As I have said before starting this blog has made me step out and do things I never would have thought of doing. Interviewing an author on a television show, meeting and interviewing members of the Carolina Railhawks soccer team, prescreening of movies, trips, and product reviews to name a few. But nothing would prepare me for the day when I opened my email to find an invitation to take part in the Food Lion Frugal Cook off. I was a little hesitant at first but I decided that this would be an awesome opportunity to grow as a person and also a chance to give the blog more exposure. To say I was nervous would have been an understatement.
As the days approached for the cook off I mentally planned my wardrobe because I did not want a wardrobe malfunction like what happened with da Luz. With that settled I waited for the email to let me know who my teammate would be. I was given a name but at the last minute she backed out and I was assigned a new partner, Jen from Jael Custom Designs. All I have to say is that God was smiling down on us- because we hit it off immediately. Having only gotten each other’s names the day before the cook off we scrambled for ideas of things to cook.
Now here is where the Frugal Cook Off gets tricky. We had no idea what protein we would be getting we knew that it would be chicken, pork, fish or ground turkey. But we also did not know what would be in the Food Lion Pantry as well. So brain storming was all that we could do.
Then the day of the Cook Off came, with my youngest two daughters and hubby in tow, I arrived at the Driftwood Southern Kitchen to take part in the challenge. Jen and I would be 2 of 8 bloggers that were chosen to compete that night.
Once I checked in with Allison, the PR rep, the nerves started in. Allison was so friendly and greeted each blogger with enthusiasm as well as with our own apron personalized with our name as well as our blog’s name. How cool was that? Once everyone arrived it was on the main event.
We were given 10 minutes to plan our meal (a main dish and two sides), 10 minutes to shop (Oh and did I mention we couldn’t go over $15.00) and 45 minutes to prepare it. Our surprise protein was pork. So we made Parmesan Crusted Pork Chops. You may remember I shared that recipe a few weeks ago. For our sides Jenn took the lead and made yummy sautéed spinach and parmesan noodles. We were the first ones done preparing our meals. The folks from Food Lion said it was a Frugal Cook Off record. Because we were the first ones finished we were also the first ones to present our dish to the judges. Food Lion had assembled an awesome panel for our judges.
They were Mike Hall, Director of Operations for Food Lion, Ashley Delmar from the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina, Delony Spraggins, Director of Operations for Food Lion and Alex Butler, the cohost of My Carolina Today from WNCN.
They were all so friendly and encouraging to all of the contestants. Although we did not win, I am glad I took part in this cook off. I made some new blogging friends Kelly from Kel’s Cafe of All Things Food and Rachel from Fit Triangle Mom as well as Jen. And I experienced something that I have never done before. Even though it was fun, I was exhausted and ready to go home by the end of the night.
For participating in the Food Lion Frugal Cook Off- Food Lion gave each blogger a swag bag filled with Food Lion Products as well as (2)$100 Food Lion gift cards. One for me to keep and one for me to giveaway. Interested in winning a gift card just use the rafflecopter below to enter.