Posts filed under party

Labor Day Party: Hot Dogs

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Hopefully you checked out the blog yesterday and saw our intro to the Westside Bestside/House on 8th collaboration.  In case you didn't, here's the recap: we are doing a series this week to get you inspired and ready for all your Labor Day parties this weekend! 

Today's hot topic is hot dogs!  

Now, some of you may turn up your nose at the mention of hot dogs--I'm well aware they're not the most glamorous food.  But, let it be known that I buy all beef, kosher, natural dogs, so at least there's that.  Plus, hot dogs don't have to be boring.  And we're here to show you a few ways to liven them up!

The Alley Dog

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The Alley Dog is an LA street cart staple, and we love to recreate them at home.  Not a health food, but mouth-watering.  


  • Beef hot dog
  • Hot dog bun
  • Bacon
  • Onions + green pepper


  • Wrap 1 strip of bacon around 1 hot dog.  Grill low and slow until both are cooked.  
  • Saute onions + green pepper in olive oil. 
  • Toast bun. 
  • Dress with a squeeze of ketchup, mustard, + mayo. 

The Brat


A classic bratwurst with finely diced, crunchy white onions + dijon mustard in a crusty sourdough roll.  Finish it off with a nice German brewski. 

The Californian

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This one is inspired by the California Dog at Dogtown Dogs, an LA food truck.  


  • Beef hot dog, toasted bun
  • Diced tomato
  • Chopped avocado
  • Arugula  
  • Basil aioli sauce (easy recipe found HERE)

*The Californian was our favorite!! 

The Classic...with a Twist

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Just elevate your classic beef frank with ketchup + mustard by grilling the dog in a curly-Q!   Poke a skewer through the center of the length of the hot dog, and then rotate it as you hold and cut with a knife, creating a spiral-shaped dog (hard to tell in the picture--watch THIS VIDEO).  

It gets exponentially more of that crunchy, caramelized texture + flavor since more surface area is touching the grill.  Genius!  And who said we'd never use high school math again later in life!?

Full disclosure, I'm not a food stylist, and we were chasing light so the ketchup and mustard above isn't perfectly glam.  So sue me--it tasted delicious!

These hot dog recipes (and whatever else your taste buds could dream up) are a fun, fresh spin on an old favorite.  You could even make a DIY hot dog bar and let guests choose which ingredients they want to throw together for their own unique creation!  Less work for you, and fun for them!

See you back here tomorrow for more fun inspiration! 

Tray is from Target and the paper hot dog liners were a random find at Joanns Fabric + Craft.  

Labor Day Party Inspiration! Day 1: Kale Salad

Hey!  Is everyone looking forward to a long Labor Day weekend coming up?!  Can't believe it's already that time of year--I swear time flies more and more the older I get.  For you guys too?

I'll actually be working this weekend (I know, laboring on Labor Day, waaa waaa--but I'm grateful to have the work!).  Knowing that in advance, I planned ahead and had a little pre-backyard party--which is lucky for you, since I can blog about it!  So, this week, get excited for a full series on...

Labor Day Party Inspiration with House on 8th!

Here's a little preview of what to expect!  Look forward to some simple and budget-conscious ideas for entrees, sides, drinks + decor to inspire your holiday parties. 

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First up in our series is a delicious Kale Salad recipe that Ali posted about over on House on 8th.  Check out her whole post HERE for a healthy, easy, + tasty take on kale! 

YUM!  Check back tomorrow here on Westside Bestside or at House on 8th, where we'll talk hot dogs + a few ways you can dress them up!



Baked Brie

I'm not kidding, I had a MOMENT with some baked brie last week.  It was just decadent!   

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(weird lighting alert; that's why daytime photos are best...) 

I LOVE cheese, including brie, but had never had it baked until a couple years ago when my mother-in-law made it as part of a snacky dinner.  If you've never had it, it's amaaaazing!   It's cheesy, doughy, sweet, melty, buttery.  I licked all my fingers. 

The package had the "recipe" on it, and I already had all the ingredients so it was super easy.  And, I don't normally like the white casing, but when it's baked, it loses a lot of the bitter flavor, so I eat the whole thing!  This would make a good app or dessert or even a yummy/pretty/easy/unique party snack...


  • Brie wheel
  • 1 sheet puff pastry dough (thawed) 
  • Egg wash (1 whisked egg + 2 TBS water) 
  • Strawberry jam (optional + could be any fruit preserves) 


  • Preheat oven to 425.
  • Roll out sheet of puff pastry dough.  Cover in a light layer of jam.
  • Set full brie wheel in center of dough. 
  • Fold up the dough + pinch at the top to seal.  
  • Brush all over dough with egg wash. 
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until just golden brown (ours may have gone longer). 
  • Let cool for 5 minutes.   
  • Serve with crackers and enjoy! 

Our neighbor let us pick some ripe figs from his tree, so I quartered those and placed them (just raw) on top of the baked brie.  They added another sweet, fresh flavor paired with the cheese.  


MmmmMmmmmMMMM!!  Whoever's coming over next better expect this as an app or dessert!  


Posted on August 26, 2013 and filed under yummy, party.

Orange Creamsicles

The other day I was craving a Flintstone push-up pop something fierce.  Remember those guys?  Mmmm yummy and creamy orange sherbet.  So I scoured the interwebs for some info on where I could get my hands on some or for a similar recipe I could make.  Unfortunately, they no longer exist, except for a few people that have kept them since the 90s and sell them for a lot of money on ebay.  Gross, am I right?!  

Then, I stumbled upon THIS beautiful orange creamsicle recipe from Oven Love blog and made it.  And YUM!  It totally satisfied my craving.  


She lists a couple of variations.  I tried half with heavy cream and half with coconut milk.  I much prefer the cream--the coconut milk batch tasted way too sunscreeny to me.   I also  squeezed my own fresh oranges for juice, and included a little orange pulp to the  mixture.  I liked it but some people didn't like the texture, so I probably won't do that next time.  

They were so simple to make.  The hardest part was waiting for them to freeze!

Thanks Oven Love! 

 Plate: Anthropologie, Pop mold: Ikea

Posted on July 23, 2013 and filed under party, yummy.