Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tana's Party

I hosted my sister's 50th birthday party this last Sunday. She wanted to ignore it, but as her sister, I thought she needed to be a bit spoiled. So, I invited all the local family over to my house for a party.
The party was easy and fun - especially since the weather was so beautiful! I made my favorite spinach tomato pasta (quadruple batch) and got the house all ready to host 24 people. The rest of the family brought in salad, garlic bread, drinks and ice cream and cake. We had a great time all chatting and laughing and celebrating Tana!
The big thing that I did was to compile a book of memories and qualities the family loves about Tana. It was my gift to her and it was huge!! After much nagging, (a task I abhor, but thought it was worth it for my sister and the end result) I got every member of her/my side of the family (and a couple of her husband's side due to the wonders of Facebook) to submit something for her. Yes, that was 38 people. After some insanely late nights of editing, piles of help from my mom with pictures and layout, sneaky maneuvers by much family to get some recent pics of her little family, and Jason fighting technology for me, the book turned out beautifully.
I think she was really touched when I gave it to her and I hope that when she is feeling sick (she has systemic lupus) or just bumming, she can read it and know what a difference she has made in a lot of people's lives. Oddly, I didn't get any pictures of the book itself or the food/house for the party, but really, the point was my sister and the tears that came to her eyes when she started reading the book. Thanks to everyone who helped me get that done for her. And, if any of the family who contributed did not get a chance to see the book and would like to, let me know and I'll send you a link to the finished product.
Super Easy Spinach Tomato Pasta
2 C pre-cooked diced chicken
12 oz penne pasta (cooked al-dente)
10 oz pkg frozen chopped spinach (thawed and drained)
14 oz can diced tomatoes
16 oz jar alfredo sauce
1/2 C milk
1 T flour
1 tsp Italian Seasoning
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 C Parmesan Cheese
Preheat Oven to 350. Cook pasta as directed, drain and leave in colander. Microwave spinach for 3 mins to thaw then drain. Heat alfredo sauce in pasta pot. Put milk and flour in emptied alfredo jar, shake and combine with sauce. Heat to simmer. Add tomatoes, spinach, Italian seasoning, garlic, onion and chicken. Stir until combined. Add pasta and stir to combine. Pour entire mixture into baking dish (sprayed lightly with Pam) and top with Parmesan. Bake for 30 minutes and serve.


  1. It was a great party and I think everyone really enjoyed getting together as a family. Nice work, Babes! And I think that you got the desired result with Tana's book. I'm proud of you. Nice job. Thanks for being such a great sister! I love you!!!

  2. You are an amazing sister! Thank you so much for the party and especially for the wonderful book. It means so much to me and I will treasure it forever. You made my 50th such a fun day instead of a bummer like it could have been. Thanks again my dear for all you did! I love you.

  3. What a great time we all had. Thanks to you for your planning, work and execution. It was wonderful and memorable!

  4. Happy birthday Tonna! What a creative and personal treasure in the amazing book given to you with love by Melinda and family. You deserve it!