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La Pasqua: Easter Eye Candy [a foto blog]

Prefer to read this post in English? Skip to the text in  green.

Così come guardare le vetrine non incide sui nostri budget, concedersi la bellezza di queste bellissime vetrine italiane decorate con esposizioni elaborate di dolci pasquali non ci metteranno dei centimetri alle vite… Meno male!

Just as window-shopping doesn’t put a dent in our budgets, indulging in the beauty of these beautiful Italian shop windows bedecked in elaborate displays of sweet treats for Easter won’t add inches to our waists… Thank goodness!

Per augurarvi una buona Pasqua, ecco alcune immagini scattate a Firenze di bellissime vetrine colme di dolci di ogni tipo per celebrare questa festa.

To wish you a happy Easter, here are some images captured in Florence of beautiful shop windows brimming with sweets of all kinds to celebrate this holiday.


easter shop windows italy

Coniglietti di ogni misura, in peluche e al cioccolato. / Bunnies in every size, as stuffed animals and in chocolate.

easter shop windows italy

Un’elegante vetrina rivestita in bianco sfoggia dei dolci più sofisticati tipo il torrone e la colomba. / An elegant window dressed in white shows off more sophisticated sweets such as nougat (front, L and R) and la colomba, a dove-shaped Easter cake (front center).

Un’esplosione di tutti i simboli primaverili e pasquali: agnelli, galline, anatroccoli e cestini pieni di uova colorate per tentare i giovanissimi ed anche i giovani di spirito. / An explosion of all the symbols of springtime and Easter: lambs, hens, ducklings and baskets full of colored eggs to tempt the very young and also the young at heart.

 Buona Pasqua! / Happy Easter!


Qual è il tuo dolce pasquale preferito?

What’s your favorite Easter candy or dessert?

Posted in Italian Food, Italian Holidays, Italian Vocabulary | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Top 10 Reasons People Study Italian

Why do you study Italian? (And if you don’t, why do you think people study Italian? And also, what are you waiting for? … This beautiful language is calling you! 🙂 )

I came across this list and thought it very accurately reflected the reasons my students have given over the years for studying (courting, pursuing, being enamored and sometimes even obsessed with) what many consider the world’s most romantic language.


Here’s that compilation. (It’s in Italian and English, so you can practice!)

Motivazioni per lo studio dell’italiano

  1. È la lingua più musicale del mondo.
  2. È la lingua del paese con il più alto patrimonio artistico e culturale.
  3. Per andare in vacanza e parlare con la gente del posto.
  4. #3-Vacanza / Vacation

    È la lingua della lirica, della moda e del design.

  5. È la lingua del buon vino e della buona cucina.
  6. È la lingua dei miei nonni o dei miei genitori.
  7. Devo trasferirmi a lavorare in Italia.
  8. Il mio partner è italiano.
  9. Voglio studiare in Italia.
  10. Sono pensionato e voglio trasferirmi in Italia.

List source: Torre di Babele, Roma.


Motivations for Studying Italian

  1. It’s the most musical language in the world.
  2. It’s the language of the country with the greatest number of world heritage sites.
  3. To go on vacation and speak with the people of the place.
  4. It’s the language of opera, fashion and design.
  5. #5-Vino e cibo/Wine & food

    It’s the language of good wine and good cuisine.

  6. It’s the language of my grandparents or my parents.
  7. I have to move to Italy for to work.
  8. My partner is Italian.
  9. I want to study in Italy.
  10. I am retired and I want to move to Italy.

What do you think? Did your reason for studying this gorgeous language make the list? Are they any reasons you would add? Leave a comment!


Corsi di italiano

 

Learn Italian! – Spring Italian Language Classes start March 27 – Sign up now for Early-bird discount!

 


 

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International Women’s Day – Auguri alle donne!

festa donna 8 marzoMarch 8th, International Women’s Day, is celebrated widely in many countries around the world, though it is little known in the US. I first heard of it shortly after I’d moved to Italy.

Women’s Day is a celebration of all that is wonderful about women, and it’s a day to pause and reflect on the accomplishments and importance of the role of women in our world. It’s also a moment to consider improvements and changes needed to better the quality of women’s lives in general, and especially of women and girls whose rights and life conditions are compromised or perilous.

In Italia la Festa della Donna si festeggia l’8 di marzo. | In Italy, Women’s day is celebrated on March 8th.

festa donna mazze mimose

Mazze di mimose | Bouquets of mimosa flowers

Gli uomini regalano i fiori, solitamente le mimose, alle colleghe di lavoro e a tutte le altre donne importanti nelle loro vite… mamme, sorelle, fidanzate, ragazze, ecc. | Men give flowers, usually mimosas, to their co-workers and to all the other important women in their lives… moms, sisters, fiances, girlfriends, etc.

And contrary to popular belief, the mimosa is not just a popular cocktail made from succo d’arancia (orange juice) and champagne. Rather, it was the mimosa flower that inspired the drink!

mimosa.drink

The famous mimosa cocktail

The mimosa is the fragrant and fluffy yellow pom-pom-like flower of the acacia tree.  Like in Italy, California (where Italiano With Jodina is based) is full of acacia trees this time of year, which is why this flower is so common on this day.  I love the smell of these flowers — their fragrance zooms me straight back to wonderful memories of life in Italy!


Special Women’s Day auguri (well wishes) for the special ladies in your life:

  1. Auguri a tutte le donne del mondo ed in particolare alla mia che è la più bella che ci sia!” | Good wishes to all the women of the world and in particular to mine who is the most beautiful there is!
  2. Questa mimosa è bella come te che splendi e profumi nel giorno della tua festa.” | This mimosa is as beautiful as you that shine and are fragrant on your special day.
  3. La donna è la colonna portante del mondo, senza te tutto crollerebbe e la nostra famiglia andrebbe in rovina… Grazie donna, grazie mamma.” | The woman is the main support column of the world, without you everything would collapse and our family would go into ruin… Thank you woman/lady, thank you mom.

women dressed in yellowRemember to give an extra hug or shout out today to the women that matter in your life. And remember the women whose lives are not what they could be… We’ve come a long way baby, ma c’è ne ancora di strada da fare! (there’s still a ways to go!)


Leave a comment! Have you heard of Women’s Day before?  Do you celebrate it?  Which mimosa do you prefer, the flower or the cocktail?

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Lentils for Luck – Recipe for a Prosperous New Year | Lenticchie per fortuna – Ricetta per un prospero anno

Note: This post is in Italian interspersed with the approximate English translation.

gold coinsSecondo l’usanza italiana, se ti vuoi assicurare di un nuovo anno fortunato, a Capodanno  devi mangiare le lenticchie. Piatte e tonde, assomigliano le monete, e per il fatto che aumentano in misura durante la cottura, simboleggiano soldi e crescita finanziaria. Di solito in Italia le lenticchie si preparano in forma di una gustosa zuppa che viene mangiata nel periodo di Capodanno.

According to Italian custom, if you want to be sure to have good luck in the new year, you must eat lentils on New Year’s Eve/Day.  Flat and round, they resemble coins, and due to the fact that they expand in size during cooking, they symbolize money and financial growth.  In Italy, lentils are usually prepared in the form of a tasty soup that is eaten during the New Year period.

Ecco la mia ricetta – e` deliziosa e abbastanza facile.  Buon appetito e prospero anno !

Here’s my recipe – it’s delicious and pretty easy.  Good eating and prosperous new year!

Zuppa di lenticchie | Lentil Soup

Persone: 4  |  Preparazione: 30 minuti  |  Cottura: circa 2 ore   |  Difficolta`: medio

Serves: 4  |  Preparation: 30 minutes  |  Cooking time: about 2 hours  |  Difficulty: medium

Ingredienti | Ingredients  [Italian | English]lenticchie-2

300 gr lenticchie verdi secche | 10-11 oz dry green lentils

1-2 cucchiai olio d’oliva | 1-2 tblsp olive oil

1-2 cucchiai di burro | 1-2 tbsp butter

peperoncino q.b. /quanto basta | red chili pepper, to taste

1 cipolla tritata | 1 chopped onion

1 costola di sedano tritata | 1 stalk of celery, chopped

2 gambi di porro tritati | 2 bulbs/stems chopped leeks

1 carota tritata | 1 chopped carrot

1 bicchiere di vino bianco secco | 1 c./8oz. dry white wine

1 pomodoro piccolo tritato | 1 small chopped tomato

1 foglia di alloro | 1 bay  leaf

8-10 bicchieri/2-2 ½ litri d’acqua | 8-10 c./2-2 ½ Qt. water

Dadi di brodo vegetale q.b./quanto basta (circa un dado per litro d’acqua) | Broth cubes, as needed (approx. 1 cube per quart of water)

Sale e pepe, q.b. / salt and pepper, to taste

Qualche rametto di timo fresco | A few sprigs of fresh thyme

Facoltativo: 300 gr cotechino o altra salsiccia, | Optional:  10-11 oz. “cotechino”, a traditional Italian pork sausage, or other sausage

lenticchiePreparazione  |  Preparation

Sciacquate le lenticchie e mettetele in ammolo in acqua fredda per circa 2-3 ore.

Rinse and soak lentils in cold water for approx. 2-3 hours.

Riscaldate l’acqua con i dadi di brodo e tenetela coperta a fuoco lento finche occorre.

Heat the water with broth cubes and keep covered at a simmer until needed.

Trascorso il tempo di ammollo, potete iniziare a preparare la zuppa di lenticchie.  In una pentola grande rosolate  cipolla, porro, sedano e carote tritati nel burro e l’olio d’oliva.

Upon completion of soaking time, in a large pan sauté the chopped onion, leeks, carrot and celery in the butter and olive oil, until onion is transparent.

Aggiungete le lenticchie, ben scolate dall’acqua di ammollo,e la foglia di alloro, girandole 1-2 minuti mentre assorbono il burro, l’olio ed i gusti della verdura.

Add lentils, having drained the soaking water, and the bay leaf, stirring 1-2 minutes as they absorb the butter, oil and flavors of the vegetables.

Aggiungete e fate sfumare il vino bianco, girando il tutto a fuoco basso.

Add white wine and stir the mix while sautéing so wine absorbs into lentils as it evaporates.

Aggiungete il pomodoro e girate a fuoco lento.lenticchie-3

Add tomato and stir while sautéing.

Aggiungete sale e pepe quanto basta.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Aggiungete circa la meta` del brodo e coprire la pentola. Controllate, girate ed assaggiate di tanto in tanto, aggiundendo del brodo in piu` quando occorre ed evitando che le lenticchie si attaccano. Attenzione che le lenticchie ultimate siano al dente e non stracotte.

Add about half the broth and cover the pan. Check, stir and taste every so often, adding more broth as needed to avoid lentils cooking to the bottom of pan.  Take care that the finished lentils are “al dente” and not overcooked (when ready, lentils should be soft but not mushy).

Aggiungete del sale quanto basta.

Add salt as needed/to taste.

In una padella a parte, fate rosolare le salsicce. Abbiate cura a non stracuocerle. Alla fine della cottura la pelle sara` diventata biancastra. Dovrebbero essere tenere e non dure.

In a separate pan, steam the sausage(s). Be careful not to overcook. When finished, the casings will have turned white. They should be tender, not tough.

Quando le salsicce saranno ultimate, toglietele dalla fiamma e togliere la pelle.

When sausages are cooked, remove from heat and remove casings.

capodanno-buon anno 2014Quando la zuppa di lenticchie sara` ultimate, toglietela dalla fiamma, togliete la foglia di alloro, aggiungete del timo fresco e mescolate.  Affettate le salsicce, mettete le fette in cima alle porzioni di zuppa ed aggiungete un rametto di timo fresco.

When lentils have finished cooking, remove from heat, remove bay leaf, add the leaves of several fresh sprigs of thyme and mix.  Slice the sausages, put slices over the top of the portions of lentil stew, add a sprig of thyme and serve.  Buon appetito!

Avete mai mangiato la zuppa di lenticchie?  Mangiate qualche cibo speciale a Capodanno?  | Have you ever eaten lentil soup?  Do you eat any special foods at New Year’s?

Posted in italian cooking, Italian Customs, Italian Food, Italian Holidays, italian recipes, Italian Vocabulary, learn italian | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment