end on a high note

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Desserts, Dinner Party, Fête Fact, Posted on September 13, 2021 by Sandy Bergsten - Comments (1)
I take joy in setting a beautiful table. I love my bone china, sterling and crystal. Creating a place for my guests to sit infused with grace is a simple pleasure.  Many keep their finest tucked away and out of reach. I believe our beautiful things are there to be enjoyed. And with the exception of my silver, I put almost all of it in the
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weigh in

food detective
Categories: Desserts, Dinner for Two, Supper, Dinner Party, Lunch, Sources, Well Equipped, Posted on January 30, 2021 by Sandy Bergsten
How about something sweet?  I’ll confess I’m not much of a baker. My birthday cakes are endearingly lopsided and zucchini bread eternally crestfallen. What I’ve come to realize is that cooks and bakers are wired differently.  Bakers tend to follow recipes to the law and measure precisely. Us in the cook-camp like to add a pinch of this and bit of
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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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first fête

entertaining with style- making it work for you
Categories: Appetizers, Desserts, Cocktail Party, Breakfast/Brunch, Setting the Stage, Fête Fact, Posted on June 9, 2019 by Sandy Bergsten
So excited for my first Chicago party. My youngest, who is in business school at Northwestern, wanted to invite some of her classmates over to meet me and see the apartment before they took off for their summer internships. With my husband and I driving back across the country the week before, time was going to be too tight to pull off a proper
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a fool for you

making it for two
Categories: Desserts, Dinner for Two, Supper, Dinner Party, Posted on July 9, 2018 by Sandy Bergsten
How often do you find a great recipe only to discover it’s scaled for a crowd? In this next series entitled “making it for two” I am going to pare down not only the ingredients but also the prep time so that cooking for two won’t take an eternity. Leaving you more time to spend time with the one you love. My sweet husband has an incredible sweet
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life is sweet

food detective
Categories: Desserts, Dinner for Two, Dinner Party, Lunch, Breakfast/Brunch, Well Equipped, Posted on June 9, 2018 by Sandy Bergsten
Many of you will be reading this on June 13th, the day my bi-monthly email blast goes out and wonder what the heck is she doing making cheesecake when her daughter is getting married in three days! I assure you I didn’t wake up at 5 AM to make these little bites. I made them the week before. Experimenting in the kitchen is one of the ways I unwind
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april (snow) showers

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Desserts, Posted on April 17, 2018 by Sandy Bergsten
It’s April 17th and I woke to my flower beds covered in a blanket of snow. As I put on my boots and hat and mittens to take my dog Willie out, we were greeted with frigid winds and pelting hail. I don’t know about you but I’m ready for a weather change. And while we can’t do a thing to influence Mother Nature, here's a way to bring a little
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eat a peach

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Desserts, Dinner for Two, Supper, Dinner Party, Posted on September 17, 2017 by Sandy Bergsten
With temps finally falling and farm fresh stone fruit still available, now is the perfect time to pop a crisp in the oven. It couldn’t be simpler with this easy to do, adjustable recipe. No need to bake for the masses, with this recipe you make exactly what you want. And the best part- you can make a large batch of the topping and pop it in the
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summer’s bounty

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Soups, Meat, Veggies and Sides, Desserts, Dinner Party, Posted on July 25, 2017 by Sandy Bergsten
My last cooking class at Dorothy Lane Marker’s Culinary Center was so much fun. We had a great group, plenty of farm fresh ingredients, and a lineup of recipes that could be done almost entirely ahead of time. Let’s face it- if you’re going to have people over you want to be out with your guests, not stuck in the kitchen. The theme was
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on board

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Soups, Poultry, Grains and Pasta, Veggies and Sides, Desserts, Dinner Party, Lunch, Sources, Setting the Stage, Posted on May 30, 2017 by Sandy Bergsten
​Last Wednesday I hosted a luncheon for the Garden Club of Dayton’s Executive Board. To mark our final meeting of the year and to show this group of amazing ladies how much I appreciate them I wanted to make it extra special. Serving multiple courses is a sure way to show you care. But while you want to make your meal memorable you certainly
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