I read about how to make hotdog “squid” a while ago, and decided to make it along with some hotdog octopi. My son loves eating real squid and octopus, so he was all about eating hotdog ones. For some reason, the kid won’t touch fruit but he’ll nosh on a piece of raw chewy octopus sashimi, no problem, or beg for a packet of dried squid (it’s like jerky).

To make the hotdog squid:

  1. Cut the hotdog into quarters.
  2. Insert long spaghetti into the hotdog pieces.
  3. Throw them into boiling water until the spaghetti’s tender, about 7-9 minutes.

I used whole wheat pasta and turkey low-fat hotdogs, so it wasn’t that bad.

Preparing the "squids"
Preparing the "squids"

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Kaiya was too freaked out  to eat them, though.

The hotdog octopi are just as easy. We ate these once at Ariel’s Grotto at California Adventure, and the waiter told us how to make them.

To make the hotdog octopi:

  1. Cut the end off a hotdog.
  2. Cut it lengthwise in eight pieces to form tentacles.
  3. Throw it into boiling water. The “legs” flower outward, just like an octopus.

Cutting the "arms"
Cutting the "arms"
The Octopi. Aren't they cute?
The Octopi. Aren't they cute?

These are benign enough for a little princess.  I had to make more.

We also had Jacques Pepin’s Smashed Potatoes from Rachael Ray. Let me tell you, I’ve made these potatoes 3 times and the 20 minute cooking time is the BIGGEST piece of horse doo-doo ever.  She made them for her holiday cooking show, and because I was led to believe they cooked in 20 minutes I made them for Christmas dinner. Not!  They take 30 minutes just to soften (the recipes says they take 8 minutes) and longer for the stock to boil away, and even longer to brown them.  Bet on 45 minutes.

Anyway, if you do allow the time for the smashed potatoes, they are delicious. My kids adore them.  That and some steamed broccoli and I didn’t feel so bad about having hot dogs for dinner.