Well it’s that time again for so many country folk like me.
What you say?
County Fair time, that’s what.
Our County Fair has always been one of my best memories as a child.
I remember as a little girl, I couldn’t stand the anticipation leading up to that week. See, growing up my family had very little money. Going to the County Fair was like a vacation to us, but the catch was we could only go one night.
It was way to expensive for a family of six to attend more than that one time. It seemed we always picked the last Saturday to go.
I can remember this one year, I was probably eight or nine years old, and I had been waiting for the fair all week.
My favorite thing of all time was getting a Caramel Apple and riding the Tilt of Whirl!
Oh how I loved that ride!
Saturday came and my family was so excited. I envisioned all day about the lights, the smells, the animals, the beauty pageant contestants and the people.
Well, maybe not so much the people. Carnie’s (that’s what us Arkansas folk call the carnival workers) were pretty rough looking people even when I was a child.
Anyway, back to my story, I was so excited, we were all ready to walk out the door when my stomach started hurting. I thought well it’s just from being so excited, but nope, a minute later my lunch was on the floor.
My mom went to clean me up so we could go ahead and leave, (remember this was Saturday, the last day of the fair), but my stomach had other plans.
I can remember being so disappointed, but worse than that was my parents wouldn’t let anyone go if I couldn’t go. I was the baby of the family and they didn’t think it was fair for my sisters to have fun if I didn’t get to. I thought it was unfair for them to not get to go just because I was sick.
But even after that bad experience, the fair has still been one of my most favorite times of year.
It has been a family tradition that I have carried on with my own children. I love seeing my children’s eyes light up as the sun sets and the moon is out and the bright lights from the rides shine like New York City.
See, in a rural area as we live in, the County Fair is one of the biggest highlights of the year.
And I guess I have to admit, my eyes still light up as well, as I enter the fairgrounds.
I decided this year, leading up to the fair, I wanted to recreate some of the yummy, fattening foods you might find at the fair.
Of course, Homemade Battered Corn Dogs are one of our most favorite to recreate.
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp of sugar
1 tbsp of honey
1 cup milk
8 hot dogs
What to do:
1) Preheat oil in fryer
2) Whisk together your dry ingredients
3) In a separate bowl mix your wet ingredients together and combine in bowl with dry
4) Mix together until batter is slightly lumpy
5) Stick skewer sticks in the end of hotdogs
6) Pour batter in a tall glass or container
7) Dunk the hot dog completely into the batter and shake off the excess
8) Emerge the battered dogs into the fryer on medium heat until golden brown
**do not have your heat to high or the batter will not be cooked in the middle
9) Serve with your favorite dipping sauce
But this year I also wanted to do something completely off the charts. Something that would have my family and friends saying, “What in the world was she thinking?”
And yes, I think I accomplished that with my (Now Famous), Are you ready for this?, “Deep Fried CUPCAKES!!!”
Of yes I did!
I filled homemade cupcakes with my homemade buttercream frosting and deep-friend those suckers in my favorite sweet batter recipe! (Recipe coming soon, be on the lookout!)
Oh, oh, oh!
My family and friends were in Complete and Utter AWE!
Can we say, YUM, YUM, YUM! But I guarantee it only takes one, two tops before you are saying, “Whoa, hold up, I’m having a sweetness overload!”
Speaking of sweetness, this summer I was introduced to The Montana Born Books called “Marietta Fair Series”.
Well, first of all I love to read romance books, but when you add County Fairs and Cowboys to the mix, well I’m a gonner for sure.
I had the opportunity by each of these wonderful and talented authors to review their books and wait, no really wait. Just kidding. Drum Roll Please…..
To do a Giveaway for the whole series!!
My, Oh My, what fun this has been while I was enjoying my own County Fair I was envisioning the Marietta County Fair characters that each played a part in these fabulous, (and temperature-rising) stories.
Please Note* Yes I am a Good Christian wife, mother and friend and yes I do love God with all my heart and soul. But come on ladies, I am still an imperfect woman. And I won’t lie, when I imagine the cowboys in head, my temperature raises to the boiling point! (: No judgements please!
The Series start off with “Beauty and the Cowboy” by Nancy Robards Thompson, and let me tell you what a smokin hot book this was
There is just something about actually seeing your childhood friend for more than a friend for the first and watching it blossom into love. Especially when they have a fine behind (:
Charlotte was confused and alone after her long-term relationship ended suddenly. She turned to comfort in the arms of her childhood friend Jessie.
Jessie is wanting the real deal. Will Charlotte be able to overcome her fear of commitment and say yes?
This book keeps the turn of events intriguing right from the start. Once I started reading I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough.
If your looking to add a little spark back into your love life and a little cowboy thrill along the way, then “Beauty and the Cowboy” is just the book for you.
The second book of the Montana Born series is “Cowgirl Come Home” Debra Salonen.
We all have those teenage dreams and for most, those teenage loves.
But sometimes in life those two things collide and we have to choose which path to take.
So many times in life what we think are our dreams turns out to be completely the opposite.
“Cowgirl Come Home”, leaves you revisiting memory lane as Bailey finds that her teenage love with Paul was what she wanted all along.
I loved how the book made me feel like I was at home. It was so comforting seeing how past mistakes can turn into something beautiful.
I highly recommend “Cowgirl Come Home”, if you are looking for a wonderful, sweet story of love and hope with the assurance that you can always go home again.
“For the Love of a Cowboy” by Yvonne Lindsay is the third book in the Montana Born Series and ladies it is Smoldering Hot!
I must say it again Oh My!
I’m not talking about a little heat. I’m talking a blazing hot fire!
Willow is a free-spirited drifter looking for a little adventure and some answers. Booth is a hot-tempered “All Man” rancher who takes care of his own.
When Willow stumbled into Marietta looking answers, the last thing she thought she would find was a well-built male that was all MAN that made her toes curl and sparks fly!
Whew! This book will have you sweatin in no time. I had to excuse myself and splash cold water on my face a few times! It’s hot ladies! It’s smoldering hot!
Will Willow trade in her Free-Spirit Ways for Roots and Cowboy Boots? Read “For the Love of a Cowboy” and find out!
Book four is titled, “Her Summer Cowboy” by Katherine Garbera.
Country Roots are my blood line. As a child I grew up with an older sister who was in a Country Western Band. She played in and around local areas and I can still remember getting to tag along on certain occasions. It was always a special time listening to the band play and the musicians sing. Something magical about the stories that were told through their songs.
In “Her Summer Cowboy”, Hudson is a rambler who is ready to head home and settle down. He decides to take one “last” job as a bodyguard for a famous country singer “Alan Jennings”. What Hudson didn’t know was that Jennings’, single and sexy grand daughter Emma Jean, would be accompanying her grandfather for his last summer tour.
They both felt the electricity arch between them automatically, but Emma didn’t want either of them to get hurt due to her emotions caused by the past. After deciding a summer fling would satisfy them both, Hudson started having other thoughts as the summer tour continued.
Will Hudson be able to let go at the end of summer? Or will Emma be able to come to terms with her emotions to see something more between them.
Read “Her Summer Cowboy”, to see what will come between Hudson and Emma, and you might find a little more than country music along the way.
“A Fair to Remember”, by Barbara Ankrum is the fifth book of the Marietta County Fair Series.
The characters of this book pull you into their life automatically within the first few pages.
I love when friends make pacts to be the back up plan for each other if life don’t turn out the way they dreamed, but in reality the back up plan should have always been the first choice.
But sometimes in the midst of our own life story we cannot see what our heart really desires.
In “A Fair to Remember”, high school friends Olivia and Jake were never available at the same time. Twelve years later Jake heads back to Marietta for Olivia’s 30th birthday to see if their pact is still good.
Olivia isn’t for sure love and marriage is for her after a nasty divorce but Jake has waited all these years for this night.
Will Jake convince Olivia that real love truly exists and that he has always been the one for her?
Read ” A Fair to Remember”, to find find what the heart desires.
And don’t miss the sixth book in the Marietta Fair Series, “Cowboy Crush” by Bronwyn Jameson coming soon!
Giveaway begins 10/09/14 @ 6pm and ends 10/16/14 @ 6pm. One entrant/email per household. One winner will be chosen randomly from Giveaway Tools . Void where prohibited. The winner has 72 hours to respond to the congratulatory email. If the winner does not respond, Giveaway will be voided. If you have any questions, please email Miranda at graceandgravywithasideoflife (at) gmail (dot) com.