We ended up being able to go out of town for Christmas after all this year. It was a short trip, but still wonderful to celebrate with extended family that we don't get to see enough of. To be honest, I had worked myself up to actually looking forward to our little family celebrating together on our own. The kids and I planned out what would make it special and it saddened me to abandon our plans. So, we decided to stick with the plan as best we could anyway.
We waited until Christmas week to make the cookies (with each family member getting to chose a kind for us to make). We ate only a couple, saving the bulk of the cookies for "our Christmas" which ended up being Christmas Eve Eve. When I asked the kids what they'd like for Christmas dinner, it was unanimous. Pizza. Pizza? That was a little too casual for Christ's birth, if you ask me. Now, I knew they wouldn't ask for a ham or a turkey (what *I* think of when I think of Christmas dinner). I also knew that I didn't want fussing and scolding at our Christmas dinner table, so I suggested fondue. It was something different and special and could be catered to the kids' tastes.
It also proved pretty easy to prepare when I did all the prepping of the fruits and vegetables the morning of our meal, leaving only the making of the actual sauces and steaming of the veggies for right before hand. We had two courses, cheese and chocolate. With the cheese course we served steamed broccoli and carrots, cubes of crusty bread and cooked, cubed turkey. With the chocolate course, we ate fresh pineapple, strawberries and banana chunks along with our heaping plate of Christmas cookies.
It felt like an international meal with the pineapple from Costa Rica, the bananas from Columbia and the strawberries from Mexico. We don't usually buy produce out of season, so this made for a pretty special meal.
The cheese recipe was very tasty, but proved a little too thick for our fondue pots heated via tea lights. The chocolate recipe was just right and can be found below.
To make the evening even more special and memorable, my dear cousin, her husband and two children were in town and joined us for the afternoon and fondue meal. She and I caught up all afternoon after a year apart while Miriam napped, the four big kids played outside and our husbands we off doing work-related things. Our time together was such a blessing!
After they headed out of town, we opened gifts and went to bed with bellies full and hearts warmed- feeling so thankful and blessed and undeserving.
Serves 20 (more or less). If you have a lot leftover, let the fondue cool, then roll it into balls and dredge in cocoa- instant truffles.
10 ounces milk chocolate chips
6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Melt chocolate and heavy cream together in a medium sized saucepan over medium heat until the chocolate is melted, stirring often. Add the vanilla and blend. Transfer to your fondue pot (over heat) and enjoy.