Unbelievably enough, it’s fall! Though Florida seems to be hanging on desperately to July… What I wouldn’t give for some fall colors right now. & maybe even the chance to wear a sweater.
Even more unbelievably, I’m cooking again! Which means I can start posting again! & maybe even reading other people’s food-related posts again too!
That’s how I realized that what I’m posting is not original. At all. Mel’s Kitchen Cafe posted her version just this morning. But I’m posting it anyway because a) mine is just different enough — it came from BHG — & b) Halloween is one of my absolute favorite holidays, for the sole reason that it gives me license to make fun food that looks like monsters, jack-o-lanterns, witches, &…
(Most photos will be works in progress until we “fall back” next month because by dinnertime at 7pm there is ZERO daylight.)
- 12 hot dogs (we use bun-length; if you’re making an appetizer for a party or something, you can miniaturize the recipe with cocktail wieners & thinner breadstick strips)
- 1 pkg. refrigerated breadtick dough
- 24 capers for eyes (if you don’t like or don’t feel like buying capers just for this, simply dot on mustard or something like Mel did)
- condiments of choice
- Preheat your oven to 375. Unwrap the breadsticks & use a pizza cutter to slice each in half lengthwise. Stretch them out to 12 inches.
- Pat your hot dogs dry, then take 2 breadstick strips (say that 10 times fast) & let your kid help you wrap them around the hot dogs. I like to use my thumb to kind of anchor a strip to the top, then let The Munchkin wrap it. Then I flip it upside-down & do the same with the other strip.
- Position your dogs on a lightly greased cookie sheet, then firmly press the capers into the breadstick dough for eyes.
- Bake about 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.
- Serve to your little ghouls & goblins before they head out trick-or-treating! (I see many 8-year-old boys creating delightfully gory scenes with their ketchup.)
Happy Independence Day! Hopefully you’re enjoying your long weekend celebrating the birth of our amazing nation! We could see two fireworks shows from our balcony Friday night; it made me feel so patriotic! I love the upswelling of pride & emotion I feel when singing “The Star Spangled Banner” (especially the third verse!). America’s awesome!
This year the term “Independence Day” has taken on new meaning for us Cougar fans as well; as of July 1st, BYU Football has gone Independent! That means that we East-Coasters will actually get to watch a few games for once. That’s definitely something to celebrate too!
So in honor of the grilling holiday that is the 4th of July, & in honor of BYU’s declaration of independence, here is one hot dog that will change your life. Well, two. (We’re in start-cleaning-out-the-pantry-not-buying-more-jars-of-things mode now, so you need to use your imagination when it comes to the delicious condiments.)
Back in Provo there is a legendary little establishment known as J-Dawgs. They make the best hot dogs. Best. & this is coming from someone who appreciates a good New York cart dog, so you know it must be true. Because we live so far away, the last time we were there was when The Munchkin was only 6 months old & barely eating rice cereal & sweet potatoes, so until now she had not experienced the rite of passage for every BYU fan that is…
The Special Sauce.
My friend Barbara somehow got the recipe — lives may or may not have been lost in the procurement of this secret — & gave it to me. It changed my life. It’ll change yours too.
(Half of this recipe is plenty for 4-6 dogs)
- 3/4 cup ketchup
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 tsp. cider vinegar
- 1 tsp. soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp. onion powder
- Combine ingredients in a saucepan & heat just to boiling on medium heat.
- Drizzle over your favorite grilled (George Foreman works just fine) Polish or beef hot dog (we went with the NYC cart-style Kosher dogs, to add a little East Coast twist to this Mountain West institution) in the best hot dog roll you can find. If your grocery store under-prioritizes hot dog rolls as much as ours does, you may end up with the lame white Wonder buns. That’s okay too. Just this once.
- Top with your favorite hot dog condiments (I like banana peppers alone; My Husband The More Adventurous & Less Prone To Caring What His Breath Smells Like Because I’ll Still Kiss Him Afterwards Anyway likes banana peppers, diced onions, & a dill pickle spear). Just please, go without the ketchup this one time.
Now, this will not replace the experience of biting into a foil-wrapped, crisscross-scored, nestled-in-a-fresh-baked-bakery-bun J-Dawg right there, but for those of us a couple thousand miles away, it definitely helps hold us over until next time.
Are hot dogs on the grill at your 4th of July party? How do you like to top them?
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