Cooking For Sig

A Sous Chef and Her Stories


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Summer Haze and Eggs

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Summer is laying thick and heavy over DC. Life has slowed to a crawl. The air hugs you like a hot cloud, cocooning you, slowing your pace to a hazy stroll. And that’s okay. I have no where pressing to be. The days roll in and roll out. We watch baseball and barbecue with friends and curl up on the couch when the sky opens up and the summer rains set in.  Continue reading

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Egg Noodles and Boozy Chicken

IMG_1573For Tuesday night’s dinner I unearthed a recipe I haven’t used in years. And I think I’ve only cooked it once, for our friend Aaron (and maybe my mom?) when Matt and I were living on Shepard street, just outside Harvard Square. It’s the only recipe I have that calls for juniper berries, which means that I am still using the same jar of junipers that I bought many years ago for the last time this dish was made. Clearly, I am not one of those people who diligently disposes of herbs and spices on a regular basis and replaces them with fresh ones. I’ve heard the shelf-life for most spices is about a year if you want them to be pungent and bright. I’m mildly ashamed to tell you that my jar of cardamom pods has outlived three apartments. I just can’t bring myself to throw edible (if not quite fresh or good) food away. Continue reading


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Finding the Dek

imageLast week at work, I sat in on a short talk by Christian Caryl. He spoke to a room full of graduate students, all eager to learn the secret to writing well. Have a point, he told us. And get to it quickly. Support it with just the most relevant facts and say it all with passion. All of which, he confessed, is much easier said than done. But then he suggested the following: Start with the dek. The dek is the very brief description immediately following the headline. The dek is your entire story summed up in a line or two. Once you have the dek, the story’s arc is set and you can travel the curve from start to finish, filling in the details along the way. Continue reading


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A Few Words to Say Goodbye to 2014

orecchietteThis is the last post of 2014. This afternoon Matt and I head to Berlin to visit our best friends. We will ring in the new year with wienerschnitzel and German beer. Like many of you, I am running a list in my head of the things I will do to make 2015 better, of the ways that I will be a better person this time around. You know, lose 10 pounds, eat more vegetables, volunteer for a charity, drink less, run more, pick up a new hobby, be an all around better person. My 2015 list is basically identical to my 2014 list and if this past year was any indicator, I will end 2015 as roughly the same person I am right now. This is the very definition of insanity – going through the same motions and expecting a different outcome. No wonder the countdown to the New Year always devolves into a drunken, manic, and frenzied moment of mass hysteria. Continue reading


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The Matt Chronicles: Chanukah Edition

“Chanukah Edition” is a bit of a misnomer. Matt and I are not currently celebrating Chanukah. We are being very bad Jews, as usual. However, we still happily receive our annual Chanukah presents from my mom, who makes sure that we both have a little something to open on all eight nights. I always loved Chanukah growing up. I practically held my breath, waiting for dad to come home from work. As soon as he arrived, we would light the menorah on the mantle in the living room. Dad and I sang the prayers, and mom sang her best approximation of Hebrew words and a tune. Then we would each open a present, before we let dad change out of his work clothes and start cooking dinner. Continue reading


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The Matt Chronicles: French Stuff

cassouletMatt and I honeymooned in France. We spent the first half of our trip exploring Normandy, including the beaches, cemeteries, and museums that commemorate the soldiers who lost their lives on D-Day. Romantic, no? Well, for us, it was pretty perfect. (Kind of like when we went to Hawaii and spent 5% of our time at the beach and 95% of our time learning about the history and culture of the island.) Lest you think we spent our whole honeymoon entrenched in the study of death and war, don’t worry. We also saw Mount Saint-Michel when the water was high, which was something straight out of a fairy tale. A tiny turreted village with a monastery perched atop and a labyrinth of alleys and doorways weaving their way toward the summit. We explored the Loire valley, touring the chateaux and drinking local wine, and ended in Pairs. Ah, Paris. It was beautiful, perfectly beautiful.  Continue reading


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The Joys of the Casual Supper

all goneSince the end of last week, I’ve been promising Matt jambalaya. But first, I had to find a recipe to use up some old parsnips and then we both had a pizza craving and then I stayed out late with a friend and made Matt fend for himself. So finally on Tuesday, I headed off to work with every intention of making Matt his jambalaya as soon as I got home, when I got a text from one of my closest friends. “I’m going to be in town tonight,” she said, “Can we meet up?” Yes! Yes, of course. While in my head I was thinking, “But I have to make Matt’s jambalaya.” Continue reading