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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dolce vita

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Sauces and Such, Desserts, Supper, Dinner Party, Sources, Posted on March 13, 2016 by Sandy Bergsten
One of the best parts of throwing a party is in the planning. I get a certain thrill when all the components begin to come together. From the menu to the seating chart, it’s a culinary “words with friends”. I knew I wanted to do something a little different for a business dinner my husband and I were hosting. The challenge was creating something
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the great pretender

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Veggies and Sides, Sauces and Such, Dinner Party, Sources, Fête Fact, Posted on November 21, 2015 by Sandy Bergsten
This time of year almost everyone wants to know what I’m going to make for Thanksgiving. If truth be told I would reply, “reservations”. While I cherish spending time with my family, I am not a huge turkey-day fan. First off there are way too many pots and pans. Everything needs to be simmered and whipped and baked and roasted. There’s the turkey
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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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