A Winter Fondue Party

There is Christy (with our friend Robyn) getting ready to power fondue!

New Year’s Eve is always one of my favorite holidays and we celebrated in style this year! Christy and her family made the long trek to join us to ring in 2012, and I am kind of stealing her thunder as it was her idea (and her efforts) that brought us the delicious idea to have fondue for our celebration.

table 1

So if “fondue” brings up visions of low slung sofas and women in caftans lounging near a pot of bubbling cheese you might just be correct! Or, the quintessential After-Ski treat?

Image via Apartment Therapy

Of course, we jazzed it up a bit by donning some sequins and heels and spending the last hours of 2011 gathered around my dining room table sipping martinis and simmering some delicious beef tenderloin and ahi tuna.

There is Christy (with our friend Robyn) getting ready to power fondue!

This is a great idea for any winter gathering. Its actually very easy to prepare as the cooking is all done at the party by the guests so with a little shopping and a little chopping you are ready to go.

Christy hauled her 2 fondue pots all the way from Tennessee for our evening’s adventure. It is definitely worth it to have the electric fondue pots (which I will be searching garage sales for from now on) instead of a candle or sterno-fueled pot. This would also be a great event for a Valentine’s party or just as an excuse for a winter gathering–which I always find are much needed with the long dark days and snow school holidays that come with February!

Anyway…we had 2 pots cooking for 6 adults. Christy prepared a cheese fondue to start, with some french bread and some lightly steamed broccoli. {Note: we tried both a ready-made cheese fondue (from Trader Joe’s) and this recipe and if time permits, this recipe (below) was far superior.}

Cheese Fondue: (from All Recipes)

  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 pound shredded Swiss cheese
  • 1/2 pound shredded Gruyere cheese
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 (1 pound) loaf French bread, cut into 1 inch cubes

Simmer wine in fondue pot. Add Swiss cheese, Gruyere cheese, 1/4 pound at a time. Stir after each addition of cheese until melted. Stir in flour. When all the cheese has melted, stir in salt and nutmeg. Serve with cut-up French bread.

{Source}


For the “main” course we boiled some peanut oil (though you can use other kinds of oil or even broth to make it healthier) and dipped beef tenderloin, sirloin and some fresh tuna from the seafood market here and topped it all with a variety of sauces. We had wasabi, soy, terayaki along with sesame seeds to dip the cooked meat in available. Because the meat is cooked at a very high temperature (disclaimer: be careful!) very quickly it’s not as unhealthy as you might think being cooked in oil–and, anyway it was a special occasion right? :)  One bonus is that each guest could cook what meat they liked, to their liking.

meat

The bonus (and best part in my opinion) was the dessert course. Using this recipe, Christy prepared bite-sized pieces of store-bought pound cake, bananas (the hands down the favorite), and marshmallows and added a side of walnuts to sprinkle on the warm chocolate-coated items for a decadent ending. Delicious!

Here is the recipe:

Chocolate Bar Fondue (from All Recipes)

  • 32 ounces milk chocolate, grated
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1/3 cup hot water

In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the chocolate with the heavy cream. Mix in the instant coffee, vanilla extract, sugar, and hot water. Continue to heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture is smooth.

My contribution was my tablescape–because it was New Year’s Eve, I wanted something sparkly (OK, I always want some sparkle, I admit…) so I hit on the idea of using some extra white Christmas tree lights on top of a mirror, but hid them under some fluffy white tulle. While it looked a little “wedding” like, it mixed well with candlelight scattered on the table and made for a nice ambiance for our little celebration.

centerpiece

It was a great way to ring in the New Year, something fun and different and relatively easy. It could just as easy be a casual event (don’t forget your caftan!) or a dressier celebration like we had.

Have you fondue’d recently? Do you have a good recipe? Let us know in the comments if so.

Thanks for stopping by!

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Comments

  1. mmm, I think a fondue night is in my future…

  2. Looks fab! We always do a fondue on either Christmas eve or new year’s eve, even our girls love it! My dessert course needs a little refreshing from the sounds of yours tho! Delish! ;)

  3. Oh Amy…this brings back memories. Fondue was very ‘IN’ when I was a young girl (70’s) so happy to see it make a comeback.

    Janet xox
    http://theemptynest-janet.blogspot.com/

  4. Debbie Nelson says:

    Once again I am inspired by the “simple, yet cool” aspect of this idea! Out of curiosity, are the children with sitters, or are they happy in another part of the house with their own goodies to munch on?

    • Hi Debbie–
      The kids were happy in another part of the house, with popcorn, lots of candy, and movies. The littlest one (Amy’s little girl, who’s 3) was asleep. The older ones stayed up until midnight!

  5. Sounds like a fun party! Thanks for sharing! :)

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