the spread before the spread

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Appetizers, Cocktail Party, Dinner Party, Sources, Fête Fact, Posted on December 3, 2019 by Sandy Bergsten - Comments (0)
Here’s a holiday quandary- when the pressure is on to put on a lavish holiday meal what can you serve beforehand that will simultaneously delight your guests and not push you over the edge? Disclaimer Thanksgiving dinner is not one of my favorites. Don’t get me wrong, I adore having my house and table brimming with family and friends. It’s just al
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the date that got away

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Appetizers, Cocktail Party, Sources, Fête Fact, Posted on November 5, 2019 by Sandy Bergsten - Comments (5)
it’s one thing to misplace your reading glasses, completely another to space on the fact that you’re hosting a party. That happened to me last week. Months ago, my daughter at Northwestern business school thought it would be fun to invite some of her classmates over for a cocktail party. At the time I thought so too. Then life happened.
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a kick in the …

food detective
Categories: Beverages, Cocktail Party, Sources, Eating Out, Posted on August 15, 2019 by Sandy Bergsten
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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pre-reception

entertaining with style- making it work for you
Categories: Appetizers, Cocktail Party, Fête Fact, Posted on June 24, 2019 by Sandy Bergsten
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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ham it up

food detective
Categories: Appetizers, Salads and Dressings, Meat, Cocktail Party, Lunch, Posted on February 17, 2019 by Sandy Bergsten
Happy Chinese New Year- it’s the year of the pig! What perfect timing that I stumbled upon the following recipe. One of my personal new year’s resolutions is to finally go through all my old cooking magazines that have literally been piling up for decades. And while I’ve been feeling some Marie Kondo pressure to simply pitch them all, I’m glad I
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make it your own

food detective
Categories: Appetizers, Cocktail Party, Sources, Fête Fact, Posted on December 8, 2018 by Sandy Bergsten
The other night I was over at my dear friends Maggie and Richard’s for a drink. They truly are entertainers extraordinaire. Their home is so welcoming, their cocktails such fun, and their hors d’oeuvres divine. Those two really know how to make a guest feel special. As Richard poured a wonderful white burgundy in his crisp white apron, Maggie
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amuse bouche

making it for two
Categories: Appetizers, Dinner for Two, Cocktail Party, Dinner Party, Fête Fact, Posted on September 17, 2018 by Sandy Bergsten
Let’s be honest- after a long day who doesn’t want to come home to a little canapé? Please don’t roll your eyes because I make my spouse a small hors d'oeuvre to accompany his Makers Mark. And before you groan, let me show you how something that takes almost no effort can have a huge impact on those you love- be it your husband, wife, significant
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with a grain of salt

food detective
Categories: Beverages, Cocktail Party, Dinner Party, Posted on May 14, 2018 by Sandy Bergsten
I pulled into my desert house right after my 26-year-old daughter and her friends had driven off after a little Cinco de Mayo girls’ weekend. I was truly impressed that they had left the house just as they had found it. And even more elated when I opened the freezer to find a large bottle of top shelf tequila chilling on its side. Let’s get serious
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