Welcome to Summer, friends! Sadly, we can’t offer you a lawn chair or clink celebratory cheers over a summer cocktail in person. But we *can* give you our secrets to level-up your cookout… Read on for three of our all-time favorite recipes for your Summer festivities: the perfect crowd-pleaser hot dog bar, a batch cocktail that’s also a slushy (!!!), and the only cobbler recipe you’ll ever need.
Mexican Street Dogs
One of our favorite party tricks is this “Mexican Street Corn”-inspired twist on a hot dog bar, complete with grilled corn, lime crema and pickled red onions (two life staples from our Best Taco Night Ever post). Essentially, it’s a taco in hot dog form. And really, what could be better?
It’s simple, beautiful, and great for the all the kiddos and adults alike. (This setup made its appearance at Jeff’s 30th birthday last year AND at Jen’s early 4th party last night, and it’s been a big hit every time).
HERE’S EVERYTHING YOU’LL NEED:
Your Favorite Dogs & Buns
Grilled Corn, cut off the cob
Lime Crema (click for recipe)
Pickled Red Onions (click for recipe) – optional, but delicious
Feta Cheese (or better yet, cojita)
Chopped Jalapeños – optional
Quartered limes to squeeze over the finished “dog.”
*Jen’s pro tips: pre-grill the dogs, put them in the buns, and pop them in the oven assembled for warm-keeping so you’re not at the grill all the day long while the party’s going on. Use pretty bowls in different sizes arranged on one platter or wooden cutting board so everyone knows the ingredients all go together.
And don’t forget the cheddar, ketchup and mustard for the street dog-averse (although, if they’re street dog-averse, maybe you should reconsider your friendship).
Renee Erickson’s Peach (or Berry) Cobbler
Jeff is mildly obsessed with Renee Erickson – a Seattle based chef + restauranteur with a cult following- and always takes Jen to eat at Walrus and The Carpenter during Tonic-West work sessions. But since she can’t partake as often as is necessary to live, Jeff got her Renee’s cookbook to tide her over between her visits.
When Jen made this cobbler recipe for the first time this week, she immediately added it to her sacred “best of” file, and then promptly served it again at her 4th party two days later. It’s the only cobbler recipe you’ll ever need, and is equally great with peaches or mixed berries and ice cream if you want to shoot for the more thematic red, white and blue. (Note: unless you’re using especially tart peaches or berries, we suggest the amounts Smitten Kitchen suggests for less sugar.)
Jen has been telling Jeff to make this every day since she discovered it in a new favorite cookbook. It’s Jeff’s dream drink because it comes in the form of a slushy, involves tequila, and is umbrella-friendly (duh!). It’s perfect for hot summer days and 4th of July cookouts. Make a big ol’ batch and you’ll be everyone’s best friend. You can thank us in the form of tipsy selfies sent to our inbox.
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