Chopped Challenge Begins…(A Live Blogging Event)

Our chopped challenge begins with the appetizer round.  We’ll be posting live updates through the day, so check back often!  Our voters were generally kind, hopefully our judges will be kind as well, though we don’t expect them to be as kind as the Dalai Lama himself.

Appetizer Round Courtesy of Linda from Savoring Every Bite:




and Brandy 

Who will be the last man (or woman) standing? Stay tuned…the challenge starts NOW.

The contestants are hard at work. Chef Dad is taking the chestnuts out of the boiling water,

while Chef Mom is scoring some polenta on a cookie sheet.
And at the end of round one, and with some heated debate between the judges, Mr. N delivers the news:

ChefDad, you’ve been chopped.

Now on to the entrée round!

The ballots were cast and taking 43% of the votes was the Bewitching Kitchen basket provided by Sally which includes:

Buckwheat Noodles (Soba)


Chipotle Peppers

and Lobster Tails.

The kitchen has been cleaned, the ingredients are at the ready and the Chefs are on to round two. Who will survive the chopping block in this round? Will Chef Mom continue to dominate? Or will Chef Dad, his competitive juices flowing, win the hearts of the judges this round? Stay tuned…

The Chefs are definitely getting tired (especially after a late night), but they’re persevering. Chef Mom is adding some sesame oil to the buckwheat noodles. Is there an Asian inspired dish on the way?

Chef Dad is basting some good looking lobster tails with a chipotle pepper rub. This could be a tight race.

Only one Chef’s dish will survive this round. Whose plate will be on the chopping block this round?

Miss A popped in for the reveal, and it was Chef Mom on the chopping block for this round. (Miss A wasn’t too happy with that decision.)

It was a close call – really the judges couldn’t pick a favorite on taste (both were a success), but let’s just say Chef Dad may have unduly influenced the judges on his presentation. Later this week we’ll post our final dishes and recipes. Now before the Chefs return to the kitchen for the final dessert round, it’s time to do some dishes. I suppose we could bribe the little judges for help with this, but that’s doubtful.

The dishes are done, the floor is swept and the contestants are back for the final round (exhausted though they may be). The dessert basket was a landslide victory for Kay from Pure Complex. Her basket came in with 88% of the votes out of the more than 100 cast; and we have to say, this one has caused some perplexed looks on the faces of our Chefs. The final basket includes:


Red Miso Paste

Cottage Cheese

and Kettle Potato Chips

Who will go big and who will go home? Chef Mom is feeling the pressure and Chef Dad is unsure if he’ll have a home run or a total shut out. The final round of the contest starts NOW. (You’ll have to bear with us as the rest of the pictures will be less than stellar as we’ve now lost all trace of natural light…)

Looks like Miss A knows what to do with the cottage cheese…

Overheard from Mr. N snuggling with Chef Mom on the couch while her dessert bakes, “I think Daddy’s dessert might be edible.”

The judges have decided and the winner of the Chopped Challenge is…(Miss A looking a bit tired from her judge’s seat.)

Chef Mom for hitting it out of the park with her dessert round! Sorry Chef Dad. You put up a valiant effort here today, and you certainly took the cake when it came to creativity. You had three delicious plates and your lobster was definitely superior, but only one can be named chopped champion here today, so we’re sorry to say Chef Dad, you’ve been chopped.

That said, every dish whipped up here today easily stood on its own merits. It was a fun, often times hilarious and tasty way to celebrate the New Year together. Many thanks to everyone that offered up their basket suggestions, to everyone that voted and to everyone that has followed along here today. We’ll be back tomorrow with the recipes from our appetizer challenge. Until then, Happy New Year! We wish you all a wonderful 2012!

Cheers and good night. Zzzzzzzzzzzz.

63 thoughts on “Chopped Challenge Begins…(A Live Blogging Event)

  1. Kay aka Babygirl says:

    I am so mad at myself.. you know why? I MISSED THIS POST! I can’t believe I didn’t see this post. I had to call my family and email some to let them know all their persistence and having people at their job vote paid off LOL. Yes, my family sticks together lol. I can’t wait to see what dessert you made.. because me and my mom came up with 3 recipes respectively that we could make from those ingredients. I just can’t wait 🙂


    • Kristy says:

      No worries Kay! It’s weird, I didn’t get emails for two of your last three posts. I was on your site today and was like, wait a minute…I didn’t get those! You should have seen the number of votes your dessert won by – it was a landslide victory. Your family and friends came through! 🙂 Hopefully our desserts won’t disappoint. 😉


  2. thecompletecookbook says:

    Wow, I am hugely impressed – that is a whole lot of cooking for one day especially after being tired at the start! Kudos to both Chef Mom and Chef Dad for jobs well done! Looking forward to all the recipes.
    Have a happy love filled 2012.
    🙂 Mandy


  3. Karen says:

    What a fun experience not only for your family but for your readers as well. I really enjoyed the whole episode and my hats off two you both. Oh, I had to laugh at the photo of the kitchen…next year you need a clean up crew like there must be on Chopped.


    • Kristy says:

      Thanks so much Karen! And yes, a clean-up crew would have been hugely helpful. Although, I have to admit, much to my surprise, the kids jumped right in to help. I think they were so excited to get to dessert they were willing to do whatever it took. 😉


  4. sallybr says:

    i am jumping up and dowmpn with excitement, and thrilled that my basket (well, mine and Phil). was chosen for the entree


    loved this chopped series, youmguys outdid yourselves!

    I was sooooo anxious to see the update, but no connections at all yesterday, only now inSan Diego I could get on the net

    congrats on a fantastic job!


  5. kitchenbelleicious says:

    So love that you both did this! I think it is fantastic way to spend a night together. Love the basket that was picked and I am not even sure I would have known how to incorporate the miso paste in a dessert! congrats on the win:)


  6. Caroline says:

    Wow, I admire your endurance…that’s a lot of cooking for one day!! This was such a fantastic idea, and though it was a ton of work, it seems like you guys had fun during the process. Congrats on the win, Kristy!! Happy New Year, too. 🙂


    • Kristy says:

      You’re not kidding! It was just shy of a 12 hour day. We did take a few breaks in there to clean-up and play games with the kids though. It was a blast and really not a bad dish in the bunch. I was shocked!


  7. Mary says:

    that looked like a lot of fun! wonderful post – I’ve so enjoyed following you throughout the year and looking forward to more in 2012 – all the very best to you and your family
    Mary x


  8. Eva Taylor says:

    What a great way to spend new years, Kristy. And the timely play by play was great! You should make it a tradition! Xlooking forward to seeing the recipes. Were the kids the judges?
    Kinda sad though that Mike lost on his birthday! 😉


    • Kristy says:

      You know we are thinking about making it a tradition. It was a ton of fun! The kids got to help be the judges. They weighed in with their commentary, but they also have some biases (Like: I want mommy to win! Or: Mommy won last time, it’s daddy’s turn!). So Mike and I took their opinions into account, but used a grading system for Creativity, Taste and Presentation in the final voting. I think we did a pretty good job at staying objective too. 🙂


    • Kristy says:

      Now skiing sounds like a fun way to spend New Year’s too! We did have a great time together. The kids were very into the whole event – much more so than we expected and Mike and I had a ton of fun. Even with the clean-up. 😉


  9. Courtney says:

    Hands down, one of my most favorite posts ever! I’m sorry I missed the event while on my technology vacation. Congrats to you, Kristy, for your big win. I can’t wait to see what the actual dishes were. And speaking of dishes, the pictures of the dirty ones cracked me up! I’m impressed you kept on going after cleaning all that up. 🙂


    • Kristy says:

      Thanks Courtney! We had a ton of fun. And all of the dishes turned out really well, much to my surprise. I wasn’t sure how this was going to go. But oh yes – the clean-up…that was epic! Three times too! LOL. 🙂


  10. ChgoJohn says:

    What fun! — and I say that amidst flying rumors questioning the veracity of the first round’s selection polls. No matter for we are anything but sore losers here at the kitchens.

    So, congratulations to Linda for her round-winning ballot stuffing selections and to ChefMom for her award winning dishes!


  11. Aimee@clevermuffin says:

    You guys really need your own cooking show – this was so fun to read. I wish I’d been tuned in (read in?) while it was happening live. I just can’t get over Miss A’s face when she’s lifting up that lid, so cute! And I love the after shot of the kitchen too. Keeping it real …. 😉 Happy new year!


    • Kristy says:

      Hi Aimee! So glad you enjoyed reading our epic challenge today. It’s been a ton of fun. I wish I could have gotten a good shot of the floor too. What a disaster! 😉 Happy New Year to you too.


  12. Kelly @ Inspired Edibles says:

    Oh, this is too great! I L.O.V.E. that you posted a picture of your kitchen in that state!!! I think that’s awesome.

    Miss A uncertain indeed (too cute…) – both the appy and main like absolutely delicious… looking forward to the dessert round! Keep it up guys – I admire your energy on January 1st! 😉


  13. Charles says:

    Oh how fun! Congratulations to the entree winner! Looking forward to seeing the main course and dessert of course! Love what you did with the starter… looks delicious!


    • Charles says:

      Bah, my turn to be the gracious “loser” in the main course category… Dishes looking good though, but… did a grenade go off in your kitchen? Holy cow……….


      • Charles says:

        I forgot to come back and leave a comment on the dessert! I’m looking forward especially to the recipe for this one – it looks very interesting. Can’t imagine what the taste must be like! 🙂 Good job on all courses, and congratulations to Kristy the winner!


  14. smartfoodandfit says:

    Looks like the theme today is fun family food adventure! What a great way to start the new year, together in the kitchen making wonderful memories

    I can’t wait to see the results and can I just say that Mr. N is so adorable in that picure!
    I just love that look on his face, I’m telling you he’s a chef in the making! 🙂


    • Kristy says:

      Your basket was a ton of fun Linda! Thank you for helping us out. The results were quite delicious – we’ll post the recipes tomorrow for the appetizer. 🙂 Happy New Year! (Oh and your Champagne Mojitos were a hit last night! We’ll definitely be making those again!)


    • ChefDad says:

      I’ve never made chestnuts before, the only thing I knew about them was from the song, and since I didn’t have an open fire, that’s what I went with. I wanted to cook ’em in a little flaming brandy, but didn’t quite have the guts.


  15. Kelly @ Inspired Edibles says:

    How fun and I totally admire your ability to do the live updates… you techno star you… Looking forward to seeing the results and I’m not bitter at all that Linda’s basket won. Really. Not one bit. Not even a smidge. 😉 hee-hee…


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