belly

not bad for day one

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Here she is. My North Carolina State Fair food bucket list. Because it’s important to keep track of these things. Oh State Fair, how I love thee …

biscuit from the Apex Lion’s Club
mini donuts
deep-fried bananas foster
Twinx (Twinkie stuffed with a Twix bar, wrapped in bacon and deep-fried. Challenge accepted.)
Al’s fries
McBride’s corn dog
Buffalo chicken rangoons from Woody’s
Ribbon-cut fried potatoes
Miss Debbie’s caramel (plus 16 other toppings) apple
a bite of Marc’s roasted corn
apple dumpling

What’s on your list? Do tell!
(Because nine more days of culinary possibilities await.)

peach pie

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In our kitchen, summertime is for watermelon, corn on the cob, grilled hot dogs and peaches. Lots and lots of peaches. We have a favorite stand at the farmers market where the girls eat sample after sample while I pick out our basket and pay up. By the time we start walking back to the car, Lily and Sophie are covered in peach juice. I don’t mind.

I usually make cobbler because it’s easy and so yummy. And you can eat it for breakfast without breaking any rules (right?). But this year, Lily wanted to try a pie. So we did.

She has her own little chef set and is officially old enough to use the big-girl knife. Cutting peaches was the perfect way to break it in. She also loves all the measuring and scooping and finger-licking that comes with baking.

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Our recipe came from the Pioneer Woman’s Tasty Kitchen blog. I used store-bought crust because it’s easy, but it didn’t taste nearly as good as a homemade crust would have. And once we cut into it, our creation turned into a big puddle of peaches and goo. Laura says to sprinkle in some corn starch next time. Duly noted.

But our very first peach pie tasted amazing. And those of us who don’t exercise restraint when it comes to good food (the five-year-old, the two-year-old and yours truly) licked our plates clean.

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quinoa salad

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Quinoa salad is not something I ever imagined I’d like. My friend Ann brought it to a cook-out, and I tasted it. Figured I should walk the “try new foods” walk in front of my kids. And then I ate about sixteen more portions. Keen-wah is good, y’all.

And this salad, with its cilantro and lime juice, is perfect for summer.

With a hot dog and some cheetos of course.

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the easiest potatoes I ever did make

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I stink at making mashed potatoes. And my attempts at roasted potatoes usually turn out too crispy (read: burnt) for the little palates in our family. So when Lily and I were watching “the cooking lady show” last week and the Pioneer Woman made her Crash Hot Potatoes I totally had an aha moment (thank you Oprah).

Two days later, Lily bellied up to the counter on her special cooking stool and helped me make these potatoes. She especially loved smooshing them with the potato masher. (The only thing we did differently than the online recipe was to drizzle them with a little olive oil before they went into the oven and sprinkle them with a little shredded cheddar when they came out. Because cheese. Right?)

They were quick, easy and delicious.

Even Lily approved. Which is a huge deal in our house.

Thank you, PW! We heart you and your lovely show.

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