Donna’s Birthday Gets CHOPPED!

Donna’s Surprise Birthday Party – CHOPPED COMPETITION in action !


This event perfectly exemplifies why I am so blessed to be connected to this amazing family. Knowing Donna’s fondness for the Food Network competition show “Chopped”, my sister Kate sent out this email:


OK, this Friday is Donna’s birthday!!!

My Dad and Neil [her husband] have convinced her they are going to AZ for a PowWow . . . but really they are staying here & we are going to have a surprise party with a CHOPPED Competition!!

There will be 3 teams all competing to make the best dessert from 4 SECRET ingredients in 30 minutes flat!

We will all meet @ La Jolla Groves @ 6:30pm this Friday (June 15) & eat dinner with Donna… then, we’ll say “we made a special dessert at home” and head back to the house around 8pm to compete in the CHOPPED competition!!

If you can’t make it to the dinner @ 6:30, just meet us up at the house @ 8 for the dessert round!

See what I mean? How fun is that? Too fun to not share with all y’all. So here are a few highlights of the festivities – the SECRET INGREDIENTS being Moon Pies, raspberries, silken tofu, and Heinz 57 ketchup.

The Ingredients: Moon Pies, Heinz ketchup, raspberries, silken tofu.


Getting creative . . .

The clock is relentless. 30 minutes until utensils down, hands up, no exceptions!

The competition heats up!

Plating is always important.


Donna feels the heat . . .


One of the final entries.


And another beauty.


All our lovely competitors!  (The winning entry was Chris and Cherie’s ice cream parfait. Congrats!)


The birthday girl! Ted Allen would approve of this celebration wholeheartedly, I am sure.


HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DONNA! I am lucky enough to know you – to get the added fun of this amazing family is ketchup icing on the Moon Pie. I love you all!

To check out the whole set, see the Flickr slideshow here!

— posted by Anne, in lieu of actually getting to be there. NEXT TIME!



  1. Vanessa says

    Love this idea. My daughter wants to have a Chopped Birthday party for her 13th b’day. I like the idea of just doing dessert.
    Where/how did you get the Chopped banner?
    Lol – I just noticed. Donna’s and my daughters birthdays seem to be close (hers is on 6/15) :).

  2. says

    All of the ingredients were Donna-inspired… raspberries are a favorite of hers, as are Moon Pies (she always buys them as her road-trip snack on long trips), tofu for her cookbook and we’ll let you figure out what possible significance the number 57 could have to this event ;)

    It was a great time & great surprise. Happy birthday Mom. To many more!

  3. says

    Thanks for this post, Anne. I was truly, fully surprised by the whole event.

    I sometimes wonder if my family is just humoring me on this whole foodie thing. But then. When nights like this happen, I know that they are just as fanatic about food as I am!

    Next time you visit, Anne – let’s do a Chopped party!

  4. says

    Thanks Kalyn – I wish I could have been there too!

    Hmm, if the Utah Food Blogger gang ever wants to throw a big shindig, this could be a fun featured event, eh? Fundraiser for a charity, even? Just thinking out loud . . .

  5. says

    I was so sad that I had to attend another birthday party, because I would have loved to have been there in person! Hope Donna had a fab birthday in every way!

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