Host a Family Cook-Off Night

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We’ve got a new family tradition – we’ve decided to start holding monthly family cook-offs.

The kids are getting really into this.

Earlier in the month we had a grilled-cheese competition for Valentine’s Day.  I baked different kinds of bread, bought a few varieties of cheese, and preheated the griddle.  Everyone made two sandwiches and we tried them all before crowning a winner.

The kids had so much fun that they asked if we could hold a cook-off every month.

Since My Little Man won the first challenge, he got to choose the theme for this one, and he chose pizza.

Our family rules are simple:

  1. Everyone had to use the same kind of pizza dough.
  2. All ingredients in the kitchen are up for grabs, within reason.
  3. Use a reasonable amount of your chosen ingredient.
  4. The winner chooses the theme for the next challenge.
  5. Everyone else cleans up!

I made a double batch of pizza dough and called everyone to the kitchen.

Family Cook-off

My Little Man went first.  He called his ‘Loaded Pizza’ and it had two kinds of cheese, two kinds of sauce, and several types of meat.

Family Cook-off

My Big Helper stuffed her crust with mozzarella and made a meaty pizza, too.  Her daddy went next, and he experimented with sauce and meat combinations.

I made a homemade Alfredo sauce – the recipe will be here on the blog soon – and made a white pizza with Alfredo, mozzarella, Parmesan, chopped broccoli, and bacon.  Haven’t had it in years, and I’ve really missed it!

Then we voted via silent ballot.  One family rule is that you can’t vote for yourself, and we write our top choices on index cards, giving our favorite more points than the others.

Host a Family Cook-Off Night

My Little Man won again!  He was very excited about that.

Family Cook-off

Check out that pizza!

My Little Man won the right to choose March’s theme.  I wonder what he’ll choose?

In reality, these nights are fun, but I’m seeing other benefits from them, too.  The kids are thinking seriously about ingredients and flavor combinations and how to balance trying new things with realistically using food that must be paid for.  My husband is cooking and preparing dishes – some of which he’s never thought about the preparation process.  I’m learning to be more patient in the kitchen and to step back as they all try things they’ve never attempted before.  It’s a good thing for all of us.

Want to host your own family cook-off?  Check out these resources:


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