Monday, June 17, 2013

Eads Family Cook-off Challenge

Every year for our vacation, I come up with some sort of surprise activity for the family. This year it's a family cook-off. We drew names out of a hat for partners. It's all a big secret---with everyone thinking that their team is going to win. We discussed all the details at "happy hour" on Friday.

Everyone got a list of guidelines---would you expect anything less from me?
Then we discussed our itinerary for the week and who was going to cook, when. We've rented a house on Isle of Palms, South Carolina---between Hilton Head and Charleston. Of course, I'll "clean" this up. It will be posted on the refrigerator at the beach house.

After dinner, our surprise family activity was to "decorate aprons with your partner." With the exception of the aprons, I had all of the supplies---paint, markers, foam stamps. Happy to see them used--although they are all quite a mess now. And, I must say, we use our dining room a lot---for more than just eating.

It always amazes me as to how creative they all are. 
 I don't really consider myself all that creative. I love flowers, so I just stamped a vine and added flowers.
Jordan was at Bonnaroo, so I did her apron (she's my partner). She loves animals, so I did this bluebird for her. I don't have any other animal stamps, so this had to do.

I thought our aprons came out pretty good----until I saw what the rest of the family did---oh.  my. gosh! So creative and FUN!!

Elizabeth had definite ideas as to how she wanted her apron to look. Mindy copied her design exactly which thrilled her to no end! Certainly a couple of "cool cooks." They avoided breakfast clean up by saying that they needed to go out to discuss their meals and purchase a few things. 
 Victoria and Morgan kept it simple with "chef." They have some tricks up their sleeves. With Morgan's work schedule, they have had to "sneak" in their meetings when they could. 
 When I first started picking the teams, I said, "before I select the teams, all I've got to say is---if you get Stephanie---I'm sorry!" Mitchell was the lucky one!! Steph is such a good sport about her lack of cooking skills. She said that Mitchell has had ALL of the ideas for their team and meals. This one, for their aprons is outstanding. He came up with "twitter" @mitchelllapps#TopChef for him and "twitter"  @stepheads#winners---is the best! I loved it! They are pretty confident that their meal is going to really guarantee it for them. At least, this weekend, when I asked Steph to cover a casserole, she didn't have a Saran Wrap cutting accident like she did at Christmas!
 We're all wondering if Sandy (hot tamale) and Greg's (whole enchilada)  aprons give a hint to their meal. They requested the first night since it's Victoria's birthday and they want to make it a party for her. 
And then there was Butch and Nicky. They weren't all that enthusiastic about the project, but were good sports. We all thought this "Butch-ism" was the perfect thing for them!! We thought when it came to their meals, they would just come up with something at the last minute. Instead, they really have been planning. At one point, Butch said they had come up with the perfect thing that was going to "seal the deal" for their team.
We also decorated cooler cups so we have them for vacation---no wasted drinks that way and we keep them cool!

A cook-off has been the best idea so far. Usually, they don't find out anything about our challenge until we get to our vacation. This time, it has been so much fun to watch everyone really get "in" to it. I think the anticipation is half the fun. Everyone is so enthusiastic---taunting each other with their secrets and "over the top" ideas. We'll see. I really can't believe any of them will top what Jordan and I have in mind!!

Stay's only a week and a half until vacation now!

PS If anyone would like to have my "guidelines" and ideas, feel free to let me know and I'll be happy to email them to you.


  1. Sounds such fun! I'm so impressed that everyone gets involved. Well done you.

  2. Yep, I love how you have gathered such an enthusiastic crowd! Truly the stuff good memories are made of ..

    ..and best of luck to all participants. Go Butch!

  3. It all sounds great fun....and the aprons look how they are all so different.

  4. What an amazing set of talented people you have here in your family, and it is especially impressive that you all cooperate and work together like this! Any of those aprons could grace a store :).

  5. Ah this sounds so much fun. I'm afraid I'm a bit like Steph. My day to day cooking just ok but anything more adventurous especially deserts and you really don't know what your in for. Kevin loves cooking and he is so much better at it. So he always cook's over the weekend.
    His mammy must have despaired when she first tasted my cooking as she taught cooking and needlework....
    Have a great weekend.

  6. y'all look like you are having and will have so much fun :)

  7. That sounds like so much fun!!!! Have a great time and I am looking forward to hearing about the cook off results.


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