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Featured Article

Make Your Memorial Day Backyard Cookout Legendary

With A Grilled Sausage Dog Bar

Article by Judy Beaudin

Photography by Judy Beaudin

Originally published in Franklin Lifestyle

Summer is approaching fast. Memorial Day on May 29 is the unofficial kickoff of the season’s brighter and warmer days to come. Gathering on this day is an annual tradition for many to pay tribute and honor the fallen, while celebrating the freedoms for which
they gave their lives. Sharing seasonal favorite foods outdoors and raising a glass to the sunnier days ahead signals that it’s time for vacations, relaxed schedules, and trading in our boots for flip-flops.

Surprise your Memorial Day guests by serving the unexpected. A tasty Grilled Sausage Dog Bar is a fun alternative to typical burgers and hotdogs. Grill a few types of plump flavorful sausages and serve with hoagie or pretzel buns. Scatter small trays of sautéed savory peppers and onions along with bowls of zesty condiments around the table, allowing guests to create their own custom dogs. Summer Corn, Bacon and Zucchini Bake takes advantage of the return of bright fresh summer vegetables in this
scrumptious side dish. Offer a pitcher of sparkly Watermelon Lime Beer Fizz; a refreshing crowd-pleaser that welcomes and invites guests in to mingle with others at a patio or beachside gathering.

Food has an extraordinary gift for bringing people together. This simple-to-prepare spread connects friends and family over a shared meal while remembering those who made the ultimate sacrifice for us all.

Grilled Sausage Dog Bar

Yield:  12 sausage dogs

1 dozen large sausage links (Mild Italian, Kielbasa, Bratwurst or others)

Hoagie or pretzel buns

Sautéed Peppers and Onions (recipe below)

Condiment suggestions:



            Hot dog relish

            Warm cheese sauce

            Shredded cheese



            Grilled pineapple

            Diced red onion

            Chopped pickles

Over medium heat on a grill, cover and cook sausages 10-12 minutes. Turn occasionally while cooking.

Serve with buns, Sautéed Peppers & Onions, and condiments.

Sautéed Peppers & Onions

6 bell peppers; green, red, yellow

2 sweet onions

olive oil

3 tablespoons butter

¼ cup balsamic vinegar

salt and pepper

Slice all vegetables into ½” strips. Coat a large skillet with olive oil over medium-high heat. Add butter.

Add and sauté vegetables over medium heat for about 10 minutes until tender and beginning to brown.

Stir in balsamic vinegar. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with sausage dogs.

Summer Corn, Bacon and Zucchini Bake

Yield: 8 servings

8 slices bacon, chopped into 1” pieces


1 sweet onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

3 cups fresh or frozen corn

3 medium zucchini, quartered and sliced ½” thick

2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme, divided

½ teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

¼ teaspoon sugar

1 ½ cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided

1 cup freshly grated (not pre-grated) parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350º. Cook bacon pieces in a large cast iron skillet. Reserve 2 tablespoons of pan drippings in the skillet and drain bacon on paper towels.

Over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of butter to pan. Sauté onion 3-4 minutes or until tender. Add garlic, 1 tablespoon of butter, corn and zucchini.

Cook over medium heat 6-8 minutes until zucchini is tender crisp. Add 1 tablespoon of the thyme, salt, cayenne pepper, and sugar.

Stir in 1 cup of the mozzarella and the parmesan cheese.

Remove skillet from heat. Stir in half of the bacon pieces. Sprinkle top with remaining ½ cup mozzarella cheese and remaining bacon pieces.

Bake 10-15 minutes to melt and slightly brown cheese.

Remove and sprinkle top with remaining thyme.

Serve warm in cast iron skillet.

Watermelon Lime Beer Fizz

Batch makes 2 quarts

2 pounds seedless watermelon cubes

1/3 cup simple syrup

1 cup watermelon schnapps

16 ounces frozen limeade concentrate, thawed

32 ounces lime beer, chilled  

Juice of 1 lime

Ice for serving

Lime wedges for garnish

In a blender, puree watermelon cubes. Pour into a 2-quart pitcher.

Add the simple syrup, watermelon schnapps, and limeade concentrate. Stir well.

Pour in the lime beer and fresh lime juice, gently stirring to blend.

Garnish pitcher with lime wedge. Serve in individual glasses on ice with a wedge of lime.