Saturday, March 14, 2009

Cooking challenge - party style!

We had a fun day today.  Several of Christopher's friends came over to celebrate his birthday with him. 

They watched the game (UNC v. Florida State), and were disappointed by the outcome.  I was disappointed at the halftime show!  They briefly showed the men that were being honored as legends, but showed none of the ceremony.  It made me very sad that I wasn't there - and just really disappointed to have missed it. 

I talked with my mom later in the afternoon.  There was a luncheon prior to the game.  They showed film clips/pictures of each man and did a Q and A type interview with each of them.  She said it was interesting and very nice.  She also said that there were a lot of cameras there.  I'm so hoping that I can somehow get a copy of this program - and the halftime show.  I was looking forward to seeing my Dad honored and still hope to do that!

Back to the birthday party.  After the game, I had planned an activity.  I wasn't really sure how this would go over and wondered if we should just skip it.  I wondered if after their team lost, the boys would not be in the mood for this.  I'm so glad that we didn't skip it!  Earlier in the week I had asked each of the 3 older boys to give me a food item in each of the following catagories - carb, dairy, protein, vegetable and a freebie (pick what you want).  I typed out each ingredient and put the strips of paper into a hat.  Each boy drew 3 items.  They were to use these to make into a dish.

There weren't many rules, but here are the few we had.

*You could add in two more food items. 

*You could use any condiments and spices that you wanted.

*You had 20 minutes to complete your dish.

They were judged on creativity, plating and taste.

Each of the boys was the chef and they had one of the younger children as a sous chef.  The pairs worked hard and had a lot of fun.  I enjoyed hearing them talk and work together.  It was fun for all of us!

They did a great job presenting - factual, humorous and interesting.  I also really loved the efforts that they put into making the dishes look nice.  Here's what they came up with:

Team 1 - Ingredients:  chicken, parmesan cheese, pasta

Team 2 - Ingredients:  broccoli, bacon, cheddar cheese

Team 3 - Ingredients:  meat (his choice), alfredo sauce, bread

They did a great job!  We had each team present their dish - which was a lot of fun.  Then they divided the food up so that everyone could taste the dishes.

We awarded the food dishes:

Most kid-friendly - team 1

Best taste & most creative - team 2

Best plating - team 3

Overall highest score - by 1 point - was team 3. 

Afterwards, we sang "Happy Birthday" and ate pumpkin bars.  (You can see them in the picture behind the food dishes.  It is a friend's family recipe and we all think is is fabulous!)

What a fun afternoon - with a bunch of great kids.  The teens and youngers all told me that they thought the cooking challenge was fun.  A couple of mine even said that they wanted a cooking challenge for their birthday.

After watching the fun, Isaiah decided to do his own challenge.  He made up a dish from the ingredients on the counter, made up a judging grid and presented his delicious findings to the rest of us.  (It is bacon on top of tortilla chips.) 

I again am thankful for so much - good health, wonderful family and neat friends.  It was a fun day!