listen up

food detective
Categories: Grains and Pasta, Dinner for Two, Supper, Dinner Party, Posted on August 9, 2016 by Sandy Bergsten
My husband and I could eat fresh-picked sweet corn every single day. But just like those truly vine ripened tomatoes the season will soon be over. So I was super excited when I discovered a new way to enjoy these fresh picked ears in the New York Times. The food section had an intriguing recipe featuring orecchiette with a fresh corn sauce. Orecch
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garden party

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Appetizers, Soups, Grains and Pasta, Cocktail Party, Fête Fact, Posted on July 25, 2016 by Sandy Bergsten
Cocktails in the garden- what fun! But for a midweek party do you simply serve a nibble and a drink or do you offer up something a little more substantial? When you’re having a larger group for cocktails it’s sometimes hard to navigate how much food to serve. The answer came to me on a recent trip to a party supply store. As I was looking for
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don’t rest on your laurels

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Grains and Pasta, Veggies and Sides, Supper, Dinner Party, Posted on May 27, 2016 by Sandy Bergsten
Some times life contains a lot of “too”, as in “and she cooks too”. The national flower show I was co-chairing blew in like a southern storm, then shone brightly on our city, and left as quickly as it came. It was such an incredible event. We had twenty-six judges come in from around the country to judge over two hundred horticulture, floral design
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pearls of wisdom

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Grains and Pasta, Veggies and Sides, Supper, Dinner Party, Sources, Fête Fact, Posted on February 27, 2016 by Sandy Bergsten
Want to whip up something extraordinary in no time flat? Simply toss some out of the ordinary ingredients together to create a dish that is sure to impress. If you’ve never tried Israeli couscous you are missing out. Sometimes called pearl couscous or ptitm, these small, round, pasta-like granules are made from semolina and wheat flour. Unlike
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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 novels. I have a stack of cookbooks on my bedside table.
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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 husband and I wanted to have a certain group over for dinner
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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 a decade ago Dave came into my life. How incredibly fortunate that I would
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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 a puppy to momentarily turn your world happily upside down. So when
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party line

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Appetizers, Soups, Meat, Grains and Pasta, Cocktail Party, Dinner Party, Setting the Stage, Posted on July 21, 2014 by Sandy Bergsten
How do you pull a party off in a matter of minutes? The answer is by planning and prepping everything weeks, months and hours ahead of time. The secret to successful entering is in the pre-work. There is actually a direct correlation between the amount of time you put into planning and the ease with which your party comes off. Knowing we wanted to
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reboot

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Grains and Pasta, Sauces and Such, Supper, Dinner Party, Posted on April 29, 2014 by Sandy Bergsten
There are times when your battery is so low it’s unable to hold a charge. Last week my husband and I headed west to our house in the desert. It wasn’t until the third day that I realized how utterly drained I’ve been. This long winter has had more than it’s share of loss. Each time I’ve attempted to apply myself to some project I’ve succeeded only
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