Meal Planning 2– Plus Recipe!

I seem to be already in the habit of posting well into the week, but I’ll try to get something done earlier into the next cycle. Of course, it would help if I’d thought past tomorrow night before now, but… no one’s perfect, right?

A few months ago I won a fondue cookbook from a Washington Post giveaway. Now, having been born after the 70’s fondue craze, I had never actually had fondue and– shock!– had never seen a real, live fondue pot. Not wanting to take a huge financial risk, I was able to get one off of Freecycle… and was amazed at how easy it was to make. For all its’ fussy reputation, it was quick and required little hands-on time (other than eating.) It encouraged me to eat slowly, and was a lot of fun to do with my beau . If you don’t have a fondue pot, don’t be alarmed; you could easily do this without a fondue pot if you were willing to periodically rewarm the cheese.

Cheese Fondue (serves 4 hungry adults)

For Fondue
2 slices bacon (optional)
3/4 c beer
large pinch salt
8 oz cheddar-type cheese, shredded (I use low-fat when I have it))
1 T flour
4 oz cream cheese (optional, I use low-fat when I have it)

For Dipping
(note: This is what I like to make, but feel free to substitute whatever strikes your fancy, so long as it goes with cheese and can be stabbed with a fork. I roast everything at 350 until it’s crunchy/ soft as appropriate, but use your judgment)
Pearl onions
Baby potatoes
Garlic bread
Hot dog chunks
Steak (the boy’s favorite)
Bell Pepper
Apple slices

If using bacon, cut into small pieces and lay them across the bottom of the pot. Put on medium heat until cooked (however you like your bacon cooked, doesn’t need to be any particular texture.) Spill out a good deal of the grease, but leave a little for flavor.

Add 3/4 cup beer and a generous pinch of salt to the fondue pot. Put on medium heat until it begins to boil, then turn the heat down slightly and add the grated cheese and flour gradually, stirring. Add cream cheese if desired. Stir until smooth. Add a little extra beer if needed– you’re looking for a smooth consistency (no lumps and bumps) that is thin enough for easy dipping but not so thin that it doesn’t stick. Think latex paint.

Move pot to fondue stand with lit fire. Serve with assorted dippings. Be worshiped as befits the god(dess) you are. And, if you have leftover fondue, add some cooked pasta to it and you have grown-up mac-n-cheese for the next day.

As for the menu planning:
Dinner: Leftovers

Dinner: Matzo Ball Soup

Brunch: Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup
Dinner: Boyfriend’s choice (wound up being Chinese Takeout)

Brunch: Pierogi with onions and hot dog chunks
Dinner: Cheese Fondue! (i.e. I am the coolest girlfriend EVER!)

Potato-Leek-Bacon Soup

Baja Fresh- Mystery Shop

Papa John’s- Mystery Shop

**by the way, I pretty much always have farmers market fruit, whatever’s in season, for breakfast and leftovers for lunch. You can assume that’s the case unless I mark otherwise.


1 Comment

Filed under alcohol, cheese, pepper

One response to “Meal Planning 2– Plus Recipe!

  1. YUM. bacon. What a great idea!

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