Getting cheesy! When Lauren Conrad‘s entertaining, she preps her food and drinks ahead of time so she can focus on spending time with her guests. For her retro game night party, fondue was an easy choice. “It isn’t done a lot, and it’s a fun, interactive food,” says Us Weekly‘s guest entertaining editor.
Since she’s “both a cheese and a chocolate person,” she wanted to serve versions of both and provide a wide array of ingredients for friends to dip. To fit in with her theme, she sourced vintage fondue pots from Etsy, eBay and flea markets. “They’re really easy to find,” says the Celebrate author. Try these suggestions to throw your own ’60s-inspired bash at home.
Since fondue originated in Switzerland, classic recipes tend to rely on a combo of cheeses from the country: Gruyère and Emmentaler. Also key to recipes is a healthy glug of dry white wine, which adds to the flavor and helps keep the cheese nice and melty. (Serious Eats provides a good beginner’s fondue recipe and primer.) Conrad likes to add a sprinkling of chopped herbs for a pop of freshness and color.
Five or six dipping options typically offers enough variety. Fruit and vegetables — chopped into bite-size pieces, if they’re large — provide a light counterpoint to the creamy cheese. In this case, Conrad picked raw summer squash, zucchini, broccoli, cherry tomatoes, green apples and cooked red potatoes. Cubes of a good, crusty baguette tend to be another crowd-pleaser.
Dessert dippers should also be a mix of light and decadent options. The LC Lauren Conrad for Kohl’s designer, 31, opted for halved strawberries, slices of starfruit, clementine segments, blondies, mini meringues and toasted marshmallows.
Regardless if you serve one or both types, it’s a good idea to situate your fondue station where you want your crowd to gather. “Where you place the fondue depends on the game you’re playing,” Conrad explains. “If the game is something that takes up the entire
table, then you have to have it off to the side. But otherwise, you’re making
them two separate activities — unless you want to set up a buffet and have
people make their own plates.”
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