Saturday, September 8, 2012

Lucy Burdette's Back to School Hot Dog Casserole

LUCY BURDETTEWe writers at Mystery Lovers Kitchen decided we should have a "Back to school" week and it fell to me to kick things off. I should say first that I loved going back to school as a kid. I loved picking out the new clothes and the school supplies and finding out who my teachers would be and seeing my friends...I loved school, period.

    The only time I remember dreading going back was the year our school was renovated. The administration decided the only way to juggle all the middle school classes was holding split sessions. Which meant my sister and I had to get on the bus by six am. My mom, who hated mornings and didn't love cooking, could not face getting up at five to make us breakfast. But she did prepare sloppy Joes the night before (I'll spare you that recipe-think ground beef and tomato soup) so we could heat them up before heading out in the morning.

Over the years, between school days and becoming an adult, I learned to bake bread and cakes from scratch and canned my garden veggies and prepared elaborate soups and stews. But a lot of this flew out the window when I married my husband, who came equipped with two young school-aged kids. I was working, he was working, everyone was stressed; and the kids couldn't have been less interested in fancy food. So I punted in favor of anything they might eat. In fact my husband points out that my stepchildren will always remember me for my hot dog casserole recipe. Sigh. 

With some regret, I share it here:


1 medium onion, chopped

1 small green pepper, chopped
6-8 best quality hot dogs, sliced into rounds*
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons barbeque sauce
2 tablespoons molasses or brown sugar
1 very large can B&M baked beans
Worcestershire sauce

   Saute onions and peppers in small amount of olive oil. Set aside. Sauté hot dog slices until brown. Mix these ingredients with the baked beans, pork fat removed and discarded. Add mustard, barbeque sauce, molasses or brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce to taste. Mix and pour into a greased 9x11 casserole. Bake at 350 until bubbly.

 You should probably serve this with something green:)

*Use your judgment on "best quality hot dogs"

 Here's hoping that back to school for your kids and grandkids means more time to read! Because I happen to have a brand new book out this week-the second in the Key West food critic mystery series, called DEATH IN FOUR COURSES. It's the perfect thing to pick up when the kids aren't home yet and the hot dog casserole is ready to pop in the oven...

Here are some ways to order:

An Independent Bookstore 

Barnes and Noble



And for a signed copy, call RJ Julia Booksellers 203-245-3959

You can follow Lucy on Twitter, or Facebook, or Pinterest


  1. I will be sharing my own back to school stories and an equally kid-friendly recipe later in the week! But you know, this dish is perfect. You can make it for the kids, get them fed and then you and hubby can have something more exotic for your own dinner that the kids don't like--sushi maybe. I was a single parent for years after my hubby died, and this was the kind of thing I'd give the kids so that I could relax with a book and my own dinner of cheese toast!

  2. I had bangs just like yours (equally crooked)! The blouse collar looks very familiar, too.

  3. Libby, aren't the bangs hysterical? I can't figure out if we moved around while my mom had the scissors or what?? And the Peter Pan collar--a classic!

  4. Peg, cheese toast--I love it! Still have it a couple of times a week for lunch--with a tomato from the garden and some homemade bread and butter pickles. Yum!

    But I should also confess that I'm a sucker for hot dog casserole too:) Baked beans are in my DNA...

  5. Lucy, love the photo. So cute! And aren't you a good stepmom to even feed your stepkids (LOL!!!). No regret. My stepkids would have loved this, too. Fun post. Congrats on your new release. DEATH IN FOUR COURSES. Love the title.

    ~Daryl aka Avery

  6. Oh two wicked stepmothers on MLK:) thanks Avery! xoxo

  7. Hey, I still do Sloppy Joes for hubby and me. (But I will never be mistaken for a gourmet cook.) Mine are hamburger with squirts of ketchup and mustard. Works great. :) That is quite a fancy hot dog casserole. I might try it!

    I don't think my school pictures had crooked bangs because my mom's sister had a beauty shop and she always did my hair. But my OWN kids have school pix with bangs like that.

  8. Great post, Lucy. Love the photo, you're adorable! There's a twelve-year-old inside of me that absolutely responds to this dish. My husband isn't shy about expressing his interest, too, and he told me he'd love to reach into the photo and grab a few of those sizzling hot dogs.

    Looking forward to trying this, and congratulations again on your new Key West Food Critic mystery!

    ~ Cleo

  9. Oh Kaye, you were lucky with a hairdresser aunt! Does your new cozy mystery series involve cooking??

    Thanks Cleo! tell Mark I'll make it for him one day:)

  10. How nice of you to ask! No, it's all baking, luckily. I do love to bake.

  11. I had forgotten (or blotted out) the fact that when I was in grad school and was living with two roommates, we ate kielbasa two or three times a week (our "grown-up" substitute for hot dogs). Kielbasa hash with potatoes (I still make that), kielbasa with pasta, kielbasa with cabbage...the list goes on. Thank goodness Julia Child introduced me to kielbasa with lentils--finally, an adult dish!

    When I was young, for a rare treat my mother used to take me to the hair salon at Best & Company, which had one guy who specialized in cutting children's hair. He even curled it! (Which with my straight hair lasted about fifteen minutes.)

  12. I've actually been sort of studying hot dogs lately--and hot dog restaurants and all the fancy variations on toppings that are floating around. One of my conclusions is that Nathan's or Hebrew National are the best on the maarket.

  13. I loved your recipe. Your school photo is so cut!

    I will look for your new book, it sounds really good!

  14. Lucy, you're absolutely darling! Aren't casseroles a mom's best friend? So easy, and for some reason, kids don't mind if their food touches other food in a casserole! Great blog to kick off our back to school week!

    ~ Krista

  15. oops..meant to say your school photo is so cute!
    ( and I glasses on.. ) =D

  16. Aha - in our family this was called "Beanie Weenies" and it was considered a gourmet treat. Of course, ours wasn't fancy ... no Dijon mustard. :)

  17. Okay so Judy, that's the funniest thing I've heard all week: 'I've been studying hot dogs lately...'!!!!

    Sheila, you'll have to share some of those Kielbasa recipes.

    thanks so much Melissa--we understood what you meant:)

    Wendy, :):)

  18. Love the photo...I too have a picture of me with my peter pan collar.

    Love the's an easy one.

    Congrats on your book release.

  19. I confess - I love a hot dog in any form! Nice job Roberta/Lucy! Love this recipe!