shot in the arm

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Fish and Seafood, Veggies and Sides, Sauces and Such, Dinner for Two, Supper, Dinner Party, Well Equipped, Posted on April 11, 2021 by Sandy Bergsten - Comments (0)
Getting that second vaccine dose was like a heavy door unlocking. It was almost surreal allowing myself to think of possibilities and the thought of making plans. I was so excited to invite our first guests over for dinner. And erring on the side of caution, and because we are in southern California, I knew we could dine outside. What I didn’t
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for the love of cod

cooking for one... or two
Categories: Soups, Dinner for Two, Supper, Lunch, Sources, Posted on March 15, 2021 by Sandy Bergsten - Comments (0)
A dear friend is writing her second book. She reached out because she hit a roadblock and wanted my opinion. She is brilliant in the way she can take extremely complex topics and break them down in a way that ordinary people can grasp. Her dilemma was between being “true” to the essence of her subject and being perceived as dumbing it down so the a
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house always wins

food detective
Categories: Salads and Dressings, Dinner for Two, Supper, Dinner Party, Lunch, Posted on February 16, 2021 by Sandy Bergsten - Comments (0)
Why are the simple things often the most difficult to replicate? Take salad dressings. I’ve pretty much mastered a perfect balsamic vinaigrette, a creamy caesar dressing, a wonderful emulsified dressing you can make for a crowd, and a nostalgic thousand island. You can find them all by clicking on the “recipe” tab on the upper right bar of this
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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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round the wall

cooking for one... or two
Categories: Fish and Seafood, Dinner for Two, Supper, Dinner Party, Posted on January 16, 2021 by Sandy Bergsten
Who else is hitting the pandemic wall? The endless news feed, the lack of clarity and organization on the vaccine rollout, and being housebound with a fractured ankle is causing burnout. I really, really miss walking my dog.  Grabbing the leash, throwing on my shoes, pounding the pavement, letting fresh air fill my lungs, allowing my mind to clear
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breaking point

cooking for one... or two
Categories: Grains and Pasta, Dinner for Two, Supper, Dinner Party, Posted on January 2, 2021 by Sandy Bergsten
I just got some news (I know so many have had much worse- they’ve lost loved ones, lost jobs, lost their homes). For me, it turns out after almost two years and a recent MRI I have a stress fracture of my interior talus. It’s the major weight bearing bone in the ankle. It’s the one that supports your entire body. The day before Christmas I
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the games we play

food detective
Categories: Meat, Dinner for Two, Supper, Dinner Party, Sources, Posted on December 21, 2020 by Sandy Bergsten
Other than hugging those I love, diving into a sumptuous meal at a table that’s not my own is probably what I miss most. Include people to the one I’ve been quarantined with for the past ten months and I just might fall down and faint. Some eat to live, I must say I live to eat. My past travels have frequently been influenced by potential meals.
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shelter from the storm

cooking for one... or two
Categories: Soups, Dinner for Two, Supper, Lunch, Posted on December 4, 2020 by Sandy Bergsten
Whether you’re getting slammed by Jack Frost or being asked to shelter-in-place, right now might be the perfect time to make a big pot of chili.  I love my recipe, it’s a nourishing meaty stew that gets its sweetness from carrots and red bell peppers. The best part is that it freezes beautifully. So go ahead and make a double batch.
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home for the holidays

cooking for one... or two
Categories: Appetizers, Dinner for Two, Cocktail Party, Dinner Party, Posted on November 23, 2020 by Sandy Bergsten
Well this holiday season certainly isn’t like any other. And while you won’t be having the usual crowd over to your home, that doesn’t mean you can’t entertain yourself in style. One of the best things about freezable hors d’oeuvres is that you can pull out a few just for you or for those in your bubble. You must try my cheddar tartlets
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taking sides

cooking for one... or two
Categories: Veggies and Sides, Dinner for Two, Supper, Dinner Party, Posted on November 7, 2020 by Sandy Bergsten
What a week. How about taking a break from all the divisiveness and embrace a side that really gets along? And because your tank is probably running on fumes, cut yourself some slack and take a quick trip down the freezer and pantry aisle for an accompaniment that will simultaneously comfort and wow.   There is a reason there is an idiom for
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