Cooking For Sig

A Sous Chef and Her Stories


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Kitchen Tools and Challah French Toast

imageI was so eager to tell you about last weekend’s amazing pot pie that I neglected to tell you about the new kitchen tool I bought myself. You’re probably thinking that this is no big deal, that an avid home cook like me must buy kitchen tools the way normal people buy lattes or chapstick (or whatever it is normal people buy on a regular basis). But I don’t. In fact, I basically never buy kitchen stuff unless it’s absolutely necessary (see the French press incident and the must-have melon baller). Desperate times call for new kitchen supplies, but most of the time I’m pretty happy with the tried and trues. Continue reading

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The Anti-Diet Diet with a Side of Gluten

IMG_0001This weekend I made bagels. Not whole wheat bagels or spelt or some other altruistic grain disguised in bagel skin, but honest-to-goodness 100% white flour, quarter-pound bagels with extra gluten. I posted the photos of my happily boiling bagels to Facebook and within minutes I received the obvious question: “Can you make a gluten-free version?” The short answer is: “Yes, I’m quite certain I could find a recipe for a rice flour bagel out there.” But there’s also a much longer answer, which I’m about to unleash on you. Continue reading


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An Ode to My French Press

I spoke too soon and jinxed myself. 2015 just seemed so promising, but then this weekend kitchen tragedy struck. While grinding my coffee beans, bleary eyed and grouchy, I knocked over my French press and watched helplessly as the glass carafe shattered on our granite counter top. Gah! I nearly cried. Partially because I have a soft spot for this particular coffee maker, which my college roommate surprised me with senior year, and partly because I really, really needed a cup of coffee.

bread and teaAnd this was not the first disaster of the weekend. Saturday I spent at least an hour needlessly mixing and kneading the wrong yeast into two separate (but equally failing) doughs. This ended with several pounds of flour being dumped in the trash. Again, I was left in near tears, but at least that morning I had had my coffee. I did not however have the heart or energy to complete the original marbled rye recipe. By the time I kneaded the correct yeast into my dough, I was on batch number three of the light rye and there was absolutely no way that I could bring myself to mix its dark rye companion. So, instead I settled on a plain old rustic boule of rye, heavy on the caraway seeds and light on the molasses, just like Matt likes it. I have to say despite the arduous process, or maybe because of it, this bread turned out pretty darn good. Thick, crunchy, flaky crust on the outside. Soft, fluffy, and nicely chewy on the inside. Continue reading


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We Survived Thanksgiving

turkey dayI think I am officially an adult. Last week Matt and I hosted Thanksgiving and we lived to tell about it. This feels momentous. We had all the fixings: turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, and the requisite green vegetables to cancel out the mass quantities of cream, butter, and carbohydrates we consumed. I am going to share the dressing recipe with you because frankly, I think it’s perfect. But first, let me share with you some stories of Thanksgivings past, because rumor has it that this holiday really isn’t supposed to be about the food after all. Continue reading


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Bread Reincarnated

spinach strataI was so excited to tell you about my successful bread baking last weekend that I completely neglected to tell you about my lovely Sunday. It was lovely because we did absolutely nothing (except eat bread and get back in bed at 11:00am). I left the house once to pick up our turkey, which Matt tells me the grocery store would have almost certainly sold out of by now. The rest of the day we were warm inside, listening to the steam gurgling in the radiators and the wind whipping leaves against our window panes. For dinner I made soup. Of course. Continue reading


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A Minor Miracle

The curse has been lifted. Yesterday at 3:30pm, I removed a perfectly risen, golden round of Pain de Campagne from the oven. I’m not going to say it was a miracle, but I was definitely praying to the bread gods throughout the whole process. The first time the bread rose, I laughed and teared up at the same time. The second time the bread rose, I walked the bowl into Matt’s office and shoved it under his chin. “Look! My dough doubled in size!!” By the time I shaped the twice risen dough into European-inspired rounds and placed them on cornmeal dusted baking sheets, I was downright giddy with anticipation, but also terribly anxious. With everything going so well, the probability of something going terribly wrong was increasing by the second. Continue reading