Traditions. 
Funny thing, I don't even remember how we started this tradition or how long we have been doing it. 

The thing with traditions:
As you all know we are a military family. 
We move on average every two years. 
Things rarely stay the same for us.
New house.
New friends.
New schools.
New jobs.
New playgrounds.
New  pets.
New restaurants.
New grocery stores.
And that just scratches the surface.

This, my friends, is one of reasons behind my madness. 
So many things in our lives change so often that I need and want stability for our kids, my husband and myself.  
Even with all the change in our lives there are so many things that stay the same and there are many areas where I can help create that stability: 
The 'guts' of our house - even when we can't take all of our worldly things with us we take as many things as possible to help create that "we are home" feeling.
Our true friends. We may make new friends everywhere we go, but we also keep in contact with those we have met over the years.  Thank goodness for Skype, Facebook and Kakao!  :o)
And traditions. Traditions are a huge part of that stability.  Even though I may not remember when, where or why we created a tradition, it is something that doesn't change in this crazy life we live.

                                                                             New Year's Eve Fondue!
As we were sitting around the fondue pot this New Years eve the kids mentioned how every year we invite someone to join us for fondue.  We reminisced about Austin....Austin was Boy 1's BFF in elementary school/Junior high and how he spent a couple of years around our fondue pot ringing in the new year with us.  Girl's friend Lauren, who now lives in Spain is now bugging her mom about start this tradition in their own home.  Connor, Boy 1's BFF from the past 2 years in Texas hung out doing fondue with us last year.  This year was Boy 1's girlfriend.  How awesome is that? 
Tradition.
Picture
Notice the 'guts' on the wall behind them? The furniture may not be ours, but the 'guts' are the same, creating that 'at home' feeling.
As we were dipping our bread in the cheese fondue Boy 1 said.  "The cheese fondue is my favorite."
Cheddar Cheese Fondue:

4 oz.of beer
2 pounds of sharp cheddar cheese - shredded  (I use Tillamook Extra Sharp)
1tsp of dried ground mustard
2 minced garlic cloves
a dash of Worcestershire sauce

Pour beer in fondue pot & add garlic, bring to a boil. 
Add shredded cheddar cheese a handful at a time until melted.
Add dried mustard & dash of Worcestershire.
Turn heat down to medium.

Foods for dipping:

Foods to use for dipping:
A variety of breads (French, rye,
sourdough - whatever bread love, you will love even more dipped in
cheese.)
Carrots
Cauliflower
Broccoli
Apples
Olives
Of
course you can use anything else you would like...
Reminder:  Cheese coming out of the fondue pot is HOT. 
Don't burn your mouth.
One of the cool things about living in Seoul is that on NYE morning you can run to the fish market to pick up fresh shrimp for fondue.  The uncool thing is that I have to remove the heads. 
As we were cooking our meat Boy 1 said.  "The meat fondue is my favorite."
Main Course Fondue:

Peanut Oil
Steak - cut into bite size pieces
Pork - cut into bite size pieces
Chicken - cut into bite size pieces
Shrimp
Tempura Batter
Dipping Sauces:

Soy Sauce
Honey Mustard
BBQ
Cocktail
Teriyaki Sauce
 
Fill fondue pot about 1/2 full of peanut oil.  Heat on high until peanut oil reaches a temperature 350 - 375.  To cook food stab with fondue fork and put in oil.  Cooking time depends on what you are cooking.  Shrimp takes the least amount of time depending on the size of the shrimp.  This is where you will need to experiment.  Chicken & pork need to be cooked all the way through - steak can be cooked rare - well done depending on your preference. 

You can dip shrimp and chicken in Tempura if you so choose.
Feel free to marinate your meats or leave them as is before cooking.
I marinate our steak in Soy Sauce and Montreal Steak Seasoning.
I add salt and pepper to the chicken. 
                              This is actually my FAVORITE thing to eat during the entire fondue experience:

Stuffed mushrooms:
What you will need for stuffed mushrooms:
Large mushroom caps
1 brick of cream cheese
1/4 cup of chives
Tempura Batter.

Mix cream cheese and chives together in a bowl.
Fill mushroom cap with mixture.  Stick fondue fork through the cap in the meaty part of the mushroom.
Dip in tempura, covering ALL AREAS.  Make sure everything is covered in tempura batter or your oil will pop!
Put in oil and cook until golden brown.

My mouth is watering just looking at this picture.
Something new we tried this year was stuffed jalapenos wrapped in bacon.  That's right, I said bacon.  Mmmmm.

Stuffed Jalapenos:
Large jalapenos
bacon
cream cheese and chive mixture (use the same as the mushrooms)
shrimp
tempura batter

Cut the top off the jalapeno
Slice one side of the jalapeno, keeping it attached
Deseed
Put some of the cream cheese/chive mixture on once side of the jalapeno
Put a shrimp on the other size
Squeeze the jalapeno back together and wrap with a piece of bacon
Stab with fondue fork & dip in tempura batter, again making sure to cover EVERY AREA!!  Put in fondue pot and cook until a deep golden brown. 

Hello beautiful.
A few important thing you need to know about the meat course.
- Have separate plates for uncooked and cooked meats.
- NEVER let the uncooked meat touch your cooked meat plate.
-Do NOT touch uncooked meat with your hands.
- Do NOT eat off fondue fork.  You are sure to burn yourself.
- Place cooked meat on your 'cooked meat plate' and eat with a fork.


                                                                             Fondue Rule:
The only rule in fondue is that if you lose something in the fondue pan during ANY course you must kiss someone of the opposite sex at the table. 
Picture
They may make me nuts at times, but I sure do love all my boys! :o)
Dessert Fondue.
The last course.
Can you guess what Boy 1 said before this course?
Dark Chocolate Fondue:
Bag of dark chocolate chips    
 2 TBL Kahlua (more or less if you like)
1 ounce of espresso
1/4 cup of heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla
White Chocolate Fondue:
Bag of white chocolate chips
2 TBL Amaretto (more or less if you like)
1/4 cupe of heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla
Melt both types of fondue in fondue pot on low heat stir until smooth.
Things for dipping:
Strawberries
Bananas
Pound Cake
Cheese Cake
Blueberries
Raspberries
Marshmallows
Pretzels
Really anything that taste good dipped in chocolate.
Vote on which flavor you like better.
In this house we are 3 for dark, 4 for white.
Fondue starts in our house anytime after noon on New Years Eve.
In between courses we play games, watch movies and just hang out.
5 minutes before the new year we open the sparkling cider!
This year we had sparkling grape and cherry.
As a reminder to myself: Don't ever buy cherry again.
Ringing in the New Year!
Goodbye 2012, Hello 2013!
Stacy S.
1/5/2013 07:42:11 am

As always you are truly amazing

Reply
Marina
4/20/2015 01:37:25 am

Hi, I love how you write about food! Thank you for the wonderful fondue ideas!

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