Summer in Northern Michigan is one of my favorite times of the year. Even though I live in sunny Southern California I always come back to the place where I grew up to spend the 4th of July with my family. The 4th of July in Michigan is a HUGE deal. Michiganders are serious when it comes to appreciating and taking advantage of the warm weather. My parents have a home on a lake in Northern Michigan. Growing up, I would always have my group of friends up to celebrate the holiday. As we have gotten older it has turned into a place for our families to spend time together on the lake, take a boat ride, and cook up some amazing food! I come from an Italian family, so food is always a priority.
For the 4th of July, my mom always brings out her patriotic red, white, and blue decorations to get the house prepared for our guests. My dad stocks up the fridge and bar. Then my mom and I like to do some cooking and baking while my dad mans the grill!
This year is all about the hot dog bar! This way everyone at the party can make their hot dog the way they like it. It’s also great because the kids (and adults) have fun building their own creations. Using good-quality meat is so important, which is why I love grilling Hebrew National All-Beef Franks. They are consistently good! For our hot dog bar, my favorite sides include good quality potato chips, my light and healthy farro salad, potato salad, and coleslaw. Farro salad can be a perfect replacement for a pasta salad because farro is chewy like pasta, but has a wonderful nutty flavor that can be tossed with dressing, greens, and anything you like really. My recipe for farro salad is combined with lemony basil pesto, rich olive oil, peppery arugula, sweet corn, and tangy goat cheese.
Last, but definitely not least, dessert! I’m a sucker for s’mores, who isn’t? If you don’t have a fire pit or bonfire don’t worry; I have the answer for you. My s’more cookie bars will make everyone that comes to your party happy. These are the perfect mix of all the classic s’more ingredients, but in a perfect cookie bar. Even if you have a bonfire, you will want to make these. That way you don’t have to worry about people attempting to roast marshmallows and lighting all of them on fire (that usually happens to me). I like to make these s’more cookie bars extra special by also making homemade marshmallows. They are so much easier than you would think, but you can also use store bought. The s’more cookie bars are a huge hit in my family.
The nights in Northern Michigan stay warm and light till about 10pm, so we spend the evening overlooking the lake, watching the sunset, and finishing the night with fireworks! It’s the perfect end to a perfect day.
Music is key to a great party! Here’s the summer playlist I loved for our party!
Burning Ring of Fire: Johnny Cash
All Summer Long: Kid Rock
Pontoon: Little Big Town
Pretty Young Thing: Michael Jackson
Billie Jean : Michael Jackson
Born in the USA: Bruce Springsteen
My Hometown: Bruce Springsteen
Satisfaction: Rolling Stones
You Can’t Always Get What You Want: Rolling Stones
Summer Love: Justin Timberlake
Firework: Katy Perry
Summer of ’69: Bryan Adams
Shake It Off: Taylor Swift
Bad Blood: Taylor Swift
Shut Up and Dance: Walk the Moon
Proud To Be An American: Lee Greenwood
Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic: The Police
Drunk On You: Luke Bryan
Cruise: Florida Georgia Line
Chicken Fried: Zac Brown Band
Homegrown: Zac Brown Band
American Pie: Don McLean
What makes a Hebrew National kosher hot dog premium? It’s all about what makes the cut (And what doesn’t). We’re choosy about what goes into our franks – we use only premium cuts of 100% kosher beef from the front half of the cow and then choose the best from that. No artificial flavors, colors, fillers or by-products. When your hot dog is Kosher, that’s a hot dog you can trust! For more summer fun with Hebrew National, visit facebook.com/hebrewnational.