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The journey of a Christian wife, stay-at-home mom, quasi-tree-hugger, and cheapskate to find ways to "CHanGE" her life to be Cheaper, Healthier, Greener, and Easier. Constructive feedback always welcome!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Healthier? Homemade Crescent Dogs

I know I said in my last post I'd talk about plastic next time, but I wanted to put a little blurb in here about my attempt today to make healthier crescent rolls to use for crescent dogs. Dot keeps seeing a commercial on TV for them (well, for the cans of crescent rolls), and she asks for them, so I figured I'd give it a shot, but going the homemade route.

First, the obvious question--why did I want to make them myself and not just rely on the can of Pillsbury Crescents or their generic equivalent? One look at the ingredient list should give the answer to that.

(From LiveStrong)
"Pillsbury Crescent Rolls contain enriched flour bleached, water, partially hydrogenated soybean and/or cottonseed oil, sugar, baking powder, and 2 percent or less of dextrose, vital wheat gluten, salt, datem, potassium chloride, xanthan gum, yellow 5, red 40 and other color additives. Partially hydrogenated or hydrogenated vegetable oil is trans fat, a type of fat associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease."

In addition to the trans fat in the ingredients, they also contain bleached flour (meaning more heavily processed) and artificial colors. I wanted to get away from those nutritional no-nos, so I looked for a recipe for "homemade crescent rolls." Googling this term yields lots of results, but I ended up using this recipe. Due to our small family size, though, I halved the recipe, and I also used whole-wheat flour. I still ended up with 16 rolls, though! I only buttered the outside of them versus the inside as well as indicated on the recipe.

I then used this recipe to actually construct the crescent dogs, of course substituting the can of rolls for my own homemade batch. I also cut back on the amount of cheese I put into each hot dog, and I only did it on half of them. Good thing, because Dot said at supper time that she wanted one without cheese.

I ended up with 16 whole-wheat crescent dogs--8 with cheese, 8 without.

How did they turn out?

Well, I don't know if I slightly overcooked them, or if I should have put in at least some enriched unbleached flour in lieu of using whole-wheat entirely, but the crescent part was pretty bland and a little tough. It still tasted OK, I guess, and even as picky as Dot can be, she ate all of the hot dog and most of the crescent roll. (She thought it was cute that it was a "pig in a blanket" and kept referring to it as a "baby.") Next time I will try those slight changes to see if it tastes any better, but overall, I'm glad I tried this Healthier substitution.

I really don't know if it's Cheaper as I did have to buy yeast and butter (REAL butter, not margarine; it's more fattening and expensive but has fewer weird additives), so I'd have to sit down and do quite a bit of figuring to decide this. I had a coupon that doubled for the yeast, and the butter was on sale, but still... Given the sales for crescent rolls these days, I'd imagine the cans are Cheaper than the homemade route. And the cans sure are Easier. I was working on these homemade rolls for hours! Thankfully Dot had school today, so at least I got some other housework done while she was there and worked on the rolls during her nap at home.

As for the hot dogs? OK, I cheated there and went for Cheaper over Healthier. Hey, I got 2 packages of Bar-S Franks for $1 at Kroger today after the sale and a Facebook coupon! That's why I put a question mark next to "Healthier" in the title. Maybe I'll try more kosher franks one of these days.

If you have some extra time on your hands (as I know all wives and moms do, right? lol), this might be a recipe to try. The end result was preschooler-approved, a rating that can be hard to come by.

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