A few weeks before Disney Marathon Weekend, I got an email from the lovely Lauren at Cigna inviting me to participate in a blogger event the afternoon of the 10K. Blogger event? Awesome! The scary thing? This was a Blogger Cookoff Challenge. Think “Chopped.” We would be divided into teams, paired with a Disney chef, and we would cook something for the entire group.
Now, if you know me, you know that I don’t cook. I can follow a recipe and regularly do batch cooking at home, but let’s be honest. It’s mostly casserole type things and crock pot cooking. The kind of stuff that’s hard to screw up and works well as leftovers. So the idea of getting a surprise ingredient and having to cook a meal with it? That sounded terrifying.
We got divided up into four teams. One was doing vegetarian/vegan cooking, and the rest of us had mystery proteins. I was lucky – I got put into the best team.
Our ingredient was turkey. The other teams got beef and shrimp. I like turkey. But I still had no idea what to do with said turkey. Thankfully, we had a number of people on the team who did know what they were doing.
And we worked with an awesome chef who helped make sure that we didn’t kill anyone.
Our final dish was what we called a turkey stir fry. It was fascinating to realize how easy it was to throw together a quick dish with basic ingredients. I’m so clueless. For example, I would never think of putting soy sauce into the rice before cooking it. And we threw all sorts of veggies in with our stir fry that I wouldn’t have considered. Like green beans! It was incredibly delicious and I wish I had recorded the entire thing so I could recreate it.
What I did learn was that cooking is a lot about tasting. Add something and taste it. See if it’s how you like it. Of course, you can’t taste the raw turkey, but I can handle seasoning meat. Our chef walked around with a meat thermometer making sure all of the turkey was fully cooked, and that’s always a great idea when cooking. I have a meat thermometer that I use when I’m baking chicken and such, but I should pull it out when I’m doing stuff on the stovetop as well. I’m always worried that I’ll undercook and probably end up overcooking. This would prevent that problem.
The other teams made some awesome dishes too and I can’t wait to read everyone else’s blog post about how their team came up with their dish. (I do think our dish was the healthiest though!)
And after it was over, we got to meet Chef Mickey!
All in all, what an amazing day. So much fun.
Thank you so much to Cigna and to my amazing teammates. Check them out!
Not only did Cigna sponsor the race and this event, but in working with them for the cookoff, I learned that they were also working with a few Achilles International athletes who, along with Cigna guides, crossed the finish line this weekend. I love seeing a company truly give back. Great job, Cigna!