It’s with sadness I report my running streak has officially ended.
Well, I’m sad. The 2-year old doesn’t seem to care.
Last night while lying in bed at 12:10 I suddenly realized I never got my run in. I had a loose plan in the morning on when I would go but then I got, umm, distracted in the evening and it just didn’t happen.
However, what DID happen is super duper exciting!
Let me start at the beginning because it’s kind of a funny story.
A couple of month ago I received an email from a Food Lion representative asking if I’d like to participate in a giveaway on the blogs. I thought their campaign was a good match for me so I wrote back seeing if there was a way to work together. They turned me down.
It happens. A lot.
I honestly didn’t think much of it. A week or so later they reached back out asking if I’d be interested in participating in a Frugal Cook Off that would feature Food Lion-brand products. To quote them:
The “Food Lion Frugal Cook-Off” will feature Food Lion’s store-brand products, which deliver on both quality and price – with many healthy options. To prove it, we’re inviting a small, select group of local bloggers to put them to the test in a cooking challenge.
Do you remember when I tried out for The Next Food Network Star? Yeah … this was TOTALLY up my alley. So I said I was interested and they said they’d be in touch.
About 2 weeks later I got this in an email:
Imagine this, you just found out a friend and her husband are in town. Now you must pull together a meal for four in a flash! Oh and one thing. You only have a $15 budget and 45 minutes until dinner is served. You are invited to join the Food Lion Frugal Cook-Off, where you’ll be put on a team to tackle a fun cooking challenge like the one above. Teams will then present their dishes to a panel of judges who will select the winning dish. Winning team members will get two $250 Food Lion gift cards and everyone else will go home with two $100 Food Lion gift cards. All participants will also receive a custom Food Lion gift bag.
I was excited but slightly distracted as this was all happening smack down in the middle of FitBloggin’.
All of a sudden I was assigned to a team and told to show up at Talara in Baltimore on Wednesday. I honestly had NO idea what to expect.
When I arrived I met my teammates.
There were three other teams. The rules of the cook-off were explained, and before I knew it we were picking out protein randomly by uncovering a covered dish.
Each team was given either chicken, ground turkey, tilapia or pork. We ended up with the pork and I couldn’t have been more ecstatic. Have you seen how many pork dishes I’ve shared on GreenLiteBites?
We brainstormed a few ideas and settled on “stuffing” them after I brought up an old recipe I shared called Bulgur Stuffed Pork with Butternut Squash & Apples.
We were limited to the pantry items they had available to make the pork dish and two sides, and we had to stay under a budget of $10. Once our shopping was done we had 45 minutes to cook alongside all the other teams in a fairly tiny restaurant kitchen.
It was crazy, hectic and SO MUCH FUN!
Here’s a shot of us in the kitchen thanks to Liza who was on the ball with Instagraming.
To go along with our stuffed pork chops we decided on roasting some potatoes, and sautéing some carrots. There was a point I didn’t think everything was going to be done in time but we did it! Our final dish looked fantastic!
After the photographer got his shots we had to separate the plate into 5 tasting plates for the judges.
We were so proud of ourselves. Everything looked (and tasted) fantastic!
I think I’m still in a bit of shock.
We were awarded that really cool glass plaque, gift cards for Food Lion, a gift card for Talara, and … AND … Talara is going to feature our dish this weekend at their restaurant.
How stinking cool is THAT?!
I’m going tomorrow afternoon so they can review the dish with me again before putting it on the menu. Then I’m going to sneak out to a late dinner with a friend just so I can order it! I mean I have to, right? When’s the next time this is going to happen?
Can you tell I’m excited? I got to meet some cool fellow bloggers and cook for people BESIDES “the boys.”
Winning and being featured is really just icing on the cake.
In all seriousness, this made my day. I didn’t get home until after 10. The Husband and I caught up, watched The Bridge and THAT’S when I realized I didn’t get my run in.
Oh, well. Looks like I’m going to have to start a new streak.
What did we say about ditching perfect? :)