Feb 10 , 2014

Family Fun-due Night

Growing up, my feelings about Valentine's Day were completely dependent on whether or not I had someone fawning over me that particular year.  These days, however, I can say with confidence that I am head over heels in love with Love Day.  Showering kisses and treats and attention on my nearest and dearest is wonderfully fulfilling.  And fun.  Lots and lots of fun. Since having children, we have declared February 14th the day of Family love.   It is so important to me that my children feel cherished (at least one day of the year). Then, over the weekend, when the crowds have dissipated, The Mister and I steal away for a night of romance, just the two of us (because it is equally important to me the he feel cherished as well).  And in the end, we all have warm, fuzzy feelings in regards to St. Valentine.
One of our favorite Family Love day traditions is fondue.  We do a cheese fondue for dinner and caramel and chocolate fondues for dessert.  It may quite possibly be the most treasured meal of the year.  I love the giggles that ensue when a marshmallow falls and drowns in a sea of chocolate, or when a string a warm cheese stretches across the table. If love could me written into a single meal, this would be it.  It feels like love and sounds like love and most certainly, tastes like love. Your recipes:

Cheese Fondue, via Martha Stewart


  • 1 clove garlic, halved crosswise
  • 1 1/2 cups apple cider or dry white wine
  • 8 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated (3 cups)
  • 8 ounces Emmental cheese, grated (3 cups)
  • 8 ounces raclette cheese, grated (3 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • Freshly grated nutmeg
  • Freshly ground white pepper


  1. STEP 1

    Rub inside of a fondue pot with garlic; discard garlic. Pour cider or wine into pot, and place over medium-low heat. When liquid starts to bubble, start adding cheeses by the handful, stirring until melted and combined.
  2. STEP 2

    Whisk together lemon juice and cornstarch in a small bowl until cornstarch dissolves; stir into cheese mixture. Continue stirring until mixture is smooth and bubbling slightly, about five minutes. Season with nutmeg and pepper.
  3. STEP 3

    Transfer fondue pot to the table, and keep warm over the fondue pot warmer.
We serve our cheese fondue with cubes of crusty french bread, blanched veggies like asparagus and brocolli, apples slices, fried chicken cutlets and carrots Chocolate Fondue, via Rachael Ray
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 12 ounce bags  semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the cocoa powder with 1/2 cup water and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Stir in the milk and sugar and bring to a simmer. Add the chocolate chips and vanilla and cook, stirring, until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth, about 5 minutes.
Caramel Fondue, source unknown Ingredients
  • 1 14oz package caramels
  • 1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk
Directions Place unwrapped caramels into slow cooker or fondue pot and add condensed milk. Cook on low for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. We serve our dessert fondues with sliced apples, cubes of pound cake, brownies, dried apricots, marshmallows, pretzel rods, strawberries, sliced bananas and rice krispie treats **Do you do anything special to make Valentine's Day feel like a family holiday?**

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