Sunday, January 1, 2017

Snacks and Bubbly...Happy New Year!

Delicious, comforting snacks and sweets for a celebration or even to remedy a hangover...
Happy New Year 2017!

Ava and I got up early yesterday to make a Buche de Noel.  So what that it's a week after Christmas?  This cake is fancy and is meant to be "oohed" and "aahed" over before sharing it with a group of appreciative sweets lovers like us. 
New Year's Eve (as well as any upcoming cold night in January) calls for delicious, decadent treats and bubbly drinks for all.  What could be more rich and delicious than a big pot of cheese fondue?  All the accoutrements are easy to find at any local supermarket.  When you get them home, just artfully arrange them on some reclaimed wood.  Everyone has an old cutting board laying around. 

I found the recipe for this beautiful citrus salad a few years ago.  It's easy and elegant and can be made ahead of time.  The perfect counter point to all that rich, melty cheese.  (Btw, it's from the book, Sunday Suppers by Karen Mordechai which is on my wish list.)

Don't forget the bubbly.  Proseco.  You will need a few bottles.  Because it goes with everything and everything goes with it. Let the kids taste it.  Then they will be happy with the sparkling cider you picked up at the supermarket with the baguette for the fondue.
Find your Scrabble board. Everyone can play.  Make teams of young children partnered with grandparents.  (So that you won't have to play with your own kids and end up fighting with them.  All parents need a break by the end of Christmas vacation.) Pour more bubbly and slice some cake. Have the reigning champion keep score.  That's you, Val.

Have fun, chill out and remember, that the new year, new beginnings and lot's of fun and adventure await all of us in 2017!

Leftover Cheese Fondue
(makes enough for 8 with fixings!)
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons, plus 1 cup Proseco
16 oz. cheese (brie and Jarlsberg make a nice combo) 
1 garlic clove, halved
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 baguette loaf, cut into cubes, each cube having some crust
other suggested accoutrements:
sliced ham, salami
steam broccoli flourets
roasted potatoes
Dijon mustard 

Create a slurry with the cornstarch and 2 tablespoons Proseco.   Cut the brie into small pieces and grate the Jarlsberg.
Rub inside of medium saucepan with the cut side of the garlic.  Also rub the inside of the fondue pot with the cut side of the garlic.  Over medium heat, bring the 1 cup Proseco and lemon juice to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and stir in the cheeses.  Blend the cornstarch and 2 tablespoons Proseco slurry into the cheeses and stir for a couple of minutes until the mixture is smooth and thick.  
Transfer to a fondue pot over a flame and season with pepper.  Serve with bread cubes, other accoutrements and fondue forks. 

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