a fresh perspective

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Veggies and Sides, Dinner for Two, Supper, Dinner Party, Posted on March 1, 2022 by Sandy Bergsten
Many welcome the new year with self-improvement. For some its dry-anuary (not this girl) or a new fitness program (I already have a good one in place). For me, I decided I’d embrace forward-thinking-February leading into mindful-March. I’ve been working on the power of positive thought and the laws of attraction for some time, but this year, in a
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dropping the ball

cooking for one... or two
Categories: Appetizers, Dinner for Two, Cocktail Party, Dinner Party, Posted on December 29, 2021 by Sandy Bergsten
Who thought we would be back here to ring in the new year? With holidays and flights cancelled and tempers rising, it might just be time to whip up a teeny indulgence for one or two.  This recipe from Melissa Clark is the bomb. A fresh sour cream and onion dip decadently dressed with fresh salmon roe, served up with crunchy potato chips. Every
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how the cookie crumbles

food detective
Categories: Desserts, Dinner for Two, Supper, Dinner Party, Lunch, Posted on December 21, 2021 by Sandy Bergsten
You know when you see people on social media, and they seem like they have it all together? I have to confess I was feeling a little high on my holiday horse and thought I’d flaunt my newly acquired baking skills for my next post. I was inspired earlier this month by the NYT’s interactive article on the 24 Days of Cookies. Being a crunchy salty
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a holiday tradition

food detective
Categories: Soups, Dinner for Two, Supper, Dinner Party, Lunch, Posted on December 7, 2021 by Sandy Bergsten
Having five adult children, all with partners, most with dogs and two with children, coordinating the holidays could make one feel as if they were running traffic control over O’Hare. Early on my husband and I began a new tradition. If any of our children wanted to come visit, all they needed to do was pick a date and let us know what holiday they
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one sheet wonder

cooking for one... or two
Categories: Fish and Seafood, Dinner for Two, Supper, Dinner Party, Posted on November 8, 2021 by Sandy Bergsten
I’m always on lookout for a standout meal that comes together in minutes. The prep for this one is done in about the time it takes to preheat the oven. You’ll find this crisp cheesy gratin unexpectedly light. Its array of bright ingredients delivers depth and refreshing complexity.  The combination of seafood and cheese might surprise some. But on
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redo I do

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress What fun to keep the party going. When my daughter made the tough decision to downsize her wedding she asked if I would host a party for her Chicago friends later in the fall. My answer was a resounding yes! As the date approached my daughter reminded me that this was actually going to be a small wedding not simply a cocktail reception. Which
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chilly turn of events

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Appetizers, Cocktail Party, Dinner Party, Posted on October 11, 2021 by Sandy Bergsten
The upside to having our refrigerator go on the fritz was that a new and improved one took its place. The previous was a stainless counter depth model. The outside was sleek and streamlined, inside it was beyond shallow, the freezer almost nonexistent. You could barely squeeze a plastic container of greens into one of the two miniscule drawers.
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end on a high note

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Desserts, Dinner Party, Fête Fact, Posted on September 13, 2021 by Sandy Bergsten
I take joy in setting a beautiful table. I love my bone china, sterling and crystal. Creating a place for my guests to sit infused with grace is a simple pleasure.  Many keep their finest tucked away and out of reach. I believe our beautiful things are there to be enjoyed. And with the exception of my silver, I put almost all of it in the
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in no time flat

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Grains and Pasta, Dinner for Two, Supper, Dinner Party, Posted on August 30, 2021 by Sandy Bergsten
I love the vibe of Sunday supper. Dinner on the last day of the week tends to be casually welcoming and comforting. A little like that black sundress you can dress up or down. I’ve been meaning to have a few of our neighbors over and I wanted it to be an easy but memorable affair.  I had the idea to whip up some flatbread pizzas for the main and
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practice makes perfect

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Meat, Veggies and Sides, Sauces and Such, Dinner Party, Sources, Well Equipped, Fête Fact, Posted on July 6, 2021 by Sandy Bergsten
A few weeks ago, after returning to Chicago we had our first dinner party. I was so excited to plan the menu, at long last set our table for more than two, and prep for the evening. I thought I had it all planned out perfectly. Turns out I was more than a little out of practice. I hate when I have people over and I find myself stranded in the
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