A few weeks ago, I was asked to participate in the Food Lion Frugal Cook-Off at the Charleston Cooks store here in Charleston. The premise of the event was similar to Iron Chef or Chopped, and I was excited to be part of it.
Here’s the gist of the event:
You’ll be paired with another blogger and will have 45 minutes to cook a dinner for 4 on a budget of $15 (protein excluded). There will be a “pantry” of Food Lion brand products for you to cook with and your protein will be a surprise! The dishes will be presented to the judges and scored by its taste and your ability to stay within the budget!
Easy peasy! I do that kind of thing all the time! Oh, wait, no. The opposite of that. Anything I cook usually takes me 2 hours and most of the dishes in my kitchen. I was freaking out, but luckily I have lots of people in my life to encourage me and keep me from having a full on panic attack. Thanks guys!
When I got to Charleston Cooks, we were greeted with a buffet of items from the Food Lion deli, along with beer and wine. I got a sweet lime green apron with my name and Queen of the Food Age embroidered in it, and I got to meet a lot of really cool people.
I was partnered with Lisa, whose blog Charleston Treasures is really great and you should go read it. I had a great time working with her, and she was a wonderful partner to cook with!
At the beginning of the event, we were presented with 4 cuts of meat (pork chop, tilapia, chicken breast, and ground turkey), hidden under aluminum foil. Lisa let me do the honors of picking, and we ended up with tilapia. Although I was really hoping for the chicken, I was glad not to have gotten the turkey or pork. We had the perfect idea for our tilapia: fish tacos! The only problem: no tortillas. So we scrapped that idea and came up with about 15 others before finally settling on a crispy Greek-inspired baked tilapia with rice pilaf and cucumber salad.
When we presented to the judges, I was a bit of a blathering idiot, I even called it chicken by accident, which I followed up with “Oh crap. Sorry, I meant tilapia.” Classy. But I was pleasantly surprised and excited when we ended up winning second place!
Here’s the full video from the event! You can find me at the 0:36 mark, struggling because MATH IS HARD YOU GUYS. I especially love the part at the end where they “highlight” all of the dishes we made. Literally there were 4 dishes and they only named 3 of them in the video. Guess whose dish got left out. SPOILER ALERT: it’s mine.
You can view the rest of the event photos below. Thanks for being such loyal readers! Be sure to take a look at all of the other participants’ blogs because they’re all really great!
- Lisa Caplinger – Charleston Treasures
- Katie Perkinson – The Perks
- Jessica Paulsen – Local Goodness
- Brittany Greer – Counting my Cupcakes
- Valerie Kirkland – LiveFit Journey
- Megan Baker – Fried Green Pickles
- Shelby Hanchey – Recent Somethings
And here’s Lisa’s and my video! I especially love my quote at the end where I announce to the world that I’m basically a crazy cat lady. I don’t know why I’m so awkward, you guys. I just am.
As a reward for participating, Food Lion sent me home with a nice swag bag of their products, as well as a $100 gift card. I decided that I would reward you, my loyal followers, with another giveaway. Enter below for your chance to win a $100 gift card to Food Lion! Just post a comment with your favorite tilapia recipe to enter. You also get additional entries for following me on my various social media channels. Good luck!