Monthly Archives: September 2011

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I.

 

Love.

SPRINKLES!!!

 But seriously, who doesn't? And when you combine rice krispies treats, sprinkles and just a hint of cake batter, you get the most deliciously amazing dessert, and will be the envy of all your friends.

Believe me, I know this from experience.

I'm not the first to make these, by any means. I got the recipe from How sweet it is, and it looked too perfect to adapt so I left it as is!

You will need:

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Animal Kingdom, WDW, Disney world, Tree of Life, Disney's Animal Kingdom

Animal Kingdom, the newest of the Disney parks, embodies to me what Disney is all about.  It combines the stage presence and attention to detail that the Disney parks have become famous for, and adds the element of live animals. The result is a thrilling experience that no zoo can top.

We arrived promptly at 7:45 am for the 8:00 early Magic Hours opening, but unlike Magic Kingdom there was no big opening number. Just a large crowd gathered in the park that took off like horses out of the gates at 9:00 am, sprinting to the three main attractions: Kilimanjaro Safaris, Kali River Rapids and Expedition Everest.

Jeremy and I ran to the back of the park to Africa, and were on the first jeep heading out on safari.

Animal Kingdom, WDW, Disney world, Tree of Life, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Kilimanjaro Safaris, Ostrich, Africa

Animal Kingdom, WDW, Disney world, Tree of Life, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Kilimanjaro Safaris, giraffe, Africa

Animal Kingdom, WDW, Disney world, Tree of Life, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Kilimanjaro Safaris, Rhino, Africa

It was amazing! Definitely a must-do.

Our reservation wasn't until 11:30, so had ample time to explore the park and make some friends.

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*I'm going to keep posting Disney restaurant reviews, but I haven't posted a recipe in awhile and I felt bad!*

Yesterday was the last day of Summer.

But it was also the start of my favorite fall TV shows!!!

 

Fall tv is a wonderful thing. During the summer I of course find great shows to watch (Breaking Bad, Louie, Mad Men when it's on...), but the autumn signifies a set schedule of shows I love, that will be on until Spring. It's very comforting.

It also means that my living room is once again home to Thursday Night NBC TV night! The relaxed, delightful evening companion to the infamous Taco Tuesday. It's the night when all my friends gather around my TV, with the fire roaring and my cat jumping from lap to lap to be pet.

So of course, for this wonderful night of premiers (Community and Parks and Rec, arguably the two funniest shows on TV right now) I decided to make a TV worthy food:

Buffalo chicken wing dip. 

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I didn't know where else to post these things, so I just combined them into one mini-post! 

The Camera:

Over labor day weekend, my friends, my boyfriend and I drove to Lake George in the Adirondacks. We stayed at a friend's adorable cabin and went hiking, played lots of mini golf, and went on an old steamboat, the Mini Ha Ha.

We had a blast! There was only one problem...I lost my camera. That's right folks, I lost my digital camera five days before I was leaving for Disney World. I wasn't about to NOT take pictures when I was there, so I did the only logical thing I could think to do:

Spent all my money on a gorgeous Nikon d3000 SLR.

I'd been planning to upgrade sooner or later, so losing my beloved point and shoot was the push I needed to make the big plunge. I love it already, and just wait until you see the pictures of food it can take! I'm still figuring out exactly how to use it, but you'll see a definite increase in the quality of my photos on the blog as time goes on.

And just to prove it, here is a picture of my adorable nephew!

 Now click the picture and zoom in until you can see every eyelash, and even the dried snot on his adorable button nose. That's a nice camera :)

The Ice Cream:

Now, there's something you must know about me: I'm a planner. I don't like waiting until the last minute to make plans, I get annoyed when I don't know what I'm doing later that night, and I refuse to walk into a place like Disney World blind.

I was floored when a mother waiting in line for the shuttle turned to me and Jeremy and said, "this is our first trip here, what rides are good?"

You mean you don't know everything about every single park?! You didn't make a schedule with different colors for the parades and restaurants and fireworks shows? You didn't watch videos of the rides to make sure you wanted to go on them? Don't tell me you're going to a restaurant without reading the menus and reviews and making reservations?!?!?! *faint*

All my friends made fun of my obsessive planning, but Jeremy and I got to reap the benefits. And the best thing I learned was from a blog (I forgot which one! Sorry!) that pointed us towards the Aloha Isle stand in Adventureland, in the Magic Kingdom.

Which is the only place you can find this:

Pineapple ice cream. 

The most delicious, refreshing ice cream you will likely ever eat. The one in the picture is actually a pineapple ice cream float, with pineapple juice at the bottom of the cup. And when it's 95 degrees and hazy outside, there's nothing better than this. It's like tart and fruity heaven, delivered as a snack on your meal plan.

So! If you're ever in Disney World, you have to go to the Aloha Isle and try this. You'll thank me, I promise.

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When you walk into Disney's Magic Kingdom (or run, as I did, with my Mickey ears firmly bobby pinned to my head and pulling Jeremy behind me), the first thing you see is NOT the castle. Slightly disappointing, but you have to get through security and actually, you know, show them your ticket first.

So after walking through the turnstile, the first thing you see is this:

Note the cute fall decorations they have, getting ready for Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party.

As this was the second day of our trip (and our first full day at a park), I woke up excited and full of energy. After jumping up and down on the bed to wake Jeremy up, we rushed to the park to get there before it opened.

And we waited.

And waited.

In reality, it was no more than 20 minutes. But when you're staring through a tunnel onto Main Street, USA, and all that stands between you and your Disney dreams is a small-framed cast member that you could easily knock over if you got enough momentum, it feels like an eternity.

But finally we hear music playing and a bunch of dancers appear...where we can't see them.

You see, we were right in front of the entrance tunnels so that we could be the first ones into the park. I craned my neck to see the dancers, but I wasn't giving up my prime spot to the mothers pushing strollers or European tourists who had been eyeing it greedily. Then, all of a sudden, we hear a whistle and felt the rumbling of the train as it passed over our heads.

And there he is. Mickey Mouse, in the flesh (or should I say costume?). I'll admit, I teared up a little bit. Something about that anthropomorphized rodent just says to me "This IS the happiest place on earth! You're finally here!" I was too excited to take my camera out in time, but when the cast-member threw confetti at us (pixie dust, of course), we ran in.

And that's when you see this:

And you die of happiness. Especially knowing that all your friends are back at home, driving through the rain to get to work :)

Since our reservation wasn't for an hour or so, we took advantage of the non-existant crowds to get in a few rides in Tomorrowland (and a few pictures!)

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Starting Monday, September 12th through Sunday the 18th I will be on vacation in Walt Disney World with my boyfriend. We've essentially been planning this trip since we started dating forever ago, but it took us this long to save up enough money for an all-out crazy awesome vacation.

We decided our best bet was to give with a dining plan. I had so much fun looking at all the menus and reviews for restaurants and making the reservations, with Jeremy's help of course. :)

My goal is to move from cooking blogger to restaurant blogger for the week! I'm going to sample lots of different foods, take billions of pictures, and then put into words what I tasted, saw, smelled and experienced. Just because you aren't coming with me doesn't mean I can't bring you along for the ride!

On our plate, so to speak, we have (click the links for menus and pictures):

Magic Kingdom:

 Animal Kingdom:

 Hollywood Studios: We didn't like any of the sit down restaurants, so we'll just eat at Pizza Planet and save our meal for Epcot

Epcot:

  • Biergarten: German buffet style meal with a fun show
  • Chef's de France: (above) My top pick, a fancy sit down restaurant in the French pavilion that looks so amazingly good
  • Restaurant Marrakesh: The one Jeremy picked, located in the Moroccan pavilion. Something different to try!

We also have tickets for Universal Studios (HARRY POTTER!!!!) and free passes to the water parks, so we'll hit that up if we have time.

While I'm away I might remotely post a thing or two, with Ken's help. But for the most part you won't hear from me! So goodbye for now, and wish me luck!!!

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After the success of my taco bites, I started thinking about other things I could make with wonton wrappers. Ken suggested pizza pockets, which made me think: what about pizza ravioli?

I'm coming to realize that I have 2 styles of creating recipes:

  1. Take foods I love and combine them
  2. Take foods I love and miniaturize them

To be honest, the only thing ravioli-ish about these pizza ravioli was their shape, but I thought that calling them that was more appetizing than "square pizza pockets." Though that's what they really are :)

What's fun about these is they have a surprising crunch to them, right around the edges. If you don't want crunchy ravioli I bet you could bake them for less time, but I liked it!

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As you're probably well aware by now, I tend to follow set recipes when I cook because I'm so new to the game.

But every so often I go off book and create something by myself. And it just so happens that this one time was a huge success.

Are you holding on to something? Are you ready?

Tacos inside wonton cups.

Now before you tell me these exist elsewhere, please just let me bask in the glow of having created something I didn't know existed without setting anything on fire. That's a pretty big achievement for a newbie like me!

This idea popped into my head one day while I was surfing recipes online and noticed several people using wonton wrappers for cooking. I had no idea what they were or where to find them, but I figured if you could make mini lasagnas, why not mini tacos?

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We had a potluck at work this week for my coworker's last day. I was already bringing in my turtle sugar cookies, but I wanted to make something else and I was very limited on time.

My sister suggested garlic knots.

Yum. Who doesn't love these? I figured I would use the ingredients I already had on hand and throw these together in no time at all. And for once I was right!

You will need:

  •  A can of refrigerated biscuits (I used biscuits because I had a few cans left over from the monkey bread, but I'm sure you can use pizza dough, breadstick dough, whatever kind of dough you have lying around.)
  • A few cloves of garlic (I used 4 relatively big ones, but that was probably too much)
  • 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • some seasoning (I just used some Italian seasoning, feel free to use whatever you have. Parmesan cheese would be good!)

Note: this recipe is for one batch, which for me made 1o knots. I made two batches to take into work. 

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