summer’s bounty

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Soups, Dinner for Two, Supper, Dinner Party, Posted on June 20, 2015 by Sandy Bergsten - Comments (1)
Is there anything better than waking up on a summer Saturday, grabbing a big cup of coffee and heading off to the local farmer’s market? That scenario is tops in my book. Second on the list- the cascading menu that tumbles out of my orange collapsible picnic tote. What better
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twice as good

food detective
Categories: Meat, Veggies and Sides, Supper, Dinner Party, Posted on April 28, 2015 by Sandy Bergsten
In our family the birthday girl dictates the celebratory meal. Most often the menu features bacon wrapped grilled fillets, asparagus or broccoli tossed with lemon and the ever-present twice-baked potato. But as the girls have grown so have their palettes. On a recent trip to Whole Foods in Palm Desert
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it’s all greek to me

food detective
Categories: Fish and Seafood, Grains and Pasta, Supper, Dinner Party, Posted on April 1, 2015 by Sandy Bergsten
My step-daughter and her chef boyfriend gave me the best cookbook for Christmas, Prune by Gabrielle Hamilton. I love the way the book appears to be a copy of her cooking manifest for her restaurant, complete with hand written notes in the margins. Personally I read cookbooks like others read
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first things first

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Salads and Dressings, Veggies and Sides, Dinner Party, Posted on March 19, 2015 by Sandy Bergsten
Want to make your next dinner party a bit exceptional? Consider serving multiple courses. Contrary to common belief it’s easier than you think. The trick is in choosing the right dishes. You always want your first course to complement your entrée. So let’s say you are serving beef as your
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good reason

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Salads and Dressings, Grains and Pasta, Dinner Party, Sources, Setting the Stage, Wine Line, Posted on February 8, 2015 by Sandy Bergsten
One of the most fun aspects of entertaining can sometimes be one of the most challenging- the reason to throw a party. Some are obvious such as birthdays, showers, and graduations. But where can you draw inspiration when an event seems elusive? I found myself with just this challenge. My
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love at first bite

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Desserts, Supper, Dinner Party, Sources, Posted on January 10, 2015 by Sandy Bergsten
Falling head over heels doesn’t have to be complicated, especially when you have crazy good ingredients. Here is a truly decadent dessert that is easy as one, two, three. I don’t have much of a sweet tooth but I make an exception for Pure Madness peppermint bark. It truly is
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pick your battles

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Veggies and Sides, Sauces and Such, Supper, Dinner Party, Posted on November 23, 2014 by Sandy Bergsten
When my husband and I are empty nesters for Thanksgiving we have a “poultry-free” meal. It is extravagant and decadent. When our offspring come home to roost for the holiday it is a full out Norman-Rockwell-esque extravaganza. Cooking a traditional Thanksgiving dinner is not my idea of a fun time.
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If it looks like a duck…

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Poultry, Veggies and Sides, Sauces and Such, Supper, Dinner Party, Sources, Posted on November 9, 2014 by Sandy Bergsten
The October issue of Bon Appetit had a feature article on partying like our parents. The take away was that entertaining matters—“that rallying your friends together is essential, that being a generous host is one of the most fulfilling things you can do, and that at the end of the
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seven year itch

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Meat, Grains and Pasta, Veggies and Sides, Dinner for Two, Dinner Party, Sources, Posted on October 12, 2014 by Sandy Bergsten
My hubby and I just celebrated our seventh wedding anniversary. I can’t tell you how fortunate I am to be able to spend my days with such a remarkable person. Years ago I thought a solid marriage filled with unconditional love would be just beyond my reach. But then almost
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puppy party

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Salads and Dressings, Poultry, Grains and Pasta, Dinner Party, Posted on July 30, 2014 by Sandy Bergsten
Here’s an adorable excuse for a party. Last spring when life was feeling bleak we adopted a little Norwich terrier. This loveable pup was a show dog reject (he developed a slight overbite and could no longer compete.) His minor loss was our certain gain. And there is nothing like
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