Family Dinner: Diner Theme

Posted in Blog, Family, Side Dish
Hot dog and onion rings in basket

Making family dinner a little more “fun” with hot dogs and onion rings in baskets. It’s like having dinner at a diner (at home).

Family dinner is extremely important to us. Even as my husband’s work schedule is now varied, we still try to have dinner together every night. Having a fun theme, like this Diner Theme, makes everyone get a little more into dinner time.

Some fun things to add to a themed dinner: dressing up, watching a movie that coordinates with the theme, serving it in a different area other than the table. Be creative!!

We did a Cowboy theme. That would be great with cowboy hats and boots. Maybe a western could be playing in the background or after dinner. Make the little ones excited with an “Under the Sea” theme. Seafood, blue drinks with swedish fish served in a fish bowl, and The Little Mermaid movie afterwards. They could watch the movie sitting in inexpensive pool rings.

No matter what your kids age, they will enjoy the fun, themed dinners.

I found these cute food baskets in the Dollar Spot at Target which inspired this diner theme. They also have them in the summer aisle at various stores.

I failed in the fact that I didn’t get the cute paper to go in the baskets. Of course, after these pictures were taken, Target came out with the red and white checkered paper to go in the baskets. Parchment paper would’ve also worked but mine has writing and a grid on it. Super fail!!

I served hot dogs with the onion rings but you could do hamburgers, chicken sandwiches, brats, etc. Of course, you can serve fries or chips, too.

The onion rings are simple to make and super tasty. We don’t eat them as much so I decided to go with them in this themed dinner.

If you like less onion and/or a dry batter, try my onion strings.

Homemade Onion Rings

Course Appetizer, Side Dish
Keyword appetizer, onion rings, side dish
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 People


  • 2 large sweet onions or 4 small
  • 1 2/3 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp sugar Optional
  • 2 tsp cayenne powder Optional
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • canola or vegetable oil for frying


  1. Slice onions into rings about 1/2 inch thick.

  2. Mix dry ingredients in medium bowl.

  3. Coat the onion slices in the dry flour and set aside.

  4. Combine wet ingredients with the dry ingredients. Set aside.

  5. Pour canola or vegetable oil about 1 inch deep in a medium skillet. Heat over medium heat.

  6. Once skillet is preheated, start dipping one onion slice at a time in wet mixture and then placing in hot oil. Don’t overcrowd the skillet.

  7. Turn once the onion rings begin to brown. When both sides are browned, remove from oil and place on a paper towel to drain excess grease. Continue the process for the rest of the onion slices.

  8. Serve hot or room temperature with ketchup, ranch, or make your own onion ring sauce.

frisco melt on plate with fries

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