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!!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Witch’s Cheesy Broom sticks Halloween recipe

Together with the witches hats, brooms are probably the most defining accessory of a wicked witch, they are also their means of transport. Here is an ingenious and healthy tip to make a Witch’s Broom snack.

Ingredients for 12 brooms:
12 Slices of Cheese
12 Pretzel sticks
12 Fresh Chive

1. Fold each cheese slice and cut the fringes of the broom using a pair of scissors.
2. Roll the slice of cheese around a pretzel stick having the fringes looking down.
3. Finally to keep the cheese around the stick, use some chive and knot it around.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

History of Halloween

The history of Halloween can be traced back 2,000 years. It was during these ancient times in Europe that the Celts celebrated the beginning of winter on the evening of October 31st. November 1st was the first day of their new year and it also marked the first day of winter. They believed that death was strongly linked to the long and bitter winter. The Celts thought that during the winter the dead and the living existed simultaneously because it was on this day that the dead roamed the earth. Samhain was the name they gave to their celebration of the dead on the evening of October 31st.

However, when Christians began to gain authority in the 800s, the history of Halloween was forever changed; November 1st became known as All Saints Day or All-Hallows. It is believed that the Christians slightly altered the holiday into a church related celebration, honoring deceased saints. Not unlike Celtic tradition though, the Christians too honored the dead on this day. The evening of October 31st soon became known as All-Hallows Eve and was eventually changed to Halloween.

The tradition of wearing Halloween costumes stems from an Irish and Scottish ritual known as “guising.” In the 19th century, children would dress up in various costumes and go house to house, looking for gifts of coins, food, or snacks. One of the earliest records of guising is in 1895, where Scottish masqueraders carried lanterns made out of turnips and visited homes to be rewarded with fruit, money, or cakes. When the Scottish and Irish migrated to America, they brought along their guising tradition.

Check out this Visual History of Halloween:

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Expat with Kids: 4th Blogiversary

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Brunch al Lido di Lugano: it's Paradise!

It's little piece of paradise. There is just nothing else like the Sunday brunch at the Lido di Lugano. The tempting buffet, the friendly service, the cosy pavillon and the mystic view onto the Lake Ceresio. The experience is amazing when it is an overcast day, on sunny days the brunch at the Lido is simply unbeatable.

From Lasagne to Luganighetta and from Scampi to Salmon. A cheese platter that makes your palate water not to mention the different types of mousse and cakes!

Surrounded by palm trees, a sandy beach and the lake melting into hills of Ticino on the horizon, your senses and you taste buds are spoilt to the max.

It is an absolute must during the winter months. We come especially from Paris to live this marvel, all YOU need to do is pick up the phone and reserve for next Sunday!

Reservation highly recommended, please call or leave a message on 091/971'55'00. For more info, click here:

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Banana Mummies Halloween recipe

Halloween is close and the kids are looking forward to trick-or-treating. Why not serve them something scary but healthy? It is so easy to prepare, they can make it themselves...

4 bananas, halved
1 pound of white chocolate
4 ounces of white chocolate
16 mini M&M's
4 ounces milk chocolate chips, optional
8 lollipop sticks

1.) Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
2.) Skewer each banana half with a lollipop stick and freeze until firm, at least 2 hours.
3.) In a large microwave-safe measuring cup, melt 1 pound white chocolate in the microwave according to package directions.
4.) One at a time, dip the bananas into the chocolate to coat, shaking off any excess. Return to the baking sheet and immediately place two M&M candies near the top for eyes.
5.) Melt the remaining white chocolate in the microwave according to package directions and fill a small piping bag fitted with a small, round nozzle tip. Pipe zigzags over the banana to form bandages.
6.) Repeat this step with the milk chocolate, if using.
7.) Chill or freeze until ready to serve.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Lugano is home

"Where we love is home - home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts."
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

I know I'm home when I spot il Corriere del Ticino

View from Villa Sassa

Lungo Lago

Riva Caccia

New Cultural Center of Lugano

Sunday Brunch at the Lido di Lugano 

Expat with Kids is always on a mission

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Eataly is only one hour away!

Feeling adventurous? Pop cross the border to Milano...

Destination: Eatlay, Piazza XXV Aprile, 10, 20124 Milano

I have been hearing from my friends across the globe about this a high-end Italian food market/mall chain comprising a variety of restaurants, food and beverage stations, bakery, and retail items. Driving into the city trying hard to remember (after having left the city 14 years ago) which road to take, I recognised the site where once the old Teatro Smeraldo stood. Honestly, I actually preferred the theatre.

However, as a tribute to this historic Milanese location, Eataly hosts a huge stage and offers a totally free season of music, which includes all the genres, from pop to rock to opera, as well as hosting recitals, readings, cabaret, theatre, ballet, meetings and art shows and naturally gastronomic ones.

My description would be: much todo about nothing. Eataly might make sense in New York, Dubai, Istanbul or Tokyo but in Milano? Admittedly, it is a treat and fun to browse around the 5000 m2 devoted to food and the best, locally sourced products spread out over 4 floors but most delicacies can be found around the corner... if you know where to find them! Or just walk down the road to the open markets of San Marco or Piazzale Lagosta!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Autumn impressions in Lugano

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Meet me at Lugano's Lido

Since September Lugano's institutional brunch place is back: the Lido di Lugano! If you have never been there NOW it the time to try it! The buffet is scrumptious and offers an impressive array of sweet and savoury dishes.

You can either start at 11:00 with a cold breakfast buffet (appetisers and salads) or wait until 12:00 for the hot buffet with a choice of first and second courses. But leave some space for the dessert buffet!

Cost per person:
Adults CHF 42.00 (Brunch Classic)
Children up to 12 years CHF 2 per year of age (ie: 5 years = 10 CHF)
The formula includes, in addition to the buffet, hot drinks, water and juices in bulk. Of course, extra food, wine and Champagne can be ordered à la carte.

Reservation highly recommended, please call or leave a message on 091 971 55 00.
For more info, click here:

I'll be there on Sunday with family and friends. Come join us!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

The parts of speech

Sitting here on a Sunday night with Expat daughter trying to explain the beauty of grammar, I am at a loss myself. Trying no to lose my cool, I googled and came across this is a little poem which I promptly fell in love with. What a fun way to better understand and remember the parts of speech? I wish they had used these kind of tools when I was a little girl.

Parts of Speech

by David B. Tower and Benjamin F. Tweed

A noun's the name of anything;
As: school or garden, hoop or swing.

Adjectives tell the kind of noun;
As: great, small, pretty, white, or brown.

Three of these words we often see,
Called articles - a, an, and the.

Instead of nouns the pronouns stand;
John's head, his face, my arm, your hand.

A pronoun replaces any noun
he, she, it, and you are found.

Verbs tell of something being done;
As: read, write, spell, sing, jump, or run.

How things are done the adverbs tell;
As, slowly, quickly, ill, or well.

They also tell us where and when;
As: here, and there, and now, and then.

A preposition stands before
A noun as: in, or through, a door.

Conjunctions sentences unite;
As: kittens scratch and puppies bite.

Conjunctions join the words together,
As: men and women, wind or weather.

The interjection shows surprise;
As: Oh, how pretty! Ah, how wise!

The whole are called the PARTS of SPEECH,
Which reading, writing and speaking teach.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Chestnut muffin recipe

A typical Ticino product is the chestnut. The local custom has the children collecting chestnuts in the woods this time of year to roast or to create decorations. Chestnuts are used as flour, bread, cakes, pasta, jam, oatmeal and even schnapps. It is also used in recipes for marron glacé or to accompany a delicious platter of game. Throughout the streets of Lugano the flavour of roasted chestnuts accompanies these autumn days.

My favourite Chestnut muffin recipe:

250gr melted butter
250gr sugar
200gr ground almonds
300gr of chestnut purée
4 eggs

1.) Mix egg yolks with sugar
2.) Add melted butter, ground almonds and the chestnut purée
3.) Mix well
4.) Whisk egg whites until peaked
5.) Add egg whites delicately to the chestnut mixture
6.) Pour into muffin mold filled with muffin cases
7.) Bake in preheated oven at 200°C for about 30 minutes.

Bon Appetito!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Chestnut festival in Ticino

If you live in Ticino, you know, October is one of the most beautiful months of the year. Not only does all the foliage turn into hues of red and orange but it is also chestnut season. Chestnuts are an integral part of the Ticinese tradition. Just take a look at this poem dedicated to the chestnut.


La castagna cicciottella
si lamenta che sta stretta
dentro al riccio poverella
e di uscire ha una gran fretta

Quando è autunno inoltrato
con compagne e le sorelle
fa un bel salto giù nel prato
divertentendosi a crepapelle

Fra le foglie si nasconde
e le altre stanno all'erta
cade il riccio dalle fronde
ride e resta a.. bocca aperta

Ma per poco durò il giochino
le raccolsero in un cestino
e la castagna cicciottella
si trovò in una padella.

Every year around mid-October the most famous Chestnut Festival is held in a different village in the Muggio Valley. The theme of the festival revolves around a single product, in all its variations: the chestnut.

This fruit was an important source of nutrition for the civil population during the difficult years of war and it has been rediscovered in recent times, not only in form of roasted chestnuts but also in many other variations such as a cake, preserves and even beer too.

Venue: Sagra della Castagna
Where: Valle Muggio
When: Sunday, October 19th, 2014
Time 13:30

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Lugano's English Film Club is back!

The ENGLISH FILM CLUB is back and the next show is October 17th, 2014! If you enjoy movies it's a great bargain and even better way of meeting other English speakers.

Despite the uncertainty over the future of the Cittadella, the English Film Club are back again for their 35th season but have no guarantees as to the future. Last season saw a healthy average of over 230 for each performance which is impressive for Lugano. This year there is an even balance between recent British and American films with the usual mixture of serious and more light-hearted topics.

Admission is by season ticket only. You pay a set price for 10 films. Adults CHF 60.-, Students: CHF 40.-. The minimum age for a ticket is fifteen. All movies are shown in English with English sub-titles. Screenings are on Friday evenings at 6:15 pm. People bring snacks, dinner, drinks, etc.

Find the dates and the films that will be shown here.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Want to 'share' a picture? PostCard Creator app is free.

If you live in Switzerland, you know and experience the efficiency of the Swiss postal service every day.

Did you know Die Post have an app that allows you to take a photo, upload and send it as a postcard to any recipient in Switzerland. Best of all you get to send one per day for free.

Whatever the time, wherever you are: with the PostCard Creator app, you can take or choose a photo, add text, specify the recipient and send the order, and Swiss Post will take care of printing and mailing the postcard in A6 format. Free of charge and postage paid by A Mail.

To use the app, users must be resident in Switzerland or Liechtenstein, own a smartphone, download the free app from the App Store or Google Play and register free of charge. If you already have a PostCard Creator account online, you can log in to the app with your existing login data and vice versa.

Now there's a deal you cannot resist. Who will you send your first postcard to?

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