Kitty's 30th Birthday
Nelson: Kitty's big 30th birthday is today so over the weekend we decided to host a party and have all of Kitty's favourite foods! At first she wanted just oysters, cheese and desserts, but I convinced her to have more hearty foods as well ;)
Let's start with the fancy cheeses. We discovered the Cheese Boutique a few weekends ago just driving around. I used to live in the apartments beside it when I was very young and remember they used to have the best Kielbasa. That got replaced by the Cheese boutique and now it is an awesome store with the widest variety of fine European foods including truffle, dry aged beef, olive oils, Turkish plates, English teas, chocolate boutique, fresh produce and pastries galore. It is a must visit for any food lover, but the highlight is of course the cheese. Remember how I said it's difficult to find unpasteurized cheese in North America? Well I found the perfect place to find it.
This is the cheese platter I put together with Breton, Vinta and Triscuit crackers (left to right). But obviously the highlight is the cheese so let's dive into that.
On the right is Kitty's favourite cheese. It's a Brie and this specific one is Brie De Meaux. It's described as being made famous by Napoleon and his drinking buddies who went to the town of Meaux to feast at the castle of Rouzaire. One taste and they were hooked. It became the quintessential french brie ($21.80, $5.99/100g). Like I described earlier, the taste of this unpasteurized Brie is incredible and renders any other Brie tasteless in comparison.
The one on the left is called Vieux Bruges ($18.90, $7/100g) and was recommended by the helpful Cheese Boutique employee as a hard cheese to contrast the other ones. It's described as a cow's milk cheese from the Foodie town of Bruges (I've been and it's beautiful place) in Belgium. The cheese is aged for a total of 32 months in-house at Cheese Boutique. They recommend trying it with a dark Belgian beer. It is definitely a very hard cheese and has a tonne of flavour. When you bite into it you can taste and feel the salt crystals. It really stood out from all the cheeses we tried.
This is a selection of Cracker Barrel cheeses. Their white cheddar is really really tasty that surprises you with the flavour despite being a white cheese. Also mixed in is a Jalepeno Jack which was my first time trying it.
I also couldn't resist buying some Kielbasa so I sliced some for some variety. On the left is some salty pepperoni that we happened to have. We also had smoked salmon, another of Kitty's favourites, but I was too busy to take a picture.
Lastly is a blue cheese called Roaring Forties from Tasmania ($6.29, $6.99/100g). Normally Kitty doesn't like blue cheese, but since they were out of a smoked gouda, we picked this one because it suited her tastes. What is Kitty's taste? She loves sweet foods and this cheese was surprisingly sweet. It still had that distinct blue cheese flavour, but the sweetness really made it unique.
Of course Kitty had to have some oysters. We went to Diana's seafood earlier in the day and had a lot of fun shopping their huge selection of seafood. We picked four different ones and the first picture includes Fat Bastard and Fanny Bay. The fat bastards are pretty deep with a fairly neutral taste while the Fanny Bay ones were just gigantic in size but also tasted meaty and good.
I was really busy hosting, bar tending and shucking, so I didn't get a good shot of all the food. This picture was really blurry was I post processed it. We had a vegetable plate with Kitty's favourite dip, baba ganoush. Kitty loves avocado so we had some nachos along with salsa. Not her favourite, but foods we know how to cook and are filling include a quinoa salad and a lasagna.
The other two types oysters we tried were Kumumato in the back ($17.99/dozen) and Virginica ($19.99/dozen). Kumumato are one of Kitty's favourite type of oyster as they are very creamy with a fresh sometimes cucumbery taste. The Virginica were a little pricey, but also tasted good even though I don't recall exactly how they tasted.
Kitty really loves wings as well. We were lazy and bought ready made ones from Loblaws, so they weren't the best (16 wings for $10). She likes saucy wings so I picked barbecue, thai chili and honey garlic. They were a bit soggy probably because they sat under a heat lamp for so long. Wings really benefit from being freshly made but we didn't have the time to make our own unfortunately.
What are Kitty's favourite drinks? Easily Strongbow cider ($13.55/6), Guinness draft ($21.15/8) and white wine. She specifically likes Pelee Island Winery's Gewurztraminer ($11.75) so I picked it up from LCBO.
Time for the main meal also known to Kitty as desserts! Adrienne was super generous and brought over a mini chocolate fountain. The secret to making it flow properly is to add olive oil after you melt the chocolate in a double boiler. We had some marshmallows, pineapple and bananas to go with it. Pauline baked some brownie and I even tried that in the fountain!
Richard brought some chocolates from London (not pictured) that were inspired from great British puddings.
Ben brought over a mango meringue cake from Maxim bakery. It was light and airy, but also creamy and flavourful. The texture of the hard pieces is tough at first but just melt away in your mouth. It was so so good. Next time I get a cake, I'll have to get this one.
Lastly another one of Kitty's favourites is ice cream cake. I picked one up from Baskin Robbins since I have had a good experience with them, winning a free ice cream cake from a draw in the past. Kitty's favourite ice cream flavour is mint chocolate chip so of course that's what we got ($32.95). Yum!
So many of Kitty's favourite non-Asian foods at the same time and a great idea for a birthday celebration. Today is her birthday, so happy birthday Kitty! Love you!
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