here is another approach for a holiday buffet, which is my personal favorite, so you can have more people in a more relaxed environment! Try to create some hight with your displays, it will make it look so much better!


My holiday buffet arrangement


Here are some of my favorite foods I serve at a cocktail party:


Fabulous Hors d’oeuvres


Mom’s Pomegranate Guacamole with home-made yellow & blue corn “Totopos”.


Cherry tomatoes & fresh mozzarella skewers with homemade “Pesto alla Genovese”


Frittata “Tricolore”: Basil, tomato & plain frittata skewers


Mom’s chicken & beef homemade mini “Empanadas”


Mom’s Deviled eggs…one of my favorites


Another Hors d’oeuvres display in my dining room

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