Crème Brûlée with the family

I just got off Skype with my family…a whole bunch of family. It was my family on my Dad’s side, they all went out to King’s Buffet for my Grandpa’s birthday and then back to my Aunt Deanna and Uncle Tony’s house and that’s when we talked. It was 3pm there when we started. I actually missed the first two calls because we were finishing an episode of ‘Chuck’. I gave them some info about what I’ve done and a tour of the house. They had the computer hooked up to the TV, so I can only imagine how big my head looked…

Greg brought me in some crème brûlée, but warned my not to eat it right away because it was trés, trés chaud. Eventually I tried it (I didn’t want it to get cold) and they were teasing me about eating in front of them. They wanted to try some so I held it up in front of my webcam. It is very, very sweet. I think I need some milk now.

This afternoon we went to Sybille’s house for goûter to celebrate Charles’ birthday. Lots of cake and sweet stuff then too. I think I’ve had enough sweet stuff to last me a week! But it’s all worth it. I will definitely have something interesting to write about next Saturday (at least interesting for me and other choir lovers out there). Jean-Go and Adeline’s Dad is in a choir (they have a couple of CD’s out) and they have a concert next Saturday night. I’m going with Sybille. I’m quite excited! If I didn’t have my French class Monday nights I would be able to sing with him, but alas, my schedule does not permit that.

It was neat, the family Skype chat. There were some family there I wasn’t expecting, but I guess it makes sense because it’s a pretty important birthday my Grandpa is celebrating. I won’t announce it here though…tee hee hee. We sang Happy Birthday in French for him (Adeline, Greg, and I), but they made us do it again because they wanted to record it! I also think a few people were taking pictures of the TV…my Dad’s family is photo-trigger happy, but you gotta love ’em for it. Especially since we’ll have all kinds of pictures to remember things by! If I ever become famous I’ll be totally used to constant flashes of light….I’ve had 25 years of preparation!

Anywho…I need to take out my contacts, things are starting to get blurry. In other (great) news, my parents and sister have booked their plane tickets. They fly in July 22. I might just start a countdown…I’m just a little excited. Yes I miss them, of course, but I’m just excited to show them around and to be able to share everything with them. I feel like the last (almost) 2 months have gone by both really slow and really fast. The year will be up before I know it, which makes me sad and happy. Sad because it will be the end to a great and wonderful experience and happy because all in all, I’m a Canadian girl at heart and there’s a part of me that misses home…but not a very big part yet!

CHOCOLATE!

Just as a note, today was a good day. Also HAPPY BIRTHDAY GREG!

I forgot to mention something of crucial importance in yesterday’s post, I can’t believe I did that. When we were shopping in Louvain-la-Neuve yesterday Adeline took me to this little chocolate shop called Neuhaus. They have an amazing selection and of course we all know how good Belgian chocolate is! The man working picked out an assortment of different kinds (Adeline bought me some for my birthday, she is spoiling me! But I shared, don’t worry :D) and I’ve spent last night and today trying them and making notes. They have this booklet type thing with all their chocolates, pictures, names, and descriptions. So I circled all the one’s that were in my bag and then checked the one’s I would definitely buy again, and marked the other one’s as being good, but not my favourite. I mean, of course they were all very tasty, but some I just liked better than others. Another great thing about Belgian chocolate (as if you’d need any reason to eat it other than it being from Belgium) is the surplus of hazelnuts in most of it. I LOVE hazelnuts in chocolate. So I have thoroughly enjoyed my experience with these treats, but I know I can’t buy them all the time. Mom, I won’t spend all my money on chocolate, don’t worry. ^_^

Now, for those of you who have been following my blog, or who read my New Year’s Eve post, here is the menu from that evening:

Appetizers:
– Wrap rolls stuffed with goat cheese, garden rocket, sun-dried tomatoes and prosciutto  – these were tasty 🙂
– Foie gras toasts with “fleur de sel” and onion confit – not so much a fan…duck liver really isn’t my thing apparently 😦
– Spoons with pan-fried black pudding on a bed of apple dice – not bad, not bad 🙂
– Mini croissants stuffed with leek and diced bacon – Awesome! 😀
– Variety of dim-sum – …I can’t seem to remember this….

Variety of dishes:
– Smoked salmon salad with avocado, pink peppercorn and lime juice – I didn’t really like this. I wasn’t able to finish it, I like my salmon steamed. 😦
– Lobster Bisque – This wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t my favourite. Maybe Dad and Lisa would like it because of the lobster!
– Scallop kebab with vanilla flavoured mashed parsnip – Again, seafood. It didn’t really have much of a taste for me, but the texture was interesting. I don’t often eat scallops.
– duck breast with mango dice and fresh mint – This was good! The duck’s liver I can do without, but the way the meat was cooked was very, very good. The mango was different because of the mint, but still ok. 😀
– Canadian meat pie – This was good too! Adeline made it. It’s a dish out of Quebec. 😀

Desert:
– Passion fruit bavarois with raspberry coulis – Yum! 😀
– Chocolate truffles – Do I even need to comment? 😀 😀 😀
– Choclate-iced éclairs stuffed with vanilla custard – 😀
– Javanais —————\
– Merveilleux ———– I can’t remember which one I had, but I’m sure they were all delicious!
– Lemon cream pie —–/

Drinks:
– Margarita cocktail – I found out I’m not a fan of margarita’s….Let’s just say at first I was not expecting the salt…
– Pouilly-Fumé (Loire) Les Terres Blanches 2009 (white wine, to go with fish) – This was good even though I’m not really a wine person.
– Mercurey (Bourgogne) 1er Cru Clos L’Evêque 2007 (red wine, to go with meat) – I didn’t actually have any of this.
– Bulles Pour Elle/Lui (Belgium) Methode Traditionnelle 201 – I  had the Bubbles for Her. It was good.

So, that’s what I had on New Year’s Eve. Jean was happy I tried everything and didn’t mind if I didn’t want to finish something, which was very nice and understanding of him. The main course was all made of things that they only have on special occasions, so for everyone at the table it was a real treat!

Thank you all for tuning in. I hope you have a great day and an awesome weekend! (I know I will ;))

Birthday Extravaganza!

Here is the promised birthday post! I’m excited, are you excited? 

Yesterday started out as any other day. But at breakfast it was different! I got a CD (‘Circle’ by Scala and Kolacny Bothers) and a picture frame that has these ribbons that hang down and have little clips to clip pictures on it. I’ve already created something with a bunch of pictures – my first Belgian bricolage! The CD is a women’s choir and it’s got songs like ‘Ironic’ by Alanis Morissette and ‘Use Somebody’ by Kings of Leon as well as some original songs written by one of the Kolacny brothers. It’s really nice, I like it a lot.

Once Greg was off with Bastien, I went online and watched some YouTube videos and listened to my new CD. Around 10 I lay down to have a nap (I was up till 2am in the morning…part of it was because of my cough and the other, well, maybe I was excited I don’t know :D). I ended up finally falling asleep and waking up around 1:15! Crazy. Then I had lunch and spent the afternoon getting ready. I wanted to look nice for my birthday dinner you see. It’s up to you to see if I succeeded! After picking Bastien up and coming home for a bit we went to Louvain-la-Neuve for dinner. We went to this Italian restaurant called Le Fellini. I had the Pizza Carbonera (I think that’s the one it was…), but I translated part of it wrong. I was all excited because it said green peppers…or so I thought! It was actually green pepper CORN! So I spent most of the dinner picking them out >_<. I was also intrigued because it said there was bacon (normal, ok) and…egg. I thought I would try it out. This is what I got (breakfast and dinner all in one!): 

Needless to say that is one pizza experience I will NEVER forget! During dinner I got another surprise; a webcam! This was from Adeline’s mother. Thanks Sybille! So if anyone has Skype and wants to video chat, let me know. ^_^ The pizza was quite tasty (without the pepper), but I couldn’t even finish it all…and no doggy bags. The funniest part of dinner was when Bastien discovered himself in the mirrors. Adeline and I were beside each other with our back to a mirror and we were sitting in a corner. So Bastien (who was across from me) was able to see himself in 3 different mirrors depending on which way he moved. He was thrilled! He kept saying ‘there’s 3 of me!’. It was very cute.

So dinner was awesome, but now it’s on to the really fun part of the evening. Now, you all know me. Except for the occasional wedding (it was one time, gimme a break!) I partake in the social event of drinking rarely. Now before you get excited/disappointed, I did not get drunk :P, but I did experience 4 beers. Or rather, 4 different types of Troll beer. We went to the brewery because Adeline (who used to work there) told me about this ‘taste-testing’ you can do on your birthday.

You have to show your ID to prove it’s your birthday (he couldn’t find my D.O.B. on my license at first and it freaked me out for a second…then I showed him where it was) and then you get to try the La Rafale for FREE! It’s 4 beers (the entire thing is 0.5L), 2 blonde, and 2 amber.

Beer #1: Curvée des Trolls. 7%, smooth and nice.

This is the beer that I had last week (was it really only last week?).

Beer #2: Ambrose-Temps. 5.5%, a little more bitter than the first. This one I could tell was weaker, but I didn’t like it as much because of the extra bitterness it had compared with #1. 

Beer #3: Bush 10%. As you can see, this one had more of a kick than #s 1 & 2. It was also a blonde beer like the first. I liked this one.

Beer #4: Bush 12%. This last beer (like #2) was an amber beer. Stronger and much more bitter. I felt it in my nose! I didn’t really like this one. My favourites were #s 1 & 3. I may not be a Gentleman, but I definitely Prefer Blondes* beer. Insert witty musical reference here, er, there.

It was a lot of fun trying those. And it’s a good idea really. If you don’t know what kind of beer you like, this lets you try different kinds in small sizes. Greg got one too, and he tried to tell me to drink it in the opposite order, but I’d been forewarned by Adeline and there were numbers on the tray…and he thought I would fall for that! And he kept trying to get me to chug them…I’m not sure if he’s such a good influence! I’m kidding. He’s great! And he was just joking with me…I think ;). Remember I said Adeline used to work at this Brewery/Pub? Well, she used to be able to carry 10 of those trays at once! Empty of course, but still impressive. It was good for Bastien because he was able to be as loud as he wanted and no one would mind :D. Him and Greg kept making silly/scary faces, it was very entertaining. It was a great end to a great evening. The Pub trip wasn’t planned, but sometimes those things are the best. We weren’t sure if they still did it for free on your birthday, but we thought we’d check and I’m glad we did because it was fun and not something I’m ever going to get to do again.

So I’m not sure if the post itself was very interesting, but the pictures are I think. I had so many I wanted to include, but I just picked a few of my favourites as a treat. Thanks for all the birthday wishes I got on Facebook and through email (and snail mail, thanks Laura!). This post is up so late because I was responding to all of those!

Goodnight!

*Gentlemen Prefer Blondes is the name of book, a musical and a 1953 movie starring Marilyn Monroe for those who don’t know. I can’t tell you what it’s about, I just know the title! There’s a sequel to the first book titled But Gentlemen Marry Brunettes. I thought that was sort of interesting.

Happy Birthday!

Ok. So because of the wonderful world of different times zones, I’m technically NOT late in getting this post up. I’ve still managed to post everyday. Now, I had in mind this wonderfully long, informative post planned, but as it is almost 1am here I need to go to bed. I would have had my post up, but I got a webcam for my birthday and wanted to Skype my family and we talked longer than I had planned.

I will leave you with some enticements to check back in tomorrow; we went to this Italian restaurant (a REAL one, not your local version of East Side Mario’s) and then visited the brewery that makes the Troll beer I had (back in the post Belgian…beer?) for a birthday treat. So come back tomorrow for a detailed account of the evening, pictures included!

Au revoir!

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