Come on, let’s bake a carrot cake!

Los días de lluvia como el de hoy son perfectos para experimentar en la cocina. Por eso, hoy queremos compartir la receta del pastel de zanahoria (Carrot Cake), muy popular Estados Unidos.

Aunque desconocemos los orígenes de este pastel (hay quién incluso dice que ya existía en la Edad Media), sí sabemos que la primera receta apareció en 1827 en un libro de cocina francesa publicado en Inglaterra.

Sea como sea, el resultado es delicioso. Así que, si alguno de nuestros alumnos de l’Ametlla del Vallès o de la de La Garriga se anima a cocinar, que nos haga saber qué le parece (y, si puede ser, que nos traiga una porción…).

 

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

One 8- or 9-inch (20-23cm) double layer cake

For the cake layers

4 large eggs at room temperature
cup (60ml) 1la vegetable oil

3/4 cup (180ml) melted brown butter or more oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups (280g) all-purpose flour

2 cups (400g) sugar

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 tablespoon cinnamon

pinch generouseach of nutmeg and cloves

1 teaspoon salt

4 cups (13 ounces, 3759) loosely packed grated carrots
1/2 cup (60g) raisins, preferably golden raisins (sultanas)

For the frosting

1 pound (4509) cream cheese at room temperature
4 02 (1109) unsalted butter at room temperature

2-3 cups (240-3609) powdered sugar sifted
a few drops of vanilla extract

Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter and flour two 8- or 9-inch (20-23cm) cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper.
  2. To make the cake layers, sift together the flour, sugar, spices, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. With a handheld mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, beat the
    eggs until they are pale and frothy (they need not increase dramatically in volume). With the mixer running, drizzle in the oil and melted butter, then the vanilla.
  3. Add the dry ingredients to the eggs and mix carefully until just combined. The paddle will accomplish this easily but if you only have a hand held mixer you may want to just do it by hand.
  4. Fold in the carrots and raisins, then divide the batter between the two pans. Bake 30-35 minutes, until the surface springs back when gently touched. Cool the cakes completely before frosting. 
  5. To make the frosting, beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth. Slowly add the powdered sugar (do this on low speed to avoid a dust cloud) and mix until light and silky. Add the vanilla.
Serving and Storage

This cake is best served at room temperature but will keep for a few days stored in the refrigerator.

 

‘Listening’ para hacer en casa…¡y que no aburre!

Listenings que no aburren

por AprendeInglésToday

Hacer un listening no tiene por qué ser sinónimo de hacer tediosos ejercicios donde dos personas hablan sobre su vida diaria. ¡Puede ser más estimulante! Hoy os presentamos un sitio web donde los estudiantes avanzados de inglés pueden encontrar listenings interesantes y muy útiles para trabajar en casa.

TED: Ideas worth spreading 

We believe passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and, ultimately, the world.

TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) es una organización sin ánimo de lucro norteamericana fundada en 1984 y dedicada a difundir «buenas ideas». Es conocida por su congreso anual (TED Conference) y por sus charlas (TED talks), que tratan temas de lo más variado: ciencia, arte, diseño, política, educación, tecnología y muchos más. En su página web podréis encontrar más de 1000 charlas en inglés para su visionado y/o descarga.

Para acceder a las charlas, sólo tenéis que ir a la página web de TED y seleccionar Watch > TED talks en el menú principal. Una vez allí, encontraréis este buscador, que os permite seleccionar el tema, el idioma y la duración de la charla.

Cuando hayáis accedido a la charla que os interesa, veréis que podéis activar subtítulos (siempre habrá, como mínimo, subtítulos en inglés), que disponéis de una transcripción por si sólo queréis escuchar y que podéis guardarla o descargarla de forma gratuita.

Lo más interesante de TED talks

-Se pueden encontrar charlas de unos 5 minutos, ideales para aquellos que dispongáis de poco tiempo pero que queráis trabajar en casa.

-Los temas de las charlas son tan variados que es muy fácil encontrar alguna que os guste. No es el clásico ‘listening’ que reproduce una conversación telefónica o un encuentro casual por la calle. 

-Hay la posibilidad de acceder a listas de reproducción o de crear una propia. 

-Las charlas temáticas os permitirán aprender vocabulario específico que sea de vuestro interés.

-Los participantes son de nacionalidades distintas, por lo que podéis escuchar distintos acentos.

-Descarga gratuita de contenidos.

Con las TED talks no sólo practicáis vuestras listening skills; son una buena oportunidad para aprender cosas nuevas sobre temas apasionantes

Lovely cities, lovely winter!

TEN EUROPEAN CITIES TO VISIT DURING THE WINTER

Source: http://theabroadguide.com/top-european-cities-to-visit-winter/

From sleigh rides through the Swiss countryside and skiing the breathtaking Alps to lounging in outdoor thermal pools and raging at ice festivals, Europe has some of the best and most unique places to spend the winter. Whether you have just a weekend or a whole week to blow, there are an unlimited amount of places to explore. To help you narrow it down, we’ve compiled a list of the top ten cities to visit in the winter.

 

  1. Abisko, Sweden

If you’re a serious winter lover, Abisko is one of the best places you can go. Almost as far north as you can get on a train in Europe, this Swedish town is one of the world’s best places to catch the Northern Lights. Before you travel there, be forewarned that the sun doesn’t rise for weeks in December and January, but that means it will always feel like Saturday night! Besides gazing at the aurora borealis, visitors can ski, hike, ice skate, go dog sledding, and explore the national parks. Don’t forget to check out the famous Icehotel in nearby Kiruna, which was the world’s first hotel made of ice.

  1. Copenhagen, Denmark

As the home of Hans Christian Andersen, Copenhagen is one of the most fairytale-like cities in Europe, especially in winter. The Danish concept of “hygge” (or “coziness”) is at its peak in winter, when locals spend their afternoons and evenings relaxing, drinking hot chocolate, and enjoying their beautiful surroundings. Top sights in Copenhagen include Tivoli Amusement Park, Christiansborg Slot, and Rosenborg Castle, which are all even more charming covered in snow. Don’t miss out on Copenhagen’s winter culture month, Wondercool, which occurs in February and includes concerts in unusual venues, art shows, and culinary events.

  1. Transylvania, Romania

It doesn’t feel right to visit Dracula’s home on a warm, sunny day, so take a visit to Transylvania when it’s cold and snowy! In addition to Dracula, Transylvania is also home to many medieval towns filled with castles, cathedrals, and rich histories that are just begging to be explored. After you’ve frolicked to your heart’s content, don’t forget to hit up one of the area’s many ski resorts and national parks for some real winter activities.

  1. Venice, Italy

One of the top European tourist attractions in winter is the Carnival of Venice. Beautiful, haunting, and extremely weird, Venice’s February-March celebration is not to be missed. Costumed events can be very pricey, but you can get the full effect of the festival by enjoying the free events with a mask purchased on the street. Carnival aside, traveling to Venice in winter allows visitors to experience the city at a slower pace and really soak up the culture. The city’s canals, beautiful architecture, and old-fashioned atmosphere become magical in winter. A stop in Venice is a definite European highlight.

  1. Prague, Czech Republic

With its snow-capped spires, cobblestone streets, and the romantic hue of its gas-lit street lamps, Prague is right out of a fairytale. It is relatively tourist-free in the winter, which is surprising because the city’s natural beauty comes to life under a blanket of snow. Stroll through the Prague Castle at your own pace or hit up a local cafe to escape the cold, especially Choco Cafe, which has more than a dozen types of hot chocolate. If you’re in the Czech Republic long enough, be sure to take a day trip to Cesky Krumlov, which is known as the “Pearl of Bohemia”.

  1. Granada, Spain

If you’re looking to take a break from the bitter cold, Granada is a great solution. However, don’t go Spain under the impression that it will be a beach vacation. Even southern Spain is too cold for the beach in the winter, which is why a city like Granada is such an ideal option because there is more to do than just stroll along the sand. No other region has as much variety as Granada — you can ski the Sierra Nevadas, head to the coast, or simply just roam the city. Spain is much cheaper and less crowded in the winter months, so visitors can truly enjoy the city’s sights without waiting in line or breaking the bank.

  1. Innsbruck, Austria

Innsbruck is known as the ski and snowboard capital of the world. As the two-time host of the Winter Olympics and covered in internationally recognized alpine resorts, Innsbruck does not disappoint. In addition to tearing up the slopes, visitors can tour the famous Olympic ski jump and other facilities. Innsbruck was also a seat of power for centuries and history buffs will love visiting the royal Habsburg home and soaking up the city’s beautiful architecture. Furthermore, Innsbruck is the home of Swarovski Crystals, and no visit to this city is complete without a tour of their bizarre but beautiful headquarters.

  1. Reykjavik, Iceland

Even though Iceland is a trek from most popular study abroad spots and it is among Europe’s coldest areas, there are many reasons why its capital is a must-see place. The annual Winter Lights Festival in February is one of the best European celebrations of winter and its abundance of winter sports, museums, and restaurants make it quite a happening place. What makes Reykjavik even more special are the city’s many outdoor geothermal swimming pools, which are some of just a few in Europe. There is nothing quite like relaxing in their naturally warm waters while the snow falls around you. Every pool is unique, so visitors should try as many as possible.

  1. Edinburgh, Scotland

The winding streets, stunning castles, and beautiful Princes Street Gardens transformed into a winter wonderland make Edinburgh a city to definitely visit in winter. There is nothing more charming than ice skating in the center of one of Europe’s oldest cities and wandering through the Edinburgh castle as the snow slowly falls, if you’re lucky to see it. Be sure to check out the highlands as well, which are exquisite in winter. Arthur’s Seat, on the edge of the city, is the perfect place to take a snowy stroll while soaking up unparalleled views.

  1. Bled, Slovenia

Bled’s incredible natural beauty combined with its peaceful surroundings make it one of the most superb alpine areas in Europe. Renowned for its healing climate, thermal lake water, and “tucked away” ambiance, this small city is perfect for anyone looking to have a relaxing winter escape. However, don’t shy away from Bled if you’re looking for a bit more adventure – its terrain is ideal for anyone interested in outdoor activities such as hiking, skiing, or ice skating. In between relaxing and skiing, don’t forget to check out Bled Castle, a medieval fortress believed to be the oldest castle in Slovenia.

Whether you’re into shredding the slopes or strolling the quaint cobblestone streets, Europe has plenty to offer in the winter. Don’t get bogged down by the cold weather or cabin fever – just pop some cold-weather travel gear on and try something you otherwise couldn’t do in your own city.

 

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