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LA County Fair Food Preview and Four Pack of Fair Tickets–Giveaway Ends 09/08!

The LA County Fair officially started today at 3pm with rides, games, shows, concerts,  new animal exhibits and of course, a huge variety of food.  Every year, the food is a huge draw at the fair, and this year will not disappoint as they are more than prepared to appeal to every palette and appetite .  You will see the usual fried fare from longtime fair favorites such as Chicken Charlie, but the fair does have some Gluten-Free options, one of my personal favorites; Terri’s Berries and then there is the Los Angeles International Wine & Spirits Marketplace. The Fair will run through September 30th.  Fun events and concerts are planned throughout the entire month and are sure to thrill and wow us.  This past Tuesday I was invited out to a food preview, and oh boy, make sure to wear comfortable clothing to the fair so that you can fully enjoy all the food the fair has to offer.  I grew up going to this fair, and by the tastes of food and drink I’ve had the pleasure of indulging in, I am so excited to attend the fair again this year.

There was just a handful of vendors on hand, but nevertheless it was a FANTASTIC sampling of all things fair food, so without further ado, here are the much anticipated  photos of the fair food we got to sample (Which is why you’re here I’m sure is for the fair food photos, not to hear me ramble on and on endlessly… 😉 You can find these food vendors while out and about at the fair this year.

1) Ten Pound Buns

Ten Pound Buns makes wonderful  freshly made sourdough bread topped with all sorts of delicious toppings.  They have a variety of options including BBQ chicken, the ultimate with everything on it,  pepperoni, bacon Nutella, meat lovers, jalapeno and cheese, to just their original with cheese. They have 7 different varieties to choose from. I decided on the BBQ Chicken, it was absolute perfection. The sauce was not too sweet, not too smoky.

The BBQ Chicken

I also had a sample of Jamie’s Bacon Nutella (be sure to check out her blog post about the food preview for more mouth-watering pics. 🙂  I was hesitant to try this, but I was pleasantly surprised at how well the sweet and salty mixed together.

2) Skinny Girl Bar and Food
Next stop was, “Skinny Bar,” as I needed something to wash down that amazing BBQ Chicken creation.  New to the fair this year, these fabulous and delicious cocktails are low-calorie, but still pleasantly flavorful.  These drinks are especially designed for women and come in margaritas, lemonades, and cosmos. My favorite was the margarita. Very refreshing on such a WARM summer’s night!!!

3) Tasti Chips

Tasti Chips with Bacon Cheddar Cheese

For all of you Gluten-Free fans out there, make sure to make a stop at Tasti Chips!! These crispy “Tasti Chips” are made in peanut oil and are completely gluten-free!  My advice to everyone out there is to ADD the Bacon Cheddar cheese to your order (NOTE TO SELF: the cheese isn’t gluten-free!) You can also get them topped with  numerous other toppings if you so desire.

4) Big Kona Huna Shaved Ice

Big Kona Huna Shaved Ice

Hawaiian Shaved Ice has always been a favorite, and this night was no different. The Shaved Ice was a big hit and  everyone loved their personal creations.  What makes it “Hawaiian” you may be asking yourself? Well, they take Sweet and Condensed Milk  and pour a very generous amount of it over your masterpiece of flavors for you.

One of the personal favorites of the evening ammong our group was their “Root Beer” Flavor. Here I tried their Bahama Mama and Pina Colada flavors. Very tropical and just want I wanted on such a WARM warm night!

5) Ice Cream and Funnel Cakes

Always a fair favorite, goodies abound of ice cream creations and funnel cakes that will be here for you to enjoy throughout the fair. You can never go wrong with a dipped cone or funnel cake with powdered sugar or a fruit topping!!

6) Monster Grill

Burgers, corn dogs, and fries, Oh my!! You can get your corn dog on a stick fix here as well as lots and lots of fries. Oh and did I mention you can get fries here?  😉

7) Harold & Belle’s to Geaux

Want to try something a little bit different from your typical fair food?  Love some good old Louisiana Creole food straight from New Orleans? Then you  need to stop by this booth.  They had samples of fried catfish, Crawfish Etouffe and for a  delicious dessert they were also dishing up some wonderful bread pudding. This booth was one of my favorites of the night. The Crawfish Etouffe and the bread pudding were both amazing and I will definitely be back for more of this exquisite yumminess!

Crawfish Etouffe

Bread Pudding

8) Chicken Charlie

A long time fair favorite for many who love deep-fried foods.  With deep-fried cookie dough, deep-fried cereal,  deep-fried kool aid ( I STILL want to try this), deep-fried Oreos, deep-fried avocados and for the more adventurous– deep-fried frog legs can you really go wrong?  They even had deep-fried Dodger Dogs! I truly enjoyed the deep-fried cereal! I WILL be back to try the deep-fried Kool Aide as this was not available to sample that night.

Deep Fried Cookie Dough

Deep Fried Cinnamon Toast Crunch

This year they will also be having a “Pineapple Express” location where they will only be serving their  “Naked Pineapple Bowl.” As I have been trying to eat healthier lately, this was one of my  genuine favorites of the entire night. This delectable bowl comes with rice, pineapple, and eight pieces of shrimp. I love anything with pineapple in it and shrimp, so you can’t go wrong with this one.

Naked Pineapple Bowl

9) Fresh Frys

Fresh Frys is a two-time winner of the O.C. Fair’s Outstanding Fair Food award and serves freshly baked French Fries for your enjoyment. They are also well known for their famous Blooming Onions.  However, one thing I was told upon entering the food preview was that I just HAD to try these marshmallow yammies! Sweet potato fries with fluffy, gooey, marshmallow cream goodness drizzled all over them.  The sweet was just what I needed after having the saltier Tasti Chips. Here is a pic of their marshmallow yammies. YUM or should I say YAM?? 😉

10) Pink’s Hot Dogs

The oh so famous Pink’s Hot Dogs are back at the fair for another year. Home of the world’s best chili dog, among other favorites doused in ketchup, mustard, onions and relish. That evening they were sampling their Matt Kenseth hot dog with jalapenos, onions, guacamole, spicy mustard and ketchup.

11) C’est La Vie/Flavors of France

Last, but certainly not least, for the first time at the LA County Fair is “Flavors of France” from C’est La Vie.  These amazing artisans have some great restaurants right here in our own backyard in SoCal; as they are located in Laguna Beach and are here at the fair to bring Paris to us.  Their booth is all about delectable combinations like strawberries and Nutella swirled together into a freshly made crepe and other tasty french pastries, they have some spectacular talent with the endless creations they came up with. Admittedly, being the sweet tooth that I am, this was the first vendor I stopped at and I just had to have a piece of their cheesecake before having anything else. It did not disappoint, and I am pretty picky about my cheesecake! 😉 Chocolate Mousse, Fruit Tarts, Napoleons, Cheesecakes, and many more dazzling options await you from these fine folks.  You must make it one of your stops at the fair, I know I will.  You will not be disappointed. Shown below is the Chocolate Bomb, Fruit Tart, and Chocolate Mousse. Above are their fruit tarts and Napoleons.

A beautiful sunset at the LA County Fair.

The Fair is here just in time for the long Labor Day weekend, at the Fairplex in Pomona, 1101 W. McKinley Avenue, and runs through Sept. 30. This is the earliest opening date ever for the fair, now going on its 90th year.

NOW, what you have ALL been waiting for!!! ONE lucky reader has a chance to win a 4 Pack of Tickets to the LA County Fair!

Retail Value: Max retail value $68 Dollars

Mandatory Entry: Leave a comment letting me know what fair food item has your mouth watering and eager to try!

Optional Entries: Leave an additional comment for each entry you’ve done below.

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No purchase necessary, void where prohibited.  Must be a California Resident and be 18 years of age or older.  Winner will be chosen through the use of random.org and will be notified via email.  Giveaway ends at 9pm PST on 09/08/2012.  All other rules can be found here.

Disclosure: I was invited out to the Media Food Preview Night at the LA County Fair.  All food and drinks were provided to me for free, and I was provided with a 4 pack of tickets and a parking pass to the LA County Fair. All opinions stated above are my own.

Stay tuned for more Fair Fun!! 😉

“Home Sweet Home” at the Orange County Fair

The rides, the food, the exhibits, the animals, the shows! There is something for everyone at the fair and it is one of my favorite summertime hang-out spots to enjoy some good food, good company of friends and family, and some top-notch entertainment or a lazy summer afternoon of wandering around the exhibits, rides, games, or just sitting back and taking it all in.  This is the last week of the fair, so if you have not already had the chance to go, then make sure you head down there by Sunday August 12th!!

Here are some of my favorite things about the OC County Fair:

1. The FOOD!! You cannot go to the fair and NOT have any of the spectacular food options they have. Ranging from the healthy to the not-so healthy, whatever you fancy, I can guarantee you will find something delicious! Fresh Berries. Roasted Corn on the Cob. Deep-fried. Wrapped in Bacon. On-a-stick. Battered. Breaded. Dipped in chocolate. Eating at the Fair is a unique experience. 😉

Two of my favorite things!! Chocolate and STRAWBERRIES!!

I ended up getting a basket of  nice ripe, juicy berries and a chocolate covered strawberry!! YUM!

Bacon Wrapped… everything… I just love this sign.

Fresh Roasted Corn

OMG this was amazing!! Pulled-Pork Waffle Sandwich!! Totally curbed my craving for a funnel cake for dessert! So I ended up getting a chocolate dipped vanilla cone instead. I WILL get my funnel cake fix at the LA County Fair next month! 😉

My Dipped Cone… notice I still managed to get my funnel cake in the picture as well…. 😉

2. The ANIMALS! I’m sure you all know by now that I am a HUGE animal lover. I’m a sucker for a cute critter. The Centennial Farm and Petting Zoos are both great places to make some new four-legged friends.

3. The ENTERTAINMENT! As if the super adorable animals were not enough, since I could easily stay all day just visiting and making friends with them, the fair has endless opportunities for some breath-taking, action packed entertainment. One of my favorites since I was a young child, is the Peking Acrobats. I have to watch them whenever I make it out to the OC Fair!

4. The RIDES! What’s the fair without some exhilarating rides with some of the best views around of Orange County?

Some of the amazing views you will find when you catch a ride on the Sky Ride at night! Just DON’T look down below if you are afraid of heights! 😉

The La Grand Farris Wheel

View from atop the Ferris Wheel

5. FACE PAINTING!! If you didn’t notice already, my friends and I all got our faces painted. Being a kid at heart, the fair is the place to be a kid again and you can get away with doing silly, fun stuff like that. So it is NOT just for kids. Best part was, it was only $5 and we kept hearing comments from others on how cute our Hello Kitty’s were. 🙂

Mary, from Along Comes Mary getting her face painted!

Group Pic!

Close-Up of how my Hello Kitty turned out. I loved it.

6. All of the EXHIBITS & SHOPPING!! I didn’t have time to get pictures of all the Exhibits. I will have to cover that this weekend when I go again. 😉 There are TONS of awesome and unique items at the fair that you won’t find anywhere else. The fair truly is a one of a kind experience that everyone can enjoy.

Have YOU gone to the fair yet? If you’re not in SoCal, have you been to the fair this summer near you? What’s your favorite things about the fair? I’d LOVE to hear all about it! 🙂

LA Girl In Minnesota… Guest Post from Jamie–> Minnesota Girl In LA

I had also asked Jamie, over at Minnesota Girl in LA  to write-up a post for me since I am visiting her home state of Minnesota right now! Here is her wonderful post about fun things to do and see if you are ever in the state of 10,000 lakes… Minnesota!! 🙂

Erin asked me to write about my favorite Minnesota places since she’s out visiting there right now.  Wow, it’s been a long time since I’ve had to sit down and think about some of my favorite places from the state I grew up in.

I grew up in the Twin Cities area, to be more specific, the southern suburbs.  Think Lakeville, Apple Valley, Eagan, Burnsville area, or south of St. Paul.  
Some of my all-time favorite places in Minnesota were:

  1. Minneapolis Sculpture Garden

Just being able to walk along these gardens during the winter or even the spring time to see what artists would create, or more so, try to pin point what they were thinking was enjoyable for me.  And of course, the iconic Cherry in the Spoon Picture.

 

 

 

 

 

Cherry and the Spoon

  1. Lake Calhoun

I loved to rollerblade, and often, during the summer I would go to one of the popular Minnesota lakes to rollerblade around.  Lake Calhoun became my favorite the year before I decided to move away, but Lake Nokomis was another favorite of mine.

 

  1. Cosetta’s Italian Deli

I love Italian, and one of my favorite restaurants to visit in Downtown St. Paul was Cosetta’s.  It was a very well-known restaurant and deli, and no matter what time of the day it was there was line for their food.  They also had a shop where you could take home some of your favorites.  

 

  1. My favorite museums included the St. Paul History museum, The Science Museum, and The Minneapolis Institute of Arts.

 

 

  1. Mall of America

The biggest mall in the United States was the Mall of America.  This mall even had an indoor amusement park inside, what isn’t there to love about it?  I use to take the bus after school to just hang out at the mall.  Most likely I was a huge part of the reason why a curfew time of 7pm was given to children under 16 years old of age every Friday and Saturday evening.  

 

  1. St. Anthony Falls

It was just a truly beautiful area along Minneapolis to walk along, and of course see the hydraulic falls in action.

 

  1. Minnehaha Falls and Fort Snelling Area

These places were pretty close to one another although they were usually different visits.  The Minnehaha Falls area is a very beautiful area, and of course I loved driving around the houses in the area because they were a sign of the times, and the houses had a ton of character.  

 

 

 

 

 

Fort Snelling Area

  1. Grand Ave.

This place had some pretty great shops and boutiques to walk through with some great eateries.   You can’t go there without stopping in the Grand Ole Creamery.  Amazing ice cream served up for you.

 

  1. Uptown

Another fun little area with shops and boutiques to walk and browse through.  

   10. The North Shore

During the weekends, if I could, I would love taking the 3 hour drive up north to head to Duluth, MN.  I loved looking out at Lake Superior, and of course driving even further north along the north shore.  This was truly my zen place of Minnesota.  I didn’t get up there often, but anytime I did I was instantly relaxed, and my stress disappeared.  These were just some of my favorite things to do in Minnesota, the place I grew up in.

 

 

 

 

 

North Shore

I Will Rock This: Do’s & Don’ts

So this is Melody, my dear friend and fellow equestrian (horse person) that has helped me tremendously throughout the #IWillROCKThis challenge. Jack (Jill??) of all trades, I don’t think there is anything this woman CANNOT do! I am pretty darn sure she created this pirate outfit that she is wearing in this picture (for the Pirate Festival that was in Long Beach last weekend!) as well! Here are some of the DO’s and DON’Ts of weight loss, and just being healthier in general that I’ve picked up from Melody these past couple of months. This will be the first of a couple posts on this topic!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s start off with the DO’S so you won’t get scared off by all of the “DON’Ts!”

DO THIS

*Drink PLENTY of WATER!!

* Drink Milk/Eat Yogurt. Make sure to get 3 servings of dairy a day!

1 serving of dairy is equal to:

*1 cup of milk or yogurt

*1½ ounces of natural cheese (cheddar cheese) <—- Use in extreme moderation though!

*Drink green tea

*Get at least 7-8 hours of SLEEP every night!! This is SO important!!

* Eat your fruits and veggies and don’t forget to exercise!!!

*Walk every chance you get.

* Eat SNACKS throughout the day that have lots of fiber in them (to keep your metabolism up)

* Put up motivational pictures next to pics of you looking your heaviest. (Where you can see them on a daily basis. Like the fridge)

* Daily weigh ins (same time daily and naked to register even the smallest gain to keep you on track or to motivate you to work harder)

*Eat lean lean meat (turkey, fish, rabbit, chicken)

*Drink apple cider vinegar one glass a day (it’s cleansing)

*Always know what your next meal is so you don’t find yourself scrounging for something unhealthy and not planned.

*Make and Prepare all of your meals yourself.

*Exercise in the morning when it’s cold because your body will burn the negative fat better at that time vs when it’s warmer.

*Eliminate all canned soups (So so BAD for you, the amount of sodium these soups have in them!)

 *Start your day with 2 eggs… any way, only egg whites is even better. When you do this you will eat less throughout the entire day. FACT! I also like to put Paprika and cut up a small tomato in with my eggs. YUM!

*Eat oatmeal, PLAIN oatmeal and then add in some cinnamon, honey, or fresh fruit to sweeten it up.

* Eat bananas, watermelon and apples!!! Especially if you are craving something sweet.

*Freeze some grapes and strawberries. This is a GREAT snack and alternative to those fattening, high calorie, high sugar content snacks and desserts! 3 strawberries usually does it for me! 🙂

*USE Spices- cinnamon to sweeten anything instead of sugar. I put cinnamon in my oatmeal, greek yogurt, and fruit (and my occasional cup of coffee)! Anything spicy curry;  red pepper, black pepper, paprika, turmeric, cayenne pepper, whatever you can tolerate!

DON’T

*Don’t eat cheese.

*Don’t buy crap because then you’ll eat crap.

*Don’t forget about portion control!!!

*Don’t eat these things if you can help it, and if y0u do, in moderation and NOT everyday!!! Chocolate, biscuits, cookies, cake, donuts, muffins, pastries, white bread,  chips,  nutella, and ice cream.

*Don’t go crazy with the peanut butter or any butter. DON’T use any FAKE butter though. Real butter is better than that fake stuff if you must have it.

*Don’t buy processed or pre-prepared foods.

*Don’t have any carbonated drinks, alcohol, refined sugars or artificial sweeteners & colors.

* Don’t order fast food.

* DO NOT ADD SALT to anything!! Whenever you do that, it will blow you up with water retention and is truly the worst thing for weight loss.

So there you have it! Many of the Do’s and Don’ts that I have been trying my best to follow-up with. Of course I still have my one “cheat” day a week so I don’t go totally crazy and fall off the wagon and gain everything back that I’ve been working so hard to lose! Hope this helps. 🙂 Stay tuned for more tips and ideas.

Day 29-Love–A Day Late, a Dollar Short, Better Late than Never! ;-)

I know I’ve been a bit MIA these past few days, so I missed the last 2 posts for June! It’s been a very busy weekend, and will be pretty busy until I leave next week for “vacation” to see family,  go to a few weddings, the Minnesota version of my grandparents 65th Wedding Anniversary and 90th Birthday celebration. I am DETERMINED though to catch up with all my posts before I leave (this would include posts for days 29 & 30 for the photo challenge, 2 movie reviews, 1 restraunt review, 1 food item review, and the conclusion and results of the #IWillRockThis Challenge that just concluded this past weekend!) Whew! I WILL GET THIS DONE!!!  There are others I’d like to get completed, but those are the ones I feel I HAVE to get finished as they are somewhat time sensitive. So here is Day 29– LOVE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Made with Love, in Italy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friends ❤ Roadtrips to the river.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cowboys at the river 😉

Day 28- Home

If you have not noticed by now, I LOVE the outdoors… when I’m at home is no different. I am constantly in either the front yard or backyard watering or trimming the flowers, roses, and fruit trees in the gardens. Here is my little helper that likes to oversee what I am doing. He will follow me around where ever I am;  if I’m in the front he’ll be somewhere around watching me from a safe distance (since heaven forbid he get wet!), then when I go inside to go to the backyard,  there he’ll be, under a tree or sitting back relaxing on one of the lounge chairs just chilling while I work! lol So here’s Moe, on a lazy summer morning.  😉

 

Day 27- Nature

Last September I took a trip up to Lassen Volcanic National Park with a couple of friends. It was a very speedy trip through Lassen, but one cannot miss how extremely beautiful of a place this is, as it is filled with nature and wildlife galore! Just click on a picture to see it closer up to see what I mean. You will want to take a look at these for sure! I cannot wait to go back and explore the place and take more time to wander around and enjoy mother nature as it was intended. 🙂