into the woods

food detective
Categories: Appetizers, Veggies and Sides, Dinner for Two, Cocktail Party, Sources, Posted on August 31, 2020 by Sandy Bergsten - Comments (2)
On a recent trip to the Evanston’s farmers market I spotted these gorgeous “hen of the wood” mushrooms. If they sprouted legs and a beak you could almost imagine they would start to scratch and strut amongst the stands.  Personal disclaimer- what often looks inspirational at the farmers market frequently turns out to be a bomb in my kitchen.
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just what the doctor ordered

cooking for one... or two
Categories: Beverages, Cocktail Party, Breakfast/Brunch, Sources, Posted on July 5, 2020 by Sandy Bergsten
I don’t know about you, but some days I could really use a drink. Most times it’s a crisp glass of white wine while I’m preparing dinner. But I’ll confess on rare occasions I’ve craved a little something a little earlier. Properly doctored, a bloody mary is the perfect tonic. A fitting connotation to accompany brunch, lunch or dinner. Suitably garn
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summer daze

cooking for one... or two
Categories: Salads and Dressings, Fish and Seafood, Dinner for Two, Supper, Lunch, Sources, Eating Out, Posted on June 21, 2020 by Sandy Bergsten
Is July really around the corner? Lately I’ve been reminiscing about summers past. Top on that list were the parents’ weekends at my girls’ summer camp in New Hampshire. Another highpoint- the lobster rolls at George’s. There’s nothing quite like a lobster shack roll. And while they’re almost impossible to replicate, I’ve discovered a suitable home
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an american great

inspiration
Categories: Breads, Pizza, Tarts, Dinner for Two, Supper, Dinner Party, Breakfast/Brunch, Sources, Posted on June 7, 2020 by Sandy Bergsten
“One of the greatest pleasures of my life has been that I have never stopped learning about Good Cooking and Good Food.” ― Edna Lewis. Just as Julia Child enlightened the American home cook to French cuisine, and Marcella Hazan to Italian, Edna Lewis is a central pillar in our culinary landscape, one who helped define the American view of Southern
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breakfast is served

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Breads, Pizza, Tarts, Eggs, Breakfast/Brunch, Sources, Posted on December 14, 2019 by Sandy Bergsten
I’m not sure about you, but with a houseful over the holidays breakfast can really throw me for a loop. It doesn’t matter how well prepared I am, it’s as if the clock moves double time. I never quite get it together, and then all of a sudden, my ho ho ho begins to slip into a mumbled bah humbug. I am always on the quest to turn the first holiday
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the spread before the spread

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Appetizers, Cocktail Party, Dinner Party, Sources, Fête Fact, Posted on December 3, 2019 by Sandy Bergsten
Here’s a holiday quandary- when the pressure is on to put on a lavish holiday meal what can you serve beforehand that will simultaneously delight your guests and not push you over the edge? Disclaimer Thanksgiving dinner is not one of my favorites. Don’t get me wrong, I adore having my house and table brimming with family and friends. It’s just al
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gem of a weekend

food detective
Categories: Appetizers, Salads and Dressings, Veggies and Sides, Supper, Dinner Party, Sources, Eating Out, Fête Fact, Posted on November 18, 2019 by Sandy Bergsten
Two weeks ago, the stars aligned, and my college roommates and I finally got together for the first time in over seven years. Upon seeing each other it was if the last thirty-eight years literally melted away. What a tonic for each of our souls. We laughed, we reminisced, we held one another, and of course we ate (disclaimer: there was also a litt
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the date that got away

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Appetizers, Cocktail Party, Sources, Fête Fact, Posted on November 5, 2019 by Sandy Bergsten
it’s one thing to misplace your reading glasses, completely another to space on the fact that you’re hosting a party. That happened to me last week. Months ago, my daughter at Northwestern business school thought it would be fun to invite some of her classmates over for a cocktail party. At the time I thought so too. Then life happened.
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home in no time

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Poultry, Dinner for Two, Supper, Sources, Posted on October 6, 2019 by Sandy Bergsten
Yesterday fall finally arrived. I was so excited to pull on one of my favorite sweaters and take Wille for a brisk walk along the lake. That cool fresh air roused my appetite for something equally cozy. Is there anything more comforting than homemade chicken pot pie? Just the other day that dish popped up in a conversation with friends. We all
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put yourself at the table

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Appetizers, Meat, Veggies and Sides, Sauces and Such, Desserts, Dinner Party, Sources, Fête Fact, Posted on September 21, 2019 by Sandy Bergsten
Isn’t it fun going to those upscale gourmet grocers and walking past their cases filled with amazing prepared fare? While tempting, picking up an entire dinner party that way can cost a small fortune. So, what should you do when you want the convenience of having everything made well in advance but you either want to showcase your own cooking and
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