a kick in the …

food detective
Categories: Beverages, Cocktail Party, Sources, Eating Out, Posted on August 15, 2019 by Sandy Bergsten - Comments (2)
The apartment we just moved into has structural damage and we need to move… again. While the mere thought of packing everything up again has brought me to the brink of tears (several times), I’ve decided to set my mind on the positives. First, we are renting, so in essence this is not our problem. Second, there is another unit in our building that
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a ray of sunshine

a moment in time
Categories: Soups, Dinner for Two, Supper, Dinner Party, Lunch, Posted on August 6, 2019 by Sandy Bergsten - Comments (0)
Sitting down to write about soup seems surreal given last week’s tragic events. My heart breaks for everyone in Dayton, El Paso, and Gilroy. Given the overwhelming senselessness, sometimes the only thing to do is to try to focus on something positive you can control. It’s summer, and that means farmer’s markets. One of my favorite things to do on
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hot summer daze

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Appetizers, Salads and Dressings, Soups, Fish and Seafood, Veggies and Sides, Dinner Party, Sources, Fête Fact, Posted on July 22, 2019 by Sandy Bergsten - Comments (2)
Baby it’s hot outside.  Our prewar apartment on Lake Michigan has so much charm, but no central air or personal outdoor space. We do have a few strategically placed portable air conditioner units, but with endless days in the in high 90’s it’s a little warm inside. So, what’s a girl to do when she planned a party a month ago? Time to put her menu
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eat this

food detective The other night we stopped by my cousin’s in Lincoln Park for a glass of wine before heading out to dinner. She had a wonderful spread of cured meats and the most amazing fresh ricotta. My husband and I couldn’t wait to find out where she got it. Turns out there is an Eataly in Chicago. It’s a 12-minute drive from my apartment. And if you spend
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pre-reception

entertaining with style- making it work for you
Categories: Appetizers, Cocktail Party, Fête Fact, Posted on June 24, 2019 by Sandy Bergsten - Comments (4)
How fun that my daughter and her husband were going to be in town for a wedding the weekend of their first anniversary. Turns out the ceremony they were coming in for was uptown at three and the reception downtown at six, leaving a bit of a gap.  Lucky me that our new apartment happens to lie right in between. So my daughter and I decided to have
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first fête

entertaining with style- making it work for you
Categories: Appetizers, Desserts, Cocktail Party, Breakfast/Brunch, Setting the Stage, Fête Fact, Posted on June 9, 2019 by Sandy Bergsten
So excited for my first Chicago party. My youngest, who is in business school at Northwestern, wanted to invite some of her classmates over to meet me and see the apartment before they took off for their summer internships. With my husband and I driving back across the country the week before, time was going to be too tight to pull off a proper
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wheelhouse

entertaining with style- making it work for you
Categories: Appetizers, Cocktail Party, Fête Fact, Posted on May 23, 2019 by Sandy Bergsten
In my last post I mentioned how important it is to have a handful of go-to recipes that always work for you. With those up your sleeve you will never shy away from having people over. So many times people think they need to cook up something new or extravagant when they entertain. The truth is when you have a party it’s the guest list that most
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a tale of two tables

entertaining with style- making it work for you
Categories: Fish and Seafood, Grains and Pasta, Veggies and Sides, Dinner Party, Fête Fact, Posted on May 14, 2019 by Sandy Bergsten
Well we moved. Twice.  As I navigate the sea of boxes, I will say there is a certain excitement in unwrapping the boxes and seeing my treasures. I’m going to give myself a little credit, I did a good job of packing up which in turn has made unpacking almost fun. The tricky part was dismantling an old renovated farm house and divvying up our
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goodbye old friend

entertaining with style- making it work for you
Categories: Fish and Seafood, Poultry, Meat, Dinner for Two, Supper, Dinner Party, Sources, Posted on April 25, 2019 by Sandy Bergsten
You know how you sometimes take some of the best things for granted? They always seem to be there, so you assume they always will. The other day I had a panic attack as I realized I had just signed a lease for an apartment on Lake Shore Drive in Chicago. Overlooking Belmont Harbor, it has views of Lake Michigan but no personal outdoor space.
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turning the page

entertaining with style- making it work for you
Categories: Fête Fact, Posted on April 13, 2019 by Sandy Bergsten
How many of you know that poignant feeling that rises up when you finish a really, really good book? I almost cried when I put down “Where the Crawdads Sing”. Tears did roll down my cheeks as I closed “Bel Canto” and “The Art of Hearing Heartbeats”. One of my greatest pleasures is reading a truly well written, beautifully crafted work of fiction.
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