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You could say it’s hot dog weather. You can grill them outside and avoid heating up the kitchen. You might even get someone else to operate the grill.

We love hot dogs. Last year, Americans spent more than $3 million on hot dogs at the grocery store, says

Peak season, which stretches from Memorial to Labor Day, is expected to see Americans consume 7 billion hot dogs.

It depends on where you’re from as to how you like your hot dog. I think we have it right in the South and near-South: wiener on a white bun with mustard, onion, sauce and slaw.

Here are some ideas for the perfect toppings.


2-1/2 pounds lean ground beef

1 cup water

1/2 cup tomato sauce

1/3 cup ketchup

1/2 tablespoon salt

1/2 tablespoon pepper

1 tablespoon white sugar

1 tablespoon chili powder

Crushed red pepper flakes to taste

Crumble ground beef into a Dutch oven over medium heat. Stir in water, and mash ground beef thoroughly with a potato masher.

Stir in tomato sauce, ketchup, salt, pepper, sugar, and chili powder; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer, 60 to 90 minutes, until the sauce reaches a medium consistency that is not too soupy.



1 (14 oz.) pkg. coleslaw mix

1/2 cup good quality mayonnaise

1-1/2 Tbsp honey (or granulated sugar)

1-1/2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

Salt (optional, to taste)

In a small mixing bowl whisk together mayonnaise honey, apple cider vinegar and a pinch or two of salt if needed.

Place coleslaw mixture in a medium mixing bowl pour mayonnaise mixture over then toss to evenly coat. Serve immediately.

What goes with a hot dog? Potato salad and baked beans, of course.



2 pounds small red-skinned potatoes, quartered

1 pound bacon, chopped

2 large eggs

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

3/4 cup mayonnaise

3 tablespoons whole grain mustard

6 scallions, finely chopped

1 medium red onion, diced

1 tablespoon sugar

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Put the potatoes in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water.

Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and cook until fork-tender, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, saute the bacon in a skillet over low heat until crispy, about 12 minutes. Drain on paper towels.

Put the eggs in a small saucepan and cover with cold water.

Bring to a boil, then remove from the heat, cover and let stand 6 minutes. Drain and run under cold water to cool; peel and chop.

Drain the potatoes (do not rinse), transfer to a baking sheet and let cool 6 to 8 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, mayonnaise, mustard, scallions, red onion, sugar, and salt and pepper to taste. Transfer the potatoes to a large bowl and add the bacon and hard-cooked eggs; fold in the mayonnaise mixture. Serve at room temperature.



1-1/2 pounds ground beef

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 red or green bell pepper, cored, seeded, and finely chopped

2 (16-oz cans) pork and beans

1/2 cup barbecue sauce

1/2 cup ketchup

2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon soy sauce

4 tablespoons brown sugar

6 to 8 slices bacon, cut into pieces and cooked

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray.

In a large saucepan brown the ground beef. When beef is about halfway done add the onions and bell peppers. Continue to cook until beef is done and the veggies are soft. Drain meat mixture.

Add the pork and beans, barbecue sauce, ketchup, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce and brown sugar to the mixture.

Simmer mixture for 5 minutes. Transfer the mixture to the prepared casserole dish.

Sprinkle the bacon pieces over the top of the casserole. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 40-45 minutes.

Remove the foil and continue to bake for an additional 10 minutes. Let dish sit for 10 minutes before serving.

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