North Carolina State Fair

I went on a trip to the North Carolina State Fair in Raleigh, NC.  I have been going to this fair off and on since the 1980s so I know it pretty well.  Since it is an agricultural fair, it is a foodie haven.  Of course there is plenty to eat.


Like any modern American state fair, it has its share of deep fried–pecan pie, Oreos, mac and cheese, honey buns and more, including the Twinx–Twix+Twinkie+Bacon, yeah, you read that right.

photo 1(2)

There is also a lot of info and expos on food production from around the state.

As far as my favorite foods at the fair, I’ve written about that before.  (Fair food is not my favorite, I have to admit.  My family/friends always like the Wisconsin fried cheese, the turkey legs, the sausage and pepper sandwiches, the specialty candy apples and more.)  I enjoy the R&R ice cream, churned by a John Deere tractor–well, what else would you churn ice cream with?

photo 3

I also enjoy elephant ears and grilled corn.  This year, I sampled ice cream from Tar Heel Creamery in Wilmington, NC.  I got bourbon caramel and my friend got peanut butter Oreo.  Both were creamy and delicious.

photo 2(2)

I also like checking out the expo where you can buy local peanuts/peanut products, local honey/honey products, local jams and jellies and much more.  I bought some gorgeous cupcakes from BlueBird Cupcakes.  I took these for the road, and they were delicious.  They were fresh and flavorful, just a delight.  (Sorry they got a little smushed. Rear L-R:  lemon blueberry, pumpkin spice, caramel apple spice; Front L-R coconut cream, red velvet, cinnamon crumb cake.)

photo 4

I enjoy going to the various exhibits.  They feature things like North Carolina cheese and wine.  I like the recipe and cake decorating contests.  There were many beautiful cakes in the competition.  This sushi cake was one of the winners this year.

photo 2

And this fall harvest one was also a winner.


I love this cake.

photo 1

And I like this one too, especially since it’s monogrammed for me.


Of course, if you’re a foodie, you shouldn’t miss a trip to the old grist mill where you can purchase cornmeal too.

I got some free foodie goodies to take home as well.  A copy of the winning recipes from the 2013 fair.  A chart of the availability of North Carolina seafood.  A local seafood bumper sticker.  A few copies of Edible Piedmont.


In all, it was a very enjoyable event, especially for a foodie, although there is a lot more to do than just food.  A lot of music acts–Trace Adkins (swoon) will be playing and also Joan Jett.  There are fun circus-like acts roaming around like a guy walking on a huge wheel.  There’s North Carolina pottery.  I like the Village of Yesteryear and checking out the work of craftsmen and artisans.  I like the bonsai tree and garden/landscaping competitions.  I voted for this bonsai that looked like a miniature forest.


I like the heritage circle where I heard bluegrass music and sipped some apple cider.  I like the hobby/craft show and the rabbit hutch across the way.


I must admit, I’m not a big fan of seeing the animals, as I feel sorry for them, so I usually don’t visit those buildings although I have in the past.  And of course, plenty of rides and games.





October Love With Food Box


My October Love With Food box has many tempting goodies.  I tried the organic jelly beans by Surf Sweets and they were better than regular jelly beans.  There’s also honey and chocolate almond nut butter by Justin’s.  A buttery shortbread square by Clairesquares.  A cinnamon and sugar bananinha banana bar by Nutryvitta.  (This banana bar was really good.  It was like an organic, healthier version of those sugary jelly fruit candies.)  Organic falafel chips by Flamous.  Cheese straws by J & M.  And snapea crisps by Calbee.

Weekend Whets 10/17

Taste of Forest Hills, Saturday, October 18, 2014, Queens

Brooklyn Bacon Takedown, Sunday, October 19, 2014:  Cooking competition.

Enid’s Apple Pie Contest, Sunday, October 19, 2014, Brooklyn

Korean Restaurant Week NYC, through October 19, 2014

Lower East Side Pickle Day, Sunday, October 19, 2014, Orchard Street at Delancey Street, LES:  Festival celebrating pickled foods.

NYC Wine and Food Fest, through October 19, 2014:  Annual food event sponsored by Food Network and Food & Wine with classes, lectures, parties, dinners and demonstrations by celebrity food personalities.

Sunnyside Restaurant Week, October 20-24, 2014, Queens

Understanding the Food Mood Connection: How Italian Mediterranean Food Lifestyles Can Contribute to Better Health, October 21, 2014, 6 p.m., Casa Italiana, Village, Manhattan:  Panel discussion with Kerstin Hecker, Michele Scicolone and Charles Scicolone.

Book Launch: The Secret Recipes by Dominique Ansel, with Paulette Goto, Tuesday, October 28, 2014, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., The Powerhouse Arena, Brooklyn:  Cronut creator Dominique Ansel discusses his book.

Fifth Annual Lopate and Locavores, through October 29, 2014, NYC:  Food and lectures on topics like creating a successful restaurant business, writing a cookbook, NY delis and more with food celebrities like Lidia Bastianich.

Food Film Fest, October 29, 2014 through November 1, 2014:  Film festival with tastings.

Brooklyn’s On Fire: Meet the Firehouse Chefs!, Thursday, October 30, 2014, 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., Brooklyn Historical Society, Brooklyn:  Discussion and chili cook-off.

Fifth Annual Mac-Off, November 2, 2014, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Littlefield, Brooklyn:  Macaroni and cheese cook-off with local chefs.

Chefs for Impact, November 20, 2014:  A benefit to bring e-learning to Zambia.


Food Bloggers Cannot Require Facebook “Likes” for Giveaway Entries

Facebook has banned “like-gating,” a practice that involves requiring a contestant to “like” a Facebook page in order to enter a contest, sweepstakes or giveaway or otherwise participate in a promotion.  The new Facebook terms will go in effect November 5, 2014.

Publisher Seeks Food Poems for Anthology

Richer Resources is looking for food poems for an upcoming anthology.

Owner of Borgatti’s Ravioli Passes Away

Mario Borgatti, the owner of Borgatti’s Ravioli on Arthur Avenue in the Bronx, passed away at age 97.

Peanut Butter Cereal Bars


I saw these peanut butter Cheerio bars from Cookin’ Cowgirl and had some cereal on hand so I decided to make them. I used multigrain Cheerios and corn flakes. I didn’t have corn syrup, so I used golden syrup instead which actually made a really sweet bar. Now, I wanted to make the version in the smaller pan, but when I was done with the ingredients, it fit only in the larger pan.

These are really tasty and disappear quickly!