Simple Soft Shell Crabs Recipe | Umami Girl

Soft shell crab season will be over in a flash, and although I’m all about transitioning into fall with grace, I can’t let these beauties go without a little send-off party. At this party, we’ll have some wine and some low, slow jazz playing under the din of voices. You’ll have a great time catching up with a few friends you haven’t seen in too long. I’ll stop briefly in front of a mirror to check whether I have True Blood teeth and get introvert-lost wondering whether my preference for eating intact sea creatures (lobsters, soft shells) gives me more integrity than burger eaters. Don’t worry, I won’t talk to you or anyone about it ever.

Soft shells are not a different variety of crab but rather creatures of a moment in time. These crabs have recently molted, and their new shells are still so soft as to be edible. In other words, what you see here is some crabs going through a phase where they’re more vulnerable than usual. 

If only humans could identify with that at all. View full post »

  • I wish soft shell crab season lasted all year long! These look absolutely delicious! Hand me a bibb and a big ole bowl so I can face plant into this YUM! Love it! Cheers. ;)ReplyCancel

    • Thanks, Cheyanne. Me too! I make due with spider rolls from the sushi place during the rest of the year, which is no great hardship, but it’s not the same. :)ReplyCancel

  • […] 20. Simple Soft Shell Crabs This recipe is a little different from the rest of our list, but it’s super tasty and really easy. All you’ll need is soft shell crabs, olive oil, and sea salt. The crabs are flavorful enough on their own that they don’t need any additional seasonings. […]ReplyCancel

  • […] 20. Simple Soft Shell Crabs This recipe is a little different from the rest of our list, but it’s super tasty and really easy. All you’ll need is soft shell crabs, olive oil, and sea salt. The crabs are flavorful enough on their own that they don’t need any additional seasonings. […]ReplyCancel

Stitch Fix Review

I used to really love fashion. When Cope and I met during college, my room was decorated on the cheap with a picture rail of haute couture ads torn from Vogue and Bazaar. Hazy memories suggest I once followed and even embraced trends as a whimsical way to mark the passage of time. Like a friend recently said about herself, I used to dress as a way of letting people know that I was interesting, relevant, worth talking to.

Cope used to talk about those pictures as one of the things he found intriguing about me in the early days, before we knew each other well. It’s a good thing we did get to know each other, because hoooo-boy did those ads turn out to be false advertising for my typical way of life. 

Seventeen years later. It’s November, 2014. 7:15 on a school morning. I’m only three sips deep into my sacred morning coffee. Standing in front of my closet. Perusing my clothing options. Is there something called a morbid giggle? There should be.

I realized I was looking not at a wardrobe but at a uniform. And not a cute Catholic schoolgirl uniform or a classy Singapore Airlines flight attendant one. Nope, just an endless cycle of Levi’s Bold Curve trousers (jeans in three washes and two pairs of corduroys), Old Navy Perfect Fit tank tops and 3/4-sleeve cardigans. All of them washed practically to oblivion, converging from their original rainbow of colors onto the same dull shade of “Meh, everyone’s mostly focused on the kids anyway.” View full post »

  • Jenny

    Loved your review of Stitch Fix! I recently joined (currently awaiting my 2nd fix) and have become mildly obsessed with reading everyone’s reviews. Yours was a very enjoyable read, thank you!ReplyCancel

  • Jessica

    I’ve seen it a few times on Facebook. I never consider trying it until I read your blog. If I do it I will definitely click your link. I will not be flipping you off though hahaReplyCancel

  • Troy

    Do these freeze well? If so, about how long do they keep?ReplyCancel

Kale Smoothie Recipe
Happy June!

We spent Saturday afternoon at our college reunion. We did it family style this year — low-key, low-alcohol, low-regret. And still, this Monday morning seems like a good day for a green smoothie. Doesn’t it? Could just be me with a contact hangover.

This smoothie has a very friendly flavor profile and, I promise, isn’t scary in the least.

The recipe is related to a bigger project I’m working on, which I can’t say much of anything about yet, but stay tuned for trickling details throughout the rest of 2015. I’m excited! (I know, I hate it when people do that too. Humans. We’re complicated.)

In other news, after a short hiatus in the past couple of weeks, I’m going to be dialing up the posting frequency in the coming months. We’re trying out a few new ideas, including the slightly less zen layout. I prefer all the white space the world has to offer, but we’re also eager to be able to provide more content. I’m working on finding the right balance, so you’ll notice tweaks and tinkers moving forward.

Have a good start to the week. See you soon.

Carolyn xx


  • I have seen many green smoothies and have tried a few myself, but this one looks like it would be super tasty and not too “green” tasting! I usually just throw everything in a blender at once- is there a reason you do it in stages? Do you find that it mixes better? Thanks for the recipe!ReplyCancel

    • Hi Emily, if you get good results by throwing everything in at the same time, by all means go for it! Some older and crappier blenders do better getting started with liquid and soft fruit first. Hope you like the smoothie!ReplyCancel

Perfect Cold Brewed Iced CoffeeEight years old, nine, ten. Sunday morning eggs and bacon. The bewitching sputter-gurgle-pop of Mom and Dad’s coffee brewing on the counter. On a bold day, you might ask for a little bit of coffee milk. You’d tip the cup to your mouth with a pinkie aloft, because who was to say you wouldn’t turn out to be that kind of woman. You could be any kind of woman.

Seventeen, eighteen. Perched on a metal stool at the off-campus coffee house pretending to study. Wishing you’d worn a different skirt, but aware that being in the right place at the right age is most of the battle. Pretending it’s haphazard that your head is cocked just so. Eyeing The Boy.

Next term. Same stool. Different boy.

Minutes later. Those first few years working in New York City. Stopping at Starbucks every morning for a Venti instead of breakfast. As the elevator doors open onto your floor, wearing that plastic cup of coffee with the tall green straw like a pair of Jimmy Choos. Feeling unstoppable with it, naked without it.

Another job, another industry, another Starbucks.

The morning after the first night that the baby woke up to feed every hour. And the morning after that, when it happened again. Wondering whether you’d made the biggest, most irreparable mistake of your life. Furious that nobody warned you. Realizing the safety net between you and your own choices had vanished, never to return.

Having amnesia. Doing it all again.

And here you are. Kids in school. Trying to write at the local coffee place. Wishing the collective buzz would seep into your pages. Knowing you may pack up and walk away with only the strong smell of burr-ground beans that lingers in your sweater, in your hair, inside your purse.

A whole life could flash by like this. Jobs, crushes, ambitions — they come and go. For better or worse, the coffee remains, flowing like a river through it all.


  • Rachel

    I love your writing! I look forward to more and more and more in whatever form it takes. I love that you could write such a comment in a much more clever and fabulous way, too. :-)ReplyCancel

  • Julie

    This is a wonderful picture with the milk – looks like cream to me ;) – flowing down the ice! Thanks!

    And thank you for the idea to cold extract my coffee in my french press!


  • I have to agree with Julie, some nice photos there. Thanks for sharing your recipe.ReplyCancel

  • Rhea

    A law school classmate of ours also taught me to add a cardamom pod to the coffee (with cinnamon), which is delicious. Love your pictures.ReplyCancel

    • Ooh, yes! That sounds so good. I sometimes forget about cardamom, but it always makes me happy to remember it. :)ReplyCancel

Warm Cauliflower, Lentil and Quinoa Salad II | Umami Girl
I learned a lot this week.

I learned what it’s like to say goodbye to the last member of a whole generation.
That it feels like a seismic shift.
A sudden reframing of our place in the world.
A time to talk about goals and plan big things.
That change begets change, all on its own.

I learned that you can know someone for a whole lifetime without ever being made to feel like you’ve let them down.
That I wouldn’t count on it happening very often.
That having a grandmother may be a necessary condition to reach this exalted state, but it isn’t sufficient.
That you’ll know it when you see it.
That I hope you’ll have the chance to see it.

I learned about pure sadness, unencumbered by the messes we make for ourselves, uncomplicated by shadows of deeds left undone, words left unsaid.
Backhanded as it sounds, I hope you’ll have the chance to see this too.

I learned so much about our younger daughter.
How she shows up ready and gives it everything she’s got.
How she faces the world straight on and doesn’t have anything to hide.
How she must have been doing this all along much more than I realized.
How, six years old or sixty, we’d all be better off for acting that way.

I learned that grief has muscle memory.
A body wants to slip back into the depths it knows from losses that have come before.
I learned that given just a little time, you can begin to clear your mind and rise up out of this place.
And that you will.
That you must.

I learned that grief is cumulative.
But so is strength.

That my home on the yoga mat is a real home.

That flowering trees become more useful as we age.
That spring is superseding fall as my favorite season, because hope is more important now than the romance of decline.
That decline isn’t so romantic after all, once you’ve seen enough of it.

And I learned — remembered — that I always return to the kitchen.
That the food you see here truly is my kind of food.
That it nourishes in all the ways we need.
That it’s the best I can do.
And that I think — I hope — it’s enough.

Indoor Outdoor | Umami Girl

Carolyn xx


  • This was beautiful. And I’m so, so sorry about your grandmother.ReplyCancel

  • Thank you for sharing it all so beautifully, Carolyn. Funny how the good and the bad so often go hand in hand. Hugs to you.ReplyCancel

  • Terry

    Thank you Carolyn for the beautiful tribute to Grandma! You have always had a wonderful way of expressing what we are all feeling.

  • Monica Bhide

    Beautiful tribute. Sending loads of love and prayersReplyCancel

  • Gail Brown

    I’m sorry for your loss. Thank you for the lovely tribute, she was surely a wonderful woman. You must be a lot like her. Love and prayers, GailReplyCancel

  • susan

    A beautiful post. thank you for sharing your thoughts. So sorry for your loss.ReplyCancel

  • Tara Desmond

    I feel those words, Carolyn. Take good care.ReplyCancel

  • Roz Cummins.


  • Erica

    I’m very sorry for your loss, but I’m glad you were able to enjoy that relationship for as long as you did. Also, I made this salad tonight, and it was delicious. Thank you!ReplyCancel

  • Christel

    I am sorry for your loss. sending lots of prayers. It really touched my heart reading this – it was so intense and “real”. So sad, yet so beautiful. Great losses do this to us – we see, touch and feel everything around us in a different light… with more intensity, it’s almost like the divine nature of everything becomes so clear to us. And what a beautiful salad to go along with it… XXReplyCancel