Posts tagged #holiday

Thanksgiving, California Style

It's almost turkey time, hooray!  Does everyone have fun and yummy plans for this year?  Since we are in flux between houses (yes, I will hopefully write home reno posts soon...), we are not hosting this year.  But a potluck with dear friends will do the trick!

I thought I could still share some Thanksgiving inspiration with you, since we hosted at our place last year.  I went with a clean + modern twist on traditional Thanksgiving decor.  It didn't hurt that all my decor was free (thanks, Nature), or something I already had.  And the beautiful, crisp Autumn sky was the perfect backdrop for our outdoor meal!

IMG_1558.JPG

Our everyday white plates looked so fresh on earthy Kraft paper. I created a center runner of lemons from our backyard, candles, and clean foliage from a tree.  The table still felt autumnal with lighter greens and yellow, instead of traditional darker hues like burgundy, red, or hunter green. 

The first Thanksgiving I lived in LA, we had Friendsgiving on a rooftop patio.  I fell in love with outdoor dining.  I take advantage of it that as much as possible.  Sigh, have I mentioned I love LA?

outdoor dining.jpg

We had the most delicious plate of food, mostly thanks to my friend Callie, who is basically a chef.  She made some sinful gluten free versions of old Thanksgiving staples, and our pal Zak made his famous loaded deviled eggs--yum.  

plate food.jpg

Oy, I think I just gained 5 pounds just reminiscing about that plate of food.  I was pretty proud of my first solo turkey too!

IMG_1582.JPG

This year, I'm going to make pecan pie, potato casserole (totally healthy. psyche!), and THIS delicious recipe for Sausage + Swiss Chard Stuffing--I made it a couple months ago for the Darling Magazine Friendsgiving spread photo shoot, and so I can tell you it is scrumptious from experience (anyone at that table look familiar?)!

via Michelle Mosqueda Photography

via Michelle Mosqueda Photography

Hopefully next year I can give you a peek inside hosting at our new place! 

There's SO much to be grateful for this year!  I hope you all have a wonderful day with friends, family, food and lots of thankfulness.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Labor Day Party Decor

We're closing out our Westside Bestside/House on 8th Labor Day party series today, and bidding you warm wishes for your own holiday parties on this long weekend!  Hope you have a delicious, refreshing, + relaxing Labor Day!  

coke crate.jpg

Some tips for party decor, etc. are:

  • Use what you have!  I didn't go out and buy any extra items for decorating, except for these gorgeous gladioli what were $2.50 at the grocery!
  • Let your food + drinks be a part of the decor
  • Don't get too matchy matchy--it was feeling a little Coca-Cola themed, so we threw in some other mismatched plates and textures to mix it up
  • Choose drinks and food that people can make themselves--prep ahead of time, then relax and have fun!
flowers.jpg

How cute is the vintage coke crate, btw?  I got it at Pepe's! 

hot dogs.jpg
straws.jpg

See you back here next week! 

Posted on August 30, 2013 and filed under party, pretty.

Labor Day Party: Hot Dogs

hot dogs.jpg

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

alley dog.jpg

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

Ingredients: 

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

Directions: 

  • 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

bratwurst.jpg

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

california dog.jpg

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

Ingredients:  

  • 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

classic dog.jpg

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. 

hot dogs 1.jpg
coke crate.jpg

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!