Spooky & Tasty Halloween Biscuits!

Halloween Piñata Biscuits

Las celebraciones actuales de Halloween se caracterizan por su marcado estilo norteamericano: la gente se disfraza y celebra fiestas, los niños van de casa en casa entonando el ya conocido «truco o trato» y, cada vez más, se elaboran platos de temática terrorífica. Y este es el tema de la entrada de hoy: la comida.

Aunque lo que se come actualmente para Halloween -especialmente dulces- poco tiene que ver con las recetas tradicionales, la comida siempre ha sido una parte importante de esta celebración. Y no sólo por el aspecto nutritivo: las plantas sagradas o los alimentos como las bellotas, frutos secos o manzanas no sólo se comían, sino que también se utilizaban para rituales de adivinación. Por ejemplo, se decía sí lanzabas la monda de una manzana por encima de tu hombro izquierdo, ésta se curvaría con la forma de la inicial del nombre de tu futuro esposo o esposa.

La receta de hoy no tiene nada que ver con la brujería o la adivinación, sino con los espíritus… Os traemos una receta para hacer unas divertidas galletas-fantasma que no dejaran indiferente a nadie. Happy Halloween!

Ingredients

For the biscuits

Halloween piñata biscuits / BBC Good Food

  • 200g unsalted butter, softened
  • 200g golden caster sugar
  • 1 large egg 
    ½ tsp vanilla extract (= 5ml aprox.)
  • 400g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 20g silver balls
  • 20g popping candy

For decoration

  • White, black and grey sugar paste
  • 100g icing sugar

 

Method

  1. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6 and line a baking sheet with baking parchment.
  2. Put the butter in a bowl and beat with electric beaters until soft and creamy. Beat in the sugar, then the egg and vanilla, and finally the flour to make a dough. If the dough feels a bit sticky add a little more flour and knead it in. Wrap in cling film and put in the fridge for half an hour.
  3. Heavily flour a surface and cut the pastry in half. Roll out one half to 5mm thickness. Using a cookie cutter in the shape of a ghost (or any spooky shaped cutter you like), cut out 12 ghost shapes, which will make 4 cookies. Put the cut shapes on a baking tray lined with baking paper and put back in the fridge. Repeat with the second half of the pastry. Swap into the fridge, taking the chilled ghost biscuits out.
  4. Using a smaller cutter or a knife, cut a ghost-shaped hole in the middle of 4 of the biscuits on the tray, this is the space to store the surprise centre! Put these biscuits into the oven to bake for 10-12 mins, until pale but cooked through. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Repeat with the other tray.
  5. Once all the biscuits have cooled completely, they are ready to be assembled. Mix the icing sugar with 3 tbsp of water and mix well. It should be quite thick so add a little more icing sugar if the mixture is too runny. Take a biscuit without the centre missing, and spread or pipe a little icing around the edge. Press a biscuit with a centre missing on top, then sprinkle silver balls into the pocket that you have created. Spread icing on the edge of the second biscuit and press another whole biscuit on top. Set aside to firm up. Make sure you leave them for a while so they don’t slide when you are finishing the decoration.
  6. Once the biscuits feel firm and the icing has set, use the sugar paste to decorate them as you please, rolling it out, cutting it to shape and topping the biscuits. You may have to use a little of the icing to glue it down. Decorate with icing pens if you like.

Recipe from BBC Good Food 

How To Learn a New Language

Seven Secrets to Help You

By Joseph A. Salazar

Teacher at AIT Language School

 

At AprendeInglesToday, we understand the effort it takes to learn a new language. While it is true that children in general pick up a new language better than adults, that does not mean adults should give up.

At our AIT schools in La Garriga and L’Ametlla del Vallès, we use the Callan method, which allows adults to learn English four times faster than other methods, simply by mimicking the way we learnt to speak when we were children.

But what else can we do to make learning a language a rewarding and enjoyable experience? Krsytian Aparta, staff member at TED, asked a number of polyglots at the TED Open Translation project for their opinion on what it takes to master a new language. This is what they said:

 

  1. Get real. Decide on a simple, attainable goal to start with so that you don’t feel overwhelmed. German translator Judith Matz suggests: “Pick up 50 words of a language and start using them on people — and then slowly start picking up grammar.”
  2. Make language-learning a lifestyle change. Elisabeth Buffard, who in her 27 years of teaching English has always seen consistency as what separates the most successful students from the rest. Find a language habit that you can follow even when you’re tired, sick or madly in love.

 

  1. Play house with the language. The more you invite a foreign language into your daily life, the more your brain will consider it something useful and worth caring about. “Use every opportunity to get exposed to the new language,” says Russian translator Olga Dmitrochenkova. Label every object in your house in this language, read kids’ books written in it, watch subtitled TED and TEDx talks, or live-narrate parts of your day to an imaginary foreign friend.

 

  1. Let technology help you out. Dmitrochenkova has a great idea: “A funny thing like resetting the language on your phone can help you learn new words right away,” she says. Ditto for changing the language on your browser. Or you can seek out more structured learning opportunities online. Dutch translator Els De Keyser recommends Duolinguo for its gamified approach to grammar, and Anki for memorizing vocabulary with its “intelligent” flashcards.

 

  1. Think about language-learning as a gateway to new experiences. To Spanish translator Sebastián Betti, learning a language has always been about focusing on the experiences that the new language would open up, from “visiting theme parks, attending air shows, enjoying cowboy poetry and folk-rock festivals, to learning about photo-essay techniques.” In other words, he thinks of fun things that he wanted to do anyway, and makes them into a language-learning opportunity. Many of our translators shared this advice. Italian and French translator Anna Minoli learned English by watching undubbed versions of her favorite movies, while Croatian translator Ivan Stamenković suddenly realized he could speak English in fifth grade, after years of watching the Cartoon Network without subtitles. So the next time you need a vegan carrot cake recipe, find one in the language you’re trying to learn.

 

  1. Make new friends. Interacting in the new language is key — it will teach you to intuitively express your thoughts, instead of mentally translating each sentence before you say it. Find native speakers near you. Or search for foreign penpals or set up a language tandem online, where two volunteers help one another practice their respective languages.

 

  1. Do not worry about making mistakes. One of the most common barriers to conversing in a new language is the fear of making mistakes. But native speakers are like doting parents: any attempt from you to communicate in their language is objective proof that you are a gifted genius. They’ll appreciate your effort and even help you. Nervous about holding a conversation with a peer? Try testing your language skills with someone a little younger. “I was stoked when I was chatting with an Italian toddler and realized we had the same level of Italian,” recalls German translator Judith Matz. And be patient. The more you speak, the closer you’ll get to the elusive ideal of “native-like fluency.” And to talking to people your own age.

 

Source:  https://blog.ted.com/how-to-learn-a-new-language-7-secrets-from-ted-translators/

 

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