My Saturday did not go exactly as planned. I had big goals for making a pie, moving furniture, rearranging, organizing, yard work, cleaning...and this rich, spicy-sweet Dr. Pepper sauce over grilled hotdogs for dinner.
As I was cleaning up the breakfast dishes my mom called to get the details on my daughter's upcoming dance recital. I was telling her that I'd video the rehearsal so that those who couldn't attend could see the show. "When is the rehearsal?" she asked. There was a moment of dead silence on my part as the wheels started turning and I suddenly realized that it was....TODAY! Shoot. "Gotta go!" I told her and then called a friend to check the time of the rehearsal. I had a few hours, so I quickly threw together a pie for the church picnic we will attend tomorrow and then laced up my tennis shoes to help my husband carry furniture up and down the stairs. I spent a sweaty couple of hours racing around the house in my pj's and tennies trying create at least some semblance of order in our home. Then it off to the showers to make myself presentable. Since this was a dress rehearsal, I quickly helped my daughter shimmy into her neon green sequined ensemble, tossed her hair into a side pony tail and began styling it with corkscrew curls as instructed by her dance teacher. I hadn't even gotten to covering her face in the required JonBenet-style make up (Am I the only mom who is bothered by seeing her young daughter in full eye make up, blush, and bright red lipstick?) when my friend and her daughter arrived to finish getting ready and head off to the auditorium. I implored my husband to keep chipping away at our Saturday projects and suggested that I'd take our toddler along to the rehearsal to keep her "out of his hair". Upon arrival at the rehearsal, I realized that I didn't have my rehearsal pass to enter the auditorium and that siblings were strictly NOT ALLOWED to attend the rehearsal. Why oh why didn't I re-read the paper work that came home in my daughter's dance bag weeks ago? Luckily, I talked my way into the auditorium while my friend snuck in my baby. So...we were all in, but it was imperative that I keep my 2 year old absolutely quiet while the dancers practiced, in order avoid drawing attention to ourselves. Ever try to keep a talkative two year old absolutely silent? Um. STRESSFUL! At some point my toddler got her leg lodged in the fold up seats and as I was trying to free her as quickly and discreetly as possible, I loudly dropped my camera on the concrete floor. Luckily the camera survived, but as my oldest tapped onto the stage moments later, "Memory card full" flashed across it's display screen. I scrambled to try to erase items from the memory card, but it was dark in the auditorium and I couldn't see which "button" was for delete. Ugh. My friend fished around in her purse and gave my two year old her first-ever piece of chewing gum in the hopes that if her mouth was full, she wouldn't talk. Instead, she kept leaning over to announce, in a loud wannabe whisper, "I YIKE GUM MOMMY! YES I DO! I YIKE IT!" After my oldest daughter's performance, I snuck out with my toddler under the glares of other parents who had actually followed the rules and left their other children at home.
Back at home, my friend and her daughter came in to visit for a bit and re-hash the rehearsal as I got the Dr. Pepper Sauce under way for dinner.
Then my husband came down to say "hello" and he and my friend entered into their favorite activity...which is to debate. Usually politics. Today's topic: the oil spill and the role of government. And so, I found myself absorbed in the points of their argument as I was chop, chop, chopping the onion for this sauce with my favorite super-sharp Santuko knife. And that is when I chop, chop, chopped right into my middle finger. I tightly wrapped a towel around the finger and got those onions and garlic sauteing in 4 tablespoons of butter.
And I even took a picture of the star ingredient, Dr. Pepper.
And then I didn't take anymore pictures for a while. I was too busy trying to control the bleeding, brushing off suggestions from my friend and husband that I should probably seek medical attention, and still listening to their debate between these suggestions. You can find the recipe below. You add in lots of other ingredients and then you simmer the sauce, covered for 15 minutes and uncovered for another 20-30 minutes before blending until smooth.
I used my Cuisinart CSB-76BC SmartStick 200-Watt Immersion Hand Blender, Brushed Chrome
When dinner time rolled around my finger was better...at least the bleeding had slowed, although the throbbing is still pretty annoying as I type this 4 hours later.
I decided that the way to go with this hot dog was to load it up: cheese, onions, chopped pickle, and a generous serving of sauce and then go at it with a fork and knife.
Have mercy the sauce is delicious! Dinner was SO good! I found this recipe in the July 2009 issue of Better Homes and Gardens Magazine. It's by Elizabeth Karmel, the author of three grilling cookbooks and the woman widely acknowledged as "America's Female Grilling Expert". You can read more about Elizabeth on her website, Girls at the Grill, HERE.
I loved this sweet, spicy sauce so much that I decided it shouldn't be limited to a hot dog topping. I'm thinking that it needs to be brushed over chicken, or even better yet, RIBS in the near future. I decided to freeze two portions and leave one in the fridge.
I spooned the sauce into these Ball Plastic 8-Ounce Freezer Jars, 5 Pack My grandma recently gave me a set. I love em'! So convenient with their little screw tops AND...
they're stackable! Perfect for freezing individual portions of soup, fruit, or in this case...barbecue sauce. Great product!
Here's the recipe for Hot Dogs with Dr. Pepper Barbecue Sauce by Elizabeth Karmel
Makes: 8 hot dogs and 4 cups sauce
Prep: 15 min.
Cook: 45 min.
Grill: 5 min.
Cool: 10 min.
4 Tbsp. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1 large yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 12-oz. can Dr Pepper
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
3 Tbsp. tomato paste
2 tsp. ancho chili powder
1 tsp. finely ground white pepper
1 tsp. kosher salt
8 hot dogs (1-lb. pkg.)
8 hot dog buns, split and toasted
Toppers: pickles, sliced jalapeño peppers, chopped onion (optional)
* I like cheese too!
1. For sauce, in medium saucepan cook and stir onion and garlic in hot butter over medium heat about 10 minutes until onions are tender. Add all ingredients except hot dogs, buns, and toppers. Reduce heat. Simmer, covered, 15 minutes. Cook, uncovered, until sauce begins to thicken, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from heat. Cool sauce 10 minutes.
2. Puree sauce in pan with immersion blender, or transfer to a blender jar, cover, and blend until smooth.
3. Meanwhile, on charcoal grill cook hot dogs on rack directly over medium coals for 5 to 7 minutes or until heated through.(For gas grill, heat grill. Reduce heat to medium. Cook on grill rack over heat. Cover; grill as above.) Serve hot dogs on buns with toppers. Makes 8 hot dogs and 4 cups sauce.
Servings Per Recipe 8 hot dogs and 4 cups sauce Calories 338, Total Fat (g) 19, Saturated Fat (g) 8, Monounsaturated Fat (g) 9, Polyunsaturated Fat (g) 2, Cholesterol (mg) 32, Sodium (mg) 1030, Carbohydrate (g) 30, Total Sugar (g) 10, Fiber (g) 1, Protein (g) 11, Vitamin C (DV%) 4, Calcium (DV%) 8, Iron (DV%) 13, Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet
After this crazy Saturday, I decided a cocktail was in order. I could have cracked a beer or poured a glass of wine, but I needed to escape to the islands, so coconut rum and pineapple juice was my pick.
The recipe? Fill a glass with ice. Pour in equal parts of coconut rum and pineapple juice to fill. Add a splash of cherry juice. Garnish with an umbrella skewered cherry. Stick in a straw and drain. : )
Hope you're all having a wonderful weekend!