in the pink

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Soups, Dinner Party, Wine Line, Posted on August 7, 2012 by Sandy Bergsten - Comments (0)
Having a business associate over for a midweek dinner. Time to keep it light, fresh and fast. Summer suppers stir up images of chilled soup and garden-fresh greens. How about a flash from the past- chilled borscht coupled with airy crab cakes? Here is a beet soup that has stood the test of time. In fact it’s the very recipe I served at my wedding
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don’t let the sunshine fool you

the hostess with the mostest hotel
Categories: Fish and Seafood, Veggies and Sides, Dinner Party, Wine Line, Posted on May 3, 2012 by Sandy Bergsten - Comments (0)
Loaded into the Mercury Grand Marquis, armed with water and sunglasses we headed west to Joshua Tree Park. Past the alien-like windmills of Whitewater and north toward the national park the temperature readout on our dash the size of a park bench dropped with each mile. A quick pit stop greeted us with 35 mile winds and plunging 51 degree temps
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merci buco

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Meat, Grains and Pasta, Veggies and Sides, Dinner Party, Well Equipped, Wine Line, Posted on April 13, 2012 by Sandy Bergsten - Comments (0)
With a momentary chill in the air and foodies on the calendar this might be the last possible weekend to serve up ossobuco. Big note- the following is not for the faint of heart. These braised veal shanks take most of the day to prepare. But while you will spend more hours in the kitchen then out the beauty of these tender cuts is that they can
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italian lifeline

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Meat, Grains and Pasta, Dinner Party, Wine Line, Posted on March 18, 2012 by Sandy Bergsten - Comments (0)
Nothing beats having a top chef on speed dial. Lucky for me mine is a die-hard Italian with a prowess for texting. When I’m in a Tuscan pinch I can always count on Paul Minnillo to lend me a virtual hand. For a small dinner party it can be fun to reach out of your comfort zone and take a culinary excursion to a different time zone. Tonight we’re
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toasting in the new year

perfecting the done before they arrive party- a work in progress
Categories: Appetizers, Cocktail Party, Wine Line, Posted on December 29, 2011 by Sandy Bergsten - Comments (0)
Nothing quite wraps up the old and heralds in the new like caviar and champagne. Who can resist this dynamic duo. Whether it’s for a crowd or for something a little more intimate.Trader Joe’s does a bang up job on delivering bling without breaking the bank. I am impressed with their American paddlefish caviar. Equally so with their Louise d’Estree
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friendly fire

perfecting the “done before they arrive” dinner party- a work in progress
Categories: Appetizers, Soups, Meat, Desserts, Dinner Party, Wine Line, Posted on November 5, 2011 by Sandy Bergsten - Comments (0)
Blue jeans, a roaring fire and just one other couple. Now that’s my kind of Friday night. After a flurry of business it’s great to be able to let down your hair and soak in your company. It’s also a perfect opportunity to do a test run on any key components for next week’s dinner for twelve.
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triple crown

perfecting the “done before the arrive” dinner party- a work in progress
Categories: Appetizers, Salads and Dressings, Fish and Seafood, Poultry, Grains and Pasta, Veggies and Sides, Dinner Party, Wine Line, Posted on September 25, 2011 by Sandy Bergsten - Comments (0)
Entertaining you want to take some risks but also hedge a few bets. Old wines are a wild card. You can dust them off, stand them up, but until you uncork them what they hold is an unknown- could be a home run or has-been. Most often there is little in between.
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stand at attention

perfecting the “done before the arrive” dinner party- a work in progress
Categories: Appetizers, Dinner Party, Wine Line, Posted on September 20, 2011 by Sandy Bergsten - Comments (0)
Saturday night we are going to have a little wine dinner at our house. I have a few oldies and hopefully goodies tucked away (beside some carpet remnants and folding chairs – you’ll find no pictures of my “cellar” on my iPhone.)The fun in having an evening that revolves around wine is in the planning. And plan you must.
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accept with pleasure

perfecting the done before they arrive dinner party- a work in progress
Categories: Salads and Dressings, Soups, Breads, Pizza, Tarts, Dinner Party, Wine Line, Posted on July 10, 2011 by Sandy Bergsten - Comments (0)
Many dinner guests ask if they can bring something. Don’t be shy- take them up on their kind offer. Consider your weak suit (or as I say to my consulting clients your “growth edge”). Personally I love when a guest brings dessert or an appetizer. With those bookends out of the way
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silver lining

resurrecting the cocktail party- i’ll drink to that
Categories: Appetizers, Cocktail Party, Wine Line, Posted on July 6, 2011 by Sandy Bergsten - Comments (0)
Remember that old camp song- “make new friends but ke-ee-ep the old, one is silver and the other’s gold”? One of the perks of moving to a new town is that it forces you to make new friends. Thankfully I’ve found some real gems. An added bonus is that one of my favs loves champagne. My cute husband doesn’t care for it- which has left things
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