Tag Archives: learn english through recipes

The Ingredients of Love

5 May

Ever wished there was a recipe for a perfect relationship? Well, it looks like Angie Stone found her own secret recipe…

Listen to Angie’s recipe and fill in the gaps with the right quantity for each ingredient.

The Ingredients of Love

Hey Musiq, yo
You think we can do this, yeah, uh
Yeah, yeah

How do we make love
And what’s it truly made of?
How do we make love
And what is it truly made of?
Oh yeah, oh yeah

Gimme an ________ of some honesty
Some innocence and a  ________ of loyalty
A  ________of some attitude
And of course a  ________of freak, yeah

At least a  ________of conversation
Some attention when it comes to relation
Two  ________ of intelligence
And a  ________of righteousness, oh


What I need is a  smidgen of strength
And a whole lot of stamina
What I want is a  ________of respect
And a damn good listener

Well, if it means anything to you
Girl, I feel the same way you do
So let’s let it marinate
For about three hundred and sixty-five days


Baby, I need to feel it’s blended to perfection
Love is splendid
In connection with old-fashion remedies
And recipes of love, oh yeah

And sugar, no matter
What the friends may be saying
I’ll be sippin’ on every drop of the main ingredient
It’s tasty love, yeah, yeah

[CHORUS x 3]

 Units of measurement

Vi sarà capitato di trovarvi all’estero e di assaggiare qualche piatto prelibato, di cui vorreste tanto conoscere la ricetta segreta. Magari  avete anche trovato il coraggio di andare dallo chef e farvi scrivere la ricetta, ma quando poi vi siete ritrovati alle prese con once e galloni avete perso ogni speranza. A me è capitato e so bene quanto è frustrante dover stare lì a risolvere equivalenze prima di poter finalmente mettersi a cucinare!

Il fatto è che sia il sistema britannico che quello americano derivano dalle antiche unità di misura inglesi, comunemente usate nei paesi del Commonwealth e dell’impero britannico. Oggi, entrambi i sistemi sono ancora utilizzati nel Regno Unito e negli Stati Uniti, ma sono stati rimpiazzati dal Sistema Internazionale (SI) nella gran parte dei paesi del mondo.

Le unità di misura usate nel Regno Unito e negli USA sono per lo più coincidenti  per lunghezza, area e peso, ma presentano delle differenze per capacità, come riportato sotto:


1 inch = 25,4 millimetres
1 foot = 30,48 centimetres
1 yard = 0,914 metres
1 mile = 1,609 kilometres


1 ounce = 28,35 grams
1 pound = 0,454 kilogram
1 stone = 6,356 kilograms
1 ton = 1016,04 kilograms

British capacity                     American capacity

1 pint = 0,568 litres                         1 pint = 0,473 litres
1 quart = 1,136 litres                       1 quart = 0,946 litre
1 gallon = 4,546 litres                     1 gallon = 3,785

Irish Coffee

18 Mar


  •  500 ml of hot coffee
  •  25 ml of Irish whiskey
  • 2 teaspoons of brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of whipped cream
  • a stemmed glass

According to sources, the original Irish coffee was invented and named by Joe Sheridan, a young Irish chef working at a Irish Coffeerestaurant in Foynes, near Limerick. Foynes was the main airport for Flying Boats between Europe and America and in the 40s it handled many passengers, including many American celebrities. The coffee was created on a winter night in 1942, after a group of American passengers disembarked from a Pan Am flying boat which was stuck in the port because of miserable weather. So Sheridan decided to prepare something special to warm the passengers up, by adding whisky to coffee. The story goes that when he was asked whether that was Brazilian coffee, Sheridan told them it was “Irish coffee”.


Add the sugar to a pre-heated glass (you can do this just by pouring some hot water into it), then pour some freshly brewed coffee into the glass and stir well. Once the sugar has dissolved, add the whisky and stir again. Now wait for a few seconds for the coffee to settle and carefully pour the whipped cream over the back of a spoon so that it won’t mix with the coffee. The two layers should be kept neatly separated so that it will almost look like a pint of Guinness! If you prefer, you can serve it with a cinnamon stick or a chocolate teaspoon or garnish it with some coffee beans on top.

  The Passive form

La  forma passiva è un costrutto molto utile in inglese per dare maggior enfasi al soggetto della frase, invece che all’agente, cioè chi di fatto compie l’azione. Si costruisce con il verbo to be seguito dal past participle (attenzione alle forme irregolari!!), quindi esattamente come in italiano. Il complemento d’agente, se presente, è introdotto dalla preposizione by:

The original Irish coffee was invented and named by Joe Sheridan. (Mi interessava dare maggiore rilevanza all’irish coffee anzichè al suo “inventore”)

La forma passiva può essere usata solo con i verbi transitivi, cioè con quei verbi che possono essere seguiti da un complemento oggetto. Ad esempio:

The coffe was created on a winter night. (create è un verbo transitivo, cioè nella forma attiva può essere seguito da un complemento oggetto: create + object)

Esistono alcuni casi in cui l’uso della forma passiva è particolarmente consigliato. Ad esempio, quando non conosciamo l’agente, oppure quando questo è poco rilevante o cosituito da un gruppo generico di persone.

When Sheridan was asked whether that was Brazilian coffee, he told them it was “Irish coffee”. (l’agente in questo caso è il gruppo di passeggeri americani, non una persona in particolare.)

Bubble and squeak

13 Mar

Ingredients (4-5 people)

  • 2 chopped onionsbubble and squeak
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 30 gr of flour
  • 200 gr of shredded cabbage
  • 50 gr of butter
  • mashed potatoes
  • salt and pepper

Using leftover vegetables has never been more fun! The traditional bubble and squeak recipe was a way of using up leftover vegetables from a Sunday roast. So, it is a good idea to wait until you have some leftover cabbage and potatoes instead of making it all fresh.

Heat the oil in a pan and fry the onions gently for 5 minutes until tender. Boil the cabbage in salted water for about 4-5 minutes, then drain it well (unless, of course, you’re using leftovers). Make the mashed potatoes and, when ready, add in the cabbage and onions, mix together and season. Make about 12 little rounds of the mixture, pressing down with the back of a spoon to make flat, smooth cakes. Flour lightly each side and gently cook the little cakes on both sides until golden brown. It looks nice to serve the fried cakes cut into wedges and with some mint leaves.

If you’re wondering where the name of this recipe comes from, try listening to the sound it makes when frying in the pan!

Image from veganyumyum.com Cheers! 🙂

  Gerunds and infinitives

Quando pensi di iniziare a conoscere un po’ meglio la lingua inglese, arrivano i gerundi e gli infiniti a distruggere tutte le tue certezze! Non è così? In effetti, l’uso di gerunds and infinitives è uno di quegli aspetti in cui l’inglese differisce enormemente dall’italiano, ma esistono alcune regole generali che possono aiutarci a scegliere la forma la forma giusta nell’occasione giusta.

In generale, usiamo il gerundio (-ing form):

  • dopo preposizioni e phrasal verbs

This recipe was a way of using up leftover vegetables.

  • quando il verbo è il soggetto della frase

Using leftover vegetables has never been more fun!

  • dopo determinati verbi come: love, hate, like, enjoy, mind, finish, stop, suggest, finish, spend etc.

I hate doing housework, but I have to.

In generale, usiamo l’infinito (+ to):

  • dopo gli aggettivi

It looks nice to serve the fried cakes cut into wedges.

  • per esprimere un fine

Press down with the back of a spoon to make flat, smooth cakes.

  • dopo determinati verbi come: decide, agree, afford, need, expect, promise, refuse, seem, want etc.

I decided to learn English through recipes because it’s more fun.

Naturalmente, sarebbe bello se tutto si limitasse a questi casi… ma poi arrivano le eccezioni e incasinano tutto! Esistono, ad esempio, alcuni verbi che possono essere seguiti da entrambe le forme – gerundio e infinito – a seconda del loro significato nella frase. Vediamone alcuni:


If you can’t open the gate, try using my key. (sto suggerendo un modo per fare/risolvere qualcosa)
I tried to call you, but your mobile was switched off. (esprime un tentativo)


Can we stop to buy some water, please? (fermarsi fisicamente per fare qualcos’altro)
She stopped eating meat after a trip to Tibet. (smettere di fare qualcosa)


Remember to buy some milk on your way back. (non dimenticarti di fare qualcosa)
I don’t remember locking my bike, I’d better go check. (non ricordo di aver fatto qualcosa)

Sounds like loads of fun, doesn’t it?