new heights

food detective
Categories: Sauces and Such, Dinner for Two, Dinner Party, Eating Out, Posted on May 28, 2024 by Sandy Bergsten
Certain milestones deserve distinct celebration. As our new reality gave way to a new location, I knew I would need to find a proper place to ring in my husband’s 70th. Those who know Dave, know he loves his “brown” liquids. Luckily our new hometown is home to High West Distillery. What I didn’t know was that they have this lovely little cottage
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change in perspective

a moment in time
Categories: Beverages, Dinner for Two, Cocktail Party, Dinner Party, Posted on April 30, 2024 by Sandy Bergsten
It’s crazy how an unforeseen event can turn your entire life in a different direction. At the end of February, I had to jump on a plane to attend to a family matter. Five days there I received a hysterical phone call that our apartment in Chicago was ruined. I had trouble understanding the urgency of what might have happened. I tried to reassure
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no baloney

food detective
Categories: Appetizers, Breads, Pizza, Tarts, Supper, Cocktail Party, Dinner Party, Lunch, Posted on December 19, 2023 by Sandy Bergsten
Mortadella, an emulsified pork sausage that’s been a staple for centuries in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy, has become a recent rage. You’ll find it gracing charcuterie boards, elevating every sandwich it’s tucked into, and even whipped to create a transcendent canapé. One of my favorite spots outside of Los Angeles is Milkfarm, an artisanal
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ear today…

food detective
Categories: Soups, Dinner for Two, Supper, Dinner Party, Lunch, Posted on October 16, 2023 by Sandy Bergsten
Last week it seemed like summer might just be here to stay. Then mother nature took an about face. Temps plunged, skies darkened, and freezing rain arrived as the cold winds began to blow. Sadly, that meant summer’s bounty was soon to hibernate. I don’t know why I am always surprised when the stalls at the farmers market dwindle. While you might
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raise a glass

food detective
Categories: Beverages, Dinner for Two, Supper, Cocktail Party, Dinner Party, Posted on September 8, 2023 by Sandy Bergsten
Summer 2023 has had undeniable highs and a few rocky lows. Rather than lift a half-glass of rosé and whine, let me share a libation that has allowed me to toast the bounty of this summer season. This watermelon margarita is perfectly balanced- slightly sweet, just enough acid, and a smokey kick mezcal instead of tequila. The pureed fresh
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figs & pigs

food detective
Categories: Appetizers, Dinner for Two, Cocktail Party, Dinner Party, Posted on July 9, 2023 by Sandy Bergsten
It’s a wrap! Recently I had two puff pastry requests. One was to bring my pigs in a blanket to a friend’s cookout. The other was to come up with a recipe for a fig in a blanket that a friend had at a cocktail reception and claimed was divine. At the barbeque my buddy was doing a blind tasting of several different strip steaks. One was prime
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hitting the green

food detective
Categories: Appetizers, Cocktail Party, Dinner Party, Posted on June 13, 2023 by Sandy Bergsten
It feels like I’ve traveled more in the past three weeks than I have in the last three years. And I have to say it has been a blast! I surprised my husband with a trip to the PGA in Rochester, NY. An amazing Garden Club of America Annual Meeting flower show in Columbus, Ohio. And a very special luncheon in LA to shower my youngest and her soon to
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al fresco

dinner for two
Categories: Fish and Seafood, Veggies and Sides, Dinner for Two, Dinner Party, Sources, Posted on March 20, 2023 by Sandy Bergsten
Last week those of us in California got a brief respite from the atmospheric river that has been relentlessly raining down. I seized the moment, heated up the pool and whipped together a dinner for two to enjoy out on the patio. A first since November. My love affair with my husband’s grill continues. (You might be asking who did I give that
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cherry on the top

food detective
Categories: Meat, Sauces and Such, Dinner for Two, Supper, Dinner Party, Well Equipped, Posted on January 8, 2023 by Sandy Bergsten
This holiday season I decided to turn up the heat and give my husband something really hot… a new gas grill. It was a real upgrade from our thirty-five-year-old dinosaur that came with our house. I had so much fun reaching out to my favorite grill masters from across the country for their advice and input (thank you all!) I settled on the Weber
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holidate

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Appetizers, Cocktail Party, Dinner Party, Posted on December 27, 2022 by Sandy Bergsten
How about a little mangia trois to ring in the new year? It’s easy to make a splash with this trio. Whether you’re hosting a crowd, being a gracious guest, or ringing in the new year by yourselves these three recipes are super simple and never cease to impress. For each recipe you can make the components a day before, assemble them earlier in
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