The weather is still dropping cold in San Francisco, so I see no reason not to dip into a new fondue book. Written by fellow Cowgirl, Lenny Rice, and her friend Brigid Callinan, Fondue is witty, cute, and perfectly delicious. Dropping allusions to Laverne and Shirley and Hawaii 5-0, this cookbook takes you through fifty fondue recipes — sweet and savory — as well as fondue accompaniments, like mango marshmallows, Irish soda bread, and spiced doughnut holes.

While I didn’t make it yet, my favorite recipe by far has to be the one that came out of Lenny’s football-watching childhood in Oklahoma. It’s called “Whiskey Tango Game Day” and the recipe includes ground beef or pork and Velveeta. (Yes, Velveeta — stop your pearl clutching.) Lenny writes, “And the name? If you’re familiar with military radio alphabet, you’ll probably know how we came up with it!” While drink recommendations for other recipes guide you to specific wines and beers, this recipe suggest you pair your WT Game Day fondue with Dr. Pepper, Bud Light, and RC Cola. Awesome.

The other night Big Cheese and I melted up a big pot of California Country Roads, which throws together the tangy-stinky combination of Cowgirl’s own Red Hawk and Bellwether Farms Carmody. The recipe notes suggest using walnut bread, Fig Newtons, Graham crackers, and apples as dippers and pairing with a blanc de noirs. The Fig Newtons were definitely an interesting idea and the Fig Newton lovers in the group became addicted to the combo after the first bite.

With all these recipes at the ready, and a whole lotta cheese out there just begging to be turned into bubbly, velvet masses of goo, I hope these cold nights continue for quite awhile.

California Country Roads

Makes 2 cups

1 (12-ounce) round Cowgirl Creamery Red Hawk, rind discarded and cubed
8 ounces Bellwether Farms Carmody, grated
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup Napa or Sonoma sauvignon blanc
2 tablespoons muscat or other sweet dessert wine

Toss the cheeses with the flour in a bowl and set aside. In a fondue pot, bring the sauvignon blanc to a boil over medium-high heat. Decrease the heat to low and add the cheese mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring until melted after each addition. Add the muscat and stir until smooth. Serve immediately.

Serve with: toasted walnut or other rustic bread cubes, pear chunks, apple chunks, fresh figs, quartered, fig bars, Graham crackers.

Beverage Suggestions: pinot noir, blanc de noirs (sparkling wine), fino sherry

Cold Comfort Charm: Fondue 9 April,2008Stephanie Lucianovic

  • alison

    oh stephanie – this sounds delicious!

  • Laura Lee

    Have the book, love the book! i must say that I know Lenny very well, so you may consider me partial, however, if the recipes weren’t good or the book poorly written, I would just not comment. For cheese is one of the loves of my life. Great gift book… We take it camping, to Tahoe for ski weekends, and when visiting family. It is a must have for every turophile!


Stephanie Lucianovic

A former picky eater, Stephanie V.W. Lucianovic is a writer, editor, and lapsed cheesemonger in the San Francisco Bay Area. A culinary school grad with an English lit degree, she has written for,, Popular Science, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Boston Globe. Additionally, she has been writing for KQED’s Bay Area Bites since its inception and is the website editor for KQED’s Emmy-award winning show “Check, Please! Bay Area.”

Stephanie was an original recapper at Television Without Pity and worked on a line of cookbooks for William-Sonoma as well as in the back kitchen of a Jacques Pépin cooking show. Her first book, SUFFERING SUCCOTASH: A Picky Eater’s Quest To Understand Why We Hate the Foods We Hate (Perigee Books, 2012) is a non-fiction narrative and a heartfelt and humorous exposé on the inner lives of picky eaters that Scientific American called “hilarious” and “the perfect popular science book for a reader that doesn’t think he or she wants to read a popular science book.”

Stephanie lives in Menlo Park with her husband, three-year-old son, assorted cats, and has been blogging at The Grub Report for over a decade.

Follow her on Twitter at @grubreport

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