Sunday, December 12, 2010

chocolates, a tree, and Santa

Chocolate week came and went, and I spent another week playing catch-up and clean-up. I finally got them boxed and out of the house a couple days ago. I store them in the garage till I hand them out.  That way they can stay cold and safe from little hands. 

We spent the first two days making all our centers.

22-ten pound bars of chocolate were chopped and melted during the week. We use Peters ultra light. It's a little bit more expensive, but well worth it.  

We use giant roasters to melt the chocolate and keep it at the right temperature. We have one for light and one for dark. 

My mom is a master dipper. Her chocolates are beautiful. We used to think it was because of her 25+ years of experience, but this week we decided it was because her hands are so small. We dip each persons chocolates one at a time, so they don't get mixed up. We have two dippers at a time one doing light and one doing dark. My mom is always one of the dippers and we take turns as the other dipper. The rule is that you have to dip your own chocolates, so you can learn. 

I love spending time chatting and hanging out with my sisters. We love to sing and dance to Christmas music as we go. It isn't always pretty and there is usually some arguing. I'm known as the bossy one and overly concerned with quality. It's a good thing we already know and have accepted each others faults. We get over things pretty quickly. Chocolate fights are rare, but there was a small one this year. You can't see it but my sisters have gobs of chocolate in their hair. 

 With the snowy weather we had to wait till after chocolates were done to get our tree. We lucked out again this year and found a beautiful tree on my in-laws property in the canyon. Cutting our tree as a family is one of my favorite traditions. It's a breathtaking experience to be alone in the snow cover wilderness.  

My husband is such a good sport to not get frustrated when I say no, to tree after tree. 

It's not a perfect tree from a farm, but that is why I love it. It had the most beautiful almost orangey smell for days. 

Are you still reading this ridiculously long post? Sorry, I have one more thing to share. 

Yesterday was a great day. We were surrounded by some of our oldest and dearest friends at our annual Santa Party. I've been throwing the party since my oldest was a baby. 

In effort to simplify my life I didn't make my own invitations, for the first time ever. I found this fabulous invitation on etsy from the Paper Heart Company. They were great to work with and I thought the price was very reasonable. I printed them at Costco as a 5x7 photo with a luster finish. 
It's kinda crazy having almost 40 kids in our home, but for some of these friends this is the only time we see them all year. 

Sorry for the long post, I wanted to get caught up around here. I hope you are all having a fabulous Holiday Season.


Melissa N. said...


1st - chocolates look awesome and love the pic!

2nd - Love the snow snow snow! Send some to Southern NY please!

3rd - WOW great time looked like by everyone. THat is sooo cool that Santa and his better 1/2 come!

Happy HOlidays!

Sweetaimee81 said...

those choclates look wonderful and I love that all you girls get togather and do it togather nothing funner then spending a day in the kitchen with the girls :)

Unknown said...

Those chocolates are the real deal! Not many people can do that anymore.
Your tree is darling. Makes me homesick for the mountains and our fresh cut tree.
And your party...well it just rocks!

Sarah said...

I feel so fortunate to be included in some of your traditions, Kalleen! Your home is decorated beautifully, the chocolates are half-gone, and, well, we just love your family.

Kim said...

Do you and your hubbie dress up as Santa, or do you hire one? That's such a GREAT idea

chris said...

My back aches just looking at all the work that goes into those chocolates. I'm in awe. They look fabulous. I'm also impressed with the hostess skills. Merry Christmas!

Unknown said...

love the chocolates, and your decor looks great!
how fun to have santa come. :)

Jess@craftiness is not optional said...

wow, I'm wishing i knew you in real life! that party looks fun, and those chocolates look DELISH!

Erin said...

I am so impressed! You're chocolates look amazing. And your tree... I love it! It is imperfectly perfect.

Janell said...

I wandered over from Be Different Act Normal because I was curious as to the quality of chocolate you were using. Yay for Guitard! It's my favorite.

Kelli W said...

Those chocolates look amazing! I can't believe they aren't from a fancy chocolate shop!! BTW, I LOVE your tree! I like a tall skinny tree, and I think yours is just lovely!

Melanie Chambers said...

Love it all Kalleen. So sad we won't get to see you guys this winter.

MdM said...

Hello! I am Maria, I´m spanish and I dont spik inglish jajaja But I LOVEE!! your blog!!

Es increiblee!! Es para mi una inspiraciĆ³n!!

Gracias!! Muchisimas Gracias!!



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