practice makes perfect

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Meat, Veggies and Sides, Sauces and Such, Dinner Party, Sources, Well Equipped, Fête Fact, Posted on July 6, 2021 by Sandy Bergsten - Comments (2)
A few weeks ago, after returning to Chicago we had our first dinner party. I was so excited to plan the menu, at long last set our table for more than two, and prep for the evening. I thought I had it all planned out perfectly. Turns out I was more than a little out of practice. I hate when I have people over and I find myself stranded in the
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picking sides

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Salads and Dressings, Grains and Pasta, Veggies and Sides, Dinner for Two, Supper, Dinner Party, Posted on June 20, 2021 by Sandy Bergsten - Comments (0)
This Fourth of July we are staying in the city. Thought it might be fun to invite some friends over to celebrate our country’s independence and relish in our now chilly dining room courtesy of our newly installed AC unit. Just because you are an apartment dweller doesn’t mean you can’t have an indoor barbeque. The key is figuring out what to
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seize the season

food detective
Categories: Fish and Seafood, Dinner for Two, Supper, Dinner Party, Posted on June 5, 2021 by Sandy Bergsten - Comments (0)
When I returned to Chicago, I was delighted to discover that the second-floor markets at Eataly had reopened. What a treat to once again see the cases filled with aged beef, homemade pastas, a world of cheeses and charcutier, the freshest of fish. I felt like a little kid window shopping at Christmas. It was liberating to do something that felt
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layer up

food detective
Categories: Grains and Pasta, Dinner for Two, Supper, Dinner Party, Posted on May 9, 2021 by Sandy Bergsten
Now a nod to my northern friends, who have hopefully put away their snow shovels for good. This spring has been a roller coaster for many reasons, the weather being one of those swinging pendulums. Here’s a recipe that is as comforting as a favorite sweater and light enough to enjoy whatever the season. Adjectives such as airy and delicate
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louie louie

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Salads and Dressings, Fish and Seafood, Dinner for Two, Supper, Dinner Party, Lunch, Posted on April 25, 2021 by Sandy Bergsten
We had our second dinner party, and it was an absolute blast. Not really sure if it was truly that fun, or if it just seemed that way because we hadn’t had a new person over in well, over a year. It’s like that new mom who goes out for the first time, crams herself into an outfit she has no business wearing, and thinks she’s the life of the party
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shot in the arm

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Fish and Seafood, Veggies and Sides, Sauces and Such, Dinner for Two, Supper, Dinner Party, Well Equipped, Posted on April 11, 2021 by Sandy Bergsten
Getting that second vaccine dose was like a heavy door unlocking. It was almost surreal allowing myself to think of possibilities and the thought of making plans. I was so excited to invite our first guests over for dinner. And erring on the side of caution, and because we are in southern California, I knew we could dine outside. What I didn’t
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house always wins

food detective
Categories: Salads and Dressings, Dinner for Two, Supper, Dinner Party, Lunch, Posted on February 16, 2021 by Sandy Bergsten
Why are the simple things often the most difficult to replicate? Take salad dressings. I’ve pretty much mastered a perfect balsamic vinaigrette, a creamy caesar dressing, a wonderful emulsified dressing you can make for a crowd, and a nostalgic thousand island. You can find them all by clicking on the “recipe” tab on the upper right bar of this
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weigh in

food detective
Categories: Desserts, Dinner for Two, Supper, Dinner Party, Lunch, Sources, Well Equipped, Posted on January 30, 2021 by Sandy Bergsten
How about something sweet?  I’ll confess I’m not much of a baker. My birthday cakes are endearingly lopsided and zucchini bread eternally crestfallen. What I’ve come to realize is that cooks and bakers are wired differently.  Bakers tend to follow recipes to the law and measure precisely. Us in the cook-camp like to add a pinch of this and bit of
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round the wall

cooking for one... or two
Categories: Fish and Seafood, Dinner for Two, Supper, Dinner Party, Posted on January 16, 2021 by Sandy Bergsten
Who else is hitting the pandemic wall? The endless news feed, the lack of clarity and organization on the vaccine rollout, and being housebound with a fractured ankle is causing burnout. I really, really miss walking my dog.  Grabbing the leash, throwing on my shoes, pounding the pavement, letting fresh air fill my lungs, allowing my mind to clear
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breaking point

cooking for one... or two
Categories: Grains and Pasta, Dinner for Two, Supper, Dinner Party, Posted on January 2, 2021 by Sandy Bergsten
I just got some news (I know so many have had much worse- they’ve lost loved ones, lost jobs, lost their homes). For me, it turns out after almost two years and a recent MRI I have a stress fracture of my interior talus. It’s the major weight bearing bone in the ankle. It’s the one that supports your entire body. The day before Christmas I
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