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Having Been to Paris (A Potage aux Legumes Recipe)

Potage aux Legumes (Rustic French Vegetable Soup) | Umami Girl

(Potage aux Legumes originally appeared here in 2011. I’ve updated the photos and made a couple of tweaks to the recipe.)

I’d love to pretend that I once had a meaningful relationship with Paris. Hemingway had one. Woody Allen had one. Carrie Bradshaw managed to have one, and she’s not even a real person. I think we’re all meant to feel hopelessly dull if we haven’t shone brightly in the City of Light. But the truth is my entanglement with Paris was never more than a brief and aspirational fling. I was young, and the city was innocent, in the days before husbands, children, and the dulling creep of globalization. Paris didn’t have a Virgin Megastore on the Champs Elysees back then, and I didn’t have a sippy cup or a plastic container of raisins in my purse. Which is to say, we had potential. But we never gave it the time to flourish.

Now that we live a short train ride away, I thought this might be the perfect time to rekindle the flame.  (more…)

Potage aux Legumes is the classic French vegetable soup with a cozy, rustic vibe. So easy, so warming, so good.

Zucchini Corn Fritters Recipe

Zucchini Corn Fritters | Umami Girl

A warm, thoughtful Monday to you all, my friends. Today my mind and heart are with victims and survivors of all the devastating events this world has to offer, from natural disasters to manmade ones. As life would have it, though, they’re also with the day-to-day work of showing up, taking care, raising and feeding a family. They’re focused on practical food that’s also joyful. Food like these zucchini corn fritters, which use up an abundance of late-season produce while making people smile. Because what else is it all about, really?  (more…)

Zucchini corn fritters are a crowd-pleasing way to use up lots of zucchini and corn. Great as a meal or an appetizer.

Boeuf Bourguignon: A Recipe to Welcome Fall

Boeuf Bourguignon Recipe | Umami Girl

It’s back to school week for our kiddos, and there’s a slight, obliging chill in the air. I won’t get all pumpkin spice on ya just yet (and never in coffee, I promise), but folks, it’s time for some fall food. I can’t hold it in any longer. We’re going big, too, with a classic that takes a little bit of time and effort but is well worth the addition to your repertoire. It’s Boeuf Bourguignon, the gorgeous French beef stew that rocks a whole bottle of wine and still feels wholesome. It’s not just dinner — it’s a role model for modern life.  (more…)

Boeuf Bourguignon, the classic French beef stew, is the ideal centerpiece for a cozy fall dinner party. It makes a great care package, too.

My 13 Year Old Daughter’s Back to School Clothes Shopping List

Selfie at the Wooden Walls Project Asbury Park Boardwalk | Umami Girl

My 13 Year Old Daughter’s Back to School Clothes Shopping List

1. Sweaters: Not ridorkulous, and I would like them to be made of thick, chunky material but not super itchy, and if they’re gonna be long, they have to be tight at the bottom so it doesn’t curl up and I look like an idiot.

2. Overalls: Ooooooveralls, that word sounds so weird. I want the leg to not be one of those awkward cuffs where they fold it up and it’s not tight but it’s also not wide, so it’s just kinda like, “Peh!” around your ankle.  (more…)

Balsamic Strawberries with Whipped Cream

Balsamic strawberries: a simple magic trick you simply need to know.

Balsamic Strawberries with Whipped Cream | Umami GirlHappy Labor Day, dudes. This day always feels like the last whisper of hurrah (psst…hurrah!) before the engine of fall productivity cranks to life. (Wait, what kind of car do I drive?) This morning I’m chasing summer — sitting on the porch with my feet up, waiting for a friend to drop by, and squeezing the last drops of strawberry out of the season.  (more…)

Sliced strawberries mixed with a touch of balsamic vinegar and topped with whipped cream. Elevated, simple perfection.


Hi there, I'm Carolyn, and I'm delighted you're here. I'm a NYC-area food, travel, yoga, coffee, wine, running, music making and book obsessive with a great family and a love for sharing it all with you. Grab a drink and come on in. Learn more.