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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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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different can be good

cooking for one... or two
Categories: Fish and Seafood, Grains and Pasta, Dinner for Two, Supper, Posted on September 27, 2020 by Sandy Bergsten
I can’t believe we just celebrated our 13th wedding anniversary. There are days when it seems like we were married yesterday. There are so many things I adore about my husband. His boyish smile and heartfelt laugh certainly top the list. He’s absolutely brilliant and possesses the gentlest and truest of hearts. If I had to pick one of my favorite
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summer daze

cooking for one... or two
Categories: Salads and Dressings, Fish and Seafood, Dinner for Two, Supper, Lunch, Sources, Eating Out, Posted on June 21, 2020 by Sandy Bergsten
Is July really around the corner? Lately I’ve been reminiscing about summers past. Top on that list were the parents’ weekends at my girls’ summer camp in New Hampshire. Another highpoint- the lobster rolls at George’s. There’s nothing quite like a lobster shack roll. And while they’re almost impossible to replicate, I’ve discovered a suitable home
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maximize what you do best

simple truths to unleash your entertaining potential
Categories: Fish and Seafood, Veggies and Sides, Dinner Party, Fête Fact, Posted on January 20, 2020 by Sandy Bergsten
In entertaining (and in life) certain principles hold true. For example, we should all strive to acknowledge our unique strengths and realize our own limitations. Maximizing what you do best and outsourcing where you fall short will help you succeed wherever you set your mind. Here that means entertaining others in a way that is actually enjoyable.
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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
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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eat this

food detective The other night we stopped by my cousin’s in Lincoln Park for a glass of wine before heading out to dinner. She had a wonderful spread of cured meats and the most amazing fresh ricotta. My husband and I couldn’t wait to find out where she got it. Turns out there is an Eataly in Chicago. It’s a 12-minute drive from my apartment. And if you spend
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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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goodbye old friend

entertaining with style- making it work for you
Categories: Fish and Seafood, Poultry, Meat, Dinner for Two, Supper, Dinner Party, Sources, Posted on April 25, 2019 by Sandy Bergsten
You know how you sometimes take some of the best things for granted? They always seem to be there, so you assume they always will. The other day I had a panic attack as I realized I had just signed a lease for an apartment on Lake Shore Drive in Chicago. Overlooking Belmont Harbor, it has views of Lake Michigan but no personal outdoor space.
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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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