Guests are awesome because it gives me an excuse to ramp up my usual daily routine and embellish on the little things. The best part is that I get to share whatever it is I end up doing with others — namely my guests! :) My cousin Ellen & her bf Mykie, happen to be Cali folks so I expected they would sleep in this morning well after we left for the day.

So I left them a little spread of:

  • cherries & strawberries (both so sweet! though I wonder if late summer is necessarily high season for either berry right now)
  • Peruvian avocado
  • fresh sliced Rosemary bread
  • Changing Seas Norwegian smoked salmon
  • organic neufchatel cheese spread (I’m a newbie to this as an alternative to cream cheese, but decided to try it out after mulling it over in the cold fridge aisle in frustratingly indecisive Suzi fashion. “1/3 less fat than cream cheese!” it touts)
  • local farm-fresh basil leaves (by farm-fresh and local, I mean our backyard where Baji resides hehe)
  • And this is the little tartine I crafted from the items in this spread. It was fresh and delicious! Just a little olive oil drizzled atop the tartine would have been a nice touch as well.

    Our normal breakfast routine is a bit more streamlined and what we like to call “monkish.” It consists of a bowl of cereal with almond milk, paired with a bittersweet cup of espresso (made with <3) and topped with a pretty dollop of whipped cream. Cereal is perfect because it's so easy and fast, both to pick up at the grocery store and to prepare, and also very healthy if you pick the right cereals with whole grain, fiber, nuts and all that jazz.

    Ellen just sent me a neat photo of their enjoyments as well!:

    And finally, a morsel for the nerds among us… here is a small piece of history about open-face sammiches, borrowed from none other than Wikipedia:

    “During the Middle Ages, thick slabs of coarse bread called “tranches” (late 15th century French) or, in its English derivative, “trenchers”, were used as plates. At the end of the meal, the food-soaked trencher was eaten by the diner (from which we get the expression “trencherman”), or perhaps fed to a dog or saved for beggars. Trenchers were as much the harbingers of open-face sandwiches as they were of disposable dishware. As such, open-face sandwiches have a unique origin and history, differing from that of the true (multi-slice) sandwich”

    And on Neufchatel cheese from The Cheesemonger at (I had to look it up):

    “original Neufchâtel actually is: a French cheese dating back to the 6th century, named after a town of the same name, in Normandy. Some argue that Neufchâtel is the oldest known cheese in France, and its make process remains quite similar to the original methods of production. French Neufchâtel is an AOC — that is, name protected — unripened cheese, made with cow milk, and if left to ripen, it will develop a soft, bloomy rind, like brie or camembert. It’s often found in the shape of a heart. Aw.

    “Cheese lore tells of a cheesemaker who, in an effort to replicate the cheese in America, ended up with a result more similar to cream cheese than to Neufchâtel. While the French version uses only milk, the American one uses milk and cream… Another point to note: Neufchâtel in France is made with raw milk, while Neufchâtel in America gets pasteurized.

    On paper, the main distinction between the two cheeses is their fat content: While cream cheese by law must contain at least 33% milk fat and not more than 55% moisture, American Neufchâtel weighs in with about 23% milk fat and slightly higher moisture content.”

    Written by devotchkaa



    Love the French themes in ur breakfast! :) Had me some tartines “de poulet” (at the original Le Pain Quotidien in Brussels!) and some raw stinky-ass cheese in France couple weeks ago. Yummmmm.


    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *