Dip into 2011!

 Happy New Year! We were excited to be home for the turning of decades so we could host our second annual “Dip into the New Year” fondue brunch. It was semi last-minute as I wanted to make sure I had sufficient energy to pull the house together a little and host good friends, and we were lucky to have a great turn out, despite the plethora of out-of-towners.
 I think Milo might have eaten 10 marshmallows over the course of an hour and a half, but he was delighted to have friends to run around with and treats within reach!
 We supplied the fondue and a few basics, and everyone brought a little something to share. We ended up with a great variety of dipping treats…pretzels, berries, bananas, mallows, and grahams for the chocolate, and several types of bread, naan, apples, carrots, and celery for the cheese. Delicious.
 I usually make the cheese from scratch, but this year went for the boxes of pre-mixed fondue cheese and it turned out awesome! Way less work than cooking it myself! I did zest a little extra fresh nutmeg in at the last minute to give it that wonderful deep flavor.
 As the guests arrived I was trouble-shooting the chocolate, which had begun to separate because in my haste to finish, I failed to heat the heavy cream before adding it, effectively cooling the entire mixture down into a chunky, fudge-like concoction! Dave rescued me by googling tips on fixing it, and by heating the cream, adding it slowly and whisking like the devil we managed to get it somewhat presentable…the toffee bits at the end helped it out a bit, too. Guess it can’t be perfect every time:)
I saw an image on my google reader a few days ago that inspired me to make these tinsel fondue forks rather than use my metal set. I simply hot glued a couple inches of tinsel around the end of a bamboo skewer! It was nice to have an abundance of them, and they doubled as a festive centerpiece as well! 
 Oh, and they were a huge hit with the kids!
 The men did some catching up about work and school and the holidays.
 The toddlers all enjoyed “the reach,” taking whatever treat happened to be in grasp, just beyond their line of vision!
 And it was a great time for friends to catch up after the long holiday break.

The girls were so very excited to show me the “Teddy Bear” that Ella had created with Milo’s new cutting fruit set. Impressive imagination and visual art skills, right?
 I was pleased to discover that Milo’s crib is indeed sturdy enough for four young’ns to climb in and out of it!

 Here’s to twelve more months of Expecting Miracles, and seeing them appear!
p.s. When I get a chance, I’ll post a tutorial for making these darling felted birds. I made them with my mom as Christmas ornaments, and brought some home to cheer up my space…they sure livened up the party with those festive hats!


  1. Rebecca Grace
    Posted January 2, 2011 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

    Happy New Year! Please do post the felted bird tutorial; they are adorable. 🙂

  2. The Beckstroms
    Posted January 3, 2011 at 2:58 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the tasty party! Loved the birds, loved the dip, loved the company. Glad to have you guys back!
    ps…I used the pic of Caroline, hope that's ok 🙂

  3. buddens
    Posted January 4, 2011 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

    Mmmm looks delicious! I love Milo's hair!

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