My “Surprise” Birthday Party

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By Brandon Branch

So, it’s true, I planned my own surprise birthday party and it was…fabulous!

Listen, I know I am a control freak, so I just go with it! I love paying attention to all of the little details of party planning.

Here’s what I did:

I chose my favorite fine dinning restaurant Noble Fare, and they were kind enough to close the entire restaurant just for my party. Thank you so much to Jenny and Patrick, the owners.  And of course Cheryl from Back in the Day Bakery had to do my cakes, yes I had more than one cake!

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Pictures of the cakes, courtesy of Cheryl Day.

They were out of this world! I had 33 guests including my parents from Mississippi and Michael and Paula!

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I love all the coffee table books I received.

My parents gave me a design book I have wanted to add to my collection. Paula gave me a giant gold leaf shell that I filled with turtle shells and placed in my living room.  I made all the guests give toast and tell what I mean to them.  It was so funny to hear their toasts; the whole night was a blast!

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This shell is the accent piece for my living room.

I totally suggest throwing your own surprise party.  Patrick, the chef, served all my favorite dishes like Heirloom Tomato Basil Bisque, House Rules Salad, Ahi Tuna Tartar, Vindaloo Chicken, New York Striptease, and Alaskan Halibut! It was a night I shall never forget, and not because of all my gifts!

Next party please!:
Well, now I am planning Corrie’s, Paula’s niece, gender revel party that Paula is throwing for her. The party is to revel the sex of the baby - have y’all ever been to one?

The gender will be revealed once Corrie and Brian cut the cake. The inside of the cake will be dyed blue or pink depending on the sex of the baby.  Cheryl from Back in the Day Bakery is making (you can tell we love her!).  We are going to toast with champagne that Oprah sent Paula as a gift. We have been waiting for just the perfect time to drink that champagne!

For this party, I am planning a sit-down dinner in the dinning room for 16 guests. The amazing Susan Mason will be catering, so Paula can truly enjoy the party. All guests are wearing pink or blue to represent their guess of whether or not it will be a boy or a girl.  The party should be a very special night at Paula’s home. I am going shoot this party and put in an upcoming of Cooking with Paula Deen Magazine so y’all can enjoy, too!

Brandon Branch is a playful Southern gentleman. His style is equal parts Yankee chic and Southern elegance all muddled together in a monogrammed mint julep cup. An invitation to one of his Savannah dinner parties is the equivalent to getting the golden ticket from Willy Wonka. Brandon holds the position of Design Director for Paula Deen Enterprises and serves as Paula Deen's Personal Assistant. He was featured on HGTV's seasonal special "Celebrity Holiday Homes" and looks forward to similar opportunities in the future. Pick up a copy of his New York Times best-selling book, Paula Deen's Savannah Style in our online store.
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54321

dear brandon branch Yesterday Idraw Paper Christmas Wreath I Make Wreath on the Paper Today Working Make More All The Pages Color Books Wreath So Cool . And I Found out Wreath Book magazine Books And Deen Paula Christmas So Good . I Like To Color books Wreath Christmas Books So Cool . I going to Miss You Love Joshua Hunt

By joshua hunt on December 17, 2012

54321

Brandon, I love this blog! What a fabulous idea, throwing your own surprise party. And the gender reveal baby showers are adorable. I have to agree on your baker; every time my husband and I are in Savannah we just have to go by and see Cheryl and Griff - sweet, sweet people in more ways than one! Next time we are there, we will have to check out Noble Fare. Cheers! Angela

By Angela Lopez on August 29, 2012

54321

Love partys and all your recipes !!!!

By Doris on July 24, 2012

54321

GENIOUS! Would you EVERYONE forgot my birthday one year?? Yep, family, friends, even co-workers! It hurt, yes, but provided me with the incentive to make sure no one ever forgets it again! I start counting down May 1st (my birthday is May 31st, for future reference), and let them ALL know how many shopping days until the big day. I always say, go big and bring it home! LOL!! I LOVE your idea! I see a fabulous 53rd birthday for myself next year! Well done!

By NanaJenn on July 16, 2012

54321

I LOVE the idea of giving your own party! Would you believe everyone - friends, family, co-workers - forgot my birthday one year? I was hurt, yes, but not devastated. But, I vowed never again to let ANYONE forget, so now I start the "countdown" at the first of May. (My birthday is May 31st, for future reference smile Kudos to you for having the "cupcakes" to throw your own! I see this as a good idea for my 53rd!

By Jennifer H. Petty on July 16, 2012

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Oh Brandon!!! Sounds like so much fun. I would love to be invited to one of your parties...it would be a dream for me. You are such a fun person! I am so honored to know you. Glad you had a happy birthday!!! I send you blessings and good wishes. Debbie

By Debbie Fabre on July 16, 2012

54321

Paula's recent tip to salt green tomatoes and let the water come out of them made all the difference in the tomatoes!!!!! They were so much better! I let them sit on paper towels so the water could absorb on the paper towels. Man, they were good, even the left over ones were better re-heated in the toaster oven. I try to pace myself and only eat about 4!!! Thanks for a great tip Paula! Congratulations on your weight loss!!! You look great!

By mcdaniel1 on July 14, 2012

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Paula Deen
Paula Deen
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Susan Greene a.k.a BUBBLES
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Cindy Edwards
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hi! wink i was wondering if you could share the recipe for the chiken/grape salad-the one that is pictured on the croissant above? thanks! wink sandra
Sandra Neuheimer-Huller in Chicken Salad: A Southern Staple on April 19, 2014 at 10:37 am

Where do I buy these magazines
in A Basketful of Traditions on April 19, 2014 at 8:22 am

I WISH I COULD COOK. COULD I COME WORK FOR JUST ROOM AND BOARD AT YOUR NEW RESTURAUNT IN PIGEON FORGE FOR THE SUMMER? I WENT TO COLLEGE NOT FAR FROM THERE - HIWASSEE COLLEGE. YOU WOULDN'T HAVE TO PAY ME, I WOULD WORK FOR FREE JUST FOR THE EXPERIENCE. TAMMY LEVAN 19 SPENCER WAY KINGS PARK, NY 11754 HAPPY EASTER! CHRIST IS RISEN!
TAMMY L LEVAN in A Basketful of Traditions on April 19, 2014 at 4:31 am

Hi Bubbles, You have some great tips. Can't wait to read your other blogs! Please give Aunt Peggy a big hug from me and here is one for you! (((HUGS))) See you in May!
Jaci Pardun in 10 Quick Household Tips on April 18, 2014 at 11:05 pm

Paula, I am glad to know that I am not the only person who makes Easter Baskets for their adult children and mail them across the United States. My Daughter lives in Long Beach, CA and I not only sent her a basket but her husband and my granddaughter Reese. We also buy special Russel Stover Bunnies for each child too. My husband has the list in his phone... Sara .. Cookies 'n Crème.... Sidney and Stephen.. Peanut Butter Etc. It one of my favorite things to do for my kids.. no matter how old they get. And passing it along to my Grandchildren. It's even more special to me knowing we share a family tradition. Blessings and Happy Easter!!
Sharon Cason-Card in A Basketful of Traditions on April 18, 2014 at 11:03 pm