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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shot in the arm

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Fish and Seafood, Veggies and Sides, Sauces and Such, Dinner for Two, Supper, Dinner Party, Well Equipped, Posted on April 11, 2021 by Sandy Bergsten
Getting that second vaccine dose was like a heavy door unlocking. It was almost surreal allowing myself to think of possibilities and the thought of making plans. I was so excited to invite our first guests over for dinner. And erring on the side of caution, and because we are in southern California, I knew we could dine outside. What I didn’t
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weigh in

food detective
Categories: Desserts, Dinner for Two, Supper, Dinner Party, Lunch, Sources, Well Equipped, Posted on January 30, 2021 by Sandy Bergsten
How about something sweet?  I’ll confess I’m not much of a baker. My birthday cakes are endearingly lopsided and zucchini bread eternally crestfallen. What I’ve come to realize is that cooks and bakers are wired differently.  Bakers tend to follow recipes to the law and measure precisely. Us in the cook-camp like to add a pinch of this and bit of
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in hot water

food detective
Categories: Meat, Grains and Pasta, Dinner for Two, Supper, Dinner Party, Well Equipped, Posted on September 12, 2020 by Sandy Bergsten
I’m not one for kitchen gadgets. Who needs an Instant Pot when you have a pot? An avocado slicer when you have a knife and spoon. But I have to say my Anova sous vide is a game changer. Anticipating our move back to urban apartment living I wanted to find a way to cook all our favorite proteins that we would typically grill out west.
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entertaining in the age of social distancing

the virtual gathering
Categories: Soups, Dinner for Two, Supper, Well Equipped, Fête Fact, Posted on March 28, 2020 by Sandy Bergsten
It’s a little surreal writing an entertaining blog when we’re being asked to “shelter in”. Three weeks ago I felt like I needed to make food I could bunker in with. I busied myself with filling my freezer and frig. But then as life’s milestones continued… my firstborn’s 30th birthday, my baby’s engagement, and the pending arrival of our third
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take comfort

what's for dinner
Categories: Grains and Pasta, Dinner for Two, Supper, Well Equipped, Posted on March 17, 2020 by Sandy Bergsten
If you’re feeling on edge you are not alone. Sitting idlily with the newscasts running and our phones pinging isn’t helping. So how about a little distraction that’s part preparedness? One of my all-time favorite comfort foods is homemade mac and cheese. This creamy concoction with a crisp edge is sure to soothe the weariest of souls. An added
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no… regrets

food detective
Categories: Salads and Dressings, Breads, Pizza, Tarts, Eggs, Supper, Lunch, Breakfast/Brunch, Well Equipped, Posted on March 1, 2020 by Sandy Bergsten
Last year when we downsized, I went full out Marie Kondo. Purging felt exhilarating. Unpacking things that only brought me joy elating. Walking by air filled closets and half full drawers energizing. Then as the months passed, a few things tugged at my heartstrings and sensibilities. I have to be honest, I have a few regrets. People who know me
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under pressure

food detective
Categories: Appetizers, Poultry, Dinner for Two, Supper, Lunch, Well Equipped, Posted on January 7, 2019 by Sandy Bergsten
I’m not a fan of gadgets and hyped appliances. Who needs a multi-chopper when one has a knife? Or an egg cooker when one has a pot? But I succumbed on cyber-Monday with what looked like an incredible sale on everyone’s seemingly must-have: the Instant Pot. I never needed a slow cooker, I have my Le Creuset dutch oven. And flashbacks of pressure
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life is sweet

food detective
Categories: Desserts, Dinner for Two, Dinner Party, Lunch, Breakfast/Brunch, Well Equipped, Posted on June 9, 2018 by Sandy Bergsten
Many of you will be reading this on June 13th, the day my bi-monthly email blast goes out and wonder what the heck is she doing making cheesecake when her daughter is getting married in three days! I assure you I didn’t wake up at 5 AM to make these little bites. I made them the week before. Experimenting in the kitchen is one of the ways I unwind
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eins, zwei, drei

food detective
Categories: Poultry, Dinner for Two, Supper, Dinner Party, Well Equipped, Posted on October 1, 2017 by Sandy Bergsten
How about a little schnitzel just in time for Oktoberfest? Sounds complicated, but really it’s as easy as one, two, three. What’s key is choosing a chicken breast that’s not too big. I’m not sure when someone thought it was a good idea to offer up chicken breasts that resemble those of a small turkey. They are unwieldy, difficult to cook properly,
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