A Trick to Serve Hot Dogs – A Shortcut Dad Guest Post

This post is by The Shortcut Dad. 

A hotdog tutorial by The Shortcut Dad!

Ever since I was a kid, hot dogs have always been one of my favorite foods. The Shortcut Mom, ZJ, and I all enjoy them today, but we serve them differently. ZJ is still at the stage where we cut his food into pieces, and Deb likes to eat hers without a roll. My preference is to have my hot dogs on a bun, but as the only one in our home who does it creates a minor dilemma for me. Since I don’t eat hot dogs that often do I buy hot dog buns, knowing that they will go bad before I get to use them all or do I allow them to take up valuable freezer space? Thankfully, I’ve found a better way.

Nobody really likes the ends on a loaf of bread for their sandwiches, but they make the perfect substitute for a roll to eat with a hot dog and a slice of cheese.

What follows is an easy recipe – note that we keep our bread frozen to last longer, and for this recipe it assumes the same for cooking a hot dog in your toaster oven:

1. Set your broiler for 450 degrees, generally the highest setting for a toaster oven, and put some aluminum foil in the toaster tray to make cleanup easier.

2. Before cooking, put a lengthwise split, several sideways splits, or both to help grease drain from your hot dog. If you’re eating it on a hot dog bun, take the bun out of the freezer when you put the hot dog in the broiler.

3. Let the dog cook for 7-8 minutes, then turn it to the other side. If you’re cooking with a bun open it now so the inside can thaw. If you’re using a bread loaf end piece take the bread out of the freezer now. You can also set the cheese on whatever bread you are using at this time.

4. Give the hot dog another 7-8 minutes or when it looks ready. When you take it out put it on the bread and place it in the microwave to melt the cheese.

5. Depending on how deeply the bread was frozen, set the microwave for between 12 and 17 seconds. This is enough time to melt the cheese and thaw the bread without turning it soggy.

Lunch is served!

The One Tip Every New Parent Needs to Hear But Nobody Will Tell You

The one shortcut they won't tell you!

Guest post by The Shortcut Dad

Greetings Shortcut Mom readers! As you’ve probably guessed I am the husband to The Shortcut Mom, and I’ll be appearing with an occasional guest post. My first one is on a topic that is pretty simple, but one that every parent will look back on and nod their heads in agreement.

Nobody approaches parenthood expecting their life to continue as it did before their first child is born. Expecting late nights, early mornings, messes, even signs as basic as getting rid of old furniture that once occupied what has become the newest family member’s nursery warn that big changes are about to happen.

When were expecting ZJ we went to a birthing class and breastfeeding class at the local hospital, and I did some reading on the basics – I found the Baby 411 book that a neighbor gifted to us to be very informative (I was quite proud of my ability to identify meconium at our first encounter with it).

However, there was one piece of information that I did not hear from other parents, books, online articles, or anywhere else that could have warned me about the most surprising change that was coming:

When you have a baby the biggest change that catches you off guard is losing the ability to procrastinate.

When it’s just the two of you, things like buying groceries, getting the laundry done or even cleaning up dishes after dinner can be put off for a bit. That ends as soon as Little One arrives home. First, you are assuming that you will be able to physically do whatever chore or errand you had in mind. The first time some strange ailment or accident befalls your baby, you suddenly find yourself in the Emergency Room for several hours that you were counting on to take care of business.

Or maybe you don’t get hit directly – you put something off until tomorrow but don’t factor in being up three hours in the middle of the night dealing with a fussy infant. Baby might be fine the next day, but after a long day at work you might not have enough energy to move from the couch after dinner, feeding, bathing, and putting the wee one to bed.

And if you don’t get those chores done? Not going to the grocery store might lead to a late night emergency run to the nearest convenience store for diapers or milk. Putting off the laundry might mean no clean spare sheet to put in the crib after the one being used is suddenly puked on in the middle of the night. Even something as simple as not gassing up your car could leave you having to make an out of your way trip during rush hour just to get you to work the next morning.

So trust me new parents, don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today. The first time an emergency hits you’ll be glad that you did!