Thursday, March 29, 2012

Special Hotdogs

"What is this?"
Cost: $8

Prep time: 20 minutes

In our house, special hotdogs are a comfort food. I associate really warm childhood memories with special hotdogs.

The first and only time I had these as a child was at my friend Chelsea Clark's house. Her family always seemed so perfect to me: a married mom and dad, two little girls, mom always home, little dog, living near the school, etc, etc. They just seemed like such a picture perfect family in my inexperienced childhood mind.

I remember being there for dinner one night. I must have been between 6-8 years old. Chelsea's mom made special hotdogs for dinner. I'm sure she made things to go with it, but the yummy wrapped hotdogs really stood out, as did the name "special hotdog".

Matt and I have been eating special hotdogs for years. We have tried many variations to try to make these healthier. Tofu dogs was a failure; a quarter hotdog is not quite enough. For a while we could buy low-fat hotdogs that were only 70 calories each, but those seem to be out of production.

What we have settled on is using 1/2 a wiener of the lowest fat or best quality wieners we can get. Tonight, it was Natural Selections variety. I know I know I know that everyone says this "no preservatives" stuff is just as bad for you, but I can't help but keep hoping they are wrong. Plus, the taste is really top notch.

We have also been using the lowest fat cheese we can find. It actually cooks better this way, as when it melts out, it does not get things all greasy but rather stays in a solid piece that can just be wrapped around  the outside.

I paired it with a simple salad tonight. Matt was out past the time when Charlie and I finished eating, so it was easier to just make things that were quick, easy, and didn't involve a lot of time, energy, or components (although I did put tomato, pepper, and cucumber on the salad).

I have a problem with salad. I tried a spinach salad at lunch, an then this one with a mixed greens base at dinner, and I just can't handle it. I hate the texture of raw spinach and lettuces. It is so hard for me to choke down. I ate all the other veggies, and the majority of the lettuce, but I couldn't do it all. Awful. Maybe next time I will switch up my dressing. Charlie and I both had a balsamic vinaigrette tonight, but I have had that on every salad not from a bag for months, so I should really mix it up.

Anyway, Charlie really enjoyed his dinner. I want to create positive memories around meal times with his family, and not just tied to what I serve. He is such a sweet boy, and we love him so much, I want to give him every possible thing and advantage in life.

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