Holiday Happy Hour Recipe: The Christmas Cookie Cocktail

Whether you need something to add a little Holiday cheer to gift wrapping, or you’re looking for the perfect after dinner drink for your Christmas party this weekend, I totally think you should give this Christmas Cookie Cocktail a try. Served on Disney Cruise Line ships during the holidays, we think it’s a great way to kick up the festivities just a little!

It’s like the best grown up milkshake, ever! And it has all the cozy, delicious flavors of the season — cream, coffee, and the cooling flavor of peppermint.

Disney Cruise Line's Christmas Cookie Cocktail

Disney Cruise Line’s Christmas Cookie Cocktail

Check it out!

Disney Cruise Line’s Christmas Cookie Cocktail

Makes One Cocktail

Ingredients:

1 ounce Baileys Irish Cream
1 ounce Kahlua Coffee Liqueur
1 ounce peppermint schnapps
Vanilla ice cream
Chocolate sauce
Whipped cream
Cookie shavings

Instructions:

[Read more…]

Holiday Recipe: Peppermint Bark from the Sugar and Spice Holiday Bakery in Epcot’s America Pavilion

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! The holiday season is in full swing at Walt Disney World and Disneyland, and that means the return of many of our favorite seasonal snacks — plus the addition of some new ones!

Epcot Christmas tree ornaments

Epcot Christmas tree ornaments

For many years, Epcot has been a terrific place to spend some time during the Winter holiday season. Holidays Around the World features performances of folk stories from different countries, and the Candlelight Processional always draws big crowds.

Holidays Around the World Maps (1)

And while foods that celebrate the Winter holidays have been a mainstay of the season for years, now Holidays Around the World has joined other annual Epcot Festivals, the Food and Wine Festival and the Flower and Garden Festival, as a food-lovers destination — complete with passport to check off dishes as you enjoy them!

We can never resist a stop by the Sugar and Spice Holiday Bakery in the America Pavilion to see what’s new!

Sugar and Spice Holiday Bakery

Sugar and Spice Holiday Bakery

One favorite has been there for years — even before the Sugar and Spice Bakery was there! Peppermint Bark!

Peppermint Bark from the Sugar and Spice Bake Shop in Epcot's America Pavilion

Peppermint Bark from the Sugar and Spice Bake Shop in Epcot’s America Pavilion

Can’t make it to Epcot, or you don’t want to wait to enjoy some until you do? Check out this handy recipe and whip up a batch at home!

Peppermint Bark

Sugar and Spice Holiday Bakery, Epcot’s America Pavilion

Makes a 15 x 10-Inch Baking Sheet

Ingredients:

[Read more…]

DFB Exclusive! 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Recipe: Sweet Corn Cheesecake from the Mexico Marketplace

AAAAAH!! I am so excited to share this DFB exclusive!

We may have closed the books on the 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival, but we’re still reliving the memories of one of the best Festivals we remember from recent years! And, NO JOKE, I get emails, tweets, facebook messages, what-have-you EVERY SINGLE DAY from readers asking me for the recipe for the Sweet Corn Cheesecake, the dessert item featured at this year’s Mexico Marketplace Booth.

Sweet Corn Cheesecake

Sweet Corn Cheesecake

The sweet, rich, creamy dessert was the perfect marriage of the familiar and the unexpected for our readers, and everyone’s all about figuring out how to make it at home.

Sweet Corn Cheesecake -- Cross Section

Sweet Corn Cheesecake — Cross Section

Well, the wait is over! Thanks to the super generous and ever accommodating Chef Gerardo Gonzalez (a.k.a. Chef Jerry), who oversees all of the restaurants in the Mexico Pavilion (and who I may have bugged a little incessantly about giving me this recipe…and the one for the amazing Crema de Elote at La Hacienda de San Angel…still waiting on that one, Chef Jerry…), for sharing it with us and allowing us to print it for you lot!

Sweet Corn Cheesecake

2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival, Mexico Marketplace Booth

Serves 8-12

Ingredients:

[Read more…]

2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Recipe: Vegetarian Moussaka at the Greece Marketplace Booth

We have more delicious eats for you today from the 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

Welcome to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

Welcome to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

Disney has been lauded in the past for their commitment to serving guests who have special dietary needs. Whether you’re gluten free, vegetarian, or have other food sensitivities, your choices throughout Walt Disney World have been steadily increasing.

We’ve also seen this emphasis at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival. For the last few years, an entire Marketplace Booth, Terra, has been devoted to a vegan menu.

But beyond Terra, you’ll also find vegetarian offerings scattered throughout the other Marketplaces. (See the full listing of Festival Vegetarian options here, and a list of Festival Gluten Free options here.)

One of our very favorites was introduced this year — Vegetarian Moussaka.

Vegetarian Moussaka

Vegetarian Moussaka

A layered dish customarily consisting of Eggplant and/or Potatoes, a rich Meat Filling, and Béchamel, it’s a comforting dish that’s especially perfect for the cold weather months.

Vegetarian Moussaka --Inside

Vegetarian Moussaka –Inside

No lie — I have been dreaming about this dish since I first tasted it at the Food and Wine Preview dinner last Summer. When I had a chance to sample it once again at the Greece Marketplace Booth, it was just as amazing! It is truly one of the most delicious and satisfying vegetarian entrees I have ever tasted.

And now, you and I can both make it at home! Perfect for the next time you’d like to offer a meatless meal, this hearty casserole will please even the most die-hard meat eaters.

Vegetarian Moussaka

Greece Marketplace Booth

Serves: 6-8

Ingredients:

Meatless Sauce:
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
6 bay leaves
2 cinnamon sticks
2 large yellow onions, finely chopped
2 (11-ounce) packages meatless crumbles
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes in juice, crushed
2 cups vegetable stock
coarse salt, freshly ground pepper, to taste

Béchamel Sauce: [Read more…]

2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Recipe: Kielbasa and Potato Pierogies at the Poland Marketplace Booth

Craving some of those awesome dishes that you’ve enjoyed at the 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival?

Welcome to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

Welcome to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

It’s one of my favorite parts of the Festival — tasting my way around World Showcase, and then going home to try my hand at a few new recipes!

Today, we’re visiting the Poland Marketplace Booth for a taste of traditional fare. This year, Poland offers two varieties of Pierogies.

Similar to dumplings, you’ll find them stuffed with sauerkraut or potato at the Festival, depending on which dish you choose.

Today, we’ll take a closer look at Potato Pierogies served with Kielbasa.

Kielbasa & Potato Pierogie with Caramelized Onions and Sour Cream

Kielbasa & Potato Pierogie with Caramelized Onions and Sour Cream

If you’ve ever wanted to make your very own pierogies from scratch, here’s your chance!

Kielbasa and Potato Pierogies with Caramelized Onions and Sour Cream

Poland Marketplace Booth

Ingredients:

Serves 4 (16 Pierogies)

Kielbasa:
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
1 cup fresh diced tomatoes
coarse salt, freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 pound boiled Polish smoked Kielbasa sausage

Pierogies: [Read more…]

2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival: Food for Thought with Chef Rick Bayless

With a full week plus a weekend, there’s still plenty of time to enjoy the 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival, going on right now at Walt Disney World!

Welcome to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

Welcome to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

Today, I’m back to tell you about one of the Food and Wine Festival Special Events I had the opportunity to attend recently.

While I love spending time strolling the Promenade around World Showcase and taking in all of the fantastic food and drink, there’s so much more to the Festival than the International Marketplace Booths.

Each year, I also enjoy attending a sampling of the Low Cost Demonstrations and Seminars as well as Festival Special Events. And one of the biggest highlights is enjoying time with chefs whom we’ve admired in an up close and personal way!

Recently, I was given the opportunity to attend Food For Thought, a Festival Special Event that’s new for 2014. Replacing the Kitchen Memories series from past years, Food For Thought events allow guests to hear the story of a favorite chef before he or she walks the audience through a demonstration of dishes.

Food For Though at Epcot's Food and Wine Festival

Food For Though at Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival

I was so excited when I learned that one of my favorites, Chef Rick Bayless, would be rejoining the Festival line up after an absence of several years! Bayless is the Chef and Owner of Frontera Grill and Topolobampo in Chicago, in addition to a collection of quick casual dining spots.

In addition, he’s about to begin the tenth season of his critically acclaimed PBS cooking show Mexico — One Plate at a Time. You can also find his line of Frontera Food Products throughout the country.

At My Place Setting

My Place Setting

Join me as we listen into his conversation with Disney’s Pam Smith, and watch as he puts his apron on and provides us with a dose of kitchen wisdom via authentic Mexican flavors.

Food For Thought with Chef Rick Bayless

My husband and I have followed the career of Rick Bayless for a while. We were first inspired to explore authentic Mexican cuisine by cooking our way through his books. Having the opportunity to hear more about his journey in such an intimate setting was a great way to spend the morning.

Food For Thought with Chef Rick Bayless and Disney's Pam Smith

Food For Thought with Chef Rick Bayless and Disney’s Pam Smith

If you’ve watched his PBS series Mexico — One Plate at a Time, then you know that Chef Rick excels at telling a good story and conveying the excitement of an experience. That combination, along with his wry sense of humor, made for an interesting chat session. Having grown up working in his family’s restaurant, his passion for Mexican cuisine was born out of his study of and love for that country’s rich culture.

Chatting with Chef Rick Bayless

Chatting with Chef Rick Bayless

Soon, however, it was time to turn our attention to the food! At that point, Chef Rick and Pam made their way to the exhibition kitchen for a demonstration of the food and drink we’d be sampling.

Cooking Demonstration

While a big draw of Food for Thought is getting to hear the backstory of a culinary notable, the event also makes for a delicious morning, as the featured chef shares a few of his recipes.

Menu

Menu

It’s always fun to see what the suggested pairings are for courses during an event. Typically, guests enjoy a few different wines with tasting portions of dishes, but on this occasion, we had the chance to enjoy a beer pairing instead. A glass of Negra Modelo stood at each place setting.

Negra Modelo Beer

Negra Modelo Beer

Normally, servings are tasting portions, but we enjoyed a full glass of beer as we’d be pairing it with each of the three courses. In addition, we learned how we might use the beer to create a delicious Fall-themed [Read more…]

2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Recipe: South African Bobotie with Turkey and Mushrooms

We are back with another delicious taste of the 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

Welcome to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

Welcome to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

A big draw of the Festival is the variety of fantastic dishes you can taste from all over the world at Marketplace Booths. And this year, we’ve enjoyed some really great options.

We’ve been fans of the Bobotie served at Tusker House and Boma for quite a while. The South African dish is reminiscent of a quiche with its egg base, but interesting ingredients, like raisins and traditional spices, give it a flavor that’s completely unique.

This year, the Africa Marketplace Booth offers up a version made with Turkey and Mushrooms.

South African Bobotie

South African Bobotie

Although Bobotie normally contains bread, this is a gluten-free version that’s prepared without it. The recipe utilizes mushrooms to provide hearty flavor, and their addition allows you to use less meat. You could even omit the turkey altogether and increase the mushrooms for a meatless version.

South African Bobotie with Turkey and Mushrooms

Africa Marketplace Booth

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

[Read more…]

2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Recipe: Warm Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

Ah. We knew the day would come…the day that we started craving some of those wonderful dishes that we’ve had a chance to enjoy at the 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival.

Welcome to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

Welcome to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

And we figure if it’s happening to us, it’s probably happening for you, too. ;-)

While we’ve enjoyed some truly delicious flavors at this year’s festival, we had our favorites from the very beginning!

And one of the sweets we don’t think you should miss is the Fresh Baked Carrot Cake with Craisins® and Cream Cheese Icing.

Served at the Hops & Barley Marketplace Booth, this is one of the best entries into the Disney Carrot Cake Arena we’ve ever sampled!

Fresh baked carrot cake with Craisins® and cream cheese icing

Fresh Baked Carrot Cake with Craisins® and Cream Cheese Icing from the Hops & Barley Marketplace Booth

Warm and moist, the cake itself is chock-full of goodies. Dried cranberries give the mix an unexpected tang.

And the Icing. You know that amazing Warm Cream Cheese Icing you sometimes find on cinnamon rolls?

Yeah. That.

Cross section of carrot cake with cream cheese icing

Fresh Baked Carrot Cake with Craisins® and Cream Cheese Icing — Cross Section

Given our love around here for Carrot Cake, we were on the fence about whether this one would be mention-worthy or a total snoozefest. I’m happy to say, it’s amazing.

So here’s the recipe to make those Carrot Cake fantasies a reality.

Warm Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

Hops & Barley Marketplace Booth

Yield: 12 Mini Cakes

Ingredients: [Read more…]

Disneyland DIY Recipe: Red’s Apple Freeze From the Cozy Cone Motel

It’s September! Yay for cooler temperatures, right??

Well…maybe not quite yet. But we’re all dreaming of Fall flavors, even if the mercury is still registering in the 80/90 (or higher) range.

If I were in Disney California Adventure, I’d just mosey on over to Cozy Cone Motel and grab a cold one at Cone Number 4. :-)

Cozy Cone Motel!

Cozy Cone Motel!

Nah. I’m not talking about that kinda cold one. I have something even better! (Well. I think so, anyway.) It’s Red’s Apple Freeze to the Rescue!

LeFou's Brew at Gaston's Tavern (topped with Passion fruit and Mango foam)

Red’s Apple Freeze…or LeFou’s Brew — Whichever Your Prefer!

But since I am not, in fact, anywhere near Disneyland (sigh), I’ll have to make do and make my own. And we can SO do that.

It looks a little like beer, doesn’t it? But this is a frosty beverage even the littlest in your company can enjoy. This concoction combines sweet and tart — no-sugar-added frozen apple juice flavored slightly with marshmallow, and topped by a creamy, passion-fruit froth. Yep. It sounds weird. But it works!

(And yes…you Walt Disney World Lovers…feel free to call it Le Fou’s Brew and dream that you’re in Gaston’s Tavern if you’d like. Same difference. :-) )

Wanna know how to make it at home? Give this handy recipe a go!

Red’s Apple Freeze

Makes 3-4 Servings

Foam Topping Ingredients:
1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream, cold
4 tablespoons Mango Nectar/Juice
4 tablespoons Passionfruit Juice
3 tablespoons Sugar

Apple Slush Ingredients:

[Read more…]

Epcot Food and Wine Festival Recipe: Grilled Verlasso Salmon with Quinoa Salad and Arugula Chimichurri

If you’re like us, you’re already counting down the days until the Epcot Food and Wine Festival Begins!

food and wine festival logo

If you haven’t already done it, mark your calendars for September 19 — the date that the food and fun gets underway!

Recently, we had the opportunity to see and taste some of the brand new dishes that will be featured at this year’s festival.

Today, we have a recipe for one of our favorites — Grilled Verlasso Salmon with Quinoa Salad and Arugula Chimichurri. The dish will be featured at this year’s new Patagonia Booth.

It’s an especially interesting dish, because the Salmon is sustainably farm-raised. In fact, it’s the first and only ocean-raised farm fish to receive the “Good Alternative” buy ranking from the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Watch Group.

Salmon Quinoa Salad with Chimi-Churri Will Be Featured at the NEW Patagonia Marketplace Booth

Salmon Quinoa Salad with Chimi-Churri at the NEW Patagonia Marketplace Booth

And the Quinoa Salad is absolutely delicious, and among our favorite dishes that we tried!

And now you and I can make it at home with this handy recipe.

Grilled Verlasso Salmon with Quinoa Salad and Arugula Chimichurri

2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival’s Patagonia Marketplace Booth
Serves 6

Ingredients: [Read more…]