gourmet hot dog & lemonade party with amy johnson!

a few weeks ago i had the pleasure of working with amy johnson, an awesome food photographer in seattle!

i dreamed up some delicious gourmet hot dog ideas and extra juicy & refreshing cherry lemonades. it was a super hot day so this summery picnic scene was just perfect. 

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spiral hot dogs, at that! have you done this before?? it's truly the ideal hot dog experience. here is a youtube video that helped me achieve this in the past.

grilling them spiraled creates wayyy more crispy surface area on the hot dog while creating gaps (aka condiment treasure troves) throughout. the condiments get tucked away instead of sliding around all over the top of the hot dog. huzzah!

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our cherry lemonades were brimming with flavor - fresh chopped ginger, peach slices, fresh red cherries & cherry juice and extra lemon, of course!

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toppings on the spiral dogs: cream cheese, sriracha, pickled red onions, avocado, yellow mustard, ketchup, red onion, green onion, yellow onion, micro greens (cilantro!), and sliced jalapeño! 

and kettle chips for crunch. always the crunch factor. don't forget to toast that bun.

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my little menu:

- SPICY SEATTLE - cream cheese, sriracha, jalapeño, pickled red onion 

- DA CLASSIC - ketchup, mustard, chopped yellow onion 

- GREEN GODDESS - cream cheese, avocado, green onions, pickled red onion, micro cilantro greens

- SLIGHTLY ADVENTUROUS - cream cheese, chopped yellow onion, mustard, micro greens

- LOADED SPICY SEATTLE - cream cheese, sriracha, ketchup, mustard chopped yellow onion, jalapeño

- RED & GREEN - ketchup, sriracha, jalapeño

- SIMPLE SAVORY-TOOTH - cream cheese, green onion

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i'm really clinging on to the tail end of summer here, folks.

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check out amy's lovely photography work and her post about our photo shoot here!

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photography by amy johnson.

food styling, prop styling, & recipes by me.

 

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ashleigh & jun's wedding day!

my friends ashleigh and jun got married last weekend! august 12, 2017!

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OOOOOOH LA LAAAAAA!

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i took a few photos in our hotel room as we were getting ready before showtiiiiime..

chillzilla 2.0 (opposite of a bridezilla - just like our 1st chillzilla bride friend lauren) got us lucky bridesmaids these adorable glasses with our names on them and also the cutest robes & personalized robe hangers! we looove!

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party time.

they got married at ashleigh's family's cabin up in birch bay, washington. we've been going there mostly every year for her birthday and they've had the cabin her entire life, so it was a location near & dear to their hearts to have the wedding :)

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they had a super cute woodfire pizza truck AND the most adorable ice cream truck come for dinner & dessert. we got down on the choco tacoooos.

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i'm so glad we got to reuse this face-in-hole that we made for ashleigh's bachelorette party. i saw these kids just doing this on their own, playing around and not caring if they got a pic at all. it was so cute. i took like 10 pics.

^ ash & her mama!

also the sweetest soon-to-be married photography duo, kee & amber. i'm excited to celebrate their wedding next month!

^ all mah boos! pete's hair is wicked long now.

i love seeing all my closest friends so happy in front of these happy sunflowers!

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^ senior portrait seshhhhhh.

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^ a cute dog called ruby.

also sneaky pete looking suspect - getting his gamble on at 8:30am. lol.

 

thanks for getting married, ash & jun! it was so much fun! we love yaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

 

 

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everything trader joe's gyros.

yaaaaaaaaas. 

excited to share this one! pete & i love to make gyros at home - and we've made them in several different ways using ALL items you can buy at trader joe's!

all for $22! and you can use these ingredients to make either a whole bunch of gyros at once, or stretch them out to have them in 2-4 sittings, depending how many people are eating and how many gyros you'll have. i usually eat 1 if we're using the naan bread; if we're using the thinner flatbreads i might have 2. anyhoo you can stretch these out and have gyros for several meals!

and you can have this done in less than 20 minutes! very excite!

i LUHUHUHHHHVE gyros. & greek food in general. even though these are considered the hot dog of greek food, me no give a hoot. i proudly enjoy hot dogs too, so there. 

so the meat component in here is meatballs -- not lamb + beef. but, i find that the italian meatballs at TJ's do a great job at mimicking gyro meat flavor. especially when you crispify them.

here's what we use!

italian style meatballs ($3.99), tomatoes ($2.29), cucumbers ($1.99), green bell pepper ($0.69), spinach ($1.99), red onion ($0.89), feta cheese ($2.69), tzatziki ($3.49), and naan ($3.69) or flatbreads. 

you can use other colors of bell peppers or other veggies you like, these are just the basics of what i normally go for, flavor-wise. it doesn't matter what type of tomatoes or cucumbers you get - they have a few varieties.

also, i prefer to make tzatziki homemade. but they've got it at TJ's, too!

the naan bread is super fluffy and has a great texture, but they're an odd shape to fit stuff in. i'll get the middle eastern flatbreads at TJ's most of the time. pitas work, too.

i've tried using TJ's turkey meatballs in these gyros, but the regular italian style are just way better tasting.  way mo fat & calz though. i actually barely use two meatballs on my gyro because i'll slice them up and crisp up the interior in the pan. and they're pretty rich. one meatball goes a long way for me. pete just goes whole meatball style; he doesn't know what calz are. 

dice up the tomatoes, cucumbers, green pepper, some red onion, add a few shakes of salt & pepper, and gently toss with a spoon. i like to chill this while i'm waiting for the meatballs to cook. 

we kicked our microwave to tha curb, so i like to thaw the meatballs a little bit before putting them in the pan. i add a little water and cover the pan to steam it up for about 5 minutes, then uncover and turn them to crisp. then i'll cut them in half or slice each meatball into 4 and crisp up those innards on low while i'm getting everything else ready.

if you do have a microwave, heat them in there for a few minutes and then brown them in a pan for about 5 minutes.

warm the naan, flatbreads, or pitas on a pan til they're easy to fold, then build your gyro!

i like to bulk it up and add extra greens like spinach, then layers of tzatziki, veggies, meatball slices, feta, and more veggies on top! 

sriracha is also amazing on gyros.

hey! you could also use the extra veggies & such to make a chunky greek salad on the side! 

we love you TJ's! and obviously while you're there you'll probably get a cheap bottle of wine and some sort of delish seasonal cookies or fabulous chocolate treat. because that's just what happens in that place. 

 

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