Thursday, June 30, 2016

Kicked-up Burgers for Summertime

Whenever a summer holiday comes along, my first craving is for a hamburger. (With a hot dog not a too distant second. Okay, I’ll admit to having one of each!) Did you know Americans eat about 14 billion burgers each year? I guess I’m not alone in my craving for this meat patty on a bun.

If you’re having guests over to celebrate the holiday, consider setting up a hamburger and hot dog bar. Then everyone can have fun trying out different flavor combinations on their meat of choice. Cook up some hot dogs and hamburgers, and then set up a condiment bar so people can choose their own toppings. (You may want to hold a fun contest for the most creative hamburger and hot dog, with prizes.) Also, condiment combinations, such as how to make a Chicago Dog, can be printed and framed to set on the bar, or written on a chalkboard.

Here are some hot dog and hamburger bar suggestions:
  • Regular and poppy-seed hot dog buns
  • Regular and onion hamburger buns
  • Ketchup
  • Mustards, yellow and brown
  • Barbecue sauce
  • Mayonnaise
  • Salsa
  • Sweet pickle relish
  • Dill pickle slices
  • Dill pickle spears
  • Diced onion
  • Sliced purple onion
  • Sautéed onions
  • Banana pepper slices
  • Jalapeno pepper slices
  • Sauerkraut
  • Tomato slices
  • Lettuce leaves
  • Chili
  • Coleslaw
  • Crispy bacon, sliced and crumbles
  • Nacho cheese
  • Blue cheese crumbles
  • Sliced American, cheddar, and pepper-jack cheeses
  • Grated cheddar cheese

While I love a simple hamburger cooked with just a sprinkle of salt and pepper, once in a while I like to kick them up in flavor. I first came across this recipe in a diet book, of all things. I’ve tinkered with it a bit. The original version of the recipe called for cilantro, but I like parsley better. But, if you’re a cilantro fan, by all means, give it a try. 

For other summertime holiday recipes, check out the links on this blog post from last year!

Kicked-up Burgers
Serves 4

1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 tablespoon dried mustard
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
4 hamburger buns

In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients together, and then shape into patties. Cook the burgers any way you choose—on the grill, or with a broiler or skillet—to the desired doneness. (I love them cooked in my cast iron skillet!) While the burger cooks, spread butter on the cut sides of the hamburger buns. Toast them either on the grill, under the broiler or in a skillet. Once the burgers are done, place on a toasted bun and top with your favorite condiments.



  1. My problem is I look almost all the fixings that go on top of a burger. I think I could eat a plate of those with a little meat and bread on the side. Thanks for sharing. Have a wonderful 4th!

    Wishes for tasty dishes,

  2. What time are we eating? I'll bring the beer.

  3. Those burgers look delicious! Bergers are the perfect summer food, along with watermelon, and pie!