Friday, February 15, 2013

We. Are. FUN.

Holy cow, do we look like fun, or what!? Seriously these boys are so much fun. They chase me, play peek a boo, and lose their breathe from laughing so hard. I will miss the days that I was so stinking funny! They are one another's best friend, and worst enemy. Every time I turn around they are wrestling, giggling, then both end up screaming:) Their favorite activity is finding a measuring cup or wooden toy and banging it on the other one's head while they aren't paying attention. Yep, sneaky little dudes.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

The NEXT Iron Chef

My friend Tennille and I hosted "The Next Iron Chef" for a few of the couples in our neighborhood. What a success! Seriously it was SUCH. A. BLAST. Everyone went all out, it couldn't have gone any better.
Lots of preparation went into the night, but it was all so worth it. I've had a lot of people as me the details so they can throw their own here they are!
We passed out invites 2 weeks prior to the event. We wanted everyone to have time to find babysitters (Lots of kiddos in these parts!) and to give them a chance to decide what the heck to cook! As we were passing out the invites, we had each couple draw out of a hat...appetizer, entree, or dessert. 

 We chose to have 3 different secret ingredients. We wanted there to be a wide array of yummy food! We kept our secret ingredients pretty simple, maybe next time we will kick it up a notch.  Each couple brought their dish, already prepared, to dinner. (In the future I would love to have everyone cook at the same house, not knowing the secret ingredient until minutes before, but we don't have that space right now!) We set all of the dishes on a serving table and numbered them 1-9 in order to make the scoring a bit easier. We all filed by and filled up our plates with all 9 dishes, then took a seat. We talked about each of our dishes while we ate, and scored as we enjoyed!
So, if the invite didn't explain it well it goes. We invited 9 couples total. 3 couples were assigned "Appetizer", and their secret ingredient was Bacon. These are the dishes we ended up with:
Bacon wrapped Jalepeno Mac and Cheese

Bacon wrapped Parmesan

Spring rolls with Bacon and Bacon Sweet and Sour dressing
They were all great...the winner was the Bacon wrapped parmesan. O yummy I need another one NOW!
3 couples were assigned "Entree" with the secret ingredient Cheese...and this is what we got...
Chicken and Artichoke Lasagne with over 4 kids of cheese

Croque Monsieur's
Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breasts in Parmesan Bowls
These were delicious as well, and the winner was....the Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breasts in Parmesan Bowls. Super moist, and talk about PRESENTATION!!
And last but not least, 3 couples were assigned "Dessert" with the secret ingredient of strawberry...(Unfortunately only 2 couples came, and I didn't get a picture of the other dessert! Use your imagination for a Frozen Strawberry Heaven with Graham Cracker Crumble!)
Cheesecake with Strawberry topping and Strawberries on top
The winner was the Cheesecake! Good thing I got a picture of the winner:)
For each category we had a small prize of a whisk, a pasta strainer, and a spatula. Then we had an overall winner! DUN DUN DUN....


They went all out in every single judging category, and deserved the grand prize and title of THE NEXT IRON CHEF! For the grand prize we gave a cake from Nothing Bundt Cakes and a gift card to choose a flavor of their own!

To judge, we printed out scorecards for each individual, even though the couples were cooking together. We wanted them to have their own opinion on the winner.
The scorecards had 4 categories, and that is how we judged each dish. Each category was worth 5 points, making each dish worth 20 points total. At the end we totaled all of the points and decided on a winner for each category, as well as an overall, IRON CHEF!

Now, the really important stuff...We had a projector. Yes, folks, we went all out! 

We needed a way to display all of our iron chefs! As people arrived at the party, we had a photo booth set up so they could show their competitors their most intense faces...or silliest...or, well, you will see!

Me and Hubbs(Entree)

My Co-host, Tennille, and Cody(Dessert)

Alisha and Jake (Appetizer winners!)

Callie and Nate (Appetizer)

Crystal and Jeff (Dessert Winners!)

Diana and Ben (Entree)

THE IRON CHEF'S!!! (Crystal and Jordan, Entree)

Cynthia and Kevin (Appetizer)
 It was an amazing night, we had such a blast. Really everyone went all out with their dishes and it couldn't have gone any better. I can't wait to make this a tradition in my neighborhood!
I hope this gave you all of the information to throw your own Iron chef won't regret it!