Tag: Great Minnesota Get Together

Minnesota State Fair Baking Competition Winners Announced

Minnesota State Fair 2022 Baking Competition Winners Announced

  • Blue Ribbon Group special contests celebrate the best in home baking & cooking

  • Find the complete Creative Activities Building winner list here

  • Take in daily live demos/tasting Events in the Cambria Kitchen, starting with Kowalski’s Markets opening day

 

Minneapolis-St Paul, August 25, 2022 – Please join the Blue Ribbon Group in congratulating all the talented and creative entrants in our Blue Ribbon Special Contest Series at the Minnesota State Fair.

 

Splenda Magic Baker “Low-To-No Sugar Showdown” Winners

1st Place – Gina Walker of Savage for “Gina’s Sugar-Free Gourmet Banana Bread”

2nd Place – Billie Holterman-Schniepp of Cottage Grove for “Low-Sugar Apple Coffee Cake”

3rd Place – Christina Bergstrom of Twin Lakes for “Peaches & Cream Coffee Cake”

 

Kowalski’s “Great Chocolate Cake Contest” Winners

1st Place – Michelle Seyward of Woodbury for “MN Black Out Cake”

2nd Place – Erin Dooley of St Paul for “Tribute to Mexican Hot Chocolate Cake”

3rd Place – Colleen Jensen of Woodbury for “Merry’s Chocolate Orange Cupcakes”

 

Kowalski’s Supreme Sourdough Contest Winners

1st Place – Guillermo Guardia of Minneapolis for “Peruvian Sourdough Croissants”

2nd Place – Karen Cope of Minneapolis for “Beer & Cheese Sourdough Bread Twist”

3rd Place – Molly Abbattista of Minneapolis for “Sourdough Focaccia Barese”

 

Blue Ribbon “Best Peanut Butter Cookie” Contest Winners

1st Place – Betsy Faber of St. Paul for “Crispy Creamy Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies”

2nd Place – Emily York of Hopkins for “Peanut Butter & Chocolate Macarons”

3rd Place – Sheila Mullen of Woodbury for “Salted Caramel Nougat-Filled Peanut Butter Cookies”

 

Blue Ribbon “Best Cream Pie” Contest Winners

1st Place – Melinda Chapel of Rosemount for “Blueberry Mojito Pie”

2nd Place – Randy Ferguson of Randolph for “The Pie-phrodisiac” (Chocolate Almond Coconut Pie)

3rd Place – Rachael Hood of St. Louis Park for “Blackberry Smash Cream Pie”

 

Blue Ribbon “Salad Bowl Tournament” Winners

1st Place – Amy Ellenberger of St Paul for “Lemony Summer Kale Salad”

2nd Place – Mia Bremer of Minneapolis for “Herby Tortellini Harvest Salad”

3rd Place – Ellen Joseph of Minneapolis for “Peppery Greens with Shrimp, Soba Noodles & Crunch Herbs”

 

3 Cricketeers “Energy Bars & Power Balls” Recipe Contest

1st Place – Amy Ellenberger of St. Paul for “Magic Chai Power Balls”

2nd Place – Tiffany Mainella of Rochester for “Apple Pie Energy Balls”

3rd Place – Eamon Whiteaker of St. Paul for “Cherry Chocolate Almond Energy Balls”

 

Find the Minnesota State Fair’s complete Creative Activities Building winner list here. During the fair, visit the Creative Activities Building to view entries across all baking classes and categories. To get involved:

  • Sign up for Creative Activities Mailing list (Under Participant tab at MNSTATEFAIR.org)
  • Follow Blue Ribbon Foodies on Instagram or Facebook

 

Thank you to the brands that made this Minnesota blue ribbon contest line-up possible:

@splenda

@kowalskis_markets

@kingarthurbaking

@3cricketeers

@thesaladgirl

 

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Prize-Winning Parmesan & Chive Scones

These homemade, aromatic, prize-winning parmesan & chive scones are simply the best savory scones, in more ways than one.

You will relish their phenomenal taste and tender yet firm texture. Their golden brown appearance is drool-worthy for sure. If you love savory scones like we do, be sure to bake these soon! They are perfect for weekend brunches and snacks in between meals.

Prize-winning parmesan & chive scones

This remarkable recipe comes from Amy Ellenberger.

Blue Ribbon Baker - Best Scone Winner 2021 MN State Fair

Amy won “Best Scones” at the 2021 Minnesota State Fair with this recipe. One taste and you’ll know why this one is a winner.

We asked Amy what her secret to winning was. In her words: “Because scones are a fairly simple baked good (as in few ingredients), it is important to use the best quality ingredients, as there isn’t much to hide behind. For this recipe I like to use (Minnesota-based) Hope Creamery butter, a sour cream (like Daisy) that doesn’t contain thickeners and other artificial ingredients, garden fresh chives, and high-quality Parmesan cheese that is freshly grated.”

Step by Step Tutorial

Take Amy’s top tip and begin with the best ingredients.

Parmesan Chive Scones

You start by mixing the dry ingredients with the cheese and chives.

Prize-winning Parmesan & Chive Scones

Next, you cut in the cold butter. By the way, Amy’s family buys Hope Creamery butter by the case.

Prize-winning Parmesan & Chive Scones

At this stage you want to see the chilled butter in tiny clumps, roughly the size of peas.

Butte Cut in Stage - Prize-winning Parmesan & Chive Scones

You also use both sour cream and buttermilk in the recipe, plus an egg.

Prize-Winning Parmesan & Chive Scones

Mix the sour cream, buttermilk and egg smooth, then combine that mixture with your flour mixture.

Prize-winning Parmesan & Chive Scones

Once everything is together, you want a shaggy look to the dough.

Be careful not to overwork the dough. Shape it into a flat circle. You want it 1 ½ inches thick.

Prize-winning Parmesan & Chive Scones

Then cut out the scones. You should get 12 (2-inch size) rounds (or squares if you prefer that shape).

Prize-winning Parmesan & Chive Scones

As your final step, you brush each with heavy cream, then sprinkle with parmesan, a pinch of sea salt, and fresh cracked black pepper. You also want to chill them 30 minutes at this stage.

From Amy: Don’t skip the chilling step. This ensures the butter is solid and won’t leak out of your scones during baking.

Prize-Winning Parmesan & Chive Scones

After the chill time, the only thing to do is wait for them to bake (at 350 degrees Fahrenheit) for 25-30 minutes.

Prize-Winning Parmesan & Chive Scones: every bite will be pure delight. Seriously. Hit the kitchen and bake these now!

-Cyndi

p.s. Scones are best eaten shortly after they are baked. However, you can opt to freeze the dough to fresh bake the scones later (ideally within 2 months). Or you can freeze them after baking. Just pop a frozen one in the microwave for about 30 seconds before you nosh.

 

State Fair Apple Raspberry Pie

This State Fair Apple Raspberry Pie is a show stopper. It won both “best creative apple pie” and “best overall pie” at the 2021 Minnesota State Fair. Carol Marsh is the star state fair baker here. Her pie is beautifully designed and absolutely delicious. The filling tastes fantastic and has a firm yet tender texture. Fresh raspberries add a splash of color. Their sweetness pairs perfectly with tart apples.

State Fair Apple Pie

Carol has been competing at the Minnesota State Fair since 2010 and baking since she a child. This year, 2021, was a big year, with her winning four blue ribbons. They were for a 2-layer chocolate cake, a raisin bread, a classic apple pie, and this creative apple pie, which won best overall pie also. This makes her a 6 time pie sweepstakes winner (best overall pie 6x since 2010). That brings her total to 36 Minnesota State Fair ribbons for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place wins.

Carol, like a lot of us, finds much joy in baking. She knows the ideal texture of pie dough and how to have a thick filling. As a result, she finds baking pies a breeze. She has it down to a science.

State Fair Apple Pie Baker

Carol has won multiple times at the Minnesota State Fair with this recipe and slight variations on it. Carol recently baked her pie for me and we brought you along to experience the journey of making a perfect pie. Seeing her in action was so much fun!

Carol’s Pie Baking Tips – Step by Step

Chill your bowl and all your pie crust dough ingredients (dry, wet and shortening).

Dough mixture (with chilled shortening already cut in) should resemble cornmeal.Cornmeal Looking Stage

Carol strains her egg/vinegar mixture into the crust’s dry ingredients.

Allow enough time to also chill the dough, for at least an hour. Check out the beautiful texture Carol gets. State Fair Apple Pie dough

For the filling, Carol prefers using a combo of Granny Smith, Braeburn, and Pink Lady apples.

Layer the apples, butter, and raspberries. You’ll get a colorful look that doesn’t “bleed” much or look messy.Layering State Fair Apple Pie

Let your artistic side out by cutting and etching the leaves for the top crust like Carol did.Pie Crust Leaves

Layer and distribute the leaves evenly, so the top crust will bake uniformly.Leaf decoration on State Fair Apple Pie

Brush with beaten egg white and sprinkle with sugar for some beautiful browning and sparkle.

The pie will be heaping with apples. While baking, the apples shrink, resulting in a full, lush-looking pie.Baked State Fair Apple Pie

The pie cuts beautifully and has a firm yet tender filling.State Fair Apple Pie

This State Fair Apple Raspberry Pie is a classic. Put it on your holiday baking list. And if you want another 2021 Minnesota State Fair winning pie, check out this blue ribbon winner also.

Enjoy!

-Cyndi

 

Coconut Curry Mango Cake

At the 2021 Minnesota State Fair baking competition, no one could have predicted how tasty this Coconut Curry Mango Cake was going to be, including me. With surprising ingredients and a colorful exterior, the cake stood out for its perfectly balanced flavors, rich taste, and tender yet firm texture.

Recipe credit goes to Maggie MacIntosh. She used a Cooks Illustrated coconut cake recipe as a starting point and began experimenting.

Creative Cake

Garam masala, turmeric, mango nectar, and mango crystals are among the unique ingredients Maggie features in this award winning cake. Between that creativity, how well she combined all the ingredient amounts, and how perfectly she baked the cakes, this Coconut Curry Mango Cake really stood out. Plus Maggie nailed it with the coconut aroma, in both the cake itself and the frosting. The mango filling was a colorful element that added yet another dimension to the cake. Well done!

Maggie won 1st place in our Blue Ribbon Best Coconut Cake Contest with this cake. She wins $100 in King Arthur Baking Company gift cards. Here’s a shot of Maggie and her daughter, celebrating her win and all the fun the fair has to offer. Congratulations Maggie!

Judging Criteria

If you’re curious about the winner selection process, here’s the judging criteria.

  1. Unique, innovative, creative recipe……………………………………………25%
  2. Appearance, color, presentation………………………………………………..25%
  3. Texture, internal appearance…………………………………………………….25%
  4. Flavor, aroma…………………………………………………………………………. 25%

Coconut Curry Mango Cake – Step by Step

Want to re-create the magic of Maggie’s coconut curry cake and its mango filling? We walk you through it with a detailed overview, including photos.

Here’s everything that goes into the batter, from the cake flour and spices, to butter, sugar, and eggs.

Batter ingredients

You starting with whipping the egg and egg whites before adding cream of coconut, water, and extracts.

Coconut Curry Mango Cake Egg Whites

Next, you mix the dry ingredients: cake flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, garam masala, and turmeric.

Batter mixing stage 2

Then you mix in the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, until mixture resembles coarse meal.

Batter mixing stage 3

Once you slowly combine everything together…Batter mixing…you divide the batter between your prepped 8-inch pans. It makes a nice thick batter. Spread it around.

Batter in pans

While those bake and cool, get your filling ingredients together. Whip that up.

Coconut Curry Mango CakeDo the same with your buttercream frosting.

Coconut Curry Mango Cake

Whip it good. It should form stiff peaks. Here’s a shot when it’s reaching perfection.

Buttercream Frosting Stage 2

Last, you slice each cake in half to get 4 equal layers, then assemble everything together. A great tip from Maggie was to pipe the frosting on the edge of each layer to help hold in the filling.

Filling layer

We didn’t get shots of this, but applying a crumb coat–thinly frosting top and sides of cake before fully frosting the cake–prevents a messy look.

Finishing Touches

To finish, sprinkle toasted coconut on top and press into sides of cake. This will give the cake a classic look, like this.

Or you can opt to dye the toasted coconut in one or more colors and decorate in circular patterns on top (as winner did).

These resemble the colors Maggie used: yellow, orange, and red.

Dyed Coconut flakes

And this is her stencil she used decorating the top of her cake.

Feel free to reach out to us direct if you want help re-creating the multi-color decor Maggie used. We have additional notes from our test runs and Maggie we can share.

If you love this cake’s concept but want a faster, easier version of the recipe, stay tuned. We are working on a sheet cake version of this magical Coconut Curry Mango Cake we will share later.

In the meantime though, this cake makes a fun fall baking experience. Fun fact: some of our tasters thought the curry/turmeric combo was a tastier, gingery pumpkin spice. Give it a try and see what you taste.

Enjoy!

-Cyndi

 

Raspberry Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Put these Raspberry Chocolate Chunk Cookies on your must-make baking list. Their flavor shines bright with Chambord black raspberry liqueur, along with orange zest, chocolate chunks, and fresh red raspberries.

Raspberry Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Minnesotan Rachael Hood created the cookie for the Blue Ribbon Drop-Style Cookie Contest at the 2021 Minnesota State Fair (a Blue Ribbon Group sponsored contest). She won 1st place and $100 in King Arthur Baking Company gift cards.

I also arranged for Rachael to showcase her cookies on a TV spot with me on KARE 11 Saturday, the NBC affiliate in Minneapolis. Yay for hometown PR! We had an absolute blast.

Blue Ribbon Baking 2021

Let’s get back to the cookie itself. If you are intrigued by this cookie, read on for some insights about it and how you can recreate the recipe.

Key Ingredients

With these Raspberry Chocolate Chunk Cookies, the Chambord liqueur is key. It plays off the other ingredients so well, making for a terrific flavor combination that subtle, but not too subtle, and so well balanced with citrus and chocolate elements.

Display of Key Ingredients - Raspberry Chocolate Chunk Cookies

I especially love the cookie’s scent you take in with each bite and the delicious lingering aftertaste.

Chambord – if you aren’t familiar with it – is a liqueur that combines XO Cognac and French spirits with Madagascan vanilla, honey and Moroccan citrus peel, making it an ideal flavor enhancer for these cookies. It originated in France, the Loire Valley specifically, in the 1600’s. Back then, with the many King Louis of the time, it was popular to sip cognac or liqueurs at fancy French meals.

Raspberry Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Fast forward to today, the Chambord brand is owned by the same folks who own Jack Daniels. I was surprised to learn that in addition to black raspberries, they infuse blackberries and blackcurrants into it. You can find it in a variety of sizes. Since I had to go to a couple of stores to find it,I recommend calling ahead, especially if you want a specific size.

Bake Like a Blue Ribbon Winner

As always, before I add a recipe to this Blue Ribbon Foodies blog, there’s a baking test run. Walk through the recipe with us here and then give it a go yourself. The cookies are delicious and highly recommended.

Here’s everything that goes into the cookies (minus the food color), including the liqueur, fresh Driscoll raspberries, orange zest, and all-purpose flour from King Arthur Baking Company.

Raspberry Chocolate Chunk Cookies

You first sift together the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

Flour

Next you cream the butter and sugars before adding in the remaining wet ingredients and mixing until smooth. Sorry, no pic. I was too excited to get these into the oven! Finally, add the pre-mixed dry ingredients, and stir just until combined.

Then all that remains prep-wise is to chop the raspberries and gently mix everything together.

Raspberry Chocolate Chunk Cookies Dough

Put both the fruit and juice in the dough. Raspberry Chocolate Chunk Cookies Ingredients

Your dough should come out a bit like this.

Raspberry Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Scoop the dough by heaping tablespoons onto a parchment lined baking sheet. You’ll bake these 12-14 minutes at 350 degrees F.Dough on baking sheet

To experiment and to use ingredients already on hand, I varied from Rachael’s recipe just a bit. I used all semi-sweet chocolate chunks instead a combo of dark and milk chocolate and did not chop them fine, opting for larger chocolate pieces. I also used a different red food coloring. Here’s how mine came out!

Raspberry Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Rachael chopped her chocolate by hand and smaller. She also used McCormick’s red food coloring.  Do both those things and you’ll match the color of Rachael’s cookie dough and end product.

Blue Ribbon Raspberry Chocolate Chunk Cookies

What a delight these were to bake and eat. We invite you to bake and share these cookies, or anything from our recipe collection. If you do, be sure to post a pic on Instagram or Facebook. Be sure we can follow along, by tagging:

  1. @blueribbonfoodies
  2. @mnstatefair
  3. #blueribbonbaking2021
  4. #kingarthurbaking

Hey Hey! You never know when we might do a giveaway!

-Cyndi

 

 

Best Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

This Best Strawberry Rhubarb Pie recipe from Kathleen McCarron took first place at the 2021 Minnesota State Fair. Kathleen won top honors in the Blue Ribbon Best Fruit Pie special contest (and won $100 in King Arthur Baking Company gift cards). Her pie has a delicious, flaky crust you make with shortening, cold water, and of course, flour, sugar, and salt. The filling is chopped rhubarb and sliced fresh strawberries, making for a sweet, slightly tart taste to every bite.

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Read on for some insights direct from Kathleen with our Winner Q&A:

What is your secret to baking great pies?

For me, the secret to a great pie is having a great crust. I love my family’s recipe, and rarely bother to use anything else, but (a perfect pie crust) is fairly tricky. It took me a number of years and at least a dozen pies to actually get the technique right, as judging exactly how far to cut the shortening into the dry ingredients took practice. To me, the effort is worth it because it tastes so good. We’ll sometimes bake the crust on it’s own with a bit of cinnamon sugar and eat it like cookies.

What can you tell me about your strawberry rhubarb pie and how the recipe came to be?

I first made this pie at the request of my father-in-law. I asked him what dessert he would like me to bring for a Father’s Day celebration, and he said that strawberry rhubarb was his favorite. After a quick google search, this one looked the best to me, as it had the least amount of sugar and he mentioned liking a tarter pie. I then doubled the cinnamon and substituted my family’s pie crust.

Do you have any helpful tips for someone making your recipe?

The trickiest part is the crust. Cutting the shortening to the size of small peas is important. A pastry cutter is faster, but it is possible to do this with a fork as well, as I did that for years. Leaving time to chill is also important, if you don’t rolling out will be more difficult.

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Presentation is important. What are some of your tricks?

If I’m honest, I’ve always focused on taste first, presentation second. People will ooh and aah when something looks pretty, me included, but they only come back for more if it tastes good. Once I’m happy with the flavor, my next goal is usually to make it neatly, though sometimes I can’t even manage that. I almost didn’t turn this pie in because the juices burst through, but I figured it couldn’t hurt to try. And I won despite the untidiness!

What is the worst disaster you have had in the kitchen and how did you deal with it?

My family has a recipe for an apple cake with fudgy frosting that’s to die for. My mom had always made it as either a bundt cake or in a 9×13 pan, but I decided to try making it as a three layer cake. The first layer came out fine, but I didn’t leave time for the frosting to set before turning out the second layer, and the cake itself was too loose to hold together anyway. It was just this mound of broken cake and gloopy frosting. Unfortunately, I was making this cake for my sister’s birthday party, and didn’t have the time or ingredients to make anything else. Instead I just shoved some candles on top and apologized. Everyone at the party had a huge laugh, as this was by far the ugliest thing I had ever baked for them. Still tasted great!

Who does most of the cooking in your home?

I am both the cook and baker in my home, though both of my children are very interested in what goes on in the kitchen, particularly my son.  There are times that I’m rushing to get dinner on the table, and it just doesn’t work to have a three year old helping.  I have to promise him that he can help me make a dessert after we eat, and then he’ll happily mix together a box of pudding for us to enjoy.

What are some of your favorite family recipes?

I’ve always loved my mom’s apple pie, which is funny because she thinks it’s nothing special. She also makes a wonderful chicken salad and beef stew. For myself, I have a chocolate chip cookie recipe that I love, and there’s peach and apricot pie I’ve made that gets really great reviews. This summer I’ve been experimenting with fancy burgers, and I also once made a beef Wellington that had the flavors of Rouladen that was particularly superb.

Strawberry Rhurbarb Pie winning baker

What advice would you give young people wanting to cook/bake more?

The biggest advice I can give is to read the recipe all the way through!  More than once, I’ve gotten stuck when I realize that a step I had just skimmed over was actually far more intense or difficult than I initially realized.

Also, it helps to have someone you can talk to about cooking, but who won’t step in and take over. I first really learned to cook during the summer after my senior year of high school. My parents told me that I was in charge of dinner on Tuesday nights. Inevitably, I would end up calling my dad 2-4 times over the course of the day to ask questions. What does this step mean? It calls for this cut of meat, but can I use this instead? I’ve watched mom make this before, but I’ve never seen her do this step, can I skip it?  I think he really looked forward to those calls, and both of my parents were very encouraging about the meals I made. I think I only needed to throw the whole thing out once and declare a pizza night instead.

What has been your biggest win in recipe competitions?

I think this blue ribbon is my biggest win to date.

What do you do for work?

Before the pandemic, I worked at the University of Minnesota in the Theater Department as a draper in the costume shop and as an adjunct professor. Lockdown decimated the theater industry, so now I am back in school working on my Initial Licensure/M.Ed degree for English Education.

Other hobbies besides baking?

I don’t have much free time between school and family, but I like to sew, particularly cross stitch.

 

We highly recommend Kathleen’s winning pie. Happy baking ya’ll!

-Cyndi

 

Peanut Butter Bacon Banana Bread

This Elvis-inspired “Peanut Butter Bacon Banana Bread” is a divine creation that features sweet and salty elements and great texture contrasts. It bakes perfectly too, coming out tender, yet firm enough to put on a stick. Among the judge’s comments: “very clever idea, delicious, and so state fair like.” We 100% agree.

Divine Elvis on a Stick

 

This recipe won first place in the Blue Ribbon Banana Bread Contest at the 2021 Minnesota State Fair. Karen Cope created it for the competition, trying several variations and testing them on neighbors before settling on this entry.

Karen is a perennial winner who took home her first county fair blue ribbon when she was just 9 years old. She wins a $100 King Arthur Baking Company gift card.

Step By Step Recipe Overview

The toothsome treat is fun to make with kids and is easier than you think.

Bacon Cooked, Reserved Bacon Grease

First off, you fry up the bacon crisp. Or leave it out if you’re not a fan. We’ve tasted it both ways, and both are phenomenal. Next you chop the bacon into small bits and set it aside as one of the toppings.

Bacon chopped for Peanut Butter Bacon Banana Bread

Next, prep your pans (grease, line with parchment), measure out your ingredients and set the oven to pre-heat to 350°F.

I love my stand-up mixture as it does the “heavy lifting” so well, an in blending ingredients smooth.

In this pic, I’ve already blended the bacon grease, butter, peanut butter, and brown sugar. I’m about to mashed my bananas.

I wish my bananas were more ripe than ^these^ ones shown above, but sometimes that’s all the grocery store has.

Perfectly Ripe Bananas for Banana Bread

In my opinion, this is the ^ideal ripeness^ for banana bread. You could even go a bit more ripe. The aroma is very banana-y at this stage.

Mashed Bananas for Peanut Butter Bacon Banana Bread

On this test run, I ended up doing a banana puree with an immersion blender with mine to eliminate bigger lumps. Once you combine the bananas with the eggs, vanilla, salt, and baking soda, you only need to mix in the flour, and half your chocolate chips and peanut butter chips. (You are saving the other half for drizzling.)

Peanut Butter Bacon Banana Bread - Prepped IngredientsMix only until just combined. Divide mixture between the two prepared pans. Batter will be quite thick, so level it out in the pan.

Batter in Pan - Peanut Butter Bacon Banana Bread

Bake for 20-25 minutes, until light golden brown and edges start to pull away from the sides. Tip: if you only have 8-inch cake pans, use them, and bake about 10 minutes longer. A toothpick inserted into center should come out clean, without chocolate. Cool on wire rack.

Toppings for Peanut Butter Bacon Banana Bread

The last step is fun. You cut the bread into 16 servings, insert the wide, wooden sticks (3/4 inch wide is ideal), then do your toppings.

  • Melted peanut butter chips (with shortening)
  • Melted chocolate chips (with shortening)
  • Chopped peanuts (Planters, honey-roasted)
  • Chopped banana chips (Trader Joe’s)
  • Bacon pieces

Tah Dah!

Elvis on a Stick

Now you have the best-ever banana bread to enjoy: Peanut Butter Bacon Banana Bread, Elvis on a Stick!

Happy noshing!

-Cyndi

 

Bake Your Best for the 2021 Minnesota State Fair

Calling all Blue Ribbon Foodies & Minnesota State Fair Lovers!!

Hit the kitchen and let’s bake together for the Great Minnesota Get-Back-Together! To celebrate the official return of our hometown Minnesota State Fair in 2021, the Blue Ribbon Group is sponsoring four special baking contests at the Minnesota State Fair including:

  • Best Banana Bread
  • Best Fruit Pie
  • Best Drop Cookie
  • Best Coconut Cake

Cash Prizes & Kudos

For this “Blue Ribbon Baking Day” at the fair, we’ve organized $175 in prizes for each competition, plus there will be special recognition for blue ribbon winners across several broader baking categories: Cookies, Cakes, Pies, and Breads. Don’t miss this treasured tradition that hundreds of Minnesotans take part in every year. You’ll rub elbows with like-minded home cooks and hobby bakers on “baking drop-off day” and once the fair opens see what wins in display cases throughout the Creative Activities Building. The experience is also a wonderful warm-up for the upcoming holiday baking season.

Special Thanks to our prize partner, King Arthur Baking Company. 

King Arthur Baking Company

Blue Ribbon Baking Contest Series: Sat, Aug 21, 2021, 9:30am – 1pm (Competitors: Sign Up by Aug 10, 4:30pm)

All registration goes through the Minnesota State Fair competition department. Registration is free! There’s also no obligation if you later can’t participate. Go to the Competitions/Creative Activities/Baked Products section at MNStateFair.org to sign up (under the Participants tab). Three quick-start tips:

  • Create your online account here
  • For step-by-step guidance, go here.
  • Sign up for the Competition Department email list here and be sure to choose “Creative Activities” as your email list.

Best Drop Cookies Blue Ribbon Cake Blue Ribbon Pie: Blueberry Rhubarb Strawberry Pie Best Banana Bread

 

Sign Up!   *********************Registration is Closed; Stay Tuned for Follow-Up Posts **************************************

  • Registration is open now. It closes August 10 at 4:30pm. No late registrations are allowed so don’t miss the deadline
  • Registration is FREE
  • You drop off your entry the Saturday before the fair opens, so it’s easy in, easy out. Drop off is 9:30am to 1pm on Saturday, August 21. You can even have a friend drop it off if you can’t make it
  • Open to Minnesota residents only

If you are on social media, be sure to follow BLUE RIBBBON FOODIES on Instagram or Facebook (or both =). Help us grow. Like and comment on what you see there. Save and share your favorite posts. Also, stay tuned here for inspiration and award-winning recipes from Minnesota and across the country.

Want to see all the official rules? Download them here.

Good luck. We’ll be cheering for you all!

Cyndi & Crystal (aka The Blue Ribbon Group & Blue Ribbon Foodies)