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 - Comments (2)
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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into the woods

food detective
Categories: Appetizers, Veggies and Sides, Dinner for Two, Cocktail Party, Sources, Posted on August 31, 2020 by Sandy Bergsten
On a recent trip to the Evanston’s farmers market I spotted these gorgeous “hen of the wood” mushrooms. If they sprouted legs and a beak you could almost imagine they would start to scratch and strut amongst the stands.  Personal disclaimer- what often looks inspirational at the farmers market frequently turns out to be a bomb in my kitchen.
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just what the doctor ordered

cooking for one... or two
Categories: Beverages, Cocktail Party, Breakfast/Brunch, Sources, Posted on July 5, 2020 by Sandy Bergsten
I don’t know about you, but some days I could really use a drink. Most times it’s a crisp glass of white wine while I’m preparing dinner. But I’ll confess on rare occasions I’ve craved a little something a little earlier. Properly doctored, a bloody mary is the perfect tonic. A fitting connotation to accompany brunch, lunch or dinner. Suitably garn
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wrapped with a bow

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Appetizers, Cocktail Party, Dinner Party, Posted on December 24, 2019 by Sandy Bergsten
How’s this for a Hollywood ending to your holidays. Here is the amazing baked cheese recipe that accompanied my saucisson spread from an earlier post. This is not your typical baked brie. And it couldn’t be simpler to make. The garlic studded triple crème, with a splash of vermouth, bubbles in the oven on a bed of aromatic herbs. And the critical
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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
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
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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