Eat your heart out, NYC.

My finest parenting moments include the times I realize how broad my children's palates already are.

This morning, we made 14 everything bagels with ramp-chive cream cheese. We made them last year, too… and I have been dreaming of them ever since. So, needless to say, this is going to quickly become an annual tradition.

I use the bagel recipe from The Bread Baker’s Apprentice, and I won’t republish the recipe here because I don’t mess with it (or any recipe from that book); they are perfect as-is. What I will say is, go buy this book if you want to bake bread. You’ll learn a ton and have every basic recipe you could want to master yeast breads.

14 bagels are too many for the three of us, so we made a random-neighbor-delivery to three friends in the ‘hood. Damn, it feels good to live in Nordeast.

And now, bagel eye-candy:

Crunchy, salty, spicy, savory goodness. That's what I'm talking about.

The waiting is the hardest part.

At last. Eat your heart out, New York.

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Weekday Meals: Spring Pizza

A very kind neighbor brought over about a half-pound of morel mushrooms for us this week, which left us both extraordinarily grateful and pondering what the best way to enjoy them might be.

I’m a big fan of the morel in eggs, so I was surprised and intrigued when Dave said he was making pizza.

from L-R: dough, goat cheese, morels, mustard greens, dandelion greens, ramps, and bacon

We used Alton Brown’s pizza crust recipe, pureed the dandilion and mustard greens (a couple of cups worth of greens) with olive oil (a couple of tablespoons), salt and pepper that, and voila – sauce.

Dave sauteed the morels:

oh baby. mushrooms.

crisped up bacon, roasted whole ramps, scattered some thinly sliced ramps and some whole greens, added clumps of goat cheese, then layered it on all on the pizza stone.

Baked for 10  minutes, the result was phenomenal:

Now you understand why I married this man.

We’ll be making this again next ramp season. Five stars.

Minneapolis, Food City.

It’s always busy during May for us. So I’m probably more excited than usual to get to the Mill City Farmer’s Market for the first time this season.

Mill City has been “our market” since we met five years ago. It’s not the biggest, and it’s not the closest to our house, but it’s a fantastic bike ride over the Stone Arch Bridge. The Chef Shack is there. And there’s a ton of really high-quality food to bring home, to boot.

And it offers a list of food that makes my mouth water… case in point, this week’s list of goodies (it’s so helpful that the market is offering a Produce Planner this year!):

  • Asparagus
  • Morels
  • Green garlic
  • Ramps
  • Rhubarb
  • Radishes
  • Arugula
  • Spring salad mix
  • Spinach
  • Nettles
  • Fiddlehead ferns
  • Herbs
  • Salad turnips
  • Dried peppers
  • Baby bok choy

Drool. That is all.

My cheatin’ heart.

For years now, Rustica has been my go-to bakery. It’s also been the gold standard I strive to meet in my own journey toward mastering the art of baking.

Until today.

As we drove to work this morning, Dining with Dara highlighted Sunstreet Breads, on 46th and Nicollet. Now, Dara knows a thing or two about good eats here in the metro, AND 46th and Nic is conveniently a quick stop on my morning commute, so I convinced the carpool to stop in.

I bought three baguettes and a blueberry cream cheese kolache. This cream cheese kolache:

Yes, I got halfway through this pastry before I thought to take a picture of it. It was THAT good.

And while the pillowy donut-meets-sweet roll texture of the kolache is really nothing like the buttery, flaky, crumbly base of most Rustica pastries, I have to say that it perhaps tasted even better with my coffee. Maybe. However, the baguette! Oh, the baguette. Dara, you have never steered me wrong before, and I daresay Sunstreets’s baguette outshines Rustica. Gasp. There, it’s out there and I’m not ashamed. The crumb: amazing. The flavor: clean and elegant, yet complex, with notes of milkiness, a little salt, and the perfect bite. I want to bottle the aroma and sell it as perfume. Lawd.

So now, I have a cheating problem. I’ve been in  a relatively monogamous bakery relationship with Rustica for years… and I’m not ready to leave her. But Sunstreet, you are oh-so good at what you do, too. I’m a two-timing, bakery loving fool, and I just can’t help myself.