Happy Spring Everyone!
We had a terrific turnout at the market on March 15th and the snow showers held off until the very end of the day. I don’t know about you, but I am ready for some spring-like weather. I went for a walk around the lake the other day and stood gazing longingly at our summer market site, remembering those warm, sunny Saturdays! The great news is that we’re not too far away from the opening of the summer market (83 days as I write this, but who is counting??) and I can’t wait to get back out under the tent with new ideas and recipes! Until then, we have one more indoor market coming up on April 19 and I plan on celebrating spring to the fullest in my demo on that day.
I had a blast cooking with the kids and the grown-ups they brought with them at our last market and we made some super-tasty dishes. It was also great fun to have Lynn Huston follow me around as my personal paparazzi, filming the cooking demo and other parts of the market. I can’t wait to see the finished product!
As some of you may know, when I come to the market I really have no idea what I am going to make that day. I take a spin around, talk to the farmers and vendors and start culling ideas. Sometimes I’ll ask if a vendor has a surplus of a particular item or a new item they’d like people to know about and I’ll find a way to use that in my cooking. It’s the creative spark that gets my juices flowing and gets me excited about sharing some ideas with all of you. This particular market day, my vendor friends and I were all craving breakfast so I had that on my mind as I was thinking about fun things to make with and for the kiddos (and grown-ups too!). I ended up with twists on two classics: french toast and breakfast burritos.
The french toast happened when I was talking with my friends at The Popover Lady and saw their gorgeous loaves of cinnamon-raisin bread. These loaves were huge and fragrant and bursting with cinnamon-sugar flavor. From there I picked up some eggs from Shady Pine Farm and then went to see Jane at West River Creamery and found she had her fabulous Maple Chevre with her. I knew it would be perfect in the batter for the french toast. While I was there I also picked up some zucchini relish and some jack cheese because I thought “I’ve got eggs, so how about some breakfast burritos to go with the french toast?” A stop at Samira’s for some of her flatbread, Pam’s for their black bean salsa, a few handfuls of spinach and an onion from Farmer Dave’s and I had just about all of the fixin’s I needed. Back at the table I realized I needed some liquid for the french toast batter and hit up the peeps at Pour Man’s for some almond milk. Ready to roll.
Instead of traditional french toast, the kids and I thought it would be fun to make french toast “muffins”. So here’s how we did it:
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and grease (really well) 2 – 3 mini-muffin pans.
I used half of the loaf of cinnamon-raisin bread from The Popover Lady because, well, it was HUGE! If you have a regular-size loaf, use the whole thing (and make sure to get an unsliced loaf). Cut the bread into thick slices and then cut the slices into cubes. Beat 6 eggs and about 2 cups of milk (or ½ & ½ or almond milk) until they are combined and then whisk in the container of maple chevre. It’s ok if there are small lumps of the chevre in the egg mixture, they’ll form delicious little pockets of mapley-cheesey love in the “muffins.” Stir in the bread cubes and let them sit in the custard pool for a few minutes. I didn’t add any additional sweetener or spices to this because the loaf of cinnamon raisin bread was so delicious and sweet and perfectly spiced. You may want to adjust your sweetness & cinnamony-ness accordingly. Once the bread has had a chance to soak up the batter a bit, spoon it into the muffin cups. Bake for about 15-18 minutes until golden and puffy. Serve while still warm as they are or with a drizzle of maple syrup.
After the sugar buzz we needed some protein and these breakfast burritos hit the spot. I started by whisking 8 eggs in a bowl (you’ll feed 4-6 people with these) with a bit of water (about 1 Tbsp) and set them aside. I diced a small onion and chopped up the spinach. I heated my saute pan, drizzled in some olive oil and tossed in the onion. Once the onion started to get a little brown, I added the spinach and seasoned with salt & pepper. As the spinach began to wilt, I poured in the eggs and stirred them around. I added about ½ a container of Pam’s black bean salsa and about ½ a package of West River Creamery’s Jack cheese. Cook until the eggs are just set and the cheese begins to melt (I diced the cheese, you can grate it as well). Once the eggs were done, I took one of Samira’s flatbreads, cut it in half, opened it up and spooned in the egg mixture. A few spoonfuls of zucchini relish, a quick roll up and then it was ready to go. The zucchini relish really added the final zing to the roll-ups.
We had lots of “yums” at the table and it was wonderful to have so many of you stop by! What a joy to share the fun of cooking with all of you!
I hope you’ll try these at home and as always, do let me know how your cooking adventures go. I love to hear from you!
I know we’ll be seeing more signs of spring and I hope to see all of you in April (19th) at our last market of the winter season.
Until then, Eat Well and Nourish Your Soul!