Recipes Hotdog Delicious

Of all the activities my Mom had to do when she kept house, cooking was not her favorite. Now with that in mind, I wouldn’t dare call her an inspired chef. At the same time, she did well with the recipes she followed. God help me if I wanted one of her recipes. She always recited them by memory, and always conveniently left out an ingredient or two. After making her ‘crumb’ cookies, I asked her why mine were so much harder than her’s were. “Did you put butter in them?” Of course not. The recipe she gave me didn’t have butter. The recipe she gave me for chop suey didn’t include bead molasses until after I ruined a batch, and nor did my pepper steak contain the proper spices to make it taste like her’s. 

There was one recipe she made that I loved, that my kids loved, and that I could reproduce without a recipe. It’s called stuffed hot dogs. Very simply it is a matter of boiling the hot dogs, slitting them lengthwise, and ladling mashed potatoes into the slit and covering that with American cheese. We then broil them long enough to melt and brown the cheese. That takes only a few short minutes, so it is best to check them often. It is easier to pull them before the cheese burns then it is to pull the hot cheese off the potatoes and replacing it. They are to be eaten with a knife and fork rather than on any type of bun or bread.

Of course in those days my Mom always made fresh mashed potatoes by boiling real potatoes until they were soft, and then beating in butter, milk and salt and pepper. When I found myself traveling to Downtown Chicago where I worked daily,and dealing with a two hour commute, I found it easier to replace homemade mashed with boxed. When original instant mashed became such a hit, several brands came out with varieties. I found onion and sour cream, garlic, four cheese and Swiss and bacon, to name just a few. And just because I enjoy cooking, and I enjoy trying new things, it wasn’t long before I tried different flavors of potatoes, and different types of cheeses. My kids particularly liked garlic flavored potatoes with cheddar, where as I like any flavor mashed with mozzarella. The neighborhood kids decided that Swiss and bacon flavored potatoes paired with any kind of cheese was great. 

After helping my daughter with research on a college term paper, we discovered together just how unhealthy prepared food can be. I’ve decided to cook real food again. I now have the time, and I have the know how. And I’ve discovered real mashed potatoes are worth the effort. Stuffed hot dogs with homemade garlic potatoes, chives and sour cream, or even just plain old fashioned mash potatoes are phenomenal. So much so my son calls me when he’s on the road to ask me that when he’s home next to please make them for him. Oh, and could his best friend come to dinner, too?

I usually serve stuffed hot dogs with a fruit and veggie just because of the high content of carbohydrates in potatoes. Corn on the cob, baked beams, applesauce or fruit salad are all good sides. Once in a while, though, it’s hard to resist a fruit flavored muffin or good old fashioned banana bread, too. Although when my son made them at his new home, a visitor who had never tried them before loaded one into a bun and bit into it. She’s hooked, too. 

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