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Sure, a squirt of ketchup works. Perhaps a squiggle of ballpark mustard, too. But half the fun of hot dogs — or burgers, for that matter — are the toppings. And setting out a whole slew of them means everyone can customize their own.

Whether you’re grilling franks, brats, burgers or veggie versions, creating your own hot dog or burger bar is as easy as assembling sauces and toppings.

In addition to the ketchup, mustard and mayo, offer up a smoky riff on that ketchup, perhaps, and a homemade ranch version that not only tastes better than anything in a bottle, it lets you adjust the consistency — thicker for a spread, drizzling consistency for hot dogs and thinner as a salad dressing. They’re not only do-ahead condiments, they’re better that way: The flavors have a chance to meld and intensify.

As for the toppings, go beyond the usual pickles, sauerkraut and chopped onions. Try quick-pickled shallots, sliced scallions, sliced peppers, diced tomatoes, shredded cheese, crisp crumbled bacon and, of course, diced avocado. This is California, after all.

One final hot dog tip: Buy bakery buns for those sausages. The bread will taste better, for one thing. And unlike pre-sliced, mass-produced, these come whole. Slice them from the top, not the side, cutting them about ¾ of the way down, like a lobster roll. Brush the bottom and sides with a little butter and toast them on the grill or in a cast-iron pan, using tongs to flip them. Then transfer them to a platter — they’ll sit upright even when fully loaded — and tuck the grilled franks or sausages inside.

Smoky Ketchup

Makes about ½ cup

Ingredients

½ cup ketchup

1 tablespoon minced chipotles in adobo

¼ teaspoon smoky paprika

Directions: Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Taste and add more adobo, if desired. Refrigerate overnight to let the flavors meld.

Homemade Ranch

Makes about ½ cup

Ingredients

¼ cup mayonnaise

¼ cup sour cream

1 to 2 tablespoons milk

1 clove garlic, minced

1 heaping tablespoon fresh dill or a mixture of fresh herbs, chopped

1 to 2 teaspoons chives, minced

¼ teaspoon smoky paprika

1 to 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

Salt, pepper to taste

Directions: In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, stir the mayonnaise and sour cream together until smooth. Add a tablespoon of milk to loosen the mixture. Add the garlic, dill, chives, paprika and 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice. Close the jar and tighten the lid, then shake to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning to your taste with lemon juice, salt and pepper. Add more milk, if needed, to adjust the consistency — thick for use as a dip or spread, pourable for a salad dressing. Refrigerate overnight to let the flavors meld before using.

Hot Diggity Sauce

Makes 1/3 cup

Ingredients

2 tablespoons ketchup

2 tablespoons ranch

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons sambal oelek or sriracha

Directions: Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl, stirring to blend. Taste and adjust seasoning, adding more sambal if you want it hotter, or more ketchup if it’s too spicy for your taste.

News Source: mercurynews.com

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5 things to know for July 14: Covid-19, stimulus, Hong Kong, Roger Stone, in memoriam

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Vinny Guadagnino Sparks Romance Rumors with Too Hot to Handles Francesca Farago

HHS Secretary Alex Azar praises Fauci, blames spike in COVID-19 cases on behavior, particularly among younger people Acclaimed restaurant faces backlash over moldy jams and hazardous kitchen claims Vinny Guadagnino Sparks Romance Rumors with Too Hot to Handles Francesca Farago

Is there a new romance brewing in the reality TV world? The stars point to yes.

© Provided by E! Instagram

Vinny Guadagnino seems to be taking his role on MTV's A Double Shot at Love With DJ Pauly D and Vinny seriously. Why, you ask? The 32-year-old star is sparking romance rumors with Too Hot to Handle's Francesca Farago.

Over the weekend, the two were spotted dining at a New York City restaurant. In photographs obtained by Daily Mail, they appeared to be enjoying each other's company and looked smitten during their outing.

In one image, the Netflix star leaned over to see something on Vinny's phone and they seemed to be giggling. For their hangout, the Jersey Shore alum kept things casual and donned a white tee and a black baseball cap. His best accessory, however, was probably his smile since he was cheesing in most of the snapshots.

As for Francesca? She looked glam in her cream-colored tie-front crop top, black high-waisted pants and gold jewelry pieces.

Too Hot to Handle Season 1 Secrets Revealed

Vinny and Francesca's outing doesn't come as a surprise since the two have been flirting over Instagram recently. On July 4, the Jersey Shore alum posted a photo of himself on Instagram with the caption, "when you finish a show on Netflix."

Naturally, Francesca replied, "what show," to which Vinny responded, "Disney's Too Hot To Handle."

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A day later, the two kept their cheeky banter going but this time on the Netflix star's page. "That's a nice view," Vinny commented on the 26-year-old's bikini post.

In another Instagram picture, he wrote, "Is that a mirror in your vicinity? Because I can see myself in it ... like in the vicinity .. Of you ... like, wait .. f--k."

News of Vinny and Francesca's romance rumors come less than a month after she and Too Hot to Handle co-star, Harry Jowsey, decided to split.

"Harry and I are not together anymore. He decided to break up with me because he couldn't do long-distance anymore. I obviously was heartbroken. I did everything I could," the 26-year-old reality TV personality shared on YouTube in June. "I didn't even want to tell my friends because I genuinely thought that we were going through a rocky period and we were going to figure it out."

© Provided by E! Instagram

According to her, things took a turn in her and Harry's relationship when she visited Los Angeles—where Harry now lives after relocating from his native Australia.

"We would argue every now and then, but it was never for me relationship ending. And I think for him, small, little things ended up turning into relationship ending arguments," she said.

The Netflix star explained that "rumors" about Harry ended up being more fact than fiction. However, she didn't dive into detail about what was brought to light.

"There was a lot of rumors that came up that turned out to be true. I was getting sent a lot of screenshots and messages," she shared. "I didn't want to believe it because how could you have a wedding ring folder with someone, and how could you propose to someone, but you're also saying I can't be with you because of the distance. It makes me feel like I was being played."

She added, "For me, I would have stuck by this person no matter what. Through all the fights and everything I would have never given up, but it wasn't reciprocated. He was moving on, and he is moving on and I need to do the same."

Harry shared a different side of their breakup story, following Francesca's YouTube video.

"What we had was like nothing I ever had before," he began his video. "You can literally go back and watch the show and you will see how infatuated I am by Francesca. I was so in love and I was so drawn to her and my eyes have never been for anyone but Francesca."

"I flew to Vancouver to spend time with Francesca and I saw a different side of Francesca at that point in time...," he explained. "Long story short, I broke up with her for the first time after she came to visit me in Australia."

Harry seemingly addressed the "rumors" his ex-girlfriend brought up in her video.

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"There is literally nothing to hide and I'm an open book. I'm open and transparent about absolutely everything. Francesca knows exactly what was going on between us. I never lied to her about anything. I've always had my location shared with her so she can see where I'm at all times," he said.

Adding, "I knew that if I continued to be with Francesca, it would end up with her being seriously heartbroken or me continuing to be seriously depressed in the relationship. She's a wonderful person. She's so gorgeous and everyone's right. She's well and truly out of my league. She's a superstar and I'm so proud of her."

In May, Harry proposed to Francesca over Zoom during a Too Hot To Handle reunion special. In hindsight, the 26-year-old star flashed a Ring Pop instead of a diamond ring during her big moment.

After production wrapped on Too Hot To Handle, the duo actually decided to go their separate ways. They would later reconcile and try to work things out. In the end, it looks like Francesca is finding romance on the shore.


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