(I’m guesting over at Aggie’s Kitchen blog today, talking about stretching a meal with beans … would you join me over there? Aggie’s blog is amazing — all about food and beautiful photography. You’re going to love her recipes, and I’m so lucky to meet up with Aggie here soon in Park City for the EVO ’10 social media conference!)

Now on to soccer …

Every four years, the soccer world comes together for the ultimate championship. And it’s a very exciting time in our soccer-loving home!

DECORATIONS
The extent of decorations for our party last week was each person wearing a soccer jersey (my husband changed his 3 times). But you can find soccer-themed decorations at just about any party store. Another idea is to print out flags of each team you support and hang them around your home. You can even print out a large poster of the match brackets so everyone can keep track of her team. ESPN has a cool printable bracket you can use.

One of our decorations was a past year’s soccer victory photo that we had blown up and put on canvas. As you can see, we were enthralled by the image, recalling a great moment.

FOOD & DRINK
One thing you can do is to prepare your menu from participating countries around the world, with each country’s most popular food and drinks, or combine a few different ethnic cuisines for an eclectic meal.

For example, serve Mexican-style guacamole and chips, Greek stuffed grape leaves, and English fish and chips. We served lunch and Rachael Ray came through for me, as we prepared her Herb Sliders. They were a hit! Burgers are all-American, so those worked for us!

Our guests brought appetizers and we were good to go!

The goal is to have fun and to give your guests a great World Cup experience.







Now for the recipe!

Rachael Ray Herb Sliders
(12 servings, but we tripled the recipe for our size of group!)

1-1/2 pounds ground beef
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 large shallot, finely chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Dijon mustard

12 soft dinner rolls, such as potato rolls, split (we toasted ours on the grill. Thank you, Costco!) Add your favorite condiments, such as crunchy lettuce, onions and tomatoes.

In a bowl, combine the ground beef, dill, parsley, shallot, salt and pepper; form into 12 patties.

PAN
In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat; add 6 patties and cook for 2 minutes, then flip and cook for 1-1/2 minutes more for medium-rare. Repeat with the remaining olive oil and patties.

BROILER
Spread some mustard on the roll bottoms and arrange on a broiler pan; place a patty on each and top with the cheese. Melt the cheese under the broiler, about 30 seconds. Cover with the tomato slices and roll tops.

Or BBQ. Simple. Tasty. Go USA!

Have you been watching the World Cup?

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