Baby it’s Cold Outside…

It can be cold, rainy and sometimes dreary during the Sitka, Alaska winters. As the holidays continue to quickly approaches, we encourage you to spend time with your families and friends indoors. You can stay warm and experiment in the kitchen while really enjoying your time together.

Fondue Night

Broth, cheese or chocolate – you really can’t go wrong! Fondue is a great way to gather your family around the table and make an activity out of your meal. Get everyone involved by setting out several cutting boards and handing out tasks in the kitchen. If you’re making a cheese fondue – someone can grate cheese, cut fresh veggies, slice bread, boil the shrimp, and pour the wine! We also love adding crackers, breadsticks, figs and grapes to the dipping mix.

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Craft Beer Cheese Fondue
Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • ½ clove of garlic
  • 1 c. craft beer
  • 8 oz. shredded gouda
  • 8 oz. shredded cheddar
  • 1 tbs. cornstarch
  • Dash of pepper
  • Dash of nutmeg
  • Dipping munchies of choice

Directions:

  1. Rub the fondue pot with garlic clove.
  2. Add the craft beer and heat until steam begins to rise from the beer.
  3. In a small bowl, toss together the cheese with the cornstarch.
  4. Reduce heat to medium low, then gradually add cheese to the beer.
  5. Stir continuously until the mixture is melted and smooth.
  6. Season with black pepper and nutmeg.
  7. Eat up!

It’s a Pizza Party!

Who doesn’t love pizza? It’s one of our favorites, a classic dinner that has endless possibilities. The idea behind make-your-own-pizza party is that you supply the dough, sauce, mozzarella and brews. Then you ask your friends and family to bring their favorite toppings. Now, don’t get us wrong, olive oil, buffalo sauce, blue cheese dressing and pesto all make bases too – you can either have people bring those with them or provide them as alternatives. We figure about half a pie per person, once you have one in the oven the next person can start tossing out their dough. The idea here is full-size pies cut into 16 slices so everyone gets to sample each one. This is such a fun way to get everyone in the kitchen and trying something new!

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Homemade Pizza Dough
Makes 2 pies

Ingredients:

  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1 c. warm water
  • 1-1/4 c. cold water
  • 2 tbs. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 4-1/2 c. unbleached bread flour
  • 1 c. whole wheat flour

Directions:

  1. Dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water, let stand 5 minutes until it turns foamy.
  2. Combine cold water, oil and salt in a small bowl.
  3. Add wheat flour and 1 c. bread flour to wet ingredients and start to mix. Continue adding 1 c. flour at a time until the dough becomes heavy and sticky.
  4. Flour your work surface and knead the dough until it forms a ball (about 15 minutes).
  5. Place ball in a greased bowl, cover with cling wrap and let rise in a warm place until it doubles in size (about 2 hours).
  6. Punch down dough and separate into 2 or more pieces, let them rest for 10 minutes.
  7. Roll out your pies and top with desired toppings.
  8. Cook at 450 degrees for 12-15 minutes.
  9. Eat up!

Roll your own Sushi

One of the more challenging dinner party nights, but definitely a fun way to get guests out of their comfort zones. You supply the rice, seaweed papers (and roller!), sauces (think soy, peanut, something spicy), wasabi and Saki. Have friends and family bring over their favorite things to put in sushi like veggies, seafood, avocado and other meats. Or get creative. Ever tried a dessert sushi? Everything tastes better with chocolate. This is a great way to get everyone in the kitchen at the same time. You can even prep ahead of time and make some spring rolls for people to munch on while they are rolling.

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Peanut Sauce Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 tbs. Hoisin sauce
  • 1 tbs. lemon juice
  • ¾ c. peanut butter
  • 1 tsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. ginger

Directions:

  1. Place peanut butter in a mixing bowl and slowly add 6 tbsp. warm water until texture is liquid.
  2. Add remaining ingredients.
  3. Eat up!

There you have it! Those are some of our favorite ideas to stay inside and have fun in the kitchen with your family. Share your photos with us on Facebook or Instagram!