Celebrate National Hot Dog Month!

Happy National Hot Dog Month, friends! From ballparks to campfires to backyard grills, you're sure to find this summertime classic being served up to adoring fans.

According to the National Hot Dog & Sausage Council (yep – I just discovered this is an actual organization), "During peak hot dog season, from Memorial Day to Labor Day, Americans typically consume 7 billion hot dogs. That’s 818 hot dogs consumed every second during that period." I'm not even sure how to process these stats other than to say it seems that Americans truly do love their hot dogs!

And what's not to love, I guess. I first discovered how delicious a hot dog could be when my cousins took me to this little stand in Venice, Florida. The hot dog buns were toasted and they added dill pickles to my regular dog with ketchup and mustard. So simple, yet so amazing!

Then Tastefully Simple unveiled the #nomoreboringwieners campaign last summer. There were so many flavor combinations that I was easily able to ditch the plain old ketchup and mustard. To celebrate the occasion, I even dressed up in a hot dog costume and paraded around the office. I'd show you a picture, but the last thing I want living on the Internet forever is me dressed as a not-so-boring wiener!

My final hot dog inspiration comes from my friend and co-worker Stephanie. She introduced me to a Seattle Dog at a local restaurant. If you've never heard of a Seattle-style dog, what makes it unique is that it’s topped with cream cheese. This particular dog also had sautéed onions, bacon and jalapeños.

At first glance, you might think that sounds crazy. However, it is probably the best combination of ingredients I've ever had on a hot dog. It was crave-worthy! So much so, I decided to try and Tastefully Simple-ize the Seattle Dog to bring the flavors to my own grill.

I thought the ideal product to use for this dog would be Sweet Pepper Jalapeño Jam. We already know it pairs perfectly with cream cheese, plus it has jalapeños and other peppers right in the jam.

What I did was so simple that it’s barely even a recipe. I spread whipped cream cheese on a toasted bun. Then I added a grilled dog and topped it with sautéed onions, bacon and Sweet Pepper Jalapeño Jam. Perfection! Check out the recipe »

It definitely has more sweet than heat, but if you wanted to kick it up a notch you could add some actual jalapeño peppers to it as well. I also paired it with a side of our Garlic Parmesan Fries, which my kids absolutely loved.

So the next time you're going to add a hot dog to the yearly count, try something new. You’ll find several recipe ideas on tastefullysimple.com. Next on my list during National Hot Dog Month is the Bourbon Bacon Hot Dog.

Happy summer!

Stacy

Tags:  Meal ideas

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