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Now this is something that I really do love. I like them fried, boiled, broiled, steamed, grilled, etc you get the picture. When I first started writing this blog I told Budget Blogger Meg [@CallMeHoppe] about it. I got that she was kind of disturbed when she said, “This isn’t going to be some gross homage to the old adage, ‘Do you know what’s actually in there?!’ is it?” When I told her that there was nothing gross, she agreed to read it after some “it better not be’s” So, to ask the age old question, hold the gross:

Pink's Hot Dogs, the legendary LA hot dog joint. Courtesy of kaszeta on Flickr

Pink's Hot Dogs, the legendary LA hot dog joint. Courtesy of kaszeta on Flickr

What are hot dogs made from?

Are hot dogs made of pork, beef, or something else? What are hot dogs made of? Frankfurter content is regulated by law in the United States. Traditional hot dogs are made of beef, pork, veal, chicken or turkey. They are available with or without skins and may contain up to 30%  fat and 10% added water. For vegetarians, there are tofu hot dogs.

Hot dog sizes range from about 2 inches (cocktail wieners) up to the famous foot-long hot dogs popular at sporting events. The most popular hot dog size is the standard 6-inch length usually sold in packages of ten.

Hot Dog Terms Regulated by Law
–Beef or all-beef: Contains only beef with no soybean protein or dry milk solid fillers added.
–Kosher: All-beef, usually heavily seasoned with garlic.
–Meat: A mixture of pork and beef, usually 40% pork and 60% beef with no fillers.
–Frankfurter: May contain up to 3.5 percent fillers and made from a combination of meats.

Let’s share some hot dog recipes and their origins
–Chicago dogs: a steamed, boiled or grilled – but never broiled – all-beef

Chicago Style Hot Dog courtesy of kaszeta on Flickr

Chicago Style Hot Dog courtesy of kaszeta on Flickr

hot dog on a poppy seed bun, originating from the city of Chicago, Illinois. The hot dog is topped with mustard, onion, sweet pickle relish (usually a dyed neon green variety called “Nuclear Relish”), a dill pickle spear, tomato slices or wedges, pickled sport peppers, and a dash of celery salt; sometimes, but not always, cucumber slices. [Not to be biased as a Chicagoan, but these are the BEST hot dogs you could ever hope to eat!!!]
–Kansas City dogs: Sauerkraut and melted Swiss cheese on a sesame seed bun.
–New York City dogs: Steamed onions and pale yellow mustard sauce.
–Coney Island dogs: Topped with a spicy meat mixture.
–Southern slaw dogs: Served with coleslaw on top.
–Corn dogs: Placed on a stick, dipped in corn bread batter, and deep-fried.
–Tex-Mex dogs: Topped with salsa, Monterey Jack cheese, and chopped jalapenos.
–Pigs in a Blanket: Wrapped in pastry and baked.
–Baltimore Frizzled: Split and deep-fried.
–Lillies: Short for Lilliputians (from the Jonathan Swift novel Gulliver’s Travels), these are about half the size of a man’s thumb, also commonly called cocktail-size, and usually served as an appetizer in a sauce.

Hot Dogs Around the World
The popularity of the American hot dog has spread worldwide. In Russia, where they are known as Sosiska, Russians prefer their dogs spicier, so those exported to Russia generally contain a lot more garlic. Whereas, in China, where hot dogs are known as Rouchang, a fully cooked, cold hot dog wrapped in red plastic is eaten like a popsicle, slowly peeling the red plastic down as it is consumed or warmed on a stick with no condiment embellishment. However, no other country to date can keep up with Americans who consume over 20 billion hot dogs a year [we have to win at everything we do!]

Where did the term “hot dog” come from?
Although the history of sausage goes back a long way, hot dogs are as American as apple pie. There is no certain etiology of the term hot dog, but two theories are the most prominent.

The popularity of the term hot dog is generally attributed to sports cartoonist T. A. “Tad” Dorgan, who caricatured German figures as dachshund dogs just after the turn of the 19th century. His talking sausage cartoons generally denigrated the cheap wieners sold at Coney Island, crassly suggesting they contained dog meat. It was such bad publicity that in 1913, the Chamber of Commerce actually banned use of the term “hog dog” from signs on Coney Island.

The term actually first appeared in print in the Oxford English Dictionary in 1900. German Americans brought us wienerwurst, German for Vienna sausage, which eventually became shortened to wiener. Other German immigrants referred to smoked sausages as bundewurst, which is German for dog sausage. By the late 1920’s, weinie roasts became the rage, with guests bringing their own hot dogs to roast over an open fire.

Credit for putting the hot dog into a warm bun and topping it with various condiments goes to Harry Magely, catering director of New York City’s Polo Grounds, who reportedly instructed his vendors to cry out, “Red hots! Get your red hots!” Also credited for the idea of warm buns is Charles Feltman, of Feltman’s Gardens in Coney Island amusement park. Corn dogs were introduced in 1942 at the Texas State Fair, created by Texan Neil Fletcher.

Now that we know how wonderful my hot dogs are let’s stop reading here and go and have a wonderful hot dog experience with everything on it!!

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I’ve found that regardless of political belief, everyone is interested in the First Lady. From Twitter to TMZ, we’re a gossipy bunch. So, as I was researching some new blog topics, I let my curiosity get the best of me. I had been talking with a friend a few nights ago about our current First Lady which led to conversations about previous First Ladies. So, I decided to find out some first rate gossip [well not really, I decided some trivia might be better] for you.

Here are some great questions that I found while checking out this great website. For the answers I thought what better place than the newest gossip hub, Twitter! So head over to our Twitter page after this for the answers and great travel and relaxation advice!

  1. When her first child was born, it was the first time a President’s child was born in the White House?
  2. She was a “camera girl” for a newspaper when she interviewed her future husband they were married two years later?
  3. Her daughter married Jefferson Davis, against the wishes of her parents?
  4. The future President first proposed to her after he and she auditioned for parts in a local theater group?
  5. She was the first First Lady to live in the White House?
  6. She was an invalid during her husband’s presidency, and had her daughters stand in for her in White House hostess responsibilities?
  7. She was a temperance advocate whose husband, as President, banned liquor from the White House — leading to this First Lady’s new public nickname?

Go find some more great trivia and surprise your friends and family with little known facts about other first ladies!

“If you don’t know where you are going, any road will take
you there.”
-Lewis Carroll

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The White House GroundsThe property at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue has quite a bit of exciting history.  I was so interested, that I took the liberty of depicting some interesting information about the White House.

The White House

The White House is recognized around the world as the home of America’s president and as a symbol of the American people. Much like the nation it represents, the White House is filled with unexpected surprises.

1. The White House has a Twin in Ireland:

Leinster HouseThe Leinster House (right photo) in Ireland was the main inspiration for the White House in Washington, D.C. The White House was initially designed by an architect named, James Hoban, who was born in Ireland and studied in Dublin. Historians believe that Hoban based his plan for the White House on the Leinster House. Leinster House is a Georgian style home that was once the residence of the Dukes of Leinster and is now home to Irish Parliament.

2. The White House has Another Twin in France:

Chateau de RastignacThe White House has been remodeled many times. During the early 1800’s, President Thomas Jefferson worked with architect Benjamin Henry Latrobe on several additions. In 1824, architect James Hobon added porticos based on plans that Latrobe had drafted. The elliptical south portico based appears to mirror the Chateau de Rastignac (photo), an elegant French House constructed in 1817.

3. Slaves Helped Build the White House:

Payroll 1795(Photo: Washington, D.C. Payroll Report, June 1795). The land that became Washington, D.C. was acquired from Virgina and Maryland, where slavery was practiced. Historic payroll reports document that many of the workers hire to build the White House were African Americans- some free and some slaves. Working alongside white laborers, the African Americans cut sandstone at the quarry in Aquia, Virgina. They also dug the footings for the White House, built the foundations, and fired bricks for the interior walls.

4. The White House Was Also Built by Europeans:

whitehouseornamentThe White House could not have been completed without European artisans and immigrant laborers. Scottish stoneworkers raised the sandstone walls. Crafstmen from Scotland also carved the rose and garland ornaments above the north entrance (photo) and the scalloped patterns beneath the window pediments. Irish and Italian immigrants did brick and plasterwork. laster, Italian artisans carved the decorative stonework on the White House porticoes.

5. George Washington Never Lived in the White House:
President George Washington selected James Hoban’s plan, but he felt that it was too small and simple for a president. Under Washington’s supervision, Hoban’s plan was expanded and the White House was given a grand reception room, elegant pilasters, window hoods, and stone swags of oak leaves and flowers. However, George Washington never lived in the White House. In 1800, when the White House was almost finished, American’s second president, John Adams moved in. Adam’s wife Abigail complained about the unfurnished state of the presidential home.

6. The White House was the Largest House in America:
When architect Pierre Charles L’Enfant drafted the original plans for Washington, D.C., he called for an elaborate and enormous president palace. L’Enfant’s vision was discarded and architects James Hoban and Benjamin Henry Latrobe designed a much smaller home. Still, the White House was grand for its time. Larger homes weren’t constructed until after the Civil War and the rise of the Gilded Age mansions.

7. The British Torched the White House
During the War of 1812, the United States burned Parliament buildings in Ontario, Canda. So, in 1814, the British Army retaliated by setting fire to much of Washington, including the White House. The inside of the White House was destroyed and the exterior walls were badly charred. After the fire, President James Madison lived in the Ocatgon House, which later served as the headquarters for the American Institute of Architects (AIA). President James Monroe moved into the partially reconstructed White House in October 1817.

8. A Later Fire Destroyed the West Wing:

oval-office-1929-burned(Photo: Damage done in the Oval Office from 1929 Fire) In 1929, shortly after the United States fell into a deep economic depression, an electrical fire broke out in the West Wing of the White House. Except for the third floor, most of the rooms in the White House were gutted for renovations.

9. Franklin Roosevelt Made the White House Accessible:
The original builders of the White House didn’t consider the possibility of a handicapped president. The White House didn’t become wheelchair accessible until Franklin Delano Roosevelt took office in 1933. President Roosevelt suffered paralysis due to polio, so the White House was remodeled to accommodate his wheelchair. Franklin Roosevelt also added a heated swimming pool to help with his therapy.

10. President Truman Saved the White House from Collapsing:

Truman White House ReconstructionAfter 150 years, wooden support beams and exterior load bearing walls of the White House were weak. Engineers declared the building unsafe and said that it would collapse if not repaired. In 1948, President Harry S. Truman had the interior rooms gutted so that new steel support beams could be installed (photo). During the reconstruction, the Trumans lived across the street at the Blair House.

11. The White House Has Been Called Many Names:
The White House has been called many names. Dolley Madison, wife of president James Madison, called it the “President’s Castle.” The White House was also called the “President’s Palace,” the “President’s House,” and the “Executive Mansion.” The name “White House” didn’t become official until 1901, when President Theodore Roosevelt officially adopted it.

12. The White House Wasn’t Always White:
The White House is constructed of gray-colored sandstone from a quarry in Aquia, Virginia. The sandstone walls weren’t painted white until the White House was reconstructed after the British Fires. It takes some 570 gallons of white paint to cover the entire White House. The first covering used was made from rice glue, casein, and lead.

“I pray Heaven to bestow the best of blessing on this house (the White House) and on all that shall hereafter inhabit it. May none but honest and wise men ever rule under this roof!”
-John Adams

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