Live so that when your children think of fairness and integrity, they think of you. The highest courage is to dare to be yourself in the face of adversity. Choosing right over wrong, ethic over convenience, and truth over popularity ... these are choices that measure your life. Travel the path of integrity without looking back, for there is never a wrong time to do the right thing.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Chopped: Home Edition

Hal came up with a super fun idea to put me to the test in our own little version of the TV Show Chopped. {Me} being the super competitive person I am jumped at the chance. The rules were slightly different as I was virtually competing against myself. I am such a nerd because I took it completely seriously. I was a total blast! SO FUN!!!

In our version of Chopped the rules were as follows: I will create 3 dishes. Appetiser, Main Dish, Dessert. I will receive 30 minutes for appetiser, 45 for main dish, 30 for dessert. I will be judged on creativity, taste, & presentation as well as unique use of mystery ingredients. Hal, Haliee, & Andrew would judge although Erin came over for Main Dish & Dessert rounds because she had to see me sweat lol! At the end of all 3 rounds they collaborate and give me a letter grade finally chopping their least favorite dish at the end of the competition.

So Hal & the kids ran to the store, their crazy list in hand and purchased all the mystery ingredients. They had them all ready to go in the "mystery basket" and a timer all set up. They were so cute speaking as if we were really on the show calling me chef and announcing the ingredients as well as talking amongst themselves as to what I was doing and what they imagined I was making along the way, calling out my time which had lapsed, etc. Ok did I mention how much fun this was!?!?!!! My only regret was not snapping pics along the way. I was so nervous about the time, but I did fine... dessert was the hardest on time!

{Appetiser Round}
Secret Basket ingredients were:
            •  Frozen Orange Juice Concentrate
            • Mushrooms
            • Thai Noodles
            • String Cheese
I made:

Sweet and Spicy Ginger Orange Noodles with Bacon, Sauteed Onions, Mushrooms, & Garlic, and Mozzarella Bites Garnished with Cilantro and Sesame Seeds.

The verdict:
Andrew gave me an B+. Haliee gave me an A-. Hal gave me a B+. Overall they loved the dish, Andrew thought the sweetness and strength of the sauce overpowered the dish a bit, Haliee loved it all except the mushrooms, and Hal thought there weren't enough mushrooms on his plate since it was one of the mystery basket ingredients. Although Haliee had several on hers and gladly gave them to him.

{Main Dish Round}
Secret Basket ingredients were:

            • Shrimp
            • Asparagus
            • Prosciutto
            • Maraschino Cherries
I made:

Lemon Pepper Encrusted Shrimp on a Wilted Spinach Salad with a Balsamic Maraschino Cherry and Water Chestnut Vinaigrette Dressing, Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus, and Garlic Bread. Garnished with Chives and Almonds.

The verdict:
Andrew gave me an A-. Haliee gave be a B+. Hal gave me a B+. Erin gave me a B+. Overall again, they all loved it. They said it was very creative, and super yummy. Andrew had no complaints and loved the presentation. Haliee thought the wilted salad was a little weird. Hal and Erin thought the Lemon Encrustment on the Shrimp Overpowered the Dish a bit. Hal thought I used a little too much Prosciutto leaving the asparagus a touch salty in the center.

{Dessert Round}
Secret Basket Ingredients Were:

            • Bananas
            • Bisquick
            • Heath Bar Bits
            • Whole Coconut
I made:

Heath Bit Shortbread in a Banana Coconut Maple Caramel Sauce Topped with an Almond Whipped Glaze. Garnished with Heath Bits, Powdered Sugar, and Cinnamon Chips Slivers.

The verdict:

Andrew gave me an A+. Haliee gave me a B-. Hal gave me an A-. Erin gave me an A-. They said this was their favorite dish yet (Except Haliee). Andrew loved everything about it. Haliee didn't care for the bananas. Hal thought the coconut flavor wasn't pronounced enough. Erin agreed with Hal after licking her plate saying the texture was there but not enough of the coconut flavor.

In the end, they decided to chop:

The Appetiser

They loved them all and would absolutely eat them again but thought the strong sauce and not enough of the mushroom was reason enough to chop this dish. Haliee disagreed but was outvoted, as this was her favorite dish of the 3. They all said I did a great job and they thought I was super creative! YAY ME!

My 2 cents worth: That was a blast, fun, hilarious that I was so stressed to compete against myself for my family {OCD Weirdo}. I was trying to be creative while still making something my family would like. Being timed was so crazy. The whole coconut stressed me out, I couldn't get it open. The bisquick (nasty) and maraschino cherries were definitely out of my comfort zone I hate processed food. In the end they played it a touch safe with ingredients as they knew they had to eat them lol, but did a great job of mixing them up to present a challenge. I can't wait to do it again! Thanks Hal for the fun idea!

Oh and the best part was Haliee bought me flowers along with the ingredients at the store and gave them to me when they chopped my dish, so sweet!

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