Another year older

Thank you guys so much for the birthday greeting emails, PM's and posts.

I had a wonderful day. My sister woke me up bright and early (an annoying family tradition LOL) and sang to me. Then my Mum and I took off and spent the day at the County Fair. The fairgrounds are near the beach out here so after the Fair I ended the day at my favorite place in the world. Perfect.

At the fair they have a different cooking contest each day so I turned in an entry. In the past I've taken First Place in Canola Oil, Hidden Valley Ranch, Sargento Cheese's contests. Local pals: when you go to the fair support the Food and Crafts Division by buying this year's cookbook. I'm on page 43.

No, I didn't win this year. Apparently there are hundreds of lover's of this product... I am not one of them but it was a blast anyway. I entered the Great American SPAM contest. The theme was appetizers. I made a version of my bites with SPAM. They are actually quite tasty.

Here's the entry and the recipe:

Shelly's Spamtastic Bites with Tropical Dipping Sauce

1 (12 oz.) can Spam, diced
1/2 cup Crushed Pineapple, drained
1/2 Yellow Onion, diced
2 Green Onions, diced
2 cloves Garlic, diced
1/2 cup Cheddar or Co-Jack Cheese, shredded
5 Eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon butter

Preheat oven to 350. Saute diced Spam till golden. The contest required using 12 oz. I'd do less personally. Add drained pineapple and saute for 1 minute more. Set aside to cool. Saute onions till golden in butter. Add garlic. Cook 1 minute more. Set aside to cool. Beat eggs. Mix all ingredients together. Be sure Spam mixture and veggies have cooled slightly before adding to egg mixture. Spoon into lightly greased mini muffin tins. Bake for 30 minutes at 350. Makes 24.

Tropical Dipping Sauce

Equal parts Orange Marmalade Simply Fruit and Crushed Pineapple with juice. Microwave marmalade for 25 seconds till warm and add pineapple. Mix.

The winner this year was a layered SPAM Pate Cheesecake. Very elaborate. I was shocked, amazed and frankly weirded out by how many SPAM creations there were. We had a beautiful day at the fair despite me not winning this year.

My favorite parts of the fair are the collections, the award winning roses and the animals. Yeah my answer pre-op would have been very different... it would have been the FOOD. I actually didn't eat anything much while I was there. I brought some nuts and a protein bar and had those in the morning. Later I ate a Roasted Corn and I bought some SF Maple Nut Fudge. Yum! I was horrified at some of the new fair food choices... Deep Fried Reese's Whips Bars, Deep Fried White Castles. Scary! and yes I saw many, many, people eating them. I did get a little sad at the Fair I saw so many SMO and MO people indulging in fair goodies and I thought how I would have been right there with them consuming 3000+ calories in a meal a few short years ago. Hopefully they will find there way out of that hell too.

After the fair we got coffee and went to the beach for a bit. Ahhh my zen zone. We are going out to dinner next week (my Mum's birthday) so I came home and BBQ'd. My birthday dinner was yummy BBQ'd Greek Chicken Kabobs and a Greek Salad with homegrown heirloom tomatoes. No cake for me (not into cake) but I did indulge in a birthday treat I made for myself.

and with the little bit of melted sugar free chocolate I had left I made some chocolate dipped Apricots too...

Nuke a Sugar Free Chocolate bar (for 25 second intervals stirring till melted - my microwave took 45 seconds total)

Dip berries or dried fruit or nuts or your finger ;)

*Be sure any fruit you dip is washed and dried thoroughly. Drops of water will cause the chocolate to seize up and render it unusable.

Highlights of the Day:

* The fair is always fun.

* Spending my birthday staring at the Pacific Ocean my most favorite place in the world.

* This is the first year I could use my Birthday Banner my Mum and I made last year. It spells out HAPPY BIRTHDAY and has cute end pieces with candles and cupcakes. It's a gorgeous keepsake that we will use year after year at every family birthday!

Listening to: "#41" Dave Matthews (my fav seen him live 8 times)