We have had lots of struggles and challenges in our lives, but we've had even more blessings!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Hot Dog Bar -

    Lately, the 'All American Hot Dog' seems to be making quite a come back. But not necessarily in what some think of as being the A-Typical way to eat them; in a bun with ketchup, mustard, and perhaps some relish on top. Those are now considered oh so boring, and rightfully so.
     A different long liked way of eating them, is via the Chili Dog style. A bun enclosed hot dog, topped with a thick chili sauce, sometimes some ketchup, and chopped onions. But lately, even this variety has been getting dressed up a bit.
    Several times recently, I have seen a TV promotion ad by Sonic's (R) for their four different styles of specialty hot dogs.
    There is a Sonic's near us. There is also Yesterdog (R), which Brian and his dorm friends were frequent visitors too, late on weekend nights. Many around here claim, 'you havn't lived till you've had a 'Yesterdog(R)' '.
    Another well known local spot for (especially chili) dogs, is 'The Corner Bar' in Rockford, MI. They even have a carry out window so that anybody whom 'wouldn't be caught dead entering a bar', can still be patrons of their dogs.
    Like I mentioned, I'd recently been seeing the newest commercials that Sonic's is running.Then I got my blogging friend Michelle's (from Big Black Dog (TM) ) posting titled, 'Chili Dogs with Home made Potato Chips - Diner Style!'. And I had also gotten an invitation to a high schoolers Sr. open house. All of those things combined to get me thinking about the 'Hot Dog Bar' we had done for our son Benson's open house.
    Benson graduated back in 2003, and yet  to this day, we still get compliments on that hot dog bar. Therefore, between all of the above mentioned things and that fact, I thought I should share the details of "The Hot Dog Bar" with all of you.
    The inspiration for the bar, had come out of a several page featured article, in the Better Homes And Gardens(TM) magazine, May 1992 edition. I still have one page of it. The top corner reads, "FOOD by Lisa Holderness". The Article was titled "America's Top Dog's - Six regional favorites".
    We took that article, and added one more dog to it - "The Ao-Wa-Kiyan'. Camp Ao-Wa-Kiya is a youth camp that we were a part of for m-a-n-y years, and it has it's own version of a specialty dog. (;-p)
    We had typed the following out on our computer and then run off copies of it. Those we then inserted into page protectors, which we hung numerous copies of from twine over the buffet. We had also laid a protected page of it on each of the eating tables.
    You are more than welcome to do the same. For graduation open houses. Or summer parties. Or any other reason/occasion you come up with.

     First, I am going to give you a listing of what the page looked like. Then I will list out all of the various ingredients needed. Yup, the list is a rather long one. But when totaled up, it's not all that expensive after all. I will also list what else we offered to eat.

                    America's Top Dogs
                     Seven regional favorites

Make your own favorite style specialty hot dog:

NEW YORK - The Coney Island red-hot is New York City's traditional hot dog. Nathan's Famous of New York, the nation's first hot dog chain, started selling red hots in 1916 on Coney Island. Now New York has approximately 3000 licensed hot dog vendors.
   For this unpretentious frank, top a grilled all beef hot dog with sauerkraut and mustard and serve in a plain bun.

CHICAGO - The Chicago-style dog was a product of the Depression. For a mere 5 cents, street vendors sold all-beef hot dogs nestled in a steamed poppy seed bun.
    But it was the amount of savory toppings that made this dog famous -- yellow mustard, pickle relish, chopped onions, tomato wedges, dill pickles (a spear or sliced), zesty sport peppers (small hot green peppers), and a shake of celery salt.
    To order one of these delightful dogs as Chicago folks do, specify "make me one with everything", "drag it through the garden", or "I'll take one with a salad on the bun". (But at this open house, you'll have to make it for yourself.  ;-p)

NEW ENGLAND - Bostonians, known for their baked beans, even spoon (baked) beans on top of their hot dogs. These New-Englad style dogs make great picnic food.

MIDWESTERN - The Midwest takes credit for the franchisee, a boiled hot dog stuffed with cheese and wrapped with bacon. To make our own franchisee dog, cook a strip of bacon till just cooked through but not crisp. Cut a long slit in the hot dog and stuff it with cheddar or American cheese. Wrap bacon around the hot dog and attach with a wooden toothpick. Broil till cheese melts and bacon is slightly crisp.

KANSAS CITY - Kansas City hot dog lovers claim the Reuben dog as their creation. Modeled after the Reuben sandwich, their dog is topped with sauerkraut and melted Swiss Cheese, all on a - same seed bun. If desired, spread a little Thousand Island dressing on the bun too.

SOUTHWESTERN - South westerns, partial to zesty flavors, ladle chili (with or without beans) a top their hot dogs and finish them off with a sprinkle of onions. Also known as Chili Dogs or Coney Dogs.

Ao-Wa-Kiyan - Every Wed. campers and staff canoe over to the big lake, where dinner is then served on the beach. To make the ever so infamous "Ao-Wa-Kiyan dog", spoon some of the available baked beans on to your hot dog. Add ketchup, mustard and relish. Take some of the available potato chips, squish them in one hand, and then add them on top of the other hot dog toppings. The key ingredient - sand, will be blown in by the wind. (although here, you will have to add it yourself from our available bowl full. ;-p) 

   Now for the list of all of the various ingredients needed:

- Hot Dog Buns  -while different styled dogs called for different types of buns, we only bought and thus offered the basic type.
- Hot Dogs  (we like to use the 1/4 pound style, which we buy in big packages at GFS.) We had had Brent cooking them on our grill right outside the door by the beginning of the buffet. Thanks yet again Brent ;-) (we recommend planning 1 1/2 hot dogs per expected person in attendance.)
   (I couldn't quickly find a picture of our buffet, so I just took a picture of what dogs we currently have in the freezer. Had to have a picture for link-ups ;-p)
- Sauerkraut  (the 5 gallon jug of it in GFS's cooler gets us the best raves.) We sprinkled it with a little brown sugar and had it cooking in a (sprayed!) large crock-pot.
- Chopped Onions  - rather finely chopped - not chucked! (If your not a fan of chopping a lot of onions, GFS offers them already chopped, by the bag full)
- Tomatoes - wedged. (slice in half, slice those halves in half, slice those halves of a half in half...)
- Dill Pickles - either wedged or sliced (we went with the wedged, because lots of people like them on the side whether or not they actually put them on their dog. (These are a much better bargain bought in the huge jars at GFS, Sam's Club, or some such place!)
- "Zesty Sport Peppers" is what the above list calls for, but we offered Banana Peppers and Jalapenos. And both were hits! (These are also easier on the budget when bought in the larger size jars!)
- Celery Salt - I just took my bottle of it from home.
- Baked Beans - Make them up the way you prefer them and make plenty, because lots of people will eat them along with their hot dogs rather than on their hot dogs. (Use a sprayed crock-pot for these.)
- Cheddar Cheese - We had a big bowl of shredded cheddar available. And no, we did not offer the use of the broiler like the 'Midwestern' calls for. People survived ;-p.
- Bacon - We offered a bowl of 'Real Bacon Pieces' (TM) (they come in a bag) instead of actual bacon strips. (Much more budget friendly that way!)
- Shredded Swiss Cheese - We had a small bowl of it available. (The Kansas City style says to melt it on. Again, the people survived with out that option being available to them. ;-p)
- Thousand Island Dressing - A regular sized bottle of the dressing is sufficient.
- Chili - We like to use the Chef Mate (TM) brand available in the big cans at GFS. (Heat in a SPRAYED crock-pot).
- Potato Chips - Have lots of these (also a better bargain bought in bulk sized packages!) because far more will be eaten off of the dogs than on them!
- Sand - a small bowl of it will suffice o;-p. It's mainly for the chuckle effect.
- Ketchup, Mustard and Sweet Pickle Relish. Have more than one of each available!

    And now for the list of what else we offered to eat:
- Sweet Pickles - some people like dill pickles, some like sweet. (Also best bargain is via the BIG jars of them)
- Potato Salad
- Deviled Eggs (a couple of friends and I had lots of laughs while making up several Tupperware (R) Pie Takers (R) full [put a paper towel in the bottom of the container first!] )
- Tang, Ice Tea and Water to drink ( in the large orange colored Igloo(R) coolers)
- Benson's favorite kind of cake.

A  Couple of Bonus Tips Here -
- Use a power strip for all of the crock pots, and then put duct tape over the extension cord running to the out let.
- If your buffet is going to be open longer than an hour in length, place your bowls of cheeses, chopped onions, pickles, potato salad and deviled eggs, inside larger bowls containing ice. (Borrow every body you knows large metal bowls for this.)
- Ice lasts much longer if you include some large ice chunks you made (like out of Tupperware's(R) hamburger press).  In the coolers of beverages, we use 1/2 gallon plastic milk jugs, which we have run through the dish washer and allowed to completely dry before filling 3/4ths of the way full with water and allowing several days to freeze solid. Make sure the jugs have a lid on them of they will dilute your drinks - and nobody likes diluted water. o;-p)

    Like I said, "You are more than welcome to do the same. For graduation open houses. Or summer parties. Or any other reason/occasion you come up with."  However, if you do, we'd really like to hear what you and others thought about yours!!!
   And for the record, we found that the pages listing the different types of regional hot dogs, made for great conversations basis between people whom did not previously know one another, but were attending the same open house!! :-D

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
  I 'plan' on linking this particular posting up to:

~ "Whatever Goes Wednesday('s), hosted by Michelle, at 'Someday Crafts'
~ "Full Plate Thursday('s), hosted by Miz Helen, at 'Miz Helen's Country Cottage' (http://mizhelenscountrycottage.blogspot.com/)
~ "(Foodie Friday's)", are hosted by "Gollum" (aka: Michael), at 'Designs by Gollum' (http://designsbygollum.blogspot.com/)

and then next week, linking up to:
~ "Making Your Home Sing Monday('s)", are hosted by Nan, at 'Mom's the Word (I love to hear)' (http://momstheword--livingforhim.blogspot.com/).
~ "Homemaker Mondays ... Yours, Mine & Ours", are hosted by Jen, at '11th Heaven's Homemaking Haven' (http://rtheyallyours.blogspot.com/).
~ "Market Yourself Monday", are hosted by Sumo, at 'Sumo's Sweet Stuff' (http://sumossweetstuff.blogspot.com/)
~ "Tempt My Tummy Tuesday('s)", are hosted by Lisa, at 'Blessed with Grace' (http://blessedwithgrace.blogspot.com).
~ "Tuesdays at the Table", are hosted by Cole, at 'All The Small Stuff' (http://allthesmallstuff-cole.blogspot.com/).
~ "Kitchen Tip Tuesday('s)", are hosted by Tammy, at 'Tammy's Recipes' (http://www.tammysrecipes.com/).
~ "Tasty Tuesday('s)", are hosted by Jennifer, at "Balancing Beauty and Bedlam" (http://www.beautyandbedlam.com/)


  1. This is so much fun...a really great post with wonderful idea's for entertaining with the "dogs". Lots of goodies. Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and please come back!

  2. Just Stopping by from TMTT. I wanted to invite you to check out my Iron Chef Challenge This month's themed ingredient is canned tomatoes, so link up a recipe using those and you could win a prize. It should be a lot of fun, hope you can join us!!

  3. What a great idea! I can't remember everything we served at our oldest son's graduation party. Now we need to be thinking about what to serve at our youngest son's graduation party coming up soon! Thanks for the ideas and thanks for linking up to Making Your Home Sing Monday!


To those of you leaving us positive comments - THANK-YOU!!! We really do enjoy them!!!

A change has been made in how your comments are processed. They are now sent directly to the blog owners. If your comment made them smile, it will *eventually appear on the blog. [* depends on when we're on line next]