Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Easy Summer Dishes Fit for a Princess! With Park's Finest Frankfurters from Ball Park

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Fun and easy Summer dish fit for a Princess! Merida, Rapunzel, and Elsa hot dogs with Park's Finest Franks!
Did you know that during "Hot Dog Season" (Memorial Day through Labor Day,) Americans eat around 7 billion hot dogs? (Yes, I totally said that in my head like Dr. Evil. Beeellion!) Some evenings I just need quick and easy dishes, and sometimes I like to give them food I know they'll love, for putting up with all the "blecchy" veggie dishes they're stuck with most nights. Hot dogs fit the bill on all counts! Plus, if you fire up the grill, you won't turn the whole house into an oven while making dinner on those hot Summer nights!

I chose Park's Finest Frankfurters from Ball Park because there are no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives, and no added nitrates! Win! Plus they're made with 100% beef - no cheap fillers! I don't buy hot dogs often, but when I do, finding ones without these ingredients are my main criteria! (Note: I was VERY excited about these, as I've always had to go to specialty stores to find no-nitrates-added meats before. This is the first brand I've ever seen at the "regular" grocery! What a great find!) They even have four flavors available (although my Safeway only had two;) including Signature Seasoned, Cracked Dijon Mustard, and Slow Smoked Hickory.

I will warn you - these dogs are huge! HUGE! I almost couldn't even find them on the shelf - they're so long, the package won't stand up properly, and I was too short to see that shelf well. Luckily I had brought along a little hot dog aficionado to help me find them!
If it helps to ease the sting of being too short to find them without help, you can save $.55 on any ONE Park's Finest product by loading a coupon onto your Safeway Club Card! (Good 5/26-6/1/14)

To help me out, Ball Park sent me a whole list of hot dog grilling tips, and the one that stuck with me was "Dress the dog, not the bun." So I did...

I dressed them like princesses!

Eat Your Fate!
easy Brave Merida hot dog
For my Princess Meridog, I spiralized a carrot and spread the curls out on a foil-lined baking sheet. I spritzed the carrots with olive oil and roasted them at 400 degrees F for 15 minutes. The gluten-free buns went in for the last 5 minutes to toast up a bit (and then were broiled for an additional minute after the carrots got pulled out.) 

Easy and delicious! I didn't even need ketchup! The hardest part was waiting until I had the girls' dogs ready before I could eat it!

Queen Elsa "Frozen" Hot Dog
My Kindergartener went wild for this cheesy Elsa dog. I used sliced goat cheese and a steak knife to hand-cut a rough Elsa hairstyle, and a tiny craft-clay cutter to make "snowflakes." I glued everything on with mustard. I had thought about using sauerkraut to make Elsa's hair, but I couldn't find my jar in the fridge. Honestly, I'm amazed I can ever find anything in there...

All the faces were dabbed on with mustard and a toothpick. 

Tangled's Rapunzel Hot Dog!
According to a study, 98% of hot dogs are eaten with condiments of some kind, with mustard being the favorite. So who am I to buck tradition? With a fun "twist," of course! (Ha ha!)

Rapunzel is definitely my favorite of the bunch! And the easiest! I just bloobed mustard around in a vague hairstyle on top, then made it look like it was winding around the rest of the hot dog. (I even messed it up a little, and just rolled the dog over and started again!) More mustard dabbed on with a toothpick for the face, and some edible purple chive flowers to complete the look! (My toddler loooooooves eating chive flowers! Any flower, really. She ate a whole bouquet of tulips not too long ago. And she's constantly checking to make sure she can still eat the dandelions and clover...)

We love the simple classics here, so the girls just piled on more mustard and ketchup and went to town nomming on their princess dogs! They also shared the rest of the cheese scraps from making the Elsa dog.

*Blogger Note: I seriously considered making my kids change into more photogenic clothes (and wash their faces!) before letting them eat. It's a blessing and a curse, being a food blogger's kiddo!

#startyourgrill #collectivebias

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  1. Good grief! I am more astonished at the size of those sauce bottles! Either your children are the size over miniature gremlins or we are SERIOUSLY deprived in the UK.

    Wonderful though at being able to find genuinely nutritious, artificial-free sausages and still keep it GF!

    1. Haha! The mustard is standard-sized, but the camera angle makes it look bigger. The ketchup is Costco-sized. Normally I get smaller bottles of organic ketchup, but we apparently still had this one in the back of the cupboard. My husband has an aversion to buying healthier organic versions of his most familiar foods, and compensates by going big... Lol!

  2. Adorable!!!!!!!!! My daughter would love these!

  3. Wow! This is frankfurter creativity on a level I have not quite seen! Amazing!:) Love it! #client

  4. I absolutely love the Un-tangled dog! That is awesome! I think I could convince my kids to definitely eat these! Even the pickiest eater would have fun with this one! #client.

  5. I LOVE this! Seriously! I have already made the Rapunzel hot dog for my daughter and she loved it!

  6. OMG! I love the princess dogs - too clever for words.

  7. I did the math-- if Americans really eat 7 billion hotdogs during "hot dog" season (end of May-beginning of September), that would mean that EVERY American is eating 22 hotdogs in 14 weeks. I don't buy that number. I eat hot dogs and I've only had ONE this summer. I could *possibly* see 7 billion hot dogs a year...but even that seems like a lot.

    1. First off, I was given that information to share, so it's not my own personal little factoid. Second, 22 hot dogs over 98 days = approx 1 hot dog every 4.5 days on average. Not at all unreasonable when there are summer parties and picnics and camping and grills out all the time!
      Now, I'm assuming this statistic is based on SALES, and not every hot dog actually gets eaten within that time period, since it's not like they're knocking on every door asking us for actual numbers.
      And while people like you and I, and babies and little kids and such who don't eat them as often or at all will mean someone else has to make up for our share, even if HALF of the population eats zero, that's only 1 hot dog every 2ish days for the half that do. I know many people who eat multiple hot dogs per week, especially at a party or BBQ. There have been weeks my own kids ate 2-4 hot dogs apiece. Not 14 weeks in a row or anything. But the weeks we were busy packing and moving saw a lot more hot dogs in our house!

      I also tend to stock up during summer sales and freeze for later! But I like that you stopped to do the math, and made me think about it too! Thanks!


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