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Pigs in a Blanket, Please

Food Fitness. Nourish your body.

The American Farm Bureau Foundation's Dates to Celebrate Agriculture calendar includes a "National Pigs-in-a-Blanket Day" to be observed every April 24th.

Pigs in the Blanket, also known as: Pigs in blankets, biscuit dogs, devils on horsebacks, wiener winks, worstjes in deeg, kilted sausages, wild willies...

Pig in a blanket please

In the United Kingdom, "pigs in blankets" are small sausages - usually chipolatas - wrapped in bacon. Chipolatas are small pork sausages that are Italian in origin. They are now considered a traditional part of the Christmas meal, most often served at Christmas lunch or with roast dinners. Chipolatas wrapped in bacon are an essential accompaniment to Christmas roast turkey.

Here in the U.S. the name "pigs in a blanket" usually refers to hot dogs, Vienna sausages, or link sausages wrapped in a biscuit dough, a pancake or even a croissant, and baked. Pigs in a blanket became popular in the U.S. in the 1950s.

Making Pigs in a Blanket

A typical method: Using crescent rolls, make each triangle one "blanket" for the "pig" (hot dog). Stretch out the rolls so they will cover the hot dogs. If you like these with cheese, place a slice of your preferred cheese (most common are American and Cheddar), place a slice on top of the crescent roll before you wrap it around the hot dog. Pinch the dough on each side of the hot dog so the cheese doesn't run out during baking.

Once prepared, bake your pigs in a blanket on an ungreased cookie sheet according to the directions on the crescent roll package. Allow the pigs to rest for five minutes before serving.

A fun idea for an appetizer or just a mini-snack for kids of all ages is to use cocktail weiners. Just cut the crescent roll into strips and proceed as above.

Another idea that many enjoy is to use pizza dough instead of the usual crescent roll dough.

Condiments that are served with them are ketchup and different types of mustard.

For breakfast, many use sausage links and frozen or homemade pancakes, and eliminate the cheese. After cooking the pancakes, lay one or two sausage links on each flapjack, then roll. Place seam side down so that the pancake doesn't open. Serve with syrup, or just pick them up and eat them on the go.

Nutrition Nibbles: Pigs in a Blanket are fun, pure and simple. Kids from 5 to 105 love 'em and there's just no reason not to enjoy them. They're easy to prepare, contain no unusual or difficult to obtain and/or prepare ingredients and have protein and carbs all wrapped together (no pun intended).

These can be as "bad" or as "good" as you wish to make them. Now-a-days you can purchase reduced fat roll dough, in addition to "light" and/or reduced-fat weiners, cheese, sausages, what-have-you. You could even use a whole wheat dough if so inclined. So you can enjoy these in a lighter version or go all out and full-fat it; although, of course, we'd suggest you lighten them up in some fashion. We also suggest you watch labels on your hot dogs for "No Fillers" and "All Beef". Fillers aren't good, plus these tend to taste better and be lower in fat. In fact, you can often find lean varieties of all beef weiners with no fillers.

If you really want to indulge yourself, try those Grilled Chipolatas at your next cookout! Here's a quick recipe:

Grilled Chipolatas Recipe

Grilling-chipolatas 24 Chipolate sausages
8 to 12 slices bacon
24 toothpicks soaked in water for 10 to 30 minutes

Halve or third each slice of bacon. Wrap the bacon around each chipolata and secure with skewers. Cover them with cling film or place them in a sealed container and store them in the refrigerator until ready to cook. Or, you can place them in the freezer and defrost them in the refrigerator later. To Cook: Place the chipolatas under a a moderate to high grill for 5 to 8 minutes turning them halfway through cooking time. Remove them from the grill and keep hot until ready to serve.

Sausage - it's not just for pigs!

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