Sunday, February 15, 2009

Valentine Picnic

Ralph and I take turns planning Valentine's Day. Last year Ralph took me to a great B&B up in Catawba Island Township, OH. It was so relaxing and so much fun. The year I plan is usually something more low key centered around . . . wait for it. . . a really fun meal! Shocking, I know. *grin* This year's inspiration took it's time kicking in. I like to cook by inspiration--this is why shopping the sales and couponing is tough for me. It cramps my style. Well, as Ralph was cooking me Valentine's Day breakfast (a very yummy breakfast pizza!!), inspiration hit! First in the form of dinner--fondue! So fun! We had not had fondue in forever. Then the setting. Hostess with the Mostess had a guest blogger, Julie Mulligan, who had a great idea for an indoor picnic. I set up the picnic in our room. Ralph did the shopping for me. (Seems like Valentine's Day is more of a team effort with an infant in the home.) The fondue was SO good! We skipped the cheese course, usually served as the appetizer, due to Nugget being sensitive to too much dairy. We had Beef Fondue with Dipping Sauces for the main course and the Easy Chocolate Fondue recipe from HWM.

Here are the recipes. Happy fondue-ing!

Easy Chocolate Fondue

3/4 cup heavy whipping cream, reserve 1/4 cup to thin if fondue begins to thicken
4 bittersweet chocolate bars, chopped, 3 1/2 ounces each
2 tablespoons Frangelico or Amaretto liqueur, optional
1/4 cup finely chopped hazelnuts or almonds, optional

Heat 1/2 cup cream in a heavy non-reactive saucepot over moderate heat until cream comes to a low boil. Remove the pan from the heat and add chocolate. Let the chocolate stand in hot cream 3 to 5 minutes to soften, then whisk chocolate together with the cream. Stir in liqueur and/or chopped nuts and transfer the fondue to a fondue pot or set the mixing bowl on a rack above a small lit candle. If fondue becomes too thick, stir in reserved cream, 1 tablespoon at a time, to desired consistency.

Beef Fondue with Dipping Sauces


horseradish sauce

bernaise sauce

garlic butter


  1. layer onions, beef, onions, drizzle with oil, refrigerate overnight.
  2. heat oil to bubbly, keep hot over sterno, dip beef in oil until cooked to your liking.
  3. for horseradish sauce, mix all ingredients, refrigerate.
  4. for garlic butter, mix all ingredients, refrigerate.
  5. for bernaise sauce: combine vinegar, water and pepper in double boiler.
  6. add egg yolks, stir constantly.
  7. slowly add butter, stirring as it thickens.
  8. add lemon juice, tarragon, salt& pepper- if sauce is too thick add a drop of water.


  1. Sounds very yummy! Nice work!

  2. Uhhh, yum!! Glad you guys had a good night!!