Wine and Cheese Party

Last night was the much-anticipated Wine and Cheese Birthday Party! While I spent quite a bit of time off to the side by myself (I was feeling a little under the weather and I still don’t speak enough French to understand all the conversation!), I still had a great time.

I made a fruit salad all by myself…I know this isn’t hard and all I did was cut up the fruit, but for me it is a step in the right culinary direction! And on Friday I helped Adeline make an olive cake, but I didn’t have any because I don’t like olives >_<. Before I put him to bed, I took a lot of time taking care of Sylvain. Greg thanked me because that left him and Adeline free to socialize (he explained to me earlier that they don’t get to see all of their friends regularly because they all live an hour away) and I was happy to do it. It’s really nice when you get time with your friends who you haven’t seen in a while. Everyone was really nice and I met the couple who we are going to the sea with in June.

On to the cheese! There was so much! And I actually have no idea what they were all called and I didn’t try all of them, but I tried about, hmmm, 5 or 6 different flavours. One thing to say about Belgian cheese is that it is a lot stronger than our cheese at home (or at least the cheese I’m used to eating). It tastes so real, less chemicals. I know for sure that I do not like goat cheese. I’ve tried it 3 times now and I don’t like it. It’s like when I gave foie gras a second chance – nope – don’t like it at all. The other cheeses were good, but I think it’s going to take a little time for me to get used to them and to really like them. They’re a lot stronger than I’m used to. We also had a cheese pie which smelled like feet but tasted really good! That’s another thing about real cheese…some of it smells nasty, but you have to ignore that and just eat it!  We also had fresh bread from the boulangerie (bakery) down the street and grapes. You can’t have a wine and cheese party without grapes! I didn’t actually have that much wine. I’m not really a fan, but I will try it some times. Also, when I do drink it I prefer White, but Greg says that with cheese you drink Red. I also had a little bubbles to drink (remember, it’s not champagne if it doesn’t come from Champagne France!).

For me, the best part of the night was the dessert! From the bakery we got two fruit pies (cherry and apple with almonds) and two mousse cakes (chocolate and speculoos –> a typical Belgian cinnamon cookie).

Chocolate:

Speculoos:

And then we got to blow out the candles! Ready Greg?

1 – 2 – 3!

MAKE A WISH!


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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 ;))

Bonne annee!

Ok. So I almost dropped the ball here. I’ve got 31 minutes before I miss a day of blogging. Although if I go by Toronto time I still have 6.5 hours! The following is an outtake from last night. I wrote it down on paper before going to bed….I guess it was very early this morning. Here we go:

What a night! We had so much food (some I liked, some I didn’t) and the dessert! Delicious chocolate truffles and more. It is now 2:42am January 1, 2011. Which means it’s not even 9pm for you guys in Ontario and in Vancouver it’s not even 6! (I still can’t get over this time change thing….) I’m spending the night @ Jean-Go’s, and we cleaned up most of the party stuff. There will be a menu for this evening coming, and I got pictures of some of the desserts, but I didn’t think of doing that for everything else. The things we had tonight are not common here, most of it is for special occasions only. I had a great time trying new food and I’ve discovered that I like duck…at least the way it was done tonight. That’s all for now, I need sleep. One more thing; Jean is going to help teach me how to cook. He’s invited me over to learn. It sounds like fun and I’m hoping that I can learn to enjoy taking the time to make things. Bonne nuit!

So that only really touched the surface, but the most important thing to take away from this is that even though I didn’t know what they were talking about unless Jean translated for me, I still had a great time.

Also, we had this drink that was like champagne, but was not champagne because it did not come from Champagne, France. It was made by Jean’s uncle, and had Bubbles for Him and Bubbles for Her. Very exciting.

I leave you now with some eye candy ^_^:

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