Like a Summer Picnic

We had a scrumptious summer dinner last night.

Chili dogs. Orange Julius. Ice cream sundaes.

And the best part of it was that it was all homemade! A diner-type meal at a fraction of the cost. At the end of the meal, DD1 exclaimed, "This was a really special dinner, wasn't it, Mommy? It's sooo good!"

Yup, that's all I needed to hear. It may have been easier to grab the same type of meal at a fastfood restaurant but what's the fun in that? The kids enjoy having these "fun" meals at home once in a while. They think it's such a treat to be able to eat hotdogs at home for dinner! It was "fun" for me too because the whole meal cost nowhere it would have cost to feed 8 people if we were out at a fastfood. Plus, plenty of leftovers were available for lunch today.

For the chil dogs/hot dogs, we used BallPark bun size dogs & hotdog buns, both of which were on sale at Vons. Woohoo! For the chili, I used Interstate Chili by Sunny Anderson from Food Network. I've been looking for a beanless chili recipe and this looked really good. I love this recipe and it's something I would definitely use again and again. Just a word of caution on the dish's spiciness. My kids don't do spicy so I held off the jalapenos, the hot sauce and the chili sauce. Against my better judgement, I added half of the cayenne specified in the recipe. It still turned out too spicy for the kids. It was just the right amount of heat for the grownups but I would nix the cayenne altogether next time for the sake of the kids.

I got the Orange Julius recipe from the blog Baking Bites. This really tasted authentic! I remember the Orange Julius stand in Unimart in Greenhills where my mom did her grocery shopping. I remember that as a child, the Orange Julius was a wonderful treat for me. I'm glad I found this recipe because my kids seem to think it's a wonderful treat for them too. :)

Hope you had a wonderful weekend too!