Friday night was a very special one. My family and I all gathered in celebration of my Nonno's 80th birthday. Granted his birthday is not until November, but he is incredibly hard to surprise, and is heading back to Florida very soon. The conditions were perfect to surprise him in August.
My grandfather is someone that I truly admire and have always looked up to. He puts family first in a quiet yet strong & dedicated way. He is responsible for bringing over many of his siblings from Italy to America, being an incredibly hard worker, a great friend, a father of five, an uncle to an uncountable number of nephews and nieces, a grandfather to nine, and a great grandfather to three. He does without asking, cares unconditionally and never looks for a thank you.
Joker, Dancer, Fighter, Friend, Rock. He is all of these things. I feel so blessed to have him in my life and so honored to call him my Nonno. Thank you for always being proud of all of us, supporting us through good and bad, and for your constant loyalty and love.
In true Italian fashion, we celebrated with wine, dancing, food and desserts. My grandfather is a fisherman, so of course, we had to implement that in to the party - showcasing many photos of him holding great catches of the years, a cake adorned with a photo of him cruising in his boat, fish sugar cookies as favors, sea glass & shell center pieces and more.
Here's a quick look at some of the delectable treats provided by family, friends and cuginos:
Mass Production of Fishy Sugar Cookies (Bagged & given as favors)
More photos after the break...
Italian Cookies made by Princess Gina
Starfish Sugar Cookies made by yours truly
The lovely centerpieces - Starfish were brought in from family visiting from Florida!
The cake - (Dear Bakery, could you have made the photo any smaller?)
Chocolate Crinkle Cookies (Fear not, recipe to come...)
Pizelles - Get the recipe here!
Pastry Platter from my favorite Bakery, Fratelli's
Orange Juice Cookies - Get the recipe here!
Hello Dolly Bars with a nutty twist - pecans! (Recipe to come...)