July 25, 2015

Salmon patties with lemon-dill sauce

Some people hear the words "salmon patties" and immediately cringe, but I promise, these salmon patties are light, flavorful, and very tasty! I really love these little patties. Just throw together a salad for the side and you have a really nice and easy summer dinner or lunch. You can change-up the flavorings, but I like the lemon and dill the best. It really compliments the fish and also the sauce doubles and a dressing for your salad. 

We just got back from a few days of camping in the Adirondacks. It's so beautiful up there, but it was pretty rainy, especially in the evening and overnight. It made for difficulty in sleeping as we were anxious for lightning (not the best when sleeping in a tent with metal poles) and everything started getting super damp. It was nice to unplug for a few days though - we didn't even have cell reception! Plus, we did get to see some nice areas and do some hiking during the day. My husband and I often have bad luck with weather when we try to tent camp!

July 15, 2015

Zucchini garlic alfredo pizza

Lately, I've been a bit obsessed with pizza. We love to have pizza nights and now that I've perfected my crust making skills, we've been trying out all sorts of toppings, sauces, and flavor combinations. Now that zucchini season is here, I wanted to use it on a pizza for something different. Paired with a garlicky alfredo sauce, this pizza is a nice change-up from your regular pizza routine. I know that anyone who grows zucchini or other summer squashes will be up to their ears in them soon so it's always good to have more recipes in your arsenal for using them up! 

This recipe will make enough for two pizzas (about 11-inches). Lately, I've been using this recipe from Lauren's Latest for my pizza dough and always double it so I have some pizza crust in the freezer as well. I also like this recipe for when I want a very thin and quick pizza crust. When I want something a bit different, I turn to pumpkin pizza dough or even pan pizza crust, but for this pizza, I like a regular yeast crust.

July 4, 2015

Grandpa's hot dog sauce

Finished hot dogs on a plate topped with hot dog sauce.

A meaty and hearty chili sauce is a delicious way to top your summer hot dogs. This recipe is a family favorite and one we look forward to each year.

Summer means an increase in hot dog consumption, right? Ketchup, mustard, chopped onions, pickle spears, and relish are all terrific toppings for those summertime hot dogs, but sometimes we want something a little heartier and special.

This recipe comes from a piece scrap paper we found in an old cookbook that belonged to his grandparents. We found this "hot dog sauce" recipe with incomplete directions and almost zero ingredient quantities, but I told my husband I'd try to recreate it. We remembered eating it, so we knew what it should taste like and look like when it was finished.

After some playing around, we came up with a pretty solid recreation and everyone who has tried it agrees that it is like Grandpa's recipe. Now, this isn't really a "sauce" as you can see from the photos; it's definitely more like a chili. But, sauce is what it's called so that's what we will call it!

The sauce is sweet, tangy, and slight spiced. We ate ours with an extra addition of chopped onion and extra mustard as well. A bit of shredded sharp cheddar cheese is also a tasty addition. Serve it on top of your favorite hot dogs and rolls this summer. You can freeze and reheat leftovers to enjoy another day as well.

Close-up of a finished hot dog topped with the finished hot dog sauce.

Yield: about 10 servings

Grandpa's Hot Dog Sauce


  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 small sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cup water
  • salt and pepper, to taste


How to cook Grandpa's Hot Dog Sauce

  1. In a pot or large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Stir in the ground beef, breaking it apart with a wooden spoon. Stir in the onion and a good pinch of salt. Let the beef brown and the onion sweat out, stirring occasionally. When the beef is cooked though, drain the fat, and return the mixture to your pot.
  2. Stir in the garlic and cook for about 1 minute. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Let the mixture come to a bubble, and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is thickened and all the flavors have had time to come together, about 15-20 minutes. If it starts to stick, add a touch more water.
  3. Serve hot on top of you favorite hots dogs and rolls. Feel free to top the sauce with extra mustard, chopped onion, shredded cheddar cheese, and/or a bit of your favorite hot sauce.
Created using The Recipes Generator

I hope your family enjoys this hot dog topping as much as we do! Let me know in the comments below.

Close-up of finished hot dog topped with the hot dog sauce and pickles on the side.

Check out these other favorite cookout recipes:

Easy Creamy Grape Salad

Dill Pickle Potato Salad

Picnic Macaroni Salad

Cowboy Beans