It was my husband's birthday last week and I surprised him with an overnight at our favorite B & B, the 'Lazy Cloud'. (If you go please use our name for the referral so we can earn a free nights stay ;). Anyway, I was a little nervous about what we were going to eat to stay on our low carb, no sugar, gluten diet. Not to mention there is only a mini fridge and microwave in the suite. As I was thinking about it it came to me that I could make fondue, which is also terribly romantic, and stay on the all natural and non processed food path! Here's what I did:
First, I oven baked a large sirloin steak wrapped in foil and seasoned with our usual garlic salt and Cajun spices until cooked to med-rare. I removed it and sliced into chunks when cooled. I stored it in a microwave safe container with lid.
Next I made a large bar of my all natural and sugar free chocolate by melting 1/2 cup coconut oil and 1 Tbsp butter. Then whisking in 1/4 cup cocoa powder, 2 Tbsp honey, 1 tbsp half n half, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, vanilla and orange extract.
I poured it into a waxed paper lined dish and put it into the fridge to harden. I removed it when hardened and broke it into fourths, stored in a gallon Ziplock bag.
Finally I steamed broccoli for 5 minutes in my steamer, it was a little on the raw side but I knew we would be heating it up in the microwave and didn't want to over cook it. I also cut up all my red peppers.
I packed the rest of the ingredients into a cooler bag along with my sterno and fondue pot and off we went. When we were ready to eat I lit the sterno and started melting 2 cups of shredded Colby jack cheese, 1/4 cup half n half, 1 Tbsp butter, 2 slices Swiss cheese and 1/4 really good winter ale beer :). While the cheese was melting we warmed up the meat and broccoli. It took about 10 minutes altogether and we were ready to eat. It was so good! We filled up pretty fast, so we decided to save the chocolate fondue and fruit for breakfast. Have I ever mentioned how much I love chocolate for breakfast before????
In the morning while my coffee was brewing in the coffee pot we melted 1/2 of the homemade chocolate bar in the fondue pot over a candle. The sterno seemed to hot and I didn't want to scorch it. When the chocolate was ready we pushed the cinnamon rolls and muffins the B & B provide out of our way and started dipping! It was way better (I had one bite of a cinnamon roll ;).
I wasn't sure if this experience was blog material or not, but I hope I've encouraged you to think outside the box! We thought the meal was perfect and saved the normal $100 we would spent eating out. More importantly we saved precious alone time by not eating out in public. Alone time is what the whole B &B was about, after all!
Oh yeah, and as a thank you to the kids for letting us get away we gave them the rest of the chocolate and fruit when we got home.