Afternoon Snack Plate || Humbolt Fog & Parmesan

If there's one good thing about being "fun" employed, it's the chance to do some serious afternoon snackage... Working Niki barely breaks for lunch, if that, so life on a pause Niki is going to sit back, relax, and completely enjoy the free time to eat delicious foods while catching up on her ridiculous stack of READ ME books!

Today, I decided to do a little Cheese Plate to go with an afternoon of George R. R. Martin's A Feast For Crows.

  • Parmigiano-Reggiano - A little show called Master Chef might have turned me into a Whole Foods ( cheese snob.  Sorry, I'm sure you could get your Parm elsewhere, but this is where I now go.
  • Humbolt Fog - Ditto. 
  • Guava Paste - Ditto.  They sell this in pre-cut slices over in the cheese section.
  • Micro Basil - Another Whole Foods purchase, look for Micro Greens over in the produce area. Regular basil would certainly suffice if you can't find any micros!
  • Balsamic Vinegar - I've recently become obsessed with this CaliVinegar Barrel Aged Balsamic ( I found at Monsieur Marcel's in the Fairfax Farmer's Market. It's that thick, gooey, aged balsamic that you can eat with a spoon.  And it's not too pricey! Score!
  • Lemon Curd - Trader Joe's ( has an awesome curd over in their jam section. If I'm not eating it with cheese, spread on a slice of brioche is another fantastic use.
  • White Balsamic Vinegar - Not sure where this came from to be honest, but tons of grocery stores carry it!
  • Pesto - I know, I know. It's so easy to make your own Pesto, but why do it when this awesome local company Basil Tops ( makes it better??  I always stock up every time I see them at the Hollywood Farmer's Market.
  • Olive Oil - Shh... This might have been a MC Pantry steal.  Laudemio Frescobaldi Extra Virgin Olive Oil ( Obviously any really nice Olive Oil will do!
  • Sea Salt - I'm obsessed with Monsieur Marcel's Vintage Merlot Sea Salt ( for both it's complex flavor and it's gorgeous color!  It really adds a nice crunchy balance, especially on the Guava Paste.
 Start with a blank canvas.

 Pour on the first layer. I'm a balsamic fiend, so I start mine in a pool!

 Chop up the Parmesan. Use the tip of a knife to break it into pieces.

 Cut up the Humbolt Fog as well. This has to be done more carefully since the Fog is a much softer cheese. 

 Next, cut up the Guava Puree into bite sized pieces.

First, arrange the Parmesan & Humbolt Fog pieces around the plate. Lay down the Guava Paste in between. Dollop a dot of Pesto ontop of each piece of Parmesan.

 Swirl in a few dollops of Lemon Curd to add a tangy offset to the Balsamic. Add a few sprigs of Micro Basil & sprinkle with Sea Salt.

Finally, add a few drops of White Balsamic Vinegar, a drizzle of Olive Oil & Enjoy!
Snack Time!