Sunday, April 14, 2013

60th Birthday Party Bash!!!

  We all got to celebrate a really fun thing over the Spring Break week (for Stacy) and that was our Dad's 60th Birthday!!!  We started planning this back in February and wanted to keep it a secret from him.  When you come from a big family, you understand that can be a hard task so to pull it off, it was going to take a lot.  Our family has also always been very neat in the fact that we have done everything with extended family included, so of course, we knew we would invite all of his siblings too and their children if they wants, so the secret part was really being tested here.  Michelle and Stacy were also coming from AZ and wanted to keep that part secret as well.  We let our mom in on it so she could help in the planning and making sure he and they would all be home.  We kind of divided up jobs amongst all of us kids so the burden wasn't left on just one person.  Well, the party went off AWESOME!! and we wanted to share some of the things we did in case you may be planning a surprise party of some sort. . . anniversary, birthday, etc.
  Our dad is a HUGE Yankees and Sports fan so of course we had to go with that as our theme.  Mary was in charge of the decorations and did an awesome job.  She had little noise makers for the kids for when Dad got home so they felt like they were really helping.

  Melanie was in charge of the food.  She had Rachel and Heather make a Shrimp Pasta, and Spaghetti, rolls, Meagan made a fruit salad that everyone loved.  Melanie made German Chocolate and Caramel Cupcakes plus a Blackberry Swirl Cupcake. Stacy made lemon bars. (Recipes will be at the bottom!)

Then Melanie made this fantastic cake and fondant icing!  Just look at the details on the hat and the buttons.  It is pretty incredible.

  Dad had some meetings before the party so the surprise part worked out great.  Once he got home and we got the reaction we were all hoping for... Definitely Surprised!!  All of his siblings were able to come and all of us kids were there too.  Awesome!!  We moved on to the rest of the party.  We had all written down favorite memories of Dad.  Mary and John (our brother) put on a sports cast session including these "facts" about Dad.  It was funny and awesome.  

  We opened presents, one of which included the movie Michelle and Stacy put together.  It was also pulled off by everyone adding photos of Dad (onto   It was so much fun seeing all of the fun things we have done as a family over the years.  We have had some amazing times together.

After the movie we just ate dinner and visited with everyone until people had to start heading home.  It was so much fun and Dad had such a great time.  He was so surprised that we had kept it a secret from him all week.  He was so grateful that all of his kids and siblings made the effort to put this on for him too.  Definitely worth it!

Spaghetti Sauce
1 pound ground beef cooked and drained
2 quarts tomatoes (Drain some water, squish them – I use a potato masher)
2-3 cans tomato paste
4-5 tablespoons sugar
1 ½ teaspoons salt
2 cloves garlic minced
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 ½ tablespoons dried onion
4 tablespoons parsley flakes
1 teaspoon oregano

Mix all together and simmer in a pot 3-4 hours or 6-8 hours in a crockpot.  It seems like the longer it cooks the
better it tastes and it also thickens it up more the longer it cooks.

Creamy Tomato Shrimp Over Pasta
12 lg. tomatoes
3/4 c. butter
1/3 c. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. coarse black pepper
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
1 1/2 c. heavy cream
5 green onions
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 green peppers
2 lbs. large shrimp, cooked and deveined shrimp
16 oz. pkg. angel hair pasta

Clean and dice tomatoes.  In a large pot melt butter and gently stir in diced tomatoes.  Add sugar, salt, pepper and crushed red pepper.  Let tomatoes simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Fold in heavy cream and sliced green onions.  Rinse green peppers and remove seeds; cut into small pieces.  Heat olive oil in a heavy skillet and sauté green peppers.  Fold in cooked shrimp and fry until the tips are golden.  Add to tomato sauce.  Cook pasta al dente according to directions on package.  Serve creamy tomato shrimp over pasta.



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