chop chop

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Appetizers, Meat, Veggies and Sides, Desserts, Dinner Party, Wine Line, Posted on February 25, 2013 by Sandy Bergsten - Comments (1)
Nothing thaws the February blues like a cozy dinner party. The key to making an intimate dinner a success is being out with your guests not locked in the kitchen. Easy to do when your entire meal is planned and prepped ahead of time. Think of yourself as a caterer-
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the big… countdown

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Appetizers, Fish and Seafood, Meat, Veggies and Sides, Sauces and Such, Desserts, Beverages, Dinner Party, Wine Line, Posted on November 11, 2012 by Sandy Bergsten - Comments (0)
Saturday I turned the big five-oh. And what better way to herald this milestone then a cozy dinner for twelve the night before. One of the best presents this girl could ask for is a table full of dear friends laughing, toasting and thoroughly enjoying themselves. Want to know a
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homeward bound

what's for dinner
Categories: Meat, Veggies and Sides, Dinner for Two, Supper, Posted on October 8, 2012 by Sandy Bergsten - Comments (0)
In the past two weeks I’ve been to Chicago, Martha’s Vineyard, Washington DC, New York City, and Cleveland. The food lineup has been impressive. Highlight’s include the signature hamachi sashimi at Macku’s on North Clybourn, the chowder at Larsen’s Fish Market in Chilmark, the six course tasting menu at Marcel’s
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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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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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christmas on the fly

perfecting the done before they arrive party- a work in progress
Categories: Appetizers, Meat, Breakfast/Brunch, Posted on December 24, 2011 by Sandy Bergsten - Comments (0)
About to kidnap all five kids for our first destination holiday, really shaking things up this holiday season. That said there are circumstances that are certainly sacrosanct, so stockings are stuffed and tucked in my bag (six in all because the big guy would be bummed if he was left
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excess baggage

what's for dinner- cooking for two
Categories: Meat, Dinner for Two, Sources, Posted on November 29, 2011 by Sandy Bergsten - Comments (1)
Who thought it was possible for me to OD on unpasteurized cheese, foie gras, wild mushrooms and eggs. A reality check when we returned to US Customs and the only thing I had to declare was approximately seven pounds. The meals we had (twenty-three in all) have left me satiated.
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that elusive date

perfecting the done before they arrive dinner party- a work in progress
Categories: Meat, Veggies and Sides, Desserts, Dinner Party, Posted on November 18, 2011 by Sandy Bergsten - Comments (2)
We’ve all said it, “would love to have you over for dinner- let’s get a date on the calendar”. With each additional couple the improbability of finding an open night increases exponentially. Instead of settling on a common weekend in a month, we find ourselves flipping through the seasons. Last
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