Good morning campbellsworld visitors and readers everywhere.
This morning in the Author’s Corner we’ve got Jo E. Pinto author of The Bright Side of Darkness back with yet another delightfully delicious recipe and it’s just in time for the weekend when everyone is home and hungry.
Once again, my mouth is watering as I ready this post for your reading pleasure. Jo starves me to death with her wonderful recipes and I love how she always weaves a little tale into the mix as well.
Please do make sure to continue reading after you’ve enjoyed this tantalizing treat to find out all about Jo and her magnificent work.
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Thanks for dropping into the Author’s Corner and do come again soon.
Bacon-Wrapped Hot Dogs
By J. E. Pinto
What’s better than hot dogs, you ask? Hot dogs wrapped in bacon, of course.
Before her winter break, my daughter learned about holiday traditions from around the world. A fifth grade teacher, who had served in the army, told four classes of enthralled students the British have left us Americans miles behind when it comes to pigs in a blanket. While we dip our hot dogs in plain cornbread or boring old biscuit dough and bake or fry them, the folks across the Atlantic wrap theirs in–you guessed it–bacon!
“How perfect is that?” my daughter gushed as we zipped out of her classroom on the afternoon of her liberation a few days before Christmas. “Hot dogs and bacon, in the same bite. The people in England eat them at soccer games and on New Year’s.”
Thinking back, I remembered my mom complaining about bacon-wrapped hot dogs, which her own mother had fixed in the 1950’s. Maybe my grandpa had tried them in Europe during World War II. My mom had been seriously unimpressed as a kid. But hey–sixty years have passed. Hot dogs might have improved since then, or at least gotten pumped full of more chemicals to make them taste better. Besides, my grandma had slit her frankfurters open and stuffed thin strips of cheese inside before wrapping them in bacon and frying them. By the time the bacon was done, the franks were charred and the cheese was burnt black, my mom had recalled. Not exactly a mouth-watering memory.
Throughout her two-week vacation, my daughter alternately sweet-talked and strong-armed me into trying the recipe. I’d spent the New Year’s holiday in bed, too sick to cook anything. Finally, I was left with her return to school right around the corner. I had no idea what to fix for dinner on a lazy Sunday of playoff football games. So in spite of the health concerns tripping my mom guilt alarms like sirens at a nuclear plant, I gave in.
I wrapped each of six bun-length all-beef hot dogs in two pieces of pork bacon, tucking in the ends so they wouldn’t come loose. I laid the hot dogs on a stoneware bar pan from Pampered Chef™ and put them in the oven at 400 degrees. About ten minutes later, when the bacon was starting to get crisp on one side, I turned the hot dogs so the bacon would brown on the other and cook through. I could have fried the hot dogs in a skillet, but I’d rather use my oven any day. Meanwhile, I warmed buns in the microwave and rustled up mayonnaise, mustard, relish, barbecue sauce, and all of our favorite fixings.
The hot dogs took nearly twenty-five minutes to bake, plus ten minutes of broiling to get the bacon crisp and brown. I had to stand close by while the bacon was broiling so it wouldn’t burn. This meal definitely takes some extra fussing over. I learned on the Internet that some people partially cook the bacon ahead of time, then cool it and wrap the hot dogs with meat that is just shy of crisp before returning them to the oven. Either way, the commitment of time and effort is about the same.
The hot dogs tasted great and were very filling. I fixed two each for myself, my daughter, and her dad, but none of us could eat more than one. We adults liked them best on buns with mayo, lettuce, and tomato, reminiscent of BLT’s. Our daughter cut hers up with no bread and smothered the meat in barbecue sauce.
I’m sure my family won’t indulge in this British holiday treat often because a pound of bacon and a package of hot dogs is a lot of meat for us to use at once, even for two meals. We all agreed that hot dogs and bacon are just as good separately as they are together. But it was a fun recipe to try. We enjoy learning about different traditions from around the world. And if those traditions involve bacon, so much the better!
Bacon-Wrapped Hot Dogs
1 pound pork bacon, thawed
6 all-beef bun-length hot dogs, thawed
6 hot dog buns, toasted, if desired
hot dog toppings such as mayonnaise, mustard, relish, barbecue sauce, lettuce, tomato, onion
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. Wrap each hot dog in two slices of pork bacon, overlapping the second slice with the first so the wrapping is as even as possible with no gaps or bunches and the entire hot dog is covered to the ends. Tuck in the bacon ends so they won’t unwind.
3. Lay hot dogs on a stoneware pan or a roasting pan with a wire rack that will allow the grease to drip away. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, turning over carefully with tongs or a spatula halfway through.
4. Switch the oven to broil. Watch the hot dogs closely to prevent burning as the bacon reaches your desired level of crispness.
5. Serve bacon-wrapped hot dogs on buns with your favorite toppings. Enjoy!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR AND HER WORK…
J. E. Pinto is a magnet for underdogs! Early in her married life, her home became a hangout for troubled neighborhood kids. This experience lit the flame for her first novel, The Bright Side of Darkness.
Pinto’s Spanish-American roots grow deep in the Rocky Mountains, dating back six generations. J. E. Pinto lives with her family in Colorado where she works as a writer and also proofreads textbooks and audio books. One of her favorite pastimes is taking a nature walk with her service dog.
The Bright Side of Darkness won a first place Indie Book Award for “First Novel over Eighty Thousand Words,” as well as First Place for “Inspirational Fiction.” The novel also won several awards from the Colorado Independent Publishers Association: First Place for “Inspirational Fiction,” Second Place for “Audio Book,” and First Place for “Literary and Contemporary Fiction.
What is a family? Rick Myers is a despondent seventeen-year-old who just lost his parents in a car wreck. His family is now the four teenage buddies he’s grown up with in a run-down apartment building. Fast with their fists, flip with their mouths, and loyal to a fault, “the crew” is all he has.
At least he thinks so until he meets Daisy, an intelligent, independent, self-assured blind girl. Her guts in a world where she’s often painfully vulnerable intrigue Rick, and her hopeful outlook inspires him to begin believing in himself.
But when the dark side of Daisy’s past catches up with her, tragedy scatters the crew and severely tests Rick’s resolve to build his promising future. Fortunately, his life is changed by a couple with a pay-it-forward attitude, forged out of their personal struggle with grief and loss. Their support makes all the difference to Rick and eventually to the ones he holds most dear as they face their own challenges.
“The Bright Side of Darkness” is a story of redemption and the ultimate victory that comes from the determination of the human spirit