June 27, 2011

Good morning

How do you start your morning?  We all have certain habits when it comes to our morning routine but I bet breakfast depends, in part, on your schedule for the day.  A leisurely breakfast is probably reserved for a lazy Sunday morning (though even those seem to be rare and we basically have to schedule them) or for days when we can hit up our favorite local diner.
I never miss breakfast.  Since I love to eat so much, I look forward to waking up so I can have my first meal of the day.  It's no joke.  The meal doesn't have to be elaborate.  In fact, it usually isn't.  Occasionally, you may find me at the local coffee shop ordering my favorite coffee drink and a breakfast sandwich.  At home, it's probably a cup of tea and generally something quick and simple to eat but it gets me started for the day. 

For a while recently, it was all about my favorite cereal.  I ate it relentlessly for nearly 6 months and finally got tired of it.  Recently, I've been sticking with a nice toasted bagel.  Other mornings may be a soft boiled egg with some almonds or a bowl of oatmeal.  For my husband who's on a tight schedule before work, it may be a muffin or a slice of banana bread.  When we have the time, we'll make pancakes, french toast, or a fried egg and ham sandwich.  Once in a while I like to have a breakfast party and invite my family over to enjoy the first meal of the day together.

This little breakfast toast is something I've been making a lot for my husband and son (I love it too) and I wanted to share it with you.  It's simply toast with sweetened condensed milk.
This toast with some butter and condensed milk is a very common breakfast sandwich or snack we'd have growing up in Hong Kong.  You'll see in on the menu of many Hong Kong style tea shops or what would be considered Chinese cafes or diners.  And you'll find this kind of restaurant in the Chinatown communities of major cities.  To this day, I love visiting this type of "tea shop" where they serve a sort of fusion of Eastern and Western dishes and snacks with your choice of milk teas or other signature drinks like iced tea with lemon (hard to explain but it tastes different from what we're used to).  I'm not sure that I visited many of these cafes when I was a child in Hong Kong but for whatever reason, I love these places and the eclectic variety of food you can find there. 

What's great about having experienced life in Hong Kong (for the first 7-8 years of my life at least) is that while I certainly grew up around amazing Cantonese food and culture, Hong Kong being a British colony for a long time, meant we also had Cadbury chocolate bars, and enjoyed tins of butter cookies, high tea, and Christmas celebrations in our lives.  European imports were common and I remember eating nutella before it became as common as it is now in the States.  We love to spread it on a warm bagel for breakfast.
I hope you can make a little time for breakfast.  Have a wonderful day!
Toast with Sweetened Condensed Milk

You hardly need a recipe since it's so simple but to make this, take:

2 pieces of white toast, lightly toasted
Salted butter, just a couple of smears
2-3 tablespoons of sweetened condensed milk

Make sure you use sweetened condensed milk, not evaporated milk
Trim the crust of your pieces of white bread and lightly toast it.  Smear each piece of toast with a little bit of salted butter.
Then, slather on the sweetened condensed milk.  I would say about a tablespoon per slice but the amount is up to your liking.
Slice on the diagonal and it's ready to eat!
And when you're tired of butter or cream cheese on your bagel, a little nutella chocolate-hazelnut spread is a nice switch.
I'm ready for breakfast!

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