Sunday, August 9, 2015

The Fair Report!

We just wrapped up a whirlwind week of competing at the local and state fairs.
Here we are visiting the butter cow.
I'm happy to report SIX new blue ribbons for this baker

...and a hand full of 2nd places to boot!

...not too shabby.

The second places finishes always

 give me plenty of motivation to improve

and tweak a few things going forward.
Quite honestly...after the "once in a lifetime"

winning from last year...

I've really had to reexamine the expectations

 I place on myself and my baked goods...

Six first place finishes is a wonderful accomplishment...

but, it was so bittersweet

after having such huge success last season...

I must remind myself how

 truly special 

last year was.

  Going forward, I need

to treat each new competition as it's own new adventure...

No measuring.

(Yes, to still measuring ingredients though...
that kind of measuring is
always a good idea.)

If you would like to see what all the 
fuss from last year was about... visit here:
Here's a listing of my
2015 Ohio State and local fair wins:

First Place Ohio State Fair:
Carrot Cake
First Place Finishes Local Fair:
Cherry Pie
Apple Pie
Key Lime Pie
Strawberry Preserves
Strawberry Jam

Second Place Finishes:
Ohio State Fair:
Pecan Pie
Cherry Pie 
Apple Pie
Local Fair:
Coconut Cake
Pecan Pie

Whew...that was a lot of baking...

Not to be missed...
At the bottom of this post I am sharing
some of the winning recipes...
Now that the fair week is behind us...

I know how excited I am about

what the next few weeks will bring...


 as excited as I might be...

for instance...
about this beautiful brandy wine tomato

 that is quickly ripening on the vine...

I know I am not alone in my anticipation...

There are others... who are every bit as excited as I am...

Hey fellas!!
 Three large and in-charge bucks...

none of which were the least bit afraid of me

or the clickity-click of my camera...

They were seriously interested in my phlox and tomatoes.

Looks good enough to eat...

So... tomatoes aside...
(I really do feel like I blog way too much about tomatoes and BLTs...
two of my absolute favorites of summertime...)

Lucky us...

We are having hardwood floors installed

in the very near future.

This is the result of a Pinterest project gone awry.

(Unlucky me...)

Has that ever happened to you??

In the Spring I had a 
super-terrific idea to DIY update some flooring...
and here we are today... just days from the new floors arrival.

 I still love you Pinterest.

So, we are awaiting two rooms
...of what I hope will be gorgeous random
 width pegged hardwood, to match our entryway.

And as if the tomatoes and hardwood flooring wasn't enough 
excitement  -- gasp...

The first day of school is in sight.


Where did the time go??

With any luck I will get all the packing done for the floor project
... because they certainly cannot put down
hardwood floors with furniture in the rooms...

So, as I juggle the tomatoes 
(at least the tomatoes the bucks leave for me), 
the new flooring and
 the first day of school... 
keep your fingers crossed it turns out well and 
I'll do my best to keep you updated on how it all goes.
In the meantime... 
If you would like to have
a first place carrot cake recipe
or the first place cherry or apple pie recipe
for your very own... 

Please visit these posts:

Apple Pie Recipe
 (this apple pie link is a photo tutorial (apple-cranberry) and includes how to make the leaves)
Cherry Pie Recipe
Carrot Cake Recipe

(Dare I say it...) 
The holiday season will be here before we know it and
having these winning recipes is a very good thing.

This is the apple pie recipe that won this year (2015).
Visit the above apple pie link for details on how to
 do each step...including the crust.

DOUBLE TOPPED  APPLE PIE- 2015  First Place Fair Winner
From: Blue Ribbon Kitchen Blog |

Pie Dough
2 1/2 cups flour
2 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter flavored Crisco
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup ice cold water and vodka mixed 50/50
Once made, divide dough into two equal parts. 
Wrap dough with plastic wrap and
 let rest for 1 hour, up to 2 days in refrigerator. 

Egg wash
1 egg – beaten
 2 TBS water
1 TBS cream or whole milk

Crumb Topping
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter-softened
1 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp cinnamon
 1/2 tsp nutmeg
Pinch of salt

2-3 medium golden Delicious apples-peeled and sliced
2-3 medium Braeburn apples-peeled and sliced
1 Honey Crisp apple-peeled and sliced
(Use only 5 cups of sliced apples total)
** Use apples that smell good and "apple-y" for best results

3 tbsp cornstarch OR 
3 TBS King Arthur Instant Clear Gel OR
 3 TBS King Arthur Pie Enhancer
(Choose only 1 of the above thickeners, not all 3)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp cardamom
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tbsp butter-dot the top of the pie before adding crumb topping and dough.
Mix the thickener of your choice and the spices/sugar together and pour over sliced apples.

**Remember to click on the apple pie link above 
(It's for a cranberry-apple version of this same pie) 
to get all the tips and tricks, 
including step-by-step instructions.

Happy Baking!

Sharing with these fine blog link parties:
The Scoop via Stone Gable


  1. What beautiful pies! Definitely tucking the recipes away to try thank you!