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Celebrate Summer with a Family Grill Night - in Your Backyard!

This post is sponsored by Lightlife.  As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Our family LOVES summer.  Traveling, water fun, lots of time together, cooking outdoors, long days... what's not to love?  Well, I guess the only thing not to love right now is that we only have a bit of summer left!  But we are going to make the most of it!  One idea we had was to have an outdoor grill night, cooking over the fire.  It's too hot to spend a weekend camping (though we love to camp), so we decided to bring some of our favorite parts of camping to our backyard instead, with Lightlife.

I first met Lightlife at the Mom 2.0 Summit this year.  They were grilling up some Smart Dogs, which I remember smelling so good, you know, that tantalizing smell of meat cooking over an open grill. I didn't even realize they were plant-based at first, and was even more surprised with the taste when I built myself a masterpiece at their vegan chili dog station! I couldn't wait for the rest of my family to try it.

If you're not familiar with Lightlife, they are actually the country’s #1 brand of veggie dog! Since hot dogs are an absolute staple in the summer, I was up for the challenge of trying a healthy grilling swap with Lightlife's non-GMO Project Verified vegan dogs.

What makes these dogs so "smart?"  In addition to plant protein being a healthy choice, choosing plant protein also makes a difference on our planet.  Learn more about the health benefits here and the sustainability benefits here.  We have raised our kids to be nature stewards, so the #FabFam is definitely down to try new things that have a positive impact for our mother Earth.

For our family grill night, we opted for Lightlife's Jumbo Smart Dogs (which we found at our local Whole Foods) and whole wheat buns.  They grilled up nicely, and taste great served in different ways and topped with any of your favorite hot dog condiments!  S is a simple ketchup guy, whereas I like to go with mustard and sauerkraut, and my husband goes all protein and ditches the bun altogether.

You can't grill over a fire and not have s'mores!  We are big s'mores fans (but who isn't?), and love to try different variations (see my post on some of my favorite s'mores variations here), so this was the obvious dessert-of-choice for our grill night.  This time we tried our s'mores with cinnamon graham crackers (instead of honey grahams) for a slightly different flavor.

This kid is a burnt marshmallow kid.  Like, if its not completely black and charred, he wants nothing to do with it!

This kid, on the other hand, prefers his marshmallows slow-roasted to a golden-brown perfection.  Which way do you like yours?

After the meal we spent the evening by the fire as the sun set just relaxing together.  Just enjoying the sunset and the crackling of the fire was immensely peaceful during an otherwise jam-packed and busy summer.  

Have you ever tried doing a camping meal in your backyard?  What else did you do to make it more fun?

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