Saturday, October 26, 2013

family friendly fondue

posted by jennifer

every friday night (for about the past 3 years) in our home is family night.  this means we take turns choosing what we eat for dinner and dessert, and what activity we do together.
the kids love it, and sometimes start planning for their next family night weeks in advance.

i figure not only is it fun, but it is a good tool for life skills.  meal planning and all. plus, i feel
it is a good boost to their confidence.

so every five weeks my family night rolls around.  and sometimes it is a bit of a challenge for
this mama to get super excited.  because really, don't i do this 5 nights out of the week already? 

but this week, i was inspired.  i decided i wanted to introduce the kids to fondue.  and it had been years since ken and i had broken out the fondue sticks.

as i thought about it though, i knew i had to make some changes to make this culinary adventure a bit more family friendly.   i decided the best way to do that was to have all of our vegetables and chicken cooked already.  that way, all we would have to do is to spear the dipper and cheese it up.

i roasted the veg, because that is my favorite way to cook vegetables.  easy and so, so good.
i used:  yellow potatoes
all i do to roast vegetables is to cut them into bite size pieces.   put them into a roasting pan.
drizzle them with olive oil (which reminds me: "why does snoop dog carry an umbrella?  for the drizzle")  sprinkle with a bit of salt and gently toss.
i roasted the potatoes, carrots, and cauliflower at 425 for about 50 minutes.  the asparagus and mushrooms at 425 for about 30 minutes.

i also cut up a baguette and some green apples.

i made two types of cheese fondue.  a milder one  thinking of the young ones, and one i knew my husband and i would love. 

here's what i did for the first fondue:

  2 cups grated cheddar
  4 oz cream cheese
  1/4 c. white wine
  1/4 c. sliced green onions
   1 t. dry mustard
   1 t. garlic powder
  1/4 c. milk
  1/4 c. chopped spinach
  2 T. flour

mix all in the fondue pot.  simmer over low heat until melted. 

for the second:  swiss, garlic, and smoked porter fondue

   1 1/2 c. grated emmental swiss cheese
   1 1/2 c. grated sharp cheddar
   about 10 oz. good beer  (i went dark with a smoked porter)
   2 heads roasted garlic *see below
   2 T. flour
   1/2 t. salt
   1/2 t. pepper
   4 oz cream cheese

mix all in the fondue pot. simmer over low heat until melted.

   *to roast garlic.  cut top off of the garlic head.  pour olive oil over top.  roast in oven at 425 
     for about 30 minutes.  once it cools a bit, you can squeeze the cloves right out of their
     paper skins.

for dessert, we had chocolate fondue of course. 
   to be dipped were: strawberries
                                      angel food cake cubes
                                      green apples

for the fondue:
   2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
   1/2 c. half and half
   2 T. butter
   1 t. vanilla

mix all in a fondue pot.  simmer over low heat until melted.

my family night was a success.  everyone loved the experience.  the kids especially liked the chocolate fondue.  go figure.  

i did have to change plans on our activity.  i had planned on us doing a play together.  earlier in the day i had even planned out the parts.   but getting our dinner on the table took all of the remaining energy i had left.  so i decided to scrap it.  next time. 

 i took the easy route. a movie instead.

and let's face it. being flexible and ready to change plans is really the only way to have family friendly fondue fun.

                                                          vegetables ready to roast

                                                                garlic ready be roasted

                                                  the "good" fondue.  swiss and smoked porter

                                                     cheers for mommy's family night

                                                             ready to be speared



  1. It's already 4:00, but I'm inspired to run to the store to get the ingredients to make the same thing for tonight! Also fondly remembering our fondue nights with book club :)

  2. yes, our book club fondue nights were so fun :) it is a bit different when you throw kids in the mix, but fun in it's own right.... once you get over the fear of a fondue fork accident that is.