don’t try this at home

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Appetizers, Cocktail Party, Posted on November 20, 2013 by Sandy Bergsten -
don’t try this at home

Last summer the Dorothy Lane Market School of Cooking asked me if I would teach a few classes on holiday entertaining. One of the things I’m well known for are my amazing hors d'oeuvres that seem to come together with relatively little effort, so a November class on make ahead canapés seemed perfect. I sent off nine recipes that could either be
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major coup

food detective
Categories: Salads and Dressings, Dinner for Two, Supper, Dinner Party, Lunch, Posted on November 5, 2013 by Sandy Bergsten -
major coup

Nothing beats Saturday night supper for four. As fortune would have it my husband and I were invited for such a dinner last weekend. And to up the ante, not only were our host and hostess delightful friends but incredible cooks. Simmering bolognese greeted us we entered, letting us know we were in for a real treat. But what caught me by surprise
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côte à côte

food detective
Categories: Veggies and Sides, Supper, Dinner Party, Sources, Posted on October 28, 2013 by Sandy Bergsten -
côte à côte

The other day I was pushing my cart down the frozen food aisle at Trader Joes when my eye spied the most adorable carrots. These frozen little gems looked just like teeny pumpkins in a frost. I had a flashback to my catering days in the 1970’s when turned vegetables (or tournage de legumes) were all the rage. If you’ve never turned a vegetable you
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italian breakdown

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Salads and Dressings, Veggies and Sides, Supper, Dinner Party, Posted on October 21, 2013 by Sandy Bergsten -
italian breakdown

Homegrown tomatoes still grace the shelves at the market though there is a distinct chill in the air. And while it’s not quite sweater weather I find myself craving comfort food. Time to figure out a way to bridge the seasons with a meal that is as comforting as cashmere but light enough to stand up to these last nights of Indian summer. I adore
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fall to pieces

entertaining with style- making it work for you
Categories: Setting the Stage, Posted on October 6, 2013 by Sandy Bergsten -
fall to pieces

My day job has been competing with my care job, leaving little space for anything else. I can tell my battery is really run down. In times like these I know it’s important to carve out a few moments to take a beat and see the beauty that is all around us. So last weekend I decided to take a break and go to the farmers market. I was stunned that the
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listen up

food detective
Categories: Veggies and Sides, Supper, Dinner Party, Sources, Posted on September 22, 2013 by Sandy Bergsten -
listen up

Thomas Keller’s ears should be burning. I have been raving nonstop about his killer creamed corn recipe. It is literally off the chart. The secret it turns out is freshly grated lime zest and big spritz of lime juice. Combine this with just picked sweet corn and you’re hard pressed to find a more sensational side. Living in southern Ohio there is
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easy as pie

something in a snap
Categories: Desserts, Dinner Party, Posted on September 12, 2013 by Sandy Bergsten -
easy as pie

Last night some of our dearest friends from Cleveland came down for dinner and to spend the night. I knew I’d want to maximize catching up and minimize running around. So when it came to dessert I almost bagged it. But for some reason presenting a little something special at the end of the night makes it… well, special. So here’s a sweet secret
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raise the bar

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Beverages, Cocktail Party, Setting the Stage, Wine Line, Posted on September 3, 2013 by Sandy Bergsten -
raise the bar

When entertaining you agree to do three things: provide you guests with something to eat, something to drink, and the opportunity to be merry. The easiest part of planning a party should be the beverages. Most folks make this step complicated by thinking they need to come up with some snazzy signature cocktail. Few will be happy with your frozen
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a bite of summer

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Appetizers, Cocktail Party, Posted on August 29, 2013 by Sandy Bergsten -
a bite of summer

Fast, fresh and full of color and flavor. One of the best parts of living in Ohio during the summer is the abundance of home grown tomatoes. I can’t get enough of caprese salad. Thick slices of juicy tomatoes, creamy burratta cheese, slivered freshly picked basil, a pinch of kosher salt and a big grind of pepper. Heaven. So when putting my menu
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the show must go on

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Appetizers, Soups, Grains and Pasta, Cocktail Party, Kitchen Tenets, Posted on August 19, 2013 by Sandy Bergsten - Comments (0)
the show must go on

Entertaining is all about planning an event ahead of time. So when life throws you a curveball or even a cannon ball what’s a hostess to do? The answer often lies in the reason you were having folks over in the first place. If tragedy hits there’s no shame in canceling, your guests will certainly understand. But most of the time we entertain so we
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