Citrus Cocktail: Mandarin Ginger Inspired by Morimoto

Ginger ale for homemade mandarin ginger

Earlier this year, when we were at Morimoto’s restaurant, I had a delicious mixed drink. A delicious non-alcoholic mixed drink. The restaurant calls it a mandarin ginger — it’s mandarin orange juice, ginger ale and candied ginger. I’ve been thinking about that drink a lot recently so I decided to try whipping one up at home. I’m quite pleased with the results!
Continue reading

German Films: Matthias Schweighöfer

Matthias Schweighöfer

You might already be familiar with Matthias Schweighöfer if you’ve seen English language films like The Red Baron or Valkyrie. While the German actor has taken on serious roles in those films, he’s transitioned in recent years to lighter roles in which he not only stars but directs. Schweighöfer is nothing else in these comedy roles but fun and infectious.

Before our trip to Munich, my German tutor insisted that we go to see a German movie in a theater. There’s just something about seeing it on the big screen and having loud, clear surround sound that makes comprehension a little stronger. We ended up at What a Man and boy was it a great experience. Schweighöfer has had a special place in my German film loving heart ever since — a perfect for the German Film feature.
Continue reading

German Reading Practice with Onleihe

German reading practice

When I was taking regular weekly German lessons, I think the turning point in my experience was when my tutor encouraged me to try reading novels. Admittedly, she suggested a children’s book — The Island of Blue Dolphins — which she provided by way of a copy in English and a copy in German. It took me quite a while to get through that first book but it gave me the confidence and the motivation to keep trying. In the past couple years I’ve probably read a dozen or so books in German and I love it. It’s a great way to get some German reading practice and it just has a different feel to surfing German language websites. But depending on where you live, access to German language books can be difficult and potentially expensive. Or so I thought until I found Onleihe.
Continue reading

My Must See List: Umeå, European Capital of Culture


Have you ever heard of the European Capital of Culture? I’m not sure that we have anything similar Stateside but it’s a lovely idea. The concept of the Capital of Culture is that every year a different European city receives the spotlight and the city puts on different cultural events. In the words of the organization itself, the “Capital of Culture [is intended] to bring Europeans closer together by highlighting the richness and diversity of European cultures and raising awareness of their common history and values.” This year, the European Capital of Culture is Umeå, Sweden.
Continue reading

Museum Visit: Winterthur & Downton Abbey Costumes

Downton Abbey Costumes at Winterthur

If you’re anything like me, it always seems to be the attractions that are close by that I never get around to visiting. For years I’ve wanted to visit Winterthur and for years I just never got around to it. Funny how that works out. Fast forward to the announcement last year that Winterthur would have a special exhibit of costumes from the television show Downton Abbey. Then all of sudden, I made time to go to Winterthur. Funny how that works out.

So with my partner in crime for the Downton Abbey exhibit — in this case, my mother — we headed down to Delaware on a Friday morning to indulge in the dress of the English wealthy being exhibited in an American mansion.
Continue reading