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Food (7/05/06)

Dear Zelda,

It's summer and since you're such a 'Hot Dog,' I'll bet that you have some good suggestions for a great 'hot dog' recipe.  What's Zelda's suggestion for a new, fun way to fix hot dogs?

Frank Furter

Dear Frank Furter,

Your question comes at a great time! Did you know that July is National Hot Dog Month, and that Americans consume more than 20 billion hot dogs annually? That's a lot of franks! Well summer is here, and my hot dog recipe is easy. This is a unique and fun way to fix hot dogs, and you can even cut these 'dogs' into bite-sized pieces and serve them as appetizers. They're dog-gone delicious! So here it is:

Zelda's Hot Dogs (with some help from the fabulous David Quinn of Prime & Vine)
  • 4 All-Beef Hot Dogs (Hebrew National)
  • 16 Large Wonton Wrappers
  • Vegetable Oil for frying
  • Cup of water
  • Cut the dogs (ouch!) lengthwise into quarters.  You will have 16 long strips.
  • Place each hot dog quarter on a wonton wrapper at an angle, and roll up the dog strip to the pointed end.
  • Wet the point of the wonton wrapper with water using your fingertip. This will seal the wrapper and keep it from coming un-done.
  • Heat the oil in a pan to about 300 degrees.
  • Fry the dogs in batches of 3 or 4 at a time, until golden brown.
  • Remove and drain.
  • Repeat until all wrapped hot dogs are cooked.
  • Serve with dipping sauce below.

Sauce:

  • 1/3 cup Ketchup
  • 1/3 cup Mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup Ball Park Style Mustard
  • Combine above with spoon to blend

To be perfectly frank about franks, Frank... these hot dogs taste great!
Zelda

Dear Zelda,

I love my 15-year-old Corgi Beagle mix, to death!  But Pandora has recently (in the last 5 years) taken to making piles of her dry dog food all around the house.  She goes back later and eats the dog food.  I free-feed her, always have.  Does she not like the food I am feeding her anymore?  Is she senile? I haven't changed anything recently that I can think of. The piles are starting to drive me crazy! Can you help?  

Dog Pile

Dear Dog Pile,

Personally, I think Pandora is trying to tell you something. In fact, she is probably trying to tell you several things at once with her odd behavior. As strange as we dogs can be some times, leaving piles of dry dog food around the house isn't something we do without reason.

First, and remember this is just my interpretation as a fellow dog, Pandora is attempting to let you know that free feeding may not be her preferred way of eating.  We dogs actually like discipline and structure.  We want you to be the boss, the leader, the top dog. Feeding us at scheduled times allows us to have something to look forward to, something to get excited about, and something to tell us that you're in control.  "Oh boy, it's five o'clock and I'm going to get my dinner." So my first suggestion is to try feeding Pandora at scheduled times.  When she finishes, the food is gone...hence no piles of dry dog food around your house.

Second, I also think Pandora is trying to tell you that she is bored.  How much time are you spending with her?  Do you take her for a walk every day?  If we dogs don't get enough exercise, we act out our frustrations in a variety of annoying ways in order to get your attention.  We'll chew your favorite Gucci loafers or leave piddle puddles on your Aubusson carpet. We'll do whatever it takes for you to notice that something isn't right.  My advice is that you make sure that everyday you find some way to let Pandora out of her box...  she wants to spend time exercising with you. Sure she may run around the house or the backyard, but to her, that doesn't count. Believe me, a well exercised, relaxed dog is a happy dog, and a happy, exhausted dog won't have the need or the energy to play with their food.

Pandora isn't senile, and it's not the food you are feeding her. She just wants some structure in her life as she gets older, and at the ripe old age of fifteen, she deserves it.

Zelda

Dear Zelda,

I am a Bulldog and I just love treats!  My owner says I eat too many and that she doesn't want me to get fat.  My question is: What kind of treats do you get?  I know you like ice cream, but somehow I don't think you get it very often. Do you have a favorite recipe for treats?  

Nibbles

Dear Nibbles,

You and I have a lot in common.  I, too, love treats, and I do long for an occasional lick of ice cream. But I have learned that too many treats can lead to trou-bull around my midsection, or actually around every section. Your owner is right, we canines need to watch our weight because overweight dogs have so many more serious health problems than regular-sized dogs. So I have a suggestion for you.  It's not a biscuit recipe, but it's what I choose to snack on when my tummy starts to rum-bull.

I'm going to share with you my secret treat recipe; guard it carefully, as it's taken many years of research to perfect. It's something tasty that lasts for a while because you lick it rather than chew it. I call it my Kong Kombination Treat. My owner mixes low-fat peanut butter and crumbled blue cheese together. She then fills several Kong toys (available at most pet stores) with this combination, and puts the stuffed Kongs in the freezer. When  Zoe, ZeeZee and I are lookin' for a little special 'treat-ment,' the Kong Kombinations come out of the freezer and keep us happy for a long time. The good news is that they don't have as many calories as, say, eating a lot of biscuits, and you actually get a pretty good workout just trying to get the food out of the middle. Trust me, I know it sounds a little strange, but the combination of blue cheese and peanut butter creates canine nirvana. Nibbles, with these frozen treats you'll soon lick yourself into a healthy shape and sit up and beg for more. They may not make the cover of ‘Bone Appetit,’ but my Kong Kombination Treats are definitely worth barking about!

Zelda