My first trip to America…

This post is going to be a touch different from my previous ones, of course it’s going to be about food ( I’ll be bringing Nonna back to my American table for the next 2 weeks while I will be staying here in Florida) however it’s going to be about Language as well! Language? Why would language have such an impact on my trip? We all speak English, don’t we? Well we do but when you have a strong Italian accent and your American friends are not used to it, every word I say has an American equivalent and muddling up words can be rather entertaining at this point……

Our American friends Richard and Judy are just awesome!! (am I getting Americanised here?) They are wonderful people and fun to be around. I am thrilled that they took the time to come to see us from South Carolina (8 hour journey) and my first trip to America is going to be even more special with them here  🙂

Judy is an excellent cook and she prepared us some beautiful meals. We are staying in a villa with lots of space, a swimming pool and a huge kitchen. It’s so hot, it almost feels weird wearing all my summery clothes!!! The A/C is constantly on, we are all drinking fresh OJ and the kettle makes a funny noise!!! Words like “Kettle” with my accent can sound like something completely different… The Kettle is on! I said to Judy this morning. She looked at me a bit puzzled and she said: What casserole Lara? (Laugh Out Loud!!!!)

We couldn’t stop laughing and for dinner we are having Pork Casserole to commemorate our little misunderstanding! Brazato di Maiale (BRAH-SAH-TOH DEE MAH-YA-LEH) is one delicious dish and I am looking forward to tasting Judy’s recipe.

So our first day was filled with laughter, fun, language lessons,  food, supermarket touring and some relaxing time around the pool. I’ll have to tell my Nonna that I bought some extra virgin olive oil and espresso coffee, she always thought America is too far away for the olive oil and coffee to get here…. she is only 95 years young  🙂

We are vacuuming instead of hoovering, we push shopping carts instead of trolleys, we fill the car with gas instead of petrol, we watch TV instead of Telly, we change the channels with the clicker, we don’t do the washing up (well I don’t anyway!!!) we wear panties, we take a shower (sometimes we jump in the shower too) we talk on a cell and we are ALL SET ……








Bruschetta ai Funghi

BRUSCHETTA pronounced“ BROO-SKEH-TTAH” is not only a very popular Italian dish but it is also one of many Italian words that people mispronounce. With this recipe I combined some cookery skills along with language skills. As a language tutor I find that people learn quickly with practical examples and by referring to words that regularly pop out on a  daily basis.

Here is a word that everybody would know though: CHIANTI and I am sure we all know how to say it!  “KEY-AN-TEE” …. Just like that!

“CHI” and “CHE” always sound “KEY” and “KEH” therefore whenever we find words with these syllables we need to remember to pronounce them as there was a ‘K’ .
Have a go now with some other popular words:
ORCHÉSTRA (orchestra) MÁSCHERA (mask)
MARCHE (a region) TACCHÍNO (turkey)
CHILO ( kilo) FORCHÉTTA (fork)

While we are all saying these words out loud we can make this very tasty recipe….and by now we should know exactly how to pronounce “Bruschetta” 🙂

Serving 4 people


300g  closed up mushrooms, washed and chopped

1 bunch of flat leaf parsley, washed and finely chopped

300g double cream

2 garlic cloves , finely chopped

2  loaves of tiger bread or ciabatta

3 tbs extra virgin olive oil

Parmesan cheese, shavings

1 pinch of salt


Heat the olive oil in a medium sauce pan. Add the mushrooms and cook for a 3/4 minutes.

Add the garlic and the parsley. Stir it and pour the cream in, add a pinch of salt and cook for 2 minutes at low heat.

Slice the bread and toast or grill it. Place the bread on a large serving plate.
Pour the sauce on the bread and add the parmesan shavings.…Pronto!!!

Buon Appetito!!!








Lezione 1


As a language tutor I have been trying to find a fun way to teach new languages (there are lots of conventional ways i.e. reading and studying endless and hideous grammar books!). However it can be simplified when spoken and used in a very easygoing set up. I came to the conclusion that a combination of traditional food and a very casual Italian lesson is the key!

Senza libri ma solo con il grembiule e magari con un bicchiere di Chianti (Wine that everyone knows how to pronounce and drink!!!!). As a matter of fact, the “CH” sound in Italian is pronounced “K” but for some reason people will still find it difficult to pronounce the “CH” as a “K” when appears in other vocabularies : MOSCHINO pronounced “MOH-SKI-NOH”, CHILO pronounced “KEE-LOH”, TACCHINO pronounced “TAH-KEE-NOH” e BRUSCHETTA pronounced “BROO-SKEH-TAH”


A versatile dish, served as a starter is great for any occasion! I would normally use the ciabatta type bread (home made!!! recipe in Pane Facile….) but any type of thick, dense, sough dough bread is ideal as well (stale bread is an option too….better if put in the oven for 5 minutes before slicing it). I have even used the traditional sliced bread which with young children is extremely easy and quick to prepare, a peace of toast with you favourite topping!!!!

Serving 8/10


1 large loaf of bread (ciabatta, tiger, baguette)

300g good quality cherry tomatoes

garlic, 2 cloves

basil, 1 handfull

salt, a good pinch

olive oil, 1/2 tbsp


Cut the tomatoes into quarters and put them in a large bowl. Chop the garlic very finely and add it to the tomatoes, mix with a spoon. Add the salt, the olive oil and stir. Finely chop the basil and add it to the tomatoes. Leave the tomatoes to rest for 5 minutes while all the lovely flavours are combining together. Slice your bread (1.5/2cm thick) and place the slices on a large flat dish. Pour the tomatoes equally on each slice. Drizzle some olive oil before serving. Pronto!!!!!!

P.S. Don’t worry if you make too much it’s always good the next day.

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