Cooking For Sig

A Sous Chef and Her Stories


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Return from Paradise

imageIt’s been a full and happy month away from this little corner of the internet. It began with a beautiful wedding in the hills of Montecito, the Pacific stretched out below our feet, followed by a little visit to paradise. Ah, Hawaii! We visited Pearl Harbor, hiked Diamond Head and swam with the fishes in Hanauma Bay. But the highlight of the trip was on the Big Island, which we can now confidently confirm (after our second visit) is our favorite little place on earth. It wasn’t the steep climb down the winding trail to the floor of the Pololu Valley, its green cliffs receding above us as we inched closer and closer to the black sand beach. It wasn’t the climb over lava rock and through thorny brush to a secluded cove filled with sea turtles, basking on the shore and swimming just beyond our reach as we waded into the warm turquoise water. Continue reading

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Sunday Lunch Love

imageI know I’ve already told you how much I love Sunday lunch. The Sundays I spent eating dim sum with my dad at Bernard’s in the Chestnut Hill Mall. Or the Sundays we went to Viet Hong and split a bowl of pho. Or the Sundays we sat at the bar at Legal Sea Foods and talked to our favorite bartender over light clam chowder (the cream-less version where you can actually taste the clams). Or the Sundays in Rangeley when dad made eggs florentine and the smell tantalized us for a full hour before it was ready to eat. Sunday lunch is perfect in so many ways. It’s far enough into the weekend that the week feels like a distant memory, but there’s still a long lazy afternoon ahead. And there’s so much time to eat, slowly, lazily, happily. Continue reading


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The Secret of Life

Today for lunch I was introduced to The Tombs, a Georgetown University institution. Set belowstairs, just blocks off of campus, and covered with old rowing memorabilia, it’s the type of place you go for a hearty pub lunch during the day and a cheap draft at night. On this particular day, the Director of Student Health was sitting at the bar and a pair of undergraduates were at the table next to us. There’s a fireplace and decent food, thanks to a kitchen shared with the legendary, upscale dining establishment, 1789. We joked over our burgers and pulled pork, that The Tombs is where all the tweed clad diners at 1789 ate forty years before. At night, the Tombs becomes that place where everyone has three too many and stumbles home to campus in a blur with new friends, whose name no one remembers in the morning. Or so I’ve been told. Continue reading


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Happy Saturday

For the first time in weeks, Matt and I are sitting quietly at home on a Saturday enjoying lunch together. I love these days, when our pace slows down and the stress melts away and we can sit cross-legged on the living room floor and happily eat our midday meal. Today we ate potato salad, full of crunchy fresh vegetables and tossed with a mustard vinaigrette.

big bowlGrowing up, we ate a lot of potatoes – mashed with extra butter and chicken broth, cut paper thin and doused with Lawry’s seasoning before being oven-fried, or roasted in a cast iron skillet with olive oil and a healthy serving of salt. But everyone’s favorite potato dish was only served once a year at Chanukah time, when mom put me to work peeling potatoes over the kitchen sink. It took me over an hour, peeling potato after potato and watching the skins fall away in a long spiral into the stainless steel basin. One year, I neglected to run the disposal between potato peelings and when I finally tried to flip the switch the sink filled with murky brown and starchy water that refused to drain. Mom spent the rest of the evening plunging and fiddling under the sink. The disposal motor never worked well again. But it was worth these trials to get to the end result, golden brown and crisply fried potato latkes, salty, hot, and dangerously addictive. Whenever my mom’s dad visited, he always requested her latkes. He called them potato pancakes because he could never quite wrap his head around the Jewish words and traditions that his daughter adopted. But he loved latkes and would have been perfectly content eating nothing but latkes for the duration of his visit. Continue reading


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Sunday Is For Running & Eating

photo (20)In addition to my food addiction, I have a bit of a running problem. It started in 2007, when Christine, my favorite partner in all outdoor adventures, asked me to do a triathlon with her. My response: “That sounds crazy. Yeah, sure, why not?” She clobbered me in the swim and put further distance between us on the bike. But then, magically, like I had tapped into some hidden fount of energy, I caught up to Christine on the run and eventually passed her. It felt great and easy and natural and I didn’t really want to stop.  And I haven’t really stopped since. Continue reading