starts and finishes

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Appetizers, Desserts, Cocktail Party, Dinner Party, Posted on March 3, 2013 by Sandy Bergsten - Comments (0)
What’s more special than an array of irresistible nibbles to begin and end an evening? With a small group it’s easy to splurge. So pull out the stops and create an assortment of delectable bites to greet your guests and send them on their way. Here are some distinctive bookends
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chop chop

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Appetizers, Meat, Veggies and Sides, Desserts, Dinner Party, Wine Line, Posted on February 25, 2013 by Sandy Bergsten - Comments (1)
Nothing thaws the February blues like a cozy dinner party. The key to making an intimate dinner a success is being out with your guests not locked in the kitchen. Easy to do when your entire meal is planned and prepped ahead of time. Think of yourself as a caterer-
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night before christmas

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Appetizers, Fish and Seafood, Poultry, Grains and Pasta, Veggies and Sides, Desserts, Dinner Party, Sources, Posted on December 24, 2012 by Sandy Bergsten - Comments (0)
As for many with adult children our holidays are looking more like a sprawl. This year we must divide and conquer. All this entertaining demands that memorable meals come together with a minimum of last minute effort. For selfishly I want to be with those I love, not tied to
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sweet treat

what to bring
Categories: Sauces and Such, Desserts, Posted on December 9, 2012 by Sandy Bergsten - Comments (0)
Tis the season to share with those you care. And what better way than with a homemade token of your appreciation? I find sweets are best delivered in small packages. Here is a rich indulgence that’s guaranteed to delight, super dark and slightly salty. The best thing- you can whip
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all the trimmings

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Veggies and Sides, Desserts, Supper, Dinner Party, Posted on November 26, 2012 by Sandy Bergsten - Comments (1)
Traditionally my husband and I celebrate a poultry-free Thanksgiving. Oft times we find ourselves flying solo, usually at our desert home near Palm Springs. On such an iconic Thursday night we will sit among the stars with our pool lights twinkling and feast on something spectacular. But this year heralded
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the big… countdown

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Appetizers, Fish and Seafood, Meat, Veggies and Sides, Sauces and Such, Desserts, Beverages, Dinner Party, Wine Line, Posted on November 11, 2012 by Sandy Bergsten - Comments (0)
Saturday I turned the big five-oh. And what better way to herald this milestone then a cozy dinner for twelve the night before. One of the best presents this girl could ask for is a table full of dear friends laughing, toasting and thoroughly enjoying themselves. Want to know a
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marooned

food detective
Categories: Desserts, Dinner Party, Lunch, Breakfast/Brunch, Posted on October 29, 2012 by Sandy Bergsten - Comments (0)
Just wrapped up a one-week excursion to visit my youngest who is studying abroad in Granada Spain. With planes, trains and automobiles we arrived in this sleepy Andalucía city. As we pulled into the picturesque Hopspes Palacio de los Patos these weary travelers were greeted with one of the best
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wipe out

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Appetizers, Desserts, Cocktail Party, Dinner Party, Sources, Posted on July 16, 2012 by Sandy Bergsten - Comments (0)
With power out for five days my frig and freezer were a complete loss. Needless to say it’s time to restock, and not just with milk and mayo. Entertaining with success means planning ahead. Easy to do with a well-stocked freezer. Nothing beats “bookends” you can pull out of the
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cookie crumbles

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Desserts, Dinner Party, Posted on July 4, 2012 by Sandy Bergsten - Comments (0)
The party doesn’t stop just because the lights go out. Last Friday we got slammed with an unbelievable storm. Winds over 100 miles an hour and temps in the triple digits. Like many we lost power. Five days later and it’s still out. Weather be damned an invitation still stands
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game day

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Salads and Dressings, Poultry, Grains and Pasta, Desserts, Dinner Party, Posted on June 29, 2012 by Sandy Bergsten
The big day finally arrives. The house is clean, tables set, music laid out, serving dishes in their place, bar is stocked, nametags printed. The freezer and frig hold all the components for tonight’s dinner for twenty. The beauty of this meal is that it is served room temp. Meaning
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