Chica and Jo
...simplifying life
Chica and Jo
...simplifying life
Chica and Jo

Chili cook-off sample tasting trays

by: Chica

Chili cook-off sample tasting trays
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Jo and I host a chili cook-off every year in the fall, and every year the same problem crops up when it comes time to vote — how do you hold your sample cup, spoon, voting ballot, and pen all at the same time, AND be able to mark your score on the ballots? After several failed attempts at solving this problem, we finally came up with a great solution. We made sample tasting trays that make it easy to hold everything!

We started with some simple, inexpensive clipboards. If you time your purchase right, you can find these really cheap at back-to-school supplies closeout sales!

chili cookoff sample tasting boards

For sampling our chili, we always use disposable 2oz portion cups (a.k.a. souffle cups) because they are inexpensive, convenient, and the perfect size. I positioned three of them on the board in a way I liked.

chili cookoff sample tasting boards

Then I marked their position by drawing around the bottom edge with a pencil.

chili cookoff sample tasting boards

Next I got out my hole saw set and found the one that was the right size for my sample cups — it has to be big enough for the cup to fit into but not so big that it would fall through. Just put a cup into each of the graduated saw blades until you find one that fits just right.

chili cookoff sample tasting boards

I then attached the saw blade to my drill and took it all outside, where I cut out the three holes in each clipboard.

chili cookoff sample tasting boards

chili cookoff sample tasting boards

When all the holes were drilled, I tested to make sure my cups fit and the result was great!

chili cookoff sample tasting boards

Once I had the first board cut, I used it as a template to draw the circles on all the other boards, then I cut the holes out on those in the same way.

I then took some 24″ lengths of ribbon and tied one to each clipboard and tied a pen on the end. I used a different pattern of ribbon for each board, so that people could remember which board was theirs during the evening (as in, “mine is the one with pink polka-dots!”). Our printable chili cookoff voting ballots fit nicely in the clip and the hard surface and attached pen made scorekeeping so much easier for everyone.

chili cookoff sample tasting boards

We found after using these boards a couple of years that the surface wasn’t very easy to clean, so we ended up painting them with a glossy black paint that was easy to wipe off.

These boards work great with our voting ballots and are the hit of the cook-off every year!

Chili cook-off sample tasting trays
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We are two best friends sharing our creative journey. You never know what we will be into each time you visit. We could be throwing a unique party, refinishing a flea market find, or whipping up a new cupcake recipe. We invite you to join us for the ride as we tackle life one project at a time!

Please visit Chica and Jo at http://www.chicaandjo.com for more DIY projects and clever ideas!