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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what the devil

what we're cooking
Categories: Appetizers, Eggs, Dinner for Two, Supper, Lunch, Posted on April 24, 2020 by Sandy Bergsten
I truly missed all of our holiday traditions this spring. Mass at our church nestled in the San Jacinto mountains. Our annual adult Easter egg sprint in the backyard. Then a divine brunch up the hill. I’ve been longing for family, rituals and if I’m really honest with myself- deviled eggs. Deviled eggs are one of those things that just seem to
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a little shocking

what's for dinner
Categories: Soups, Grains and Pasta, Dinner for Two, Supper, Lunch, Posted on April 13, 2020 by Sandy Bergsten
We are certainly living in turbulent times. Some more than others. My heart goes out to those and their loved ones affected with the virus and to all on the frontlines keeping us safe. While Covid 19 deservedly dominates the news, there have been a few things occurring around our country that are not making our collective newsfeed.  For example,
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entertaining in the age of social distancing

the virtual gathering
Categories: Soups, Dinner for Two, Supper, Well Equipped, Fête Fact, Posted on March 28, 2020 by Sandy Bergsten
It’s a little surreal writing an entertaining blog when we’re being asked to “shelter in”. Three weeks ago I felt like I needed to make food I could bunker in with. I busied myself with filling my freezer and frig. But then as life’s milestones continued… my firstborn’s 30th birthday, my baby’s engagement, and the pending arrival of our third
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take comfort

what's for dinner
Categories: Grains and Pasta, Dinner for Two, Supper, Well Equipped, Posted on March 17, 2020 by Sandy Bergsten
If you’re feeling on edge you are not alone. Sitting idlily with the newscasts running and our phones pinging isn’t helping. So how about a little distraction that’s part preparedness? One of my all-time favorite comfort foods is homemade mac and cheese. This creamy concoction with a crisp edge is sure to soothe the weariest of souls. An added
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no… regrets

food detective
Categories: Salads and Dressings, Breads, Pizza, Tarts, Eggs, Supper, Lunch, Breakfast/Brunch, Well Equipped, Posted on March 1, 2020 by Sandy Bergsten
Last year when we downsized, I went full out Marie Kondo. Purging felt exhilarating. Unpacking things that only brought me joy elating. Walking by air filled closets and half full drawers energizing. Then as the months passed, a few things tugged at my heartstrings and sensibilities. I have to be honest, I have a few regrets. People who know me
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a fast break

hostess with the mostest hotel
Categories: Grains and Pasta, Breads, Pizza, Tarts, Eggs, Breakfast/Brunch, Fête Fact, Posted on February 18, 2020 by Sandy Bergsten
The best part of having a vacation home is that people come to stay with you. One of the challenges is figuring out how to feed all of those vacationers in a way that doesn’t make you feel like hotel staff. Three meals a day for three days or more is a tall order. Breakfast for a crowd is my Achilles heel. It doesn’t matter how early I wake up
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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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put yourself in the equation

simple truths to unleash your entertaining potential
Categories: Fête Fact, Posted on January 6, 2020 by Sandy Bergsten
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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