2015 Epcot Flower and Garden Recipe: Burnt Ends Brisket Hash from the Smokehouse Outdoor Kitchen

Flowers are not all that’s blooming at the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival! This event — which is happening right now through May 17 — combines the best of all things: Spring and some truly Awesome Dishes! (For a complete run down of our Must-Eat Treats from this year’s Festival, click here.)

epcot flower and garden logo

The deliciousness comes courtesy of the Outdoor Kitchens. The kiosks, situated throughout World Showcase, provide guests with the opportunity to taste some fresh flavors of the season as well as some regional fare.

The Smokehouse

Smokin’ at the Smokehouse

You’ll find fan favorite Smokehouse: Barbecues and Brews located in the America Pavilion, serving up delicious regional barbecue favorites. We love their Pulled Pig Slider with Coleslaw, their new-this-year Smoked Debreziner Sausage, and their Piggylicious Cupcake!

But they’ve also introduced a brand new flavor sensation: Burnt Ends Brisket Hash!

Beef Brisket Burnt Ends Hash with White Cheddar Fondue and Pickled Jalapeños from the Smokehouse Outdoor Kitchen

Beef Brisket Burnt Ends Hash with White Cheddar Fondue and Pickled Jalapeños from the Smokehouse Outdoor Kitchen

I was excited to see the dish at the Flower and Garden Festival. Hash is having kind of a moment (it’s that whole retro thing), and we absolutely loved the Nueske’s® Pepper Bacon Hash featured at Farm Fresh during last year’s Epcot Food and Wine Festival.

The dish is both delicious and thrifty: it’s a great way to use up those “burnt ends” that result from low and slow smoked brisket.

So if you find yourself barbecuing Texas-style — and really, who doesn’t?? — then give this one a try to use up leftovers. Personally, they had me at White Cheddar Fondue. :-)

Burnt Ends Brisket Hash with White Cheddar Fondue and Pickled Jalapeño Peppers

Smokehouse Outdoor Kitchen
Serves 4-6

Ingredients: [Read more…]

Tip from the DFB Guide: Budgeting For Disney Snacks!

So you’re planning your next trip to Walt Disney World. And we all know that the FastPasses are the most important detail to cross off your list, right?

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Wrong. Because the real reason we go to Walt Disney World? The Snacks!

Okay — they’re both important. But I bet that we can agree — one of the biggest reasons we both love Disney is the amazing variety of food choices, and fun snack options E-BER-Y-WHERE.

But the sheer volume of choices can be overwhelming! After all, how do you choose? And once you choose, how do you budget in order to try everything on that must-have list you’ve been compiling?

I totally get it! And that’s why we’ve dedicated a large section to snacking — our favorite Disney recreation — in our best selling DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining 2015!

Let’s talk through some of my Best Tips for Snack Budgeting. And if these tips are helpful to you, pick up your copy of the Guide today for $4 off using code “2015” right here!

Budgeting Money or Snack Credits

Whether you’re paying out of pocket for your snacks, or you’ll be using Disney Dining Plan Snack Credits, planning ahead is the key to ensure you enjoy the treats you’ve been been dreaming about.

Who Can Resist a Handmade Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich in the Shadow of Cinderella Castle??

Who Can Resist a Handmade Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich in the Shadow of Cinderella Castle??

One of my favorite features of the DFB Guide Books are the worksheets that we provide you to plan every facet of your eating journey. And snacking is no exception!

Use the handy worksheets to jot down all of the snacks that you’re anxious to try. Our Snacks Chapter is a great resource for browsing all of the possibilities! With full lists and reviews of snacks throughout Walt Disney World, you have everything compiled in one easy place!

Brainstorm everything you’d like to sample, and include their locations. Then, figure out where the snacks fit into your master plan.

White Chocolate Rabbit and Queen of Hearts Strawberry Shortcake Cake Cups

Be Sure to Save Room for Cake Cups at Cheshire Cafe

If you’re paying for food out of pocket, the keep in mind that most Disney snacks run between $2 and $10, with many of them priced in the $3-5 range. If you’re working with Snack Credits, a general rule of thumb is that a single serving food under $5.19 is usually available for your Snack Credit.

Budgeting Stomach Space

So you’ve done the planning, and you know exactly which snacks you want to try on your next visit. You’ve worked out the budget, and the money and credits are there to cover it all.

Jalapeno Cheese Pretzel

A Jalapeno Cheese Pretzel is Worth Saving Room For

Now comes the next big question: [Read more…]

Recipe: S’mores Bake from Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue in Disneyland

There’s an iconic dessert in Disneyland that everyone’s got to try at least once. Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue offers giant cookie bakes for dessert, which are amazing; but they also offer a S’mores Bake built for a crowd!

Big Thunder Ranch BBQ

Big Thunder Ranch BBQ

We had a chance to sample this dessert firsthand a while back.

Isn't it gorgeous?

S’more Bake at Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue

What makes this version of s’mores so fantastic? It takes your indulgence to the next level by making it on a base of Brownies. Brownies.

For ease, this recipe calls for a Brownie Mix to get you started. But you should absolutely feel free to substitute your favorite brownie recipe if you’d like to make the brownies from scratch. Either way, it’s pretty much guaranteed to be awesome.

Enjoy!

S‘mores Bake

Serves 8

Ingredients:
1 (10.5-ounce) box fudge brownie mix
1 (1-pound) bag large marshmallows
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons hot fudge sauce, warmed
8 graham crackers

Instructions: [Read more…]

Spotted!: Cinnamon Sweet Churro Milkshake at Min and Bill’s Dockside Diner in Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Ah, Min and Bill’s Dockside Diner — this is why I lurve you. So much.

Min & Bill’s has introduced yet another killer seasonal milkshake that you and I MUST have.

If you’re scratching your head and saying, “Min and Bill’s? What? Where?” — you aren’t alone. It’s not that it’s hidden or anything; you just probably don’t expect much from this boat-as-a-food-destination.

But this often-overlooked spot can be a treasure trove of unique eats and drinks. I’ve been a fan of their Frankfurter in a Pretzel Roll (especially the Pretzel Roll part of the equation) forever.

Min and Bill's Dockside Diner at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Min and Bill’s Dockside Diner at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

You probably remember that the last time I was here, I tried the Artisan Mac and Cheese options. The Barbecued Pulled Pork version was a total hit; the Buffalo Chicken Macaroni & Cheese, notsomuch.

But the seasonal shake that I tried that day, the Caramel Apple Milkshake, was fantastic. And now, there’s yet another crave-worthy option here.

Check out that awesomeness that is the Cinnamon Sweet Churro Milkshake. And just in time too — ’cause I hear that [Read more…]

Review: Snacks from the Canada Pavilion in Disney World’s Epcot

Greetings from Epcot! It’s time to see what we can find in some of the shops the World Showcase!

Epcot!!!

Epcot!!!

While you can bet on always finding some favorites, like Pocky in Japan, other spots like to change things up regularly.

I always love to check out the little bank of shops in Canada. In the past, we’ve discovered some awesome chip varieties. And last year, I was thrilled to tell you (and AJ’s Dad!) about the different Tim Horton beverages they’re now featuring.

Today, let’s check out some grab and go sweets from North of the Border!

Grab and Go Snacks from the Canada Pavilion in Epcot

If you’re in need of a chocolate fix, consider the Rochef Chocolate Bars. From Quebec, they were available in a couple of different varieties the day I visited. I skipped this one due to the melt factor that day!

Rochef Chocolate

Rochef Chocolate

Next, I found two different sweet popcorn snacks. First, I spied Jakeman’s Maple Popcorn. You’ll often find Maple-flavored snacks in the Canada pavilion, but this was new to me.

Jakeman's Maple Popcorn

Jakeman’s Maple Popcorn

True, you’re getting a pre-packaged snack that’s been in that bag for an undisclosed amount of time. So if you value something made fresh and on the spot, high tail it over to Karamell-Küche for their version of caramel popcorn.

But if maple is your thing, give this fluffy popcorn a try. The subtle maple flavor makes this variety stand out from the sea of “just sweet tasting” caramel popcorn that’s out there.

Jakeman's Maple Popcorn Out of the Bag Epcot Canada Pavilion

Jakeman’s Maple Popcorn — Out of the Bag

If you prefer your popcorn alongside other stuff, then you’ll want to check out Moose Munch. Or should I say Moose Munches — because you have choices! Milk Chocolate and Dark Chocolate varieties are on offer.

Okay, okay, so let’s cover the obvious first. Moose Munch is the brain child of gourmet food company Harry & David. And so, it is not technically (not even a little bit) Canadian.

So why’s it here? I’m guessing 1) there’s a moose on the package; and 2) it’s delicious. That’s all I can come up with. So we’ll have to suspend our attachment to authenticity with this one.

Moose Much Varieties

Moose Munch Varieties

I decided I had to try some Moose Munch for myself, and I opted for the Milk Chocolate version.

Milk Chocolate Moose Munch

Milk Chocolate Moose Munch

If the picture on the front doesn’t tell you everything you need to know, check out this “moostastic” description on the back.

The Moose Munch Low Down

The Moose Munch Low Down

Do not mistake the desiccate packet for seasoning. I don’t think it brings much flavor to the party. ;-) It’s just there to keep everything from clumping together, of course. Seems obvious, but this is a warning to not let your kiddos just stick their hands into the bag and take a big mouthful. KIDS! ALWAYS REMOVE THE NOT REALLY FOOD PARTS OF YOUR SNACK BEFORE EATING.

Desiccate in Moose Munch

Desiccate in Moose Munch

And out of the bag, it looks pretty much like what I expected — an assortment of [Read more…]

News! Star Wars Weekends “Feel the Force” Package Reservations Now Available!

Star Wars Weekends continue to grow in popularity with the release of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens later this year. And Disney is answering the call by providing lots of premium experiences for guests to enjoy.

Feel the Force

Wanna hang out with this guy?

But the coolest Star Wars Weekends events in our opinion? The ones that involve food, of course!

We saw the introduction of Star Wars Dining Opportunities last year, as Disney introduced Star Wars Character Dining Experiences. Guests can choose from Jedi Mickey’s Star Wars Dine at Hollywood and Vine (see our review here) or Star Wars Dine-In Galactic Breakfast at Sci-Fi (see a guest review here).

But today, we have news of another returning event. Set your cruisers to lightspeed and get ready to dial: Feel the Force Premium Packages are returning in 2015, and you can start booking them today!

The packages, which debuted in 2014, get you up close to all the action happening during Star Wars Weekends at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. They are available Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays during Star Wars Weekends, which take place this year from May 15 until June 14.

There are two different packages to choose from. Let’s check out what you get with each of them.

Feel the Force Premium Package

The Feel the Force Premium Package includes all of the following:

  • 11:00AM — Noon: Reserved viewing for the Legends of the Force: Star Wars Celebrity Motorcade. Guests will also enjoy a selection of Soft Drinks, Water, and a Snack.
  • Reserved seating for ONE of the Celebrity Talk Shows in Theater of the Stars. Show time will be selected at check-in. Please Note: there are a limited amount of seats per show and times are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • 9:00PM: “Symphony in the Stars” Fireworks Dessert Party, which includes Star Wars-themed desserts (think Yoda and Darth Vader Cupcakes — read our review of them here!) as well as Alcoholic and Non-Alcoholic Beverages. Guests also enjoy a reserved viewing location for the nightly “Symphony in the Stars” fireworks show.
Darth Vader and Yoda Cupcakes

Enjoy Darth Vader and Yoda Cupcakes to Your Heart’s Content!

The price for the Feel the Force Premium Packages is [Read more…]

Review: Mickey Caramel Apple at Magic Kingdom’s Big Top Treats

We’re going for an absolutely classic confection today, so get your sweet tooth ready to bite into a Mickey Caramel Apple at Magic Kingdom’s Big Top Treats!

Of course, Caramel Apples at Disney World don’t just come dressed up as Mickey… and they aren’t only available at Big Top Treats, either. Magic Kingdom’s apple spots also include the Main Street Confectionery. And you can find them at other sweet stops like Sweet Spells at Hollywood Studios or Goofy’s Candy Co. in Downtown Disney.

But nothin’ says “Caramel Apple” quite like living life under the Big Top, so that’s where we’re grabbing our apple today! While you just gotta love the classic Mickey Apple, part of the fun of getting any Caramel Apple at Disney World is seeing all the choices up for grabs. Options available vary based on the time of year or nearest holiday. Most recently, Mickey Apples could be found participating in the Wearing o’ the Green for St. Patrick’s Day.

St Patty's Day Mickey Apple

St Patty’s Day Mickey Apple

The Halloween Caramel Apples are particularly noteworthy every year.

Mickey Ghost candy apple

Mickey Ghost candy apple

Poison Candy Apple

Poison Candy Apple

Apples may also be tied to a current Disney film release, or even a previous one. Take, for example, the recent Cinderella Coach Apple celebrating the live-action film release.

Cinderella Coach Apple

Cinderella Coach Apple

Another case in point: the ongoing existence of the Olaf Candy Apple for those who just can’t… ahem… let. it. go.

Olaf Candy Apple

Olaf Candy Apple

So, selecting one is pretty rad. What’s the other fun part? Watching the apples come to “fruition” (see what I did there?) before your eyes. You can almost always find Cast Members creating them, and see the apples in their various stages. They all start as green Granny Smiths.

Granny Smith apples for Candy Apples

Granny Smiths for Candy Apples

After receiving their marshmallow ears and being dipped in caramel and chocolate, the Mickey Apples await [Read more…]

Pics of the Week: Disneyland Dishes!

Whenever I’m in need of a trip to the Park that Started It All, but don’t have the time to jet off to California, I love to check out YOUR shots on Disney Food Blog Photo Extravaganza, our Flickr group. If you haven’t had a chance to check it out, head over there! It’s the perfect way to get your extra Disney food fix. :-)

Today, I thought I’d share some of our best reader photos of favorite dishes in Disneyland.

Disneyland Dole Whip Float

Disneyland Dole Whip Float

Let’s take a closer look at a few of our favorites in this latest installment of our Disney Food Pics of the Week Series!

Frites and Mint Julep

Photographer: Michael Greening
There are a couple of different spots in Disneyland that I must check out every time I visit, and one of them is Cafe Orleans. A trip just wouldn’t feel complete with at least one Monte Cristo Sandwich, and an order of Frites to share (HA!). (Michael did it right here, with two sauces!) And while you’re at it, you have to try Disneyland’s famed Mint Juleps at least once!

A Stop at Cafe Orleans for Frites and a Mint Julep

A Stop at Cafe Orleans for Frites and a Mint Julep

Disneyland Corn Dogs

Photographer: Kirsten Marie Hutton
There was never a better caption for a pic — “It’s not a trip to Disneyland…” — without a stop at the Corn Dog Truck! Hand-Dipped Corn Dogs are one of the DL treats that is a [Read more…]

Tips from the DFB Guide: Off-The-Radar Disney World Bars and Lounges

Walt Disney World is supa fun, but it’s also go-go-go-go. Sometimes ya just gotta relax.

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Of course, there’re all kinds of ways to accomplish that. But after a long, hard day of Disney touring, I love to head to one of my favorite Disney Bars and Lounges.

“Bar” might not be the first word you think of when you picture Mickey Ears and Pixie Dust. But actually, these are some of my favorite spots on property for a number of reasons.

And I know you agree, because when I first published the DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining, a comprehensive Index of Disney World’s Bars and Lounges was one of our readers’ top requests.

Well — we heard you! And I’m happy to let you know that the DFB Guide includes reviews of every Bar and Lounge in Walt Disney World!

Let’s dive into the Index and take a closer look at a few. You know my favorites, like Territory Lounge and the Dawa Bar. But today, I want to take you on a tour of a few places you may not have discovered yet.

And if you find this information helpful, then be sure to pick up your copy of the Guide today for $4 off using code “2015” right here!

Ready to grab a drink?

A Niche Menu and Free Beer: The Wave Lounge at Disney’s Contemporary Resort

The Wave…of American Flavors at Disney’s Contemporary resort is a great place to take in a relaxing breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Seldom crowded, the restaurant, located in the quiet back corner of the hotel’s lobby offers a market-inspired menu at a much lower price point than you’ll find at Disney’s suite of signature restaurants. You’ll also find some delicious breakfast options.

But in addition to interesting eats, you’ll also find a pretty cool bar and lounge area.

The Bar at Disney's The Wave Restaurant

The Bar at Disney’s The Wave Restaurant

While the food menu is market-driven, the drink menu features some specialties, too. The Wave’s wine list features New World Wines, primarily from the Southern Hemisphere. And nearly all of the wines featured have one thing in common — screwcaps! Sealing wines with screwcaps is a way to battle cork taint, an unfortunate chemical reaction that can ruin a good bottle of wine. So don’t be put off by screwcaps the next time you see one; many quality New World wines, especially those from New Zealand and Australia, are sealed this way.

Wines at the Wave

Wines at the Wave

Do your tastes run to beer rather than wine? The Wave also features a nice selection of Organic Beers. In fact, if you’re a guest staying at the Contemporary or Bay Lake Towers, you can enjoy a Complimentary Organic Beer Tasting on Saturdays from 3-4PM. (Remember, this is JUST if you’re staying at the resort.)

Beer Flight at The Wave

Beer Flight at The Wave

Just stopping in for a drink? Try the Beer Flight. The presentation is pretty impressive.

A Bar That Switches Things Up: Kona Island Coffee/Sushi Bar

Another favorite stop of mine certainly lives up to the name “bar” — but for completely different reasons. In this case, we’re (mostly) trading cocktails for java and some interesting eats.

New Tiki Statue in Lobby at the Polynesian!

New Tiki Statue in Lobby at the Polynesian!

The Polynesian Village Resort has just undergone a major facelift. We’ve welcomed new spots, like the Pineapple Lanai (the resort’s purveyor of Dole Whips these days) as well as the crazy popular Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto (waiting times have been up to 6 hours during its soft opening!)

Trader Sam's door sign

Trader Sam’s Door Sign

But with all of the changes, the resort has maintained most of its beloved eateries, including [Read more…]

News! Tickets Now on Sale for Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin’s Food and Wine Classic

Back by popular demand, the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin will once again be hosting its popular Food and Wine Classic!

fw-Logo

Mark your calendars for Friday and Saturday, October 30 and 31, as the Classic celebrates its sixth year! Once again in 2015, the Food and Wine Classic will take place during the Epcot Food and Wine Festival — offering you two wonderful ways to enjoy the food of Disney!

There’s so much to enjoy at this event. Let’s take a closer look at all it has to offer.

The Causeway

Stroll the beautiful Causeway connecting the Swan and Dolphin as you enjoy tapas-sized plates from the resort’s restaurants.

The Causeway at the Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic

The Causeway at the Swan and Dolphin Food and Wine Classic

In addition, you’ll have the opportunity to sample wine and beer from all around the world. The menu is diverse, celebrating the wide array of food that the Swan and Dolphin has to offer.

Shula's Prime Rib with Mashed Potatoes

Shula’s Prime Rib with Mashed Potatoes

We can’t wait to see what spots like Todd English’s bluezoo and Shula’s Steak House offer in 2015!

And there are always a few fun surprises, like Chef Cib’s Smokehouse. Live music plays as evening falls, so bring your dancing shoes. :-)

Food and Beverage Seminars

The 6th Annual Food and Wine Classic will also play host to several Seminars. Choose from [Read more…]