just a bite

food detective
Categories: Salads and Dressings, Soups, Eggs, Dinner for Two, Supper, Cocktail Party, Lunch, Breakfast/Brunch, Posted on August 7, 2022 by Sandy Bergsten - Comments (0)
It’s truly the height of the season at the farmer’s market. Each Saturday my Norwich terrier, Willie, and I start our day with a walk down to our neighborhood stands. I always return with an overflowing basket of lush tomatoes and just picked sweet corn. Almost every weekend I whip up a batch of gazpacho. My version… chopped rather than pureed, my
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our very vegan visit

food detective
Categories: Appetizers, Salads and Dressings, Soups, Veggies and Sides, Dinner for Two, Supper, Cocktail Party, Lunch, Sources, Posted on May 24, 2022 by Sandy Bergsten
Last weekend was a first of many. The first time my stepson and his family were visiting us in Chicago. The first time we would have a little person in our apartment (previously, pre-covid, we’ve only had a baby). And this would be my first attempt at creating a four-day menu that was completely vegan. I pride myself on being adaptable and nimble
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drop in

food detective
Categories: Beverages, Cocktail Party, Dinner Party, Posted on March 29, 2022 by Sandy Bergsten
When entertaining one of my favorite things to do is to greet a guest with their favorite libation. I like to think of it as personal serial signature cocktails. Let’s be honest, most folks like to drink what they like to drink. This week I am having a small group over for dinner and it turns out lemon drop martinis are one of my guests’ darlings.
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pony ride

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Appetizers, Cocktail Party, Fête Fact, Posted on February 14, 2022 by Sandy Bergsten
When it comes to entertaining, is it time to get back in the saddle? Restrictions seem to be lifting as quickly as things shut down. The big difference- two years have transpired. I’m eager to embrace this new normal (whatever that means) but I am finding I am also filled with a good dose trepidation.  I’ve come to realize that one of the major
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a change of perspective

food detective
Categories: Appetizers, Beverages, Dinner for Two, Cocktail Party, Eating Out, Posted on January 17, 2022 by Sandy Bergsten
What to do with a world that seems to have turned itself on its side… again?    One thing’s for sure people’s nerves are frayed, tensions are rising, civility seems at an all-time low. My infrequent outings are often greeted with toddler meltdowns by people who are old enough to be their parents or grandparents. Just the other day I was berated
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dropping the ball

cooking for one... or two
Categories: Appetizers, Dinner for Two, Cocktail Party, Dinner Party, Posted on December 29, 2021 by Sandy Bergsten
Who thought we would be back here to ring in the new year? With holidays and flights cancelled and tempers rising, it might just be time to whip up a teeny indulgence for one or two.  This recipe from Melissa Clark is the bomb. A fresh sour cream and onion dip decadently dressed with fresh salmon roe, served up with crunchy potato chips. Every
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redo I do

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress What fun to keep the party going. When my daughter made the tough decision to downsize her wedding she asked if I would host a party for her Chicago friends later in the fall. My answer was a resounding yes! As the date approached my daughter reminded me that this was actually going to be a small wedding not simply a cocktail reception. Which
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chilly turn of events

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Appetizers, Cocktail Party, Dinner Party, Posted on October 11, 2021 by Sandy Bergsten
The upside to having our refrigerator go on the fritz was that a new and improved one took its place. The previous was a stainless counter depth model. The outside was sleek and streamlined, inside it was beyond shallow, the freezer almost nonexistent. You could barely squeeze a plastic container of greens into one of the two miniscule drawers.
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kiss the miss goodbye

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Appetizers, Breads, Pizza, Tarts, Cocktail Party, Lunch, Fête Fact, Posted on March 30, 2021 by Sandy Bergsten
In a year when many have lost so much it’s difficult to give voice to the special occasions that have evaporated. Quietly everyone is grieving the loss of coming together and celebrating life’s milestones. How many times have we had to plan, cancel, regroup, and reboot? Virtual stand-ins have surely fallen flat. My heart sank a bit when my youngest
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home for the holidays

cooking for one... or two
Categories: Appetizers, Dinner for Two, Cocktail Party, Dinner Party, Posted on November 23, 2020 by Sandy Bergsten
Well this holiday season certainly isn’t like any other. And while you won’t be having the usual crowd over to your home, that doesn’t mean you can’t entertain yourself in style. One of the best things about freezable hors d’oeuvres is that you can pull out a few just for you or for those in your bubble. You must try my cheddar tartlets
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