little choked up

cooking for one... or two
Categories: Appetizers, Veggies and Sides, Dinner for Two, Supper, Lunch, Posted on May 9, 2020 by Sandy Bergsten
Many are in month two of wondering what to cook for one or two. If you need a little inspiration don’t fret, because guess what? It’s artichoke season! Perhaps it’s been a long time since you steamed an artichoke, or maybe you never have. Well you’re in for a treat. Cooking up an artichoke is a simple affair. Basically, just cut off the stem and
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defining your wheelhouse

simple truths to unleash your entertaining potential
Categories: Meat, Veggies and Sides, Supper, Dinner Party, Fête Fact, Posted on February 1, 2020 by Sandy Bergsten
Entertaining is a lot like baseball. To maximize success, you need to figure out how to consistently hit the ball out of the park. That means knowing exactly where in the strike zone you should position yourself. The takeaway here is to realize that your personal sweet spot might not be the same as someone else’s. It’s important to figure out what
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maximize what you do best

simple truths to unleash your entertaining potential
Categories: Fish and Seafood, Veggies and Sides, Dinner Party, Fête Fact, Posted on January 20, 2020 by Sandy Bergsten
In entertaining (and in life) certain principles hold true. For example, we should all strive to acknowledge our unique strengths and realize our own limitations. Maximizing what you do best and outsourcing where you fall short will help you succeed wherever you set your mind. Here that means entertaining others in a way that is actually enjoyable.
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gem of a weekend

food detective
Categories: Appetizers, Salads and Dressings, Veggies and Sides, Supper, Dinner Party, Sources, Eating Out, Fête Fact, Posted on November 18, 2019 by Sandy Bergsten
Two weeks ago, the stars aligned, and my college roommates and I finally got together for the first time in over seven years. Upon seeing each other it was if the last thirty-eight years literally melted away. What a tonic for each of our souls. We laughed, we reminisced, we held one another, and of course we ate (disclaimer: there was also a litt
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put yourself at the table

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Appetizers, Meat, Veggies and Sides, Sauces and Such, Desserts, Dinner Party, Sources, Fête Fact, Posted on September 21, 2019 by Sandy Bergsten
Isn’t it fun going to those upscale gourmet grocers and walking past their cases filled with amazing prepared fare? While tempting, picking up an entire dinner party that way can cost a small fortune. So, what should you do when you want the convenience of having everything made well in advance but you either want to showcase your own cooking and
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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
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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a tale of two tables

entertaining with style- making it work for you
Categories: Fish and Seafood, Grains and Pasta, Veggies and Sides, Dinner Party, Fête Fact, Posted on May 14, 2019 by Sandy Bergsten
Well we moved. Twice.  As I navigate the sea of boxes, I will say there is a certain excitement in unwrapping the boxes and seeing my treasures. I’m going to give myself a little credit, I did a good job of packing up which in turn has made unpacking almost fun. The tricky part was dismantling an old renovated farm house and divvying up our
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head of its class

food detective
Categories: Veggies and Sides, Dinner for Two, Supper, Dinner Party, Posted on April 1, 2019 by Sandy Bergsten
One of the many perks of southern California is that the farmers markets run almost all year. Wednesday morning I wake up and head down the hill to the one in Palm Desert. There I pick up a bag of some of the best avocados in the world, a jug of just picked-just squeezed orange juice, an armful of wild flowers, and whatever vegetables catch my
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smashed

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Veggies and Sides, Dinner for Two, Supper, Dinner Party, Posted on February 4, 2019 by Sandy Bergsten - Comments (1)
Hats off to all of my friends who imbibed the hype and embraced “dry January” or went on one of those ten to (gasp) thirty-day cleanses. Suffice it to say that I did not do any of those things. I did however work diligently on trying to incorporate more cardio into my weekly routine and really tried to slash my portions in half. Next November at my
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two from the sidelines

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Veggies and Sides, Sauces and Such, Dinner Party, Fête Fact, Posted on November 11, 2018 by Sandy Bergsten
It’s that time of year. People you love gather. And whether you are hosting a turkey dinner for twenty or a more intimate affair here are a couple tried and true sides guaranteed to add holiday sparkle to any table. No one needs to know you can make these both weeks ahead of time then strategically pull them out of your freezer on the big day.
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