Sunday, July 13, 2014

World Cup Fever Comes To A Glorious End

63 games ago Little C&G predicted the winners of the 2014 World Cup to be his beloved Germany and in just a few hours we're all hoping he's proven right. It's been a crazy couple of weeks filled with stunning upsets, nobody could have guessed the 2010 winners Spain would be on the first plane home and Little C&G thought for sure "Pogugal" would make the final four. But the German team, made up of 7 of his favorite Bayern Munich players, look like they will be taking home the trophy and adding another gold star to their jerseys. (Sorry Maeve!)

Thanks to Ingrid H for the great action shot!
Little C&G and I have watched almost all of the games and now that the tournament is coming to an end it's time to get off the couch and resume our summer. It's back to blogging, cocktailing, and travel planning for me while Little C&G does some research on moving to Germany and changing his citizenship so he's eligible to play for them on the 2026 World Cup team. He's hoping to become the next Manuel Neuer and the 6'4" sweeper keeper is sure to keep Messi and friends from scoring today.

GO GERMANY!!!!!!!!!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Maine Monday: Bresca Beach

It's only fitting that here in Maine we maintain our high foodie standards even at our lakeside snack shacks. Thank goodness multiple James Beard Award nominee Krista Desjarlais packed up her tiny Portland restaurant Bresca and decamped to serene and super family friendly Sabbathday Lake in New Gloucester.

Outlet Beach on Sabbathday Lake is less than a 45 minute drive from Portland and you'll feel like you've escaped to your own private Maine watering hole with amazing burgers and homemade ice cream just a few steps away. Bresca and the Honey Bee, as the snack shack is now known, brings you summer classics with a locally forged and mostly organic twist. If you were lucky enough to eat at Bresca when it was open then you'll be happy to know the famous shaved Brussels Sprouts live on at the lake, along with all natural hot dogs, burgers, and pressed sandwiches.

The water is warm (very rare in our state, especially in July) and the pebbly beach gently slopes into the lake providing plenty of space for the little ones to splash and play. A dock in the shallow area has two small slides perfectly sized for tiny tushies and the water will barely cover their belly buttons as they whoosh down into the water. A little further out are two floating docks, one with a diving board and the other with a giant slide (and a bucket for dumping water to speed up the sliding) for the bigger kiddos and the kiddo-like grown-ups.

Inflatable inner tubes are available to rent ($5 to rent for the day, less by the hour) and they come in a variety of sizes. The little C&Gs use them to get out to the docks and I steal them back to float around while they slide and dive their afternoon away. But they'll happily paddle back to shore under their own steam when it's time to get a sweet treat from the snack shack, ice cream is made from scratch and the flavors vary daily. Yesterday I had the most amazing creme fraîche key lime pie ice cream (super tart and velvety) and Little C&G ordered strawberry ice cream that tasted like it just came out of a nearby patch.

Outlet Beach is open Memorial Day through Labor Day, seven days a week from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm and there is a small admission fee. Adults are $5, children 3-13 are $3, and under 3s are free. The lunch menu is available Wednesday through Sunday from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm and you can get ice cream 7 days a week from 11:00 am to 5:30 pm.

You'll need to swing by the ATM on your way to Outlet Beach, it's cash only (a good thing to know ahead of time) and keep in mind if it's raining the menu might be limited. With Bresca and the Honey Bee Chef Krista has created the quintessential Maine summer spot, delicious food to enjoy with a beautiful view and sand between your toes.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Cocktail du jour: The Lilac

After my recent run of St. Germain cocktails we had just a few drops left in the trés French fluted glass bottle but not quite enough for another round. Mr. C&G found this recipe on one of his favorite (and indispensable) cocktail websites, Kindred Cocktails and it calls for just a teaspoon of the elderflower liqueur. The Lilac is very light and ladylike and makes for a nice counterbalance to all the manly World Cup action I've been sitting in front of every day. Not that I'm complaining, of course. . .

The Lilac
1 oz gin
2/3 oz Cocchi Americano (or Lillet Blanc)
1 t St. Germain
Dash of orange bitters

Add all ingredients into a mixing glass filled with ice
Stir and strain into a coupe (or martini) glass

Thursday, June 26, 2014

World Cup Media Lockdown

Little C&G opted to go to soccer camp today instead of staying home to watch the World Cup at noon. Of course he wouldn't give up a day on the pitch for anything, but it means I've got the impossible task of trying to avoid any mention of the big game and the results. We'll watch as soon as we get home so in the meantime I'm turning off my laptop, not looking at my iPhone, and I'll be plugging my ears as I wait at pick up. 

Little C&G, my hard core Bayern München fan, is hoping for a tie today so he doesn't have to feel too guilty about picking sides. I thought that was very diplomatic of him, but you know which team he'll be cheering for this afternoon. Game on! #miasanmia

Monday, June 23, 2014

Summer: Sports, Cocktails, Repeat

I hope they washed the whites first
Honestly, between the World Cup and Wimbledon, how am I ever going to get off my couch in the next few weeks? I'm kind of not joking. . .

Little C&G and I may have a full week of World Cup elimination games to keep up with but Big C&G is demanding equal screen time to watch his favorite players battle it out on the tennis courts. It's only fair that I spend quality time with each of my little C&Gs and their favorite sports, even if it means I never see the light of day.

When we saw Centre Court at the All England Lawn & Tennis Club last summer there wasn't a single blade of green grass left in the stadium. It was just over a week after Andy Murray had his historic win and the the grounds crew had already ripped up the court in preparation for 2014. It's nice to see they managed to grow the grass back in time for Andy to win his first match today.

Big C&G has high hopes that his favorite, Roger Federer, will make it to the final spot on the big board and oust Andy Murray's tennis whites in the Wimbledon Museum trophy case. Check out our visit to Wimbledon and the museum from this past post with lots of fun activities to keep even a non-tennis fan (like Little C&G) happy. Plus I've got a great place to go for lunch after you've toured the famous grounds, but you might want to wait until July 7th to make your visit.

With the start of summer, the start of Wimbledon, and the end of the England team at the World Cup it's only fitting to be drinking a gin and tonic these days. Really it doesn't get any simpler, tonic, 2(ish) ounces of gin, a squeeze of lime and stir. Plus I can make it myself between commercial breaks or at half time. I'd hate to disturb Mr. C&G during the day with a drink request, he might discover we're all still in our pajamas and dialing for delivery pizzas.

Friday, June 20, 2014

World Cup Cocktails: France

As excited as I am for my dear Costa Rican friends (and our neighbors J&C), their victory means my boys from England are headed to the airport for the next flight home. Although with all the pressure suddenly off their shoulders I'm sure they'll be happy to stay and play in Brazil for a few more days.

My other disappointment of the day was the Swiss and their dramatic loss to the French. Little C&G sat next to me cheering on France even though his Bayern Munich midfielder Franck Ribery is out with a back injury. My cocktail may have been trés French but I was rooting for Switzerland to win.

Both teams still have a chance to move to the next round even though the Swiss were clearly outplayed by Les Bleus. I figured with this cocktail I was ready to toast a French speaking winner, and my fingers are crossed they both make it to the next round.

St-Germain Cocktail
2 oz Prosecco (or champagne)
1 1/2 oz St. Germain
Club soda

Fill a cocktail glass with ice, add prosecco
Add St. Germain and top with club soda
Stir and à votre santé

Thursday, June 19, 2014

World Cup Cocktails: England

A Pimm's Cup is more suited to Royal Ascot than the World Cup but it was my cocktail du jour as we settled in to watch the England vs. Uruguay game this evening (yes, we recorded it and successfully avoided finding out the score). With only two ingredients it's the perfect cocktail to mix up in a flash and not miss any of the action. It's not looking good for my Three Lions but Little C&G tells me they still have a slight possibility of moving forward. He's in charge of all things World Cup so I'm going to defer to him on this one. In the meantime I'll keep toasting my boys with a British bevie or two.

Pimm's Cup
2 oz. Pimm's No. 1
Ginger ale

Pour Pimm's into a cocktail glass filled with ice
Top off with ginger ale and a squeeze of lime
Stir and garnish with a cucumber stick