Oh happy day — Feliz Easter! Hope it’s a feaster. 🙂
I want to pull up a seat in front of this setting — Looks like much is about to be served.
Competitions & Contests Announced for 2013 OC Fair
Think you bake one delicious apple pie, brew the best beer or have an uncanny knack for making crafts? Enter [YOUR] 2013 OC Fair competitive entries for an opportunity to earn an award and have your winning entry on display for more than one million Fairgoers from July 12th – August 11th. The 2013 OC Fair invites locals to put their skills and knowledge to the test and sign up to compete in the many competitions and contests being offered this year.
Categories and divisions available this year include:
- Culinary/Wine/Beer: Baked Goods & Confections, Preserved Foods, Sugar Arts, Food Blog Posts, Table Setting Designs, Homemade Beers, Commercial Wines & Home Wines
- Crafts & Hobbies: Collections, Fiber Arts, Hand Crafts & Hobbies, Jewelry Arts
- Visual Arts: Woodworking, Photography & Non-Traditional Prints, Sculpture, Painting, Graphics, Ceramics, Student Video Festival
- Garden & Floral: Fruit & Vegetable, Cut Flowers, Container Plants, Floral Arrangements, Floral Design Contest
- Livestock: Market Shows (Orange County 4-H and FFA only): Beef, Calves, Swine, Sheep, Goats, Rabbits, Broilers, and Turkeys, Breeding Shows: Dairy Goats, Pygmy Goats, Open Angora Goats, Cavies, Poultry, Rabbits, Youth Breeding Sheep, Youth Egg Laying Contest, Educational Posters & Contest
- Youth: Collections, Culinary, Garden & Floral, Fiber Arts, Youth Fine Arts, Hobby & Craft, Jewelry Arts, Photography
The OC Fair competitive entries require online registration in advance and the deadlines for entry registrations are as follows:
- April 26 – Commercial Wine
- May 3 – Homemade Beer
- May 18 – Home Wine
- June 1 – Crafts & Hobbies, Visual Arts, Youth (Fiber Arts, Collections, Hand Crafts & Hobbies, Jewelry Arts)
- June 7 – Livestock
- June 10 – Culinary Arts Baked Goods & Confections, Preserved Foods, Sugar Arts, Table Design
Entry registration deadlines for Garden & Floral competitions vary, visit ocfair.com/competitions for the list of dates. Entry registration for all competitions is currently being accepted online at ocfair.com/competitions. For participants who need help with an online entry, the OC Fair has scheduled “Help Days” from May 29 – May 31, Wednesday – Friday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the OC Fair & Event Center Administration Building.
In addition to the traditional competitions, the OC Fair is also hosting Special Culinary Arts Contests for amateur cooks and bakers to show off their skills. Most contests are only open to adults 18 and older. Each contest will be judged and awarded live at the Fair. The entry registration forms and contest details are available online at ocfair.com/competitions in the Culinary Arts Guide under the “Culinary/Wine/Beer” section. Entry forms are due the Wednesday before each contest:
- Get Baking Cookie Contest – July 20 (Also open to ages 5-18) (Register by July 17)
- Hot! Hot! Hot! Chili, Wings or Salsa Contest – July 27 (Register by July 24)
- OC Cupcake Classic – August 3 (Also open to youth ages 5-18) (Register by July 31)
- Salad Daze Contest – August 10 (Register by August 7)
The 2013 OC Fair, themed Come & Get It, is July 12th – August 11th and brings 23 days of food, rides, exhibits, animals, music, action sports and fun, as well as the Toyota Summer Concert Series at the Pacific Amphitheatre, The Hangar and Action Sports Arena. The Fair is open Wednesday – Sunday. Concert tickets, action sports reserved seats and single-day general admission are available for purchase online at ticketmaster.com or from the on-site Box Office. The popular Super Pass, which offers the passholder 23 days of admission, is available for purchase online at ocfair.com from the onsite Box Office.
The OC Fair & Event Center is located off the 405 and 55 freeways at 88 Fair Drive in Costa Mesa. For more information, visit ocfair.com, become a fan at Facebook.com/OCFair and/or follow them at twitter.com/ocfair.
Note: Press Release is from the OC Fair & Event Center and Photo Credit is here.
Most are familiar Avocado favorites and some ideas came from others linked throughout.
We made them all from top down — Starting with Snow Crab Stuffed Avocados made with Mayo, Lemon Juice and Zest, Red Bell Pepper, Dill and Red Onion. Simple, rich and amazing.
Continuing with a Veggie Croissant Sandwich made with Salad Bar Vegetables, Avocado, and Cream Cheese instead of Mayo. An Egg Baked in an Avocado — Have you seen that one before? It’s different and not bad. And I could eat an Avocado with Good Seasons Italian Dressing (above) everyday. It’s ready in minutes and always satisfies. On to Mango Salsa.
Mango Salsa ingredients, plus Jalapeno are pictured above and combined below.
BLT Sandwich, plus A+, minus the L & T on this day.
Open-faced BLT, plus A, minus L — Avocado was mashed with a little Mayo.
Avocado Pizza (if you will) made with a Flour Tortilla, mashed Avocado drizzled with Olive Oil and Lemon Juice, topped with a Fried Egg, Cumin and Salt & Pepper. I overcooked this Egg.
It could be better next time — The original is much more impressive.
Black Beans, Corn, Red Bell Peppers, Avocado, Red Onions, Jalapeno and Lime w/EVOO.
Cucumber Avocado Salad with Tomatoes, Green Onions, Balsamic Vinegar and Olive Oil.
Avocado on Toast with Sriracha and Olive Oil — An unexpected new favorite.
Avocado with Grapefruit — Many say how well it goes together. It’s okay.
And would you believe Avocado Ice Cream?
Ours was made with Avocados, Coconut Milk, Milk, Lime Juice and Lime Zest.
I didn’t think I’d like the Avocado Ice Cream, but did and would make it again.
Ahhhhhh Avocados, they’re wonderful to eat and moisturize well — Cheers to Avocados!
Dogs apparently love them too — I can’t believe we ate ’em all and still want more.
How many things can you make from a Potato? The list would be long. One more sibling in this scenario might be Chili Cheese Fries — Our list of ‘where to find the best’ is here. One of my favorite things to do is to see how many dishes I can make with the same ingredient. Did you see all the Avocados we received? Stay tuned to see what we made (and did) with them.
We recently traveled to Oxnard for a hands on tour with a California Avocado Grower.
It’s a special day when you start it with an outdoor brunch on a hill.
AVOCADOS — The Star of the day in every way.
We learned about growing techniques from Dan Pinkerton on his farm.
Bloggers from all around were invited to experience the California Avocado Story.
We RSVP’ed Y-E-S!
And you can see why we were glad to experience it all.
Avocado in EVERYTHING was the Menu — Starting with a Shrimp and Scallop Ceviche.
Bacon Smoked with Avocado Wood.
A very fresh Fruit Salad, including Avocados — It’s a Fruit you know, right!?
Omelettes with Tomatoes, Asparagus, Cheese and sliced Avocados.
Baby Greens Salad with Avocado.
Spring Vegetable, Sausage and California Avocado Frittata.
Warm Bagels with an Avocado Spread.
Grilled Fajita Potatoes with Avocados.
A Chocolate Mousse dessert made with Avocados.
Professionals also photographed Avocados’ glory.
My first plate (below) before going back for more Bacon Smoked with Avocado Wood.
Take all the Avocados you want they told us — Thank you!
We stuffed our face (and bags to go). 🙂
We loved the view, brunch and our friendly, informative tour guides.
Our drive was already worth it.
Then it was on to Dan and Susan Pinkerton’s other grove/farm/crop, along with Jan from the California Avocado Commission to pick our own Avocados and possibly drive a tractor.
Learning about tree buds and what to look for and hope for when growing Avocados.
The beautiful trees were loaded.
Looking to pick some Avocados.
As if all wasn’t enough, it was on to a tour of one of California’s leading Avocado packing houses, Mission Produce — It was truly a behind-the-scenes look at a farm-to-fork journey.
Hair nets please everyone — Oh goody.
Thousands of Avocados — Crates filled on farms and hauled off by tractors to be here.
First a cold wash to bring down the Avocados’ basking-in-the-sun temperature.
The cool-down is an important step to Mission Produce.
On to the belts and rollers, through specially made machinery.
First a wash, then light wax.
Now sorting — Second tier Avocados, Grade 2’s get tossed on top for separate packaging.
Others move on to be weighed, stickered by size and PLU, then packaged.
Each cup weighs then drops the Avocado — I think the heaviest lasts the longest. Not sure.
Boxing Avocados to be shipped to grocery stores and restaurants near YOU.
You’ve seen them sold in stores and now you know the care involved — All is well run.
More Avocados to take home — Thank you! And a 1/2 Avocado Stress Ball. Does it look real?
We’re grateful for all that grows, those who grow it and those who get it to us.
What an amazing day — God bless California Avocados.
It’s easy being cheesy.
Linked here is a video of a Carrabba’s Chef making their Beef Brasato, which is featured in one of Carrabba’s Italian Grill’s commercials. Though I’ve never been there, the dish Beef Brasato looks and sounds pretty good — It’s basically slow braised Short Ribs, Italian style.
Carrabba’s Beef Brasato RECIPE has the makings for a great dish… Wine, Beef, Fresh Herbs, Garlic, Onion, etc. All ingredients are pictured but not listed — If visually indecipherable (Olive Oil, Dried Sweet Marjoram, Crushed Tomatoes, Lemon Zest), the complete list is here.
Cut, dice, chop, crush and press the Garlic, Herbs and Vegetables.
Flour, Salt, Pepper and sear the Beef Short Ribs.
Sauté the Mirepoix.
Add Garlic, Red Wine, and return the seared Beef and add the remaining ingredients.
Apologies for the poorly seared Beef, pan wasn’t hot enough (a common story on The Bad).
Braise all covered together in the oven at 300° – 325° for 4 hours, until Beef will fall apart.
Serve over Rice or Risotto — It was flavorful, though I added too much Crushed Tomato.
I’d make it again or try it at the restaurant someday — The pics don’t validate it well.
The Dragons and Confetti Poppers were the best part of the parade.
Nearby in Chinatown, Sugar Cane was being pressed — As a kid, I remember a lot of Sugar Cane being sold on Olvera Street, but didn’t see any available whatsoever. I wonder why?!
The most expensive Ginseng we saw was $899.00 per pound — Wow.
And then we went to Philippe, The Original. It’s family owned and operated since 1908.
They claim to be the Home of the French Dip Sandwich and lines can be too long.
The lines are weird too — One line becomes ‘pick the best of several’ that lead to the counter.
Note it’s cash only — A French Dip Sandwich was once 35¢.
We both went with the Beef French Dip, though Philippe’s offers several Meat options.
Ours was with a Pickled Egg, Cole Slaw, Potato Salad, Lemonade and Iced Tea.
Okay, I’m sorry to say… It’s just okay. I’m not a fan of pre-dunk Bread. It makes the Sandwich soggy. I’d prefer to dip it with each bite. I’m told to have it with Philippe’s Mustard next time and wish I had it this day, since I’m not sure I want to stand in line for it again.
I’m happy to have tried it, which is good enough for now — We’ll see about next time.
Gone with remnants of wet Bread left behind.
The start of one side of Olvera Street (above).
Food and reflections of today (above) and yesterday (below).
The Kitchen at Avila Adobe, the oldest existing residence in Los Angeles.
The Dining Room — I wanted to sit and eat, again.
Another full day of food and fun together.
This Chicken plans to cross many roads — Don’t ask why. He’s already on the other side.
I forgot the Potato Chip flavor I entered in Lay’s Do Us a Flavor Contest and apparently Lay’s forgot too as it wasn’t chosen as a finalist — Darn. The prize is $1,000,000.00 or 1% of sales, whichever is greater. See Official Rules for specifics. And the finalists are… Sriracha, Chicken & Waffles and Cheesy Garlic Bread. YOU may vote for your favorite today through May 4th.
Have you tried them yet? I like the varied selection chosen and created by Lay’s.
I expected to like Sriracha best, since I like its flavor, but it didn’t translate well onto the Potato Chips (above). I don’t taste Sriracha. It’s just hot without that recognizable flavor.
I was excited to see Chicken & Waffles (top) since it’s different and first thought ‘oh big deal’ when seeing Cheesy Garlic Bread (above). After all was said, done, thought about and tasted, the Chicken & Waffles bag was empty first due to extra analysis of its interesting flavors, but ultimately I voted for Cheesy Garlic Bread, because it REALLY tastes like Cheesy Garlic Bread — Lay’s did us a flavor with it, though I’d buy the Chicken & Waffles again too.
Text VOTE to CHIPS (24477) to submit a vote.
03/10/13 Update: Though voting continues into May, it’s been difficult finding more Chips to try. This is a call-out for Lay’s to get more Chips out there — Supply if you advertise!