Learning Italian While Making Tiramisu

TiramisuDabble has got to be one of the coolest ideas I’ve ever heard of.  Basically, you pay a reasonable amount of money for a couple of hours filled with something you enjoy.  Learn something new, try new activities, meet new people; it is just a fantastic idea.

I attended my first class today: Make Tiramisu and learn (a little) Italian.  It was a balance between learning about the Italian culture, basic Italian vocabulary, and the steps to making tiramisu.  I’ve learned enough to make a couple separate posts in the near future, but today, let’s talk about tiramisu.

Did you know it is so easy to make?  No baking, easy ingredients, and perfect for dinner parties because it should be made ahead of time.  I would make some slight changes to the recipe because of my own preferences, but otherwise, this is a great foundation for making tiramisu.

Ingredienti:

3 Large Eggs (yolks and whites separated)

1/2 Cup Sugar

8 oz Mascarpone

Package of Ladyfingers

1 Cup Espresso

1/8 Cup Cocoa

Combine egg yolks and sugar into a mixing bowl.  Be sure to beat until sugar is absorbed.  Add mascarpone.  Fold into mixture.  In a separate bowl, combine egg whites with a pinch of sugar. Whisk until peaks form.  Gently fold this into mascarpone mixture.

Pour espresso in flat dish so ladyfingers can be dipped in it easily.  Douse the ladyfingers with espresso and place in serving dish.  Spread 1/3 of mascarpone mixture onto layer of ladyfingers, then sprinkle with cocoa.  Continue until you are out of ladyfingers and mascarpone mixture.  Do not sprinkle cocoa on last layer of mascarpone mixture.  Refridgerate for an hour, then add cocoa on top.  Be creative by cutting designs into paper and sprinkling cocoa powder over the design.

My Revised Ricetta (Recipe):

Add liquor to espresso mixture (marsala wine, dark rum, amaretto, coffee flavored liqueur)

Do you have your own killer recipe for tiramisu?  Please share :)!

Free Online Language Class

Group-1I’ve invested money into Rosetta Stone, but I plan on enriching the experience in other ways.  One site I found that I have to share is Duolingo.  It is free and well balanced.  Activities require you to identify the meaning of words, translate, type the words, and speak.  Some of the activities are similar to ones you would find in expensive programs.

If you are interested, you can learn:

  • Spanish
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Portuguese
  • English

I’m not saying you’ll walk away completely fluent, but it will definitely increase your vocabulary and ability to put together grammatically correct statements.  Besides, you can’t beat free :).

Learning a New Language

PonderI had an idea this morning that it would be interesting to share my journey of learning a new language.  Many of my followers are probably already bilingual, but I come from a country that rarely is fluent in more than one language.  Traveling Europe has definitely opened my eyes to this idea.

So why learn a new language?

1. The more langauges you speak, the larger your communication circle can grow.  It isn’t necessary to be fluent to have a conversation, but it can be helpful.

2. Learning a language is healthy for your brain.  Areas of your brain increase in size when you challenge it with learning a new language.  Improve your cognitive ability and memory by learning something new.

3. Become more worldly.  Many languages have phrases that cannot be translated.  Expand your vocabulary by feeling something in a different language.

4.  Open more doors in your life.  Speaking more than one language increases your chance at employment and the number of relationships you can build.  Make your world bigger.

5.  Learning is fun!  Well, I am a teacher, so I may be a bit biased, but experiencing something new is always such a thrill for me.

My idea is that I will share snippets of what I am learning on here.  It may be a word I come across that I want to share, or a general rule that is worth knowing.  For anyone else wanting to learn a language out there, this is a place to share your experiences and learn a little yourself.

Today I am going to start with a word: vidorra.  I picked this word for a couple reasons: 1) it forces me to work on rolling my r’s (which I cannot do), and 2) it means to live the life you were meant to live, a worry-free life.  This word is my dream.

What do you think?  Are language posts worthwhile?  Would you follow?  I am learning Spanish, but other languages will creep in.  Next weekend I’m taking a tiramisu cooking class while learning some Italian.  I’d love to hear if you think this is a good use of my blog, or if you think it would just be filler.  The other content won’t change, this would just be in addition to what I already do.Mwah-in-the-Ktichen