taste of summer

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Appetizers, Soups, Fish and Seafood, Meat, Veggies and Sides, Desserts, Dinner Party, Sources, Wine Line, Posted on August 28, 2015 by Sandy Bergsten
Last week I was the guest chef at Moraine Country Club. We decided on a tasting menu to showcase all the season had to offer. It was such fun working with the staff and being back in a professional kitchen. As I uniformly chopped crates of vegetables for my gazpacho for sixty and wrestled the massive Hobart mixer the memories came flooding back.
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twice as good

food detective
Categories: Meat, Veggies and Sides, Supper, Dinner Party, Posted on April 28, 2015 by Sandy Bergsten
In our family the birthday girl dictates the celebratory meal. Most often the menu features bacon wrapped grilled fillets, asparagus or broccoli tossed with lemon and the ever-present twice-baked potato. But as the girls have grown so have their palettes. On a recent trip to Whole Foods in Palm Desert they were offering samples of crispy
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first things first

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Salads and Dressings, Veggies and Sides, Dinner Party, Posted on March 19, 2015 by Sandy Bergsten
Want to make your next dinner party a bit exceptional? Consider serving multiple courses. Contrary to common belief it’s easier than you think. The trick is in choosing the right dishes. You always want your first course to complement your entrée. So let’s say you are serving beef as your main you might want to feature fish first. If serving fish
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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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seven year itch

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Meat, Grains and Pasta, Veggies and Sides, Dinner for Two, Dinner Party, Sources, Posted on October 12, 2014 by Sandy Bergsten
My hubby and I just celebrated our seventh wedding anniversary. I can’t tell you how fortunate I am to be able to spend my days with such a remarkable person. Years ago I thought a solid marriage filled with unconditional love would be just beyond my reach. But then almost a decade ago Dave came into my life. How incredibly fortunate that I would
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grill on

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Meat, Veggies and Sides, Supper, Dinner Party, Sources, Posted on June 30, 2014 by Sandy Bergsten
Can’t believe tomorrow is July. That said it is time to get your grill on! One of the things I like best about grilling is that most things need to be marinated and that means prepped and placed in a bag hours ahead of time. Another little secret is that most grilled meats should sit for at least fifteen minutes. And if that’s the case then why not
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côte à côte

food detective
Categories: Veggies and Sides, Supper, Dinner Party, Sources, Posted on October 28, 2013 by Sandy Bergsten
The other day I was pushing my cart down the frozen food aisle at Trader Joes when my eye spied the most adorable carrots. These frozen little gems looked just like teeny pumpkins in a frost. I had a flashback to my catering days in the 1970’s when turned vegetables (or tournage de legumes) were all the rage. If you’ve never turned a vegetable you
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italian breakdown

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Salads and Dressings, Veggies and Sides, Supper, Dinner Party, Posted on October 21, 2013 by Sandy Bergsten
Homegrown tomatoes still grace the shelves at the market though there is a distinct chill in the air. And while it’s not quite sweater weather I find myself craving comfort food. Time to figure out a way to bridge the seasons with a meal that is as comforting as cashmere but light enough to stand up to these last nights of Indian summer. I adore
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listen up

food detective
Categories: Veggies and Sides, Supper, Dinner Party, Sources, Posted on September 22, 2013 by Sandy Bergsten
Thomas Keller’s ears should be burning. I have been raving nonstop about his killer creamed corn recipe. It is literally off the chart. The secret it turns out is freshly grated lime zest and big spritz of lime juice. Combine this with just picked sweet corn and you’re hard pressed to find a more sensational side. Living in southern Ohio there is
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