surprise of the century: part 1.

Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates. vs. 31

I like to call Sunday night The Surprise of the Century. It’s pretty much an event that will go down in history in the future Cook household.

One of my New Years goals was to have more spontaneous surprises for Kaleb. Let me preface by saying that…I am gonna marry a really funny, frequently spontaneous, good- surprise-giver kinda man. And he’s gonna marry a woman that is organized and likes a lot of structure. Okay, okay. I am not as much of a bore as I sound.

So I thought…I am going to challenge him in this and try to be even better with spontaneity in 2012. I like to think that a little competition in a relationship is healthy.

Kaleb is a film/advertising/design guy. In May, he is graduating and starting his professional career. Well, he and I decided that it was important for him to get an iMac computer for his work. It was an investment. So, he and his step-mom, Cyndie, ordered it about 3 weeks ago. It was supposed to come in Jan 3 or 4th. I called Cyndie and asked her to tell him it was on back order. And when it actually came in (on the 3rd) to call me and I would get it and keep it until his party. Then on Sunday, Jan. 8th, with 23 of his closest friends, we threw him a surprise iMac opening party!!!

What in the world is that you might ask? It was a fun, kinda-geeky surprise party to let him know that we support him and believe in him in his future endeavors. AND an excuse to have all of our closest friends in the same room, at the same time. With much planning, invites sent in the mail, and a whole lotta lies…..Kaleb was completely blown away whenever he walked into my apartment and all of those people jumped out and yelled SURPRISE!!! After I explained why everyone was there on his behalf, we started chanting, “OPEN IT! OPEN IT!” And he did. We ate lots of food. And then danced all night on the Wii. I will have more pictures on another blog post soon of the order of events. However, I wanted to do the surprise of the century: part 1 by talking about the food that was there.

Cooking for that many people is a tall order. I was up for it though. I spent the whole day in the kitchen after church, and honestly, I loved every minute of it. I pre-planned a menu to keep things organized (remember what I said early about me? I’m a tad obsessed with organization). I cooked the main dish and some side dishes, and I had some friends pitch in for other side dishes. The menu looked like this:

Tuscan Bean Soup with Shrimp

 BBQ Meatballs

Deviled Eggs

Caesar Salad

Homemade Bread


Apples & Caramel Dip (you’ve gotta have apples at an Apple party!)

Veggie Tray & Dip

Apple Chips (too much apple stuff?! nah!)

Black Bean Dip & Chips

Dessert by Amber

Oreo Pudding

Homemade Punch (Hawaiian Punch/Mix, Sherbet, Lime Water, Orange Concentrate)


Kaleb loves seafood, and I thought that soup goes a long way in a large group of people, so the Tuscan Bean Soup with Shrimp was the perfect choice. This recipe was from The Pioneer Woman…obviously! Who else?

I tripled the recipe…yep, that’s right…16 cups of chicken broth, 9 cans of great northern beans…I’m telling ya, we had a feast.

Here are the ingredients for this delicious soup:

After simmering a lot of the ingredients on the stovetop, I cooked, simmered, and kept it warm in this bad beast…

Can you smell the aroma? mmmmm

So that was the main dish for the evening…then there were lots of other choices for the guests and the man of the hour…

To see more about the surprise of the century…look for the blog post part 2. Coming soon!


4 thoughts on “surprise of the century: part 1.

  1. This looks wonderful ….I’m glad you surprise was such a success. Your a wonderful young lady continue doing all these amazing things. Love ya little one.

  2. I agree with Nancy – it looks wonderful! You continue to amaze me at the ideas you come up with and the energy you have to pull these things off! I too enjoy reading your blog. Keep up the good work 🙂

    • Thanks so much Janet! I didn’t even know you read it, and that makes me so happy you do 🙂 By living this life out publicly, it helps keep me motivated. It would be easy for me to just say I’m too busy for this that, etc..but life is short and if something is important enough, I can make time 🙂 Well, thank you so much for your encouragement!

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