Sweet Sixteen

Sweet Sixteen

Friday, October 19, 2012

A Bumper Crop of Fun!

That was the theme of this year's NC State Fair and we were determined to get our share of the crop of fun as we set out yesterday to "do the fair".

 First stop was to check out the kids' ribbons for the baked goods' competition.

Josi was excited to see her 2nd place red ribbon!

One of my favorite things about going to the fair is to snap tons of pictures.  Here are a few of my favorite face shots of the fam!

Then it was time for the rides.  Josi is my roller coaster gal so we went on the kiddie roller coaster first.
When I asked for a companion for the big roller coaster, Josi wanted to give it a try.  I had a moment's hesitation but decided to just go with the moment. It was almost a complete disaster except that I was able to turn my enthusiastic yelling (i.e. screaming) into something funny that kept Josi just far enough away from the brink of hysteria that we made it through the ride.
(We are in the back in case you didn't notice me screaming and Josi's anxious expression in her eyes) 

The bungee jumping is always Josi's favorite.  She loves trampolines and jumping high so this 'ride' is tailor made for her!

Last year Nadia only went on the Merry-Go-Round and didn't really like it.  She was much more content to hang out in her stroller.  This year, we were determined to get her on a few kiddie rides to see how she did.
We put the expert rider on with her so Josi talked her through the ins and outs of fair rides.
"So, we're going to go around in a circle and go up and down a little?"

"Yes, Nadia, and you are going to be great. We are going to have so much fun riding together!"
"Ok, here we go Nadia. Trust me, it's going to be a blast!"

"Oh, and we have to wave a few times at the camera so Mommy gets some good shots for her blog."

"Then we just let the wind flow through our hair and have fun! Are you having fun yet Nadia?"

"Yes! I am having fun!  I think I definitely prefer riding ladybugs to horses."

Meanwhile, the boys are getting ready to ride the Orbiter...a whirling, twirling, scrambler-type thing.
No thanks.

I love this shot.  Not sure what the conversation was about, but seeing our boys hanging out and having fun together comes under my definition of "bumper crop of fun".
More shots with my zoom lense that I really liked. This is also to show what they looked like before having their equilibrium messed with. ha ha

Allen went on this ride yesterday with his friends.  It's called G-Force. Enough said.
The orange and blue roller coaster is the one Josi and I went on.  I know you're impressed! ha ha

And last but certainly not least...FAIR FOOD!!!
The girls opted for the standard corn dog. These offer absolutely no temptation for me whatsoever since there is no chocolate involved.

The boys got some pizza and Jim had the Philly cheesesteak. yummy!
We all indulged in our sweets of choice ranging from funnel cake and elephant ears with chocolate, to fried oreos and ice cream! Extra Bumper of Fun!
To top off the day, we decided on one last ride that we could go on as a family. The big Ferris Wheel.

Nadia liked this ride as well.  I think anything involving wind in her face is a sure thing.

I think Josi just caught sight of her new nemesis--the orange and blue roller coaster. :)

"Ok, Mom.  Enough already!"
We claimed our share of the Bumper Crop of Fun this year!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

"And the Winners Are..."

It's that time of year here in North Carolina.
Time for the State Fair!
Which for us, means time to do some baking and enter our best recipes in the Youth Culinary competitions.
We've had a lot of fun with this over the years and have tried to downplay the competitive aspect (for those of you who know me you know that's no easy task-ha ha).  But it sure is nice when the kids' efforts have been rewarded with a ribbon and perhaps a little prize money attached!
So, without further ado...here are the recipes we entered this year and the ensuing results:
Josi is working hard on her Ginger Snap batter which was entered into the "Drop Cookie" category for her age group (13-15)

"Mom, I can't concentrate on my baking if you're going to keep taking pictures."

Some of the yummy finished product. 
This recipe is Jim's Mom's and it brought home the 2nd PLACE RIBBON for Josi this year!  Woo hoo!  

She also entered a new recipe called "Pecan-Toffee Treat Bars"
Here she is pressing down the crust before adding the caramel mixture and pecans before baking.

Once it was baked, she added chocolate chips, let them melt, and then spread them to make the final chocolately layer.
She earned a 4th place ribbon (Honorable Mention) which was pretty nice for trying a recipe for the first time.

Michael also entered this year in the 10-12yr. category for 2 types of baked goods.
The first was another new recipe that we've decided is a keeper and will definitely be part of our Thanksgiving Dessert Table this year!

This is a pumpkin cookie that also went into the "drop cookie" category. Once you bake the cookies you put a delicious icing that glazes onto the cookie while they're still warm.  We had to quickly put the 9 entries onto the plate before we ate them all...they were that good!
He won a 4th place ribbon for this outstanding cookie.  I'm thinking the competition was pretty stiff in this category because these cookies were some of the best I've ever tasted!

He also entered fudge which happens to be my Mom's famous recipe. So, it was cool that both kids entered a grandma's recipe in the fair...and both kids ended up with a 2nd Place Ribbon with those recipes!!!

Here are the finished products... plated, bagged, and tagged and ready to be taken to the judges.
Can't think of a better way to start off the Fall Festivities than with baked goods and a few ribbons to boot!
Happy Fall!!!