New Year's Eve decorating ideas

Lisa's tips for a great New Year's Eve party:

  • Have a theme such as "bad prom."

  • Create a photo area with a blanket and streamers for a backdrop; take pictures of guests as they arrive. Have extra supplies nearby for those who didn't dress up.

  • Use flower vases full of black-eyed peas for festive candle holders. Black-eyed peas symbolize good luck for the new year.

  • Piñatas are fun and often filled with candy for kids. If you're having an adults party, you can do a piñata with a twist and have "adult" items such as small liquor bottles like they serve on airplanes, Alka Seltzer, Chapstick, ear plugs, or high-end chocolates.
Don't bother with a full bar, but sparkling wine is a must!
  • Veuve Clicquot $39.95
  • Moet & Chandon $13.95
  • Domaine Ste. Michelle $8.95
  • Freixenet $7.95
Fondue is always fun at a party and helps people mingle and socialize.

Recipes from The Melting Pot:

Wisconsin Trio Cheese Fondue


  • 1 ½ C shredded Butterkäse cheese (6oz) [can be found at Whole foods, but you can also substitute Gouda if you can't find Butterkäse]
  • 1 ½ C shredded Fontina Cheese (6oz)
  • 3 Tbsp flour
  • ¾ C white wine
  • ¼ C dry sherry
  • 2 tsp chopped shallots
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ C crumbled blue cheese
  • 2 Tbsp chopped scallions
  1. Toss the Butterkäse and Fontina cheese with the flour in a bowl. Place a metal bowl over a saucepan filled with 2 inches of water. You may also use a conventional double boiler.

  2. Bring the water to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and pour the wine and sherry into the bowl. Sit in the shallots using a fork. Cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly.

  3. Add half the cheese blend and cook until the cheese is melted, stirring constantly. Add the remaining cheese blend a small amount at a time, stirring constantly in a circular motion after each addition until the cheese is melted.

  4. Fold in the pepper and Blue cheese. Pour into a warm fondue pot and keep warm over low heat. Garnish with the scallions.
NOTE: The cheese is shredded and tossed with flour to aid din thickening and to improve the viscosity of the fondue. The fondue should be the consistency of warm honey when completed. Monitor the cheese carefully as it is being added. Not all of the cheese may be needed, and, in some cases, more cheese may be needed to reach the perfect consistency.

Recommended dipping accompaniments: Variety of breads, green apples, mixed vegetables.

Court Boullion Broth

  • 5 ½ C warm water
  • 3 Tbsp finely chopped onion
  • 1 Tbsp finely chopped celery
  • 1 Tbsp chopped carrot
  • 2 Tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  1. Whisk the water, onion, celery, carrot, salt, pepper and garlic powder in a bowl until combined.

  2. Pour into a fondue pot. Bring to a rapid simmer over medium-high heat. Thread a piece of meat or vegetable on a fondue fork.

  3. Cook in the broth to the desired degree of doneness. Serve with your favorite sauce.
Recommended dipping accompaniments: Seafood, beef, ravioli and gourmet veggies.

Dark Chocolate Raspberry Fondue

  • 12 Oz. dark chocolate, finely chopped
  • ¼ C heavy cream
  • 3 Tbsp raspberry liqueur
  1. Combine the chocolate and cream in the top of a double boiler set over simmering water. Heat until the chocolate is melted, stirring constantly; or combine the chocolate and cream in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave until melted, stirring every 30 to 45 seconds.

  2. Be careful not to let the chocolate burn. Pour into a warm fondue pot. Drizzle with the liqueur. Keep fondue warm over low heat.
Recommended dipping accompaniments: Rice crispie treats, pound cake, brownie bites, strawberries, raspberries, bananas, cheesecake, marshmallows.

About the Melting Pot:

Fondue is a fun and interactive dining experience and for more than three decades, The Melting Pot has defined the niche across the American dining scene.

With more than 142 locations across 37 states and The District of Columbia and with more than 28 locations under development, The Melting Pot Restaurants Inc. is the country's premier fondue restaurant franchise.

The Melting Pot is also proud to announce that it is coming to Canada! The first Canadian location is scheduled to open in Edmonton, Alberta in early 2010.

The Melting Pot Restaurants will also be developed in Calgary, Alberta and Vancouver, British Columbia. Canada marks the first International market for the Melting Pot. Stay tuned for updates on the The Melting Pot brand going global!

At The Melting Pot, fondue truly becomes a memorable four-course dining experience where patrons can dip into something different - and discover all the ingredients for a unique dining experience including a relaxed atmosphere, private tables, attentive service, fine wines and signature fondue dinners.

125 E. Sir Francis Drake Blvd.
Larkspur, CA 94939
(415) 461-6358

Party City -- Serramonte Plaza
317 Gellert Blvd
Daly City, CA 94015

Click here for New Year's Eve events in the Bay Area.

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