Sunday, August 5, 2012

What does 30 taste like?

My husband turned 30 on Saturday. His day started with a scavenger hunt during which he called his friend Nick in Korea, was surprised by his Godmother Michele, had breakfast at one of his favorite restaurants, participated in a beer tasting at a local brewery, and tried the new Oreo coffee at Dunkin Donuts.

All of this was an elaborate way to get him out of the house, it worked but I was thinking about all the adventures he was taking and wishing I could have been there to see him get each new clue and surprise.

While he was gone I set up our sun porch with everything for a beer tasting (and root beer tasting).

I asked each guest/couple to bring a chilled 6-pack of a unique/favorite beer. I had beer bottle openers with 30 on them and a full snack table.

We ended up with about 30 different varieties of beer and 5 of root beer.

I put up different pictures of beer slogans and directions for the beer tasting. I also put up a beer tasting vocabulary list. Each guest received a tasting card to fill out with beers to remember or beers to forget. There was a voting bin at the end.

There was plenty of seating out on the porch and in the yard.

We also had the fire pit area for seating. When it got later guests gathered around the fire.

For dinner I had a grilled cheese truck pull into our driveway and serve dinner to guests.

Everyone was surprised and the food was great!

Our dining room table became a dessert table with all of his favorite desserts (chocolate chip cookies, blueberry chocolate chip bars, Oreo cookies, Shock top cake shots, Chocolate cake shots, a trifle made by his sister Samantha, and cupcakes made by my sister Audrey).

One of the desserts on the dessert table:

Blueberry Craisin Chocolate Chip Bars
adapted from

Oven 350
1 cup (2 sticks) softened butter
1 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
1 3/4 all purpose flour
1/4 cup old fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
3/4 cup blueberry craisins

Spray a 9x9 baking dish with nonstick spray and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and brown sugar for about 3 minutes, or until fluffy. Add the vanilla. Once incorporated, add the salt, flour, and oats. Blend until well incorporated, then remove from mixer and stir in the chocolate chips and Craisins. Press into the baking dish , smoothing the top with a spatula. Bake 25-35 minutes (or until golden brown on the top). Cool completely on a wire rack before removing from the pan and cutting into bars.

No comments: