Thursday, November 28, 2019

Happy Thanksgiving

Not only can your food be amazing on Thanksgiving, your drinks can be too. Here's a big cheers to you all. Thank you for being such great supporters of Expat with Kids.

A little tip: This drink is quick to put together, and is very refreshing and light while baking all day with so much sugar, flour, and pumpkin!

Cranberry Mimosa recipe:
White Cranberry Juice
Sparkling Elderflower Soda (optional)
Frozen Cranberries

Add equal parts Prosecco and white cranberry juice to each glass. Add in a swig of elderflower soda, and garnish with some frozen cranberries.

Wishing all my readers a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Thanksgiving Sweet Potato Pie recipe

Thanksgiving is coming up.  Pumpkin pie springs to mind… but ... have you ever tried baking a Sweet Potato Pie! This pie is luscious, perfectly smooth, sweet, and beautifully spiced. Credits go to Joy the baker.

For the Crust:
1/2 cup (4 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup cold buttermilk

For the Filling:
2 cups mashed cooked sweet potatoes, from 2 medium sweet potatoes
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup (2 ounces) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cup (10 ounces) evaporated milk, divided
1/3 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

To make the pie crust:
1.) in a medium bowl whisk together flour, sugar, and salt
2.) add cold, cubed butter and using your fingers (or a potato masher) work the butter into the flour mixture
3.) quickly break the butter down into the flour mixture, some butter pieces will be the size of oat flakes, some will be the size of peas
4.) create a well in the mixture and pour in the cold buttermilk
5.) use a fork to bring to dough together and try to moisten all of the flour bits
6.) add a bit more buttermilk if necessary, but you want to mixture to be shaggy and not outwardly wet
7.) on a lightly floured work surface, dump out the moist and shaggy dough mixture. Gently knead into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. (Allowing the dough to rest in the refrigerator will help re-chill the butter and distribute the moisture.)
8.) roll out the pie crust on a well floured surface, 1/8 inch thick and about 12 inches in diameter
9.) transfer it to a pie pan and trim the edge almost even with the edge of the pan
10.) fold the edges under and crimp with your fingers or a fork
11.) cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for a minimum of 30 minutes and a maximum of 3 hours

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Place a rack in the upper third of the oven.

To make the filling:
12.) first peel the sweet potatoes
13.) dice the sweet potatoes into large 3-inch chunks.
14.) place potato pieces in a large pot and cover with cool water
15.) place over medium high heat and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium and simmer until the potatoes are tender throughout, about 20 minutes.  Test the doneness of the potatoes using a thin knife.  If the knife meets any resistance, simmer the potatoes a bit longer.
16.) drain into a colander.
17.) in the same large pot place cooked potato pieces, the packed brown sugar, all of the spices, salt, butter, and half of the evaporated milk. Cook on low flame, using a potato masher to mash the potatoes and they cook.  Simmer for about 5 minutes.  Make sure that the mixture is as smooth as possible. Once mixture is smooth and fragrant, remove from fire and let cool in pot.
18.) in a medium bowl, whisk together the remaining evaporated milk, granulated sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract.
19.) pour the egg mixture into the warm sweet potato mixture
20.) pour the prepared filling into the pie crust
21.) place on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees F.  Reduce the heat to 325 degrees F and cook until cooked through, about 45 to 50 minutes.
22.) to test the pie for doneness lightly shake the baking sheet.  If the center of the pie has a wavy jiggle it needs more time in the oven.  If the center of the pie has a lighter, more structured jiggle, it’s done!

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

St Edwards’s Christmas Market in Piazza Manzoni

St Edwards’s Church is happy to invite you to visit them at the Christmas Market in Piazza Manzoni from November 30th to December 12th, 2019.

All your favourite traditional British Christmas items will be on sale at booth No.107. So hunt for the right booth and you'll be rewarded with Christmas pudding, mince pies, Christmas cake, marmalades and chutneys.

Every day from 11:00 to 19:00! Come support and reach out to the local community during Advent.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Christmas in Lugano - Natale a Lugano

Christmas in Lugano starts with the lighting of the Christmas tree in Piazza della Riforma on December 1st! From that moment, the heart of the city becomes a bright village, bestowing opportunities for entertainment, musical performances, and surprises until the Epiphany.

The city embraces the magic of Christmas, filling the festive period with cheer and events to suit all ages. The streets and squares of the city centre will be glittering and sparkling and will host the traditional Christmas market, which will be inaugurated on December 1st when the Christmas tree lights are switched on in the Piazza della Riforma.

Over 50 Christmas market stalls will offer a wide range of gift ideas, from handicrafts and decorations to food specialities, and will be open every day until December 24th from 11:00 to 19:00.

Also don't miss the food huts between the Piazza della Riforma and Piazza Manzoni that will offer something to suit all palates with various culinary delights such as bratwurst, pretzels and roasted chestnuts. There is no shortage of hot, mulled wine and you'll find plenty of stands with panettone, chocolate, sausages, potatoes with melted raclette cheese, and a variety of craft beers and wines. Note that many of the food and drink stalls will remain open until January 6th, 2020.

Families, on the other hand, can have fun in the Christmas Village, which will be offering musical entertainment, amusements and activities for children.

Don't miss the Coca Cola Christmas truck on Sunday, December 22nd, 2019 from 10:00 to 20:00 in Piazza Manzoni (fountain side).

Thanks to the initiative of the Società dei Mercanti of Lugano, the legendary Coca-Cola Christmas truck will be parked on the lakefront and will bring with it a multitude of gifts and numerous other surprises for the whole family. Come meet the funny, red-dressed, bearded Santa who became one of the symbols of Christmas thanks to the advertising campaign commissioned to the designer Haddon Sundlom in 1931 by the American Coca-Cola Company of Atlanta.

New Year's Eve is also a date to be remembered, with a big party in Piazza della Riforma to welcome the New Year in together. A special evening with lots of music and entertainment. Stay tuned for more!

Click here for a programme:

Saturday, November 23, 2019

How an average Swiss household spends its income

In 2017, an average Swiss household contained 2.18 people.

Recently published figures by the FSO (Federal Statistical Office) show that average (mean) monthly household income in Switzerland in 2017 was CHF 9,917. This is equal to CHF 119,004 a year.

This income is made up of salary income (CHF 6,320; 64%), freelance income (CHF 984; 10%), investment income (CHF 494; 5%) and money from the government (CHF 2,119; 21%) – pensions, benefits and other welfare and transfers.

The main item of expenditure is taxes and compulsory insurance (CHF 2,933; 30%), although this includes compulsory salary pension payments, so it is probably more meaningful to separate this figure into CHF 2,588 (26%) of taxes and unavoidable insurance payments and CHF 405 (4%) of pension savings.

The next largest items of spending are housing and energy (CHF 1,463; 15%), transport (CHF 742; 8%), food and non-alcoholic drink (CHF 636; 6%), optional insurance – mainly health (CHF 591: 6%), restaurants and hotels (CHF 571; 6%), recreation and culture (CHF 577; 6%), extra healthcare spending on top of insurance (CHF 244; 2%), food and clothing (CHF 202; 2%), communication (CHF 189; 2%) and other expenses (CHF 648; 7%).

The average household in Switzerland regularly saves CHF 1,111 (11%) a month on top of compulsory salary-based pension savings.

Click here for more info on cost of living in Switzerland

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Van Gogh Alive. Expressing art through vision and music!

Discover the world’s most visited multi-sensory exhibition experience.

Venture into an exciting new world. Forego all preconceived ideas of traditional museum visits, dispel all notions of tiptoeing through silent art galleries to view masterpieces from afar, change how you engage with art. Vitalize your senses and challenge your beliefs in a completely unique, stimulating Vincent van Gogh exhibition experience.

Be prepared for a vibrant symphony of light, colour and sound, combined and amplified to create what visitors are calling “an unforgettable multi-sensory experience”.

For one and a half hours you'll be able to explore the work and life experiences of this prolific artist during the period 1880 to 1890. Synchronized to a powerful classical score, more than 3,000 Van Gogh images at enormous scale create a thrilling display that fills giant screens, walls, columns, ceilings and even the floor – immersing you'd your kids entirely in the vibrant colours and vivid details that constitute Van Gogh’s unique style.

Venue: Van Gogh Alive
Where: Centro Esposizioni, Via Campo Marzio, 6900 Lugano
Date: From November 14th, 2019 to January 19th, 2020
Times: Mon, Tue, Wed and Fri 13:00 - 18:30 ; Thu 13:00 - 21:00 ; Sat, Sun and holidays 10:00 - 20:00

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Too Good To Go

Ever heard of "Too Good To Go"?

Before I tell you more let's take a little tour through Switzerland's alimentation  scene:

Did you know that 2.3 million tons of food are thrown away annually in Switzerland? That equals as much as 300kg a year per person! It also means a family spends an average of CHF 850.- a year on products that will end up in the waste.

The good news is that more than half of this "waste" can be saved!

... and this is how "Too Good To Go" came to life which already counts 1,816 partners in Switzerland!

Several European entrepreneurs joined efforts to propose a solution that may seem so simple nowadays: an app that allows anyone to commit themselves against food waste even in their own small way, enjoying excellent food and weaving a network of relationships.

The idea being that merchants don't throw anything away, while you can eat good food and reduce it ending up in the garbage AND the environment thanks you. A triple winning formula!

Behind "Too Good To Go" stands a passionate team who believe in sharing the mission of limited waste! They define themselves as a good humoured, united team, driven by the desire to improve the world in which we live and redefine the ways of thinking and consuming! They are strong believers that each of us has a role to play.

Let yourself be tempted and join this mission! Check it out here:

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Thanksgiving cooking course

Thanksgiving is creeping up on us... between the Christmas biscuits already on sale and all the Christmas decorations going up around town it is easy to forget that for Americans the most important family holiday is the fourth Thursday of November.

Should you not be using your mum's or grandmother's recipe or simply looking for new inspiration Mulina Maroggia is the place to go.

On Wednesday, November 27th from 7-10pm they'll be organizing a cooking course in Italian and English dedicated to Thanksgiving with the food blogger Luisa Jane Rusconi.

Thanksgiving Day is celebrated originally in the USA and Canada, which began as a day of giving thanks and sacrifice for the blessing of the harvest and of the preceding year.

This event hosted by Be Free Go Green, will help you prepare some baked products brought to the table usually for this special occasion, using the flour marked with the IP-Suisse mark and seasonal foods of Ticino's territory:

. pull apart stuffing bread stuffed with bacon and chestnuts
. scones with cranberries and orange peel
. pumpkin pie and walnuts

All you need to bring is your curiosity, an open heart, love and respect for nature and traditions... but don't forget your apron and containers to bring home what you have prepared!

The cost is CHF 70.- and includes:
. cooking course in Italian and English with food blogger Luisa Jane Rusconi
. guided tour of the mill
. appetizer
. educational material and a sample of flour

Click her for more info:

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Come join the Holiday Toy Drive

Do you have any unopened birthday gifts in the cellar? New Legos that your child has outgrown?Packaged toys that you purchased some time ago but that your child is no longer interested in? Want to do a good deed this holiday season? Consider making a donation to Kinetic Center’s toy drive!

Every year the clinic collects donations that go directly to sick children and teens battling cancer and that are spending the holidays in the hospital, far away from home. Extra toys will be kept and given throughout the year as birthday presents to the kids or used as bingo prizes.

Because the young patients are often bedridden, sit-down toys and games are greatly appreciated (ex. board games, cards, puzzles, Legos, books, play dough, arts & crafts, etc).

For health and infection control reasons, only new toys are accepted.

Last year some parents used it as an opportunity to speak to their children about health and gratitude and even picked out a toy together to donate. All new donations are welcome during the months of November and December at the Kinetic Center reception, Via Ferruccio Pelli 13, 6900 Lugano.

Thank you for considering it!

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Albert Frey: The Architectural Envoy

As part of the 50th Anniversary Film Series, Franklin University is extremely pleased to invite you to the exclusive Swiss premiere of the documentary “Albert Frey:  The Architectural Envoy - Part I” on Wednesday, November 13, in collaboration with the Virginia Tech Steger Center for International Scholarship in Riva San Vitale.

7:30 p.m. Opening Remarks
7:40 p.m. Film Screening
8:45 p.m. Panel Discussion moderated by Greg Warden, Franklin President, featuring Virginia Tech Faculty Markus Breitschmid, and Franklin Faculty Johanna Fassl and Fabio Ferrari
9:15 p.m. Reception in the Kaletsch Campus Conference Room

Albert Frey, the unpretentious Swiss-born mid-20th century architect, aided in the introduction of Corbusian-influenced modernism to the United States and through an innate curiosity of the American landscape, developed an extraordinary design style, blending industrial techniques and a love of nature.

A reception will follow the screening and panel discussion.
Entry is free - all are welcome!

Venue: Albert Frey - The Architectural Envoy
Where: Franklin University Switzerland, Nielsen Auditorium, Via Ponte Tresa 29, 6924 Sorengo
Date: Wednesday, November 13th, 2019
Time: 19:30-21:15

Monday, November 11, 2019

The National Circus KNIE celebrates its Centenary

November in Ticino is Circus time. The Circus Knie has travelled across the entire country over the past eight months and will be concluding its tour in Lugano as usual.

Every child in Switzerland is familiar with the Circus Knie, which has now been touring the country for 100 years. In 2019, this milestone anniversary will be celebrated in a fitting manner.

When the “Cirque National Suisse” took its name in 1919, it was already the fourth generation. The Circus Knie goes back to the beginning of the 19th century, more exactly to 1803!  Today Circus Knie is like an institution in Switzerland. Who has not heard or been once to a circus performance or visited the children’s zoo in Rapperswil. Circus Knie is run by the two brothers Freddy and Franco Knie. Their wives, sons, daughters, grand-children and extended families all take part a way or another in the performances or work at the tent or with the animals. Click here for the Knie family tree.

For the aniversary the family Knie offers a spectecular programme: award-winning clowns, fascinating animal dressages and the “best of” of the last 100 year.

So, hurry to buy your tickets. Click here!

Venue: Circus Knie
Where: Pratone di Trevano (next to Stadio Cornaredo), Via Giacomo E Filippo Ciani, 6900 Lugano
When: November 14th to 17th, 2019
Time: Thursday & Friday: 19h30, Saturday: 13h30, 17h30 and 20h30, Sunday: 10h30, 14h30 and 18h00

The Circus Knie in numbers:
1.) The circus tours Switzerland every year for 8 months starting in March in Rapperswil and ending on Nov. 17th in Lugano
2.) It gives over 350 performances
3.) Visits over 40 places throughout the country covering 3500 km
4.) 100 people are needed to install the big tent and work at the buffet and the zoo
5.) 50 artists work for the Circus
6.) 66 people at every performance in addition to the artists
7.) The Knie tribe arrives by train! Yes, all the 70 caravans are heaved onto wagons and shipped from one village to the next by Swiss rail. The animals are driven in 60 trucks via road.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Panettone World Cup 2019 in Lugano

Do not miss this Swiss fair dedicated to panettone this weekend! You'll learn all about its history, production and processing. You'll be invited to participate at laboratories and workshops. Training sessions will be open to the public offering unique opportunities to explore techniques and innovative trends on the best artisan preparations.

During the event 20 pastry chefs from all over the world will compete for the title of "King of Panettone". Four of the finalist are Swiss, others hail from Italy, Spain, Portugal, France and even further away. Meet the finalists here.

A jury of international pastry chefs will declare the winner of the first worldwide competition ever organized. For three days Lugano will be the center of interest of the whole world linked to the bakery and pastry.

Venue: International Panettone World Cup
Where: Centro Esposizioni, Via Campo Marzo, 2900 Lugano
Date: Friday, November 8th from 12:00 to 20:00
Saturday, November 9th from 10:00 to 20:00
Sunday, November 10th from 10:00 to 18:00
Ticket price: CHF 5.- (children up to 12 years free)

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Notte del racconto at the LAC

For almost thirty years La notte del racconto (night of the storytelling) takes place on the second Friday of November simultaneously throughout Switzerland.

When the days begin to get shorter and the evenings get longer, schools, classrooms, libraries, bookstores and any other place dedicated to reading are transformed into magical places where children, teenagers and adults read, listen and tell stories.

This year the theme - of which the literature is full of narrative cues - is linked to the rights of the child and bears the title: "We also have rights!". It is a way to remind children and adults that all the children of the world have the same rights and that these must be respected and defended.

Ask your local school or library for the programme or head to the LAC where Christine Schneider and Hervé Pinel will be reading "In punta di piedi".

Venue: Notte del Racconto
Where: LAC, Sala refettorio, Piazza Bernardino Luini 6, 6900 Lugano
Date: Friday, November 8th, 2019
Time: 20:00
The event is free of charge and suitable for accompanied children from 3-6 years.
Sign up here:

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