Cooking Up Some Family Fun

We have always enjoyed being in the kitchen together as a family. From a very young age the kids have helped plan and prepare meals. Now that they are older they have become quite enamored with cooking competitions. In large part this stems from spending way too many nights in hotel rooms this past fall where they delighted in watching The Food Network. Their favorite show is the Holiday Baking Championship, but they also enjoy Cupcake Wars, Chopped, and Top Chef.

Kids in the kitchen equals a lot of crazy fun!

So, they were beyond excited this past Christmas when Santa Claus set us up with our very own family cooking competition – Team Asian Fusion versus Team Mediterranean. This past Monday was the perfect day for the competition as we dawned our aprons and entered the kitchen ready to whip up some amazing dishes.

This judge means business.

The rules for the competition were pretty straight forward. Prepare an appetizer, main course, and dessert using the five ingredients that Santa left. In addition our esteemed judge gave us each a “special” ingredient that we had to incorporate. High Five is a very skilled food judge and critic making us all work hard to impress not only his sense of taste, but also his attention to plating details.

Team Asian Fusion

In the end the two teams were evenly matched and we all left the competition feeling exhausted and quite full. Everyone gained a new appreciation off how hard it is to prepare a three course meal in a set amount of time. High Five has more cooking competitions in the works and we all look forward to increasing our skills in an effort to impress his refined tastes:)

Team Mediterranean

Team Asian Fusion: Five Spice and Five Ball
Must Use Ingredients: Forbidden Rice, Kelp, Brown Rice Noodles, Sweet Chili Sauce, Chinese Five Spice
“Special” Ingredient: Sunflower Seed Butter
Appetizer: Sweet Potato and Kale Pot Stickers
Entree: Forbidden Rice Stir-fry with Vegetables
Dessert: Chinese Five Spice Cake with Orange Coconut Cream Frosting

Team Mediterranean: Five String and Five of Hearts
Must Use Ingredients: Orzo, Artichokes, Sun Dried Tomatoes, Fire Roasted Tomatoes, and Garbanzo Bean Flour
“Special” Ingredient: Popcorn
Appetizer: Garbanzo Bean Foccacia with Sun Dried Tomatoes and Artichoke Dip
Entree: Orzo Stuffed Tomatoes
Dessert: Fig Bars with Lemon Frosting


A Cold Glass of Limonada

Our daily walks along the Rio Mulege had many advantages. We met new friends, frolicked with energetic dogs, and found many discarded treasures (shells, tiles, and even a phone). The other day as we walked back home along the river we came across a huge box of lemons perched on a wall. The box had a large FREE sign attached and so we each took an armfull and headed home to make lemonade.


We have never tried our hand at fresh squeezed lemonade, so Five of Hearts turned to the Internet where she found us a super tasty recipe from Simply Recipes . We loved how easy this recipe was to adapt to personal taste ( we added a bit more lemon juice to our batch). The Younger Fives loved that they could make this refreshing drink pretty much all by themselves. They just needed help lighting the stove for dissolving the sugar. The best part in their opinion was using our amazingly awesome juice squeezer. The squeezer, made by chef’n, was a gift from Nana Five a few years ago. It is so easy to use and honestly gets every drop of juice out of the fruit.


While letting the lemonade chill we worked on packing our bags for our departure to La Paz. Then we all sat back and enjoyed a wonderfully refreshing drink while reminicing about our time spent in Mulege. While we are excited to move into our new rental house we will always fondly remember our time in Mulege and our walks along the river.