judge this

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Dinner Party, Sources, Well Equipped, Kitchen Tenets, Posted on May 21, 2012 by Sandy Bergsten - Comments (1)
judge this

Tonight I am having twenty over for dinner. And to raise the bar these guests are some of the leading horticulture, flower arranging and photography judges in our country. So not only do I need to have an expert meal for this esteemed group everything inside and outside needs to be looking it’s finest as well. Planning a fete such as this takes
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in like a lamb

food detective
Categories: Salads and Dressings, Posted on May 17, 2012 by Sandy Bergsten - Comments (0)
in like a lamb

Some of the best things in life are the simplest. This holds true for the tender gentle green- mache. Also known as lamb’s lettuce this tiny dark green leaf from France with it’s nutty flavor is making a big flavor splash here in the United States. Because it is a low grower and must be hand cultivated it makes it a challenge for mass production.
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circle that date

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Soups, Breads, Pizza, Tarts, Dinner Party, Well Equipped, Posted on May 10, 2012 by Sandy Bergsten - Comments (0)
circle that date

Months ago we inquired if friends could come over for dinner. As we scrolled through our collective calendars weeks turned into months, we finally settled on Saturday May 5th. In February when I tapped the event into my iPhone who knew that our date harbored two minor holidays- Cinco de Mayo and the Kentucky Derby. When this potential conflict
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don’t let the sunshine fool you

the hostess with the mostest hotel
Categories: Fish and Seafood, Veggies and Sides, Dinner Party, Wine Line, Posted on May 3, 2012 by Sandy Bergsten - Comments (0)
don’t let the sunshine fool you

Loaded into the Mercury Grand Marquis, armed with water and sunglasses we headed west to Joshua Tree Park. Past the alien-like windmills of Whitewater and north toward the national park the temperature readout on our dash the size of a park bench dropped with each mile. A quick pit stop greeted us with 35 mile winds and plunging 51 degree temps
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first night post flight

the hostess with the mostest hotel
Categories: Appetizers, Meat, Grains and Pasta, Desserts, Dinner Party, Posted on May 1, 2012 by Sandy Bergsten - Comments (0)
first night post flight

The afternoon’s conversations drift from children to jobs and table to lounge chairs. Minted Arnold Palmers give way to Pete’s 22 Ice Cube Margaritas. And if you know my dad, as these girls most certainly do, when he says twenty-two ice cubes he means it. Guac and my food detective’s rendition of Salsa Attack Salsa are the evening’s preamble.
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ladies lunch and the cabana boy

the hostess with the mostest hotel
Categories: Poultry, Lunch, Posted on April 28, 2012 by Sandy Bergsten - Comments (0)
ladies lunch and the cabana boy

Today marks the arrival of my college roommates. Not a typical fan of girls’ night out, and certainly not of its extended version (women being best served with a generous dose of men) this trio is an exceptional exception. My hubby was supposed to be away for business but changed his plans when he heard who was coming, and why not these are
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say it isn’t soy

the hostess with the mostest hotel
Categories: Grains and Pasta, Supper, Dinner Party, Factoids, Posted on April 26, 2012 by Sandy Bergsten - Comments (0)
say it isn’t soy

One of our house guests observes a gluten free diet. Being out of the gluten loop I decided to go to the source. The Mayo Clinic defines a gluten-free diet as one that excludes the protein gluten found in grains such as wheat, barley and rye. The prohibited list went on for three pages. I was pretty sure I didn’t have any Triticale or bulgar
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creating the playbook

the hostess with the mostest hotel
Categories: Dinner Party, Lunch, Breakfast/Brunch, Kitchen Tenets, Posted on April 24, 2012 by Sandy Bergsten - Comments (0)
creating the playbook

One of the wonderful things about having a vacation spot is that people you love want to come stay with you. The challenge is how to enjoy yourself with a houseful of house guests. Almost anyone can act like a short order cook and housekeeper but who wants to visit that. I’ve never played football but I like football movies. In every one
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cheering from the sideline

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Meat, Grains and Pasta, Veggies and Sides, Dinner Party, Posted on April 20, 2012 by Sandy Bergsten - Comments (0)
cheering from the sideline

Time to sing the Italian praises of Marcella Hazan once again. Not only does she hold your hand though each intricate step of Italian prep, she walks you through the entire menu offering suitable sides for each dish. When you have lovingly basted and braised for half a day (as with ossobuco) the last thing you want are complicated accompaniments.
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merci buco

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Meat, Grains and Pasta, Veggies and Sides, Dinner Party, Well Equipped, Wine Line, Posted on April 13, 2012 by Sandy Bergsten - Comments (0)
merci buco

With a momentary chill in the air and foodies on the calendar this might be the last possible weekend to serve up ossobuco. Big note- the following is not for the faint of heart. These braised veal shanks take most of the day to prepare. But while you will spend more hours in the kitchen then out the beauty of these tender cuts is that they can
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