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~ Baked Hot Dog Cheesies & Creamy Tomato Soup ~

IMG_0673Cheesies.  That's the name.  If you're in your sixties or older, you are well aware how, without compromise, a slice of white sandwich bread is a perfect substitute for a hot dog roll.  Truth told, sometimes I prefer the slice of bread to the roll, and, cheesies, kid-tested mother-approved blast-from-my-past snack sandwiches are the reason.  There's more.  They're not just a blast from my past.  My husband Joe told me the tale of how, when he was student at Penn State during the latter 60's, the lines were long in the campus' dining halls on the nights cheesies were served.

What to expect when ordering a cheesie: 

IMG_0670Order a cheesy and you're going to receive a hot dog that has been placed atop and wrapped in a slice of white sandwich bread (that has been slathered with a mayonnaise and ballpark mustard concoction) plus a slice or two of white or yellow American cheese.  Occasionally, diced onions are added right after the hot dog goes on.  Most cheesies are lightly-painted with a bit of melted butter just before baking in a 375° oven -- long enough for the cheese to melt, the bread to slowly toast and hot dogs to heat through, about 10-12 minutes.  My mom served them to my brother and I with baked beans and home-fried potatoes, my kids loved them with a side of mac and cheese.  Nowadays, I'm satisfied with one or two sitting next to a cup of tomato soup.

Set 'em down next to a cup of tomato soup and call it a day.

IMG_06112  slices soft white sandwich bread*

4  teaspoons mayonnaise

1  teaspoon ballpark mustard

1/8  teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1/8  teaspoon coarse-grind black pepper

2  tablespoons finely-diced yellow or sweet onion (optional)

2  hot dogs (Note:  My favorite brand is Hebrew National all-beef franks.)

2  tablespoons finely-diced yellow or sweet onion (optional)

1  tablespoon salted butter, melted in the microwave

IMG_0615*The Little Miss Sunbeam Story: Created by children's book illustrator Ellen Segner in the 1940's, Little Miss Sunbeam was drawn from real life and based on a little blue-eyed blond girl Ellen saw playing in New York City's Washington Square Park. From her  drawings, Ms. Segner developed the original oil painting that became the Sunbeam trademark. Little Miss Sunbeam on the label has meant quality baked bread and bread products for over three generations of bread buyers.

IMG_0618 IMG_0619 IMG_0625 IMG_0629 IMG_0632 IMG_0628~Step 1. In a small ramekin, stir together the mayonnaise, mustard, Worcestershire sauce and pepper.  Set aside.  Dice the optional onion and set aside.  In a second small ramekin, melt the butter, set aside and ready a pastry brush.  Line a small, toaster-oven-sized baking pan with parchment paper and preheat toasted oven to 375°.

IMG_0634 IMG_0634 IMG_0639 IMG_0639 IMG_0647 IMG_0647~Step 2.  To assemble the cheesies, place two slices of white sandwich bread on a work surface. Using a small knife, slather the top surface of each bread slice with the mayo-mustard mixture.  Place a slice of white or yellow American cheese atop each bread slice.  Place one hot dog, on the diagonal (corner-to-corner) atop the cheese.  If desired, scatter a few of the optional diced onions to one side of each hot dog.  Lift the two open corners of the bread up and over the hot dog, then secure it closed with a sandwich pick or two.

IMG_0655 IMG_0656~Step 3.  Using a pastry brush, paint the surface of the parchment paper with some of the melted butter, then, place the hot dogs, slightly apart on the parchment.  Use the pastry brush and a light touch to paint (dab) the surface area of the sides (the white part) of the sandwich with the rest of the butter.  Bake on center rack of preheated toaster oven 10-12 minutes, or until bread is very lightly browned and cheese is bubbling.

Remove from oven, say "cheesie" & eat 'em up:

IMG_0676Baked Hot Dog Cheesies & Creamy Tomato Soup:  Recipe yields instructions to make 2 cheesies/1-2 servings.

Special Equipment List: 2 small ramekins; small knife; cutting board; chef's knife; small, toaster-oven-sized aluminum baking pan; parchment paper; 2-4 wooden sandwich picks; pastry brush

IMG_0603Cook's Note:  I can't prove this, meaning, no research reveals it, but, it's my guess that cheesies evolved directly from humble cheese toast. It's just common sense.  One fine day a mother, while making cheese toast for her kids, decided to transition their snack to a hearty meal by adding a hot dog to the cheese toast and fold it up.  After all, necessity is the mother of invention. ~ Unembellished Perfection -- Classic Cheese Toast ~.

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2021)


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