Easy-peasy Pain d’épi

Pain d’épi is a baguette made to look like a stalk of wheat. Since this French bread looks super fancy, naturally I thought it must be difficult to make.

But I learned that you can make this beautiful loaf quickly and easily using canned dough – who knew?

You will need

  • baking sheet
  • parchment paper
  • glass pie plate
  • 1 cup of warm water
  • scissors
  • a sprinkle of flour
  • 1 can of dough, like the one pictured below:

Pillsbury French Bread can of dough


  • Heat the oven to 350°F
  • Put a glass pie plate filled with warm water on the bottom rack of the oven (the steam will help create a nice crust)
  • Place the dough from the can on the baking sheet lined with parchment paper
  • Sprinkle a little flour on the dough and lightly flatten

Cutting technique

At about a 30° angle, cut the dough to make a “leaf” then move it to one side:

Make another cut, then move it to the opposite side:

Repeat, alternating sides until the whole loaf looks like this:

Bake at 350°F for 24 minutes.

Voilà! Easy-peasy Pain d’épi!

Serve with butter or jam or enjoy as-is: nice and warm! Bon appétit! 🥖

Picnic By the Pond at Marin French Cheese in Petaluma

the locals call it simply “the Cheese Factory”

The Marin French Cheese Company is located on a dairy farm in Hicks Valley, near the city of Petaluma, California, about 40 miles/ 64 km north of San Francisco.

a bridge over Sonoma Creek

Since they have been at this location since 1865, Marin French Cheese has earned the distinction of being the longest continually operating cheese company in America.”

If the circular red and black logo looks familiar, it’s because Marin French Cheese was the producer of a variety of premium, hand-crafted French cheeses sold under the brand, “Rouge et Noir” which means “red and black.” They started using the name, “Marin French Cheese” in 2013.

Their award-winning creamy Brie, earthy Camembert, and savory Schloss (with a light orange-colored rind) can be found in many major grocery stores in the United States, as well as online.

My family and I recently enjoyed a picnic by the pond. We purchased everything we needed for an easy picnic from their deli: an 8 oz. wheel of their traditional Brie, salami sandwiches, mini plastic bottles of wine, pasta salad, and a bag of baguette slices.

We found a picnic table in the shade! We were close enough to see these three ducks attempt some synchronized swimming:

For more information and to watch their 4-minute video, visit the Marin French Cheese website. 🧀

How Jewel Made Me Think of Breakfast

“I got my eggs and my pancakes, too/ I got my maple syrup, everything but you…”

-from “You Were Meant For Me” by Jewel (J. Kilcher/S. Poltz)

Today (May 23) is Jewel‘s birthday! I heard this hit song of hers the other day and its delicious lyrics inspired this post about my favorite meal of the day: Breakfast!

Breakfast, you were meant for me

Any time of day, I can eat traditional American breakfast foods, like yogurt with granola, bacon, sausage, hash browns, fluffy buttermilk pancakes with butter and maple syrup, and bagels with lox and cream cheese, to name a few.

But on weekday mornings, when I’m pressed for time, breakfast is something simple. I’ll grab a fruit or pastry to eat with coffee before I head out the door.

Here are some breakfast foods I enjoy when I have a little more time to savor them.

Homemade breakfast:

My younger daughter made this Egg in the Basket

In France, I remember enjoying a tartine, or toasted baguette with butter or homemade apricot jam. I remember the sweetest Joker orange juice, too:

Le petit-déjeuner chez M. Didier

Sometimes I’ll try to recreate it:

Breakfast in restaurants:

that’s not a saucer, that’s a plate! Giant butter croissant from Piedmont Café & Bakery in Oakland, California

avocado toast from The Bistro in Rancho Cordova, California

When you make eggs, do you “break the yolks and make a smiley face” like Jewel sings in her song? 😀

I’m curious about breakfast foods from around the world!

Tell me in the comments below: What’s your favorite breakfast?