Christmas Traditions ~ Christmas Eve Fondue

One of many of my childhood memories and family Christmas Tradtions , that I will always cherish, was our Christmas Eve fondue Dinner.  It was this fun interactive meal that allowed us to share a meal and enjoy the festiveness of the fondue experience.  Thinking back I think it was a really clever diversion my parents created to take our attention off of the presents under the tree.

I have been wanting to bring this tradition into my own home for many years and this year I had the pleasure of creating a holiday fondue meal with my mom, my Aunt Trudy and Uncle Jerry and my dear friends and self-adopted parents Burt and Nanette.

Here is our menu and a pictorial glimpse of our evening....

Classic Swiss Cheese
Fondue Neuchatel Oise
blend of Gruyere and Emmentaler
served with baguette bites

Salad - cranberry, onion, mushroom,
carrot, almond and goat cheese over a
bed of mixed greens served
w/ raspberry walnut vinaigrette

New York Strip w/ sour cream dill sauce
Key West Shrimp w/ tomato cocktail sauce
Chicken Breast w/ chile-peanut sauce

Classic Chocolate Fondue
w/ strawberries, bananas,
pineapple and pound cake

What Christmas or Holiday traditions do you have?

The Kitchen Sink - Blanco, Style and Function

Often overlooked as a design element, the kitchen sink is truly an integral part of the Kitchen, it serves a monumental role in the every day function of the Kitchen.  And lets just say the kitchen sink has come a long way.
photo credit Prang's aids for object teaching--The kitchen -  Library of Congress

One company who gives great thought to the function but also the style and design of the kitchen sink is Blanco. 

Family-owned since 1925, BLANCO’s humble beginnings included making copper galvanized parts for cookers and hot water bottles with a team of 30 loyal employees. Today, their company has produced more than 40 million sinks, and is recognized as a world leader in quality, innovation and unsurpassed service.
Long gone are the times when a sink was merely used for function. These days, it can be the muse for a kitchen – or perhaps an entire home. Because of their dedication to quality, they ensure that every sink is inspected multiple times before earning the BLANCO name. It’s just a part of their commitment to their craft and their customers.  (excerpt taken from website)

CERANA is BLANCO’s first Fireclay sink in the U.S. market, and offers a unique reversible design that goes from traditional to contemporary offering exceptional style and versatility.The reversible BLANCO CERANA Apron Front sinkis BLANCO’s first Fireclay sink in the U.S. made of natural material that is highly resistant to shock, heat, acid, discoloration and chips. The unique, reversible design with two different corner radius measurements adds versatility as the ultra slim sink installs to feature either a traditional rounded or contemporary contoured apron front.

Engineered for smaller spaces, CRYSTALLINE'S compact hideway design offers up clean lines, contemporary details, innovative features and premium quality.

A unique chamfered rim edge delivers an intriguing appearance making BLANCO VISION the focal point in any kitchen“BLANCO VISION’s compact design and eye-catching style is perfect for smaller kitchens with limited space,” states Tim Maicher, Director of Marketing for BLANCO. “The high-functioning VISION single bowl comes with a unique chamfered rim edge providing the ideal balance of form and functionality with plenty of space for large pots and dishes.”
As part of the #BlogTourCGN Team, I will be getting a VIP tour of IMM Cologne/Living Kitchen where I will see the latest trends and introductions in kitchen design today from some of the top innovative leaders in the world - including Blanco. BLANCO HAS A PASSION FOR PERFECTION!

Christmas Tree Time2Design 2012

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!
Time2Design is decking its halls with Christmas Decorations....

Time2Pack | #BlogTourCGN | BlogTour 2013

Last year I created this I love BlogTour Suitcase Collage Photo and rightly captioned it Suitcase Envy.  It was my way of expressing to many of my blogger/designer friends who were participating that I was, how can I say....well just slightly envious of them jetting off on a BlogTour Interior Designer's dream tour!  Never did I dream that I would be asked to attend.  

Well dreams do come true and I am off to Germany in January where I will be attending the IMM Cologne International Furniture Show, Living Kitchen and a quick trip to Amsterdam as part of BlogTour!  This is one of those moments in life that you pinch yourself because you can't believe it is true.  But it is true, and I am thrilled to have been chosen to participate in Modenus' BlogTour to Cologne Germany in January 2013. 

What is BlogTour you asked? Well here is the scoop....

Fifteen interior design and life-style writers will be taking Cologne by storm in January as part of the latest leg of BlogTour by Modenus.  BlogTour invites groups of carefully selected bloggers to international destinations where they immerse themselves in trade shows, showrooms, design events and local culture.

And here are the selected Bloggers...
Left to right ~ Courtney Price | Alexandra Williams | Darren Morgan  | Tina Ramchandani | Katie Treggiden | Stacey Sheppard | Paul Anater | Sarah Sarna | Brandon Smith | Lisa Smith | Michele Alfano | Kathy Sandler | Carmen Christensen | Todd Vendituoli

As part of BlogTour Cologne fifteen bloggers,  eleven from the  USA and three from the UK and one from Dubai, along with the Modenus editorial team from the USA, UK, and Germany,  will be visiting the giant IMM (International Furniture Fair) and Living Kitchen as well as other design destinations in the city before moving on to spend a day in Amsterdam for a guided tour of the City's design hotspots in collaboration with home design magazine Eigen Huis and Interieur.  BlogTour Cologne runs from  January 13 through January 18, 2013.

Veronika Miller, CEO Modenus
Speaking about BlogTour Cologne Veronika Miller, CEO of Modenus says, “We have never crammed so much excitement and so much inspiration into one tour. This is also the first time a single Modenus BlogTour has included more than one country. We are, of course, looking forward to IMM. It is one of Europe’s most important furniture shows and it will be fascinating to see how the bloggers, especially the American bloggers react to it..“

Recent BlogTours in London and New York have resulted in over forty million social media impressions and hundreds of blog posts. BlogTour Cologne, with its excursion to Amsterdam can be followed on twitter with the hashtag #BlogTourCGN and through BlogTour At-a-glance on .

I look forward to sharing this experience with you and I am just bursting at the seems excited to take this journey.  So be sure to check back for more updates.
photo credit