Saturday, October 12, 2013

Beer-Tasting Birthday Bash

Snack Buffet
Surprising my husband is never easy. I have only been successful once before, years ago. Surprising him is even more complicated when a big birthday milestone, like 30, is looming. I knew that to have a big celebration, it would have to be unknown to him, as he isn't someone who likes the limelight, and doesn't like to spend a lot of money on things like this.

Knowing that shocking him was my only option, I worked very hard and utilized every sneaky skill I have. The complication of the situation was multiplied by the fact that we moved two weeks ago, and our house is just getting organized. Luckily for me, our friends and family are wonderful accomplices, who are also very good at keeping big secrets, because the plan went off without a hitch!

Easy Beer-Themed Decoration
The theme of the party was Beer Tasting, which I knew my hubby would love, as he loves to try new brews. I asked that each guest bring a favorite beer, which helped us to have WAY more than enough to go around, several options for everyone to try, and cut the cost a bit for me. It was a hit! Everyone enjoyed the evening, loved the tasting aspect, and it was super laid-back (just like Joe). I added to the theme, by having quite a few pub-like snacks: pretzels, peanuts, beef jerky, chicken wings, and little smokies.

Joe is not a huge cake fan, he usually requests banana cream pie, so when we tasted a cupcake version at one of the many summer festivals we attended. I kept the contact information for several months with every intention of ordering several dozen for the party. I wrench was thrown into that plan, when I contacted the baker a week before the party, and she informed me that her business had moved several hundred miles away, and she would be unable to supply the treats.

Banana Cream Pie Cupcakes
I scoured  my cookbooks, Pinterest, and several other recipe websites, hoping to find something that would have a similar affect. After days of looking, I bagged the idea of using someone else's recipe, and created my own version. I have to say, they turned out pretty tasty, and looked pretty awesome (until the whipped cream started to weep). My picky, cake-hater, loved them! Unfortunately for me, over-estimated the appetites of our guests, and make about 30 too many. At least they were mini-cupcakes, so really that isn't too bad. Joe isn't complaining though! Both he and Liam, have already had a few for breakfast. If you would like the recipe, check out Banana Cream Pie Cupcakes.

It turned out to be one of the best parties I have planned, and Joe was not only completely surprised, but we are so happy and thankful to have such wonderful people to share such a big milestone with.
The Big Surprise!

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