We’ve been chopped!!

As in “Chopped” by our cooking judges…

Team G’s judged Ella and I tonight as we played a pretend game of the cooking show Chopped.

Cutest judges ever!

My kids love watching the Food Network when they visit their grandparents, it’s only a given that they love to play it too lol! So tonight when Ella wanted to help me in the kitchen, we had to give the boys a job or I probably wouldn’t have heard the end of it! Judging was the answer. Can’t have too many cooks in the kitchen right?!

The babies

So Ella and I got right down to work. I let her do most of the prepping and she wanted to help marinate the chicken. She went a little shake happy with the garlic powder though, so we were nervous about what our judges would have to say about that…

Gavin kept us on our toes the entire time!! He had us with 10 minutes left on the clock…oh for about an hour…. Longest 10 minutes known to man I think. But it was funny. We were enjoying every minute!


By the way, this zucchini recipe I found on Pinterest of course 😉 I love to incorporate it when I can cause it’s easy and yummy!! Ella also played announcer by giving ingredient and cooking updates along the way.

The green beans are in the pan now and she’s adding some oil…oh and some spices….”

“The zucchini things are coming along nicely!”

I of course had my own sentiments…

“I cook with wine, sometimes I even add it to the food.”
W. C. Fields

Loving my new glass 🙂

Well you know what I mean, I didn’t add it to the food tonight, but it sure is nice to sip along the way!

The meal was ever satisfying and the judges actually DID enjoy it!! Here they are eating away at the meal and the artichoke we had to go with it…

So how was it that the judges loved us but still had us chopped? That brings me to the kicker of this story. Never mind that Gavin was messing around by going back and forth between chopped or safe throughout the entire dinner, leaving us totally confused. No it wasn’t that which got us chopped.

So our favorite little green stemmed friend, the artichoke… he decided to show his ugly side tonight. Or buggly side I might say. This long standing, family loving tradition of artichoke eating has NEVER, I repeatNEVER shown this side of himself before. I WAS APPALLED!! I mean was I dreaming when I compared a perfect artichoke to a perfect man.. beautifully compacted in a bit of smooth yet tough exterior, sweet and consistently perfect on the inside with a heart that is to die for?!

Oh wait you mean there is also no such thing as a perfect artichoke either?! Darn, well we learned that the hard way tonight.. the vomiting in my mouth hard way when about halfway into eating one of the chokes, Gavin pointed out some strange black dots clustered around some of the leaves. Right away inspector Mommy was on the case and with a little prodding through the next few layers I discovered what I feared I would.

Ughh, It still makes me shiver as I think about it again. A little white worm sticking out through a couple leaves underneath. Plenty of wormy poops to go around I might add…Just typing it is killing me now because the thought of what we may have eaten is just the most disgusting thing to me. Of course in the moment Mommy had to have her bearings and swiftly toss it in the trash before any major revelation by the kids of what “it” was. All they needed to know was that just as much as we need and love to eat a plant like our trusty artichokes, other insects in this world love it too…

And… gulp…must eat like us…gulp… unfortunately we were sharing ours with another friend tonight. You know I love a natural learning experience, but did it really have to come in the form of a creepy crawly in our food tonight?!! Seriously, I had to chop myself from our little game because if I had known to inspect an artichoke better than I did, we could have avoided this I think. Shame on me!


I was totally surprised by this episode tonight and can you imagine that we still were able to finish off the other artichoke?! Well it was already almost done anyway which is about the best part remember?!


An artichoke heart is a work of art…

Yes it is all about the heart!!

And that was our evening, eventful as always! Join us next week on chopped if we can be trusted again to safely inspect our food haha 😉

Ellen DeGeneres <3


*We rushed after Ella’s cooking class and skimmed through our Math and reading this morning… with intentions of playing a little catch-up tomorrow.

Yeah, it was one of those rushed sort of mornings that I ever so hate having… and all on a count of Mommy had tickets to go see a taping of The Ellen DeGeneres Show this afternoon. To my advantage the tickets were for the afternoon taping which allowed time to get in some of our essentials beforehand. We normally are afternoon schoolers though lately because mornings are the leisurely play/bike/play/eat/play/read etc. time for us. But of course learning happens when it wants, so I’m not super set on this. It definitely makes for nice flexibility in our day when something like today comes up!


*I don’t actually watch The Ellen Show

oops did I just say that out loud?! What I meant was I am a huge fan of her’s…just love her, she is amazingly talented, engaging and hilarious…did I mention beautiful?! The thing is we don’t watch TV in our house besides movies, as in  ZERO cable…. so I don’t watch any show for that matter.

Yes it might seem strange or horribly boring to most folks, but that is just the way it is, and the way I like it! It frees up more time for other things!!

But TV opinions aside, I won’t pass up a chance to go see a live taping, I mean COME ON!! It’s just super fun to be part of! Years ago I went to The Jay Leno show which was a very fun experience. Two Christmas’s ago was my first time at an Ellen Show taping. It was just fabulous to take part in her Twelve Day Giveaway. It couldn’t have been better timing because that particular taping seemed perfectly suited for families. We went home with a trampoline, Wii’s, Dvd collections and more. The kids were so blessed that Christmas!! She is quite DeGenerous lol!!

Ellen’s show is definitely an awesome one to see. Not only does she get you up dancing, (My fave!!) she is just SO entertaining and great to watch. I was thrilled when I got the call to attend another taping this year. Might I add this is ALL made possible by the mother of my best friend from childhood. All I know is her mom likes to do her part to help us attend things like this and win things. I am very thankful for her!

So it definitely was another fun day at Ellen’s show today! My parents, sister Bree and her boyfriend had tickets as well. My friend Pam came with me, plus we had a huge extended group with us. Diane Keaton and Green Bay Packers wide receiver Donald Driver were the guests today. (Really it was Monday’s show we were taping) Each of us got a copy of Diane’s memoir Then Again, and got to watch Donald show off some of his latest moves from Dancing With the Stars. He was good… and a super sweet man, proud of his family and grounded in his purpose, being that he had an unfortunate childhood that he turned around for the better.  Very refreshing messages today!! Feeling inspired in many ways I must say.

I’m actually quite excited to dive into this book! Something else to make time for around here...*sigh** I’m due for a good read though! I’ll let you all know how it goes!! 😉