It's not only the baked goods contests I like to enter at the fair. There are also daily contests you can participate in, and get a free entry into the fair for participating.
A contest they've had for a few years is the Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk Challenge. I haven't had much luck with it, although I thought my coconut milk flan last year was really tasty. Last year there were only nine entries too, which was a little disappointing for me, as with such limited numbers I thought I had a chance. The flan needed to bake in a water bath, which I think was maybe too complicated for that particular contest's aims.
I think I've found a good recipe for this coming year though, if they have the contest again. The link is here. It's an approximation of a lemon meringue pie. I think I can change it up enough to make it unique (it needs at least three significant changes to be on the level) by using a pre-done chocolate crust, lowering the sugar in the egg whites, and adding a few more whites to the mix.
I would make a homemade crust, but the goal of the contest is to make it as simple as possible. The egg white bit worries me as it is a more complex and time consuming step, and I'll have to try it again to see if I can get it done without the meringue weeping, but I think the recipe has real potential. Looks pretty too!
On the quilting side, I finally got a new sewing machine. I went for the Janome MC 6600, which I was lucky enough to find used. Consumer Reports rated it very highly, so I have high hopes. I haven't really gotten down to business with it, but I finally finished cutting out all the pieces for the Barrel of Monkeys quilt so I'm ready to go.
I'm also considering taking a block of the month class at the great local fabric store. It might be nice to meet some other quilters.