We (2 adults, 4 children) pretty much filled up on cheese and we didn't end up ordering take-in for dinner, but instead went out for dessert after the appetizers!
I made crustini out of a loaf of brown rice bread (food for life, pink package) for our dippers, and we also had carrot sticks, celery sticks, and raw cauliflower. We used all the dipping items, but greatly preferred the crustini for all (the cauliflower got fed to the guinea pigs the next day. they were thrilled.)
1 loaf pretty dense bread (I used food for life rice bread)
---Cut each slice of bread into thirds, and brush olive oil on each side. Sprinkle kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper on each side. Bake on a lined or greased cookie sheet at 400 degrees for 7-8 minutes on each side, or until nice and toasty.
Beer Cheese Fondue
1/2 small yellow onion, peeled and finely diced
1 garlic clove, minced
4 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated (1 cup)
8 ounces extra sharp cheddar cheese, grated (2 cups)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
1 (12-ounce) bottle of beer (Redbridge, by Anheuser Busch is gluten free)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Use a 2-quart slow cooker. Put the onion, garlic, and cheeses into your cooker. Stir in the cornstarch and dry mustard. Crush the caraway seeds (Jennifer says to use a mortar and pestle, but I don't have one, and instead crushed them in a ziplock with a small mallet). Add them to the pot. Pour in the beer. Cover and cook on low for 2to 4 hours, stirring every 30 minutes. Add salt and pepper before serving, adding more to taste if necessary.
Thyme for Goat Cheese
serves 4 to 6
1 (11-ounce) package fresh goat cheese
2 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme leave, plus more for a garnish
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Use a 2-quart slow cooker. If desired, place an oven-safe ramekin into the bottom of the cooker that you'd like to use for serving. Otherwise, plan on serving this right out of the crock.
Put the cheese into the pot (or ramekin), and press the thyme leaves into the top. Drizzle olive oil on top and add black pepper. Cover and cook on low for 2 hours, or until cheese has softened and become easy to spread. Lift inserted dish (CAREFULLY! use oven mitts!) out of the slow cooker and serve on the table with your favorite dippers.
Fondue night rocks. End of story.