photo by donut
bread pudding

The mismatch amount of hot dogs to a package of buns often leaves you with leftovers. If you overplan a party, you'll have extra, too. Don't waste them. I like to call the following "reucipes" (ri-yoos-uh-pees), which are tips for reusing food and common household items. My readers share their tasty ways to use them up. My kids love the banana dogs. Ssshh: Don't tell, but I like them, too.

BANANA DOGS: I use hot-dog buns to make banana dogs for my kids' lunches. Spread them with peanut butter and put in a whole banana. Hamburger buns are great for breakfast sandwiches. -- Karen, Canada
Note from Sara: Try adding drizzled honey and using chunky peanut butter or nutella as a special treat for kids.

FRENCH TOAST: I separate the bun in half and cut each half into thirds and make French-toast sticks. They're even better when I have leftover whole-wheat buns. My kids devour them and don't have a clue they're eating whole wheat. -- nodmicks, e-mail

STRATA: Layer the cut-up buns with either cheese and meat or veggies of your choice. Mix eggs and milk, and pour over the top and bake. -- Jen, e-mail

GARLIC BREAD: I toast hot-dog buns and make garlic bread. Add cheese if you want. -- Laurie, Florida

SUBS: We fight over leftover buns at my house. I use them for sandwiches the next day. I usually make egg salad, tuna fish or peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches. I've added cold cuts and cheese on them and toasted them in the oven, too. You can use them like sub rolls. I love them with chicken patties with leftover spaghetti sauce and melted cheese. -- Yolanda K., e-mail

TOAST: I toast them in my toaster and either add butter, cinnamon and sugar to them or just butter and eat them with my eggs. -- Mary, e-mail

CASSEROLE: I make a chili-dog casserole. I grease a baking pan, break up the hot-dog buns and cover the bottom of the pan with them. I slice up hot dogs and layer on top of the buns and then pour chili on top. Sprinkle on shredded cheese. Bake for half an hour at 350 F. Add mustard and onions, if you like. -- Sue, e-mail

BREAD PUDDING: I freeze leftover buns until I have six and make bread pudding. I grease a small baking dish. Break the buns in half and put them in the bottom of the baking dish. Melt a stick of butter and pour it over the buns. Using a whisk, mix together 3 eggs, 1 teaspoon of vanilla, 1-1/2 cups of sugar and 2 cups of warmed milk. Pour over the top. Bake for half an hour at 350 F. -- Lara B., e-mail

FREEZER SANDWICHES: My mom makes ham-and-cheese sandwiches. They're spread with mustard, minced onion and poppy seeds. She wraps them in foil and freezes them until she needs a quick dinner. She pops them in the oven. They're a family favorite. You could also try meatball or breakfast sandwiches. -- Buc-o-mama, e-mail

I let them dry out and rip them up and use them for meatloaf. -- Candy, Ohio

FISH SANDWICH: Just add a couple of fish sticks and some coleslaw. --searching4, via forums