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Chocolate Candy Cane Cupcakes

Chocolate Candy Cane Cupcakes | Umami Girl

Ho ho holy crap, you guys. Only four days ’til Christmas. I think I start a post that way every year. But it’s okay, because it’s genuine shock and awe speaking, so it’s relatable, right?

I know I don’t have to tell you about all the obligations this time of year. One love-hate-love task I often rue the day I volunteered for is making treats for a class party. (Two weeks beforehand: I’m looking forward to this! Definitely signing up! Two days beforehand: Jesus Christ almighty, what have I done? Ten seconds after finishing: SO CUTE, YAY!) These chocolate candy cane cupcakes fit the only three requirements of my holiday class baking projects: they’re nut-free, they have a high cuteness to effort ratio, and they’re vaguely secular. On my best days, I can say the same for myself.  (more…)

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting | Umami Girl

I’m thinking back fondly to that time when I should’ve been Christmas shopping, preparing teacher gifts and planning a Christmas dinner menu, but instead decided to stay in my PJs for an extra 90 minutes and publish two recipes in one day. Oh hi, that was right now (and here’s to making multiple school drop-off runs in PJs, as one does).

Yesterday I sent these cuties to school for Celia’s 4th grade class even though the child herself has been home sick all week. That recipe, which I love for its cuteness to easiness ratio, will be up shortly. But first, an essential building block: chocolate buttercream frosting. [UPDATE: cupcakes are here!] (more…)

Reverse Sear Pork Chops with Quick Shallot Herb Pan Sauce

Reverse Sear Pork Chops | Umami Girl

All right people, first things first here. There is no quick shallot herb pan sauce in these photos. Why? Because although I am pretty good at a decent number of things, I am pretty terrible at a lot of others. The other day on an endless car ride I was thinking about how it’s possible to be medium-brilliant and kind of medium- to high- at-risk at the same time. 🙂 So that’s where we begin.

You all know I delight in talking about unrelated topics when posting recipes. But today we have a lot of food-related business to get through, so I’m just going to have to put on my big-girl pants and talk about that. We’ve got the dry brine. We’ve got the reverse sear. We’ve got the rib chop. And we’ve got no choice but to dig in. Let’s do it. (more…)

Roast Chicken and Potatoes with All the Best Things

Roast Chicken with Potatoes | Umami Girl

Happy cozy weekend to you. Once upon a time we used to make this juuuust slightly extra-special roast chicken and potatoes on a regular basis. Then I forgot about it for years. But recently a nice thing happened — more on the details some other time — and one morning I ended up promising our little Celia that I’d make “chicken with stars” for dinner.

It was very sweet. We had a nice hug. But boy did I not know what chicken with stars meant. Neither did she.

Celia went off to school, and I started thinking.  (more…)

Ugly Sweater Cookies: Chocolate Sugar Cookies and Icing Tips

Ugly Sweater Cookies with Snowman | Umami Girl

So here’s something fun. It’s Betty and Pearl. They’re cookies. And they like to have a good time. I made a little video to contribute to GoodCook’s 12 Days of Ugly Sweater Cookies. They sent us a box full of baking tools. We got a little carried away.  (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.