The 10th Day of Christmas

"Christmas is a time when everybody wants his past forgotten and his present remembered." ~ Phyllis Diller

The holidays bring out a little bit of everything, which is why so many people lovingly embrace them, and why so many people would choose to be lying on a beach drinking a margarita and thinking of the suckers back home. Of course, either pure guilt, or a good case of alligator arms (I...just...can', will prevent us from the latter, so it's time to face the holidays like a bad habit: head on. Of course, don't actually face the bad habit, as it may prove useful as a coping mechanism in the upcoming days. Save it for the new year's resolution!

The holidays also bring out tradition, often times carried on through recipes. Some regrettable (grandma's fruitcake, anyone?), and others scrumptious (grandma's shortbread, anyone?).

If you are not so satisfied with your family recipe portfolio, it's time to establish some new traditions! We should start small though, especially if grandma is going to be attending and expecting you all to eat her famous jello salad. First course, appetizers!

On the 10th day of Christmas, Fork and the Cork gave to me: 2 Appetizers

Speaking of regrettable food, plenty of it came out of the 1970's. But thankfully, so did Fondue!
Here is a delectable family recipe, a festive way to kick off your soiree:

Beer Cheddar Fondue:


  • 1 1/2 1lbs Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 Can Cheddar Cheese Soup (Campbells)
  • 1 rounded tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup Guiness, or other dark beer
  • 2 tablespoons brandy
  • A few drops hot sauce

For Serving:

  • 1 head cauliflower, separated into florets (blanch in boiling water for 2 to three minutes, then plunge into ice water bath-- takes the raw edge off)
  • 2 heads broccoli, separated into florets (blanch in boiling water for 2 to three minutes, then plunge into ice water bath-- takes the raw edge off)
  • 1 small round sourdough bread, cubed
  • 1 small loaf roasted garlic bread, or other artisan bread, cubed
  • other dippers of choice ( cut up apples, red peppers, party franks)

Combine cheese in a bowl with flour. Add beer to a small pot and bring up to a bubble over medium heat. Reduce the heat to simmer and add cheese in handfuls. Stir constantly, melting the cheese in batches. Stir in cheese soup, and brandy. When the cheese has been incorporated fully, stir in the hot sauce. Transfer fondue to warm fondue pot.

And for those of you who would prefer preparing your appetizer in advance:

super easy, puff pastry bites:

Makes 24


  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • All-purpose flour, for rolling
  • 1 sheet puff pastry (from a 17.3-ounce package), thawed
  • 1 large egg, beaten

In a bowl, mix cheese and paprika; season with salt and pepper. On a floured surface, roll out pastry to 10 by 14 inches. Brush with egg. Sprinkle with cheese mixture; using a rolling pin, roll mixture into pastry. Roll up pastry, starting from short end. Refrigerate until firm, about 25 minutes. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut roll into 3/8-inch-thick slices. Place on a rimmed baking sheet; bake until golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool 5 minutes on sheet; transfer to a rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container up to 1 day.

recipe courtesy of Martha Stewart

Happy Holidays to All!!


  1. Sad to miss the fondue dinner this year! It's so yummy and fun! Have a Merry Christmas with everyone!

  2. We will definitely miss you guys this year!! Have a very Merry Christmas!


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