the ultimate breakfast cook-off

The Ohio State Fair

This summer has been flying by at a break neck speed and I feel like I’m grasping at straws trying to find activities and special things to do to keep the kids entertained while simultaneously giving them the best summer experience possible. While I am a firm believer that summer doesn’t have to be packed from morning to night with non-stop, over the top crazy awesome fun times – I don’t want the kids to go back to school thinking that summer was a big flop.

That would just be sad.

Don’t get me wrong, we have plenty of lazy days enjoying the freedom of the non-schedule, but honestly, after a few days of that we are all craving some activity and structure.

Ohio State Fair Recap

So, needless to say when I got an invitation from The Ohio Poultry Association to come down to the Ohio State Fair and judge an Ultimate Breakfast Cook-Off, I was totally on board. We made a whole day of it and took the kids down to ride rides, eat cheese off of sticks and turkey legs as big as our face.

Ohio State Fair Recap

That’s how we roll in Ohio, baby.

Ohio State Fair Recap

The Ultimate Breakfast Cook-Off was beyond fun. It was sponsored by The Ohio Poultry Association, The American Dairy Association MideastBob Evans and Kroger – so you can imagine that the ingredients were pretty darn spectacular.

The Ultimate Breakfast Cook-off

The first round was for local celebrities including some local TV personalities, writers and public figures. The rules stated that each contestant had 30 minutes to create the ultimate breakfast using a basket of ‘secret’ ingredients and a fairly (get it? Fair-ly?) stocked pantry of items. The secret ingredients were Bob Evans Turkey Sausage patties, swiss cheese, eggs and avocado.

The Ultimate Breakfast Cook-Off

I was excited to try the turkey sausage patties because I have always used Bob Evans regular breakfast sausage patties – for instance, in my Campfire Breakfast Burgers – but I hadn’t tried their turkey patties. Well, the turkey was awesome! I loved how several of the contestants cut the sausage up and didn’t let themselves be confined to the ‘patty’.

The winning dish was a savory French Toast topped with sautéed spinach and turkey sausage. The twist of having a savory French Toast and a super flavorful topping won us over.

The Ultimate Breakfast Cook-Off

For the next round, home cooks stepped up to the skillets to try their hand at the Ultimate Breakfast Cook-off. In their ingredient box they found Bob Evans Sweet Italian Sausage (swoon!), eggs, plain Greek yogurt and a bag of salad mix.

Ohio State Fair Recap

This round definitely had some interesting interpretations of the ingredients and there were a lot of creativity points handed out. The winner was a a plate of delightfully crispy latkes with yogurt dipping sauce and a beautifully scrambled egg with sausage and spinach. These latkes were absolutely killer.

Ohio State Fair Recap

To make things even more fun, Jim Chakeres from the OPA joined in on the fun and whipped up a crunchy breakfast taco. I’ve mentioned Jim in the past as he was the brain power behind these brilliant Fig Deviled Eggs that I posted back in the spring. I have a feeling that I need to work out a version of these breakfast tacos that included the sweet italian sausage and Bob Evans mashed potatoes topped with fresh Ohio sweet corn. Oh yeah, these tacos were truly something special.

Ohio State Fair Recap (11 of 21)

I purposely wore a stretchy dress to the even knowing that I would be super full be the end of the competition. Do you think that stopped me from eating my weight in fair food?

Ohio State Fair Recap

Nope. After the competition we walked around enjoying all the things that the fair had to offer – including about 23 rides down the Giant Slide. Yeah, the kids were all about that. Ok, so I was, too.

We also enjoyed a bottomless cup of Wild Bill’s Old Fashioned Soda, which rocked my world. The Sarsaparilla was, in a word, perfect.

Ohio State Fair Recap

Then there was the Sweet Corn Blueberry Ice Cream that wasn’t exactly what I was expecting, although in no way was I disappointed. The corn was almost raisin-ike in the ice cream, if that makes sense.

Then came the fried Swiss cheese on a stick and the ginormous turkey leg (yes, those are my children poking the turkey leg) It was a day of utter gluttony and we loved every minute of it.

Ohio State Fair Recap

In other non-food related fair events there was the butter cow (ok, he’s technically food, but no one is eating 2000 pounds of butter…at least in one sitting).

Butter Cow at the Ohio State Fair

This guy, who has probably never had a bad hair day in his life:

Ohio State Fair Recap

And finally, a photo dump of the rest of the cool fair pics in no particular order:

Ohio State Fair Recap

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All in all, the Ohio State Fair got two big thumbs up from us. Super, crazy, summer fun!

Happy Thursday!

This is not a sponsored post. I was invited to come down to be a judge at the cook-off and was provided parking passes and admission tickets for my family in order to do that. I simply wanted to share all of my fair fun with you! Thanks for listening to the rambling!

5 Responses to “the ultimate breakfast cook-off”

  1. Desi — July 31, 2014 @ 9:29 am (#)

    OMG this sounds like the best thing ever! Where do you live in Ohio? I’m in Cincinnati! I didn’t even know about this breakfast cook-off at the Ohio State Fair! I’m definitely going to have to go next year. Looks like a ton of delicious food and good fun!

    • Emily — August 2, 2014 @ 12:03 pm (#)

      I’m in Northwest Ohio so it was a couple hour drive, but totally worth it! I had never been before (and I’m ashamed to say this because I’m a life long Ohioan). Definitely check out this competition next year, it was a blast!

  2. Heather @ Shards of Lavender — August 1, 2014 @ 4:39 pm (#)

    Oh, Emily, your day at the fair looks like it was a blast! I’ve lived in Ohio for 17 years now and haven’t been to the State Fair once. Oops… We’ll have to take our family next year:)

    • Emily — August 2, 2014 @ 12:01 pm (#)

      Having lived here my whole life, I’m embarrassed to say this was my very first time ever at the fair (I know, crazy!!). We are going to make it a point to go back again next year for sure 🙂 Thanks for stopping by, Heather!

    • Heather @ Shards of Lavender — August 2, 2014 @ 8:06 pm (#)

      We can share in the shame, Emily:) I’m only over an hour away from Columbus, so I really have no excuse for next year!

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