Monday, October 10, 2011


Today, my husband and I lived out one of our fantasies. No, not that kind of fantasy (you pervert), the one where we are competitors on the Food Network show "Chopped".
We love to cook and we love watching this show. In fact, last night, we probably caught 4 episodes in a row. That is probably the most tv we've watched together all summer long! I know it's not summer anymore, but you get the point.
Anyway, we've been talking about having our own little version of chopped at home. The kids would choose the ingredients and be the judges. Today, we decided to do it. It was the perfect day: Sunday, dreary and rainy, nothing planned. Perfect.

So, since you didn't get to "tune in", here are the details from our "show"...

The competitors: Charlotte (me)
My challenger: Andreas (below)
My challenger
We meet in our own kitchen stadium for the cook off. And yes I know kitchen stadium is from Iron Chef, but we sort of incorporated Iron Chef judging rules for our competition, so I can call it kitchen stadium if I want. So there.

ROUND 1 - Entree
We skipped the appetizer and went straight for the main course

The Ingredients
chicken tenders and/or drumettes
french bread
(all chosen by our judges)

The Panel
(left to right)
Judge Eden (9)
Judge Emma (5)
Judge Hanna (13)

Let the cooking begin!

Emma's score card (since she can't read yet)

Eden and Hanna's score card. They had to rate each dish on originality, taste and presentation. 0 being the worst and 10 being the best.

And the judges are taste testing the entrees

My entree: watermelon/carrot sparkling slushy, potato chip crusted fried chicken drumettes, pear slices and garlic french baguette
The drumette was ugly on the plate, but I figured I'd win them over with fried chicken since they never get to eat it.
I knew that just putting the pear on the plate wasn't very creative but that 30 minutes goes by fast! Now I have a better respect and understanding for what it must really be like to cook something to perfection in just a half and hour, not having a clue what's inside the basket and the pressure of having $10,000 at stake. Wow.

Andreas' entree: marinated grilled chicken tenders with orzo, watermelon/pear bruschetta
His bruschetta was to die for good. The chicken was super flavorful.

On to round 2!

ROUND 2 - Dessert
The Ingredients
cheesecake flavored instant pudding mix
(all chosen by our judges)

Photography by Hanna & Eden
The finished desserts

Andreas made a mocha cheesecake pudding with a side of mocha marshmallow coffee. I liked his presentation in the bowl. It reminded me of food made to look like landscape. I don't know what kind of landscape you'd call this, but it was nice.

I made kind of a conglomeration of things. When you don't have all kinds of pretty bowls and plates and pans, it doesn't get as pretty as it could be. But that's just an excuse. I could have been more creative. Basically it was graham cracker crust on bottom. Next layer was the cheesecake pudding. Next layer was a cheesecake and chocolate chip cupcake drizzled with a coffee marshmallow sauce and crumbled bacon. And a few toasted marshmallows on top.

I took over my camera for a couple natural light shots. I'm a photographer at heart, I can't help it.

The winner of the competition was....

It was a close one though. I think Andreas probably had the entree round won and I had the dessert round won, but in the end, I just barely squeaked out the win.

What a FUN way to spend a Sunday evening with the kids! We got to enjoy doing something we all love together: cook & eat. I highly recommend it!
Next time, it's the childrens' turn to cook for us!


Carin said...

I was one of those annoying friends talking football and hotwings today but oh well...we actually spent last night watching chopped too as the kids like it too. What a fun idea. Not sure it would work here as Eric is just not home much and actually worked again today but I had my own kitchen stadium today baking with the kiddos. Your presentation and ideas looked great!

Charlotte said...

hey, that's unfair, I never said it was annoying...just that it seemed to be a very common FB status today!

Anonymous said...

I was just looking up Chopped At Home and I found your post. Looks like you had a great time. My teenage daughter and I do this ALL THE TIME (it's almost bordering on an addiction with us!). We buy a meat for the entree together and then we each pick out one other ingredient that we don't show the other...then we get home and cook. We've done entrees, desserts and just recently did a breakfast. It is an AWESOME way to spend some free time and I don't know WHAT I'll do when she goes off to college in the fall. Better start getting my middle daughter into it now!!!