Me… hostess extraordinare (sort of)
I have quite a few friends on mat leave right now and if you couldn’t tell from the above photo I’m about to have a little one myself pretty quick. (deep breath)
Being at home with the kiddos all day can be pretty tough. It can be isolating and boring and lonely. I think getting together with friends is one of the best ways to get out and talk to your friends and have a laugh about anything… My sis in the UK has a weekly rotating teatime meet up. In Quebec? Why not a cheese meet up? Seriously, my friends were so excited when I mentioned I was inviting them over for a cheese-focused lunch….
OK, but first lets take a step back. I know pretty much NOTHING about cheese. I don’t know if it was like this everywhere but growing up I think I was exposed to cheddar and mozzarella. I don’t seem to recall much else. So, personally, I find the idea of hosting a little cheese get together a bit intimidating.
I was so happy when I learned about a new app from Our Cheeses that helps select local cheese based on your taste preferences, lets you save them for future reference and gives you ideas about what to do with them. It’s actually pretty cool.
First you get to take a little taste test to see what type of cheese you prefer. I love soft cheese, but blue cheese is a bit tougher for me… I used the suggestions that it gave me and used it to spark an intelligent conversation with my local cheesemonger.
Based on my preferences he suggested four cheeses, which I saved in my favourites so I could read more about them later. This was very handy as the suggestions tab gives ideas for each cheese including wine pairings and food ideas.
I checked out one of the cheeses I bought called Le 14 Arpents and under suggestions it had a handy tip that said it would be perfect for a grilled cheese sandwich with pear. As a food blogger, I hate to admit this, but I’d never actually made a grilled cheese sandwich before and a friend showed me the technique (soft butter, hot pan then low heat, lid on). I used challah bread, threw in some apples and pears and it was AMAZING.
My second challenge was blue cheese which is pretty much completely foreign to me. I settled on the Bleu Bénédictin and thought I could try pairing it with something. Straight up blue cheese on bread seemed a bit harsh for my palate. Again, under the suggestions I found a tip for pears with blue cheese and prosciutto. Simple and easy. I didn’t even bother to bake them.
Needless to say the event was a success and really pretty easy. Besides assembling the pears and grilled cheese (which I admit I got my friend to do) I just threw some grapes, the cheeses, some bread and crackers on the table.
We all enjoyed tasting the cheese… my fave was Le Mont-Jacob and another friend was in love with Le Riopelle de l’Isle. Le 14 Arpents was perfect in the grilled cheese and the Bleu Bénédictin was lovely with the pears and prosciutto. It all really worked out well. And, now I know more about cheese and how to make a grilled cheese, which is pretty kick-ass. No Kraft Singles here!
I will definitely be using the app in the future to keep track of which cheese I love. Because isn’t the most annoying thing falling in love with a cheese and then forgetting the name?! I also loved the wine suggestions and food suggestions. It’s just perfect when you’ve got a million other little things on your mind.
Check out the contest that is currently being held by Fromages d’Ici for a chance to win one of six Android Tablets. 2 tablets will be given away each week for three weeks from October 6th – 27th. Enter here!
Download the Our Cheeses app (available in both French and English) on iTunes or for Android.
This blog post is sponsored by Our Cheese but all opinions are my own.