What a Crock!: Say cheese on Valentine’s Day _lowres

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- For that special someone, serve Valentine's Cheese Fondue.

Let’s talk cheese — specifically, Valentine’s Day, cheese and slow cookers.

It’s easy to create a fondue-type cheese appetizer that can complement just about any dinner, especially one for a special occasion.

If you and your significant other have dinner plans away from home, the cheese appetizer is a way to start the festivities before leaving for an evening out. If you will be dining with friends, it’s a great introduction to a later dinner time.

If you have a slow cooker with the Warm setting, this is a good time to use it to keep the cheese just slightly heated as you need it.

Start out on Low until cheese is melted, generally about an hour or two, then switch to Warm. Cheese doesn’t do well at too high a heat and if it cools down too much before serving, it becomes rubbery. That is why the slow cooker does well, especially for party buffets or small celebrations.

While I generally advise not opening the lid of a slow cooker, this recipe needs to be stirred periodically. Enjoy your special time — and the cheese.

Julie Kay is a columnist for The Advocate. She can be reached at juliekay6122@gmail.com.