One of our favorite summer activities is going to the fair. The kids love the games and rides, the whole family loves the exhibits and the food.
Since our county fair is cancelled this year, we held our own fair in the backyard.
We made sure there were games.
And prizes to go with the games
And we even got them some new backyard toys which subbed in for rides.
This saucer swing has turned out to be a great pandemic purchase. They've used it every day since our backyard fair.
Each of the boys set up their own exhibit for us to visit. Thatkid chose "Rocks and Minerals" which is their favorite exhibit at the fair. Thatbaby decided he would do the animal exhibit. It was a far cry from the cows and goats we usually see.
The little guys usually get corn dogs at the fair, and since that's an easy enough thing to replicate at home, we all had corn dogs for lunch!
While Thatbaby napped, Thatkid got his face painted. It's MUCH cheaper at the backyard fair than at the actual fair.
When Thatbaby woke up, we broke out our cotton candy machine and whipped up an afternoon snack.
And then I taught myself how to make balloon animals! Or at least balloon parrots which is what the boys wanted.
We headed back outside for a little hula hoop competition.
And some spin art.
Thatboy and I like to try the new and unusual foods at the fair. That's a little harder to replicate at home, but I thought we could work it out by doing twists on regular ole food. So we had a "choose your own adventure" grilled cheese. I've had some fun grilled cheeses at the fair - like buffalo chicken, or macaroni and pulled pork.
Thatbaby stayed pretty traditional with just cheese, but he did use 3 different kind of cheeses. Thatkid went for some adventure and picked several meats, cheeses, and avocado for his grilled cheese. Thatboy went with truffle butter, harissa, bacon, and cheese, while I went with tomato basil sauce, caramelized onions, and cheese.
For the past few years, the fair has been having some pretty fun doughnut desserts, like doughnut cotton candy sandwiches. We went for an easier fair dessert - doughnut ice cream sandwiches!
It wasn't exactly the same as going to the fair, but it was a pretty good replacement for these times.
I'm not going to lie - one of the reasons I picked choose your own adventure grilled cheese was because I could make everyone's dinner at one time that way. Even with everyone picking their own toppings. That way everyone could pick what they wanted, I could pop it all in the oven, and then we could all eat at the same time. Really, a mother's best friend.
Oven Broiled Grilled Cheese
8 slices of bread
4 Tbsp butter, room temperature
Cheese - cheddar, gruyere, muenster, monterey jack, mozzarella, swiss, feta......
Other ideas - salami, bacon, ham, turkey, chicken, pepperoni, mushrooms, zucchini, mushrooms, tomatoes, onions, sriracha, pesto. tomato sauce, harissa, tahini, alfredo, barbecue sauce, wing sauce, tapenade, pickles, ranch, Italian dressing.....
- Preheat the broiler. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray. Butter each piece of bread with 1/2 Tbsp of the butter.
- Place 4 of the bread slices buttered side down in on the baking sheet.
- Top each of these bread slices with cheese.
- Top the cheese with whatever toppings you want.
- Add another slice of cheese on top of the toppings and then the remaining slices of bread, buttered side up.
- Broiled the sandwiches about 3 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the bread is golden. Flip them and broil for another 3 minutes.