Monday, February 11, 2013


Tasty Bunch, the couples dine-out group my husband and I belong to, had a change of pace this month when the host and hostess, John and Bernie, decided to have us at their house for lasagna instead.  Normally the host and hostess chooses a restaurant for us to dine at and then we have dessert at their house.

As always at get-togethers like this, everything was excellent.  I plan to share Bernie's lasagna recipe and Judy's dessert recipe as soon as they send them to me.  I took an appetizer.

If you follow my blog at all, you know I don't do appetizers well.  Mainly because I am such a "picky eater" and also can't eat onions and peppers and stuff that is so often in appetizers.  But I am trying to broaden my knowledge, so ever once and a while, I will offer to bring an appetizer.

I usually stress over the matter for days and this time was no different.  I knew we were going to eat lasagna, probably within 30 minutes of arriving, and so didn't want to have too heavy of an appetizer.  Janice and I put our heads together as we took our 1-2 mile walk at the Y, and I decided to make fruit kabobs.  Janice wanted to have a chocolate dipping sauce, so I had to make that too. (I considered buying one that I have enjoyed at other get-togethers, but when I saw it contained high-fructose corn syrup, I decided to make my own.)

I bought bamboo skewers a few weeks ago, but after looking everywhere, couldn't find them.   (You can see I really need to get organized....HEREl)  So I had to buy another bag of 100 for 99 cents.  Fortunately they aren't expensive.  I figure I will find the first bag soon.  (Isn't that the way it always is?)

I decided to have blueberries, pineapple, bananas, and, of course, strawberries for the fruit.  I bought a fresh pineapple and my husband, who always cuts up the pineapple, did so again. Because Valentine's Day is so near, the strawberries were on sale at one of the grocery stores.  (I got two containers so I could pick-and-choose, but it wasn't necessary----so now I have a whole containers to do something else with.)

Since it was near Valentine's Day, I decided to cut the tops off the strawberries by cutting a V.  This made the strawberry look like a heart.

To keep the bananas from turning dark, I took 1 cup of water with a tablespoon of lemon juice, and dropped the cut wedges of bananas in the mixture and left for a few minutes.  This worked perfectly.  Four hours later, they still had not turned brown. (I had one kabob left over to bring home as someone didn't eat one.)

I decided to use the blueberries as spacers.

Here is what my finished kabob looked like.

For the chocolate sauce, I found a recipe for chocolate peanut butter fondue.  (I considered adding the peanut butter, but decided to leave it out.  It would give it a good taste, I think.)


1/3   cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3   cup granulated sugar (I used 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons of truvia blend)
1/3   cup skim milk
3      tablespoons light corn syrup
2      tablespoons (reduced-fat) peanut butter (I omitted, but think it would have been a good addition)
1/2  teaspoon vanilla

Combine the cocoa and sugar with a whisk in a medium saucepan and then add the milk and corn syrup.  Stirring constantly, cook over medium heat until hot (about 4-5 minutes).  

Remove from heat and add vanilla. 
Serve warm or at room temperature.

This serves 8.  Since there are 12 in the group, after I made it, I decided to make a second batch.

I poured the fondue in a creamer so it would be easier for everyone to get it.

I also had a yogurt dip if anyone wanted it.  I used a low-fat yogurt that was Very Very Vanilla.  It was quite tasty.  Paul really enjoyed it.

Here is how everything looked at the dinner.

To eat the kabobs, everyone removed the fruit and poured the chocolate dip over the fruit.  You can see, at room temperature, the fondue thickened up nicely.
Remember you can serve it warm also, if you like.

Besides being delicious, it made a very impressive presentation.

Here is a close up of the finished kabob.  I used two blueberries as spacers between each fruit, started and ended with a "heart-shaped" strawberry, and also had a pineapple wedge and a banana wedge.  I topped it off with one blueberry.

If you wanted to make these for dessert, you could make brownies and have a "wedge" of brownie in place of a fruit.  

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