Sunday, November 23, 2014

Thanksgiving recipes for you

"Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all."
Harriet Van Horne

Admittedly I post the same recipes every year but they are, after all, my classics and are guaranteed to provide you with a delicious and easy-to-cook Thanksgiving meal.

By marrying into an Italian family I gave up my traditional British Christmas feast and we enjoy a very abundant Neapolitan banquet every year. Thanksgiving gives me an excellent excuse to present my family with a turkey at least once a year. Unfortunately, neither my hubby nor my kids are big turkey lovers but at this point they are overruled by THE BOSS!


Here are my favourite recipes I keep on concocting every year:

Maple-Roasted Turkey with Sage Butter
Ingredients:
1 sticks unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1/4 bunch fresh sage, finely chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 (12 to 14-pound) fresh turkey, giblets, neck, and liver discarded
8 strips bacon
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons hot water or bouillon
Preparation:
Preheat the oven to 320 degrees F and remove the top rack of the oven.
Put the butter and sage in a mixing bowl and mash with a fork or spoon until the sage is well incorporated. Season with salt and pepper.
Rinse the bird thoroughly inside and out with cold water, and pat dry with paper towels. Sprinkle the cavity and skin liberally with salt and pepper. Using your fingers, gently lift the skin from the turkey breast and slip the remaining seasoned butter under, massaging the breast meat as you go. Truss the bird by crossing the legs over one another and tying with a piece of kitchen twine. Shingle the bacon strips over the breast so it's totally covered. Put the turkey on a rack in a large roasting pan, cover the turkey with aluminium foil, and place in the oven.
In a small bowl, stir the maple syrup with 2 tablespoons of hot water to thin. Roast the turkey for 2 hours, basting with the maple glaze every 30 minutes. Continue cooking until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the meaty part of the thigh registers 170 degrees F. The thigh juices will run clear when pricked with a knife, about 4 hours total (20 minutes per pound). About 1/2 hour before you think the turkey is done, remove the foil so that it can brown. When done take the turkey out of the oven and put the roasting pan on the stovetop. Transfer the turkey to a serving tray to rest at least 20 minutes before carving. Serve with Turkey Gravy.



Roasted Turkey Gravy
Ingredients:
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large, smoked turkey wing or 2 small ones
1 medium onion, quartered
2 carrots, chopped
1 ribs celery, chopped
1 head garlic, split through the equator
4 stems fresh sage
4 sprigs fresh thyme
6 parsley stems
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
6 cups chicken stock
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preparation:
Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Add the wing, onion, carrots, celery, garlic, and herbs, and cook for 5 minutes. Place in the oven and roast for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and place over medium heat. Remove the wing and set aside. Add the flour and let cook for about 1 minute. Add the stock and simmer until it has reduced by about 1/4, about 15 minutes. Strain the sauce and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.

Cranberry Sauce
Ingredients:
1 pound fresh cranberries, approximately 4 cups
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/4 cup 100 percent cranberry juice, not cocktail
1 cup honey
Preparation:
Wash the cranberries and discard any that are soft or wrinkled.
Combine the orange juice, cranberry juice and honey in a 2 quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes.
Add the cranberries and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries burst and the mixture thickens. Do not cook for more than 15 minutes as the pectin will start to break down and the sauce will not set as well. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
Carefully spoon the cranberry sauce into a 3 cup mold. Place in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours and up to overnight.
To unmold and serve, immerse bottom of mold in hot water for 10 to 15 seconds and turn upside down on plate or serving dish. If necessary, carefully run a warm knife around the edge of the mold.



This year I have discovered a new dessert that I will switch for the classic pumpkin pie. Here goes:

Pumpkin and Bourbon Mousse
Ingredients:
¾ cup sugar
6 tbsp. bourbon
½ tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. ground ginger
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
¼ tsp. ground cloves
8 eggs, yolks and whites separated
1 cup canned pumpkin
orange zest for garnish
Preparartion:
Bring 2" water to a boil in a 4-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat. Place a medium metal bowl over pan, and add sugar, bourbon, salt, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and egg yolks; whisk together, and cook, whisking constantly until thickened and pale, about 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and set bourbon mixture aside. In another bowl, whisk egg whites until stiff peaks form; add canned pumpkin, and fold until almost combined. Add to warm bourbon mixture and fold together until smooth. Divide among serving glasses and sprinkle with orange zest; serve immediately.



Happy Cooking! Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Circus Knie is in town

Listen up children ... the National Circus has come to town. Like every year in November, Circus Knie arrived yesterday. Can you believe it is the 96th edition of this show, which includes artists, animals, jugglers, clowns and of course the family Knie whose eighth generation - in the person of Marie Chanel - will offer the classic number "Maxi and Mini."


Hurry, there are still tickets available for the three shows tomorrow at 10:30, 14:30 and 18:00 before the Circus heads back home to Rapperswil after their last show which is traditionally in Lugano and is the most moving performance for the artists and therefore also for the audience.

Venue: Circo Knie
Where: Stadio Cornaredo, Via Trevano 100, 6900 Lugano
When, Sunday, November 23rd, 2014
Time: 10:30, 14:30, 18:00
Click here for tickets online: http://www.ticketcorner.ch/tickets


David Larible is this year's highlight

Thursday, November 20, 2014

American Thanksgiving in Lugano

Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Have you invited your American friends over or even your Swiss neighbours? This is the perfect opportunity to host a lunch or dinner party and cook whatever tickles your fancy. Italian, Swiss or American.

Still missing some ingredients? Order the turkey at your local butchers or ask the capo of the meat department at Manor or Coop to reserve one for next Thursday. By now, there are enough foreigners living in the Ticino that most butchers have realised there is some kind of feast end of November and turkeys are in demand.

Missing some American ingredients, check out either www.myamericanmarket.com or www.afoodave.ch and order fast. There is still time.

If you are searching for company the American Women of Ticino (AWOT) are organising a Potluck Thanksgiving Dinner on Thursday Nov. 27, 2014. For more details, please contact them directly at awotcomingup@gmail.com.


Monday, November 17, 2014

Migros' Christmas song 2014: "Ensemble"

I have heard through the grapevine about Migros' Christmas charity song entitled "Ensemble" where 23 well-known Swiss artists, interpret the Christmas song for people in need.

Being typically Swiss the song is sung in the country's three official languages. Well, maybe I should correct that, Swiss German is after all a dialect but it does give it the distinctly Helvetic touch and make me feel right at home again.

The title “Ensemble” also expresses the motto of the Christmas fundraising sponsor of this year, the Swiss supermarket company Migros, “Celebrate together, Give together.” With this song Migros calls on the Swiss population to donate for people in need who live in their country.

For the video production of the song, “Ensemble” Migros has managed to bring together 23 famous Swiss artists, including well-known names of show-business as Noëmi Nadelmann, Pepe Lienhard, Sebalter, Pippo Pollina, Fabienne Louves. Among them is the legendary football coach Gilbert Gress, who in the video has a very special role. The song was composed by Roman Camenzind. For the filming of the video artists met in the magical setting of an Alpine hut. The video with an invitation to participate in the fundraiser will be broadcast for the first time as a television ad on Friday, November 21, 2014.

The amount donated will be distributed equally to four charities in Switzerland: Swiss Winter Relief , Heks, Caritas, and Pro Juventute. The money will be used to finance various projects. The money raised will be donated in equal parts (25%) of the four organizations mentioned. At the end of the collection, Migros will double the amount donated up to a maximum of CHF 1 million in total.

So, be aware and look out for the vouchers worth 5, 10 and 20 francs you can buy as of November 22nd for making donations. Money can also be donated by a payment to the account 30-620742-6 PC, by sending an SMS with the keyword “Migros” to the number 455, by downloading the Christmas song by ExLibris, iTunes or GooglePlay.

Click here and get a sneak première of the song "Ensemble" or learn more about the fundraiser on Mirgos' site: www.migros.ch/natale.


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Celebration of St.Martin

Saint Martin Day is celebrated on the 11th of November in Switzerland.

St. Martin was a Roman soldier who was baptized as an adult. He lived in the 4th century and was the founder of monasteries in and around Tours in France. He is also known as St. Martin of Tours. He later became the bishop of Tours and is the patron saint of harvest and the poor.

Legends concerning St. Martin are more abundant than historic facts. Apparently Martin was a very kind man who did many good deeds. The most famous legend about him is that one freezing cold winter night, he crossed the path of an old beggar who was only wearing rags. Immediately, Martin cut his own cloak in two and gave one half to the beggar to prevent him from freezing to death. It turned out that the beggar was Jesus.

St. Martin’s Day is much anticipated by children, when in the evening a procession is held around the neighbourhood carrying home-made lanterns and singing traditional songs.

Back when I was a little girl in Zurich I used to sing:

Laterne, Laterne
Sonne, Mond und Sterne,
Brenne aus mein Licht, brenne aus mein Licht
Aber nur meine liebe Laterne nicht.

Lantern, Lantern,
Sun, Moon and Stars,
Shine my little light, shine my light light
But don’t set fire to my lantern.


Thursday, November 6, 2014

San Martino's Fair in Mendrisio

It is time to visit Mendrisio's market full of local products such as salami, sausages, cheese, and of course, roasted chestnuts. A world of visual and olfactory sensations are waiting for you to take in. Spot the Alphorn blowers who - if you are lucky - will let your kids have a go at it. You'll also find horse riding for children. Not to be missed is Saturday's exhibition and sale of Swiss cows.


There are old proverbs celebrating San Martino and the time of the year when wine becomes the central focus. In fact, the Saint is remembered on the 11th of November, when work in the fields is mostly finished. After the fruit harvest and the preparation of food for the winter and the next planting season, it is the time when the wine was readied.

This was a very important moment in the calendar of old rural Ticino, with the end of agricultural contracts, payment of rents and fairs to attend.

Times have changed, but the San Martino's fair is still a date not to be missed, having renewed itself every Autumn for almost four hundred years. Among stalls offering everything from horticultural produce to brown cows, the farmers of the entire region meet to sell, buy and trade in a contagiously happy atmosphere, especially when there's a little November sun to warm the days.

Venue: San Martino's Fair
Where: Mendrisio down town
When: Saturday November 8th to Tuesday November 11th, 2014
For a detailed programme, click here.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Expat with Kids on Pinterest

Click below and come visit me at Pinterest


Monday, November 3, 2014

Family Fun Fair in Lugano

It is the event of the year: the Family Fun fair organised by the IWCL (Int'l. Women's Club of Lugano). Not to be missed come rain or come shine!

There are ongoing activities during the day for big and small. Come along, even if you do not have little people with you. All you need to bring is an empty stomach as our vendors will offer everything from amazing Asian Fusion Catering to wonderful Guily Pleasure cupcakes.

Kids' Klub will be offering ongoing face painting, bouncing castle and the possibility to discover and try instruments under the supervision of wonderful music teachers. Looms workshop will be organised by some volunteers. NANATelier will surprise you with their little creations. Be Unique Suisse provides fun in a unique and stylish way. Karin Hochapfel will make your children sing, Clown Poppins will pop by in the afternoon and Kelly Fischer will be storytelling.

Meet, Sample or Buy:
Taste of America
Cecilia Tsai and Miamily
Lugano Family tour 
Robin Bognuda and All for Kids
Mary Kay
Cloud of Cloth
El Galeon
Book Nook

The following sponsors are offering special discounts. You can collect coupons by writing to iwcleveninggroup@gmail.com. Every Family will receive a goodie bag so - if you are sure to come - please let IWCL know.

International Women’s Club of Lugano
The American Women of Ticino
U Name It Stickers
Children helmets
Rock My Baby
boo-merino.com
Just Rosy
Pinkfish
English Counselling Switzerland
Hello Switzerland
Città del Sole Lugano:
Forever Living Products
"Be Fit for Life"

Venue: Family Fun Fair
Where: Hotel Pestalozzi, Piazza Indipendenza 9, 6900 Lugano
Date: Sunday, November 9, 2014
Time: 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Have a wonderful Sunday,


Sunday, November 2, 2014

Lago di Lugano on a Sunday afternoon










Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween!!
Jack-o-lantern smiling bright
Witches flying in the night
Ghosts and goblins, cats and bats
Witches with their funny hats
A full moon can't be beat
As we go out to Trick or Treat

Happy Halloween!!


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