Many of you have probably watched the Food Network show CHOPPED where contestants are given mystery ingredients in a basket, and they have to try and make something delicious with them. Well, Ty/Dad has been on a kick watching this lately, and because it’s artistic and competitive, the boys get into it, too.
Last night, Rex asked if we could try CHOPPED at home. My mind said, “No, I want to take a nap,” after spending half the day at Adventureland, but my mouth said, “Sure!” as I’m trying to say YES! to our boys more, especially when they want to do something creative.
So, I collected the basket ingredients for three rounds: appetizers, main course (entree), and dessert. I decided some of the ingredients should come from the garden; Cilantro, chives and garden lettuce made it on the lists.
The contestants gathered in the kitchen. Rex, Jude, and Ty each had their own station, and Morris and I were the judges.
Round 1, Appetizers: Triscuits, canned corn, plums and cilantro.
As they started cooking, I was amazed at how similar the Chopped kitchen on tv is to the Chopped kitchen in my home! Boys scurried about to the pantry, to the fridge, to the ingredients.
There was blending and taste-testing. There was a blender malfunction and missing bowls/ingredients. How lucky I was to be in the audience!
Morris and I allowed the boys to describe their dishes, and then we tasted and judged. We awarded a first place, and we “chopped” someone each round (but allowed them to cook in the next round, of course).
Round 2, Entre (15 minutes): Pasta, chicken salad, peanut butter, orange slices
Round 3, Dessert (12 minutes): Chocolate chips, raspberry jelly, oatmeal, garden lettuce
Most of the creations were delicious! We sampled a garden Triscuit with corn and a veggie bowl (a mushroom with a pickle stuck in it) by Jude. Peanut butter curry pasta by Tyler was gobbled up by everyone. And Rex made a scrumptious dessert with chocolate ice cream, a strawberry Mr. Freeze, raspberry jelly, and chocolate chip crumble.
Besides the taste, the presentation of most dishes was artistic and impressive. Herbs were added on top of dishes, sauces were drizzled on sides of fruit, and different crumbles were all over everywhere. (Only one dish looked a little like throw-up, but the chef shall not be named.)
It was an hour and fifteen minutes of family fun! Afterwards, the boys liked to rehash their dishes, and they wanted Ty and I to promise they could try it again…next week.