marshall’s monster birthday post!

by Janetha on October 17, 2010

in meals

hey guys! well, as expected, the past 36 hours have been go, go, GO!  i am exhausted but i know marshall had a great birthday, so it was all worth it!

grab a snack. this post is going to be long.

friday after work i was planning to hit the gym for a run, but i got out of work later than i anticipated. what else is new? instead of the gym, marshall and i rushed to costco and the regular grocery store. we stocked up on TONS of food.  sometimes when i have a party i tend to go overboard with menu planning.. my motto is “better too much than not enough!” pretty sure i adopted that motto from momma b.

we were grocery shopping for about two hours. yikes. we got home around seven, threw all the refrigerated items in the fridge and quickly changed our clothes.  my boss’ daughter got married friday and we went to the reception to congratulate the happy couple.   the reception was fabulous! there was a dessert crepe bar.  i had a cheesecake filled crepe topped with peaches, strawberries and raspberries. delicious. i didn’t take my camera because sometimes i just don’t feel like it. one of the perks when blogging is just a hobby and not your job, i suppose Winking smile

we got home around 9 o’clock and i started my baking extravaganza at 9:12 exactly. i had a long night ahead of me. for marshall’s birthday, i baked four different kinds of cupcakes:

since i was frantically baking my life away, i really didn’t bother snapping any photos. but marshall did snag a few of me grating baby carrots lovingly by hand.


what can i say, i love the man.


i got a photo of the birthday boy “sampling” the baked goods.


and i also happened to get a photo of the aftermath.IMG_1156IMG_1147IMG_1149IMG_1151

do you spy my new favorite kitchen friend?


love it.

here is why you should probably not use your laptop to read recipes..


that can’t be good.IMG_1155

four different batches and 48 cupcakes later, i was spent. i hit the sack around 1 AM.

saturday AKA marshall’s birthday!

we woke up bright and early. i am a little slow and had to run to the store to snag marshall a card, some wrapping paper and a few other odds and ends for the party (paper plates, utensils, cups, vegan burgers, dark chocolate frosting and strawberry yogurt.. if you must know.)

i got home and frantically wrapped marshall’s gifts because he was so anxious to open them. as i clumsily wrapped the packages, i thought “why the bleep am i wrapping these, only so he can tear the paper off  precisely 3 minutes after i get done wrapping them?” and then, even more importantly, i thought “furthermore, why in the bleepity bleep did i buy TWO different designs of wrapping paper? who the bleep even cares?! what a waste of eight dollars.”

i finished wrapping the gifts (and thinking phrases filled with profanity) and marshall eagerly opened his long awaited birthday parcels.


the boy is easy to shop for. anything that says puma or green bay packers and it’s a guaranteed win. pretty sure penny and randy wished it was their birthday.


i have been telling marshall that he would be picking out his “big gift” this year because i wasn’t sure which one to buy. i told him i would write down what the gift was on his card and that would have to be a good enough surprise.

after months of eluding to the “big gift”, i wrote “the big gift is birthday jeans!” in the card.


i ‘m tricky Smile 

he didn’t fall for it. not even for a second. but at least it made him smile! the real big gift is an iPad, which he has wanted for awhile now. i don’t know which one he wants, so i just told him that he could pick one out. how boring am i?! oh well, this way he will be sure to get the one he wants!

we cleaned up (and i ate some chobani+kashi go lean with a mug of coffee) and then headed out to the farmers market. the LAST ONE. yeah, salt lake city fails when it comes to farmers markets. they were just getting good! ugh.


we really soaked up the last trip to the market. i am going to miss this weekly tradition.


marshall got another$2 cookie.. this time it was “zoey” AKA blueberry lemon poppyseed. WELL WORTH IT.IMG_1200IMG_1201IMG_1202IMG_1208IMG_1210

after the market, we met marshall’s dad, step mom, step bro & niece for brunch. we went to our favorite: millcreek café & eggworks.

i went with the veggie wrap on a sun dried tomato tortilla. it was filled with eggs, cheddar jack cheese, spinach and mushrooms. i had a side of fruit and coffee.


it was nice to catch up with marshall’s folks.. can you believe we hadn’t seen them since the wedding?! furthermore, can you believe i still haven’t picked up my wedding photos?! it was THREE months ago to the day! ugh. i am a bad person.

after brunch, we headed to the gateway mall (it is an outdoor mall in salt lake city) for some birthday shopping.


marshall got his birthday jeans and i decided to get myself some wedges in honor of marshall’s birthday.


actually, i got them because penny ate my favorite black wedges. that lil’ rascal!

we got back to our house around 3 o’clock and the party was starting at 7:30. so, basically, for the next 4.5 hours i was in the kitchen!

i made:

  • BBQ pulled chicken (for sandwiches)
  • sun dried tomato hummus (served w/ pita chips)
  • chopped vegetable tray  (served w/ sour cream ranch dip)
  • diced fruit bowl (served w/ erica’s fruit dip)
  • oven baked russet & sweet potatoes with cheese (and a pan without for the vegans)
  • spinach, romaine & pear salad with creamy balsamic vinaigrette
  • frosted 45 cupcakes (3 were consumed the night before.. marshall had to “test” them Winking smile )

to make things easy, we bought pre-made hamburger patties. marshall made guacamole and once kristen got to my house, i threw together some queso (she brought the ingredients).

i was a bad blogger and took no photos of the whole process. i was in a really big hurry to get the food made, clean the house and get myself ready. it was a lot of work but i honestly enjoyed every minute. i LOVE cooking lots of different dishes at once and i really love preparing food for other people. that’s probably why i want to own a restaurant so bad!

i was just icing the final cupcakes as guests started arriving. perfect timing Smile i was busy having fun and being a hostess so i really didn’t get photos of all the food.. but i did the best i could! here ya go:


my plate:


surprisingly, the thing that everyone liked most was the simplest dish: the potatoes. for these, i simply diced russet & sweet potatoes, tossed them in olive oil, salt, pepper and trader joe’s 21 seasoning salute, then baked them at 350 degrees for an hour and a half (slow and steady wins the race!).. at the end, i added cheese to the top and broiled it for a bit. they were REAL good.IMG_1253IMG_1254IMG_1256

time for fun photos Smile



once we were all full from dinner, it was time to bust out the cupcakes. don’t you all know that our stomachs have a specially reserved empty spot built specifically for cupcakes?IMG_1276

peanut butter filled vanilla bean with dark chocolate frosting


(vegan) chocolate marble with dark chocolate frosting


carrot cake with cream cheese icing


(vegan) mango with coconut cream icing


we sang to the birthday boy.


he made his wish.


he blew all 27 out in one big huff and puff.IMG_1289

and we ate cupcakes!


i think it is safe to say the cupcakes were a crowd pleaser.


the rest of the night was spent with good friends, great conversation and.. of course.. more cupcakes.

now marshall is snoring on the couch with penny and randy cuddled up to him. i think it is safe to say he had a great birthday, i am lucky that i got to be a part of it Smile


we will be going to my parents for a big birthday dinner tonight (it is now 4:05 AM so i can technically say tonight.. it IS sunday). marshall will be glued to the packers game most of the afternoon, so i am going to try to get a workout in.

on that note, i better call it a night. this post took a good 2 hours to type and now it’s past 4 in the morning and i am talking about working out. i need to catch some ZZZs!

if you made it this far, i am impressed! thanks for reading!


1. favorite kind of cupcake? carrot cake is my current favorite. that could change tomorrow though Winking smile surprisingly, the peanut butter filled vanilla bean cupcakes were the biggest hit at the party!

2. would you rather cook for other people or have someone cook for you? i love, love, LOVE cooking for others!!! i wish i could do it every day. well, i do cook for marshall every day, but i am talking bigger groups of people. it’s so fun.

xo. janetha g.

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Cathy K October 17, 2010 at 4:33 am

awesome party day recap, janetha! so glad marshall had such a great day. and that YOU did, too! your excitement and happiness radiate throughout your writing.
your party food looks AWESOME! my favourite cupcake would be a banana cake with chocolate icing. lotsa icing.
thanks sooo much for taking two hours to share the photos and your thoughts! really fun reading!

Marie October 17, 2010 at 5:08 am

Awe, you are SO cute! The party food all looked amazing. That’s awesome you love cooking for crowds; I hope to read, someday, about you opening up a restaurant! ;) The pic of Marshall making a wish was adorable and made me laugh.

Hmm, favorite cupcake is my SIL’s chocolate one; super moist and chocolately. Mmm. I love to bake so in terms of cooking, I’d rather have others cook for me. ;)

Annie October 17, 2010 at 5:52 am

Four kinds of cupcakes? You definitely win “Wife of the Year!”

lindsay October 17, 2010 at 5:53 am

what a spoiled birthday boy but also a very happy one! I am with you, I love to spoil others and cook for them. Its too much fun to see their faces light up!!
Happy bday I mean week to MARSHALL!!

lindsay October 17, 2010 at 5:53 am

oh and I love the look of cupcakes but I’m not a hug fan. I’d take ice cream any day or some kind of pie with ice cream, haha.

Kelly @Coconuts & Freckles October 17, 2010 at 6:09 am

You are awesome! You did a fabulous job! Happy belated birthday to Marshall! And I LOVE those new black wedge shoes of yours! I want a pair!!

crunchygranolagal October 17, 2010 at 6:19 am

you are an awesome party hostess! i’ve never cooked for that many people but i too LOVE making great food that others enjoy – somehow compliments on what i’ve cooked are the best kind.

good tip to know about the potatoes re: cooking time. i always crank the oven temp up to 400 or 450 if need be because i’m in a rush to finish them and eat. now i know, slow and steady! and cheese! can’t go wrong with cheese.

oh, and happy b-day marshall!

Lauren October 17, 2010 at 6:23 am

Oh my goodness, this post is filled with so many amazing things! First of all, I hear ya on nixing the gym on Friday. I had plans to go for a run too but I got out of work later and there is just something about feeling like your who schedule is thrown off even when you get out a few min. later than normal. I feel like my entire run will be off.

Marshall is one handsome and lucky dude!!! You are seriously the best wife of all ages of wives out there to make his B-day so fantastic!!!! Gosh, I think I remember being that domestic during our first year of marriage. This past b-day for my guy, I had to work and he ordered a pizza for himself. :( LoL

Okay, that little girl is the CUTEST little girl I’ve ever seen!!! OMG what a fun party! :)
I bet your exhausted. Get some rest today love bug.

kellycooks October 17, 2010 at 6:31 am

Wow! You were a very busy lady! I’m so glad it all worked out! :)
I love, love, love me some vanilla bean cupcakes with vanilla bean buttercream. I, uh, have a vanilla bean addiction. LOL
And easily, hands down, I’d rather do the cooking. I LOVE cooking! :)

Paige October 17, 2010 at 7:21 am

Happy Birthday to Marshall! Awww how cute is he while he’s opening your presents? He looks so excited. :)

Looks like you pulled off a really great birthday party! I love doing that kind of thing too, so although while I’m doing it I’m like “why the eff am I even doing this? no one cares if there’s homemade soft pretzels…” – it’s usually worth it in the end. I think I’m physically incapable of having someone else cook for me without me nosing my way into the kitchen to try to help. Unless it’s a restaurant of course, because that would be…awkward.

As of late, my favorite kind of cupcake is red velvet with cream cheese icing, but that changes pretty frequently as well.

Kristin (Cook, Bake and Nibble) October 17, 2010 at 7:35 am

Looks like a great birthday! Marshall is a lucky guy for sure :)

All that food looks amazing! You did an awesome job, J! And favorite cupcake? I would really love one of your carrot cake cupcakes… i love carrot cake anything. with cream cheese frosting. yum!

i love cooking for others! but sometimes it is nice to have someone cook for me.


Tamizn October 17, 2010 at 7:38 am

I love lemon cupcakes but I’m not fussy I’ll eat any kind! I think I prefer to be cooked for, looks like a fab day your hubby is a lucky man x x

Mara @ What's For Dinner? October 17, 2010 at 8:10 am

I totally agree. Our stomachs DO have a special spot for cupcakes :) Happy birthday to Marshall!

julie October 17, 2010 at 8:12 am

why are you the best wife ever? if i propose to you will you bake me 4 different types of cupcakes?

Naomi(onefitfoodie) October 17, 2010 at 8:15 am

you are seriously a ROCKSTAR!! omg so many times i bring my laptop in the kitchen and it looks like that!! Jason gets so annoyed because hes crazy about taking care of electronics, but when it comes to cooking baking i always keep my laptop in the kitchen with me!

you baked/cooked up some delicious treats!

i LOVE cooking/baking for people! whenever we entertain I always turn t the blogs for some interesting recipes and ways to garnish!!


Gabriela @ Fro-Yo Lover October 17, 2010 at 8:16 am

Wow – what a party!
You’ll definitely win the “Best Wife of The Year” prize…
Looks like everyone had a BLAST!
And those cupcakes… I’m drooling, haha :D

Jenn October 17, 2010 at 9:05 am

Love the wedges. You and your friends have good style.

I WOULD SO RATHER have someone cook for me!!!! :-)

Natalia Baage October 17, 2010 at 9:06 am

I just LOVE all the pictures! Congratulations on doing all that work cooking and baking. Everything looked great, and I’m glad you guys had such a fun birthday celebration!

edenseats October 17, 2010 at 9:11 am

Marshall is so lucky to have you! I think you really made him feel special and loved.

fav cup cake? I’m not a big cake person (I usually like ice cream cakes) but I think chocolate anything is no fail. there is a bakery near my house that has this one cup cake called “half baked”. Its marble cake filled with white butter cream, topped with half vanilla cream cheese frosting mixed with chocolate chip cookie crumbs and half chocolate fudge mixed with brownie pieces and covered with chocolate chip cookie and brownie pieces. phew….but i swear…its like an orgasm in your mouth.

Being a chef, I am a control freak so I always like to cook for others. But I’m more than happy to let some hot guy make me dinner anytime!

tj October 17, 2010 at 9:20 am

What a great day from start to finish! Thanks for sharing with us! :) Can I have a mango cupcake please? :)

Liz @ Blog is the New Black October 17, 2010 at 9:24 am

YOU ARE INSANE! I can’t believe you stayed up to post that!!! You’re so funny. I do the same thing to my laptop when I cook! And, I am waiting for that last cupcake recipe. My favorite cupcakes are anything chocolatey or peanut buttery, BUT I really do love plain old Funfetti! BORESVILLE.

Mary (What's Cookin' with Mary) October 17, 2010 at 9:53 am

I’m pretty sure you’re the best wife ever! ;) One year for Brian’s bday I did a tapas party… SO much more fun than going out !! I think I should do that again this year…. the only things is, our bdays are two week apart and really close to Xmas, so we just celebrate them together. For some reason, it’s hard to wrap my mind around doing tons of work for my own paryy ;P I soooo wish I had a Janetha party fairy that I could make three wishes too… hehe!

actorsdiet October 17, 2010 at 10:07 am

happy bday marshall!!! i have that same grater. i will NOT be grating baby carrots by hand.

a October 17, 2010 at 10:46 am

Everything looks amazing!!!!!

Glad to know Im not the only with a pup that eats my stuff.

inmytummy October 17, 2010 at 11:03 am

You win the title of best wife ever! 4 kinds of cupcakes!

glidingcalm October 17, 2010 at 12:28 pm

carrot cake cupcakes. NOM NOM NOM NOM

happy bday to Marshall!!!!!!!!!! What a lucky guy!

Nicole C. October 17, 2010 at 12:28 pm

Nice to see someone go overboard with the cupcakes for bdays! I have recently been hired for some birthday party cupcake making so I feel your pain on the different types. My fav is red velvet, hands down!

I prefer to cook unless it is Bens Mom, she is like a magical creator of all things tasty. People actually look forward to her parties.

Side notes of useless fun facts: i have bought that same wrapping paper before. Every year I get an image of a pin up girl on Bens cakes (photoshop dork me creates them) and he gets the same facial reaction that Marshall has holding that cupcake when he sees his.

Erica October 17, 2010 at 12:34 pm

AMAZING party! Everything looks fantastic. Glad he liked the gifts and the cupcakes! Thanks for the shout out. Love that fruit dip and I haven’t made it in forever. I got new shoes this weekend too. Yours are SUPER cute. Favorite cupcake…hmmmm strawberry shortcake cupcakes or pineapple/coconut. I am a HUGE fan of throwing parties & making food

Lo October 17, 2010 at 2:04 pm

awesome job with the party! you are amazing! i cant imagine frosting 45 cupcakes AND cleaning AND making food AND wrapping presents AND entertaining! you are an inspiration :)

tell marshall happy bday!


twobooswhoeat October 17, 2010 at 2:20 pm

My laptop looks just like yours. I always bring it in the kitchen with me!

Andy is easy to shop for too. As long as it has some sort of San Diego team (Padres, Chargers, SDSU Aztecs…he’s happy.)

Dude you are an awesome hostess and wife. I would like to move in. All of that food is making me hungry. And omg your owl necklace!!!! LOVE!

I love cupcakes. Anything with cream cheese frosting works for me.

I love cooking for others. I wish we had an actual kitchen and not an apartment because I’d have parties all the time.

Julia October 17, 2010 at 2:47 pm

It looks like you had a blast! Happy Birthday to Marshall! Your cupcakes also look lovely. :)

WHERE did you get those wedges?!?! I’ve been looking for a pair EXACTLY like that for, I don’t know, forever? Gorgeous! Super jealous right now.

Favorite cupcake… my sister makes this apple cake (also in cupcake form) with lots of spices and huge chunks of apple in it that is freaking amazing. So so so good.

If I know what I’m doing, cook for others. I don’t do it much so its a little nerve-wracking…. but its fun!

janetha October 17, 2010 at 2:49 pm

Aldo! Click the photo to be taken to the link.

Jessica @ How Sweet It Is October 17, 2010 at 4:16 pm

Happy bday to Marshall!!

kbwood October 17, 2010 at 5:00 pm

SERIOUSLY wow you are the best wifey EVER!! this is a BALLER party girl! happy birthday to your boy! those pcakes look AMAZING!

Hollie @ Lolzthatswim(andRun) October 17, 2010 at 6:32 pm

I agree with all the other comments! You win the best wife of the year no contest!

All those cupcakes look fantastic. My favorite cupcakes are red velvet all the way. :)

Cindy October 17, 2010 at 7:06 pm

Oh my…I’m salivating at the food, esp. the potatoes and cupcakes! I also looooove to cook for people….last Sunday I ran a half marathon and then came home to cook Thanksgiving Dinner (I’m in Canada) because I only get so many chances to cook for more than myself and Hubs and I didn’t want to give that up….LOL!

runningaroundnormal October 17, 2010 at 7:43 pm

You are so awesome, Janetha!!! Marshall better count his lucky stars with you :D What a kickbutt wifey!
LOL at the carrot grating face – that is def one of the worst jobs in the kitchen.
Love the houndstooth oven mit. Awesome that you found one:)

Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) October 17, 2010 at 9:45 pm

” though Winking smile surprisingly, the peanut butter filled vanilla bean cupcakes were the biggest hit at the party!”–

that’s not surprising at all. People love PB + Choc. They look delish!

2 hrs to groc shop and ALL THAT FOOD that you made…omg, woman, you’re a Saint!

And an ipad. Wow. You have done more for Marshall on his bday that I think ive done for Scott on the last 5-10 yrs of bday, annivs, Xmas, Chanukahs, combined. (Slightly exaggerating…but…ummm…not by much.) Wow. Beyond impressed.

Have a great week and tell Marshall Happy Bday and he’s the luckiest newlywed bday boy on the planet!


Christin L. October 17, 2010 at 10:18 pm

I freakin love your owl necklace!! I wore my owl t-shirt yesterday too! :)

Mama Pea October 17, 2010 at 10:40 pm

I have an owl dress and now I want your owl necklace to go with it! :)

When I die, I want to come back as a man, a man named Marshall and I want it to be my birthday and you will be my wife. That’s it.

Stefanie October 18, 2010 at 12:11 am

I think you should win best wife of the year award! Seriously you really know how to throw a great party!!! I love cooking for others, but I always love people cooking for me! It’s 50/50. :)

sophia October 18, 2010 at 12:28 am

OMG! Janetha!! You truly outdid yourself, my girl! 4 different kinds of cupcakes!! And mango?! Whoa! That sounds so…exotic! I want I want!!
Boo…now I want a wife too! >__<

MelissaNibbles October 18, 2010 at 2:23 am

Four kinds of cupcakes? You’re off your rocker. Happy bday to Marshall!

Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine October 18, 2010 at 6:04 am

Looks like such a great birthday…I love that you spent it all together and with friends, going the casual route. That’s the best day to spend birthdays, in my opinion!

Fave cupcake = grasshopper from Crumbs bakery. Dark chocolate fudge cake filled with ganache and topped with mint frosting, chocolate chips and whipped cream. Uh yeah…doesn’t that sound good?

I always prefer cooking for people!

thedelicateplace October 18, 2010 at 7:39 am

wife of the year award goes toooooooooooooooooo JG! i love your owl necklace too btw! i’m super relieved nate hates cake. i can get away with a baked apple and the boy is happy ;p i always want to cook for everyone and really no one complains too much ;)

thetwentyfifthyear October 18, 2010 at 8:47 am

Wow, I gotta say – you really know how to throw a party! My goodness, I might hire you on for my next birthday!

I love really traditional desserts and cupcakes. If the frosting is good and the cake is moist, I am a happy camper. And brownies are even better! I think I will skip the cake at my wedding and have brownies for all.

Texas Gunslinger October 18, 2010 at 9:11 am

Happy Birthday to Marshall!

Oh dear Lord, those cupcakes ALL looked so incredible! Actually, ALL the food looked incredible! You throw amazing parties, chica!

I would much rather someone cook for me…everyday, all day. I hate cooking/baking…heck, I hate the kitchen in general. You make me look like a shameful wife. Good thing my husband thinks I’m so darn cute HAHA! I have to just refine my other talents to make up for the lacking culinary skills.

Freckled Foodie October 18, 2010 at 11:28 am

Awhh. You are such a good wifeyy! Happy Birthday to Mr. G :) Looks like you were a busy little bee getting all the bday stuff together. But it looks like a total success! Those cupcakes look SO yummy. Carrot Cake especially. I <3 red velvet, too!

I like to cook for myself. I enjoy knowing what all goes INTO a dish. Weird, but true!

raluca October 18, 2010 at 11:55 am

hi you guys!!!

1. i love your blog, janetha!!!

2. i’m sure that many of you guys know sarah from… does anybody know what has been going on since her blog has been marked private for a few months now. also i haven’t seen her commenting on other blogs anymore like she used to. i thought i would be asking here as i remember sarah quite often commenting janetha’s blog. so, does anybody know: is sarah ok? i miss her and her blog:(

cbrady3 October 18, 2010 at 12:07 pm

My favorite cupcake is probably a vanilla bean with chocolate icing.

And I’d rather cook! I love to cook and that way I can control the ingredients. It’s the best feeling to have someone LOVE the food you make them

fightingwithfood October 18, 2010 at 7:40 pm

Happy birthday to the Marshall man! Looks like fun times were had by all. I never knew he was a GB fan. My husband’s family bleeds green and gold. Does he still watch Vikings games to see how Favre is doing? I almost think they are starting to bleed a little purple too.. just because of Favre!
You are an awesomely devoted wife to make all those tasty goods and savory bites! I hope he let you sleep in the morning after the party!
I love a good angel food cupcake with strawberry icing and I would rather do the cooking – it’s therapeutic for me!

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