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sábado, 28 de agosto de 2010

Jokes - 9

A guy says to his friend, "Guess how many coins I have in my pocket."
The friends says, "If I guess right, will you give me one of them?"
The first guys says, "If you guess right, I'll give you both of them!"

Grammar - Phrasal Verbs

What are phrasal verbs?

1. A phrasal verb is a verb plus a preposition or adverb which creates a meaning different from the original verb.
I ran into my teacher at the movies last night. run + into = meet
He ran away when he was 15. run + away = leave home

2. Some phrasal verbs are intransitive. An intransitive verb cannot be followed by an object.
He suddenly showed up. "show up" cannot take an object

3. Some phrasal verbs are transitive. A transitive verb can be followed by an object.
I made up the story. "story" is the object of "make up"

4. Some transitive phrasal verbs are separable. The object is placed between the verb and the preposition. In this Phrasal Verb Dictionary, separable phrasal verbs are marked by placing a * between the verb and the preposition / adverb.
I talked my mother into letting me borrow the car.
She looked the phone number up.

5. Some transitive phrasal verbs are inseparable. The object is placed after the preposition. In this Phrasal Verb Dictionary, inseparable phrasal verbs are marked by placing a + after the preposition / adverb.
I ran into an old friend yesterday.
They are looking into the problem.

6. Some transitive phrasal verbs can take an object in both places. In this Phrasal Verb Dictionary, such phrasal verbs are marked with both * and + .
I looked the number up in the phone book.
I looked up the number in the phone book.

7. WARNING! Although many phrasal verbs can take an object in both places, you must put the object between the verb and the preposition if the object is a pronoun.
I looked the number up in the phone book.
I looked up the number in the phone book.
I looked it up in the phone book. correct
I looked up it in the phone book. incorrect

Click on the following links for some exercises:

Changes - Ozzy Osbourne

Song of the Week

Ozzy Osbourne

Tom Sawyer - Book

Book of the Week

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
by Mark Twain

A classic of American Literature

To download the PDF version of the book, click on this link:

To listen to the story from an audio book, click on this link:

To do some activities, click on the following links:

Apple Tart Recipe

Recipe of the Week

Apple Tart  

This Apple Tart is a delicious combination of a shortbread crust, a cream cheese filling, slices of cinnamon-sugared apples, and a scattering of sliced almonds. This tart is so good warm from the oven, when the shortbread is nice and crisp, the filling is soft and creamy, and the slices of apple are warm and fragrant.

I love the flavor and texture of a shortbread crust. It is an easy crust to make as the ingredients are simply placed in your food processor and pulsed until clumps start to form. Then all you have to do is press it into a springform pan and then its on to making the cream cheese filling. Again, the filling is made in the food processor and its flavor will remind you of cheesecake, albeit a little softer. Once it is poured over the uncooked shortbread crust, slices of cinnamon-sugared apples are mounded on top. The finishing touch is sliced almonds. The tart is baked first in a very hot oven for 10 minutes and then the temperature is reduced. It is done when the crust has nicely browned, the filling is set, and the apples are tender when pierced with a sharp knife. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. This tart is excellent warm from the oven, at room temperature, or even cold.

I like to use Granny Smith apples for this dessert because of their year round availability and their tart flavor and crisp texture. However, if you are lucky enough to live close to an apple orchard or farmer's market, be sure to try using other tart crisp apples. Some of my personal favorites are Mutsu Golden, Rome, Stayman Winesap, Jonagold or Jonathan. You can also try mixing two or three varieties of apples for a more complex flavor. 

Apple Tart: Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven.  Grease (or spray with Pam) a 9 inch (22 cm) springform pan.
Crust: In the bowl of your food processor place the flour and sugar. Pulse to blend together. Add butter and pulse until dough just begins to come together. Pat the dough onto the bottom and one inch (2.5 cm) up the sides of the pan. Cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator while you make the filling.
Filling: In a food processor process the cream cheese until smooth. Add the sugar and mix well. Blend in the egg and vanilla extract and process until smooth. Remove the crust from the fridge and pour in the filling. Return to refrigerator while you prepare the topping.
Topping: Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a large bowl.  Toss the sliced apples in the sugar mixture. Spoon the apples evenly over the cream cheese layer and sprinkle with almonds. Place the springform pan on a larger baking sheet to catch the drips. 
Bake at 450 degrees F (230 degrees C) for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C) and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown (apples are soft when pierced with a fork), and filling is almost set.   Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool. Sprinkle with confectioners sugar and serve at room temperature.  Leftovers can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated. 
Makes 1 - 9 inch (22 cm) tart
1 cup (130 grams) all-purpose flour
1/3 cup (35 grams) confectioners (powdered or icing) sugar 
1/2 cup (1 stick) (113 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
One 8-ounce (227 grams) cream cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated white sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated white sugar
1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) ground cinnamon
4 cups (500 ml) Granny Smith apples, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch (.6 cm) slices (about 3-4 large apples)
1/3 cup (35 grams) sliced almonds

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sexta-feira, 20 de agosto de 2010

Jokes - 8

Teacher: Tell me a sentence that starts with an "I".
Student:  I is the...
Teacher: Stop! Never put 'is' after an "I". Always put 'am' after an "I".
Student:  OK. I am the ninth letter of the alphabet. 

Trifle - Recipe

Recipe of the Week 
Strawberry Trifle
Trifles are a decadent dessert full of contrasting flavors and textures. They are beautiful to look at and delicious to eat. This Strawberry and Lemon Curd Trifle is no exception. It starts with a layer of buttery pound cake, followed by a layer of strawberry sauce and fresh strawberries, then a layer of tangy and smooth lemon curd, that is tempered by a layer of softly whipped cream. If you eat this trifle right away the flavors of each layer are distinct. But I find it best to chill it in the refrigerator for several hours, or overnight, so all the flavors have time to soften and mingle.  

So let's begin. Since this Strawberry and Lemon Curd Trifle recipe has quite a few layers, it is a good idea to make what you can ahead. That way all you need to do is assemble the trifle the day it is to be served. So you can make the cake, strawberry sauce, and lemon curd ahead of time. In fact, you can make and freeze the pound cake up to a month ahead and the strawberry sauce and lemon curd can be made up to a week in advance and simply stored in the refrigerator. Also, the beauty of the trifle is that variations exist for every layer. If you don't like pound cake, use a sponge cake, a butter cake, or even ladyfingers. Although I have not soaked the cake in alcohol, you can sprinkle the cake with a little sherry or Grand Marnier. And while I have used strawberry sauce you could replace it with another fruit sauce or even a jam or preserve. Other berries or even peaches, pears, kiwi can be used for the strawberries. The next layer is typically a custard or pastry cream followed by whipped cream. For this recipe, I have replaced the more traditional custard with lemon curd, followed by the softly whipped cream. The trifle is finished with crushed Amaretti cookies or shortbread cookies (store bought or home made). Toasted nuts or fruit could also be used to decorate the top of the trifle.

Trifle: Have ready the pound cake, the strawberry sauce, sliced strawberries, lemon curd, and whipping cream.

To make the whipping cream: In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the cream, sugar, and vanilla extract until stiff peaks form.

To assemble: In the bottom of your trifle bowl place slices (about 1/3 inch thick) of the home made or store bought pound cake. Fill in any gaps with pieces of the cake. Pour half of the strawberry sauce over the pound cake. Top the strawberry sauce with half of the sliced strawberries. Then pour half of the lemon curd over the strawberries. Top with half of the whipped cream. Repeat the layers. Cover and refrigerate for 8 and up to 24 hours to allow the flavors to mingle. Just before serving sprinkle the top of the trifle with the crushed Amaretti or shortbread cookies.
Serves about 10 people.
Note: This trifle can also be made into individual servings (as shown above). Simply follow the recipe for the large trifle only instead of using a large trifle bowl, use small glasses (about 1 cup (240 ml)). Makes about 8 individual servings (depending on the size of your glasses).

Strawberry and Lemon Curd Trifle:

Pound Cake (home made or store bought) (can also use a sponge or butter cake or ladyfingers)
1 1/2 cups (360 ml) Strawberry Sauce
1/2 pound (225 grams) fresh strawberries, sliced
1 1/2 cups (360 ml) Lemon Curd (home made or store bought)
1 1/2 cups (360 ml) heavy whipping cream
2 - 3 tablespoons (25 - 35 grams) granulated white sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 crushed Amaretti Cookies or shortbread cookies (home made or store bought)

Pinocchio - Video

Video of the Week


For the next episodes, visit:

Pinocchio - Book

Book of the Week

Carlo Collodi

Download the book on this link:

The same book in another format:

Alanis Morissette - Ironic

Song of the Week


Alanis Morissette

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Need to Improve your English?

Article A x AN

Pronunciation Tips

Article A x AN

We usually learn in language courses to use A before consonants (A car) and AN before vowels (AN umbrella).
In fact, the rule is to use A before consonant SOUNDS and AN before vowels SOUND. So we have:

A hotel [rou-tél]
AN hour [áu-ãr] - H mute
Both words start with H, although they are pronounced in different ways.

AN umbrella [ãm-bré-la]
A university [-ni-vãr-si-ti]
Same as before, both words start with U, although they are pronounced in different ways.

Because of this we say:

I bought an IBM computer. [ai-bi-em]
Are you an SAP person? [és-ei-pi]
We have an RCA television for sale. [ar-si-ei]
He's a European citizen. [yu-ro-pi-ãn]
That happened about a year ago. [y-ãr]
He got the job as a waiter. [uei-rer]