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Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Spanish e-Learning: Coming Soon!

I'm sorry that the newsletter is quite late - actually I skipped a week too, so it's doubly late! But I've been working on something I think is quite exciting: an e-learning system. While learning online and through the newsletters and blog is definitely already an e-learning type activity - I want to take it a step further. What exactly does this entail? Well primarily a more integrated system that can do things like track your progress, give you feedback, offer self contained courses with audio, video, and testing that are all part of the same system. This will enable people to do actual modules - where they can keep track of what they've learned and even how well they've scored. This system can be very useful for individual students as well as teachers. It should even have the ability for students to log in, complete homework, and have the results emailed to their teacher!

Some of the lessons will be offered for free - same as always - via the newsletter and blog. But the more comprehensive part will be part of a subscription service (probably around $10 per month) - and have quite a few more features (while I'd love to offer the whole thing for free - developing the system and content is a pretty big job and will require quite a bit of time and resources).

Always looking for new ways to expand the site! If anybody has any comments or suggestions, please let me know. I'll be posting a poll about features in this week's newsletter as well.


Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Mexican Pozole Recipe

I'm busy at work writing this week's newsletter, but Sandrita has been hard at work in the kitchen, gracing us with yet another one of her fantastic recipes! As a non red meat/pork eater I guess I'll never know if this one is good or not, but it's her son Alejandro’s favorite meal.

Pozole a la Mexicana


3 pounds of pork shoulder or loin
1 large can of hominy
8 chiles California
1 head of garlic
½ large onion
pinch of salt
pinch of organo
pinch of pepper
1 cabbage
3 limes

In a large bowl place 8 California chiles in hot water, soak for one hour.

In a large stock pot, fill with water, bring to boil and add salt, pepper, chopped onion and minced garlic with the cubed 3 pounds of pork. Cook in medium heat for 1 hour until meat is tender.

While meat is cooking, you can shred your lettuce finely and cut limes into quarters.

Next open the chiles and seed them and de-vein them, add to blender with pinch of salt, pepper and oregano. Strain through colander. Add sauce to base and also add hominy (make sure you thoroughly rinse the hominy before adding to soup, cook for 45 minutes, or until hominy is very soft.

Garnish with cabbage and lime and enjoy. ¡Sabroso!


Thursday, May 12, 2005

Another Mexican Joke from Sandrita

Well usually I delete forwards faster than you can say "I hate spam!" - but Sandrita seems to love sending them, and sometimes I feel guilty deleting them. So today I opened one, and it actually made me laugh, so here you go. Keep in mind that we are very pro Mexican around here, and since Sandra is a bona fied 2nd generation Mexican American, any jokes found on our site are because we are laughing WITH THEM, not at them :)

One day a florist goes to the barber for a haircut. After the cut he goes to pay the barber, the barber says, "I am sorry I cannot accept money from you. I'm doing community service." The florist is happy and leaves the shop.

The next morning when the barber goes to open his shop, there is a thank you card and one dozen roses waiting at his door.

A cop goes for a haircut and he also goes to pay the barber after the cut. But the barber replies: I'm sorry I cannot accept money from you. I'm doing community service. The cop is happy and leaves the shop. The next morning the barber goes to open his shop, there is a thank you card and one dozen donuts waiting at his door.

A Mexican cook goes for a haircut, and he also goes to pay the barber after the cut. But the barber replies: I'm sorry I can't accept money from you I'm doing community service. The Mexican cook is happy and leaves. The next morning when the barber goes to open his shop guess what he finds there?..................

A dozen Mexicans waiting for a free haircut!!............................


Wednesday, May 11, 2005

New: Instant Digital Spanish Downloads

I've been working for the past few weeks on putting together a section to my online store where people can purchase audio and interactive products instantly - and it's finally live! We've only got 3 items listed right now, but I hope to keep adding things, until we have the best online selection of downloadable Spanish materials! You can check it out at the link below.

20% off coupon, valid for 1 week: 0993012997709194331351

note: you need to use the "add to cart" buttons to use the coupon - click the little "coupon" Spanish Download Coupon icon on the bottom LEFT of the cart to enter the coupon number above

visit our new Spanish Digital Downloads Store


Indefinite Adjectives and Pronouns...Unknown Quantities

These words are often adjectives, but can also be pronouns and even adverbs, and are used to identify people or things of indefinite or unknown rather than specific quantities. Many of these words change gender and quantity, such as the Spanish translation for the word "some"

indefinite adjectives in Spanish

Some other Spanish Indefinite Words

algo - something

alguien - someone

bastante - plenty of, enough

cada - each, every

cualquiera - any, anybody, anyone

demasiado - too much

mucho - a lot

nada - nothing, not at all

nadie - noone

ni siquiera - not even

ninguno/ninguna - nobody, nothing, none, not any

otro - other, another

poco - little, not much

todo el mundo - everybody (literally "the whole world")

un poco - a little bit

uno(s) una(s) - one, some

unos cuantos/unas cuantas - a few, some, several

varios/ varias - several, various

Tengo bastante trabajo en mi casa. 

I have plenty of work to do in my house.

Hablo un poco de ingles. 

I speak a little English.

Somos de varios países

We are from various countries

El sol está demasiado fuerte hoy - me voy a quemar

The sun is too strong today, I'm going to get sunburned

Worksheet/Activity: Indefinite Words

Quiz: Spanish Indefinites

Hangman: Indefinidos


Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Another Receta Fantástica from Sandrita: Potato Tacos

Here is another Mexican recipe, one I've had the pleasure of tasting first hand. While not exactly diet food, these taquitos de papa are just delicious. If anybody can think of a lower fat workaround please send us a message.

Taquitos de Papita (Rolled Potato Tacos)


5-6 good sized potatoes (skinned and cubed)
salt, pepper, garlic
½ cup chopped onion
1/3 cup roma tomato (chopped)
package of corn tortillas
cooking oil
¼ cup of milk
¼ stick of butter
Mexican table cream or sour cream
Shredded lettuce

Boil potatoes in a large pot of water with onions, tomatoes, salt, pepper and garlic for about 30 minutes or until potatoes are soft. Drain potatoes and make sure to keep onions and tomatoes. Mash them up with butter and milk and then after warming up tortillas in the microwave, fill them up and roll tightly.

Place in hot oil and fry each side until golden.

Place 3-4 tacos in a plate and add shredded lettuce and cream and ENJOY!!!


Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Mexican American Joke from Sandrita

Here is another Mexican related joke from our Hispanic expert Sandrita (she loves forwards :)

Check your Mexican status:

If you can run and play any sport while wearing chanclas (sandals) ....Mexican status!

If your late Tio left you a van and you turned it into a taco vending business, Yes, you're a Mexican.

If you pronounce words beginning with the letter "S" by putting an "E" in front of it, (estop instead of stop), big time Mexican.

If you call a chair, a sher, you got it.... Mexican.

If you have ever hurt yourself and your mamacita rubbed the area while chanting, "Sana, Sana, Colita de rana....." You're Mexican, big time!!!

If you have your last name in old English lettering anywhere on your car, truck, or tattooed on your back! . Yes, you ARE a Mexican (proud one too).

If you refer to your wife as your ruca, your hina, your wifa, your old lady, or your vieja, guess what? Not only are you a Mexican, you're a cholo.

If you throw a "Grito" every time you hear Vicente Fernandez, then not only are you a Mexican, but you are a drunk Mexican.

If you have ever been pinched in church and been told "pobrecito de ti si lloras" or "Vas a ver orita que salgamos." Yes, you're definitely a Mexican.

If you grew up being called "chamaca or chamaco" ...Mexican.

If you grew up scared of La Llorona, or fear the dark because of El CuCuy! Yes! Mexican!

Si te persinas with a lotto ticket in your hand before every drawing. You're in the Mexican Zone!!!

If you constantly refer to cereal as "con fleys" or cake as "kay-ke". You're a Mexican.

If you use manteca instead of vegetable oil and can't figure out why your rear-end is getting bigger......You might be a Mexican.

If you have some Tias that dress up in their prom dresses to go to a birthday party at "el parque". You are a Mexican.

If your Tias and Abuela dress up in their Sunday best with heels and all to go to the "pulga." (AKA the Flea Market) Then, yes, you are a Mexican.

If most of the houses on your block are painted bright pink, mint green, and lavender. Mexican.

If you use the bushes in front of your house, the fence, or the top of an old car to dry laundry. Yes, you're a Mexican.

If you're congested and your mamasita rubbed "Bicks". You're Mexican.


You know you're laughing your head off. It's all in fun, so don't get all "adoloridos." Just pass it on so another Mexican can laugh too!


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