open season

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Fish and Seafood, Sauces and Such, Dinner Party, Sources, Well Equipped, Posted on October 24, 2015 by Sandy Bergsten
A definite perk to helping my dad move back to Florida each year is that it almost always coincides with the opening day of stone crab season. Last week I almost spilled my coffee when I heard on the local news that fisherman were allowed to set their traps that day in the Gulf of Mexico. When I shared that report with my dad it didn’t take much
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simply sauced

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Sauces and Such, Supper, Dinner Party, Well Equipped, Posted on October 10, 2015 by Sandy Bergsten
Purists might cringe when they read this post, the rest may jump for joy when they discover how easy it is to make a dynamic duo of sauces for grilled filets or beef tenderloin. I never know which guests will prefer with their steak- horseradish sauce or béarnaise. Honestly I like a little of both. What I don’t enjoy is trying to make a
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pick your battles

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Veggies and Sides, Sauces and Such, Supper, Dinner Party, Posted on November 23, 2014 by Sandy Bergsten
When my husband and I are empty nesters for Thanksgiving we have a “poultry-free” meal. It is extravagant and decadent. When our offspring come home to roost for the holiday it is a full out Norman-Rockwell-esque extravaganza. Cooking a traditional Thanksgiving dinner is not my idea of a fun time. Too much prep, too many dishes, not enough oven
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If it looks like a duck…

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Poultry, Veggies and Sides, Sauces and Such, Supper, Dinner Party, Sources, Posted on November 9, 2014 by Sandy Bergsten
The October issue of Bon Appetit had a feature article on partying like our parents. The take away was that entertaining matters—“that rallying your friends together is essential, that being a generous host is one of the most fulfilling things you can do, and that at the end of the night, it really is worth all the effort.” I couldn’t agree more.
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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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brutal winter

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Fish and Seafood, Sauces and Such, Sources, Eating Out, Posted on February 16, 2014 by Sandy Bergsten
This one has been one for the record books. Polar plunges. Incredible ice storms. And my dear mom’s heath battle. She is a fighter and a champ, but like this winter it’s been a relentless rollercoaster. It’s hard to find your footing when you feel like you’re constantly skating on thin ice. Having my folks so far away has been difficult. They are
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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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healthy start

food detective
Categories: Appetizers, Sauces and Such, Cocktail Party, Well Equipped, Posted on January 7, 2013 by Sandy Bergsten - Comments (0)
New year, new resolutions. Who doesn’t have lightening up on their docket? The trick to making it stick is to load up on flavor and texture. Santa brought my girls a slow extraction juicer. We’ve been whirling and pulverizing spinach, kale, turnips, carrots and the like. It certainly tastes healthy- I’ll give you that. But I decided to use my own
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sweet treat

what to bring
Categories: Sauces and Such, Desserts, Posted on December 9, 2012 by Sandy Bergsten - Comments (0)
Tis the season to share with those you care. And what better way than with a homemade token of your appreciation? I find sweets are best delivered in small packages. Here is a rich indulgence that’s guaranteed to delight, super dark and slightly salty. The best thing- you can whip up a batch in less than 15 minutes. The key here is to use top shelf
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