Homemade Fancy Carnival Food Recipes: 4505 Bacon Corn Dogs, Thyme Popcorn, & More!

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 [1] I can't stand crowds, [2] I can't stand being near children and [3] 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


  1. Put the butter, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, garlic, and thyme into a small pan over medium-low heat. Heat until it lightly simmers.
  2. Remove pan from heat, set aside.  
  3. Place popcorn in large bowl and drizzle sauce over it, then mix in the parmesan cheese. 
  4. 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*


  1. In a medium bowl, combine cornmeal, flour, salt, pepper, sugar and baking powder. Stir in eggs and milk.
  2. Preheat oil in a deep saucepan* over medium heat.
  3. Cut the hot dogs in half. Insert wooden skewers into hot dogs. Roll hot dogs in batter until well completely coated. 
  4. Fry 2 corn dogs at a time until lightly brown, about 3-4 minutes.
  5. 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


  1. Scoop the amount of ice cream you wish into a bowl or cup. 
  2. Pour root beer over the ice cream. 
  3. Indulge.

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