Hot Dogs Gone Wild! Top 10 Fixin’s for Your Hot Dog

With the Fourth of July ahead, and at least one package of hot dogs sitting in your freezer or fridge, it”s time to start thinking about your cook-out. Whether it”s you alone or at your jam-packed amazing and mega-impressive/amazeballs party, it”s time to think about spicing up your wieners. For you (and only you), I”ve done my research on the craziest and tastiest varieties of fixin”s for your dog. Choose on and serve, or create a twisted hot dog bar.  Then impress. Here we go…

10. Bacon Wrapped (and Stuffed)


Bacon is one of the few foods that I believe goes well with everything. Bacon makes all things better. Now, combine it with one of America”s favorite foods, by topping it and stuffing it with bacon. Add cheese and sauerkraut with your typical condiments. Bacon inspires all.

Recipe: Simply Recipes

9. Columbian


I”ve put potato chips on sandwiches, burgers, but never thought to put them on a hot dog already topped with slaw and sauces. Some believe that there is such a thing as too many condiments, or strictly using mustard and only that. It looks like the Columbian may change their minds.

Recipe: My Columbian Recipes

8. Mexican


Pineapple is one thing I never thought of topping my wiener with. But along with chipotle sauce, sweet and spicy sounds good. A couple of jalapenos add a nice kick.

Recipe: Homesick Texan

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The Top 10 ES Posts of 2009

Yay! It’s lazy editors week on ES! Which is a perfect time for you to catch up on any simmer you might have missed this year. Our Top 10 most-read posts of 2009:

10. Cupcake Ice Cream Cones


Cute kids and dessert. Two things that never get old.

9. Jacques Torres Shows How to Make a Chocolate Sculpture


Brooklyn’s chocolate god shows us how it’s done.

8. Pittsburgh vs. Arizona Super Bowl Food-Off


A strong showing from Primanti Brothers leads Iron City into the Endless Eaters Hall of Fame.

7. Top 10 Food Finds at the Iowa State Fair


Keep frying, America. Keep frying.

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Who is 2009’s Eater of the Year?

As is now tradition, Endless Simmer marks the end of each year by looking back at the chefs, restauranteurs, politicians, talk show hosts, bloggers, and ordinary culinary schmoes who make each year tastier than the one that came before. But unlike certain other publications, we don’t make the final decision ourselves (Ben Bernanke? booooring.) Instead, it’s up to you readers to decide who should join past winners Anthony Bourdain and Hezbollah Tofu in the Endless Eaters Hall of Fame, and more importantly, claim the crown of 2009 Eater of the Year.

So read up on our nominees and cast your votes below.

Meryl Streep


Foodies love to talk about how much we adore Julia Child. She introduced us to French food, she let us use butter, she never once said the word “yummo.” But the truth is, every icon can use a little updating — and really, if Julia was so perfect we’d all spend a lot more time re-watching Lessons with Master Chefs and a lot less tuning into Ace of Cakes, wouldn’t we? Only Streep could take the notoriously self-deprecating, gangly, mumbley Julia Child and turn her into a winsome, genius, sexy (was that just us?) star. If we could just get Meryl Streep to reenact every old episode of The French Chef, now that’s something we’d watch everyday.

Jose Garces


We’ve been hyping Jose since way before he grilled Bobby Flay on TV and then schooled all comers on this year’s The Next Iron Chef, and with six eateries and counting, no one did more to put an American city on the culinary map this year than Philly’s Garces. Some might argue the world wasn’t in need of another name-brand chef-lebrity, but if this means Garces’ unique menus are coming to a city near us, we’re more than game.

Michelle Obama

One year into the Obama era and Guantanamo’s still open, wars are still being waged, and unemployed food bloggers everywhere are still living without health insurance. Well, at least there’s one person in the White House who doesn’t let Joey Lieberman tell them what to do. Mrs. O decided to forget about literacy, china settings, or whatever it is first ladies are supposed to do, and instead made her first year in office all about food. She invited culinary students to the White House, planted a vegetable garden on her front lawn, got a farmers’ market put in across the street — heck, she’s even going on Iron Chef! Now that’s what we call a year’s worth of accomplishments.

This is Why You’re Fat

Every year has one big concept food blog that takes the Internets by storm, a la Julie & Julia or Hezbollah Tofu. The 2009 entry was unquestionably This is Why You’re Fat, a hilarious, no-holds-barred look at the crap Americans actually put in our stomachs. Like some kind of greasy, pornographic car wreck, TIWYF is so wrong yet so right, and we just can’t look away.

Rachel Maddow

A bit of a dark horse, but you’ve got to hand it to the only nightly newscaster willing to devote extended segments to taking on corporate agribusiness and their evil henchman. If you’ve got a free 25 minutes (and if you’re reading this, come on, you do), you really should watch Rachel’s hard-hitting piece about the DC lobbyists who spend millions of dollars trying to convince Americans that our fish need more mercury, our fats need more trans, and everything needs more high-fructose corn syrup. Plus, when was the last time you saw Keith Olberman talk Afghanistan policy while making a croquembouche with Martha Stewart? Did Walter Cronkite ever compare health care policy to ordering a pizza? Can Bill O’Reily show you how to mix a Jack Rose? Does Barbara Walters know where to find $2 tamales in Hell’s Kitchen? No, no, no, and no. Rachel Maddow: foodiest newslady ever.


Throughout the decade, Americans have become more and more obsessed with what we eat, and the whole foodie movement has been a constant struggle between two competing ideologies: the desire to be more in sync with our planet and our bodies, and the desire to wrap everything in bacon. But this was the year when people seemed to find a balance, when everyone and their mother became a part-time vegetarian, a vegan-til-nighttime, or a one-day-a-week meateater. Flexitarianism may not fully placate the PETA activists or sate the hardcore meatheads, but in contrast to all those other diet trends, it actually makes sense, and that’ s not something we see a lot of around these parts.  (Hilarious illustration via Breckenreid)

Vote Now!

[poll id=”39″]

Previously: 2008 Eater of the Year Awards

2007 Eater of the Year Awards

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Iowa Doesn’t Have Squat on Minnesota

A week or so ago, BS shared with us the best the  Iowa State Fair has to offer.  Well, as many of the comments on BS’s post suggested, when you’re talking state fairs and you’re talking food, the Minnesota State Fair is really where it’s at.

Now I really am not one to toot Minnesota’s horn without cause.

I’m an East Coast gal (not born but bred), and I have a sufficiently obnoxious amount of regional and state pride.  I attended undergrad in Saint Paul, Minnesota and I was routinely disappointed with a lot of its food: cheese, bagels, pizza, Chinese. I was lactose tolerant then and had to school those MNers about the travesty that is Wisconsin cheddar; the closest thing to a sharp Vermont Cabot was Canadian Black Diamond cheddar.

However, Minnesota has the State Fair food superiority on lock down.


Exhibit 1

Check out the video above by Minnesota Public Radio’s Curtis Gilbert. The dude only eats MN fair food and then visits a doctor to measure the presumptively deleterious effects on his health.

At the fair Gilbert gorged himself on scotch eggs on a stick, big fat bacon on a stick, deep fried gator, deep fried twinkies and pork chops among other foodstuffs (I hope he didn’t forget the fried cheese curds!)

Surprisingly Gilbert finds that binging on the fair food, for one day, actually brings his bad cholesterol level down…Could it be that MN State Fair food is actually good for us? Well the deep fried twinkies most certainly are.

More proof after the jump…

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Cupcake Rampage: Trashy Cupcakes

trashy tower
Keep eating those clown cupcakes, and you’ll turn into a clown.

We’re a pretty loose group here at Endless Simmer. Although I’ve yet to visit the corporate headquarters in New York, I hear it’s pretty swanky. Hot and cold running microbrews from the bathroom faucets, life-size voodoo dolls of dozens of celebrity chefs skewered with huge Renaissance Fair lances, and a giant chocolate fountain that rises up three stories into the atrium above the lobby. I wonder why they haven’t invited me to see it yet.

Oh well, it’ll keep. It’s just a thrill and an honor to be a member of the team and do my part for the ball club.

Anyway, for the most part I think I’ve managed to maintain the Cupcake Rampage gold standards so far: didactic journalism, spotlighting mature flavors for sophisticated palates, and trying to explain as much why something happens as how it’s supposed to happen. After last week, however, I may have hit the wall. It wasn’t the new directions I was taking my writing, or the tangle of coming up with something pretty and practical every week, or even the dilemma of what do to with all those goddamn cupcakes.

No, gentle readers; I was done in by frosting.

Last week’s Aztec xocolatl cupcakes were a byproduct of another five dozen cupcakes I baked as a favor to a friend and her party for the neighborhood kids. (My first paid gig!) Now, even though it might sound nightmarish, making fifty-plus cupcakes really isn’t that big a deal, even if they’re different styles and flavors; you just get into assembly-line mode and crank them out. Making a different kind of frosting to go with each kind of cupcake, however, now that’s a pain in the ass. The worst kind of crash is a sugar crash, and nothing has more sugar than homemade frosting.

So you see, I needed something simple this week. Nothing terribly fancy or high-maintenance or with too many ingredients, but still something that encapsulated the essence of Endless Simmer: a little class, a little flash, a little trash. Since going vegan I’ve kind of left my trashy food tendencies behind, but just because something is vegan doesn’t mean it’s good for you. (Hel-lo, vegan cupcakes? It’s still a cupcake!) So, what’s classier than a vegan cupcake, flashier than a new cupcake tree, (thanks, Diana!) and trashier than the tops of said cupcakes adorned with the unnatural accouterments of American breakfast cereal? Nothing, I says! Nothing!

Just whip up a batch of your favorite cupcake batter (I made gluten-free vanilla, because I’m still working on my GF skillz) and sprinkle on your favorite brand of sugarbombs before chucking them in the oven. I used Cocoa Puffs, Trix, (gluten-free!) and Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Airy, crunchy cereal works best because they don’t sink; marshmallows tend to melt and make the cupcake all gross. (Extra trash points!) Once they’re baked, the cereal is also going to be in direct contact with the cupcake itself, so the topping will start to get soft after a few hours.

What’s that you say? Oh, you don’t think breakfast cereal is trashy enough, do you? No matter how much high fructose corn syrup it’s been soaked in, how nutritionally deficient it may be, how laden with GMOs, artificial colorings, and hidden sodium it is? Well then, let’s just go back downstairs into the lab and see if we can’t find something a little more…disturbing for you, shall we?

Stare into the face of horror after the jump, if you dare

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There’s No Time For Frozen


I was totally tricked.

But that’s okay. I actually tried more frozen food in one sitting than I’ve had in my entire life. Learning experience, right?

I got this invite (above ) to a demonstration at a local cooking school. I briefly scanned the details, saw that I could bring a guest, let 80P check his schedule and then I confirmed. I assumed this event was tied to the chef, Trish Magwood‘s book tour. She would cook recipes from her book, the food writers would munch, possibly write about the event, and the cycle of: product—PR—press would continue as normal.

Now, I truly hate when bloggers bitch. Like I super fucking hate it. Food writers are truly blessed with ridiculous perks: free food, trips, wine, cookbooks and inflated egos. I guess that’s the problem in the first place. Maybe I expect too much.

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