It would be quite the understatement to say we've all gone a little stir crazy during this pandemic. As human beings who were made for connection, it hasn't been easy to be away from our family, friends, and communities. And though we can easily get lost in the mundane plodding along of daily life, we can find new ways to spice up our lives.
This was an idea we tried out a few weeks ago, and understatement #2 of this post is that we shared a plethora of laughs from this Saturday afternoon "lunch" - if you can even call it a meal. I got the inspiration to do an at-home Chopped: Han edition from a friend who's significant other is a bartender. She found the random ingredients and he made magic happen. The Han's attempted to make magic happen, too.
Step 1: Gather the weirdest ingredients you can find in your home.
Our collection of goods? Olives, black beans, half an orange, 1 banana, 1 egg, 1 chewy bar, 1 red potato, Honey Bunches of Oats cereal, and veggie straws. Oh boy.
Step 2: Set a time limit. Make it shorter than you'd think (a lot more fun).
In most areas of our lives, we avoid stress. For at-home Chopped, a time crunch is key! It gets the adrenaline pumping, and we all love the epic 5-second countdown in the real-life television version of the cooking show.
Step 3: Find a spot to hide the creations before the reveal.
1 kitchen + many family members means we had to cook one at a time. Thus, we all had chosen "hiding spots" to keep our creations a secret before the grand reveal. Oh yeah, we went all out. No foul play here.
Step 4: Come up with scoring categories.
It is a competition after all! Our scoring categories were Creativity, Presentation, Taste. (Let's be real, we all lost in that third category.)
Step 5: Reveal with gusto.
Every 5-star restaurant has a grand, decadent introduction to what they've just placed in front of you. At-home Chopped requires the same level of gusto and pizazz. The more ridiculous the better.
Here is one of the creations:
"The Leaning Tower of Pisa. Charred potato cobblestones lead up to a pancake tower, perfectly crispy on both sides. Topped with olive slices for a flavorful bite. For dessert, a citrus blossom granola cake ball sprinkled with orange zest."
Step 6: Prepare to eat the previous nights' leftovers.
Prepare your taste buds for the strangest meal they've ever come across. Start heating up last night's leftovers next.