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Prosciutto Arugula Pizza with Balsamic Drizzle | Umami Girl

Ages ago I wrote a little essay about our visit to Primo restaurant in Rockland, Maine. Primo was pretty new at the time, as was the farm-to-table restaurant movement, if you can believe that. We loved that place so much. It was a revelation for us at that moment, and I went on to get a lot of satisfaction from watching the rest of the country have a similar revelation in the few years after.

Our meal at Primo began with a perfect prosciutto arugula pizza that I’ve thought about virtually every day since. (BTW that’s all you’ll ever need to know about me — I think about long-lost pizzas every day, and until my late 30s I could start a meal with half a pie.) Of course I wasn’t organized enough in those days of new blogginess and babies everywhere to have shared a recipe for the actual prosciutto arugula pizza in that post. But guess what? Eight years later, I totally am.  (more…)

If you’re not in the habit of using the word “ridonculous,” you’ll want to christen it after a bite of this bittersweet chocolate tart. Which is good news, since there’s absolutely nothing else to say about it.

Bittersweet Chocolate Tart with Shortbread Crust | Umami Girl

{Quick note before we dive into this chocolate tart (and literally is fine, BTW): Due to some nerdy changes on the back end of my website, which I am perhaps overly excited about, I’m now able to refresh much older posts and bring them up to today’s standards as well as the front of the queue. Just in time for Pi Day (because tart is about as accurate an expression of pie as 3.14 is of pi, let’s say) I’m starting with this gorgeous chocolate tart, which needed some new photos and a few tweaks to the way I’d written the recipe. This post was originally published in March, 2009. It contains affiliate links.}  (more…)

People. Totchos are a thing. And not just any old thing. They’re tater tot nachos. I MEAN.

Totchos (Tater Tot Nachos) | Umami Girl

I am a huge — and hugely geeky — fan of the portmanteau. No no, don’t leave just yet. A portmanteau is a word combining the sounds and meanings of two other words. Brunch. Motel. More recently, podcast. (iPod and broadcast…am I the only one that hadn’t quite connected that?) Even MORE recently, totchos. Tater tot nachos! I imagine there was some effort to cram tater tots, nachos, and totally friggin’ ridiculous all together into the name of this dish, but something had to give, and really, the totally friggin’ ridiculous is so obviously implied.

That’s the main reason we had them for dinner the other day. The secondary reason is that I was getting a little too much of a kick out of calling myself Totcho Mama until the kids really couldn’t handle me for one second more.  (more…)

This vegan banh mi sandwich with char siu tofu isn’t exactly authentic, but boy is it good. And it’s yours in about half an hour.

Vegan Banh Mi with Char Siu Tofu | Umami Girl

Happy Friday! It’s time for some wildly inauthentic but totally delicious Vietnamese street food created in my New Jersey kitchen. Sound good? I’ve been dreaming of tofu banh mi ever since I had one at the ridiculously lovely Elizabeth St. Cafe on our trip to Austin last year. I finally made the time to play around with flavors and textures and come up with a vegan sandwich that ticks all the boxes and then some.

Vegan Banh Mi with Char Siu Tofu | Umami Girl

Char siu is that wonderful slow-roasted Chinese pork with the red tint on the outside. Char siu pork banh mi is never really at the top of the banh mi menu, but it’s often on there somewhere. Char siu tofu? Maybe not so much. But maybe it’s time to change that.

One of my strongest memories from childhood is being at my friend Mimi’s house when I was maybe 10 years old, and taking the first bite of a baked pork bun (cha siu bao), which made with char siu pork in a sticky sauce. I loved it so much that it made me incredibly happy but also kind of devastated that I knew I wouldn’t be able to get my hands on them on a regular basis. I think her parents had brought them home from New York City as a special treat.

Anyway, that’s a long way of saying that char siu and I go way back. (more…)

Carolyn Cope Working Mama | Umami Girl

See me worky-working on my giant 2011 laptop? Might be time for new headshots 🙂

Hello hello, and happy day after International Women’s Day to us all. This post is sponsored by BBVA Compass. As you’ll see, the opinions are most definitely my own. (I have a lot to say on this topic, who knew? Answer: my husband.)

This may be the proudest I’ve ever been to create sponsored content, because the Working Moms Mean Business project is all about empowering working moms by dispelling some of our less-helpful cultural myths and replacing them with data. Spoiler alert: The kids are all right. Maybe better than ever. (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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