Tonight, Jan 2, I threw my husband a surprise birthday party with the help of his brother. His brother took him out which gave me enough time to finish up cooking, setting up the apartment, and getting ready. It was sooooooooo hard to keep this birthday a surprise since I live in a 1 bedroom 780 sq ft. apartment with absolutely no privacy in the kitchen. Dec 31, I headed to the grocery store to get everything I needed, it was a nightmare to say the least. Just a tip, do not go grocery shopping on New Years Eve – very bad move! Jan 1, I was cooking up a storm, I mean, I did all the prep work, cut up all the veggies, baked and frosted a cake at 2 AM – YES, I had to wait until my husband went to sleep. All of this was a LOT for me to handle since I don’t host parties, ever!
My husband didn’t make this easy for me either. He kept questioning me on why I was making so much food, and what I was doing. I simply said that I invited a couple friends over on Monday for his real birthday, and he actually bought it. Although I was off the hook, he wouldn’t quit questioning me on why I was making SO much food for just a couple people. SO ANNOYING! In any case, I ended up pulling off a great Mexican themed party with the help of my partners in crime… Jhiane and Marian! Jhiane bought me some balloons and decorations, whereas Marian picked up some last minute grocery items for me. Thank you so much you guys… you probably saved me like 1 1/2 hours by doing so.
Once my buddies, Jhiane and Marian, came over, they set up the room with a Happy Birthday banner and balloons… it was so nice!
It was a small and intimate gathering, we had 10 of our mutual friends turn up. I started the party off with drinks and appetizers.
Chips and Homemade Salsa!
French Bread Pizza!
Spinach Dip with Veggies – so yummy! I’ll eventually blog this recipe.
Nacho Lasagna… which is layers of nachos, veggies, and melted cheese.
Seriously kickass Guacamole made by my friend, Sheetal.
Pinwheels… again, made by Sheetal.
I know, I think I went a little nuts on appetizers, on the contrary, my friend, Jhiane, thought I needed more. Thank God we didn’t have more! I guess I’m learning about how much food I really need in a small gathering.
I made Black Bean Enchiladas. Although I have my own recipe for this, my 12 year old niece, Rhea, gave me her recipe which was super easy and fabulous. I got a bunch of compliments on this… that kid’s got talent! Thanks Rhea!
Mexican Rice Casserole – turned out fabulous… I sort of winged this recipe.
Jhiane’s insanely delicious Southern-Style Mac & Cheese… holy smokes, this was heaven! Worth every single calorie! I’m so hitting the gym tomorrow! Yes, I know this wasn’t a Mexican dish, but who cares, it was so good.
No birthday party is complete without a birthday cake… I made a 2-layer Pumpkin Spiced Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting. It was really good and reduced fat! I’ll post the recipe for the cake tomorrow, Jan 3.
My friend, Vrushali, made amazing salted caramel brownies… they were to die for! I loved the sweet and salty flavors in every bite. OMG… I was loving these brownies with my tea and I’m so happy I have leftovers.
And now, gift time!
My friend, Jhiane, got my husband an Indian movie, Jodhaa Akbar, which was so incredibly thoughtful. She knows nothing about Indian movies, but yet she went to an Indian movie store and requested a famous movie featuring Aishwarya Rai. Thank you, Jhiane, that was soooooooo sweet of you!
My friend, Marian, got my husband a book, Too Big Too Fail, yeah he likes these Wall Street type of books. BORING! Thanks Marian, although the last time you gave him a book, I hid it from him cause he wouldn’t stop reading it. LOL!
A special thanks to my brother-in-law, Abhi, for taking his brother out for a few hours… it wouldn’t have been a surprise if you didn’t help me out. Another special thanks to my bffs… Jhiane and Marian, who went over and beyond to help me out with this party, everything from the menu to picking up stuff to helping me with decor. I truly appreciate your generosity!
When it was all over, my husband said the most priceless words to me… “you just threw me a surprise party, no one ever did that for me. Thank you so much! That’s the most wonderful gift.” And then I said, “you’re welcome, but I still have to buy you a gift.” 🙂
I’m so tired man, hosting a party can be so exhausting for a novice like me! You could imagine how tough cooking on Jan 1 was since I was recovering from the night before… headaches and dehydration. 🙂 Happy New Year!!!