Celebrating Summer at the Grill

This post is sponsored by Hebrew National.

My brother and I do a lot of cooking whenever one of us visits the other--it's sort of our thing. Usually we come up with really involved, complicated dishes that require a ton of planning and cleanup, but last weekend, in a very appropriate nod to the beginning of summer, we threw some Hebrew National hot dogs on the grill and enjoyed a hot Sunday evening in the courtyard of our apartment building.

My family has always really enjoyed throwing dinner parties that are casual but creative and highly interactive--and I usually do that by picking one dish and letting everyone customize it themselves. I set out bowls with lots of toppings, prepare the main ingredients, and let everyone do their own thing--this works really well with burgers, and I've even thrown a dessert-only s'mores party in the same way. S'mores feel really summery to me, and so do hot dogs, which made me realize that a hot dog party in the same, do-it-yourself fashion would be a perfect way to celebrate the beginning of summer.

I made drinks and Sean and Rob manned the grill--I decided that since it was just the three of us, I'd keep it simple with just ketchup, mustard, pickles, and a bit of lettuce instead of a bun for me. But if you were entertaining a large party, you could set out a huge variety of toppings: tomatoes, onions, relish, spicy ketchup, Dijon mustard, jalapeños, coleslaw, cheese--the list goes on and on. You could even do themes like an Asian-inspired hot dog with kimchi and edamame (which sounds amazing, right? I'm going to go make that right now).

Even with just a few things to choose from, I thought it was cute how different our three hot dogs were: Sean added some hot sauce, Rob likes it plain with just a little bit of ketchup, and mine pretty much had everything but the bread. When you're hanging out with the people you love the most, sometimes it's better to just keep it simple.

What would you put on yours?

What makes a Hebrew National kosher hot dog premium? It's all about what makes the cut (and what doesn't). We're choosy about what goes into our franks--we use only premium cuts of 100% kosher beef from the front half of the cow and then choose the best from that. No artificial flavors, colors, fillers, or by-products. When your hot dog is Kosher, that's a hot dog you can trust! For more summer fun with Hebrew National, visit facebook.com/hebrewnational.