“Toppings” Bar for your Indoor/Outdoor Picnic
Written by on Monday, July 1st, 2013

Because so many different parts of the country (and world) are experiencing extreme weather right now, many Grill Aficionados are being forced inside this Summer.  But, whether you’re cooking out –OR– in, here’s a creative way to serve it up!

Recently, I hosted a meeting and wanted to feature a summer (cookout) meat for my main dish.  The meeting began after dark, however, so grilling outside was not an option.  Instead, I used my electric, “indoor” grill.  I went years without a wonderful cooking tool like this and now that I have it, I don’t know how I lived without it!


BUDGET HINT:  I purchased the indoor grill at Bed, Bath & Beyond, using a 20% off coupon, for less than $50).  It’s great for grilling meat, chicken, fish & veggies on, especially seasoned zucchini slices (part of a favorite recipe, for veggie lasagna, that I’ll be sharing soon).

For my meeting, I chose hotdogs (as my main dish) to grill because of the variety of toppings I could offer, but burgers would have been a great option, instead of or in addition to.

hamburger skewers_dicksramblingcafe_blogspot_com

Click on photo for link where I found this skewer recipe

meatballsIf you choose burgers, I’d like to recommend placing them on skewers, with veggies, or make sliders (mini burgers) because they are smaller & easier for your guests to handle vs. a full-size, juicy burger.  And to make things even easier for yourself, check the grocery store for pre-rolled & seasoned meatballs (in the fresh meat dept).  These are the perfect shape & size for veggie & beef skewers or (after flattening)… to create sliders.

If you choose sliders, click on the photo below to view a website where I found some “winning” slider recipes, including a YUMMY veg option!


According to www.health.com, there’s really no such thing as a truly healthy hotdog, but a few times each year, I just have to have one!!!!  [Information on the healthiest hotdog choices is located at the bottom of this post]


I have to admit, creating a “toppings” bar made serving them even more fun!

As far as toppings go ~ choose your own, personal favorites or if you need inspiration, check….

the web

toppings list

a restaurant menu

hot dog topping menu_s n s

or a local hot dog truck vendor

hot dog topping menu_truck

I chose to make a big batch of homemade chili and warmed up sauerkraut and served both of them out of crockpots.

My other topping choices were: ketchup, mustard, relish, onions, shredded cheddar and coleslaw:


HELPFUL HINT:  If your food bar only requires 1 type of utensil, use the other organizer openings for some of your condiments! 🙂


So line up the toppings at your next cookout/in and…

Enjoy the Culinary Creativity!


Here’s the information, from Health.com, about the healthiest hot dog and bun choices on the market:

healthy hotdogs

hot dog bun

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