Posts Tagged ‘fondue with kids’

Cheesy Pumpkin Fondue

Sunday, November 15th, 2015

Happy November! We’re enjoying some beautiful fall weather right now which is making it slightly easier to cope with the time change. In an effort to soak up every drop of sunshine that we can, we made another post-Halloween farm trip to Wayside Farm Fun in Berryville with good friends last weekend. It’s just not fall until you’ve been buried in a corn crib, after all!

Wayside Farm Fall Festival |

Or watched pumpkins dropped from the sky!

Wayside Farm Festival |

Hopefully you’ve spared a pumpkin from jack o’lantern carving to cook with — if not, it’s not too late to find one at the farmers market. These amazingly pastel heirloom pumpkins were actually spotted at Whole Foods, grown at another foodietots-favorite, Wegmeyer Farms in Hamilton, VA.

heirloom pumpkins wegmeyer farms |

As the weather turns colder, meals with gooey melted cheese seems to fall into heavier rotation in our weekly meal plan. We’re calling this one healthy though since it’s served in a vegetable! Pumpkin fondue cooked right in a carved out pumpkin makes for a fun presentation. I blanch broccoli spears and slice red peppers for dipping, along with cubed bread. And remember to scoop out the pumpkin flesh, too — save any leftovers to spread on toast the next morning.

Pumpkin Fondue |

Recipe: Pumpkin Fondue

Makes: 4-6 servings


  • 1 small pie pumpkin
  • 1 cup cubed wheat bread
  • 8 ounces Asiago cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • Cubed bread, meat and/or vegetables for dipping


1. Cut top off of pumpkin and scoop out seeds and stringy interior. (Reserve seeds for roasting.) Place hollowed pumpkin in a shallow baking dish.

2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

3. In a saucepan over medium low heat, whisk together the cream, stock and cornstarch. Cook, stirring frequently, until mixture just begins to simmer. Then stir in nutmeg and add cheese, a little at a time, whisking until all the cheese is melted. Remove from heat.

4. Spread bread cubes in the bottom of the pumpkin. Pour cheese sauce over the bread and bake for about 45 minutes, until cheese sauce is bubbly and slightly golden brown. Pumpkin should be tender when pricked with a fork.

5. Serve with additional cubed bread and other desired dippers.

Note: Use caution when serving — the pumpkin will be hot! Be sure to use long-handled fondue forks, or skewers if you don’t have fondue forks. You can also spoon out some of the cheese sauce onto plates for younger children.

This recipe was originally created for Applegate.

Have you made your own pumpkin puree before? See how easy it is here. And then bake up some of these:

What are you excited to make now that cooler weather is here?

A note: I was recently interviewed by Foody Direct as part of their Expert Interview program. Click here to read the interview and let me know what you think!

Eat Your Greens on St. Patrick’s Day

Thursday, March 17th, 2011

The boy is having a St. Patrick’s Day party at Pre-K today, and of course everyone was asked to bring in something green. We were brainstorming ideas and the first thing that he came up with was peas. I have to say I was more than a little proud that he thought of naturally green things first, and vegetables at that — though it didn’t take long before he was asking for green cupcakes.

green veggies for st. patrick's day

We celebrated St. Patrick’s at home a little early with an “Irish” fondue party last weekend. I boiled potatoes, blanched broccoli and sliced raw green peppers. I was hoping that the cheese sauce would entice the boy to try the peppers, but no such luck. At any rate, if you’re struggling with green veggies in your house, sometimes a simple dip (hummus or homemade ranch) can make all the difference. And fondue — a warm, cheesy dip — is fun for the whole family.

Irish fondue

Recipe: Irish Fondue


  • 3/4 pound Landaff or Caerphilly cheese*
  • 1/4 pound Gruyere
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons Irish ale (like Harp)
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 clove garlic

Serve with: vegetables, raw or blanched, boiled potatoes, sliced apples or pears, and cubes of bread.

Instructions: Set up your fondue pot. If you have the kind with a glass pot that sits inside a larger metal pot, add boiling water to the larger pot and light the flame to keep it warm. (If you have an electric fondue pot, you can cook the cheese right in the pot. I don’t, so I started it on the stove.)

Cut your garlic clove in half and rub down the inside of a medium, heavy bottomed sauce pan. Pour 1 cup beer into pan and heat over medium heat. Meanwhile, in a small bowl whisk flour into 2 tablespoons beer to make a smooth slurry.

When beer is warm, add shredded cheese, whisking until melted. Slowly whisk in flour/beer slurry, then let cook, stirring frequently, for a couple minutes, until thickened.  Pour into the fondue pot (the inner glass pot, in my case) and set over the flame to keep warm. You’ll want to stir the cheese periodically as you eat to keep it from hardening on the bottom.

*About the cheese: Landaff is a wonderful cheese made in New Hampshire that you may be able to find in Whole Foods. It’s an American version of the traditional Irish Caerphilly. If you can’t find either of those cheeses, try a mild cheddar (Dubliner of course is always good for St. Patrick’s Day).

Tips for Fondue with Kids:

  • Obviously this recipe does have alcohol — most cooks off while cooking. I haven’t tried this yet, but I suspect you may be able to make this recipe with sparkling apple cider if you prefer.
  • It may be easier to spoon some fondue into a small bowl for dipping — to avoid messes and burnt tongues!
  • Ask your kids for suggestions of what to dip — the boy asked for peanuts, so I added a small bowl of them to the spread. (And no, I don’t believe he actually dipped them, he’s just been on a peanut kick lately.)