Anyone who knows my home life, knows that I really can’t cook anything worth bragging about. In fact, for my recent mother’s day card, Max said that his mother was “26 years old” and the thing that his mother cooks best is “macaroni and cheese.” (I love this kid. He also noted my love for napping and books. He totally “gets” me.)
And when you can’t cook, you get sneaky around other women who can totally cook beautiful things. Like, when you’re invited to a potluck party … I am the girl who always volunteers to bring a dessert (which I pick up from a nice bakery) or an appetizer (which is inevitably a cheese plate).
A cheese plate requires no oven action, no stove action, no fancy mixing of ingredients. It doesn’t stress me out at all. I simply use my creative inspiration to mix the textures and colours to make the whole thing look grand. A few varieties of cheese, some fancy cracker here, a little grape for colour there, and some nuts to sprinkle around as a final touch. Plus, use an interesting wood board or tray to display it all on. People seem to really enjoy them, since they disappear quickly. So this is my perfect little solution — to be “the cheese plate girl.” People can count on me. You know every party needs a cheese plate, right?
But then I received a list of Cheese Pairings from Loblaws. Huh. There are “rules” for creating the perfect cheese plate? I scoffed a little; I may have rolled my eyes. But then I did my duty as “cheese plate girl” and followed one of these combinations. (See the one in an orange frame below.)
I picked up two gorgeous looking Canadian cheeses, both washed rind. I already had a nice Chardonnay at home. A fresh baguette from the bakery. Plus, Gala red apples, Bartlett pears, and black berries.
Here is how it looked before we dove in:
What’s different than what I normally would have done? Well, there are no nuts or grapes, for one thing. But the big difference was the additional of black berries. Holy moly — Hubby and I just loved the extra taste the black berries brought to the cheese.
Most folks will agree that it’s hard to improve on a good cheese with fresh bread, but I tell ya, the fruit really makes it fabulous. So, I say, go forth and try out all of the pairings on the sheet pictured above! I know I will certainly do my best to work through them all this patio season.
But before you go … enter to WIN a giveaway ($50 value) that will include:
- a selection of Canadian Champion and International cheeses
- PC Black Label Artisan Crisps
- PC Black Label Fruit Spreads, Jellies, and Preserves
- Selection of nuts and dried fruit
To enter: leave a comment below letting me know either your favourite cheese or your favourite tip for making a perfect cheese plate.
I’ll pick a winner by random draw this time next week. Good luck! (Fine print: you need to live in Canada, you need to share your mailing address so the package can be shipped to you… I probably forgot something else that was important… we’ll sort that out later….)
Disclosure: this post is sponsored by Loblaws. They would love for you to shop at their deli section when picking up ingredients for your next perfect cheese plate. Their stores feature more than 300-400 varieties of cheese, including Canadian Cheese Award Champion and finalist cheeses.
Edited on 2016/05/29 to add: I used a random number generator to determine a winner and Sunshine H was the lucky one! Thank you to all who entered and I really appreciated learning all of your secrets to the yummiest cheese plate!