Rethinking That Wiener

I feel EXTREMELY bad for cocktail weenies. They REEAALLLLYYY lost in the name department.

Abby Austin GiGi Eats

Imagine if you met someone named Cocktail Weenie… The first thing you would think (or at least I would)…

I wonder how many EAT ME signs were stuck on his back in grade school? And I wonder if people STILL do it…”

Cocktail Weenies GiGi Eats

Mmmm… Smoky, fatty, crusty cocktail weenies, with a little ketchup, but of course. Sure, the name is rather unfortunate, and sort of reminds me of a poorly titled porn but those raunchy thoughts of mine aside… Cocktail weenies (I’m talking pigs in a blanket here people!) were among my favorite, no, wait, they were my FAVORITE appetizer served at parties when I was a kid, you know… When my tongue was able to TANGO with gluten… And when I gave zero f***s about MSG, nitrates, and the fact that hot dogs are repulsive.

Exhibit A:


Exhibit B: Please see Exhibit A. 

Oh, the good old ignorant days!

YEP! I was that little A-HOLE who could smell the scent of these little magical bundles of pork from miles away, come galavanting (I may or may not have crashed a party or two in my day) and then… SCARF them all before anyone else even knew they were available, to begin with!

GiGi eating squid!

Oh… how the times have changed… Nowadays, if I see those piglets… I run in the opposite direction… Or really, just in the direction of the salmon appetizer!

Salmon Sashimi

Throwing in back to Taiwan last year with the Food Pervert!

That doesn’t mean that I didn’t stop fantasizing about how tantalizing those little uncircumcised looking weiners kilted piggies while shoving savoring a few dozen salmon and avocado wrapped in cucumber horderves in my face…

GiGi Eating Tuna Poke

Which is why I decided to transform these franks in jackets… Into Franklins in Leather Coats (i.e. make them healthier… Did that not come off?)

healthier pigs in blanket

To see how I erected (har har) such wiener winksWatch the latest GiGi Eats!

Pigs In A Blanket Revamped


Here piggy… Piggy!

  • Slice your eggplant lengthwise, lay on a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt. 
  • Let sit for about 5 minutes, or until you see water bubbles sprouting up from the eggplant.
  • Take a damp cloth and wipe the “sweat” off the eggplant. 
  • Sprinkle eggplant with pepper and oregano, spray with cooking spray and roast in the oven for about 10 minutes (feel free to flip slices over after 5 minutes). 
  • Remove eggplant from oven and let cool for a minute. Cut up your beef and chicken dogs into 3 sections. Then take your eggplant, slice the “sheets” appropriately so as to wrap around your dogs snuggly. 
  • Place wrapped dogs back on baking sheet and roast for another 5 minutes. 
  • Remove from oven (turn it off, ha!) and serve with sugar-free ketchup and/or mustard


  • When heading to a party (or hosting your own), what appetizer do you get most excited about?
  • What is ONE food you will NEVER put in your mouth? 
  • Eggplant, yay or nay?
  • Did any type of food make an appearance in your dream last night? 
  • What’s your favorite summertime light bite? 
  • What’s the weirdest/worst name you’ve ever heard (for a person)?


  1. Ok, I’m still stuck on the title to this post! You crack me up!

    And I still can’t eat weenies, natural or not. And can we talk about those weird, creepy Applegate Farms hot dog commercials? With the guy who keeps winking his man boob at the camera? Wearing a cow suit? He’s not selling me on hot dogs…

    • OMG I HAVE NEVER seen those commercials!!! But from what you’re describing – it actually makes me kind of sad because I LOVE Applegate Farms hot dogs and want everyone to eat them, but if they have a weenie of a commercial, well that’s NOT going to help! hahaha!

  2. LOVE those elegant pigs in blankets…you could serve those at any cocktail or dinner party

    • Oh heck yes!! They would be total crowd pleasers and no one would miss the actual pigs, that’s for sure!

  3. First off, I’m going to be thinking about that salmon appetizer all day!

    I loved hot dogs for too many years, and my waist paid the price. In Chicago, all ours were all-beef and tasted great! I have never found any faux dog to even come close to those. I suppose the only benefit of those large luscious hot dogs was that I never had any interest in little wienies.

    I like eggplant despite the strange name. Why is that anyway?

    • I love eggplant too – did you know it’s actually a FRUIT?! That plant is just straight up weird. I mean, I would say it’s called eggplant because it can something look like an egg? That’s me NOT actually googling WHY eggplants are called eggplants – haha!

  4. I can’t eat hot dogs, big or small like that, so sadly that’s my answer to your question! However, the rest of the gang around here love them! I’ll have to do them with the eggplant.

    • Not even chicken dogs?! I don’t eat pork so I hear ya on not eating the typical type… But chicken or grass-fed/finished beef dogs = YUM :)

  5. Hilarious! My husband loves his hot dogs but me? Not so much. I can’t get over what’s in them now. But I used to like them! Too Much Information is not a good thing!

    • What about healthier ones?! The ones I am using in this recipe = CLEAN CLEAN CLEAN!! No weird additives or things you don’t really have a clue what they are!!

  6. LOL So funny!

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

  7. Oh yes, cocktail wienies will be made with the nitrate-free, preservative free, all beef all natural hot dogs I can get now. And…now I’m hungry.

  8. Actually, stuff a veggie dog in that eggplant and we’d have a vegan treat!

  9. What a great alternative to unhealthy hot dogs. I’m going to have to give this a try :)

  10. Healthy pigs in the blanket? Is that even legal? Probably not, but much more sane. Wrapping them in eggplant is brilliant — LOVE that idea. Thanks!

    • IT IS LEGAL and it is HAPPENING this week on the blog and hopefully in your kitchen by Monday of next week too 😉

  11. I have been known to go ape on some wieners.
    Wait. That sounds bad ;D

  12. Thanks for giving us a healthier option! I will need to try this later

  13. this is awesome- growing up we always had pigs in a blanket when we we kids- thanks for a healthier recipe!

  14. Well I gotta say my hubby loves hotdogs! Me, on the other hand, I can’t touch them. They gross me out, even healthier ones. Eggplant on the other hand, I love and hubby hates…lol. Maybe I will have to give this a try.

    • I think you need to – or at least maybe wrap like a chicken breast or a fish fillet in the eggplant??

      • Now that sounds good! I would even be able to make hubby happy by not putting the eggplant on his. Me and my father love eggplant but hubby doesn’t. That sounds like an easy way to make everyone happy.

  15. I will eat some crap, but hot dogs freak me out ever since someone told me they contain ground up horse hooves. That is probably not true, but whatever. I like burgers better any way… so much less phallic.

    Other things I won’t eat: offal, sweat breads, and caviar.

  16. I love all of your faces- classic! Hot dogs are one food that I have not eaten since about 7 years old. After that, no way. No to bologna too!

  17. These looks so delicious!


    Tamara –

  18. Yum! I love when you share your finds and delicious foods :) Thanks Gigi!

  19. Pigs in a blanket were always my favorite appetizers because they’re almost always a hit with everyone! I love your spin on it!

  20. We used to call them Weenie Tots, and they used to be a staple at all our parties. Since doing the Whole30, I definitely can only eat the clean ones. The way you made the eggplant sounds so delicious!

    • Weenie Tots are TOTALLY NOT allowed on the Whole 30 – haha! But… These Franklins in Leather Coats are! 😉

  21. 2 of my favorite things: Meet & Eggplant! Love it!

  22. aha! Is this where applegate farms comes in? And the eggplant is intriguing. I used to go to Bar/Bat Mitzvahs or weddings, and of course, that was my favorite appetizer. It’s amazing.
    So glad to have them GiGI-approved.

    • I didn’t even use Applegate for this recipe, but you can TOTALLY incorporate them into it! 😉 I mean, my previous blog post was just a precursor!!! And I am thrilled you’re pumped about this recipe, as much as I am – haha! So friggin’ easy!

  23. Eggplant is HANDS DOWN my favourite vegetable! So tasty!

  24. Always love your cooking videos and your jokes! looks like a great healthy twist on the old fashioned pig in the blanket

  25. ERMAHGERD! Weinies in eggplant – my dream! Don’t tell my boyfriend I said that. He might get the wrong idea…

  26. Interesting use of eggplant. You know I NEVER liked cocktail wieners….so this sounds much better.

  27. Embrace the pig and make them healthier. Do love those little things.

    • I embraced the pig for awhile, now I am doing away with Mr. Piggy and going for Ms. Clucks and Mr. Moo! LOL!

  28. hahaha! poor titled porn that cracked my up. the finished product looks mouth watering though. amazing recipe and i love how much fun you had with it.

  29. SHUT UP did you just make healthy pigs in a blanket?!?! You are amazing. I would have never ever thought of this! Cocktail weinies are BOMB even though they are TERRIBLE. What parties are you going to that there are salmon appetizers? Mine aren’t as classy! 😉

    • I will NOT shut up! hahaha! I mean, common, you’ve “met” me… And you apparently think I am “amazing” – he he he!
      And since you think so, I will have to invite you to the next party I go to that has salmon appetizers – 😉 — I tend to bring the salmon myself (and hoard it)…

  30. Hmm I dream of food often but don’t think I did last night. Shocking:)
    As for favorite party treats I could more or less live off chips and salsa…

  31. WEINERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    You are so fun. My answer for everything is cookies & bread! :)

  32. Great wrap idea I never knew to sweat them out ! I usually eat the solo but have made crostini’s Tara inspired :)and sliced them on top. I will look up these brands for sure. No raw fish for me unless starving to death.
    I met a girl named Blinky once, either her parents experimented with cannabinoids or psychotropic drugs or conceived her watching the Simpsons ?. Your guest is very fit :)

  33. love all the fun you have in this post and like you miss several foods I could eat in the old day. I will soon try out the yummy new version

    • I always have fun on and off the blog! :) If you’re not enjoying yourself doing whatever you’re doing – quit it, and do something you love (or just change your mindset if you HAVE TO do it!)

  34. This was a lot of fun to read. I always buy healthier/organic hot dogs because of all those nasty ingredients in other dogs!

    • I’m proud of you for doing that Ashley! So many people don’t bother to look at ingredients! GAH!

  35. Just love watching your videos and reading post :-) Thanks for sharing healthy and delicious option. I would love to try them soon!

  36. It sounds really good! And those salmon appetizer looks so yummy!!

  37. Eggplant is for sure a YAY. but yesss, bringing me back to my childhood loves of these snuggled up pigs and corndogs 😛

  38. Never thought I’d see the day where there’d be Pigs in Blankets that I could actually eat! :O These sound delicious! <3!!

    I dreamed about eating a poke bowl last night. I wish the dream had been real. ;_;

    • Ah ha! Well – you still haven’t seen the day because I would call these: Clucks & Moos in Comforters! LOL!

      And um, did I make an appearance in your dream, because I feel like a POKE dream- I would make a cameo!

  39. What a creative way to healthify pigs in a blanket. Thanks for partying with us on #TastyTuesdays. I always love to see what you bring to the table.

  40. Love this idea! They sound so tasty. I love eggplant so I would be all about these.

    – Cait |

  41. Elizabeth O. says:

    Another good laugh! I used to feel that way about weenies too, until I decided that the relationship was not working out anymore. Lol! This was such a fun post and I’m sure those pigs in blankets taste amazing!

  42. I have to admit that I get excited about deviled eggs! I didn’t grow up with too many cocktail weenies, lol! Love your healthier take on it!

    • Ah ha ha! I have had maybe 2 Deviled Eggs before in my life, but MAN they were good – so I can see why you get excited!

  43. You crack me up on a regular basis. You can make a healthier version of anything. I think I get the most excited for guacamole at any party if I’m throwing it or the guest lol Guac is the food of the Gods! Seriously! Never had eggplant, I like. The strangest name I’ve heard was recent.. Abcde… like the first 5 letter of the alphabet.

    • I am going to go through the laundry list of unhealthy foods and make them healthier – I am on a mission, ha ah!
      And yes to guac – for serious! I cannot believe the first time I ever had guac was about 2 – 3 years ago when I made Eva Longoria’s Guac recipe for a blog post! THE REST is history! You could TOTALLY smear it on eggplant – THAT would make you like it! hahaha!

      AND OMG!!!!! WHO THE HECK was named ABCDE – THAT is kind of genius, I must must must say! LOL!

  44. I used to love pigs in a blanket too!!! We would make them with full-sized hot dogs (no envy here, haha), wrapped in crescent rolls, with a slice of American cheese inside. I’m not sure you can get less healthy than that :( I’d make your version with tofurkey dogs, or maybe even those roasted carrot “hot dogs” I’ve seen on Pinterest!

    • OMG WITH cheese inside?!?!?!? I have never seen such a version before – you totally win at UNHEALTHIFYING the already unhealthy appetizer, LOL! And yes, you could TOTALLY make these with veggie dogs or carrots! :) TRY IT!! Do it! Do it! ha.

  45. These actually look SO good and I hateeeeee hot dogs. They just make me think of upset stomachs… but maybe that’s because they tend to be a party food and i’ve seen too many kids go overboard and make themselves sick 😛

    • When you think hot dogs – do you think pork?? Beef and Chicken hot dogs (without pork products added) are the bomb!!! No upset stomachs at all!

  46. Nikki Jenner says:

    Wow, I want to try this! They look like so yummy! I love it.

  47. Ryan Escat says:

    Oh, this is nice. I want to try this pig in a blanket. Looks so yummy.

  48. Karlyn Cruz says:

    I love that salmon appetizer. Those pigs in blankets are so cute and look really tasty.

    • They are Karlyn, they are!!! Not sure what I would make a B-LINE for first… The salmon of the “pigs” – that’s saying something, haha!

  49. Hot dogs. I will never eat hot dogs. I didn’t like them as a kid and I definitely don’t like them now. Eggplant is a yay.

  50. Eggplants are definitely a yay! Trader Joes carries this eggplant dip with caramelized onions and it’s so good!

  51. My mom used to make the pigs in a blanket with croissant dough and I used to love them! Now, if there’s salmon, that’s probably where I’m headed!

  52. nathalie porbes says:

    My ephew was always love eating hotdogs, I bet this is a great alternative for hotdogs

  53. Oh my goodness, this post is hilarious! Cocktail weenies… that makes me giggle every time. :) I really love how you transformed this dish. I never would have thought about using eggplant, I love it!

  54. I love the idea of using eggplant as the blanket :-)) They look great!

  55. Wow! I love those pigs in a blanket. Such a genius way to create healthy paleo dish! AWESOME!

  56. Eggplant… YUM! This is awesome. I will definitely make these for the next party. And now I am hungry!!!

  57. CourtneyLynne says:

    Now these sound like hot dogs I would totally eat! My hubby however, I swear the cheaper and nastier the hot dogs are, the more he loves them. I can’t even think about the hot dogs he chooses to eat without feeling nausea knowing what’s inside them lol

    • WHAT IS WRONG WITH DUDES and loving the cheap TERRIBLE FOR YOU foods/!?!?!?! Seriously, I feel like ALL MEN are programmed to want to just shovel in the nasty crapppppp of the supermarket!

  58. Oooooh! I like the idea of wrapping them in something other than croissants or biscuits. I may try zucchini around mine too-since I like your eggplant idea.

  59. Yum! These sound good!

  60. You rock my world, lady! I love how you say what most people just think. The “kick me sign” comment had me rolling… like a piggy in a blanket? :)

    • It’s a blessing but also a curse – my no filter self can get into trouble sometimes, LOL … But I shall TAKE that risk! 😉 Hope you enjoy some uncircumsiz……. Non-Pigs in Non-Blankets this weekend. LOL!

  61. Angie Scheie says:

    Haha, my family always called them Lil’ Smokies for some reason. Maybe the sauce. Your recipe looks much better and I’m a fan of the chicken!

    • I’ve heard that name before!! Not sure why they’re called that either, I didn’t even realize that the dogs could actually have been smoked? Hmmmmm! But who cares – CHICKEN FOR THE WIN! lol

  62. You treat your pigs with such an affection haha by covering them with a blanket no less!! I love the idea!

  63. After watching a video on how hot dogs were made, I’ve never put one in my mouth again but I miss them! I’ve been looking for some healthy ones because I made some gourmet relishes. I’ll have to see if your company ships up here and if not, I need to find one here cos I need a BBQ DOG! These look so delicious and I wish I was your neighbour so I could hop over the fence and grab a few, lol.
    YAY for eggplant.
    And I worked with a person named…..wait for it…..Robin Hood. No lie! hahaha! Such mean parents she must have had!

    • You must be able to get APPLEGATE FARMS hot dogs up there, right?!?!?! THOSE ARE ON POINT!!!

      And um… Robin Hood is just kind of sort of an AMAZINGGGGG name! 😉

  64. Genius!!! Love the idea of using roasted veggies as the blanket. Eggplant, zucchini, roasted red pepper. I can see the serving tray at my next party now!

    • BOOM! GENIUS!! :) You could also cut thin strips of sweet potato or butternut squash or something like that and wrap it around the doggies too!

  65. Well you just went hug wild this week didn’t you 😀 Weiners scare me.

  66. Haha I agree the name isn’t great…

    Alix |

  67. Awesome! Love this idea. We will have a small family gathering and I must surprise them with this. Thank you

  68. Oh party appetizers! They get so creative that I can’t think of a specific kind of appetizer I like! I remember Safeway used to sell these appetizers called “bags of gold” that were basically filo dough “bags” stuffed with chopped veggies. Almost like wontons!

    • Never even HEARD of those! HAHA!!! 😉 I personally love dipping veggies in hummus or guac if SALMON isn’t available… Or if these little paleo “piggies” aren’t avail. You can easily make these with veggie dogs too by the way!

  69. I wonder why we’ve got two different names for the same thing. You call them eggplants, we call them aubergines. It’s a bit like zucchini. We call them courgettes. Weird. We speak the same language so you’d think we’d have the same names for these things?

    Anyway, that’s really of no relevance 😆 I just ramble you know?

    I’d have no trouble serving these as appetisers at a party. The use of eggplant instead of pastry is brilliant!!

    BTW. Have you not got a composting bin for the head of the egg plant you chopped off? Tut Tu! 😉

    • Aubergine & Courgette = French. 😉 – Oui Oui!

      And nope, no composting bin, hahaha! Perhaps I should put that on the wedding registry? LMFAO!!

  70. I love eggplants but not much of salmons. But those are too appetizing I guess I could give them a try.

  71. Hi GiGi,
    This is a great idea and sounds so tasty. My husband loves those grass fed organic hot dogs. Wrapping them in egg plant sounds like a delicious and healthy change. Thumbs up to Pig in the blanket without the PIG! hanks for sharing on Real Food Fridays. Pinned & tweeted!

  72. Not an eggplant fan. That made it a real challenge during my stint as a vegetarian because I didn’t like beans back then either. But when I was a kid I LOVED pigs in a blanket!!

    • Well, you can think even further outside of the box and wrap zucchini or summer squash slices around these turkey and beef dogs… Or sweet potato – or if you like regular potatoes (which I HATEEE lol), you could wrap slices of those around the dogs too! 😛

  73. Hi Gigi,
    I loved your headline! Great to see you here at Blogger’s Pit Stop! My girls grew up making pigs in blankets with my mom.
    Thanks for bringing your post to Blogger’s Pit last week.
    Janice, Pit Stop Crew

  74. Hi Gigi,
    I wrote you a detailed comment, but I don’t see it here. The Internet on this cruise ship is impossibly glitchyl
    Thanks for bringing your post to Blogger’s Pit last week.
    Janice, Pit Stop Crew

  75. I love prunes wrapped in bacon as an appetizer, I can eat a whole tray of it.
    And since I am here in New Zealand the cheese platter makes me excited as well, the variety of good cheeses here are amazing

  76. Um, that ingredient list is frightening! Yikes! Your pigs in a blanket look fabulous, however. I’m lovin’ the eggplant wrap thing! Genius!

  77. I THOUGHT that looked like an eggplant wrap around the weenie..and I was correct whoo! One food I’ll never put into my mouth is Quest bars. Quest products pretty much. But one food I would totally put in there? THESE weens

    • QUEST BARS LOOK SO GROSS TO ME TOO!!! Ah ha ha! I have always been a little curious because everyone is obsessed – but I have a dairy allergy thus I cannot… Do you think Quest Bars are gross tasting or do you just think they’re big chemical sticks? lol

  78. I stalk out the Scallops wrapped in bacon, so I guess it’s like Piggy meets the Sea. I do LOVE your makeover…the Eggplant is Genius!!! Thanks for sharing at the Sunday Fitness & Food Link-Up :-)

  79. I am so delighted that you shared your tasty, creative twist on pigs in blankets with us at the Healthy Happy Green and Natural Party!Thank you so much for sharing your gems and for your support! All the best, Deborah

  80. I’ll be honest in saying that I used to love pigs in a blanket as well! Now, I’m more a fan of the veggies and guacamole or something along those lines :) Brilliant idea using eggplant as the blanket!

  81. Yum! I love pigs in a blanket. I will have to give this healthy version a try! Thanks for sharing!!

  82. Eggplant=yay! Weirdest name goes to a student of one of my teacher friends… Alucard. Legit, it’s Dracula spelled backwards and that was on purpose. Poor kid.

  83. I’m not a fan of chicken hot dogs but chicken sausages are another story. I would wrap some eggplant around them and give your gf versions a try! I’m guessing a veggie sausage would work, too. You guys were cracking me up through the whole video :) Thanks for making my day and for sharing with us at Creatively Crafty #ccbg :)

  84. Love that eggplant pig in a blanket! So delish and soooo much better than the junky version! YUM!!

  85. Yum! What a fun twist on pigs in blankets!

  86. Love this post – LOL! Eggplant (aubergine as we Brits call it) is awesome! Use it with everything

  87. Ok you had me in giggles reading through this post, I will never look or think of pigs in a blanket the same way. Lol