hot summer daze

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Appetizers, Salads and Dressings, Soups, Fish and Seafood, Veggies and Sides, Dinner Party, Sources, Fête Fact, Posted on July 22, 2019 by Sandy Bergsten - Comments (2)
Baby it’s hot outside.  Our prewar apartment on Lake Michigan has so much charm, but no central air or personal outdoor space. We do have a few strategically placed portable air conditioner units, but with endless days in the in high 90’s it’s a little warm inside. So, what’s a girl to do when she planned a party a month ago? Time to put her menu
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pre-reception

entertaining with style- making it work for you
Categories: Appetizers, Cocktail Party, Fête Fact, Posted on June 24, 2019 by Sandy Bergsten
How fun that my daughter and her husband were going to be in town for a wedding the weekend of their first anniversary. Turns out the ceremony they were coming in for was uptown at three and the reception downtown at six, leaving a bit of a gap.  Lucky me that our new apartment happens to lie right in between. So my daughter and I decided to have
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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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wheelhouse

entertaining with style- making it work for you
Categories: Appetizers, Cocktail Party, Fête Fact, Posted on May 23, 2019 by Sandy Bergsten
In my last post I mentioned how important it is to have a handful of go-to recipes that always work for you. With those up your sleeve you will never shy away from having people over. So many times people think they need to cook up something new or extravagant when they entertain. The truth is when you have a party it’s the guest list that most
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a tale of two tables

entertaining with style- making it work for you
Categories: Fish and Seafood, Grains and Pasta, Veggies and Sides, Dinner Party, Fête Fact, Posted on May 14, 2019 by Sandy Bergsten
Well we moved. Twice.  As I navigate the sea of boxes, I will say there is a certain excitement in unwrapping the boxes and seeing my treasures. I’m going to give myself a little credit, I did a good job of packing up which in turn has made unpacking almost fun. The tricky part was dismantling an old renovated farm house and divvying up our
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turning the page

entertaining with style- making it work for you
Categories: Fête Fact, Posted on April 13, 2019 by Sandy Bergsten
How many of you know that poignant feeling that rises up when you finish a really, really good book? I almost cried when I put down “Where the Crawdads Sing”. Tears did roll down my cheeks as I closed “Bel Canto” and “The Art of Hearing Heartbeats”. One of my greatest pleasures is reading a truly well written, beautifully crafted work of fiction.
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make it your own

food detective
Categories: Appetizers, Cocktail Party, Sources, Fête Fact, Posted on December 8, 2018 by Sandy Bergsten
The other night I was over at my dear friends Maggie and Richard’s for a drink. They truly are entertainers extraordinaire. Their home is so welcoming, their cocktails such fun, and their hors d’oeuvres divine. Those two really know how to make a guest feel special. As Richard poured a wonderful white burgundy in his crisp white apron, Maggie
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go west young man

food detective
Categories: Sources, Fête Fact, Posted on November 26, 2018 by Sandy Bergsten
A few months ago, my husband mentioned that it might be fun to drive from Ohio to our home in California. He had never driven across the country and it was on his bucket list. Driving 2,312 miles in a car with a dog was never on mine. But as time passed I warmed to the idea. I had never been to many of those states and if we took a slight detour we
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two from the sidelines

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Veggies and Sides, Sauces and Such, Dinner Party, Fête Fact, Posted on November 11, 2018 by Sandy Bergsten
It’s that time of year. People you love gather. And whether you are hosting a turkey dinner for twenty or a more intimate affair here are a couple tried and true sides guaranteed to add holiday sparkle to any table. No one needs to know you can make these both weeks ahead of time then strategically pull them out of your freezer on the big day.
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get cracking

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Fish and Seafood, Sauces and Such, Dinner for Two, Dinner Party, Sources, Fête Fact, Posted on October 28, 2018 by Sandy Bergsten
Each October I travel to Florida to help my dad get settled back into his house after his summer up north. It’s truly a labor of love, filled with a myriad of to-do lists and even more laughs. Don’t get me started on our perennial wrangle over the open condiments he always seems to leave in his refrigerator for five months. That said, I keep my
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