My mom and I decided to make fondue for dinner one night while I was visiting for Thanksgiving. I hadn’t made it in years so I sounded like fun. It’s so easy and a fun for a casual dinner or cocktail party.



3 cups shredded Swiss cheese (12 oz)

3 cups shredded Gruyère cheese (12 oz)

4 tsp cornstarch

1 clove garlic, minced

1 3/4 cups dry white wine

1 TBSP Kirsch or Sherry

1/8 tsp ground black pepper

1/8 tsp nutmeg


Crusty baguette, cubed or torn

Sliced apples

Blanched broccoli and/or cauliflower

Grape tomatoes


  1. Shred cheeses. Place in a large bowl and mix with cornstarch to coat.
  2. In a large saucepan heat wine until just simmering. Reduce heat to low.
  3. Begin adding cheese slowly, allowing to melt before adding more. Stir until mixture is completely melted and bubbly.
  4. Add Kirsch or Sherry if using, pepper and nutmeg.
  5. Transfer to fondue pot with low heat. Serve with dippers.




chip and guacamole

Avocados are in season in California from June through October. Now is a great time to mix up a batch of guacamole!

I prefer Hass variety avocados over the green-skinned kind. Hass are the smaller, dark green fruit with bumpy skin that turns black when ripe. Hass have a higher oil content making them creamier and richer than other varieties.


Green-skin (Zutano variety) on the left, Hass on the right


For this batch of guacamole I’m using both because that’s what I was given. Hey, never turn down free avocados!


For a party-size batch of guacamole:

5-6 avocados, pit and peel removed

1-2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced

2 TBSP minced onion

2 cloves minced garlic

2 TBSP lemon or lime juice

1 TBSP chopped fresh cilantro

Salt & Pepper to taste


  1. Smash avocados mix in lemon or lime juice
  2. Add remaining ingredients.
  3. Serve immediately or chill with plastic wrap pressed to surface of guacamole up to 2 hours.

Alternate Prep (QUICK & EASY)

3 ripe avocados, pit and peel removed

2 TBSP prepared salsa

Mash the avocados and mix in salsa for instant guacamole!

Broccoli Salad Snacks

Broccoli Salad Snack appetizerMy husband got home from a business trip tonight so I decided to make his favorite thing for dinner – appetizers! Along with salami, cheese, crackers, carrots and dip, I made these tasty broccoli salad squares. They are one of his favorite things I make.

This recipe is based on a recipe I got from Pampered Chef about 15 years ago. I haven’t been able to find that slip of paper for a while, but luckily there’s not much to it so I just wing it!


2 crowns of broccoli, chopped

2-3 TBSP chopped red onion

1/4 cup roasted sunflower seeds

1/4 cup golden raisins

1/4 cup real bacon bits

1/2 cup mayonnaise

3 TBSP apple cider vinegar

1 TBSP sugar

1 can refrigerated crescent rolls


  1. Roll out the crescent dough in a sheet (don’t break up into triangles) onto a rectangular baking stone
    or cookie sheet. Bake according to package directions, checking for it to reach a nice golden brown color. Allow to cool completely.
  2. While dough is baking, chop broccoli and onion. In a small bowl mix mayo, vinegar and sugar until smooth.
  3. Spread mayo dressing onto the bread. Sprinkle with broccoli, onion, bacon, raisins and sunflower seeds.
  4. Cut into squares with a pizza cutter or knife.

This makes an excellent dish to bring as an appetizer for potlucks.  I like to make a batch and just split it between the two of us for dinner! The kids turned up their noses at it. That’s OK, more for us!