Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Deep fried goodness - Just can't get enough

Last night was a treat!  Literally. After a lovely dinner at my friend's, Jaimie and Shauna's, new apartment, conversation led to the State Fair - partly because it has been consuming my life for the past few months.  And partly because the fabulous fair food is always a good topic of conversation. The deep fried cookie dough, we agreed, was amazing.  Feeling inspired and thanks to recent technology, Shauna's boyfriend, Will, looked up a recipe for deep fried cookie dough on his cellular.  We already had the cookie dough - so we needed the "deep fried."  Flour? check. Sugar? check. One large egg? check. Baking Soda? check. Club soda? hmmm... Will this work...

Sure! We had all the ingredients, so we were off.  Since I was the only one who grew up with a deep fryer in the group, it felt a little like home.  Every Sunday growing up, we would cut biscuits into fours, throw them in the fry daddy, and smother them in powdered sugar.  I miss those little doughnuts...So this literally made my night!

We rolled the cookie dough into balls and threw them in the freezer.

 We made the batter. 

Heated up the oil on the stove to 350 degrees.  Good thing we had a meat temperature checker!


 Into the pan they go!

Look at that oil!!

Top off with powdered sugar. Deep fried goodness. They actually tasted just like Fair!

Some candid photos!

The aftermath....a little gross...but soo worth it!

The recipe:
For the dough, use your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe and roll into balls.

Batter - we did half this recipe and it made about 16 balls.
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 large egg (or 1/4 cup pasteurized eggs)
1/2 cup seltzer water or club soda, plus more if needed
Vegetable oil, for frying

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and baking powder. Add the egg and half the seltzer and whisk well to combine. Add more seltzer as needed until the batter is thick and the consistency of heavy cream.

Heat the oil in a deep-fat fryer to 350 degrees F. Dip the chilled dough balls in the batter and carefully place them into the hot oil. Fry a few at a time, turning them over from time to time, until they are golden brown, about 3 minutes total. Drain on paper towels and serve while still warm.

Happy cooking!!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Great Prayer

Heard this today while at the State Fair.  2010 AgriVision Award winner, JoAnn Brouillette repeated it and I really liked it.  Thought I would share.

Disturb us, Lord - a prayer by Francis Drake

Disturb us, Lord, when
We are too pleased with ourselves,
When our dreams have come true
Because we dreamed too little,
When we arrived safely
Because we sailed too close to the shore.

Disturb us, Lord, when
With the abundance of things we possess
We have lost our thirst
For the waters of life;
Having fallen in love with life,
We have ceased to dream of eternity

And in our efforts to build a new earth,
We have allowed our vision
Of the new Heaven to dim.

Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly,
To venture on wilder seas
Where storms will show Your mastery;
Where losing sight of land,
We shall find the stars.

We ask you to push back
The horizons of our hopes;
And to push back the future
In strength, courage, hope, and love.

Monday, August 16, 2010

A Japenese cheese KISS and a cup of tea with the executive director

“Each day begins with a big cup of strong black coffee!” These were the words spoken by Cindy Hoye, Executive Director of the State Fair, after being asked what a typical day looks like when those 17 days of fun are in full swing. I had the special privilege to interview Cindy during my blogging visit to the fairgrounds last Monday. Energetic, humble and fun would be three words to describe this dynamic woman who has been working for the State Fair for the past 23 years.

Her position as executive director is a very important job, yet Cindy transfers the credit of the Fair’s success to those doing the little things to make everything happen. Some of these people include the parking crew, electrical crew, and the busy bee volunteers out there every day making sure the pieces of the puzzle fit together to make the fair happen. “In the grand scheme of things, the front line volunteers and crew are the most important people on these fairgrounds right now,” she says humbly with a sureness that makes you just want to get to know her more!

Right now the fair is being bombarded by pigs of every shape and size, which is appropriate as it is the Year of the Pig this year at the Fair. Cindy looks back to one of her favorite State Fair memories, which ironically involves a couple of these 4-legged beasts….It was a few years back, a couple had just purchased a few hogs at the fair and were driving them off the grounds in the back of their old pickup truck. “I like to say the pigs loved the Fair so much, they didn’t want to leave, because they hopped right off the truck. If you can imagine the expressions of the fairgoers seeing a group of people trying to corral two pigs running around the grounds and Binford Blv., it was definitely a site to see!” They even had the Indianapolis Police Department running after these pigs to get them back on the truck! Now, I wish I could have seen that!

We shared a laugh and then I found out a little bit more about Cindy:

Favorite Fair Food: "Too many! Grilled Cheese, pork ribs, ribeye sandwich.."
Coolest person to meet at the Fair: Morrie Williamson, the man who started the Pioneer Village on the grounds. "He epitimizes what the fair is all about, and still to this day contributes ideas to make the Fair better each year!"
Being a city girl, how did you get involved in agriculture? "I was involved with 4-H as a kid and showed rabbits.  After that, I bought a steer and showed him, then got hooked on 4-H and Marion Co. Extension.  I'm a 'wanna be' ag person and the fair is a perfect place to live that."
What is your favorite part of your job? "Seeing people - our guests - happy about this place.  Recently, I had a woman stop me and ask if I were part of making the fair happen.  I answered, yes, and she just thanked me and thanked me for such a great time.  This is what it's all about."

To my pleasant surprise, Cindy told me we would be visiting a few places during the interview! Off we went…

It was fun being “in” with the "cool kids" for one day!

Here are a few of the adventures we went on…

Cheese Sculpture
Cheese sculptor Sarah Kaufman, a friend of Cindy’s who actually stayed with Cindy during her time here, created a 7-foot wide cheese sculpture on site. This is the sixth straight year for the big cheese display.

Japanese Exhibit in the Expo Hall

The new "Bridges to Japan" exhibit in the Grand Hall, shows Indiana State Fair visitors what the Japanese culture is all about, as well as the many agricultural connections between the state and Japan. We had a chance to watch fairgoers take part in the traditional Japanese tea ceremony.

KISS - Backstage
Cindy took me backstage of Grandstand to see the crew putting together the KISS concert for that Monday evening. It was interesting to see the hospitality room –complete with zebra striped table cloths, the underground production room beneath the stage, and the people who help get the stage ready for a performance.

John Royer (left) the “sound guy” as he referred to himself, has been working for the Fair for 27 years and explained to me the concept of Live Sound Mixing. The two kinds of sound mixing he explained were Front of House, which is the sound the audience hears and Monitor mixing, which is exclusively for the performer's ear. So basically, the audience hears something totally different than the performers. He explained that the monitors can be very selective for the performers. The guitarist may just need to hear the drummer to stay on track, so his monitor is controlled so that he only hears the drummer. The proper monitor mix can minimize time delays on large stages to help synchronize the performance. In addition, the monitor mix can overcome the level of the House (audience) sound which can be confusing for performers to listen to on the stage. Interesting!

Overall, interviewing Cindy was such a great opportunity! I'm so happy she took the time and effort to show me around and go beyond "normal interview style" to give me a deeper look into the makings of the State Fair. Thanks Cindy!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

And the winner is...

...Ndysmom!   Ndysmom just won four free state fair tickets off my blog!  Congratulations! Please email me your name and address and I will mail them out to you tomorrow. hbrescher@yahoo.com  Thanks for participating and thanks again to Indiana Soybean Alliance for providing the state fair tickets. 

Stay tuned to read about my off the cuff adventures at the state fair!  As a preview:

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Thoughts on a Tuesday

Every other Tuesday, I am blessed to hang out with a really cool group of people. Let’s see…we have two new sets of parents, a retired biochemist, a newly engaged couple, a director of HR for a large grocery chain, an environmental consultant, an ER nurse for a children’s hospital, a painter, a lovely Lithuanian woman who lived in a concentration camp as a baby and an architect. Well…and then there is me.

Thirteen people who randomly showed up at the same information session one day about 2 years ago. We all marked Tuesday as our “day of the week” preference and wahlaaaa....together we still are, two years later!

The group I am speaking of is my church group. Despite our drastic differences in background and age, we all have one important thing in common. We all share a love for our faith.

Tonight was my turn to lead the discussion, and the topic was, in fact, “Faith.” Such a vague word to me at times. I tend to use the word “faith” so often that I don’t take time to really understand what I’m saying. What is faith? A belief in God and heaven, right? Man, I’m deep.

Well, I was determined to think a little deeper this week. Bare with me if you dare.…so, we reflected on the upcoming Sunday readings, Wis 18:6-9; Heb 11:1-2, 8-19 and Lk 12:32-48. A verse that stood out to me tonight was from Hebrews: “Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen.” Realization? Evidence? These are “present” words. My faith, i.e. belief in Heaven, is focused on the “future”… At first I was a little confused, but then when reading on about Abraham, I realized it all made perfect sense. His faith was so closely linked with his present that he let his faith - his profound trust in God- guide his present. I mean, who takes his own son to the alter for sacrifice, because God told him to? A man with full trust and faith in God. So..my realization…I learned that my faith is calling me to live from a depth of trust that enables me to do what God teaches now in the present. Puts a whole new perspective to “living out my faith.” Light bulb!

Alright, I love a good brain challenge, my brain kinda hurts…here’s a few light-hearted “faith” quotes I picked up during my research...Enjoy!

Faith can move mountains, but don't be surprised if God hands you a shovel. ~Author Unknown

Faith is believing in things when common sense tells you not to. ~George Seaton

Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase. ~Martin Luther King Jr.

Faith is putting all your eggs in God's basket, then counting your blessings before they hatch. ~Ramona C. Carroll

Monday, August 2, 2010

Want free tickets to the Indiana State Fair?

Some friends and I are getting ready for Family Fair Days with GOODEness Gracious 'N Friends at the Indiana State Fair! We will be visiting the State Fair and giving you some behind the scenes looks at awesome State Fair activities!

To kick things off right today, the Indiana Soybean Alliance has given me four Indiana State Fair tickets to giveaway on my blog to my readers!

So here is how you enter:
  • Winner of 4 Indiana State Fair Tickets will be chosen at random on August 10.
  • Each person is eligible for 2 entries: 1 entry for following this blog and 1 entry for commenting.
  • Please leave a separate comment below for each entry.
  • Hop on over to all of the following blogs for multiple chances to win!
2 Maids a Milking
3 Kids and Lots of Pigs
Alarm Clock Wars
A Latte with Ott, A
Beyer Beware
Fence Row to Fence Row
Frugalista Farmlife
Gal in the Middle
Going Jane
GOODEness Gracious
Life is a Highway and Mine’s Surrounded By Corn
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...