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

January 17, 2012

Dinner at "Le Fief" - Castello Dal Pozzo

Spend a wonderful Valentine’s Day/weekend at the Castello Dal Pozzo – Lake Maggiore

Le Fief Restaurant

Enjoy a romantic weekend

For all information and to book

Epiphany in Italy – January 6th

January 1, 2012

La Befana arrives on 6th January bringing sweets or sugar coal for naughty children

The Feast of the Epiphany, celebrated January 6 with a national holiday in Italy, and the tradition of La Befana are a big part of Italian Christmas celebrations. Epiphany commemorates the 12th day of Christmas when the three Wise Men arrived at the manger bearing gifts for Baby Jesus. The traditional Christmas holiday season in Italy lasts through Epiphany.

La Befana

Italy’s traditional celebration includes the tale of a witch known asLa Befana who arrives on her broomstick during the night of January 5 and fills the stockings with toys and sweets for the good children and lumps of coal for the bad ones.

According to the legend, the night before the Wise Men arrived at the manger they stopped at the shack of an old woman to ask directions. They invited her to come along but she replied that she was too busy. Then a shepherd asked her to join him but again she refused. Later that night, she saw a great light in the sky and decided to join the Wise Men and the shepherd bearing gifts that had belonged to her child who had died. She got lost and never found the manger.

Now La Befana flies around on her broomstick each year on the 11th night, bringing gifts to children in hopes that she might find the Baby Jesus. Children hang their stockings on the evening of January 5 awaiting the visit of La Befana.

We Three Kings of orient are

See My Befana for La Befana song and more about the legend.

The origins of La Befana may actually go back farther, to the Roman’s pagan festival ofSaturnalia, a one or two week festival starting just before the winter solstice. At the end of Saturnalia, Romans would go to the Temple of Juno on the Capitoline Hill to have their augers read by an old crone. Many pagan traditions were incorporated into Christmas celebrations when Christianity became main stream. La Befana was a good substitute for the old woman who read the augers. The saying augur originated with this practice, too, as it was common to wish someone good augers.

La Befana Festivals

The town of Urbania, in Le Marche region, holds a 4-day festival for La Befana from January 2-6. Children can meet La Befana in La Casa della Befana. This is one of the biggest celebrations for La Befana in Italy.

The Befane races, Regatta delle Bafane, are held in Venice on January 6. Men dressed as La Befana race in boats on the Grand Canal.

Epiphany Processions and Living Nativities

In Vatican City, following another Epiphany tradition, a procession of hundreds of people in medieval costumes walk along the wide avenue leading up to the Vatican, carrying symbolic gifts for the Pope. The Pope says a morning mass in St Peter’s Basilica to commemorate the visit of the Wise Men bearing gifts for Jesus.

Rivisondoli, in the Abruzzo region, has a reenactment of the arrival of the 3 kings on January 5 with hundreds of costumed participants.

Epiphany in Milan

Milan has an Epiphany Parade of the Three Kings from the Duomo to the church of Sant’Eustorgio on January 6.

Befana sul Lago

Many towns and villages in Italy have similiar processions, although not as elaborate, ending with a living nativity scene, presepe vivente, where costumed people act out the parts of the nativity. Living nativities, presepi viventi, are often presented December 24-26 and repeated for Epiphany.

Stay at the Castello and enjoy Christmas italian style. Its a chance to earn an extra Christmas Stocking – unless of course you find “coal” in yours (obviously made of sugar!).

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.

Pensieri per l’8 Marzo

March 9, 2011

Una piacevole serata in spensierata allegria ieri sera al Castello Dal Pozzo per celebrare la Giornata della Donna.

L’origine della scelta della data del 8 Marzo risale al 1908, quando 129 operaie americane scioperarono per protestare le condizioni di lavoro e la mancanza di parità dei diritti nella loro azienda.  Furono racchiusi nella fabbrica, che per disgrazia, prese fuoco e tutte le 129 donne perirono. Dal 1911 viene celebrato la giornata della donna in Europa ed infatti quest’anno celebriamo il centenario.

Ci permettiamo di riportare qualche frase celebre offerte ieri sera per il diletto dei presenti dalla Sigrna Alessandra Rondelli:

1). Coco Chanel

Nessun uomo ti farà sentire protetta e al sicuro come un cappotto di cachemire ed un paio di occhiali.

2). Susanna Agnelli

L’amore non è un dovere, è una grazia. Bisogna averne molto dentro di se per poter dare a gli altri.

3). Sophia Loren

C’è una fonte della giovenezza: è nella tua mente, nei tuoi talenti, nella creatività che porti nella vita.
Quando impari ad attingere da questa sorgente avrai sconfitto l’éta.

4). Rita Levi Montalcini

Tutti dicono che il Cervello sia l’organo più complesso del corpo umano. Da medico potrei anche essere d’accordo. Ma da donna Vi assicuro che non vi è niente di più complesso del Cuore. Ancora oggi non si conoscono i meccanismi. Nei ragionamenti del Cervello c’è logica, nei ragionamenti del cuore ci sono le Emozioni.

5). Audrey Hepburn

Si dice che l’abito non faccia il Monaco. Ma la moda spesso mi ha dato la sicurezza di cui avevo bisogno. Personalmente dipendo da Givenchy come le donne americane dipendono da loro psichiatra.

Chicken and Lemon pielets

February 19, 2011
Courtesy of http://www.LA
have not followed a recipe in years, partly because I am lazy but also because I like doing my own thing,
These pies are quite long to prepare, but the result is always excellent, even if this round in the absence of a second package of short crust pastry, I had to make them without lids, so they were less pleasing to the eye.
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For Chocolate Lovers

February 2, 2011

For  Chocolate Lovers everywhere. An easy to make recipe for Individual Lava Cakes that is sure to impress.

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