July 01, 2014

Casual Summer Entertaining Tips

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Hebrew National via Mode Media.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Hebrew National.

Hebrew National Hot Dogs
There is something about hot dogs that always reminds me of summer. Something about them being on the grill and then topped with a bunch of delicious toppings is so great. Yes, even as a registered dietitian, I eat my fair share of hot dogs. I do try to pair them with healthier sides such as grilled corn on the cob, a big salad, grilled vegetables, etc. I really like to entertain in the summer. It seems so much easier to me to throw together a summer party than a winter one. 

I recently paired up with Hebrew National to create a recipe including their hot dogs. I had actually never tried this brand before this. My husband and I ended up really liking them! I bought the 100% beef hot dogs and cooked them up on the stove (our propane tank ran out for the grill!). We both thought that they were flavorful, not too greasy and were filling

I like to entertain in the summer by having BBQs and other small get-togethers.

Hebrew National Hot Dogs

Here are some tips for casual summer entertaining:
-To reduce heat in your house on a hot day, grill most of your meal. Favorite entree options include: homemade venison burgers, chicken, veggie burgers and hot dogs. Favorite sides include: grilled summer squash packets, grilled corn, grilled tomatoes with feta and grilled eggplant.

-Make salads ahead of time- To save time the day of your party, you can make your salads earlier in the day or the night before. This includes potato salads, pasta salad and even vegetable salads (just don't pour on the dressing yet).

-Let guests serve themselves- In the summer, I am all about serving buffet style. I like to set up our food on one table and let guests take what they like. 

-Use paper plates- I do not always do this but when you have a bunch of people, it is so easy to use paper plates to minimize cleanup.

-Skip the oven- Using the oven heats up the house so much and makes your air conditioner work much harder. I try to avoid using the oven for most of the summer to help.

-Eat outside- In the winter, there is no way that we could eat outside in Michigan so I try to take advantage of the nice weather and eat outside. My husband recently came up with an awesome idea of setting up our 6 foot folding table outside and throwing a tablecloth over it for an easy outdoor place to eat. 

-Use tons of produce- As a dietitian and lover of all produce, I try to include lots of fruits and veggies with my meals. In the summer when fruit and vegetables are at their peak, I eat as much as I can before they are gone. 

Summer Barbeque

Summer Fresh Hot Dogs

Hebrew National 100% beef hot dogs
100% whole wheat buns
Gulden's spicy brown mustard
Hunt's ketchup
Chopped bell peppers
Diced onion
Diced jalapeno peppers

Directions: Cook hot dogs on stovetop or grill. Meanwhile, chop veggies. Top cooked hot dog with veggies, mustard and ketchup.

Hebrew National Hot Dogs
Other sides included fresh watermelon, grapes, homemade salsa with blue corn chips (recipe coming soon) and an easy potato salad with a healthy blue cheese dressing and spices. This was such a delicious meal. Best of all, it came together quickly and did not heat up the house.

**We had never tried Gulden's spicy mustard before and ended up really loving it! I can't wait to use it all summer. Also, try it on a hot pretzel- yum!

With grilling season upon us, everyone is craving an all-American hot dog. What makes a kosher hot dog different? It's all about what makes the cut (and what doesn't). Hebrew National is choosy about what goes into their franks – only 100% pure kosher beef so you know what you’re getting and they taste great.   

What are some of your favorite tips for casual summer entertaining?

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