Catering to the World Cup


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Each year we plan a visit to Brooklyn to see our son, Travis.  When we suggested that this year June was a good time for us, we got a most definitive, unwavering response: “well, you really can’t come after June 14, because that’s when The World Cup begins and I’ll be too busy watching it.”

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Guess what team we’ll be rooting for

Travis has been to several World Cups – Brazil in 2014, Germany in 2006, the U.S. in 1994.  In 1990 he watched the World Cup on television in Germany, as they defeated Argentina in Italy.  Travis and Andy were in Amsterdam in 2010 to watch the World Cup being hosted in South Africa (clearly, that’s a long story – which Andy addresses in today’s Andy’s Corner).  However, not surprisingly, the lure of a trip to Russia to watch the 2018 World Cup was not great, especially since the U.S. – for the first time in 32 years – will not be a part of the competition.

Soccer (football, if you’re British, fútbol, if you’re from Mexico) has always been high on our family’s “to-do” list.  I even played one game of soccer once with a bunch of slightly-older women and think I could have been a high school star had soccer been a sport either girls or guys played back in my Fort Collins High School days.

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Sara got to play soccer, even if I didn’t.  Andy’s selection of the “Sparklers” team name has been referenced in the Deseran family history under “Bad Choices We Have Made!”

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Travis and the Baton Rouge Tigers soccer team – circa 1979; intimidating-looking group, no?

We never want to be political on this blog (HA!  Of course, we WANT to be political, but we try not to be).  Even though our DNA says we should be supporting Sweden (me) and England (Andy), we’ll be rooting for Mexico all the way.  But the odds are against them.  Soccerbot – whatever that is – says that Germany is predicted to win, with Brazil and France being strong contenders.

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The first WC game we’ll be (anxiously) watching is a big one: Germany vs Mexico, June 17, at 8 am our time.  The final game of this year’s World Cup will be played in Moscow on Sunday, July 15, also at 8 am Pacific time, 11 am in Brooklyn.  Since those of us in the U.S. will have to watch these games during breakfast – or brunch, we’re offering up suggestions for your Breakfast of Champions World Cup/Copa Mundial Get-together.

We’ve got celebratory recipes to cover all possibilities:  Mexico, Germany, Brazil, France….unless, of course, it’s a total upset.


France: Kir (a glass of chilled sparkling wine with 2 tsp of chilled Creme de Cassis mixed in)

Mexico: Michelada (see recipe below)  and Jugo Verde

Brazil: Peets “Brazil Minas Naturais” Coffee

Germany – Sierra Nevada Kellerweis Hefeweizen beer

Little Bites

France: Chouquettes (pastry puffs) – see recipe below

Brazil:  Pão de Queijo (cheese bread) – see recipe below

Main Breakfast Dishes

Germany: Apfelpfannkuchen – German Apple Pancakes  (make the batter ahead of the game – even the evening before and then refrigerate – omit the apples, if you wish,  and pop it in the hot oven about 1/2 hour before you want to eat)

Mexico: Super Simple Molletes  – Mexican Toasted Cheese Sandwich with Lazy Day Salsa (make the salsa a day ahead; have the molletes all put together before the game – and then toast them when you’re ready to eat)


A World Cup Fruit Combo: apples to honor Germany, strawberries for France, pineapple for Brazil and jicama for Mexico.  A dab of sweetened yogurt on top, preferably Noosa “Honey” yogurt, made in Fort Collins, Colorado!   Cut up the fruit the day before the game and add a squeeze of lime juice.

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A fruit salad for brunch – topped with Noosa Honey yogurt


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Tacolicious' Michelada

Recipe slightly adapted from the Tacolicious cookbook.  If you want to lean toward a Chavela, stop short of using a whole can of beer and blend in about 2-3 oz of V-8 or Clamato juice.  Best on a hot summer day – or morning.

  • Kosher salt for coating the glass rim
  • 1 12 oz can of a light Mexican beer, such as Tecate (you’ll use most, if not all, of it)
  • 1/2 oz lime juice
  • 4 dashes of hot sauce, Tapatio is the T-lish choice
  • 2 dashes of Maggi Sauce – or substitute soy or Worchestershire sauce

Coat the rim of a large glass with salt, then fill it with ice.  Pour in the beer, add the lime juice, hot sauce, and Maggi sauce.  Stir gently to mix and serve.

Recipe brought to you by and Andy and Ann.
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French Chouquettes

David Lebovitz is one of my favorite sources for recipes and his The Sweet Life in Paris cookbook is highly acclaimed, so when I went searching for a French breakfast-y recipe, his Chouquettes recipe was the obvious choice. If you want to keep from being distracted during the World Cup, make the chouquettes the night before and rewarm for about 5 minutes in a 350 degree oven the next morning.

French Chouquettes (pastry puffs)

FYI – these are amazingly easy and fun. The pearl sugar is what really sets these little pastries apart. I bought mine on Amazon, but maybe you can find it in your store.  Slightly adapted from David Lebovitz’s The Sweet Life in Paris

  • 1 c water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 6 T butter, cut into small chunks
  • 1 c flour
  • 4 eggs
  • Glaze: 1 egg yolk mixed with 1 tsp milk
  • Pearl sugar to sprinkle on top (or break up some sugar cubes); you’ll use about 1/3 c

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

Heat the water, salt, sugar, and butter in a small saucepan, stirring, until the butter is melted.  Remove from heat and dump all the flour in at once.  Put the pan on the heat and stir rapidly until the mixture is smooth and pulls away from the sides of the pan.

Allow dough to cool for two minutes, then, using an electric mixer beat in the eggs, one at a time, until smooth and shiny.

Scoop up a mound of dough about the size of an unshelled walnut or a heaping tablespoon with 1 spoon – and use another spoon to scrape it onto the pan.  A pastry bag with 1/2″ tip works too.

Leaving 2″ or so between mounds, space the mounds evenly on the baking sheet.  Then brush the top of each mound with the egg glaze and press lots of pearl sugar on top.  Because that is the main source of sweetness, you want to get as many on top as you can.

Bake the puffs at 425 degrees for 15 minutes and then lower the heat to 375 degrees and bake another 10 minutes – or until golden brown.

These are best eaten within an hour or so of coming out of the oven.  Baked ones will freeze well in zip lock bags.  Frozen ones should be first defrosted and then warmed in a 350 degree oven for about 5 minutes.

Recipe brought to you by and Andy and Ann.

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Brazilian Pão de Queijo (Cheese Bread)


Brazilian Pão de Queijo (Cheese Bread)

  • Servings: 24-30 rolls
  • Print

You really need a stand mixer to do this.  I started out with my hand held electric mixer and it was quickly overwhelmed!  Also, if you want to serve them later, freeze them UNBAKED.  Adapted from Olivia’s Cuisine

  • 1 1/4 c milk
  • 1/2 c water
  • 6 T vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 4 c tapioca flour (mine was from Bob’s Mill, available at Whole Foods)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 c grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 c shredded jack cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Combine the milk, water, oil, and salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium high heat.

Add the tapioca flour to the bowl of a stand mixer, then add the hot milk mixture and mix it well.  It will become very white and sticky.

Add the eggs, one at a time and continue mixing.  It may take a bit before the eggs are incorporated into the sticky flour mixture.

Add the cheese and mix again until incorporated – but don’t overmix.

Shape the balls by using a spoon to scoop out a golf-ball sized amount and your hands (which you’ve wet in cold water) to shape into a ball.

Place the balls on parchment-covered baking sheets and bake for 15-20 minutes or until they’re golden.  Serve while they’re still slightly warm.

If you want to make things simple for entertaining, freeze the unbaked balls.  Then put them while still frozen into a 400 degree oven for about 30 minutes – or until golden and puffy.

Recipe brought to you by and Andy and Ann.




  1. tricia53 says:

    Love your plans! You could wake me up and hand me a Kir at 3:00 a.m. and I’d take it. Just had to mention that Charlie has been making the Pao de Queijo from a Milk Street recipe, using Asiago cheese, baking them in mini muffin cups, and adding a stuffed green olive to each one. SO good!


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