Apr
22
2015

Traditional Romanian Dessert Recipe

Make Scovergi!

It’s no secret that Little Passports loves to learn about different traditional foods from around the world! This week, we’ve asked our friend Erika to share a traditional Romanian dessert recipe.

Well, hello there! My name is Erika and I am a mum to two little girls. We are originally from Romania but now live in England. My girls love helping out and getting messy in the kitchen with me, so I grabbed the opportunity to ask my mum, who is visiting from Romania, to help us whip up our favorite dessert. This is our traditional Romanian recipe for Scovergi – we hope you all enjoy!

Ingredients

Here is what you need:

600g of self-raising flour
2 eggs
7 g of dry yeast
1 cup of warm milk
1 tsp of vanilla paste or vanilla extract
3/4 cup sugar
100g of melted butter
a pinch of salt
oil of your choice for frying – we used rapeseed oil

Steps

1. Add the yeast to the warm milk and sugar and put it to the side for the yeast to activate. In a big bowl, mix together the flour and salt and then add the yeast mixture, eggs and vanilla. Mix everything together adding the melted butter and work the dough with your hands until you get a bread-like dough consistency. You can add more milk or flour if you need to until your dough becomes elastic and not sticky. Leave the dough in the bowl covered with a clean towel for 30 minutes, or until the dough doubles in size. (Bonus: You can spend that time learning a few things about Romania.)

 2. After your dough has doubled in size, flour your work surface and knead the dough until all the air bubbles are removed. Use a rolling pin to flatten your dough and cut out long strips. Cut again into smaller rectangular pieces, making the cut on a diagonal.

3. Make a small hole in the centre of the rectangle and pull the sides of the dough through the hole  into a bow like shape, like pictured below.

4.In a frying pan, heat the oil. When the oil is really hot drop the Scovergi one by one. Fry on both sides until golden. The Scovergi can be eaten warm or cold. We like them with powdered sugar on on top.

5. You can make different shapes and have them with jam, nutella or cheese spread on top.

6. Enjoy!

Thanks, Erika! Want more international noms? Check out some of our favorite past recipes:

Indian Gajar Halwa Recipe

Turkish Pizza Bread

Brazilian Brigadeiro Recipe

Apr
16
2015

Little Passports Turns 6!

The Little Passports Team

Happy Birthday to Us!

This week, the Little Passports team was got together to celebrate the company’s 6th birthday! We reminisced over the early years and remembered when the whole team was able to fit in 1 car! Now we are a happy team of 19 and growing. It all started in April 2009 when Co-Ceo’s Stella Ma and Amy Norman started a business to help kids learn about the world around them with an enriching, interactive and fun monthly subscription service.

In honor of our birthday, we decided to take a ride down memory lane! Click the image below to follow our Little Passports adventure:

Want to know more about Little Passports?

Check out Amy and Stella’s Q&A from our 5th Birthday: http://bit.ly/1hu9KIs

 

 

Apr
8
2015

4 Great European Cities for Families!

Planning a European vacation with kids in tow? These four cities offer sights and activities that both children and their parents will enjoy.

Marseille

Cours Mirabeau

Located on the Mediterranean Sea, Marseille is a bustling port city in southern France that offers tons to do year-round. Start your trip at Fort Saint-Jean, a 17th-century maze of walkways and hiding places that kids will love exploring. Take the scenic bridge that overlooks the city and the sea to the Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilizations, a gorgeous new building built after the city was named the 2013 European Capital of Culture. You also shouldn’t miss a trip to the Panier, Marseille’s oldest neighborhood, for the best ice cream at Le Glacier du Roi. The quick ferry ride to the Iles du Frioul is another must. Go in the late afternoon for a scenic walk before catching the sunset. Aix-en-Provence, just a half-hour bus ride from Marseille, is an excellent day trip. Young ones will be mesmerized by the markets full of colorful produce, mounds of olives, and bouquets of lavender. Stop for a photo in front of the impressive fountain on the Cours Mirabeau.

Sagrada Familia

Barcelona

The gem of Catalonia, Barcelona offers a cosmopolitan experience that’s very different from the rest of Spain. The longtime home of visionary architect Antoni Gaudi, the city puts a premium on art, evidenced by the galleries, museums, and public works spread across the city. Make sure your kids experience Park Güell, one of Gaudi’s masterpieces, where they can romp around in a what looks like a Spanish Alice in Wonderland. But the crown jewel of Gaudi’s work is the Sagrada Familia. The church, though still unfinished, is an enormous ode to architecture that boasts beautiful stained glass, unique geometry, and soaring spires. Afterward you can teach your little ones about cubism at the Museu Picasso, which highlights the iconic artist’s long career. For a decadent breakfast or snack, stop by a street stand for cinnamon-dusted churros and hot chocolate as thick as a melted Hershey’s bar! You can always work off the calories at the beach with a swim in the warm Mediterranean.

Lisbon Iconic Tram

Lisbon

Though Lisbon is the biggest city in Portugal, it doesn’t have the same hustle and bustle of other major European destinations. Life moves at a slower pace in Alfama, a great neighborhood to get lost on winding streets and listen for the traditional fado music. For a fun, kid-friendly adventure, hop on one of the city’s iconic yellow trams. Take line 28 to ride past many top attractions, including St. George’s Castle. For an afternoon indulgence, buy a box of pastels de nata, a small traditional custard tart. One of the best spots to try the treat is Pastéis de Belém, where it’s often still warm from the oven. While you’re in the area, check out Belém Tower. Take the elevator to the top of the Monument to the Discoveries for sweeping views of the Tagus River and the 25 de Abril Bridge, modeled after the Golden Gate Bridge. The nearby town of Sintra is a worthwhile day trip that has stunning palaces and, most importantly for the kids, the Toy Museum, which has an impressive 60,000-piece collection!

Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh

As Scotland’s capital, Edinburgh is steeped in the country’s rich history. Wander up to Edinburgh Castle, which is perched atop a hill and offers amazing city views. Highlights include the Stone of Destiny, the royal palace, and the One O’clock Gun (fired every day except Sunday). Harry Potter fans must stop at the Elephant House, where J.K. Rowling wrote her best-selling series. Then, head to the National Museum of Scotland to check out a giant T. Rex, the millennium clock tower, and Dolly the sheep. The museum is huge and, best of all, free! For a satisfying lunch or dinner, head to one of the many fish ’n’ chips shops that dot the city for a newspaper-wrapped taste of the UK. You can also treat your kids to afternoon tea at the Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh for freshly baked scones, mini desserts, and finger sandwiches. In November and December, the European Christmas Market boasts a large ice rink, and festive rows of stalls hawking gifts and treats.

Contributed by travel writer Lara Takenaga. Based in New York, she is a freelance writer and editor who likes to speak français whenever she can, plan new adventures, and eat her way through city streets.

 

 

Read more:

3 Tips for Traveling Abroad with Kids

3 Simple Ways to Inspire a World Traveler

Apr
1
2015

Read the Reviews for Early Explorers!

We’ve been overwhelmed by the enthusiastic response to Early Explorers, our latest subscription line for preschoolers. Bloggers love us – just check out the reviews!

Kimberly from

Natural Beach Living says:

Little Passports’ wonderful new program for preschoolers is geared towards children ages 3 to 5, but we are actually enjoying it with my 2 and 6 year old to go along with their older brother’s World [Edition] kit. This gives the little ones a chance to experience the joy of learning about new cultures. It has been so much fun already and we always look forward to getting our new adventure in the mail.

Every month, your child will be introduced to a new theme like animals, music, and landmarks. Early Explorers is designed with preschoolers in mind and provides fun and educational activities.

Read the full article here.

Anna from

Measured Mom says:

This is a spectacular company that delivers quality educational materials right to your home. This month we had the opportunity to receive the first package of the Early Explorers subscription plan, which has some wonderful activities for preschoolers!

When the box arrived in the mail, my four-year old couldn’t wait to dive right in! …Together, we found landmarks and animals on each continent. He circled them in the activity book and thoroughly enjoyed the other activities, which were just at his level.

Read the full article here.

 

Amanda from

inRandom says:

Last year I reviewed Little Passports, a monthly subscription box which takes your little explorer on an educational global adventure. I am super excited that they now offer an Early Explorers Edition for ages 3-5. Now my 3 year old can join in on the fun like her 6 year old sister!

The map is pretty big and the perfect amount of detail for the young preschoolers. Lil Sis thought it was so cool to now have a map in her room like Big Sis.

This is the sort of monthly subscription program I look forward to getting in the mail as much as the girls. I love to see theirs eyes light up when a package is coming just for them.

Read the full article here.

+ – + – + – + – +

Thanks to all of the bloggers that raved about Early Explorers!

Save $15 on your own 12-Month Early Explorers subscription with coupon code REVIEW15. Click here to start your own adventure today!

Read more about Early Explorers:

Explore World Music with Preschoolers!

Go on a Little Passports Flashlight Adventure!

Mar
18
2015

Exploring Thailand with Kids!

What’s the Little Passports World Edition all about? It’s more than just a monthly subscription – it’s a conversation starter for curious kids who want to learn about the world. We asked guest blogger Amanda Shaw, a writer and mom of three who writes about her kids’ adventures, to tell us how her family “travels” with Little Passports. Read on!

Our Trip to Thailand

With the day’s high temperature still well below zero here in Montreal, it’s the perfect day for some armchair travel (or, in our case, kitchen chair travel) to Thailand.

The first thing we do whenever we open an envelope from Little Passports is to spread out all of our “travel treasure” and read the letter from Sam and Sofia. It’s full of hints that help the kids find the country on the map.

Elephants and noodle dishes are our clues this time. What else do we know? Our family loves Thai food, but apparently during all those dinners slurping noodles, my daughter Zahra never made a connection that this food comes from a country called Thailand. “Thai-LAND?” Clearly we need to spend some time making sure that she’s envisioning something relatively close to the country in Asia, and not a land of dancing noodle dishes.

While Zahra locates Thailand on the map, her younger sister goes sticker-crazy. A sticker on the beloved, well-worn suitcase and another in the passport and we’re on our way to Thailand! The beautiful postcard makes it easier to turn our backs on the piles of snow outside.

There are a couple rounds of “Long live the King [of Thailand]!” and the girls make up pronunciations of the Thai letters. Then we go online to find an audio clip so we sound slightly less foolish parading around the house chanting “Long live the King!” in Thai.

We pack up the letter, the postcard, the map and the passport. We fish around in the art supply cabinet and get started on turning ourselves into Asian elephants.

The craft is easy and fun and we have all the materials on hand.


Once the masks are done, I lose them for half an hour or so while they pretend to be mommy and baby elephants, crashing their way through the Thai jungle. I take this opportunity to gather the ingredients for one of our favorite parts of Little Passports’ monthly packages — the recipes!

Once the elephants make their way back to the kitchen, I put Zahra to work slicing the mushrooms. I’m hoping that since they’re part of our culinary excursion to Thailand this cold afternoon, she’ll eat them.

We measure out all of the ingredients — wow, what a beautiful rainbow! We spend a few minutes smelling, touching and tasting. We add extra cilantro. The fish sauce gets mixed reviews.

Then, my chefs-in-training pull up a chair next to the stove and we start dumping, pouring, mixing and stirring. The kitchen starts to smell very spicy! So spicy, in fact, that I’m doubting the girls will eat the Tom Kha Gai — that is, until we add the coconut milk.

While we wait for the soup to cook, we use our Little Passports boarding pass to access the trivia and games online. By this time, the kitchen smells goooooood, and Zahra is getting really good at collecting fish to sell at a Thai market.

Just a few more minutes for the soup, so we do another of our favorite activities: figuring out where we’re going next with Little Passports. Ireland, yea!

The soup is finally ready. We warm our hands around the steaming bowls, grab some chunks of sourdough bread and cups of tea, talk about Buddhist temples and imagine ourselves walking through the hot streets of Bangkok.

All is not perfect, though. Zahra did not eat the mushrooms.

Read more from Amanda here: Raising Global Citizens in Montreal!

Click here to start your own adventure with our World Edition.

 

Amanda Shaw is mom to three spirited children and doubles as Director of Content Marketing at Webrunner Media Group. On any given day, she dons a tutu or a hard hat and wields a Swiss army knife or the mighty pen.