Orange caramel bacon popcorn

I invented this for a tasting at Wheatsfield. I used Roxy Taco, but you could try Das Bigfoot, Alliyum, Smoke Licker, Grilla Gorilla or GGX, Cha-cha Lima, or Coco Corazon. The orange juice brings out the zing in the spice, but you can do without it. You can also cook it in a smoker for an hour instead of the oven if you're cray-cray like me.

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20 cups unsalted corn
1 lb bacon, fried to just about crispy, drained and chopped
      (I cooked mine between paper towels in the microwave for 6 minutes)
1 cup butter
2 cups brown sugar
1⁄2 cup light corn syrup or 1⁄2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup orange juice
1 tbsp Saltlickers seasoning: Roxy Taco, Das Bigfoot, Alliyum, Grilla Gorilla or GGX, Cha-cha Lima, or Coco Corazon
1⁄2 tsp baking soda

Preheat your oven or smoker to 250º. Melt butter over medium heat. Mix in brown sugar, corn syrup, orange juice and salt. Stir until boiling at the edges. Lower the heat slightly and let boil until the caramel is 250º. Remove from heat and add the baking soda. Stir in the bacon.

Put the popcorn into a giant bowl and pour the caramel over it. Mix well. It's hard. You may feel like your arm is going to fall off. Divide the popcorn between two slightly oiled cookie sheets and cook for 45 minutes to an hour, mixing every 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let it cool. Break the slabs into an air-tight container and refrigerate.

The Best Herky Perky Glazed Meatloaf

This recipe is from our amazing friend, illustrator, artist and cook extraordinaire, Deborah Stein.


We were so happy to use mainly local Iowa grown and made ingredients for this one from Story City Meatlocker meat to Saltlickers salt to homegrown sage and onions. Even the Apple Cide was from the Community Orchards in Fort Dodge. I turned my loaves into TV Dinners so my father in law up in Humboldt could pop one out of the freezer and into the microwave on football day!

Makes one big loaf or two or three mini-loaves.

1 lb ground Meat (or Turkey!)  
2 or so tsp Herky Perky (to taste)
1 tsp chopped dried sage or 1 tbsp fresh chopped sage
1/4 c finely chopped red onion
1 egg
2 tbsp ketchup
2 tbsp apple cider
Black pepper

Herky La Perky Glaze
1/4 c Apple cider
1/3 c ketchup (or more to thicken)
A few shprinks of Herky Perky

Preheat oven to 375F. Gently mix until combined, try not to overwork to keep your loaf tender. Form into one big loaf or two or three mini loaves and put in a lightly oiled baking dish. to make the glaze, mix ingredients and add more ketchup if necessary to thicken. Spoon glaze onto the loaf/loaves which will keep it moist and add an awesome sweet-savory deliciousness to your loaf. Pop into a 375F oven for about 30-35 min. SOOOO Good with Smoke Licker and butter mashed patooties.


Smoked Pretzels

12 oz unsalted pretzels (I used Snyder's)
Olive oil
Any Saltlickers salt
(I used Grilla Gorilla and Das Bigfoot)
Foil trays that will fit in your smoker
Wood chips of your choice

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Heat your smoker to 250. Poke lots of small holes in the bottom of the trays. I used a corn cob holder. The ratios of olive oil to salt were different for each flavor. For Grilla Gorilla, I used 1/2 c olive oil + 5 tbsp spice. For Das Bigfoot, I used 1/3 cup olive oil and 4 tbsp spice. If you like light salt, start with 1/2 the salt I used, taste the pretzel before you smoke, and add more salt to taste. Stir the pretzels into the oil mix until they're covered. Scoop the pretzels into the foil trays (don't pack the trays tight—you want space for the smoke to do its thing) and load the wood. I used apple for both. Smoke for 15 minutes. You can also bake these in a 250 degree oven.

Smoked Toffee Popcorn

I was going to make toffee popcorn anyway, but then I thought, "Toffee popcorn bakes at 250 for 1 hour. That's perfect for the smoker!" Well, it melted people's faces off in a good way. The Cha-cha Lima popcorn was the best thing I've ever tasted, but some liked the Iowa Nice Spice better. I didn't try Coco Corazón yet.



10-20 cups of popcorn*
1/2 cup of butter
1 cup Cha-cha Lima or Iowa Nice Spice 
(that's 1/2 lb—it's on the website for $10)
1/2 cup corn syrup
1/2 tsp salt or Smoke Licker
1/4 tsp baking soda
Foil trays that will fit in your smoker
Wood chips of your choice

Heat smoker to 250. Poke several small holes in the bottom of the trays. I used a corn cob holder. Put popcorn in a big bowl. *The original recipe called for 10 cups, but I stretched one batch to 16 cups, and another to 20 cups. There was plenty of flavor, and the popcorn was well-covered on both batches. So for smothered super-candy popcorn, use 10 cups. If a lighter glaze is OK, this recipe stretches to 20 cups. Melt the butter, sugar, corn syrup & salt together, stirring constantly, until it bubbles when you stop stirring. Stir in baking soda. Pour over the popcorn and stir until everything's covered. Scoop popcorn into the foil trays (don't pack the trays—you want space for the smoke to do its thing) and load the wood. I used apple wood for the Iowa Nice, and cherry for Cha-cha—though I wish I'd had mesquite. Smoke 1/2 hour. Take the trays out and toss/break up the popcorn, and return to the smoker for 1/2 hour. I only did one pass of smoke, but if you like it super smokey, go nuts and give it another blast after 1/2 hour.

Tara's Butternut Squash Risotto

One of our oldest customers and super-friend, Tara, is a fabulous cook. She brought this dish to Thanksgiving and left a bunch which I enjoyed all week, over the sink, straight out of the tupperware, because that was the fastest way to get in mah face.

I tested it for Wheatsfield's Member Appreciation Day, and it went over like gangbusters. "You're a magic lady!" an appreciated customers said. BONE DRY white wine is the key here. I used Alliyum instead of Feather Duster, and these measurements on the spices, parm and half & half. It was amazing.

1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp white pepper
1/2 tbsp mustard
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp garlic powder (I used Alliyum again)
1/2 tsp cayenne (I used an entire tsp and it was too hot for many folks)
1/4 cup half & half
6 oz parm in the squash, 2 oz on top

I folded the butternut squash mix into the risotto. Tara may have layered hers. I can't remember. I was food blinded.

 Here are Tara's recipe cards.

Here are Tara's recipe cards.

Go nuts with your DOUGHNUTS!

From Mark Bittman in the New York Times
PREP TIME: 2 hours
COOKING TIME: 15 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 2.25 hours

 Dusted with 1.5 tbsp Iowa Nice + 1.5 tbsp Coco Corazón + 1 tbsp Roxy Taco. Sweet, salty and spicy

Dusted with 1.5 tbsp Iowa Nice + 1.5 tbsp Coco Corazón + 1 tbsp Roxy Taco. Sweet, salty and spicy


  • 1 ¼ cups milk
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons (one package) active dry yeast
  • 2 eggs
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, melted and cooled
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 ¼ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling out the dough
  • 2 quarts neutral oil, for frying, plus more for the bowl
  • Some good flavors to try: Iowa Nice, Cha-cha Lima, Alliyum, Das Bigfoot, Cy
  1. Heat the milk until it is warm but not hot, about 90 degrees. In a large bowl, combine it with the yeast. Stir lightly, and let sit until the mixture is foamy, about 5 minutes.
  2. Using an electric mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, beat the eggs, butter, sugar and salt into the yeast mixture. Add half of the flour (2 cups plus 2 tablespoons), and mix until combined, then mix in the rest of the flour until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Add more flour, about 2 tablespoons at a time, if the dough is too wet. If you’re using an electric mixer, the dough will probably become too thick to beat; when it does, transfer it to a floured surface, and gently knead it until smooth. Grease a large bowl with a little oil. Transfer the dough to the bowl, and cover. Let rise at room temperature until it doubles in size, about 1 hour.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface, and roll it to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut out the doughnuts with a doughnut cutter, concentric cookie cutters or a drinking glass and a shot glass (the larger one should be about 3 inches in diameter), flouring the cutters as you go. Reserve the doughnut holes. If you’re making filled doughnuts, don’t cut out the middle. Knead any scraps together, being careful not to overwork, and let rest for a few minutes before repeating the process.
  4. Put the doughnuts on two floured baking sheets so that there is plenty of room between each one. Cover with a kitchen towel, and let rise in a warm place until they are slightly puffed up and delicate, about 45 minutes. If your kitchen isn’t warm, heat the oven to 200 at the beginning of this step, then turn off the heat, put the baking sheets in the oven and leave the door ajar.
  5. About 15 minutes before the doughnuts are done rising, put the oil in a heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, and heat it to 375. Meanwhile, line cooling racks, baking sheets or plates with paper towels.
  6. Add the doughnuts to the oil, a few at a time. If they’re too delicate to pick up with your fingers (they may be this way only if you rose them in the oven), use a metal spatula to pick them up and slide them into the oil. It’s O.K. if they deflate a bit; they’ll puff back up as they fry. When the bottoms are deep golden, after 45 seconds to a minute, use a slotted spoon to flip; cook until they’re deep golden all over. Doughnut holes cook faster. Transfer the doughnuts to the prepared plates or racks, and sprinkle with your favorite Saltlickers spices. Serve immediately.

Cardinal Red Sauce

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Cy Salt makes the perfect red sauce for pasta, meatballs, pizza, whatever. 
Saute 1 onion and two cloves of garlic.
Add 1 24 oz can crushed tomatoes + 1 tbsp Cy Salt + a splash of red wine.
Simmer 30 minutes. 

Chicken in Green Molé


1 whole (both sides) chicken breast
1 cup raw unsalted pumpkin seeds
2 onions chopped
3 cloves of garlic
2 jalapeños
6 lettuce leaves
10 sprigs of cilantro
1.5 tbsp Iowa Nice Spice
1.5 tbsp Coco Corazón
1 tbsp Roxy Taco
Salt to taste
Lime wedges

Cover the chicken breast in water in a pot. Add 1/2 the onion. Bring to a boil and simmer 12 minutes. Let cool. Roast the pumpkin seeds in a pan on the stove until they start to pop. Let cool and move into a food processor bowl, along with the rest of the onion, garlic, cilantro, lettuce, jalapeños, and spices. Pulse. Add 1 cup of the cooled chicken stock, blend, taste for salt, then pour into a pot. Shred the chicken and add it to the pot. Simmer for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with fresh lime before serving over rice or roasted sweet potatoes, or in tacos or enchiladas.

Das Schöne Fleischloaf


Translation: The beautiful meatloaf

Add 2 tsp to 1 lb ground beef and 1 lb ground pork. Stir in 1 cup toasted pumpernickel bread crumbs, 2 leeks caramelized in butter, 1/2 cup chopped parsley, 2 tsp Whassamatterhorn, and 1/2 tsp fresh black pepper. Slather it in ketchup if you like it old school. Bake 375 til unraw—about an hour.

Cy Sauce, Three Ways


CY SAUCE 1: 1/2 cup mayo + 1/2 cup yogurt + 1 tsp Cy Salt. 
CY SAUCE 2: 1/2 cup mayo + 1/2 cup yogurt + 1 tsp Cy Salt + 1 tsp curry powder + 1/2 tsp mustard.
CY SAUCE 3: 1/2 cup mayo + 1/2 cup yogurt + 1 tsp Cy Salt + 1 tbsp chopped pickles, capers or 1/2 can marinated artichoke hearts.

Cha-cha Kabobs

  • 2 lbs meat or shrimp
  • 4 tbsp oil
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
  • 3 tbsp Cha-cha Lima Sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp sesame oil if you want
  • Sriracha if you like it on fire

Put the oil, soy sauce, Cha-cha Lima, and sesame oil/Sriracha in a glass measuring cup and nuke on high 1 minute. Stir, Marinate the meat for 1 hr. Skewer w/ veggies + grill = partay.

Thai Rice Salad


Combine rice + all the greens you want (ideas: green beans + grilled mushrooms + sliced collard greens + slivered carrots + chopped cherry tomatoes + chopped celery + sliced red peppers + edamame) + smoked chicken or sausage.

Mix soy sauce, sesame oil and Big Bangkok—about 1 tbsp per cup of dressing or more to taste. Toss and sprinkle with crushed dry roasted peanuts.

Glazed Turnips or Carrots with Sherry


You can also do this with carrots, or turnips, or both!
1 lb turnips, cleaned and chopped into 1/2" pieces
1 TBSP Olive oil
2 tsp Das Bigfoot
2 tsp Iowa Nice Spice
1/4 stick butter

Heat a covered pan on medium high, add the oil, then the turnips. Stir frequently until the turnips have a nice crips outside. Toss in 2 tsp Das Bigfoot and 2 TBSP of water. Cover, and lower heat to medium. Cook for about 5 minutes. Uncover, str in the butter, Iowa Nice Spice and a splash of sherry. Turn up the heat to evaporate the sherry. Taste for spice. Add more if you wish.

Red Cabbage in Tart Cherry Juice & Whassamatterhorn


1 small head of red cabbage
1/2 chopped red onion
2 chopped garlic cloves
2 TBSP Olive oil
1/2 cup tart cherry juice
Whassamatterhorn to taste
Fresh black pepper

Heat a covered pan on high, add the oil, then onion, garlic and cabbage. Stir for three minutes. Add the cherry juice and 2 tsps Whassamatterhorn. Lower heat to medium and cover for about 5 minutes. Remove the cover, stir again, taste for spice. Add black pepper and more Whassamatterhorn if you need it. A sprinkle of Iowa Nice Spice would go great in this, too.

Grilled Figs, Two Ways


Holy cow, these were phenomenal and really easy. You could use hummus or cashew cheese for a vegan style.

2 pints fresh figs, purple or green
1/3 lb cooked sausage (see our recipe for the Das Bigfoot sausage above)
4 oz soft cheese
2 tbsp Olive oil
Fruity vinegar for the drizzle
Smoke Licker

Start the grill. Cut all the figs almost in half, leaving the nub at the bottom still holding it together. If it comes apart, it's OK. Stuff half of the figs with the cheese, about a sugar-cubed sized plug. Cold cheese is easier to handle. Close the figs. You can put a toothpick through them if they get too floppy. Stuff the other half of the figs with sausage and close 'em up. If you have sausage and cheese left over, you know what to do: make a hybrid cheese-meat beast stuffed fig that you will hide amongst the others as they grill, then you will devour it, all at once. Spray or brush with olive oil. Grill on both sides for about 2-3 minutes, till everything gets melty. Plate and drizzle with fruity vinegar (Allspice's Blackberry Ginger) and dust with Smoke Licker.

Bacon, Brussels Sprouts & Grilla Gorilla


"I ate some Brussels sprouts!" Collin said proudly. "And lots of bacon," I added.

1 lb Brussels sprouts trimmed and halved
4 slices of bacon
1/2 red onion
Grilla Gorilla or GGX to taste

Fry the bacon in a covered pan on medium high till done and remove. Sauté onion on low until translucent and sticky. Throw in the Brussels and 1/3 cup of water, stir, and put the lid on it for about 5 minutes. Take the lid off, stir again, and check the sprouts: they should be caramelized but crunchy outside. Add crumbled bacon and stir, then 1 tsp of Gorilla Gorilla. Taste and add more if you need it. We like it very spiced, so we use about 2 tsps.

Stuffed Grilled Peppers with Das Bigfoot Sausage


1 lb ground pork
1 egg white
2 cloves garlic chopped fine
3/4 tbsp Das Bigfoot
2 tsp mustard (any kind)
1/2 lb small colorful peppers, tops trimmed and seeded
Olive oil
Vinegar for the drizzle

Mix the pork, egg, garlic, spice and mustard. Cook on medium high till done and crumbly, about 10 minutes. Taste for spice. Turn the grill on high. Stuff the peppers with your finger and lighty drizzle with oil. We like the harissa oil from Allspice. Grill about 3 minutes per side, till charred. Plate and drizzle with a sweetish vinegar like champagne. You could also throw some cream/goat cheese or fresh chopped parsley in the stuffing mix, too.