Our Seventh Annual Christmas Eve Fondue

cheese fondue

When Little Foodie was four, he had his first crush. We were sitting around the table, all taking turns dipping into the fondue pot. We have a silly little rule, that if you drop a piece of food into the fondue, you have to kiss the person sitting next to you. He purposefully dropped one of his items into the gooey cheese, and said with a smirk, I wish B were sitting next to me, so I would have to kiss her! Well, he wasn’t impressed when we reminded him of this on Christmas Eve. In fact, he denied it flat out, and got into a bit of a shouting match with his brother over the matter.

When Mr. Green Thumb and I bought our first house, we were all about making memories and establishing our own traditions. Since we celebrate Christmas with both sides of our family every year, we wanted to carve out a special time where just our little family could be together and each other’s company, before the chaos of the larger events were upon us. A Christmas Eve fondue seemed like the perfect way to accomplish this, and it has become something our whole family looks forward to doing every year.

As we sat around the table for the seventh Christmas Eve in this home, and what might be the last (more on that later!), we were so thankful to be together, so thankful for our family, and so thankful for the beautiful memories we have created over the years!

dipping into chocolate fondue

Seventh Annual Christmas Eve Fondue

Before I get to the recipe, here are a few fondue-ing tips I have learned over the years.

A cheesy sauce is much easier to dip into than just melted cheese.

It is much easier to make the sauce in a pot first, rather than directly in the fondue pot.

Fondue pots are over-rated. Especially when it comes to serving family-style around a table.

If you choose to use an electric fondue pot, it is much easier to clean up if you line it with tin foil, rather than pouring the cheese directly into the pot.

Have all of the dipping foods prepped before making the sauce. Otherwise, everyone gets antsy and grumpy while waiting for the meat to cook, and the potatoes to roast!

The perfect end to a cheese fondue is a chocolate fondue!

cheese

Easy Cheesy Fondue (serves 4-6)

(A Grow. Cook. Eat. Share. original recipe)

2 cups cubed cheese

Any cheese could work here. I usually use a combination of sharp cheddar, and one other cheese. We have tried Gouda, Emmental, smoked Cheddar, but you could use whatever your taste buds fancy.  This year I used half cheddar, and half Kerrygold’s grass-fed, hard ripened cheese, and it turned out very nicely.

1 1/2 cups milk

1/4 cup potato starch

1/4 cup white wine (Whatever you have on hand will work. It’s all about your preferred taste.)

2 tablespoons butter

1 garlic clove

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper (about 40 twists on the peppermill)

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

Directions

In a small saucepan, add milk, thyme and garlic. Warm on medium low.

In a large saucepan, melt butter. Once melted, add potato starch, and whisk into the butter, continuing to whisk for approximately one minute to “cook” the potato starch.

Add the wine and whisk to combine.

Pour milk through a sieve, into the potato starch mixture, whisking to combine.

Add salt and pepper, and continue to whisk over medium, until milk mixture begins to simmer.

Add cubed cheese, and stir until cheese has melted.

Serve immediately. Or, take off the heat, and allow to cool. Reheat before serving.

Serve with baked sausage or other meats, roasted potato cubes, steamed broccoli and cauliflower, raw carrots and celery, cubes of gluten-free bread, and anything else that tastes amazing smothered with cheesy goodness!

chocolate fondue

Easy Chocolate Fondue (serves 4-6)

(A Grow. Cook. Eat. Share. original recipe)

Some chocolate fondues are very watered down from the amount of cream added; this recipe produces a thick, glossy sauce with rich chocolate flavor, perfect for dipping!

1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup heavy cream

2 tablespoons butter

Directions

In a medium saucepan, warm the cream over medium.

Add the chocolate chips, and reduce heat to low. Stir until the chocolate chips have melted.

Whisk in the butter until combined.

Serve with slices of fresh fruit, such as bananas, apples, and oranges; frozen fruits such as blueberries and raspberries; even gluten-free cake or brownies if you are feeling up to it, although our kids were quite happy with just the fruit and chocolate.

As with all of my recipes, I highly encourage the use of organic, local products when available. Talking to farmers, reading labels, and looking for only the purest, freshest ingredients possible ensures high quality, nutritionally dense foods, that help take a recipe from good to amazing!

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