There was a time when I used to love going to carnivals and fairs. Something magical happens when you bring together bright colors, silly lights, rides and game booths. Growing up, I was surrounded by many carnival events and themes (cartoons, shirts, commercials, school events) that it just stuck with me. There's also a side of me that enjoys creepy and strange things, which carnivals can sometimes come off as.
I don't go to carnivals as often as I used to because  I can't stand crowds,  I can't stand being near children and  the food is overpriced for low quality.
I miss carnival visits and while I cannot bring the actual carnival to our home, what I can do is create a dinner menu of carnival eats and treats that we could cook using better local ingredients. Our carnival dinner menu turned out to be a success. Here are some photos and the recipes below:
As an appetizer, we made thyme garlic-parmesan popcorn. It was savory and absolutely addicting. The main course was 4505 bacon corn dogs, which turned out fantastic. The batter was like deep fried corn bread; 3-4 minutes of frying was perfect for a crispy texture outside and perfect cook inside. To finish, we made a simple root beer float using local ice cream.
Thyme Garlic-Parmesan Popcorn Recipe
Recipe adapted from Our Best Bites
Serves 4 people
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 3/4 cup grated parmesan
- extra olive oil for drizzling afterwards
- 8 cups of popped popcorn or 1 bag of popcorn
- Put the butter, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, garlic, and thyme into a small pan over medium-low heat. Heat until it lightly simmers.
- Remove pan from heat, set aside.
- Place popcorn in large bowl and drizzle sauce over it, then mix in the parmesan cheese.
- If desired, drizzle on your favorite olive oil.
Corn Dogs Recipe
Recipe adapted from AllRecipes.com
Serves 2 people
- 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoon white sugar
- 1/4 salt
- 1/4 black pepper
- 1 small egg
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 hot dogs of your favorite brand
- 4 wooden skewers
- 3-4 cups avocado oil or canola oil for frying*
- In a medium bowl, combine cornmeal, flour, salt, pepper, sugar and baking powder. Stir in eggs and milk.
- Preheat oil in a deep saucepan* over medium heat.
- Cut the hot dogs in half. Insert wooden skewers into hot dogs. Roll hot dogs in batter until well completely coated.
- Fry 2 corn dogs at a time until lightly brown, about 3-4 minutes.
- Drain on paper towel and serve!
*Note: I used a large non-stick pan and filled it with oil to fry the corn dogs, also submerging the sticks.
Root Beer Float Recipe
Serves 2 people
- Scoops of your favorite vanilla ice cream
- 1 bottle of root beer
- Scoop the amount of ice cream you wish into a bowl or cup.
- Pour root beer over the ice cream.