Monday, April 28, 2008


I bought 2 small bunches of ramps this weekend. I had heard that they were good sauteed with bacon (what isn't?) and thought I would give it a shot. I forgot to ask the farmers how much of it's edible, so I tried to find a recipe in my cookbook collection to tell me. This is the first time my collection has failed me. How do two cookbooks entirely about vegetables not have anything about ramps? I decided to cut them up and saute the white parts separately from the leaves. I'm so glad I did. The whites (with a little of the pink) were fantastic. Kind of like a onion with a little bit of the bite of raw garlic. The green leaves, not so much. They were bitter and ended up in the garbage disposal.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Cinnamon Bread as French Toast

This morning was French Toast with cinnamon bread that I bought at the farmer's market yesterday. I sliced the bread into 3/4 inch slices and soaked them in a combination of 4 eggs, 1 cup of milk, a pinch of salt, and a splash of vanilla extract (thanks Joy of Cooking) for about 5 minutes, turning once.

With a saute pan on medium heat, I melted 1 TB of butter and let it heat for about 2 minutes. Once the butter stopped bubbling, I put in each of the four slices (now swollen with the egg mixture) in the pan, being careful not to crowd the pan. The key to perfect French Toast? Don't move the bread! Let it brown for 4-5 minutes before flipping once. Let the second side brown for another 3-4 minutes and serve. Matt likes his with a little powered sugar (I have a shaker filled with powered sugar in my spice drawer) and maple syrup.
I like mine with strawberries left over from lunch yesterday. I'm also one of those freaks that prefer applesauce with my pancakes.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Spring is here!

This morning I woke up just about as the sun came up to go to the Alexandria Farmer's Market. Most of the stands were set up, but the there were still some of the vendors setting up as we left. Jen and I did a lap around so I could get coffee and we could see what was there. We picked up bread (a baguette, a sourdough boule, and a loaf of cinnamon bread), asparagus, lettuce, strawberries, basil, tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, eggs, ramps, and flowers. I had thought I had grab too big of a bag, but ended up with almost no room left.

For lunch today, I cut up some of the strawberries and sprinkled with a tiny bit of sugar (less than 1/2 tsp for 1 c. of strawberries to help bring out the juice). I was surprised at how ripe they were for being so early in the season.

For the flowers I picked up two of my favorites, lilac and peony. They're truly a maker of spring.