Archive of ‘Sports Parties’ category

Brazil 2014 World Cup Party

brazil 2014 world cup party deck

It was time for the end of year party for my son’s soccer team and luckily for us it coincided with the World Cup.  Of course we decided to throw a Brazil 2014 World Cup Party!

There were three party zones for the party.  One for food and beverage service, one for eating & mingling and the last (and most important to the boys) was the soccer zone.

worldcupflags

I knew that the rectangular area on one side of the house was the perfect soccer area.  After all it had long ago been designated as such (with the missing grass in front of the goals to prove it).  In the International spirit of the World Cup I decided that it would be fun to line the house (on one side) and the fence (on the other) with the flags from the World Cup teams.  Luckily I found an assortment of 3 x 5 flags on soccer.com for $4-9 each.  We even put up lights on the house and so the soccer didn’t have to stop when the sun went down!

worldcupdeck2

The next zone was the food and beverage area.  Our deck was the perfect location for that.  A large square table in the middle decked out in a green tablecloth for the buffet with twinkling lights strung through the umbrella with a few paper lanterns.  It is amazing how little lights can cast such a magical glow.  Hung together were the Brazilian and US flags.

worldcups1

For the party favors I decided that little “World Cups” for each boy were in order.  I had some leftover spray paint from my Olympic Rings which worked perfectly when sprayed on plastic beverage glasses.  Of course they kids couldn’t drink out of them but they were the perfect container for lots of World Cup type treats…chocolates, a medal, World Cup trading cards and stickers and other little goodies.

worldcups2

The thing that helped add a large dose of festive fun was the addition of lots of different paper lanterns.  I love that they are inexpensive, come in a multitude of colors, are easy to use and have a huge impact.  I found great soccer ball lanterns at paperlanternstore.com and filled in with larger colored lanterns.

worldcuplanternsday

I used 5 of the 14″ soccer lanterns and then filled in with the much less expensive 16″ colored versions to fill out the tree.  The colors were so bright and beautiful by day and with the small cafe lights were magical at night.

worldcuplanternsdark

I enjoyed putting this together and look forward to hosting at least one more Brazil 2014 World Cup party before the fun ends in a couple of weeks!

 

 

Watermelon Caipirinhas

 

watermeloncaipirinhas

Today’s World Cup Cocktails are Watermelon Caipirinhas.  It is a variation on the famous Brazilian Caipirinhas which are lime based.  This version has a splash of lime but watermelon is the star.  Fresh and fruity this cocktail is just as light and delicious as the original recipe however it contains a bright snap of juicy watermelon sweetness.

muddler

 

I was asked a question about the muddler I described in the Brazilian Caipirinhas recipe. There are all sorts out there with price points varying widely.  The one I use I picked up in the kitchen aisle of Target.  The only job of a muddler is to mush the ingredients together and so unless you are planning on lots of muddling the wrong end of a wooden spoon works just as well.  I fall into the muddling often crowd and so I am happy to own one.

The process for this cocktail is simple.  Cut 6-7 cubes of watermelon (about 1/2-3/4 cup total).  I find a riper watermelon works the best.  Place the cubes into a cocktail shaker.  There are two routes you can go with the sweetener.  Either 1 oz. Simple Syrup or 1 TBLS. sugar.  I prefer simple syrup (recipe below) but sugar will work fine.  If you are using sugar add it to the watermelon now and muddle together (if adding simple syrup you’ll add it after the watermelon has been muddled).  The watermelon should resemble a puree but not be completely smooth and liquid and the sugar should be dissolved.  Once muddled add the simple syrup if using, 1 tsp. lime juice and 2 oz. Cachaca.  Cachaca is a Brazilian liquor made of sugar cane.  If you don’t have Cachaca you can substitute vodka (which would change it to a Watermelon Caipiroska).

watermeloncaipirinhas

 

Fill the shaker to the top with ice, cover, and shake, shake, shake.  This cocktail needs to be icy cold.  I shake it until I can barely hold onto the shaker for fear of freezing my fingers.  Yes, that cold.

Pour your newly created Watermelon Caipirinhas into a highball glass.  This cocktail does contain some of the watermelon pulp.  If you don’t like that texture make sure you really muddle the watermelon well at the beginning to obtain the consistency you like.  Garnish with a wedge of watermelon and sit back and enjoy!

Simple Syrup

1 cup water + 1 cup sugar.  Heat in a saucepan, stirring.  Bring to a boil and cook until sugar dissolves.  Cool.  Store in a jar in the refrigerator.  (Is wonderful in ice tea)!

Brazilian Caipirinhas

 

Brazilian Caipirinhas

There is nothing like Brazilian Caipirinhas to kick off World Cup madness!  I love the World Cup and so this is a time which can’t come quickly enough for me.  As with the Olympics I always try and explore the food and drink not only of the host country but some of those participating in the event.  This World Cup is in Brazil which offers a multitude of wonderful food and drink opportunities to enjoy during this month long celebration.  The first stop on the culinary tour must be Caipirinhas.  Not only is it the National Cocktail of Brazil it is also mind boggling delicious!  It is a powered up limeade for grown ups.  Fruity, ice cold and delicious this is a hot weather cocktail which should be in every well rounded drink rotation.

The foundation of the drink (apart from limes) is a Brazilian hard liquor made from sugar cane called Cachaca.  Really there are only a few ingredients.  Lime, Cachaca, sugar and ice.  Four. That’s it.  There are lots of variations using all sorts of fruits instead of limes which are also delicious, however, I thought today I would make the original lime version.

Brazilian Caipirinhas

 

I allow one lime for each cocktail although limes can vary greatly in size and amount of juice they contain.  The limes I used for mine today were on the small side and so I used a whole one for each cocktail. With a larger lime you may only need 1/2.  Cut the lime in half.  Cut each half into 4 slices.  Muddle the 4 slices with 1 TBLS. sugar in the bottom of a highball glass.  I chose to do this in a cocktail shaker as I like mine extra cold and shaking the muddled lime, sugar, cachaca with ice in the shaker produces a much colder cocktail.

The secret to the muddling is to release not only the juice from the limes but also some of the oil from the peel without destroying it completely.  I do not like a grainy cocktail and so I make sure the sugar really dissolves at this point.  If you don’t have a muddler (which looks like a little baseball bat sometimes with spikes on the bottom) you can use the wrong end of a wooden spoon.  Muddling is really just what is sounds like, pressing and mushing the ingredients together.  Okay, that was the most difficult part of making this cocktail.  Not difficult I know but it gets even easier from here on out.

Next, add ice and top with 2 1/2 ounces cachaca (either into the highball glass or the shaker).  If in the shaker the put the top on and shake away, pour (don’t strain) into a glass and enjoy (If in the highball glass give it a stir and you too can enjoy).

I am sure that Brazilian Caipirinhas will quickly become a summertime favorite just as they are here in our home.  We had a little get together this last weekend and served them with a spicy guacamole.  One word.  Amazing.  Enjoy the World Cup and while you are watching join in the fun with a little taste of Brazil!

Sochi Olympic Party Recap

olympic sideboard ~ Nesting with Style

There are few things in life that I look forward to more than the Olympics.  Every two years I sit down in front of the television and get up two weeks later.  Actually this year the Winter Olympics were 18 days long!

Our tradition is throw an Opening Ceremonies Party comple with food from the host country (although some years are much more difficult to plan than others…this being one of them).  In years passed I have used the traditional Olympic colors: red, blue, black, gold, green and white and the 5 rings.

Olympic Rings ~ Nesting with StyleThis year I decided to change it up.  No colors at all.  I thought just gold with touches of white and black and a spash or two of silver.

I first assembled the bar (Bien sûr).  A Russian Vodka anchored the bar followed by a bottle of wine, glasses (gold of course) and a silver bowl of gold wrapped chocolates.  My favorite touch was the gold lit twigs in the clear vase.  Usually in use at Christmastime they reminded me of the Olympic torch and so they were a fun addition.

Olympic Party Decorations ~ Nesting with Style

Next I tackled the sideboard.  My father has this great greek reproduction bust.  I can’t remember a time it wasn’t in our home growing up.  I think it is Apollo.  He seemed a fitting addition and so I borrowed him to rule over the festivities.  Next came the clear candlesticks with green mini wreaths on top.  I bought them years ago for use at Easter but in reality I use them all year around.  They reminded me of the wreaths put atop Olympian’s heads.

goldrings

I needed something special for the center of the sideboard.  Rings.  Five.  Gold.  Olympic rings. Off to the craft store I went for 5 styrofoam rings and a can of gold spray paint.  I  used Design Master 731 Brilliant Gold Colortool Spray.  This is important as regular spray paint will dissolve styrofoam.  A quick spray, some toothpicks between and hot (low melt) glue and the rings were ready to go.  I especially liked how the bright gold spray paint turned out to be a deeper antique gold look once on the strofoam.  A roll of gold glitter tulle for the table and the decorations were complete.

It was fun to have the Olympic decorations out throughout the games…not that we needed a reminder that the games were happening…Figure Skating on TV all day nearly every day (bliss) took care of that!  And on the “non skating” days I learned all I’ll ever needed to know about curling.

Bring on Rio 2016.  Just 880 days away!