Family Fun at the Fair, and other Minnesota Stuff

September 9, 2019

Family Fun at the Fair, and other Minnesota Stuff


My daughter and I pose at Birch’s on the Lake .
Thanks to my son in-law for being the photographer! :o)

It was two weeks before Labor Day weekend, and my daughter called.
“Hey, Mom, why don’t you fly [to Minnesota] to see us over Labor Day weekend?”
It was an offer I could not refuse! After all, I had not been to her home since our Minnesota (4th of July) family reunion, last year.
(You can read about that Minnesota trip, here.)

I invite you, now, to take a moment to leisurely “stroll” through some highlights of my Minnesota Labor Day photos. I had a great four days!  :o)

Friday, August 30



Our daughter enjoys Spiderman goodies from her dad. :o)

Walking Pongo 


We enjoyed walking Pongo through the neighborhood, in the delightful fall-like weather.

Birch’s on the Lake


The front of a Birch’s on the Lake menu


We were treated to a scenic lake view, as we dined.


I enjoyed this mouth-watering (broiled) herb-crusted walleye for my dinner.
Walleye is the “Official State Fish of Minnesota“.

Saturday, August 31

Food, Fun, and Games

IMG_6219 2

Nala “supervises” as we prepare Honey-Old Bay Wings, and Barbecue Wings
to snack on during the first 
Iowa State football game of the season.


Honey-Old Bay Wings, and Barbecue Wings
 See below for the recipes.


Iowa State wins against University of Northern Iowa in triple overtime!
Go here for a game summary.


Playing Scrabble with a whole lot of “E’s”!

Sunday, September 1
Minnesota State Fair

I was excited to be attending the Minnesota State Fair with my daughter and son in-law.
I had done so a couple of years ago, and we had such fun!
Now, if you think that we just go to eat our way through the fair, then you are exactly right! (Although, we did take a look-see at the fair critters, too.) We even planned our eating route, through the fair’s 300 vendors, ahead of time, to make sure we did not miss any festive fair flavors. :o)

See my earlier trip to the Minnesota State Fair, here.

You can check out the list of 2019 fair food, here.


 Paul Bunyan and his trusty blue ox, Babe,
greet my daughter, son in-law, and his brother to the fair.

According to legend, we have Paul Bunyan to thank for Minnesota’s 10,000 lakes,
created by Bunyan’s footprints.

Interesting Sites at the Fair


It’s a cute woodsy look for this state fair eatery.

img_5519 2.jpeg

Speaking of woodsy…an accommodating Smokey Bear “posed” with us for a photo.


This root beer barrel kiosk caught my eye.


There was this actual root beer barrel at the fair, too.


The neon lights of this baseball beckons fair goers.


Colorful fair rides

The Food!


Tom Thumb mini donuts


Fried Oreos

Dole Whip!


Making our way to the Dole Whip stand, through the morning rain drops.
See the Dole Whip kiosk in the back left corner of photo


A refreshing raspberry-pineapple Dole Whip swirl in a waffle cone


Excited about Dole Whip!
Dole Whip is a family favorite here at the fair, and when we go to the Disney parks.


I loved the moist roasted turkey at Turkey to Go!


My son in-law enjoys a two-toned shaved ice.


A stop at the Pickle Dog


As the morning wore on, and the rain drops decreased, the crowds increased!



The staff is busy making Nordic Waffles.


The Nordic Waffles were a hit.

Apples, and Cider Freezes, and Apple Sauce, Oh My!


There were cider freezes, and a new variety of apple named, First Kiss.


There was fresh apple sauce…


and The Wizard of Oz, all in the horticulture building.



Fried cheese curds are a popular fair food, here.



Can’t miss the corn on the cob at the fair!

Sweet Martha’s Cookies


Sweet Martha’s Cookies are a Minnesota State Fair institution.
Selling about one million cookies per day, during the fair.



Cookie dough, waiting for their turn to be transformed into delicious
Sweet Martha cookies.



Monday, Labor Day
September 1



Labor Day meant a trip to  The Original Pancake House .


The pancakes were great!

Juicy Lucy Burgers

Juicy Lucy burgers were created in Minneapolis, featuring melted cheese on the inside of a burger. Think of it as an inside-out cheeseburger. :o)

A Twin Cities native, my son in-law prepared his special Juicy Lucy burgers for us for our Labor Day dinner.


The cheese of choice for the Juicy Lucy center was Laughing Cow Swiss (3 and a half triangles) and grated Pepper Jack (4 ounces), mixed together.


Each burger (2 pounds, divided into six burgers, with each burger divided in two/top and bottom) was filled with the cheese mixture.


The (80-20 beef) burger must be tightly sealed around the cheese.


Grilled to perfection 


Hot cheese in the center of a burger=a Juicy Lucy

IMG_6467 2.jpeg

Good stuff!


A perfect Labor Day dinner!

Tornado Sirens!

My flight would be at 6:00 am the next morning, so I packed up my last few items before turning into bed around 10:00. Then we heard it, the loud wail of the tornado siren!  Having grown up in the midwest, I knew…  It was quickly down to the basement for all of us, including Pongo and Nala. There were a few tense minutes as we continued to hear the sirens, punctuated by the sounds of hail hitting against the house, but happily, the bad weather passed within the hour, and without incident.


We heard the loud wail of the tornado siren.

Is it already time to go home?!


The four days flew by.  It had been a fun visit to Minnesota!  :o)


I love wings, but not the grease that they are typically fried in.  Here is my baked wing recipe, with the two varieties that we had on Game Day, above, plus a bonus, two other flavors, that my family enjoys.

Baked (Buffalo) Wings



Chicken wings with tips cut off
( I prefer to buy wingettes and drummettes/wings cut at the joint, when they are available)

Parchment paper


Honey-Old Bay Wings


Old Bay seasoning

Barbecue Wings

Sweet Baby Ray’s Honey Barbecue Sauce,
or the sauce of your choice

 Blue cheese, or Ranch dressing,
if desired for serving

Carrot and Celery sticks,
if desired.


Preheat the oven to 430 degrees.

Line cookie sheet with parchment.

Place wings on each prepared cookie sheet,
making sure that the wings do not touch.

Place cookie sheet on baking rack for 50-60 minutes,
turning over the wings halfway through cooking.
Bake for about 20-30 more minutes, until wings are crisp.
(If baking two cookie sheets of wings at a time,
also switch/trade cookie sheets to the other’s baking racks, halfway through baking. )

For Honey-Old Bay Wings

In a bowl, mix honey and Old Bay seasoning.

Remove wings from oven. 

Place cooked wings, two-three at a time, in Honey-Old Bay mixture until coated.

Remove wings from bowl, and place on plate.

Lightly sprinkle with more Old Bay seasoning.

For Barbecue Wings

Remove wings from oven, leaving the oven on.

Brush barbecue sauce on front and back of the cooked wings.

Place back into the oven for 5 more minutes.

Remove from oven.

Place wings on plate.



For Ranch Wings

In a bowl, mix 1 stick melted butter and 1 package Ranch dressing (dry) mix.

Remove wings from oven.

Place cooked wings, two-three at a time, in Ranch dressing-butter mixture until coated.

Remove wings from bowl, and place on plate.

For Buffalo Wings

In a bowl, mix 1 stick melted butter and 6 Tablespoon Frank’s Red Hot Sauce.

Remove wings from oven.

Place wings, two-three at a time, in the Franks Red Hot, until all are coated.

Place wings on plate.

Serve with Blue Cheese, or Ranch Dressing, and carrots and celery sticks, if desired.

Make sure that you have plenty of napkins handy.  :o)


Other  Minnesota and State Fair Blog Posts

Minnesota Nice=a Very Nice Family Reunion, July 2018, here.

Minnesota Nice, October 2015, here.

Mall of America, Mickey’s Diner, and other Midwestern Sites of Minneapolis, Minnesota, September 2013, here.

Happily Eating My Way through the Minnesota State Fair, September 2017, here.

Our State Fair is a Great State Fair, August 2014, here.

Thank you!

Thank you to my daughter, son in-law, and his brother for contributing photos for this blog post, and for allowing me to photograph you for this blog post. :o)

Thank you for reading,


I’m Annette Stuff




Check out my new Instagram page at imannettedotnet .

Next Post


Look for my next post featuring Minnesota’s famous Hotdish,
the unofficial dish of the Gopher State!
The blog post mentioned above was added here on September 28, 2019

I attempt to post my blog at least once per month.
Look for my next blog post on, or around,
Thursday, October 10, 2019

Thank you, blog readers!  I love hearing your kind comments!
Please post yours positive thoughts in my comment section at the bottom of the blog post.

To enjoy any, or all, of my past blog posts and photos, click here, or go to, selecting the posts that you desire to see in the Recent Posts,
or you can “search” a topic in the Archives sections, on the upper right-hand side.
(I have been blogging since 2013.)

If you receive my blog via email, and some of the photos do not come through,
please click on, or click here to refresh the post.

Become an I’m Annette follower!  It’s easy!!! It’s fun!!! It’s free!!!!
Receive my blog via email, FREE,(yes, I said FREE), immediately upon its posting.
Sign up now, on the right-hand side of this page, or click here.


A Minnesota State Fair complimentary commemorative button. 

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Family Fun at the Fair, and other Minnesota Stuff

  1. says:

    Annette, as always a treat to follow your adventures and the mouth watering recipes . Barb


  2. Renee K says:

    This was a fun read! A lot to see at the fair. The food looked delish! Amazing my husband and I made it through the fair in Iowa and never ate a thing! I love the Spiderman costume!


    • oltimetv says:

      Thank you, Renee! Yes, there is a lot to see, and a lot to eat, at the fair! Amazing that you and your hubster did not eat anything at the Iowa State Fair! I thought that Spiderman attire was fun. :o). Thanks for reading!


  3. Pingback: Hot, Hot, Hot! (Minnesota Hot Dish that is!) | I'm Annette!

  4. Pingback: Faster than a Speeding Bullet | I'm Annette!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s