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Family Foto Friday at the Iowa State Fair #RedCupShowdown #Cbias

I have been cooking for ever. I love cooking. I have such a fun time trying new recipes and sharing them on my blog and food photography has become a new love of mine. Even though I have been cooking forever and consider myself to be fairly decent at it, I’ve never been to a real live cooking contest before.

Well, all of that changed this past Wednesday when my husband and I loaded up our van with our four children, our niece, and our babysitter, and headed to the Iowa State Fair for Seattle’s Best #RedCupShowdown with Jeff Mauro, host of the Sandwich King.

The first thing we did when we got to the fair was hit up the Seattle’s Best Booth for some free coffee! It was an early and stressful morning. {The brakes went out on my van last weekend and we weren’t sure it would be repaired in time to take everyone. My van is the biggest vehicle we own and we knew Plan B – take the truck but leave the cousin and babysitter behind- would be an unpopular option. Luckily for us, though, Doug our super awesome mechanic, fixed my van just in the nick of time! And we all got to go. But all of this was still unclear on Wednesday morning…} So the free coffee was much appreciated!

The Seattle’s Best Booth had coffee samples from the other State Fair winners, a prize wheel, and a fun picture opportunity!

This was one of the coffee creations called Cotton Candy Mochas.We all had fun trying their coffee samples. Don’t tell anyone, but I let my kids try it too. Hehe. They didn’t like it very much! Whew!

My son spun the prize wheel and won the grand prize – a $5 giftcard to his choice of sandwich restaurant.

He was thrilled of course, even more thrilled when he heard Subway was an option and that’s the gift card he chose. Hmmmm. I guess Subway’s better than the other options…

And then we all got mugged! The staff at the booth was fantastic and oh so patient. They must have taken 10 pictures before we were all satisfied.

I love this picture of all of us at the Iowa State Fair!! Thanks, Seattle’s Best people!

And then, because the contest didn’t start for a few hours, we hit the fair! Since we’ve been lots of times, we knew what we wanted to see.

The Butter Cow is always a hit. Eggs on sticks, fried fair food, horses, pigs, goats, dogs. The biggest boar, the biggest pumpkin, the biggest steer. We saw them all! We saw tractors, prom dresses made out of duct tape, and tractors made out of soda cans. We got tattooed, ate fair food, participated at a farm, produced electricity, watched a BMX exhibition, met the military, went to Texas, and met Clifford the Big Red Dog. In all, I took over 200 pictures of our day at the fair, and here are just a few of them.

Whew. After doing all of the above, I was ready to sit down and rest for a bit! I had no idea what to expect at the coffee contest, the whole reason we were at the fair in the first place! Seattle’s Best has been hosting the #RedCupShowdown for some time now. They traveled to the California, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Illinois State Fairs this summer in search of a new coffee flavor for their coffee shops! The first prize winner at each fair won $500 and a trip for two to the finale in New York City {on a tandem bike, according to Jeff Mauro – air fare not included…} The last stop on the #RedCupShowdown was the Iowa State Fair and all of the first place winners are headed to New York City next week for the finale!

The 9 contestants each had 5 minutes to create their coffee concoctions, some of which are pictured below. The official time keeper kept the time and Jeff Mauro entertained the audience. The room was packed and Jeff Mauro was pretty darn funny. Only once did he call Iowa Ohio {good thing too because he was almost booted from his own show!} 😉

The contestants shared their inspiration for their coffee drinks and made us laugh as well. Bacon ended up being the ticket to success, who would have thought. Iowa and Bacon??!! Both the third place drink and the first place drink featured bacon. I’m not sure how bacon goes in a coffee drink, but I do like to eat bacon while drinking coffee, so maybe it’s not such a stretch to combine the two. I’m all about efficiency! 😉

It was a fabulous day and I can’t wait to see Iowa win the whole contest! If you’re curious


Sunday 19th of August 2012

What a fun day!!!!! I'm with you - not sure about putting bacon IN the coffee. :)

Crystal @ Surviving a Teacher's Salary

Friday 17th of August 2012

It was great to meet you! I love how many of you squeezed into that red cup - so fun! It was definitely a great day! Hopefully we can meet up again sometime!


Friday 17th of August 2012

You're on, Crystal! The cup picture was fun!!

Lisa @ Crazy Adventures in Parenting

Friday 17th of August 2012

Fabulous recap! That's so funny he messed up the state. I can only imagine it all started to bleed together after a while. I want to know when all these coffee drinks are gonna be mailed to me!? Heh.


Friday 17th of August 2012

I'm sure! Iowa was last in the line-up and I was waiting for the blunder. And wouldn't you know it, he almost made it error free. It was the very last First Place Winner announcement!! Too funny.


Friday 17th of August 2012

Wasn't it fun to see the competition? We had a blast watching it at the IL state fair. Jeff Mauro is pretty funny. Also loved the big collage pic of everything y'all did at the fair.


Friday 17th of August 2012

Thanks, Alison! This has been my most favorite CBias job of all time! What a great opportunity!

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