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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the show must go on

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Appetizers, Soups, Grains and Pasta, Cocktail Party, Posted on August 19, 2013 by Sandy Bergsten
Entertaining is all about planning an event ahead of time. So when life throws you a curveball or even a cannon ball what’s a hostess to do? The answer often lies in the reason you were having folks over in the first place. If tragedy hits there’s no shame in canceling, your guests will certainly understand. But most of the time we entertain so we
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vertical dinner party

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Appetizers, Soups, Meat, Grains and Pasta, Desserts, Cocktail Party, Dinner Party, Sources, Posted on June 22, 2013 by Sandy Bergsten
Just taught my first class at DLM’s Cooking School. What a blast! The theme was a “vertical dinner party”. Many of the students arrived wondering what that term actually meant. Truth is I made it up, but it’s my go-to version of a pumped up cocktail party. When you want to entertain a crowd but are pinched for space, time or money instead of a
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summer sleuth

food detective
Categories: Grains and Pasta, Veggies and Sides, Supper, Dinner Party, Posted on June 10, 2013 by Sandy Bergsten
I am shameless when in hot pursuit of a recipe. But procuring someone’s secret dish usually takes time and clandestine skill. Most people need to be gently coerced and it often takes several attempts, gleaning small pieces at each swipe until just like a jigsaw it falls perfectly into place. One of my husband and my favorite spots is Deep Springs
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