Raising the Bar


Set up a Hot Dog Bar for a creative way to serve your favorite franks for BBQs and other parties this summer.


Combination Inspiration (L to R): Classic dog with mayo, guacamole, tomatoes, cheddar, and red onion; Creole sausage with mustard, candied jalapenos, and pickled onions; all-beef dog with dill pickle spear, sautéed peppers, and feta cheese; and smoked sausage with mustard, mayo, and topped with oil and vinegar slaw.


     Follow our tips to create a festive spead with various toppings and tasty sides so your family and guests can create their own hot dog masterpiece. Throw in your favorite bakery cookies plus a summer cocktail—and your party is complete!




The Set Up

     Even a simple and casual meal can be presented with style, and in this case we felt that “more is more” was the approach to take! We chose patriotic colors—perfect for a 4th of July celebration, but a festive choice all summer long—and then threw in a mix of old and new elements.

Below is the breakdown of our tablescape:

● A large table providing plenty of space to spread out
● Vintage floral fabric—an $8 flea market find—draped across as a tablecloth
● Estate sale blue and white plates, and mismatched vintage utensils
● Inexpensive navy cotton napkins, with new bamboo napkin rings
● Collected wooden trays, serving pieces, and baskets
● Inexpensive white serving pieces
● Clearance sale margarita glasses adding a touch of sparkle


A Good Foundation

     Don’t forget the foundation of a good hot dog—the bun! Split-top brioche buns, classic buns, and even sub rolls are all good choices—and if you serve larger sausages, make sure your buns are large enough to support them.


The Dogs

     The first thing to do is choose the kind of hot dog you want to serve. There are many seasoned options and sizes, or you can also use bratwurst or other sausages. Plan to serve two per guest.


Unlike mayonnaise-based potato salads, German potato salad is tossed in a vinegar-based dressing. We used baby red and yellow potatoes in this simple, refreshing take on traditional potato salad!

3 pounds potatoes, chopped into large chunks
½ red onion, diced
6 strips bacon, cooked well and chopped
6 green onions, sliced
salt and pepper to taste
½ cup curly parsley, chopped
1 cup swiss cheese, cubed
chopped parsley and bacon, for garnish

For dressing:

½ cup apple cider vinegar
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup warm water
2 teaspoons grainy mustard
¼ teaspoon white pepper
½ teaspoon sugar

     Place potatoes in a large pot and add water and salt to cover; bring to a boil. Cook until potatoes are easily pierced with a fork, about 10 minutes. While potatoes are boiling, fry and chop bacon. Drain potatoes, reserving ¼ cup of the warm water, and set aside to cool slightly. In a large bowl, toss together the warm potatoes, red and green onion, bacon and parsley; season well with salt and pepper.

     Mix together all dressing ingredients and pour over salad and toss well, while still warm. This will help all the flavors blend, and provide a slightly creamy texture. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed. Garnish as desired. May be served warm or chilled.



TIP: To simplify your set up, prepare the toppings ahead of time placing them in small serving bowls. Keep refrigerated until ready to assemble the bar.



This tart oil and vinegar slaw is a great complement to a perfectly grilled hotdog, burger or alongside pulled pork!

2 cups purple cabbage, shredded
2 cups green cabbage, shredded
1 cup chopped kale
1 cup shredded carrots
1 teaspoon salt

For dressing:

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
2 tablespoons maple syrup
¾ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 clove garlic, grated or minced
1 green onion, thinly sliced
½ teaspoon celery seed
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
1 tablespoon poppy seeds 

     In a large bowl, toss cabbages, kale and carrots with salt until evenly coated. Set aside. Make the dressing: In a medium bowl, whisk together oil, mustard, maple syrup, vinegar, pepper, and garlic until smooth. Stir in green onion and seeds. Pour dressing over slaw and toss to coat.

TIP: A few shakes of Everything seasoning add flavor and garnish the top



This is a favorite go-to salad that complements almost any summer meal. If in a pinch for time, use your favorite store-bought vinaigrette and add some extra lemon juice and oregano for an extra punch of flavor!

2 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 medium cucumber, chopped
1 red or yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 pint container cherry tomatoes, halved
½ red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup sliced kalamata olives
½ to 1cup feta cheese, crumbled
salt and coarse pepper to taste

For dressing:

½ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon dried oregano
salt and coarse pepper to taste

     In a large bowl, toss together all salad ingredients. Whisk dressing ingredients together until well-blended, pour over salad, and toss well. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. Top with extra feta crumbles and enjoy!



Three simple ingredients come together to make classic ranch water, a favorite summer cocktail–but feel free to make it your own by substituting the lime juice with grapefruit or orange juice.

3 ounces blanco tequila
Topo Chico mineral water, chilled
1 ½ounces fresh lime juice
Fresh lime wedge for garnish

     Pour lime juice and tequila into glass of your choice. Fill the glass with ice and top with Topo Chico. Garnish with a lime wedge.


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