chilly turn of events

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Appetizers, Cocktail Party, Dinner Party, Posted on October 11, 2021 by Sandy Bergsten - Comments (2)
The upside to having our refrigerator go on the fritz was that a new and improved one took its place. The previous was a stainless counter depth model. The outside was sleek and streamlined, inside it was beyond shallow, the freezer almost nonexistent. You could barely squeeze a plastic container of greens into one of the two miniscule drawers.
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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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in no time flat

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Grains and Pasta, Dinner for Two, Supper, Dinner Party, Posted on August 30, 2021 by Sandy Bergsten - Comments (2)
I love the vibe of Sunday supper. Dinner on the last day of the week tends to be casually welcoming and comforting. A little like that black sundress you can dress up or down. I’ve been meaning to have a few of our neighbors over and I wanted it to be an easy but memorable affair.  I had the idea to whip up some flatbread pizzas for the main and
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practice makes perfect

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Meat, Veggies and Sides, Sauces and Such, Dinner Party, Sources, Well Equipped, Fête Fact, Posted on July 6, 2021 by Sandy Bergsten
A few weeks ago, after returning to Chicago we had our first dinner party. I was so excited to plan the menu, at long last set our table for more than two, and prep for the evening. I thought I had it all planned out perfectly. Turns out I was more than a little out of practice. I hate when I have people over and I find myself stranded in the
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picking sides

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Salads and Dressings, Grains and Pasta, Veggies and Sides, Dinner for Two, Supper, Dinner Party, Posted on June 20, 2021 by Sandy Bergsten
This Fourth of July we are staying in the city. Thought it might be fun to invite some friends over to celebrate our country’s independence and relish in our now chilly dining room courtesy of our newly installed AC unit. Just because you are an apartment dweller doesn’t mean you can’t have an indoor barbeque. The key is figuring out what to
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seize the season

food detective
Categories: Fish and Seafood, Dinner for Two, Supper, Dinner Party, Posted on June 5, 2021 by Sandy Bergsten
When I returned to Chicago, I was delighted to discover that the second-floor markets at Eataly had reopened. What a treat to once again see the cases filled with aged beef, homemade pastas, a world of cheeses and charcutier, the freshest of fish. I felt like a little kid window shopping at Christmas. It was liberating to do something that felt
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layer up

food detective
Categories: Grains and Pasta, Dinner for Two, Supper, Dinner Party, Posted on May 9, 2021 by Sandy Bergsten
Now a nod to my northern friends, who have hopefully put away their snow shovels for good. This spring has been a roller coaster for many reasons, the weather being one of those swinging pendulums. Here’s a recipe that is as comforting as a favorite sweater and light enough to enjoy whatever the season. Adjectives such as airy and delicate
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louie louie

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Salads and Dressings, Fish and Seafood, Dinner for Two, Supper, Dinner Party, Lunch, Posted on April 25, 2021 by Sandy Bergsten
We had our second dinner party, and it was an absolute blast. Not really sure if it was truly that fun, or if it just seemed that way because we hadn’t had a new person over in well, over a year. It’s like that new mom who goes out for the first time, crams herself into an outfit she has no business wearing, and thinks she’s the life of the party
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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
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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house always wins

food detective
Categories: Salads and Dressings, Dinner for Two, Supper, Dinner Party, Lunch, Posted on February 16, 2021 by Sandy Bergsten
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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