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PHOTOS: elizabethany's "Chopped" themed birthday party

Every year, I put a TON of pressure on myself to throw a birthday party that people want to come to... not just because it's my birthday. I guess I'm making them put more effort into it than a normal birthday party, but I think they appreciate it in the end! I've done Bar Golf, beer pong tournament, camping weekend, and this year- A "Chopped" style cooking competition.


  1. Teams of two are split into three categories: Appetizer, entree, and dessert
  2. ONE basket ingredient was assigned to each category [Old Bay for appetizers, chocolate for entree, and something spicy for dessert]
  3. Each team cooked their dish ahead of time/at home because my kitchen could not hold everyone. This also allowed for better dishes.
  4. Each dish was introduced by one of the chefs "Chopped" style. [Video of this coming soon]
  5. The entire group judged each dish based on overall taste, creativity, and prominence of the basket ingredient


  • A trophy for each category's winner
  • A customized apron for each category's winner
  • A loser's "Worst Cook" apron that they didn't know about until the end of the competition.

We had 11 teams, and everyone really went all out! It made me so happy! I really thought we'd get a couple people who just didn't care and threw something together, but adults want some trophies!

Here's a look at the dishes everyone made! [I missed two of the entrees because they were covered up and I didn't realize it :(]

Something that adults don't realize: trophies really don't cost a lot to make. It's why I've given some to several artists, and a couple friends. I ordered three custom chef trophies for a total of $22, and they were shipped within three days.

I also made the custom aprons with my Silhouette machine and aprons I found on Amazon for $4/each. Somehow I came up with some silly things to put on them very quickly.

This was one of those parties that I kinda want to make an annual thing.. but we'll see if everyone else is on board! It'd also be perfect for a Super Bowl party or something, where you can hang and keep eating after the competition is over! I picked my three ingredients based on my three favorite flavors- but there are obviously endless options and you could give two ingredients per "basket" and still make it fairly easy for everyone! I just liked that there was so much room for diversity in the dishes if I only had one ingredient that was unusual for the category [except Old Bay.. that obviously goes on everything, so creativity played a big role here].

I also want to make sure I give a shout out to my friend Grace, who always makes the most incredible custom cookies, and surprised me with these cookies that went along with the theme and basket ingredients! You should check her out on Instagram... she's incredible and she sells them! @Sugarpunch Bake Shop!

Old Bay/Chopped cookies!

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