a kick in the …

food detective
Categories: Beverages, Cocktail Party, Sources, Eating Out, Posted on August 15, 2019 by Sandy Bergsten - Comments (3)
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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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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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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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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go west young man

food detective
Categories: Sources, Fête Fact, Posted on November 26, 2018 by Sandy Bergsten
A few months ago, my husband mentioned that it might be fun to drive from Ohio to our home in California. He had never driven across the country and it was on his bucket list. Driving 2,312 miles in a car with a dog was never on mine. But as time passed I warmed to the idea. I had never been to many of those states and if we took a slight detour we
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get cracking

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Fish and Seafood, Sauces and Such, Dinner for Two, Dinner Party, Sources, Fête Fact, Posted on October 28, 2018 by Sandy Bergsten
Each October I travel to Florida to help my dad get settled back into his house after his summer up north. It’s truly a labor of love, filled with a myriad of to-do lists and even more laughs. Don’t get me started on our perennial wrangle over the open condiments he always seems to leave in his refrigerator for five months. That said, I keep my
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ear today…

food detective
Categories: Veggies and Sides, Supper, Dinner Party, Sources, Posted on August 5, 2018 by Sandy Bergsten
Summertime in southern Ohio it’s easy to believe that sweet corn will always be around. But as the dog days of summer come to a close, so will corn’s window. It’s always a sad moment when I drive by the farm stand on Stroop Road and their wooden cart is bare. Because once the corn is gone, it’s gone for good. But while it’s still here, I am
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in the bag

entertaining with style- making it work for you
Categories: Sources, Setting the Stage, Posted on April 28, 2018 by Sandy Bergsten
There are so many things to love about Trader Joe’s. They always have a beautiful array of fresh vegetables. There’s their convenience items like steamed and peeled baby beets or ready to serve lentils. Affordable finds such as creamy burrata. I’m simply mad about their pita crackers. And then there are the flowers. No one has an excuse not to have
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total eclipse of the heart

food detective
Categories: Salads and Dressings, Breads, Pizza, Tarts, Eggs, Supper, Lunch, Breakfast/Brunch, Sources, Well Equipped, Fête Fact, Posted on August 31, 2017 by Sandy Bergsten
As the countdown for the eclipse approached, I wondered how best to mark this extraordinary event. The moon was scheduled to block out the sun at 2:28 on Monday afternoon. Not the time I typically entertain. Then an idea came to me the night before just like a flash in the dark. With my Amazon procured ISO certified glasses in hand, I asked my
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