It is that time of year (getting close to the holidays) and your kids will be out of school for extended periods of time.  This means you may hear the old “I am bored!”  One easy thing to organize is a chopped challenge.  What if you have no kids?  Organize this for your adult friends.  You (and your friends) will have a blast.
Chopped Challenge
I decided to host a chopped challenge this summer at my house for middle schoolers in my neighborhood.  Allison and Abbey wanted to meet more kids their own age in our neighborhood so this was a great way to do this. 
Steps:
Invite people:  Send an invite out telling people that you are hosting a chopped challenge at your house.  When the arrive, they will be given “secret ingredients.” 
(Teams or no teams:  This is up to you.  When all of the kids arrived (18 showed up), I divided them into teams of three and gave them their secret ingredients.) 
I wanted the challenge to be a dessert challenge (because middle schoolers love dessert) so each team received the following:  bacon, an orange, a bag of chocolate chips, and a small tub of apple sauce. 

Each team had to take their ingredients home and create a dessert.  They had to use all four ingredients in the dish and were allowed to add additional items.
Teams had two hours to complete the challenge and return to my house with a dessert.
Two hours later, teams returned to my house with their desserts.  Each team had to do a presentation plate for judging. 
Judging took place for the following categories:  presentation, taste, and use of ingredients (a team that used something for garnish did not receive the same amount of points compared to a team that used the item as a main ingredient.
After judging, prizes (gift card to the local yogurt shop) were awarded to the winning team.
Overall, the kids had a blast.  We were all very impressed with what the kids came up with.  The team with all boys on it really got into the competition.  The parents were also excited about the competition.  Allison, Abbey, and Will all met new friends (as did other kids who were new to the neighborhood)  that they see in the neighborhood and at school.  My friend is a vegetarian and she was SUPER sweet about letting the kids cook the bacon on the grill so the smell wouldn’t invade her house:))))
                                                                                 The winning team!
Variations:
You could host a party with your friends and send out a list with a few ingredients.  Have your friends make an appetizer using the ingredients given.  Give away a prize to the winner. 
My question is this:  Who is ready to host a chopped challenge?
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