Sandwiches to Go – from the USA

August 5, 2012

Summer is the time for for fresh, easy to make food to enjoy out in the open so as to mop up all the sunshine. Below is a selection of mouthwatering concoctions taken from Sandwich bars all across America, courtesy of Daily Candy –  New York.
And of course don’t forget the best of them all – The BLT (Bacon-Lettuce & Tomato)

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Valentine’s Day at Castello Dal Pozzo

February 17, 2012

San Valentino al Castello Dal Pozzo

A lovely evening at the Castello Dal Pozzo for couples out to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Young couples celebrating the start of what could become a lifetime’s devotion as well as well established couples determined to refresh the original feeling of “being in love”. Read the rest of this entry »

Christmas in Italy

December 23, 2011

Christmas at Castello Dal Pozzo

Christmas season in Italy is traditionally celebrated December 24-January 6, or Christmas Eve through Epiphany. This follows the pagan season of celebrations that started with Saturnalia, a winter solstice festival, and ended with the Roman New Year, the Calends. However there are lots of Christmas things to see during December prior to Christmas, many starting on December 8, the Feast Day of the Immaculate Conception.

Italian Christmas Traditions

Although Babbo Natale(Father Christmas) and giving presents on Christmas are becoming more common, the main day for gift giving is Epiphany, the 12th day of Christmas when the three Wise Men gave Baby Jesus their gifts. In Italy, presents are brought by La Befana, who arrives in the night to fill children’s stockings. More about Epiphany and La Befana

Christmas decorations and trees are becoming more popular in Italy. Lights and decorations are often seen starting around December 8, the Feast Day of the Immaculate Conception, or even the end of November. The main focus of decorations continues to be the presepe, Nativity scene or creche. Almost every church has a presepe and they are often found outdoors in a piazza or public area, too.

Traditionally, a meatless dinner is eaten on Christmas eve with the family, followed by a living nativity scene and midnight mass. In parts of southern Italy a seven fishes dinner is traditionally served on Christmas Eve. Traditional bonfires are often held on Christmas Eve in the main square of town, especially in mountain areas. Dinner on Christmas day is usually meat based.

Christmas trees, lights, Nativity Cribs, and Christmas celebrations in Italy:

Although you’ll find Christmas celebrations all over Italy, these are some of the most unusual or most popular Christmas celebrations, events, and decorations.

Naples is one of the best cities to visit for Nativity cribs. Naples and southern Italy have other Christmas traditions, including the Christmas Eve dinner of the seven fish dishes, although it doesn’t really have to be seven fishes and not everyone serves it. Naples Nativity Pictures

Bagpipe and flute players, zampognari and pifferai, are a part of Christmas celebrations in Rome, Naples, and southern Italy. They often wear traditional colorful costumes with sheepskin vests, long white stockings, and dark cloaks. Many of them travel from the mountains of the Abruzzo region to play outside churches and in popular city squares.

Rome is another top city to visit during the Christmas season. There’s a large Christmas market, nativity displays, and several huge Christmas trees.

Saint Peter’s Square in Vatican City hosts the popular midnight mass given by the Pope inside Saint Peter’s Basilica. Those in the square see it on big screen TV. At noon on Christmas day the Pope gives his Christmas message from the window of his apartment overlooking the square. A large tree and nativity scene are erected in the square before Christmas.

Torino is one of the best places for lights. Over 20 kilometers of streets and squares are illuminated by some of the best illumination artists in Europe from late November through early January.

Near the top of Monte Ingino, above Gubbio in central Italy’s Umbria region, shines a huge Christmas tree, 650 meters tall and made up of more than 700 lights. In 1991 the Guinness Book of Records named it “The World’s Tallest Christmas Tree.” The tree is topped by a star that can be seen for nearly 50 kilometers. Tree lights are turned on every year on 7 December, the evening before the feast of the Immaculate Conception.

Città di Castello, in Umbria, celebrates Christmas Eve in on the Tiber River. Towards evening, a group of canoeists, each dressed as Father Christmas, with their canoes illuminated by lights, make their way along the river to the bridge at Porta San Florido where a crib is suspended over the water. When they get out of their canoes, they give small presents to the children gathered there.

Lago Trasimeno, also in Umbria, celebrates with Soul Christmas, Umbria Gospel Festival, December 8 – January 6.
Manarola in Cinque Terre has a unique ecological nativity powered by solar energy. In Abbadia di San Salvatore, near Montalcino, the Fiaccole di Natale or Festival of Christmas Torches (Christmas Eve) is celebrated. Carols and torchlight processions in memory of the shepherds from the first Christmas Eve. Cortina d’Ampezzo in the Alps celebrates with a skiers torchlight parade – At midnight on Christmas Eve hundreds of people ski down an Alpine peak carrying torches.

Castello and Arona at Christmas under the snow

Italian Lakes
The Lakes in the north of Italy, Maggiore, Como and Orta, have begun to follow the traditions of their more northern neighbours in the Veneto and Sud Tyrol and have inaugurated a busy calendar of Christmas markets, choirs singing Christmas songs, spectacular exhibitions of nativity scenes, illuminations in all the towns and villages, from the most simple to the more elaborate. The entire area also has late night shopping, Sunday openings almost everywhere and excellent shopping throughout all the outlets for that really fabulous Christmas gift. So why not come and join us for that special Christmas, free from stress and hassle. The food may be different, turkey may be replaced by goose and Christmas pudding by Panettone, but the atmosphere at the Castello Dal Pozzo will certainly be friendly and full of Christmas cheer.

Castello Dal Pozzo
Via Visconti
Oleggio Castello
Lake Maggiore, Northern Italy


Log Fires and Mulled Wine

November 1, 2011

Chase away winter blues and enjoy a warming drink in front of a log fire.

mulled wine!

Sauced’s Mulled Wine


For vanilla syrup (made the night before)

  • ¼ c. water
  • ¼ c. white sugar
  • 4 vanilla beans, cut lengthwise (if no beans are available, substitute 1 tbsp. real vanilla extract)

1. Boil water and sugar together with vanilla beans for 1 minute.
2. Cool and remove vanilla beans. Refrigerate.

For punch mix

  • 4 c. house red wine
  • 1 c. port wine
  • ½ c. brandy
  • 1 c. sparkling water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 navel orange or sweet apple, cut into slices
  • ½ c. vanilla syrup
  • 2 sticks fresh nutmeg

1. Mix together all ingredients in a saucepan and heat until almost boiling. (Hint: Be very careful not to boil — alcohol will cook down.)

2. Transfer to large thermos or carafe. When serving, grate fresh nutmeg over the top.

Sauced, 753 Edgewood Avenue, at Waddell Street (404-688-6554 or

via Sauced’s Mulled Wine Recipe – Cocktail Party Recipes | London – DailyCandy.


Hot wassail

hot wassail cocktail!


  • 3 apples (peeled, cored, sliced, and sprinkled with ½ c. brown sugar)
  • 1 qt. brown ale
  • 8 oz. dry sherry
  • Peel from ½ a lemon, finely grated
  • ½ tsp. each ground nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger

1. Drizzle apples (excluding a handful) with a little brown ale and bake at 350° for 45 minutes, until the apples are very tender.

2. Put in a food processor until smooth; then pour into a saucepan over medium-low heat.

3. Add remaining ale, sherry, lemon peel, and spices. Simmer gently and add remaining apple slices to the bowl.

4. Serve warm.

via Daily Candy

Rock and Rye Toddy

rock and rye toddy the whistler chicago!
Makes approximately fifteen servings


  • 1 horehound tea bag*
  • 25 oz. rye whiskey
  • ¼ oz. Angostura bitters
  • Peel of 1 orange
  • Peel of 1 lemon (plus extra for garnish)
  • 5 cloves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 oz. demerara syrup (1 part demerara sugar to water)
  • 2 oz. cherry syrup
  • Star anise pods

1. Steep tea bag in a jar with rye whiskey for 2 hours.

2. Remove tea bag. Place all other ingredients in the jar; let flavors marry for 3 days.

3. Strain all solids from the liquid.

4. Serve 2 oz. of mixture to 3 oz. of hot water. Gently stir and garnish with a lemon peel and a star anise pod.

*Horehound is an herb known for its natural cough-suppressant qualities.

The Whistler, 2421 North Milwaukee Avenue, at Fullerton Avenue (773-227-3530 or

Day of the Dead – Blood Orange Margarita Recipe

October 25, 2011

Try this for celebrating the Day of the Dead. Helps to create better Carved Pumpkins for decorating your table.

Blood Orange Margaritas

makes 8 strong drinks

  • 2 1/2 cups silver tequila
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed blood orange juice
  • 1 cup cointreau
  • 1/4 cup simple syrup

Stir all ingredients in a pitcher. Put out glasses, a bowl of ice and lime & blood orange wedges, for garnish. Let guests pour over ice and enjoy.

We like an especially tart margarita, if you like something sweeter, increase the amount of simple syrup, up to 3/4 of a cup.

Margaritas can be made the night before and refrigerated.

via Après Fête: Day of the Dead Blood Orange Margarita Recipe.

Romantic Wedding Cakes

July 11, 2011

Two wonderfully romantic wedding cakes for you to copy on your big day. Each has a tradition behind its design.

White Rose Wedding Cake

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Carbonara Footprint

July 7, 2011

From Candy London the WORD OF THE DAY: Carbonara Footprint (n): Obvious and deleterious effects of overindulgence in creamy pasta dishes #fictionary.

Spaghetti alla carbonara

Spaghetti alla carbonara

Try Rick Stein’s recipe for a classic, creamy carbonara.


  • 400g/14oz dried spaghetti
  • 175g/6¼oz piece smoked pancetta, rind removed
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • handful flatleaf parsley leaves, finely chopped
  • 3 large free-range eggs, beaten
  • 50g/1¾oz pecorino sardo maturo (mature Sardinian pecorino), finely grated
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Preparation method

Bring 4.5 litres/8 pints water to the boil in a large saucepan with eight teaspoons salt. Add the spaghetti and cook for nine minutes, or until al dente.

Meanwhile, cut the pancetta into lardons (short little strips), about 6mm/1¼in wide.

Heat a large, deep frying pan over a medium-high heat, add the oil and the pancetta and fry until lightly golden. Add the garlic and parsley and cook for a few seconds, then remove from the heat and set aside.

Drain the spaghetti well, tip into the frying pan with the pancetta, garlic and parsley, add the beaten eggs and half the grated pecorino cheese and toss together well.

Season to taste with a little salt and black pepper. The heat from the spaghetti will be sufficient to partly cook the egg, but still leave it moist and creamy. Take to the table and serve in warmed pasta bowls, sprinkled with the rest of the cheese.

via BBC – Food – Recipes : Spaghetti alla carbonara.