World Cup For Kids, Italy, Pasta Dish

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Well, well… Italy lost today. They do not qualify for the second round. It looks like we need more comfort food for our agony. So I thought I would share a pasta dish I make when we feel like pasta but no marinara sauce.

Caution: garlic ahead! If your children do not appreciate the taste of raw garlic, you might want to add the garlic bits only to your plate.  Continue reading »

World Cup for Kids, Multicultural Kid Blogs

Pasta Dish


14-16 oz box of short pasta (rotini, farfalle, penne etc)

3 Tbsp. yeast flakes (I get mine from Amazon)

1 Tbsp. McKay’s chicken-style seasoning (I get them in bulk from eBay but most health food stores carry something similar)

1/3 c extra virgin olive oil

2-3 garlic cloves, chopped

10-15 cherry tomatoes, cut in half, optional

one green bell pepper, cut in bite-size pieces, optional



Boil pasta according to package directions.

Toss all ingredients together until they are well mixed. Enjoy warm or cold.

It’s that simple!


This concludes my posts about Italy for the World Cup for Kids series, but you can continue to keep up with this blog carnival here.

World Cup for Kids – Italy – A Pizza Recipe

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This is my second post in the World Cup for Kids Series. Be sure to visit that link for our blog community and our Pinterest Board.

Well, Italy lost today to Costa Rica (0-1). Sorry, guys! Why don’t we have some comfort food to help with the agony? Let’s make it a little healthy, too, so we don’t drown our sorrows in too much fat.

Spinach pizza

Spinach pizza (Source: Wikipedia)

Good news! We don’t even need to knead the dough. The bread machine can do that for us. Also, you can choose your own toppings. Continue reading »

The colors of the Italian flag make me think of pizza: the red of the tomato sauce, the white of the cheese, and the green of the green peppers or fresh basil. Yum!

Italian Flag


Veggie Pizza Recipe

Ingredients for the crust

1 1/2 cup warm water

2 Tbl. olive oil

2 tsp. salt

4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp. sugar

2 tsp. yeast

Dump all the ingredients in the order given into your bread machine. Remember, salt and yeast should never meet. Yeast and sugar should be hanging out together. Sugar helps the yeast work its magic. Salt hinders it.

Set your bread machine on “Dough” and press “Start.” On my machine, it takes 1 hr 20 min. Set it and forget it. Well, for one hour.

I set my kitchen timer for one hour and I return to chop the veggies and pre-heat the oven during the last 20 minutes of the dough cycle.

Once the dough is done, I get some oil out and spray two pans – a round pizza pan and a regular oven pan (cookie sheet).

I also spray my hands with oil before I grab the dough out of the bread machine.

This dough makes a 2 lb. pizza dough, so you will be able to feed 6-8 people, depending on how hungry everybody is and if you have any appetizers for your meal.

If you have never had rectangular pizza before, you are in for a treat. You can still cut it in triangles, of course. Or cut it in smaller rectangles. The kids will love the variety.

Break the dough in two and press it into each pan starting in the middle. I don’t roll it out or twirl it on my finger tips. Sorry for disappointing you. It takes me about a minute to press it down and fit it into each pan.

If you like deep-dish pizza, you can use pie shells.


Ingredients for toppings

Tomato sauce of your choice (a 14-16 oz. jar should be more than sufficient)

Italian cheese blends of your choice, shredded (2-3 cups, depending on how cheesy you want it)

Fresh onion, tomatoes, peppers, banana peppers, artichoke, olives and whatever else you feel like

If texture is an issue for your children, you can simply have a cheese pizza. Spread the tomato sauce evenly on the two crusts, then the cheese. Not as healthy, but you get some calories in them, right?

If using the vegetables, spread the tomato sauce first, then all the toppings, then the cheese.

Bake at 400F for 20 minutes. Ovens are different. You may want to keep an eye on your pizza when you make it for the first time.

Enjoy your pizza with a glass of grape juice or, better yet, V-8! That way you can sneak some vegetables into your children’s diet.

Here’s hoping Italy wins next time!

World Cup for Kids – Italy – Eros Ramazzotti

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Italy is not one of the 15 countries I have visited. But I have been there many times in the spirit as I listened to Italian music, watched Italian movies and ate pizza, pasta, gnocchi and pesto.

Speaking of Italian music, I have been an Eros Ramazzotti fan since 1986, when he won Sanremo (the most important music festival in Italy) with Adesso Tu.

Fifteen years later, while living in Stockholm, Sweden, I watched an interview with Eros on Swedish TV. They asked him what he thought was the secret behind his success. He said it was “la melodia italiana.” Translation: the Italian melody. Continue reading »

Not him, necessarily, you see, but the natural inspiration that comes to him from having been born and raised in Italy. If that’s the case, don’t you want what they have for breakfast over there?

Italians sing, no doubt, and they can come up with a catchy tune. They got plenty of talent. (Just Google Toto Cutugno.)

But Eros is special.

You don’t stick around for three decades, sell 55 million albums all over the world, in two languages, unless you are special.

Eros Ramazzotti, the first Italian singer to sing at Radio City Music HallEros Ramazzotti, the first Italian singer to sing at Radio City Music Hall

Eros Ramazzotti, the first Italian singer to perform at Radio City Music Hall

You don’t have duets with Cher, Tina Turner, Andrea Bocelli, Patsy Kensit, Anastacia, Joe Cocker, Luciano Pavarotti, Laura Pausini and Ricky Martin unless you are special.

You don’t become the first Italian artist to sing at Radio City Hall, at the suggestion of Clive Davis, and sing in front of a sold-out crowd, unless you are special.

He is humble alright. He is also shy – his sad childhood left a few marks on him. Ramazzotti does not seek to be anything more than what he is: a musician.

When fans wrote to him to say how some of his lyrics really spoke to them and then proceeded to ask him for specific advice, he declined to answer. He said he writes music about his own life and how he experiences the human story. Everybody is free to enjoy it and take it the way they want to. He is not some spiritual guru, dishing out specific advice or principles to live by.

Ramazzotti’s YouTube channel can give you a taste of his music for free. Here’s a link to Se Bastasse Una Bella Canzone, one of his biggest hits ever – here in a duet with Luciano Pavarotti, my favorite tenor.

Well, Italy won their first match against England. Sorry, chaps! Until next time when Italy plays…

Be sure to visit our Pinterest Board for more multicultural kid blog posts inspired by the World Cup.

World Cup Soccer Series, Introduction

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As many of you know, in a few days, Brazil will welcome 32 soccer teams from as many countries, for the FIFA World Cup. The world’s most beloved sport, known as soccer in the USA, is called football everywhere else. I will call it soccer because I live in the United States.

I grew up in Romania, where soccer is a big deal. Girls did not play soccer. It was considered a male sport. It has been an adjustment to understand that here, in the USA, girls play soccer alongside the boys. And, generally speaking, soccer is viewed as a softer, less masculine sporting event compared to American football.

World Cup for Kids, Multicultural Kid Blogs

When it came time to consider P.E. options for our homeschool, in addition to all the hiking, biking and swimming we do with our children, we added soccer. I was glad to find a soccer program for our son at Berean Christian School in Knoxville. Their coach, Mike McDonald, is a former professional soccer player from England. He has also played professionally here in the USA. He has been in commercials with David Beckham, Zinedine Zidane and other greats.

Continue reading »

Why am I telling you all this?

My multilingual blogger friends have come up with a project called World Cup for Kids – a series of posts we will put together on the countries playing during the World Cup. If your child is excited about soccer, this would be a great way to introduce him to different cultures, foods, and languages.

You can even purchase a World Cup Activity Pack for children ages PK-4th grade.

I chose Italy. Italian is so close to Romanian. Besides, I have a great admiration for Italian anything, whether it is their language, food, architecture, music, art, cars, or vacation spots.

Every time La Squadra Azzurra plays during the World Cup, I will post about some aspect of Italian culture: a pizza recipe, a duet by two of my favorite singers, Eros Ramazzotti and Luciano Pavarotti, and some other fun things.

Be sure to follow the World Cup for Kids Pinterest Board, too.

Forza, Italia!