3 Kids, a Mom, & a Kitchen: Fun with Fondue!Jane Maynard
Every summer the kids and I head to the east coast to spend a few weeks with our extended family. While in New Jersey this year, we decided to make fondue with my kids’ cousins for lunch one Sunday afternoon. We had a blast cooking together and, more importantly, eating together. Fondue ended up being a great thing to do with the kids and every last person enjoyed eating their lunch and dessert. Here is how we made fondue with kids a delicious success!
Choosing the Recipe: Fondue
Fondue is great for making with kids for all kinds of reasons. To begin with, kids absolutely love eating food with sticks. This fact cannot be underestimated! Second, there are many ingredients to prepare when setting up a fondue bar, so there are oodles of ways to get the kids involved with the cooking process. The food ends up being just plain delicious, making all the “hard” work worth it! (It’s actually not all that hard – promise!) Lastly, fondue is super fun!
A quick note on the equipment. We didn’t have a fondue pot, so we just served our fondue sauces straight from the saucepan that we cooked them in and it worked beautifully. Also, since we didn’t have cute little fondue skewers, we used wooden shish kabob skewers and they worked quite well (raspberries liked to fall off, fair warning!). The kids liked using the long skewers, but shorter skewers really were better for smaller hands.
Rankings: Fondue Was a Huge Hit!
I can’t believe what a hit fondue was with the kids! They really loved helping with all the food prep and they loved eating the food even more. The rankings for this 3 Kids, a Mom & a Kitchen recipe are pretty straightforward – smiles across the board!
Steps Where Kids Can Get Involved
There are tons of ways you can get the kids involved with fondue. Here are a few suggestions:
1. Grating cheese for the cheese sauce
Kids of all ages can participate and it’s a crucial step in the process, which makes their contributions feel valuable. Plus, there’s a lot of cheese to shred and, honestly, it’s my least favorite task, so I’m happy to pass it on!
2. Prepping veggies for roasting
If you’re making roasted veggies, it’s really easy to have the kids help drizzle olive oil and sprinkle salt and pepper over the veggies before throwing them in the oven.
3. Prepping the food that will be dipped
When you set up a fondue bar, there are lots of ingredients to prep. From washing and cutting fruit to slicing bread to putting all the food out on the platters for eating, there are tons of ways to get involved. If you’re lucky, you may even end up with a banana smiley face in your bowl of berries!
4. Whisking the coconut milk into the chocolate
It’s easy to do and my daughter Anna loved this simple task very much!
Needless to say, the fondue tasting went swimmingly. The cheese fondue sauce was simple but delicious, for kids and adults alike. And hello, dark chocolate dipping sauce. Who wouldn’t love it?!
For our fondue bar, we cooked a cheese fondue for the main dish and a chocolate fondue for dessert. Both recipes were easy to throw together and quite delicious. Pick whatever foods you want to go with the two sauces – the possibilities are endless!
Kid-Friendly Cheese Fondue
By Jane Maynard
- 1/2 pound cheddar cheese (buy it unshredded)
- 1/2 pound monterey jack cheese (buy it unshredded)
- 1 cup half & half
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 3 splashes worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- salt and pepper to taste
- Heat half & half in a medium sauce pan over medium-low to medium heat until hot and almost simmering, stirring regularly.
- Shred cheese, then toss with the flour in a bowl.
- Whisk the cheese into the half & half, 2 large spoonfuls at at time, making sure cheese melts completely before each addition.
- Whisk in the worcestershire sauce and dry mustard. Add a bit of salt and pepper to taste.
- Transfer to a fondue pot over heat or serve directly in saucepan. Cheese sauce will remain at a dipping consistency for quite some time when served in the saucepan it was cooked in.
- Serve with whatever foods sound good to you! Cubed cooked chicken, roasted fingerling potatoes, roasted broccoli, roasted cauliflower, cubed French bread, sliced apples, and pears are all delicious!
Simple Dark Chocolate Fondue
By Jane Maynard
- 8 ounces good-quality dark chocolate
- 6 tablespoons coconut milk
- Melt chocolate in a heavy-bottomed, small saucepan over medium-low heat. Remove from heat.
- Add coconut milk and whisk well.
- Transfer to a fondue pot over heat or serve directly in saucepan. Chocolate sauce will remain at a dipping consistency for quite some time when served in the saucepan it was cooked in.
- Serve with whatever foods sound good to you! Pretzels, berries, bananas, graham crackers, cubed pound cake, apples, pears, and marshmallows are all great options!