Category Archives: Entertaining

How to Host a Fourth of July Cookout

This post is sponsored by Hebrew National kosher hot dogs.

How to Host a 4th of July Cook Out

The fourth of July may just be my favorite holiday. You get warm weather, fireworks, family and friends, not to mention cooking out on the grill. If you like easy entertaining then you’ll love my tips on how to host a fourth of July cookout.

How to Host a 4th of July Cook Out

  • Set up a hot dog bar. Hebrew National All-Beef Franks are a must for any cookout. I’m not a fan of mystery meat so getting their all-beef dogs are a no brainer for me. Premium meats call for premium toppings, so I like to move beyond the basics and offer a smorgasbord of toppings to create the ultimate hot dog bar. A few of my favorite toppings* are . . .
    • Kimchi
    • Sriracha
    • Pickled vegetables
    • Guacamole
    • Grilled Onions
    • Tomatoes
    • Salsa
    • Roasted Red Peppers
    • Hummus
    • Potato Chips
    • Cheese
    • BBQ Sauce
    • Mac and Cheese
    • Old Bay Seasoning
    • Cocktail Sauce (ketchup and horseradish)
    • Pickles
    • Relish
    • Tortilla Chips
    • Curried Mustard (mustard and curry powder)
    • Cole Slaw
    • Pepperoncini
    • Pineapple

How to Host a 4th of July Cook Out

  • Make it a potluck. Sure, you can cook enough food for an army but why would you want too? Enlist your friends and guests to each bring a dish. You’ll end up with a variety of food with significantly less work. Parties are so much more fun when you can share in the responsibilities.

How to Host a 4th of July Cook Out

  • Red, white and blue décor is a must. The fourth of July is one of the biggest bashes of the summer so it’s time to get festive and decorate for your event. I like to keep the useful items (plates, flatware, napkins, etc.) simple so that I can use them all summer long. That way you can have fun with a few 4th of July specific décor pieces without spending a fortune.

How to Host a 4th of July Cook Out

  • Prepare a playlist to keep the party going. Music keeps the mood of any party light and festive. It’s nice to have something playing in the background while you’re at the grill or playing a game of bocce ball. Here’s my Fourth of July playlist.
    • Born in the USA by Bruce Springstein
    • Party in the USA by Miley Cyrus
    • Fireworks by Katy Perry
    • American Pie by Don McLean
    • Sweet Home Alabama by Lynard Skynard
    • Philadelphia Freedom by Elton John
    • America Beautiful by Ray Charles
    • America by Neil Diamond
    • American Pie by Madonna
    • All-American Girl by Carrie Underwood
    • American Girl by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

How to Host a 4th of July Cook Out

AuthorLogoWhat 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.

*The combination of franks and these toppings may not be Kosher.

How to Throw the Ultimate Summer Kick Off Party


This post is sponsored by Hebrew National.

I grew up in New York so winters were long and tough. The minute the snow melted and the temps shot up, people came running out of their houses like it was 100 degrees outside even though it was only 60. It was such a joyous occasion to finally get out of the house that you’ve been cooped up in all winter long. These first days of summer are some of my most precious memories as a child as it was pure joy.

How to throw the ultimate summer kick off party!

We really took advantage of the warm weather because we knew it would only last for a few short months. Our first summer bash usually happened soon thereafter. My parents always threw a casual cook out with friends and neighbors to celebrate. It was low stress but lots of fun. As an adult I want to keep those memories going, so I’m sticking to my mom’s entertaining plan.

How to throw the ultimate summer kick off party!

  • Serve only a few dishes. When you are cooking for a crowd, I’ve found that it’s easier to cook only a few dishes. It can be difficult to cook a dozen different dishes. You’ll end up in the kitchen all day long, which isn’t fun when your guests are outside enjoying themselves. If you’re only going to serve a few dishes, then they need to be the best. Use tested and beloved recipes that can be made in advance. No experimenting in the kitchen when guests are coming over. I’ve included the recipe for my favorite Mojito Watermelon Salad below. It’s a staple on our dinner table during the summer months and very easy to make.

Mojito Watermelon

  • Use the best ingredients. Since you’re only making a few dishes, you’ll want to use the best ingredients like Hebrew National All-Beef Franks and the fresh local produce. This ensures that your guests will be full and happy.

How to throw the ultimate summer kick off party!

  • Cook out on the grill. The point of a summer cookout is to be outside and enjoy the weather. I try to cook as much of the meal outside as possible, which means grilling. Obviously you are cooking your hot dogs on the grill but you can also grill pineapple, corn, watermelon, peaches, onions, asparagus, bell peppers, jalapenos, avocados, zucchini, bread and artichokes. I could go on and on, but you get the point. It’s super easy to grill amazing side dishes and dessert to go with your hot dogs.
  • Have fun and easy activities. Growing up we always had fun activities, like Frisbee or volleyball, going on while some the adults were cooking. Sometimes a few adults would join us for a game of bocce ball or croquet. It’s a great way to keep kids of all ages entertained until dinner is served.
  • Make a bonfire. As the sun starts to set, throw a few logs into the fire pit and sit around the fire. Sip on your favorite cocktail or some iced tea and just relax. It’s a nice way to catch up with your friends and neighbors.

Mojito Watermelon

Mojito Watermelon Salad
 
Refreshing side to serve at your next summer cookout
Author:
Recipe type: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
  • 1 Watermelon (about 5 pounds)
  • 1 Lime
  • 1 bunch Mint Leaves, chopped
  • ¼ cup White Rum (optional)
Instructions
  1. Chop the watermelon into bite size pieces and put them in a large bowl.
  2. Zest the lime and then add it to the watermelon.
  3. Cut the lime in half and then add the juice to the watermelon mixture as well.
  4. Next add the mint leaves and the rum (again, optional).
  5. Mix to combine and let sit in the refrigerator for about 1 hour before serving.

 

AuthorLogoWhat 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.

*Please not that some ingredients listed here may not be kosher