Liz's Hibiscus Cocktail with a Pineapple Shrub

Maxin’ chillaxin’.

Maxin’ chillaxin’.

For the cocktail
INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup Hibiscus Tea
1/4 cup lime juice (1 lime)
1/2 cup pineapple shrub**
1 ½ oz tequila or sparkling water
For the rim and garnish
Cha-cha Lima or Iowa Nice
Pineapple
Lime
DIRECTIONS
1. Mix and chill 2 hours or overnight, serve over ice

For the Pineapple Shrub
INGREDIENTS
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1/2 pineapple sliced into wedges
2 tablespoons white vinegar
DIRECTIONS
1. Heat water and super in saucepan until simmering and all sugar is dissolved.
2. Remove from heat and add pineapple. Return to low heat and simmer for 10 min. Turn off heat and let sit for 20-30 min. Strain, discard pineapple. Add vinegar. Chill. A shrub will keep for very long time in the fridge.

Microwave Toffee Popcorn with Coco Corazón

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INGREDIENTS
12 cups of popcorn
1/2 cup Coco Corazón
You can also use Iowa Nice Spice or Cha-cha Lima, but if you’re using Cha-cha, add 2 more tbsp
4 tbsp butter or margarine
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1 tsp salt
Smoke Licker Crop Duster work great. If you’re popcorn is already salted, eliminate this salt.
Add roasted nuts like peanuts, cashews or pecans or chocolate chips!

INSTRUCTIONS
Split the popcorn into two large bowls.

Combine Coco Corazón, butter, and corn syrup in a large microwavable bowl. Give it lots of headroom, because the stuff is going to bubble up.

Microwave for one minute, remove, stir in the butter to melt. If it’s not melted, microwave for another 30 seconds. Then microwave for 1.5 minutes. Remove and stir. Microwave for another 1.5 to 2 minutes—until the toffee starts to bubble. Remove and stir in the baking soda. Stir-stir-stir to blend in.

Pour half of the toffee over the popcorn in each bowl and stir-stir-stir to blend in. I use two spatulas. It feels like I’m conducting a chocolate orchestra.

Spread the popcorn out on wax paper to cool. If you let it cool in the bowls, it will be a big rock.

Compound Butter

Lisa at Photosynthesis in Ames turned us on to compound butter on Thanksgiving. She served it with Parker House rolls…seriously, I thought it was the best part of the meal. It turns out all salts AND sugars make great compound butters! Use them on baked goods, steak, veggies, toast, you name it!

These aren’t ours, but don’t they look lovely?

These aren’t ours, but don’t they look lovely?

INGREDIENTS
1 stick of butter
2 tsp of Saltlickers
Parchment or waxed paper if you’re want a log shape
Fresh herbs if you wish

Let the butter soften at room temp then stir in the spice (and herbs). Place the butter on a sheet of parchment or waxed paper, roll into a log, and chill for at least two hours.

Iowa Nice Spice Ginger Lime Margaritas

Cooks’ Emporium was lovely enough to post this recipe is by Laura Doerr, whose fabulous food blog, Ways to My Heart, takes the cake!

Serving Size: Makes 2 cocktails

Ingredients:
4oz. Tequila
2oz. Honey syrup* or simple syrup
1.5oz lime juice
6 Ginger slices
Fresh limes for garnish
Iowa Nice Spice for the rim

Instructions:

1. To make honey syrup, heat equal parts water and honey until honey dissolves. This will prevent the honey from sinking to the bottom of the cocktail.

2. In a glass, muddle the ginger slices into the honey or simple syrup. If you do not have a muddler, use a wooden spoon.

3. Fill a shaker with ice, add tequila, lime juice, and muddled ginger mixture. Shake vigorously until cold and combined.

4. Wet the rim of two cocktail glasses with lime. Pour some of the spice mixture into a flat dish. Dip the wet rimmed glasses into the spice mixture.

5. Fill rimmed glasses with ice and pour margaritas over the ice. Garnish with fresh limes and enjoy!

Spiced Nilla Wafer Cookies

This recipe works with Das Bigfoot, Bangla-dash or Roxy Taco. Bangla-dash wafers call for one more tsp of spice than Das Bigfoot or Roxy wafers. You can use regular-sized Nilla wafers, but we like the minis. Reduced fat Nilla wafers work great too—they’re harder and they absorb the oil and spice well. I first butter tried on these, but oil’s better!

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INGREDIENTS
1 11 oz box Nilla Wafers
1 tbsp canola oil
2 tsp Roxy Taco OR
2 tsp Roxy Taco OR
3 tsp Bangla-dash

INSTRUCTIONS
Preheat oven to 300.

Spread the wafers on a foil-covered cookie sheet. Pour the oil over them and toss with spice, 1/2 tsp at a time. Use your hands to make sure everything’s evenly distributed. Bake for 5 minutes. They will crisp when they cool.

Pumpkin Butter Cake with Iowa Nice Spice

This is one from our friend, Darrell, who cooks some seriously good stuff. #blamedarrell

Oooey, gooey, wooey!

Oooey, gooey, wooey!

INGREDIENTS
1 box yellow cake mix
4 egg
1 cup butter, melted and halved
8oz. cream cheese
1 15 oz can pumpkin
1 tsp vanilla
3 1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp Iowa Nice Spice + more for dusting

Preheat oven to 350.

FOR THE CRUST
Combine the cake mix, 1 egg and 1/2 cup melted butter. Mix and press unto parchment lined 9×13.

FOR THE FILLING
Mix cream cheese, pumpkin, 3 eggs, 1/2 cup butter and spices. Pour over crust. Bake at 350 for 40-50 minutes. Dust with Iowa Nice Spice.

Rachel's Third Place State Fair Banana Chocolate Chunk Bread and Spread*

For the Bread*
3 to 4 ripe bananas, smashed
1/3 cup (75 grams) melted salted butter
3/4 cup light brown sugar
½ cup semisweet chocolate chunks
2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla
1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking soda
Pinch of salt
2 teaspoons Iowa Nice Spice
1 1/2 cups (190 grams) flour

Preheat the oven to 350°F. With a wooden spoon, mix butter into the mashed
bananas in a large mixing bowl. Mix in the Iowa Nice Spice, egg, vanilla and
bourbon, then the spices. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture
and mix in. Add the flour, mix. Fold in chocolate chunks. Pour mixture into a
buttered 4×8 inch loaf pan. Bake for 50 minutes to one hour, or until a tester
comes out clean. Cool on a rack. Remove from pan and slice to serve.
*Adapted from Deb Perelman

For the Spread
Makes 1 pint
½ cup butter
½ cup peanut butter
3 tablespoons cocoa
¼ cup honey
¼ teaspoon vanilla

Melt butter; add cocoa, vanilla, peanut butter, and honey. Stir until smooth.

Saltlickers note: Roxy Taco or Bangla-dash would be delicious in that spread.

Not Rachel's actual banana bread.

Not Rachel's actual banana bread.

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.

Cha-cha

Cha-cha


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.

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

INGREDIENTS

  • 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.

Chicken in Green Molé

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INGREDIENTS
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

INSTRUCTIONS
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.

Glazed Turnips or Carrots with Sherry

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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.

Ginger Chiowa Yapple Crisp

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This double-whammy dessert features Cha-cha Lima and Iowa Nice Spice, plus Torani Gingerbread Syrup. 

PREP TIME: 30 minutes
COOKING TIME: 45 minute
TOTAL TIME: 1 hour 15 minutes
 

INGREDIENTS

Filling
6 apples
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tbsp fresh grated ginger
1/4 cup Cha-cha Lima
1/4 cup of sugar
2 tbsp Torani Gingerbread syrup
2 tbsp flour

Topping
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup Iowa Nice Spice
2 tbsp Torani Gingerbread syrup
1/4 tsp salt
12 tbsp butter (1 1/2 sticks), chilled and cut into small pieces
1/2 cup nuts, coarsely chopped and toasted (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS
Preheat the oven to 350. In a large bowl, toss the apples, lemon juice, Cha-cha Lima, Torani Gingerbread syrup, and flour. Pour the apple mixture into a buttered 2-quart baking dish. In another large bowl, mix the flour, oats, Iowa Nice, Torani Gingerbread syrup, and salt. Work the butter into the flour mixture with your fingers just until it comes together and forms large clumps. Fold nuts into mixture. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the fruit. Bake the apple crisp until the fruit is bubbling and the topping is golden brown and crisp, about 45 minutes.