How to have a family cook-off

If you have a family of would-be chefs who competes constantly for top kitchen honors, make the contest official by staging a family cook-off. The bonus, of course, is that everyone gets to eat a good meal (or several) in the process.

50 Days of family fun


Decide on a menu

Figure out what you’re going to cook and when. If there’s something you all cook well and you have it on hand, go for it tonight. Everyone can cook his version of the dish in question — and when the cooking is done, you’ll have many versions of the same meal.

The basics: Cooking 101 >>

If you don’t have a particular dish in mind but just want to find out who has the most skills in the kitchen, make it a free-for-all. Basically, everyone can make any dish she wants with the ingredients you have on hand.

If you have a small kitchen or a large family, you may have to cook in shifts. You know what they say about too many cooks in the kitchen!

Perfect pantry list for fun and easy meals >>

And the winner is… everybody!

Once all the cooking is complete, it’s time to judge. You can all judge each other by tasting each dish and placing a vote if you trust everyone to be fair. If not, look outside the four walls of your home for an unbiased opinion. Ask neighbors to be the judge or invite extended family. Everyone likes a free meal, so they’ll likely accept your invitation. Best of all, you’ll all enjoy some delicious food, friendly competition and a lot of laughter.

Instead of pitting family members against each other, challenge extended family to see whose household makes the best dish.

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