presto pesto- three weeks and counting

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Grains and Pasta, Sauces and Such, Dinner Party, Posted on May 25, 2012 by Sandy Bergsten
For a large party once you’ve established the guest list, sketched out the menu, and sent out the invites it’s time to make what you can ahead of time to stow in your freezer. Pesto is an invaluable deep freeze staple. It can be made weeks or months ahead of
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first night post flight

the hostess with the mostest hotel
Categories: Appetizers, Meat, Grains and Pasta, Desserts, Dinner Party, Posted on May 1, 2012 by Sandy Bergsten - Comments (0)
The afternoon’s conversations drift from children to jobs and table to lounge chairs. Minted Arnold Palmers give way to Pete’s 22 Ice Cube Margaritas. And if you know my dad, as these girls most certainly do, when he says twenty-two ice cubes he means it. Guac and my food detective’s
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say it isn’t soy

the hostess with the mostest hotel
Categories: Grains and Pasta, Supper, Dinner Party, Posted on April 26, 2012 by Sandy Bergsten - Comments (0)
One of our house guests observes a gluten free diet. Being out of the gluten loop I decided to go to the source. The Mayo Clinic defines a gluten-free diet as one that excludes the protein gluten found in grains such as wheat, barley and rye. The prohibited list went
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cheering from the sideline

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Meat, Grains and Pasta, Veggies and Sides, Dinner Party, Posted on April 20, 2012 by Sandy Bergsten - Comments (0)
Time to sing the Italian praises of Marcella Hazan once again. Not only does she hold your hand though each intricate step of Italian prep, she walks you through the entire menu offering suitable sides for each dish. When you have lovingly basted and braised for half a day (as
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merci buco

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Meat, Grains and Pasta, Veggies and Sides, Dinner Party, Well Equipped, Wine Line, Posted on April 13, 2012 by Sandy Bergsten - Comments (0)
With a momentary chill in the air and foodies on the calendar this might be the last possible weekend to serve up ossobuco. Big note- the following is not for the faint of heart. These braised veal shanks take most of the day to prepare. But while you will spend
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italian lifeline

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Meat, Grains and Pasta, Dinner Party, Wine Line, Posted on March 18, 2012 by Sandy Bergsten - Comments (0)
Nothing beats having a top chef on speed dial. Lucky for me mine is a die-hard Italian with a prowess for texting. When I’m in a Tuscan pinch I can always count on Paul Minnillo to lend me a virtual hand. For a small dinner party it can be fun
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if it looks like a duck

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Poultry, Grains and Pasta, Veggies and Sides, Cocktail Party, Sources, Posted on January 27, 2012 by Sandy Bergsten - Comments (0)
Weeknight business dinners call for quick thinking and definite pre-prepping. The key is finding something impressive that won’t wreak havoc on your kitchen or midweek schedule. Duck confit is one of my all time favorites. Before we moved it was my go-to comfort food at Fire, our standing Friday night
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turning point

the hostess with the mostest hotel
Categories: Appetizers, Fish and Seafood, Grains and Pasta, Desserts, Dinner Party, Posted on January 3, 2012 by Sandy Bergsten - Comments (0)
Can’t believe my baby is turning twenty. To celebrate we are having a houseful in our desert home. Family tradition dictates that the birthday girl picks the meal- or in this case meals. Tonight the request is pistachio pesto with grilled shrimp. One of the challenges of a vacation home
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lose the cookies

what to bring
Categories: Grains and Pasta, Posted on December 10, 2011 by Sandy Bergsten - Comments (0)
Seriously who needs another plate of sweets. Next time think outside of the bakery box when it comes to hostess treats. Remember this summer’s bumper crop of basil, and its subsequent marathon session of pesto? Try reaching into your freezer and bring a present that will truly delight. During the
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in good company

perfecting the “done before they arrive” dinner party- a work in progress
Categories: Meat, Grains and Pasta, Desserts, Dinner Party, Posted on October 14, 2011 by Sandy Bergsten - Comments (0)
Tonight I am having some new friends who are on the fast track to becoming dear ones. Thought it only appropriate to pull a treasured cookbook off the shelf. Opening one of Marcella Hazan’s invaluable references is like having an Italian great-aunt guiding you in the kitchen. For the American
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