Happy New Year! I can hardly believe it is already 2013! It seems like it should just be mid 2012 still. Last year was one of the most eventful and crazy years I've had. In 2012 my sister and her family adopted my adorable nephew, I got married, my husband and I bought a house, my husband lost his job, I left my job, we moved to a new state, and we sold our house! It was a year of change and new beginnings. One of my new beginnings was starting this blog! It was my New Year's resolution to get more involved in making cakes and cupcakes. I started this blog to keep up with my recipes and document my progress and creations. I've come a LONG way this year and learned a LOT! I've taken three Wilton courses which has taught me so many skills and methods for cake design! I can't wait to see where this blog and my cake creations go in 2013!
I hope you and your family had a great New Years Eve and a wonderful holiday season. I had plans for a couple special cakes, but neither came to fruition. I was planning on making and sharing an Italian cream cake recipe for Christmas. But, my family had a stomach bug going around during the holidays, and I decided to wait on the cake. My poor husband had Jello for both meals on Christmas day! I ran out of time to make my New Year's Eve cake due to some travel plan changes.
I always get a little sad when the holidays are over, especially Christmas. It seems like the holiday season is such a special time with friends and family, then it ends and there's lots to clean up and do. We were gone for a week visiting family and then a few more days going to a wedding out west. We got home on New Years Eve with mountains of laundry, tons of gifts to unpack, and Christmas decorations that needed to come down. But we decided to let most of that wait (I did unpack some) until after New Year's Eve.
For years, I've had in my head that I wanted to get all dressed up and go to a fancy restaurant or party for New Years. So far I've never actually done that, but maybe some day! This was my first New Years that I didn't spend with my family. My husband and I had plans with some friends, but bad weather caused them to change. We decided to do something special since we were staying in and make some of our favorite food. My husband prepared some delicious steaks for us, and I was in charge of dessert. We also made it a bit fancier with some sparkling strawberry juice and 2013 glasses for a toast.
I really wanted to use my new PINK KitchenAid mixer I got for Christmas, but didn't feel like getting into a real involved dessert. I decided we should try a fondue night as a special treat. We used to live near a Melting Pot and went there for special occasions. There's not one near us now, so we decided to create our own fondue!
There are various ways to heat up and serve chocolate or cheese fondue. We have a small 2.5 quart crockpot that can be used, though it takes quite a while to heat up the chocolate (we discovered that last night). There are also lots of fondue specific pots you can find at retail stores. About a year ago, we happened to find a cute item perfect for two for fondue. It's a mug, complete with skewers and tealight, that heats up the chocolate and serves as a cute container for the chocolate (see picture below). We did find you need to stir pretty often so it doesn't burn. The mug method is probably not the best if kids are involved (as there is an open flame), but it's perfect for two adults.
Crockpot version Tea light mug version
When eating fondue, there are countless options for dipping flavors and items to dip. We decided to go simple and just melt Ghirardelli white chocolate chips. You can look at the Melting Pot menu or recipes online for flavor ideas. We also enjoy a white/dark chocolate mix and chocolate with caramel.
- Plain chocolate (milk, dark, white)
- Combo chocolate (mix two or more chocolates)
- Chocolate with additional sauce (caramel, peanut butter, marshmallow creme)
- Chocolate with mix-ins (candy pieces, nuts, fruit, etc)
Ideas for dipping:
- Pretzels (rods or sticks work best)
- Rice Krispie treats
- Pound cake (or any other firm cake that won't fall apart)
- Cheese cake bites (best to dribble chocolate over as it tends to fall apart)
- Brownie pieces
- Cookies (soft or hard)
- Vanilla wafers
- Graham cracker sticks
Fondue for Two ingredients:
- Chocolate (chips or bars specifically designed for melting work best)
- Dipping items
- Matches (if using a tealight method for fondue)
- Heat up chocolate in fondue mug or crockpot
- Stir chocolate frequently and add in any mix-ins
- Cut up any dipping items that need to be and create plate of dipping treats.
- Once the chocolate gets to the desired consistency, blow out candle or put Crockpot on warm.
- Dip and enjoy!!
Thanks to all my readers who have stuck with me in 2012, and I hope you keep checking in during 2013! Don't forget to like me on Facebook for additional pics/ideas/posts. Have a Happy New Year and I hope 2013 is the best yet!