partial prelude

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Fish and Seafood, Grains and Pasta, Veggies and Sides, Supper, Dinner Party, Sources, Posted on April 29, 2013 by Sandy Bergsten - Comments (1)
Some nights things seem to come together perfectly. Last weekend we had one such evening. A great group and a meal that was comforting and light and fresh. Grilled scampi and sautéed spinach topped last Saturday night’s grit soufflé. Prepping and partially cooking both ahead of time makes this home down dinner come together in a matter of minutes.
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southern solace

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Grains and Pasta, Supper, Dinner Party, Breakfast/Brunch, Posted on April 22, 2013 by Sandy Bergsten - Comments (0)
Family and friends are the best tonic to counter a week of devastating headlines. With our loved ones scattered across the country one of my husband and my biggest blessings is that we have friends nearby that feel just as close as relations. Thankfully this past Saturday night we already had two such couples on the books for a laid back dinner.
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take your time

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Grains and Pasta, Sauces and Such, Dinner Party, Sources, Posted on March 24, 2013 by Sandy Bergsten - Comments (0)
In a world of texts and tweets we can fall victim to the illusion that anything is instantly available. Some things in life to take time to develop. Consider the evolution of a friendship or a simmering ragu. Time and genuine attention can alter what is seemingly simple into the truly sublime. As fate would have it last Friday night we had the
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bare all

food detective
Categories: Grains and Pasta, Sauces and Such, Supper, Dinner Party, Posted on January 28, 2013 by Sandy Bergsten - Comments (1)
Sometimes you want to try something new, what safer way than with a pair of old friends. Hunkering down for a snowy supper with a roaring fire and just one other couple is my idea of the perfect Saturday night. It’s also the perfect opportunity to skate out on thin ice with a new recipe. There are a few dishes I wish I could successfully make
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night before christmas

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Appetizers, Fish and Seafood, Poultry, Grains and Pasta, Veggies and Sides, Desserts, Dinner Party, Sources, Posted on December 24, 2012 by Sandy Bergsten - Comments (0)
As for many with adult children our holidays are looking more like a sprawl. This year we must divide and conquer. All this entertaining demands that memorable meals come together with a minimum of last minute effort. For selfishly I want to be with those I love, not tied to my overused stove. Here’s the first of our three “Christmas” dinners.
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it’s all greek(ish) to me

what's for dinner
Categories: Salads and Dressings, Poultry, Grains and Pasta, Veggies and Sides, Dinner for Two, Supper, Posted on October 22, 2012 by Sandy Bergsten - Comments (0)
Busy week, busy day. What to have for dinner? Greek burgers and Israeli couscous with roasted grape tomatoes and basil. My take on Greek excludes lamb. Not sure why but I can’t stomach it. Lamentably lamb was the celebratory meal of choice in my first husband’s family. Because he was the last of five to marry there was lots to celebrate.
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bumper crop

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Grains and Pasta, Sauces and Such, Posted on October 15, 2012 by Sandy Bergsten - Comments (0)
One of the joys of summer is an abundance of fresh herbs growing right outside the kitchen door. Toward the end of the season some have gone to seed, others have turned into lanky vines but almost without fail my basil plants seem to vie for a starring role in a Miracle Grow ad. Spring’s seedlings have turned into autumnal bushes and with the first
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all choked up

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Fish and Seafood, Grains and Pasta, Veggies and Sides, Dinner Party, Posted on September 17, 2012 by Sandy Bergsten - Comments (0)
Took my baby to the airport. I’m as predictable as Old Faithful. The waterworks starting misting up days ago. My maternal tears can be quite disarming. Pity the person who encountered me on the first day of preschool, the back roads of New Hampshire after I dropped my little ones off at summer camp, or heaven forbid the airport when they went off
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welcome home

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Salads and Dressings, Grains and Pasta, Supper, Dinner Party, Posted on September 10, 2012 by Sandy Bergsten - Comments (0)
We all have those meals that conjure up memories of home. It’s usually the first request of one’s first night. I remember being a freshman at the University of Michigan and my dorm mates reminiscing about the first dinner they had when they went home for Thanksgiving break. Meatloaf, spaghetti, fried chicken. Everyone wanted to know what my mom
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game day

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Salads and Dressings, Poultry, Grains and Pasta, Desserts, Dinner Party, Posted on June 29, 2012 by Sandy Bergsten
The big day finally arrives. The house is clean, tables set, music laid out, serving dishes in their place, bar is stocked, nametags printed. The freezer and frig hold all the components for tonight’s dinner for twenty. The beauty of this meal is that it is served room temp. Meaning I can set it all out right before the first guests arrive
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