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Carolyn Cope

Carolyn Cope

Contributor

My first two-word phrase was "more cheese"—and I believe in starting as you mean to go on.

Carolyn Cope is the voice behind the popular food blog Umami Girl and the author of SE's Crisper Whisperer column. An American living in London, she's on a mission to act nonchalant in the company of courgettes and aubergines. Find her on Facebook and Twitter.

  • Website
  • Location: London, United Kingdom
  • Favorite foods: Well, there's the "leafy greens, legumes, berries, and green tea" me and the "tuna tartare, two-pound lobster, Veuve Clicquot, and cheese course" me. Both are real.
  • Last bite on earth: Honestly? I'm too neurotic to think about it.

From the Juicer: Asian Pear, Basil and Lemon Juice

This juice combines the delicate, floral sweetness of Asian pear with sophisticated, complex basil and a generous splash of bright, tart lemon. A little bit of celery brings it all together for a smooth finish. It's interesting without being too crazy, as evidenced by the fact that my two pre-teen taste testers not only didn't roll their eyes at it but seemed to genuinely enjoy it. More

From the Blender: Gateway Green Smoothie

This is my gateway green smoothie. As the name suggests, it's a mellow, entry level substance that may lead to a future risk of consuming more hardcore versions of blended greens. If you've been watching your friends get pulled down the green smoothie hatch and want to know what it's all about without a lot of commitment, this is the place to dip a toe in. More

Tips and Tricks for Making Smoothies, No Recipes Required

We'll talk favorite ingredients, all-important smoothie texture, add-ins for protein and sweetness, and tips for getting the most out of your equipment. We'll discuss regular fruit-based and other sweet smoothies as well as savory smoothies, and we'll answer lots of questions about how to make those ubiquitous, sometimes hazardous-looking green smoothies work for you. More

From the Blender: Cherry Vanilla Almond Smoothie

This smoothie blitzes two cups of cherries into a drink that's equally good for breakfast or dessert, despite using only fruit for sweetness. It's vegan, if you're into that sort of thing, but tastes like it might be packing a scoop of ice cream because of the vanilla and the slight creaminess that homemade almond milk contributes. More

From the Juicer: Fresh Watermelon and Cucumber Juice

I vaguely remember a time and place when "I'm too hot" was more than a string of random syllables. In such times and places, a glass of this gently flavored watermelon and cucumber juice with hints of lime and mint would really have hit the spot. So refreshing, so hydrating, so wildly inappropriate for my scarf- and boots-clad life. With any luck, though, some of you will be able to put its cooling properties to good use this season. More

A Simple and Brisk Rhubarb Juice

As a kid, rhubarb played a pivotal role in my life. It was a literal role, actually. One on the stage. If you're acting in a crowd scene, someone told me, and everyone mumbles, "Rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb," it sounds from the audience like there are lots of real conversations going on. This is a big deal to a 12 year old in a school play. More

From the Blender: 'Frozen Monkey' Coffee Chocolate Banana Smoothie

The original Frozen Monkey came from Hoboken, NJ's erstwhile cafe of the same name. That establishment was Hoboken's first Tasti D Lite purveyor, back when at least a certain segment of the population could utter such facts with genuine enthusiasm. The original shake combined brewed coffee, a sliced banana, and the Tasti D flavor of your choice. It was genuinely delicious and arguably breakfast. We went through a lot together. More

From the Juicer: Power Potion

My eight-year-old is running a race at school next week, and I'm going to let her dope. Good parenting, right? What, was I multitasking so much during Lance Armstrong's Oprah interview that this is what I took away from it? Nope, not this time. Before you call social services, read this: I'm letting her dope by drinking beet juice for breakfast. More

From the Juicer: Tropical Green Juice

Living in England as an American expat is an exercise in diplomacy and restraint. It's about using your "inside voice" even when you feel like using your outside voice. On a good day I like to try to chip away at America's cultural hegemony one considerate decision at a time. ("Yes, I do prefer Amy Winehouse to Lady Gaga, don't you?") More

From the Blender: Vegan Strawberry Lemonade Smoothie

Some people—normal people—crave sweets. It's evolutionary. You'd seek out high-sugar foods in the wild, or you'd die of starvation. Me? I wouldn't have lasted a month. I crave umami. Salt. Tang. There's definitely something wrong with me. If you want a tangy smoothie—pleasantly sweet, sure, but also nice and brisk—sometimes it pays to just go ahead and invent one. So I did. More

The Crisper Whisperer: What I Learned from a Raw Foods Masterclass

The definition varies from person to person, but in general a raw foods diet consists of whole vegan foods that have not been heated over 115°F. Raw enthusiasts prefer these foods because their natural enzymes, phytochemicals, vitamins, and minerals have not been altered by cooking. I found myself allocating an entire weekend to the Raw Foods Masterclass at Saf Restaurant in London. Saf is often named among the best vegetarian restaurants in London, with a totally vegan menu and many raw options. More

The Crisper Whisperer: Zucchini and Pesto Pizza

This pizza clearly originated in the mind of a Jersey girl. But now I can vouch for the fact that it tastes just as good no matter where you are—and no matter what you call a zucchini. Like many pizzas, it's a flexible recipe. Just make sure you slice the zucchini as thin as possible so it will be tender by the time the pizza is done. More

The Crisper Whisperer: Vegetables on Vacation

Even if you like to put your best foot forward on vacation and seek out the most delicious-tasting fare your destination has to offer (regardless of its ANDI score), it's worth making room for the foods that will keep you feeling healthy and energetic. Even if it's only to ensure you have space in your belly for those world-famous fried clams at dinner. Here are five of my favorite tips for fitting in fruits and veggies on vacation. More

The Crisper Whisperer: 5 Quick Tips for Cooking from the Farmers' Market

Shopping for the bulk of your fruits and vegetables (and beyond, if you're lucky) at the farmers' market takes a handful of different skills than cruising the Piggly Wiggly. Because the availability of individual foods ebbs and flows in a wonderfully non-industrial pattern, you'll have to go with the flow MacGyver-style instead of pre-planning every detail of your meals for the week. Duct tape (while never discouraged) is not an essential tool for your market tote, but here are a few ideas that are. More

Buffalo Green Juice

Hi everyone, I love seeing so much interest in both green juices and green smoothies. Just a note that I do not recommend using juice and smoothie recipes interchangeably. You could easily end up with both texture and flavor issues. (See the SE juice and smoothie making guides for more details.) If you're going to put in the effort to follow a recipe rather than going freestyle, I'd encouraging making juice recipes in a juicer and smoothie recipes in a blender. Happy New Year to all!

Tips and Tricks for Making Smoothies, No Recipes Required

@pourgirl and @sarahlucy: I bet it depends on the stick blender, but a lot of them will work just fine. At least as well as a regular blender. Probably not as well as a high-speed. Go for it! And if you learn anything useful, please come back and share.

@Blindman121 and @bdstine: Great comments. Thanks for sharing your advice!

@gargupie: It's a tricky question, but here's my take. Drinking these guys sooner than later is always preferable. On the other hand, drinking them at all is pretty great. So I don't stress about it too much. I've read some not-so-encouraging estimates of how much nutritional value fruits and vegetables can lose before even making it to the market, and the way I feel after following that train of thought for too long is probably not very good for me either.

'Frozen Monkey' Coffee Chocolate Banana Smoothie

Hi all -

Thanks, @paintchipgirl. Yup, that's my almond milk recipe. SE also has a good, similar one here, though I'd make it unflavored for use in this recipe.

Have to admit I've never tried this with instant coffee or instant espresso, but I suspect they would both yield fine, if different, results. 4 shots of espresso is about 1/2 cup liquid, so add that much water or extra milk. I'd suggest starting with 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder or 1 1/2 tablespoons instant coffee and adjusting to your taste. That would be my guess for flavor, but I'm not sure about caffeine content equivalencies. Caveat emptor on the buzz front!

'Frozen Monkey' Coffee Chocolate Banana Smoothie

Hi @katyc, if you're really motivated, you can freeze banana slices on a parchment-lined baking sheet until they're solid and then bag them. That should help a lot with sticking.

Vegan Strawberry Shortcake Smoothie

@Catea, thanks. Great idea for folks with date blending issues.

College Tours: Where to Eat Near Princeton University

Good list, though it does make me feel a little OLD since a few places post-date my graduation by like 6 years. I definitely agree that Olives belongs here! Their hummus was worth losing friends over the garlic breath.

Rhubarb-Strawberry Margaritas

Hi, Maggie! These look so delicious and springy.

Miso Soup

@Leo_G Yup, totally agree. Miso should not be boiled. The method you suggest is the same one I use in the recipe!

From the Blender: Pumpkin Spice Smoothie

@Daniel C Sorry, I can't remember! Strikes me as the type of thing I would've violated the first rule of photo propping for and bought at a national chain -- Sur la Table? Anthropologie?

From the Blender: Lean Green Smoothie

@harrylu More greens? Are you trying to kill me with kindness? I love it! Glad you liked the recipe. Thanks for reporting back.

From the Blender: Lean Green Smoothie

@BeerBoy Especially because of the lemon, this is significantly less sweet than the average strawberry-banana. If you want a sweeter green smoothie to get you started, try this one with spinach instead of arugula and swap in a couple of dried dates for the lemon. Or try this one, which isn't technically green but is loaded with spinach.

Classic Apple Crisp for Thanksgiving

@eliza422 Good question, though hard to answer really well these days since apples are (happily!) such a regional phenomenon. I used Braeburns, which turned out very well. Any type or combination of types that you would use for pie would work well here. SE has addressed this before, here and more recently here. Good luck!

The Crisper Whisperer: What I Learned from a Raw Foods Masterclass

Wow! Looks like I exposed a few nerve endings with this one. As always, thanks to everyone for expressing your thoughts and getting involved in the discussion -- especially the parts where many of you provided additional insight without condemning a way of life that other people have chosen for themselves. (That latter part, on the other hand, is by far my least favorite part of contributing to this site.)

Kenji, I really appreciate your scientific analysis. I think it can be incredibly difficult for non-scientists to weed through all the dietary information/disinformation that's out there these days. I know SE isn't really focused on nutrition, but since literal nourishment is an important part of why we feed ourselves, I love that you're willing to spend some time applying your abundant knowledge to that side of the discussion.

I'm surprised, though, that you would label raw foodism as the most utterly bullshit/dangerous food trend. In a society trending sharply toward premature death from diseases caused in large part by overconsumption of processed "foods" devoid of nutritional value, how can a fringe trend that encourages eating whole plant foods be our biggest threat? If I had to pick a winner for an utter bullshit trend, I'm pretty sure it would be this Timeline of the Standard American Diet, presented in graphical format for your viewing pleasure by the New York Times. :)

Okay, that's all the controversy I can handle for one morning. Off to make some pretty pictures of tacos.

The Crisper Whisperer: A Seriously Delicious 'Green' Smoothie

@::minijen:: Keeping the foods whole as long as possible and blending right before drinking would preserve more nutrients and make it taste fresher. It's a little more work but worth it, I think.

The Crisper Whisperer: A Seriously Delicious 'Green' Smoothie

Happy to see so many green smoothie enthusiasts and all of your great suggestions!

@Jbout I'm not a protein powder enthusiast myself -- I like to get my protein in the form of whole foods and have been learning more about how our bodies generally don't need or want nearly as much protein as we've come to believe they do, even when we're working out a lot. Hope you find one you like, though, if that's your thing.

@KarmaFreeCooking That's interesting about the dates. I realized when I read your comment that I only started adding dates after getting my Vitamix, which does a great job with them (and everything else). I wonder whether soaking them in advance would help?

The Crisper Whisperer: Squash and Quinoa with Cilantro-Lime Dressing

Hi @conky, thanks for checking in after making the recipe! Dumpling squash doesn't need to be peeled, and I didn't peel it. I think the skin is pretty delicious and totally agree with you that convection roasting makes it extra bizzatch-licious. :)

The Crisper Whisperer: Squash and Quinoa with Cilantro-Lime Dressing

@JulietRomeo, any winter squash with mild, sweet flesh and edible skin would work well here, or even one with firm flesh and inedible skin, as long as you peel it first. Acorn, delicata, red kuri, and buttercup would all be great choices. Dumpling squash are on the smallish side (similar to a small acorn squash -- the one I used was under two pounds), so you can use that as a reference. Squash sweetness varies a lot between varieties, so you might want to up the lime juice a bit if you use a really sweet variety.

The Crisper Whisperer: The World's Second-Easiest Fig Dessert

Thanks, Maggie! I had a pretty model. :)

The Crisper Whisperer: The Dinner Salad

Thanks, everyone, for sharing your salad thoughts. Fun to see so many varieties and approaches. I'm hungry....

San Francisco: Pal's Takeaway for Awesome Artisanal Sandwiches From...a Liquor Store?

I love everything about this post, and especially that first photo. It's a really beautiful portrait.

In a Pickle: Pickled Red Tomatoes

Hi, Marisa! Love your new column. Just as you say, I've pickled green tomatoes and canned tomatoes in many forms, but I've never pickled red tomatoes. These look fantastic. Looking forward to giving them a try, probably as fridge pickles since I am not yet full-on canning equipped in London.

Meta-Foods: Rice Krispies Treats Cereal Treats Cereal (RKTCTC)

Funny, I've been thinking about meta foods and Pomo pancakes for like a week now, because I made a frittata out of leftover bread pudding the other day. Starting to wonder why I bother to think for myself at all anymore with a fully staffed SE out there to do it for me....

The Crisper Whisperer: Zucchini and Pesto Pizza

@cdemers Yikes, thanks. All fixed.

The Crisper Whisperer: Zucchini and Pesto Pizza

Zucchini are courgettes and eggplant are aubergines, like the French. Peppers, even sweet ones, seem to be capsicum, but only sometimes. The Jersey trifecta by any other name would taste as sweet....

The Crisper Whisperer: How to Make Fruit Leather

@Ny155 Yup, exactly what @ob1canobeans said. And can I please add a moment of silence to praise the username @ob1canobeans?

@karen1monger That is just awesome. I've heard of air-drying fruit leather, but the dashboard tactic is new to me!

@eshlemouisa Blueberries.

Small Plates: Crabby Falafel 'Sliders'

These crab and chickpea "sliders"* start with a slightly streamlined, miniaturized version of Mantuano's Falafel Crab Cakes (I use canned chickpeas, tweak the spice blend to make it more sandwich-friendly, and add a tiny bit of flour to help the patties hold together more easily during the frying stage), which he describes as from "southern Spain, which owes many culinary inspirations to the Moors of Northern Africa." More

Peanut Butter Fondue

Add this peanut butter mixture to a warm fondue pot, and serve with skewered marshmallows, apple chunks, sliced bananas, hulled strawberries, or whatever dippable snack you're nuts about. More

Thanksgiving Cocktail Inspiration

Whether you do an official cocktail hour or just want something festive to share with your fellow cooks in the kitchen, here are a few autumnal cocktails to help you celebrate Thanksgiving. A touch of ginger, a hint of apple, smoky liquor, tart cranberries...these drinks are a tasty start to Thanksgiving (and worth keeping on file for post-Thanksgiving parties.) More

Equipment: How to Buy, Season, and Maintain Cast Iron Cookware

Having just adopted a French bulldog named Dumpling, I'm quickly finding out that taking care of a puppy is very similar to taking care of a good cast iron pan, and in some ways, almost as satisfying. They both require a little work, a little patience, and a whole lot of loyalty. The main difference is that in return for my investment, my cast iron pan gives me golden-brown fried chicken, sizzling bacon, corn bread, apple pies, charred hash, perfectly seared steaks, bubbly pizzas, and, yes, crisp dumplings. Dumpling the puppy, on the other hand, gives me mostly licks, chews, and a whole lot of poop. You do the math. More

Serious Beer: Summer Seasonals

We rounded up 24 specially-released-for-summer beers, but more are showing up in the stores every day. The best of the bunch are refreshing, flavorful and fun. Good summer beers aren't just light beers to keep you company while you're mowing the lawn; they're food-friendly options to pair with curry and sushi, barbecue and burritos. More

How to Make Grilled Pizza

For my money, grilling pizza is by far the best way to cook pizza at home. The basic theory is easy. Take a round of pizza dough, expose it to the intense heat of a grill, flip it, top it, char the bottom, and serve. Because grills can reach upwards of 600°F and emit radiant energy like a motherfu**er, the pizzas bubble, crisp, and char in about 45 seconds flat per side. That's timing that rivals the hottest wood-burning oven, and just like those pizzas, the result is a crust that is soft and chewy in the center, with a crisp, crackly shell that's deeply charred in spots. More

Bread Baking: Malted Barley Dark Rye Sandwich Loaf

For this loaf, I used a pale chocolate malt. The grains smelled a bit like chocolate with a hint of coffee. One of my previous loaves used a darker roasted malt called Pearl Black that smelled very much like roasted coffee and had a much stronger flavor in the finished loaf. If you don't have dark malted barley, you could simply leave it out and use this recipe to make a standard rye. It will be a lot paler, and not as complex, but still a nice loaf of rye. More

Cook Your Meat in a Beer Cooler: The World's Best (and Cheapest) Sous-Vide Hack

By this point, there is absolutely no question that the method of cooking foods at precise low-temperatures in vacuum-sealed pouches (commonly referred to as "sous-vide") has revolutionized fine-dining kitchens around the world. But the question of when this technique will trickle down to home users—and it certainly is a question of when, and not if—remains to be answered. The Sous-Vide Supreme is certainly a big step in the right direction. But at $450, for most people, it still remains prohibitively costly. In an effort to help those who'd like to experiment with sous-vide cookery without having to put in the capital, a couple weeks ago I devised a novel solution to the problem: cook your food in a beer cooler. I put the hack method head-to-head against the Sous-Vide Supreme. More

Michael Ruhlman's 'Ratio' iPhone App Now Available

The iPhone app based on author Michael Ruhlman's book Ratio is now available in the Apple App Store. I've downloaded it and messed around with it. It's a pretty handsome and very well thought-out lil' app. I think I'm going to put it to the test tonight in preparing cookies for our office cookie swap tomorrow.... More

Donut Seeds

[Photograph: Jason Fulford] Kids will eventually want to know where donuts come from. This is actually a bag of Cheerios, the perfect gag gift for any donut-loving gardener in your life. The photograph was taken by Jason Fulford for Kenny Shopsin's book Eat Me. [via Laughing Squid] Related 'Eat Me: The Food and Philosophy of Kenny Shopsin' Kimchi Donuts from Dunkin' Donuts in Korea Quote of the Day: Donut vs. Doughnut Spelling... More