I Mus-Stash My Stuff At Your House

Last weekend’s 25th surprise party for my daughter’s soon-to-be maid of honor was a combination of high level covert activity and secret meetings in a house filled with smells of meatballs in spicy BBQ sauce, and roasted thyme nuts.

Tissue paper poms spread across the spare bedroom, photo booth props (mustaches, bow ties, lips and glasses), customized wine labels and all sorts of party picks, paper flowers and party ‘stuff’ took over the house.

I played the role of  ‘partner in crime’ as we scoured the local craft stores to make her party ideas come to life.  On the day of the party,  the party flair was loaded into my SUV and transported to Lonnie and Molly’s condo where friends showed up to decorate and lay in wait for the birthday girl.

Roasted Rosemary & Thyme Nuts (from Martha Stewart)

10 cups mixed nuts such as pecans, cashews, whole skin-on almonds, Marcona almonds, and peanuts

  •                                         4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  •                                         3 tablespoons packed light-brown sugar
  •                                         2 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
  •                                         1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  •                                         1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  •                                         5 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only
  •                                         2 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves only


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place nuts on a rimmed baking sheet and toast until brown and fragrant, 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, heat butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until melted. Continue cooking until butter becomes fragrant and golden brown, taking care not to burn. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, mix together sugar, salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, thyme, and rosemary; mix in brown butter. Add nuts and toss to combine. Return nuts to baking sheet and transfer to oven. Bake until nuts are semidry, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely.

Gotta love 3 weeks filled with secrets followed by a “SURPRISE!” finale!  Happy Birthday Molly!


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