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Host a fancy hot-dog bar at home

Some tips for hosting what's probably your first-ever playoff-baseball party

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If you host a playoff-baseball party, it's only logical that you offer the classic baseball food: hot dogs. But don't just serve plain ol' wieners — give your guests a full-fledged hot-dog bar! Here are some hints on how to stock up so you can, frankly, hit it out of the park.

The classics: Just because they're expected doesn't mean ketchup, mustard and relish aren't important. They're the building blocks of more complex dogs ... and are pretty great in combination.

Fresh veggies: Chop up onions, tomatoes and cucumbers. Banana peppers are good for mild heat; even grated carrots can come into play.

Pickled veggies: Beyond pickled jalapeƱos and olives, feel free to go unconventional. Quick-pickled radishes are a refreshing choice.

Meat on meat on meat: We probably don't have to remind you that bacon — especially crumbled — loves hot dogs. (Vegetarians take note: Some bacon-bit products like Bacos are vegan.) Chili is also crucial: Make it with meat, or make a veggie version, preferably with black (or other smallish) beans.

Non-beefy: Don't forget your vegan, vegetarian and otherwise health-conscious baseball-loving friends. There are great veggie dogs out there — Yves Jumbo Dogs fill out a bun nicely — and it's nice to offer a turkey dog. (The best tend to be made with all-white meat.)

Remember the bun: Bigger buns suit those who are piling on the condiments. If your guests like their dogs stacked with veggies or slathered in chili, get torpedo rolls or sausage buns.

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