hot summer daze

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Appetizers, Salads and Dressings, Soups, Fish and Seafood, Veggies and Sides, Dinner Party, Sources, Fête Fact, Posted on July 22, 2019 by Sandy Bergsten - Comments (2)
Baby it’s hot outside.  Our prewar apartment on Lake Michigan has so much charm, but no central air or personal outdoor space. We do have a few strategically placed portable air conditioner units, but with endless days in the in high 90’s it’s a little warm inside. So, what’s a girl to do when she planned a party a month ago? Time to put her menu
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ham it up

food detective
Categories: Appetizers, Salads and Dressings, Meat, Cocktail Party, Lunch, Posted on February 17, 2019 by Sandy Bergsten
Happy Chinese New Year- it’s the year of the pig! What perfect timing that I stumbled upon the following recipe. One of my personal new year’s resolutions is to finally go through all my old cooking magazines that have literally been piling up for decades. And while I’ve been feeling some Marie Kondo pressure to simply pitch them all, I’m glad I
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toss up

food detective
Categories: Salads and Dressings, Dinner for Two, Supper, Dinner Party, Lunch, Posted on June 26, 2018 by Sandy Bergsten
Being active in my local and national garden club has many benefits. One that always thrills and delights me is when we are invited to lunch. I rarely go to lunch. Since I retired from teaching, my noon day fare is usually something I can piece together out of the frig or a bite on the road. So, when an invitation to a proper lunch comes my way I
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best dressed

food detective
Categories: Salads and Dressings, Dinner for Two, Supper, Dinner Party, Lunch, Posted on October 17, 2017 by Sandy Bergsten
Here’s a trio of dressings that will literally steal the scene. One bite and you’ll never reach for their bottled understudies again. The best part… you won’t believe how easy they are to prepare! So whip up one or all three, they’ll last for a week in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Seriously- who doesn’t love ranch dressing?
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total eclipse of the heart

food detective
Categories: Salads and Dressings, Breads, Pizza, Tarts, Eggs, Supper, Lunch, Breakfast/Brunch, Sources, Well Equipped, Fête Fact, Posted on August 31, 2017 by Sandy Bergsten
As the countdown for the eclipse approached, I wondered how best to mark this extraordinary event. The moon was scheduled to block out the sun at 2:28 on Monday afternoon. Not the time I typically entertain. Then an idea came to me the night before just like a flash in the dark. With my Amazon procured ISO certified glasses in hand, I asked my
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you say tomato…

food detective
Categories: Salads and Dressings, Veggies and Sides, Dinner for Two, Supper, Dinner Party, Lunch, Sources, Posted on August 21, 2017 by Sandy Bergsten
One of the best things about living in Ohio in August is the abundance of freshly picked tomatoes. You can actually smell their sweet ripeness from afar. These beauties need little adornment… a pinch of salt, a grind of pepper, a splash of good olive oil and perhaps a drizzle of fine balsamic. This simple tomato salad really doesn’t need a
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swing into spring

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Salads and Dressings, Soups, Fish and Seafood, Grains and Pasta, Veggies and Sides, Desserts, Dinner Party, Fête Fact, Posted on April 18, 2017 by Sandy Bergsten
Just taught an evening class at Dorothy Lane Market’s Culinary Center. The theme was “spring soiree”. While nature is popping up and showing its face, it’s time for us to shake off our winter hibernation and do the same. Spring is the perfect time to reconnect with friends and feature some of the best the season has to offer. The class was a
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in the bag

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Salads and Dressings, Dinner for Two, Dinner Party, Lunch, Well Equipped, Posted on January 9, 2017 by Sandy Bergsten
New year, new resolutions. Some might want to eat healthier, simplify, entertain more. Here’s a recipe to check the box on all three. A big bowl of healthy greens is a welcome sight at any gathering. But serving salad to a crowd can be challenge. It’s hard to toss without having everything fly out of the bowl. And once dressed the leaves seem to
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hail caesar

food detective
Categories: Salads and Dressings, Supper, Lunch, Posted on October 16, 2016 by Sandy Bergsten
I love reading the food section of the New York Times. It’s a welcome break to the whirl of today’s headlines. Turning the pages I’m thrilled to discover a recipe for something that should be relatively easy to make, but for some reason never quite turns out. Imagine my excitement when I saw a feature article for the perfect Caesar salad. I’ve
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in a pickle

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Salads and Dressings, Breads, Pizza, Tarts, Veggies and Sides, Sauces and Such, Posted on October 4, 2016 by Sandy Bergsten
I have to be honest- my past experience with Ball jars was to either use one as a vase or as a glass for a dark and stormy. Never in my wildest dreams would I ever consider actually canning something. I was afraid that I wouldn’t sterilize the jars properly, seal the lids correctly, and whoever consumed what was in them might
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