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Blood Orange Grapefruit Cocktail with Winter Herbs | Umami GirlA few weeks ago I said I’d be posting only two recipes a week during January and February. But…it’s Friday, and cocktails exist. So here’s a third one. 

Blood Orange Grapefruit Cocktail with Winter Herbs | Umami Girl

This blend of blood orange and grapefruit juices is lightly sweetened with an easy-to-make rosemary and thyme simple syrup. The combination of brisk juices and woodsy herbal flavors make this cocktail just sophisticated enough while still going down easy.

Your favorite vodka is the spirit of choice. This drink tastes great virgin or super-strong, so you’re totally in control of the length of the pour. (more…)

This healthy and hearty skillet of baked eggs atop creamy Yukon gold potatoes, feta and intermittently crispy kale makes a great breakfast, brunch or dinner.

Baked Eggs Recipe with Potatoes and Kale in a Cast Iron Skillet | Umami Girl

I love this kind of meal. Lots of savory flavors. Textural elements in friendly competition. Whole foods enhanced just enough to coax out their best natural qualities. One pan. Oven only. The cooking time takes about an hour but is almost entirely hands-off, giving you a built-in window to grab a glass of wine or a cup of coffee and chat or read or conspire to save the republic. 

Baked Eggs Recipe with Potatoes and Kale in a Cast Iron Skillet | Umami Girl

It’s also serious comfort food. I’ve heard — I’ve HEARD — it’s good fuel for introvert activists. People calling Congress for the first time, who maybe need to be coaxed down from a little adrenaline spike at the end of the day 12 days in a row and counting. 

Baked Eggs Recipe with Potatoes and Kale in a Cast Iron Skillet | Umami Girl

Or maybe you’re just hungry? That’s cool too. At the end of the day, it’s what unites us all. Dig in.

Talk to you soon.

Carolyn xx

P.S. Affiliate links follow.

Get the baked eggs recipe with crispy potatoes and kale.

This savory shredded Brussels sprouts salad makes a great dinner side, work lunch (it keeps brilliantly) or main dish with some chickpeas or chicken on top.

Shredded Brussels Sprouts Salad with Pecorino and Pine Nuts | Umami Girl

I won’t bury the lede: I’ve had a tough time concentrating on normal stuff for the past week. For the first time ever, I’ve seriously considered dusting off my law degree and putting it back to work as more than a framework for analysis in daily life. I feel like I’m yelling into the rear view mirror, “Don’t you MAKE me turn this law degree around!” I’ve always thought of my law degree as an insurance policy in case something terrible happened. But I’d been envisioning personal circumstances changing, not national and worldwide ones. I really, really don’t wan’t to feel compelled to make the choice to return to the law in any capacity. But for the first time since 2007, I’m actively not ruling out the possibility. And I’m pretty pissed about it, as anyone who knows me could probably guess.  

(I’ll cite a few sources here, in case you want to look further: Onetwo, three, four, five.) 

Shredded Brussels Sprouts Salad with Pecorino and Pine Nuts | Umami Girl

One thing that hasn’t changed in the past week: I’m grateful for cooking and the joy and meditative space it provides. The hum of the food processor as it shreds Brussels sprouts with admirable efficiency. The tick-tick-boom of a gas burner igniting. The embracing smell of pine nuts toasting in a small, dry pan. The umami-bomb first bite of a salad like this. For me, that first bite is an all-encompassing moment, an immersive experience. Thank goodness for that.

Shredded Brussels Sprouts Salad with Pecorino and Pine Nuts | Umami Girl

We Copes, big and small, are such fans of roasted Brussels sprouts that I often ignore other ways of preparing them. That’s a mistake, and one I’ll try not to repeat in the near future. With the memory of this salad fresh in our minds, I’m not too worried about it.

So that’s one thing I’m not too worried about at the moment. 

And one thing I’ll be doing differently from usual.

Shredded Brussels Sprouts Salad with Pecorino and Pine Nuts | Umami Girl

This salad acts like a good old side dish at dinner if you want it to. But since Brussels sprouts are nice and sturdy, it’s also the type of salad you can dress ahead and bring with you for lunch. Or if a quick and easy one-bowl dinner is more up your alley, add some chickpeas, shrimp or chicken before you dig in.  (more…)

Naan pizza. Are you skeptical? So was I. But lo, it’s good

Naan Pizza Margherita | Umami Girl

You guys. Naan pizza? Did you feel the ground tremble just now? I think that was all my Italian ancestors and all my Indian friends’ ancestors collectively rolling over in their graves. This is a trend, people. And to be honest, I kinda wanted to hate it. But here’s the thing. Personal-size Pizza Margherita (or Pizzish Margheritish, let’s say) made on garlic naan in 15 minutes with literally no pan of any kind to clean up afterward? I knew it was worth a try. And damn, we liked them so much I’ve been making them for after-school snacks all week long.

Naan Pizza Margherita | Umami Girl

Between my Italian relatives and the people I follow on social media, whom I don’t know but don’t not know (Adam, for example), there’s a lot of potential reputational downside to coming out in favor of something like naan pizza. My Italian relatives are loud people, too. So if I hear about this, so may you.

I don’t know what possessed me to try these little buggers, though I think it’s the same kind of impulse that gives you a hard time looking away from a traffic accident. But all of that holier-than-thou attitude turned out to be for naught. And what we have here, when you come right down to it, is a woman who’s acting like kind of a jerk standing next to a really tasty personal pizza. That is all. (more…)

Phrases like “cabbage stir fry” and “salt and pepper tofu” light my fire, and I’m not afraid to admit it. So does the fierce and hopeful display of democracy that so many of us took part in on Saturday. Read about it all or skip to the recipe.

Napa Cabbage Stir fry with Salt and Pepper Tofu | Umami Girl

Saturday I marched.

I marched alongside more than 6,000 people in Asbury Park, N.J. Among friends, neighbors and colleagues. Women, children, men, everyone. For those few hours and the ensuing ones, scrolling through photos and videos and aerial footage of more than three million people across the country (and I don’t know how many more worldwide), it really felt like everyone

Because technology is amazing, I shared bits of my experience online as it occurred, and I was able to follow along with bits of friends’ and strangers’ experiences in New York, Washington D.C., Warsaw, London, Russia, Singapore, Mozambique, and many more. 

Here’s what I heard people expressing in Asbury Park and elsewhere:

Love and respect for each other and for our country.

Eagerness to speak out and real willingness to work to protect each other. 

Hope. Determination. Possibility.

Insistence on forward motion.

So much brainpower, and some epic wordplay that made me proud to be human.

Napa Cabbage Stir fry with Salt and Pepper Tofu | Umami Girl

Here’s what I did NOT hear people expressing:

Hate. Vitriol. Bitterness. Whininess. Temper tantrums. Disrespect for other regular Americans with different points of view.

There just wasn’t any of it. I looked for it, actually. I made an attempt to test the hypotheses (presented, though they were, as facts) made by a handful people I’ve interacted with in the past few days — none of whom attended a march — who felt that’s what would occur or had occurred.

I couldn’t find it.

Napa Cabbage Stir fry with Salt and Pepper Tofu | Umami Girl

Right now I’m using this space that I’ve built and tended for more than eight years to let you know about my own experience in my own words. These are the kinds of accounts that I’ll be seeking out — and trying to really listen to, quietly and with full attention — from as wide a variety of people as possible in the days and years to come.  (more…)


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.

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