Tag Archives: Fair

Typically my Monday and Friday mornings consist of 20 minutes of playground duty. Most of these mornings lately are blustery, cold mornings noted with me standing in one spot jumping around to stay warm and counting down the minutes until the bell rings. Or most recently trying to manage the sledding penguins students as they play on the glaciers on the playground. 

But every morning I find it so interesting that our students play football every day; wind, rain, snow, sleet, and sun. They even find a way to play when they can’t even see the goal lines because they are covered in snow mounds. The only time there is not a football game in play is when the game gets banned by school administration for previous problems or disputes on the playground. 

Now with this game, comes controversy, disagreements, but also a great sense of sportsmanship is created in every game played. Even though I think our teachers find that sportsmanship hard to see at times, it is there embedded in the snow covered goal lines on our playground. Sportsmanship encompasses fairness, ethics, and fellowship. Each morning our students organize themselves and play the game, most often refereeing the game themselves too. They foster respect for their younger peers and teach them the game as well. It has created a fellowship in our community, that in return has created state championship quality football programs. 

I actually overheard a students say today, “I hope our new student tomorrow is good at football.” 

With Superbowl LI right around the corner, I always hope that this same small town mentality of sportsmanship is demonstrated at the biggest event for football in America. As we all know last year there was much controversy with cheating in the NFL. It really saddened me, because I know how many of my young students look up to these career athletes and I think this type of play is the epitome of poor sportsmanship.

As parents and educators I think it is our job to help continue to foster those beliefs of playing fair, including others, and becoming a good winner and loser. It is these values that carry through to many other areas of our lives; school, friends, and family. Sportsmanship is a vital attribute to understand in order to be successful in life. How will you share good sportsmanship with your family?

So while we are watching with the rest of America this Sunday, remember sportsmanship and what it means. While you are doing that let’s enjoy some yummy food! I have to admit I am not a huge football fan myself, but I do love the array of Super Bowl recipes that popup this time of year. This year during the Superbowl I am striving to create recipes that aren’t too filling, but also one that would satisfy the typical football food feast. 

Behold cucumber salsa! This salsa is amazing. It is refreshing, light and perfect for your game day spread this year. I actually like this salsa the next day because after it sits in the refrigerator for a day or so the flavors really mesh together nicely. Cheers to a fair, honest game of football for Superbowl LI! 

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Cucumber Salsa

INGREDIENTS
2 cups finely chopped seeded, peeled cucumber
1/2 c. finely chopped seeded tomato
1/2 c. finely chopped red onion
2 T. minced parsley
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded, chopped (Leave seeds in if you like it HOT!)
5 t. minced cilantro
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 c. reduced fat sour cream
1 1/2 t. lemon juice
1 1/2 t. lime juice
1/4 t. cumin
1/4 t. salt
Tortilla chips

GUIDANCE
Combine cucumber, tomato, red onion, parsley, pepper, garlic, cilantro in a small bowl. In another bowl whisk sour cream, lemon juice, lime, juice, cumin and salt. Pour liquid mixture over cucumber mixture. Serve with tortilla chips. 

 


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Achievement Days in our county was the day that 4-Hers would showcase all of their hard work and dedication through their 4-H projects. Growing up it was often an exciting day where all our projects were awarded a ribbon depending on the quality, craftsmanship, etc. For me this day was exhilarating , because I would wake up REALLY early to make cookies, cake, and fresh bread. I always wanted my food project entries to be as fresh as possible. And it paid off, most of my food projects always earned the coveted purple ribbon.

Food wasn’t the only category that I entered projects for Achievement Days. Horse, rodeo, visual arts, photography, horticulture, house plants, clothing, hobbies and collections were some of my other favorite areas. 4-H was a very pivotal program in my life and it makes me sad to see the program dying in communities around the country. I could talk for 10 days straight about why these programs are important, but I hope by sharing this with you all, you may encourage your family or another family looking for a great outlet to create and foster a sense of achievement.

So this year I got to relive my 4-H glory days by submitting entries in the Dunn County Fair. I spent the ENTIRE day cooking my entries and I loved every minute of it. It was really fun picking out my favorite recipes to cook and be judged on. I made a yummy zucchini bread recipe that is the perfect solution to an oversupply of garden zucchini. I tried a new recipe, Chewy Maple Cookies. Although they did taste great, the appearance wasn’t what I was hoping for. Chocolate Revel Bars were next up, these are an awesome treat. Rich chocolate is paired with a cookie base that is accentuated by oatmeal. My cake was a Lemon-Lavender cake, which utilized dried lavender buds in the mix. And finally the big winner was the Pecan Pie recipe. This is one of my favorite pies, especially for the holidays. 

In the end, my hard work paid off and I won the highest achievement, best in class with my pecan pie. The pie crust is extra buttery and the pie filling is to die for. What programs do your families support; 4-H, Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts, FFA? There are so many worthwhile youth programs out there and most counties have a county fair too. I encourage you to get out there, create a craft, bake some cookies, grow some vegetables, make a necklace. Whatever you do, your time and effort will give you a great sense of achievement. 

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Best in Class Pecan Pie

INGREDIENTS
Pie Crust                                                                                          
3 c. flour                                                                           
2 t. salt                                                                             
14 T. unsalted butter, cubed and chilled     
½ c. cold water                                             

Pie Filling
Flour for dusting
1 c. corn syrup
¾ c. sugar
¼ c. brown sugar
2 T. unsalted butter
2 t. vanilla
½ t. salt
3 eggs
1 ¼ c. chopped pecans plus ½ c. pecan halves

GUIDANCE
Prepare pie dough by pulsing flour, salt and butter in a food processor into pea size crumbles. Add water, pulse until dough comes together. Divide dough in half and wrap in disks. Chill 1 hour before using. Roll dough into a 12 in. round. Fit into a 9 inch pie plate. Chill 30 minutes. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk corn syrup, sugars, butter, vanilla, salt, and eggs in a bowl. Fold in chopped pecans. Distribute filling evenly over dough, arrange pecan halves around the inside edge of pie. Bake until crust is golden brown and filling is set, about 1 hour.

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Lemon Lavender Bundt Cake {Blue Ribbon}

INGREDIENTS
3 c. cake flour
1 ½ t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
¼ t. salt
16 T. unsalted butter
1 ½ c. sugar
1 T. dried lavender flowers
4 eggs, lightly beaten
½ t. lemon extract
1 c. plain yogurt
1 T. lemon zest

GUIDANCE
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a Bundt pan. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer beat the butter, sugar, and lavender. Add the eggs, then beat in the lemon extract. Add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the yogurt. Fold in the lemon zest. Bake for 1 hour.

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Zucchini Bread {Blue Ribbon}

INGREDIENTS
3 eggs, beaten
3 t. cinnamon
1 c. cooking oil
2 c. peeled and grated zucchini
2 c. sugar
½ t. salt
3 c. flour
¼ t. baking soda
2 t. baking powder

GUIDANCE
Mix all ingredients together and put in bread pans. Bake bread at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until toothpick comes out clean. Makes 2 loaves.

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Chocolate Revel Bars {Blue Ribbon}

INGREDIENTS
Cookie Layer                                               
1 c. shortening                                           
2 c. sugar                                                   
2 eggs                                                           
2 t. vanilla                                                    
2 ½ c. flour                                                  
1 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
3 c. oatmeal

Filling
1 (15 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
2 c. chocolate chips
2 T. butter
1/2 t. salt
2 t. vanilla

GUIDANCE
Mix shortening and sugar. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Add dry ingredients. Set aside and prepare filling. Melt chocolate chips, milk, butter, and salt in microwave. When smooth add vanilla. Spread 2/3 of oatmeal mixture in a 9×13 baking dish. Cover with chocolate filling. Dot with the remaining 1/3 oatmeal mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

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Chewy Maple Cookies {Red Ribbon}

INGREDIENTS
½ c. shortening
1 ½ c. flour
1 c. brown sugar
2 t. baking powder
1 egg
½ t. salt
½ c. maple syrup
1 c. coconut
½ t. vanilla

GUIDANCE
In a mixing bowl, cream shortening and brown sugar until fluffy. Beat in the egg, syrup and vanilla until well mixed. Combine flour, baking powder and salt; add to the creamed mixture. Stir in coconut. Drop by tablespoons 2 inches apart onto greased baking sheets. Bake at 375 degrees for 12-15 minutes.

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Thanks to all of the volunteers at the Dunn County Fair. There were many excellent open class exhibits as well as amazing 4-H projects!

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