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 - Comments (0)
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 - Comments (4)
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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put yourself in the equation

simple truths to unleash your entertaining potential
Categories: Fête Fact, Posted on January 6, 2020 by Sandy Bergsten - Comments (1)
How apropos that the start of the new year and decade is 2020. Perhaps all of our resolutions should take a fresh look at things. While some of you might already have long or short lists, I’ll offer up one little challenge- what if in the coming year you pledge to meaningfully connect at your dining room table. Here’s the catch- do it in a way that
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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 - Comments (0)
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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breakfast is served

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Breads, Pizza, Tarts, Eggs, Breakfast/Brunch, Sources, Posted on December 14, 2019 by Sandy Bergsten
I’m not sure about you, but with a houseful over the holidays breakfast can really throw me for a loop. It doesn’t matter how well prepared I am, it’s as if the clock moves double time. I never quite get it together, and then all of a sudden, my ho ho ho begins to slip into a mumbled bah humbug. I am always on the quest to turn the first holiday
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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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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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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 leg up

food detective
Categories: Poultry, Dinner for Two, Supper, Dinner Party, Posted on October 22, 2019 by Sandy Bergsten
All news is not fake news. Take this recipe by Alison Roman that I discovered in my NYT Weeknight Dinner news feed. This chicken dish, with its the complex flavors that come together in less than half an hour on a single sheet pan, is the real deal. It is really easy to prepare and really, really delicious. Most of the New York Time recipes are fo
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home in no time

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Poultry, Dinner for Two, Supper, Sources, Posted on October 6, 2019 by Sandy Bergsten
Yesterday fall finally arrived. I was so excited to pull on one of my favorite sweaters and take Wille for a brisk walk along the lake. That cool fresh air roused my appetite for something equally cozy. Is there anything more comforting than homemade chicken pot pie? Just the other day that dish popped up in a conversation with friends. We all
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