Mastering the Art of French Pressing

New toy!


I’ve never had a French Press before, but Kyle put his high school barista skills to use and taught me how to make myself a steaming cuppa joe.  Sadly, we parted ways with our old coffee maker back in NYC (and haven’t gotten a new one yet), so I’m now having to nurture my caffeine addiction expand my coffee horizon with other methods. 


Hi reflection!

Ok, so this French Press is actually incredibly easy.  There’s no need to get all anxious before using it like I did.  I’m just a weirdo.  The only real difference is remembering to grind the beans for a french press rather than a paper filter. 


Also, it looks like a TON of grounds are being used, but if you decide the instructions must be wrong and use way less (because of course a first time user would know more than the people who make the product)…well, you may end up with one weak-a$$ cup of coffee.  I’m learning though.  🙂

Other new toys I’ve broken in include this fatty Calphalon pan.


A gorgeous wood cutting board and crazy sharp Wusthof knife.


And a Tofu Xpress!


I was lucky enough to get this from the company right before moving (thanks Richard!), so I had to wait until we were unpacked and ready to get cooking to try it out.  Given the amount of patience (or lack thereof) I have, it’s no wonder the first meal we made to Christen the apartment involved pressed tofu. 


The Xpress comes with a little booklet of instructions, ideas for other ways to use the Xpress, plus a cute notecard to write your fave recipe(s) on.  And it can be used for much more than tofu (i.e. eggplant!).  But I digress…

Here’s the deal:


Pop the block of ‘fu in the press…


Put on the top, twisting the teeth so they lock the top down…


And watch the liquid slowly get pressed out!


I dumped the ‘fu water off about 5 times (it probably took a few minutes between each collection and dump off).  It was so simple and didn’t even require me to dirty my hands one bit.  I literally left it to do it’s thing while I prepped the rest of the meal.  So.  Freakin.  Easy.


Once there was no more liquid surfacing, I removed the top and voila!


Pressed tofu without a single dirty rag or paper towel.

I’m embarrassed to admit the hassle of the process and the clean up were the main deterrents that limited the amount of tofu dishes I made.  No longer will this be an issue.  I can’t emphasize enough how simple this tool makes it. 

And now for the actual meal.


In celebration, we popped some bubbly.  Cheers to the new palace!  Now let’s get cooking!


Chopping while drinking is ill advised, especially with new (sharp) knives. 


  • 3 stalks of celery
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 head of bok choy
  • 1/2 can water chestnuts
  • 1 cup of broccoli florets
  • 1 cup of cauliflower florets


Set aside the chopped veggies and put the tofu in the press.  

While the tofu is getting the celeb detox treatment (read: getting the sh!t liquid squeezed out of it), get crackin’ on the sauce (but for heaven’s sake, don’t neglect the champagne!).


  • 2 tbsp tamari (soy sauce)
  • 1/2 tbsp tahini
  • 1 tsp ginger (I used powdered but freshly grated would be ideal)
  • 1/16 tsp NuNaturals stevia (or 1 tbsp agave nectar)
  • 1 tbsp Bragg’s apple cider vinegar
  • salt (to taste)


Stir it all up and set aside for later. 

After the tofu has been pressed (see above instructions), chop and add to pan coated with cooking spray.


Once they start to turn crispy brown, flip ‘em…and repeat…until the tofu is golden brown all over.


Then add in the chopped veggies and let it all sizzle for a bit.


Note the white rice in the background (Kyle sacrifices meat, I sacrifice brown rice…marriage 101 lesson for the day…it’s all about compromises).


You can add a top to the pan so the steam speeds the cooking time; and once the bok choy starts to get wilty it’s time to get saucy!


I got every last drippy drop out!


Simmah simmah.


Set the table.


And serve.


‘Twas a mighty fine first meal (I told you I’m obsessed with the soy/sesame/ginger flavor profile right now).  This sauce was a definite winner.  Kyle and I were both licking our chops and patting our bellies after going back for seconds.


And I was just giddy throughout the entire cooking process, because each and every minute made me realize how fortunate we are to have a brand spankin’ new kitchen, with brand spankin’ new appliances, and all the space in the world. 

Unlike our New York kitchen sink/oven combo-corner, I was not stepping on top of myself while prepping, no smoke detectors went off, and I was able to throw everything in the dishwasher at the end of it all.  Spoiled much?  Can somebody please pinch me?  This can’t be my life right now. 

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Comments (17)

  1. BroccoliHut

    Love the tofu-press tutorial–I need to bust mine out of the box and try it out for myself!

  2. julie

    tofu xpress makes tofu so much fun. its no joke there.

    haha i love that you got so serious in the kitch that you had to put your hair up. stellar meal girlfran

  3. Lauren

    These happy-Elise posts are making me happy all the way over here in Ohio! You so deserve it : )
    And I can’t wait to feel that pinch-me-am-I-really-back-in-California feeling in a couple years!

  4. Ijeoma

    I’ve been eyeing that Tofu Xpress for a little while now – it seems so wasteful to throw away so many paper towels. After reading your post, I may have to go get one soon.

  5. Diana

    Love the new gadgets! Also jealous. I could really use a sharper knife and a tofu press :O

  6. Holly

    I LOVE THE SACRIFICING LESSON! seriously, people just need to do that more often. give and take is a two-way street – and i love that you don’t obsess over having white rice. people that do that drive me NUTS! white carbs don’t kill.

    happy new kitchen cooking me love 🙂

  7. Rachael

    Great lesson – how to make marriages work 🙂
    I’m toying with the idea of building a DIY tofu press – you’ve given me some ideas!

  8. Casey

    A tofu press? Brilliant.
    Glad to hear your kitchen is bitchin’. It’s funny how a little bit of room can make sooo much of a difference

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  10. Angharad

    Marriage 101…yes. I also have to often make the brown rice compromise amongst others. Worth it for having my healthy habits indulged a lot.

    I want a Tofu Xpress really badly!!

  11. Jenny

    At first I was like, OMG X-PRESS TOFU PRESS?? BRILLIANT! WANT!!!

    Then I saw the price 🙁

    It is mighty tempting though. Looks like it does what it says, and pretty well at that.

  12. Ethel


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