StyleMaker Holiday Picks

Hi friends of George. I'm honored to be guest posting on Daily FOOD for my holiday gift picks. OK, it is no secret, I'm a big fan of It's the place for handmade, upcycled, vintage and original creations from around the world. Here are five things that are on my current list of items that I wouldn't mind receiving; which is a indication of good items to give! So maybe these items will inspire you for those that are a bit difficult to buy for. So get shopping. I am sure I'll be invited back to Daily FOOD real soon. You can also find me at Thanks for reading and have a happy weekend :)

clockwise, from top left:

Mid Century Modern Ceramic Bowl/ Grindley, 22.00

A nest egg in a nest, 12.00

Fleur de Sel, 12.50

Magritte Nicked My Bike Plate, 42.00

You Are My Sunshine, oversized post card, 13.00

Holiday, Living it UP!

Hi friends. Thank you for all your happy holiday emails. It's a good feeling to have so many appreciative viewers watching Living it UP! around the country. I know everyone is busy with family, work, church and activities, especially this time of year. So, I will keep inspiring you with recipes and ideas for a simple, happy holiday at Daily FOOD; leaving you more time for family and friends.

This weekend let's make gluhwein, eggnogspiced nuts and roasted chestnuts

Next week, together, we’ll count down Christmas with many festive recipes and holiday celebration plates. And promise, I won't dare you or double-dog dare you.

Scene from A Christmas Story, 'I double dog dare you!' | 1983

Authentic Sacher Torte

Exclusively available at the Hotel Sacher Wien, the Hotel Sacher Salzburg, the Café Sacher Innsbruck, the Café Sacher Graz and at the Sacher Shop in Bolzano. Just like 175 years ago, the cakes are covered with apricot jam, iced with chocolate and packed in wooden boxes by hand. 
This Hotel Sacher specialty is a purely natural product, made without chemical preservatives. The "Original Sacher-Torte" is traditionally served with unsweetened whipped cream and a cup of "Original Sacher Café". More than 300,000 cakes are produced at the Hotel Sacher per year, more than half of them are sent to destinations all over the world. 

If you missed your flight to Vienna this weekend, order takeout: Order by December 8th to receive prior to Christmas: Original Sacher-Torte 19.50-39.50 EUR plus 26 EUR for 14 day air mail delivery (aprox $59-$85U.S.).

Turkey Countdown: Turkey Tips

What better time than the holidays to celebrate all the wonderful things we've been blessed with throughout the year. Traditionally, food has always been a natural way to celebrate life and friendship. Take time this holiday season to spread joy using a “taste” of your own food traditions with family and friends. 

Today- I'll get you started with some information on how to choose your holiday turkey.

Let's Talk Turkey—A Guide to Turkey, here.

What's Coming Up Tomorrow? 

- For the juiciest turkey, My Turkey Brine Recipe  
- Is your oven too crowed this year? How about grilling? 
- Timetables for roasting or grilling turkey 
- Making the perfect gravy

use a good quality roasting pan. pictured, by Calphalon

Roasting Chestnuts

Memorable Rome moments. Hey- I smell roasted nuts. I think we should get some. Where is that aroma coming from? I turn the corner coming out of the Vatican and see chestnut vendors with their portable roasters everywhere, at the ready. I scope out the chestnut scene and feel-out who might be getting my business. I hurdle a slew of battery operated toy dogs and 'authentic fake' Prada Bags and approach the tidiest chestnut vendor operation on the corner to place my order. A few Euros later with parchment wrapped warm chestnuts in hand, we stroll through the streets of Rome with the perfect snack.

Chestnuts roasting Rome, Italy

Roasting Chestnuts Recipe

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Clean chestnuts and dry. Use a sharp paring knife to cut a small X into flat pointed tip end of each chestnut, or prick chestnuts with a sharp church key (can opener) fork to allow steam to escape, preventing them from exploding.

 Place chestnuts in a shallow roasting pan. Roast in oven for 15-25 minutes, shaking occasionally or until chestnuts are tender and shells peel easily. Chestnuts are enjoyed at their best when warm.

Tip: Roasting time is variable depending on freshness. Choose firm heavy, not hollow when buying.