Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.
Sadly, this post is far less exuberant than it would have been if USA was able to pull off a win against Belgium in the World Cup’s round of 16. It is a much easier pill to swallow than if we hadn’t made it out of the group, so there is that, but it still stings. To kick off the America’s first game of the 2014 World Cup we invited some friends over for a jolly good time supporting the Yanks.
The only tricky part about the whole shindig, was that the game was at 6pm on a Monday night. That means minimal time to prep after work, and it is a bit trickier to get people to come over on Monday after a weekend of frolicking. Knowing all of this I kept it super simple and had everything made and prepared the night before. I learned a great tip from Life With a Dash of Whimsy to set your plates out before with little slips of paper letting you know what each will contain and how it will be arranged the night before. This was the first time I ever truly implemented the plan, and man it worked like magic! I can’t tell you the amount of time and stress I saved by having the aesthetics worked out on the front end. I also think it is a great way to make sure you don’t forget anything, if everything has a bowl/plate and a home where it will go once the party starts it is much harder to simply leave it in the fridge. With everything prepped before hand I was able to get home at 5:15 and be ready to go in 30 minutes. That may be the first time I was ever ready early.
With everyone arrived and ready to cheer on the team it was time to settle in for a stressful 90 minutes. The little concerned party goer above was either nervous about the game, or that he would be forever documented in a jaunty scarf online…I think it was the game, but who knows.
As you can tell, I really went all out, no expenses spared. Just kidding, all expenses were spared. I picked up an American flag banner at a certain craft store that shall not be named for about $3 and called it a day.
The main course, which will soon be seen at our tailgates, was a walking taco bar. It is hard to imagine anything easier and more delightfully delicious than a bag of fritos filled with ground beef, cheese, green onions, salsa, and sour cream. Okay, that is a lie, I can imagine a multitude of tastier things, but when it comes to grab and go this is tops. I made the seasoned beef and chopped the green onions the night before. Everything else was just dumped into bowls right before everyone arrived. One trick to perfecting the Waco (walking taco) is getting the small 2 for $1 bags of Fritos. I found them at the front of the grocery store in front of one of the check out lines. Once you have everything prepared you simply snip off the top and let people adorn their taco as they see fit. You could easily turn this into a vegetarian option by including black beans and/or boca crumbles in the topping bar.
It wouldn’t be a soccer match without CapriSuns and orange slices at half time. I am happy to report I can still pierce a CapriSun with a straw with ease. I would dare say it has been a solid 15 years since the last time I enjoyed this tasty treat. Turns out, it is a far smaller drink then I remembered (or maybe I was stress drinking it), and the bottom of it is clear. I guess they just wanted you to be able to look that questionable “juice” in the eyes before you enjoy it.
Last but not least, it was the second annual eating of the cake pops. I have now made them for the past two USA World Cup parties, and we not lost each time, so a tradition it shall become. I am in awe of anyone who can make a pretty cake pop without uttering a curse word. I swear these baked goods were invented by the devil, who has delicious taste, but torturous intentions. This attempt fared far better than the batch 4 years ago did, probably because I followed the instructions to a tee, but I still think they look sloppy and sad. Despite this somewhat failed attempt, these red, white (on the inside), and blue funfetti cake pops were a hit and a tradition is renewed.
Its a shame USA didn’t make it any further, but then again I would have had to make more cake pops…