This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and The Coca-Cola Company. All opinions are mine alone. #WorldCupParty #CollectiveBias
I have such a fun party idea for those of you that are as excited as we are for the World Cup Games this summer. Our family is full of soccer fans- we play, we watch, we cheer, or we practice every single day. Soccer is a shared passion of everyone in the family so it is an easy way to connect and spend time together. Our children started playing at the ages of 3 and 4 so virtually every weekend in fall was filled with soccer games. Now the children both play competitive soccer so we have games and tournaments year round.
Since our children and my husband play on soccer teams, we have made lots of wonderful friends that are teammates and share our love of the sport.
We look forward to World Cup games so we can invite friends over to celebrate and watch with us. The World Cup games are an especially significant time for my husband and I. When we met many, many years ago, we both played on soccer teams and it was a big point of connection as we were dating. I remember being glued to the screen for the 2006 games right after we were married, before children, when we could go meet friends to watch the games. I have so many memories of us sitting in a favorite neighborhood joint patiently explaining to our best friends the finer points of the game and heckling each other as our teams won and lost. We watched the 2010 games cheering quietly at home with a toddler underfoot and a newborn. The last games in 2014, we had two toddlers that had just started playing soccer and they were most definitely not sitting down to watch professional soccer on TV. This year we are so excited as the children are old enough to really get into the games and cheer for their respective teams. We have family brackets set up to follow the games and we are all so excited for it to begin!
If you want to host your own FIFA World Cup party, I have some fun ideas for you courtesy of my partnership with Coca-Cola® and a delicious recipe to try for cheesy chicken empanadas.
Ready? Ole, ole, ole, ole!
Since the US team is not in the World Cup games this year, we are all cheering for different countries. I did a few easy decorations with a soccer and a world theme this year. The games are held in Russia so you can easily do a Russian spin on your food and decor or a global theme with various Russian foods and drinks or just base your party around the sport of soccer as I did.
Let’s get this party started with the decor. I kept things very simple by purchasing some FIFA World Cup banners that make a pretty backdrop for the party table. Next up I rolled out some faux grass on the table to serve as a tablecloth- you can purchase this at any home improvement store.
I had some little buckets on hand from a prior party and spray painted them black. I lined them with parchment paper and filled them with popcorn for grab n go snacking. One of my favorite details was the white vinyl goaaaaal! I cut out with a craft machine and adhered to the front. If you don’t have vinyl and a craft machine, you can easily write it on using chalk and chalk paint or use a simple craft pen to hand write on your buckets. If you have ever listened to a professional match you know the commentators rarely say “Goal” they tend to drag out the word by yelling “goooooaaaaaaallllllll!”
Next up is a little trick I use all the time. Coca-Cola products come in a range of sizes but I personally really like the bottles. I always save the little cardboard containers from purchasing the bottles to use to hold napkins, utensils, condiments, straws and so on.
Two other quick little touches include the straws- I found some gold straws at a party store (the actual FIFA World Cup trophy is gold) and some little soccer ball party picks. I hot glued the soccer balls onto the straws as a fun little detail. I also took a few dowels from our garage (you can find these at craft stores or home improvement stores) and glued on some white fabric to create little corner flags for the table. Last but not least, trophys are a great addition to the table. My children have a million of them so I grabbed a few to place here and there on the table (they also serve as weights for the plates and napkins on a breezy day.)
With the decor taken care of, let’s get down to the important part, the food and drinks. I popped into Target and found some fun Coca-Cola products that have words on the sides of the cans in the soft drink aisle and POWERADE® drinks in the sports drink section.
How fun are these Coca-Cola mini cans with Superstar on the side and Grillmaster? You can find all sorts of fun words on the sides of the cans to suit any party theme you might have.
I made cheesy chicken empanadas (recipe follows below) – these are a great party food as they are bite size, finger foods that are also filling and easy to prepare. Plus my husband is rooting for Mexico this year so I thought empanadas would be a fun nod toward his team.
We didn’t want a lot of heavy foods because it has already hit 100 degrees in Sacramento so I went with fresh pineapple, grapes, watermelon, a veggie tray with hummus to dip and a little parmesan and rosemary popcorn for snacking in front of the TV.
So easy and such a pretty and vibrant table with all the fresh foods. If you want to try the cheesy empanadas, it could not be easier to make.
I like to prepare the chicken in a slow cooker so I am free to prep all the other party foods. You can certainly skip this step by purchasing a rotisserie chicken and mixing in the cheese and cream cheese.
- 1lb fresh or frozen chicken breast
- ½ cup salsa
- 2oz cream cheese
- ½ cup shredded cheese (cheddar, pepperjack, colby etc..)
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 3 cans crescent rolls
- ¼ cup of flour
- 1 egg
- Add chicken, salsa, cumin, cream cheese, salt and pepper to a slow cooker and cook on low for about 3 hours or high for 1½ hours.
- Once the chicken is cooked through (and registers 165 on a meat thermometer) remove from slow cooker and immediately shred into wispy pieces.
- Roll out the crescent dough one can at a time on a floured surface, and use a biscuit cutter, mason jar lid or drinking glass to cut circles in the dough.
- Lightly sprinkle flour on the top of the dough and place a small amount of cheese in the center of the circle, topping with about 1 teaspoon of shredded chicken filling.
- Fold the circle over, creating a semi circle, and use a fork to seal around around the edges. If the dough is too sticky, sprinkle a little more flour on top.
- Whisk one egg in a small bowl and gently brush egg wash on top of the finished empanadas and place on top of a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Bake according to directions on your crescent roll can (typically 10 min at 375 degrees).
- Remove from heat and serve immediately.
I used a mason jar lid to create circles but a drinking glass or biscuit cutter are also perfect.
Be sure you don’t overfill the empanadas or they will overflow in the oven and the chicken mixture tends to dry out while baking.
You should have a nice tight seal around the edges before baking and if you don’t have an egg on hand for the egg wash, melted butter also works or even a little milk is fine.
And ta da- delicious creamy empanadas.
I hope you take the time to celebrate the FIFA World Cup this year with your friends and family.