We are deep into T-Ball season around here, so baseball is on the brain – and when our little guys start to think of baseball, they inevitably make the hot dog connection (followed by peanuts, cracker-jacks, etc.). So it came as no surprise when I got a request from Matthew to make hot dogs this week. The first time he ever tasted a hot dog was during his trip to Yankee stadium with Brian. It was one of the happiest days of his life, hanging at the Yankee game with his daddy and eating a hot dog as big as his head.
I try not to get all crazy about cooking hot dogs but I must confess it makes me insane when I read the ingredient list on the package. However, knowing how my kids LOVE them, I do need to give in once in awhile.
Wonder how they would feel if I told them that those hot dogs they crave so much are made up of mechanically-recovered meat, preservatives and other assorted things I can’t pronounce? Better yet, imagine how the conversation would go if I said they were eating innards, pig ears and snouts! A bit of an exaggeration, but surely they would find this hysterical and become ever more enamored of them. I know my audience, so I stay mute and just break out the buns.
A couple of things I sometimes do when we have hot dogs is 1) cut them in half – which then makes them “puppies” and 2) add a healthy side. It makes me feel a tiny bit better about serving them….
Puppies & Pineapple Slaw
I based this slaw on the flavors of a traditional Thai salad – the vegetables can be changed according to taste – I used carrots and cucumbers instead of the traditional cabbage and onions. And instead of papaya or mango I chose pineapple.
3 Tbsp fresh lime juice
2 tsp sugar
2 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp peanut butter
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
1 cup shredded carrots
1 cup shredded cucumber (English cucumbers work well because there are no seeds)
2 cups ripe pineapple, diced
1 Tbsp fresh mint, chopped
1 Tbsp cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup roasted peanuts, crushed
Combine lime juice, sugar, water, peanut butter and pepper in a large bowl. Stir with a whisk until peanut butter is well blended.
Drain the cucumber in a colander and press to remove any excess liquid.
To the dressing, add carrots, cucumbers, pineapple, mint, cilantro and 2/3 of the peanuts; toss to coat. Garnish with remaining peanuts.
And the VERDICT is:
Matthew (age 5): “Yuck! Can I just have regular pineapple?”
Liam (age 4): “I hate it”
Dylan (age 4): “It is a little good” (he had one piece!)
Hmmm, not exactly the reaction I was hoping for! Good thing they had those hot dogs and lots of leftover pineapple for dessert….