Posts Tagged by beer

Kill, Refurb, Marry: Epcot Food & Wine Booths

Kill-Marry-RefurbThe Epcot International Food & Wine Festival is by far the BEST event at Walt Disney World.  This was my 5th year attending the event and I must say that it just keeps getting better every year.  The chefs are always looking for new ways to bring innovative dishes to the kiosks and explore more of the world through food.

So when I saw that this month’s topic for Kill, Refurb, Marry was Epcot Food & Wine Booths I got very excited, but then immediately was filled with dread.  How could I pick a favorite?!  That’s like a parent picking a favorite child!  After much agonizing and review of my DFB Guide to the Festival, I have narrowed down my choices….with a few honorable mentions for good measure 🙂

Kill – Singapore

I have to be honest, this is a booth I always avoid.  While the Seared Mahi Mahi looks good, everything else at the booth looks completely unappetizing.  My first reaction when I saw the Lemongrass Chicken Curry this year was that it looks like vomit, seriously.  This photo actually makes it look ok, but in person…nope.

Photo Source: Disney Food Blog

Photo Source: Disney Food Blog

Then there is the Singapore Sling.  This just sounds like a tropical version of a Long Island Iced Tea where you mix together a bunch of things and call it a cocktail.  Plus anything with gin immediately heightens my gag reflex.

It is rare that you will find someone that actually enjoys the food at this booth and most people have strong opinions against it.  Take it from my friend Rick who had an interesting review from last year’s festival.  So let’s move on from Singapore and add something a bit more appealing like Thailand!

Refurb – Terra

This was a tough one sine I find something redeeming at most booths.  I decided to go with Terra because I feel like there are so many interesting Vegan dishes out there that don’t have to include “fake meat.”  I was a vegetarian for over 8 years and I never enjoyed any of those products.  The texture was always very strange to me and I always wondered what kind of additives were being used to mimic those flavors. Doesn’t the texture of this year’s CraB’less CraB Cake look odd??

Photo Source: Disney Food Blog

Photo Source: Disney Food Blog

While I haven’t tried anything from Terra yet this year, I did try the Chick’n dish last year and my predictions were correct.  However I really enjoyed the sauces and sides that were served with the Chick’n.  My hope is that the chefs get a little more creative with natural vegan ingredients in the future.

Marry – Scotland

Scotland made it’s Food & Wine Festival debut last year and I loved everything they had to offer.  You can actually see me gushing over everything in this video…even the Vegetarian Haggis which I thought I was going to hate.  Well this year Scotland has outdone themselves.  It’s hard to believe, but they have actually gotten BETTER!

Scotland-Scallops-Smoked-Salmon

Along with the Vegetarian Haggis, they have added a Seared Sea Scallop with Spinach-Cheddar Gratin with Crispy Bacon AND a Fresh Potato Pancake with Smoked Scottish Salmon and Herb Sour Cream.  OH. MY. Both of these dishes are absolutely amazing.  When I visited they actually ran out of bacon for the scallop (a punishable offense!) and the dish was still outstanding.  I can’t wait to try it again with the bacon…I might actually pass out.  On top of that, all the drinks at the booth are wonderful.

Scotland, you are everything a Food & Wine Booth should be.  I Love You!

So those are my choices…what about you??  What Epcot Food & Wine Booths would you Kill, Refurb & Marry??  Make sure to visit This Happy Place BlogMouse on the Mind and all of the other great blogs participating in Kill, Refurb, Marry today!

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Also, make sure to check out the DFB Guide to the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival to help plan your visit.  It’s a lifesaver in helping you get the most out of your time at the festival!

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New 2014 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival DFB Guide!

It is hard to believe that the 2014 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival starts in less than one week! Once again it is the most wonderful time of year for us Disney foodies.  Bring on the lamb chops and cheese soup and tacos and beer and and and…  Clearly I’m not excited at all.

Because there is so much to see and do during the festival, planning is key!  For the past few years, I have relied on the DFB Guides to the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival to help me plan what booths I want to visit, what demonstrations I want to book and help me put together a general plan of attack.  There are over 30 booths to choose from and I want to make sure that I don’t miss anything!

2014-DFB-Food-and-Wine-Guide

The DFB Guide to the 2014 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival e-book has everything you need to know before heading to Walt Disney World.  From what’s NEW at the festival, to touring strategies, to detailed menus and an entire FAQ section!  Here’s more of what you will find:

  • In-depth descriptions, prices, dates and times of events, seminars, demonstrations, and tasting options at the festival and how to book them
  • A full, daily schedule of events for every day of the festival
  • Details on how and where to use Disney Dining Plan Snack Credits at the festival
  • A list of the most popular items and events and how to experience them
  • An updated Epcot Food & Wine Festival FAQ section with information on how to make your visit more enjoyable
  • Printable checklist of the World Showcase Booth menus
  • Full index of brand new additions to the festival

Since this will be my 6th year attending the festival (WOW!), my first stop in the guide is always the “What’s NEW!” section.  I have my favorites that I MUST get each year (lamb chops and pork lettuce wraps, I’m talking to you!), but I love to try new things.  This is so helpful in prioritizing what new items to try and some of the new events I might want to attend.

2014-DFB-Food-and-Wine-Guide-Whats-NewOne of my favorite features has to be all of the detailed information on the Marketplace Booths.  Each booth has it’s own page, complete with photos of the booths AND food as well as the full menu.  This gets me so excited for what is to come and makes it easy to plan out the booths I MUST visit.  The photos are also great if you are not familiar with a particular dish or ingredient.  Here’s what you’ll find at one of my favorite booths, South Korea:

2014-DFB-Food-and-Wine-Guide-Booths

Another great feature are the special event listings.  Between the large events, like Party for the Senses, and the smaller culinary demonstrations, there is A LOT to keep track of.  The guide has a full daily schedule of events complete with times.  Are you as excited to see Sister Hazel as my friend Rick is?  No worries, this guide will tell you the dates and times they are performing!

2014-DFB-Food-and-Wine-Guide-Schedule

And that’s not all!  There are fun bonus items like:

  • Eleven themed World Showcase Booth Crawls!
  • Customized touring strategies for the festival based on how much time you have to spend, if you have children, what your priorities are to see, and more!
  • Indexes of food, beer, wine, wineries, and chefs – complete with chef bios!
  • A fun playlist of songs featuring artists appearing at the Eat to the Beat Concert Series

So what’s better than having this awesome e-book downloaded to your phone as you walk around the Festival or on your laptop as you’re planning your trip??  A discount of course!  Right now you can receive $3 off your purchase of the DFB Guide to the 2014 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival e-book by using the discount code CHEFS at checkout.

All books come with a 100% money-back guarantee, so you have nothing to lose!  But trust me, you won’t want to give it back.  Find out more about the DFB Guide to the 2014 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival e-book here!

Happy eating!!

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Friday Feast: A Culinary Adventure at Epcot’s Flower & Garden Festival

It’s snowing here in CT (again!) and I am dreaming of flip flops and dole whips.  To make matters worse, my friend Amanda has been enjoying both of these things in Walt Disney World this week and I have jealously been stalking her Instagram feed to pretend like I’m there.  And then to top it off, the Epcot International Flower & Garden (F&G) Festival kicked off this week and this year they have a mini Food & Wine Festival to go along with it.

Breathtakingly Beautiful!

Breathtakingly Beautiful!

For this year’s F&G Festival, Disney has added 12 culinary marketplaces for visitors to enjoy around World Showcase Lagoon.  The marketplaces are meant to showcase the flavors of spring from around the world.  This is genius on Disney’s part.  The International Food & Wine Festival is extremely popular in fall and what better way to draw on that success than to do a mini-festival in the spring!  So let’s take a look at some of Amanda’s pics of the yummy food offerings this year and pretend like we’re there.  Sounds torturous fun right???

The Cottage is located in the UK Pavilion and the theme is Savories, Trifles and Tea…sign me up!  There are a variety of hot and iced teas available (fitting for the UK), as well as sparkling wine and lemonade.  The savory dishes include a Potato, Chive and Cheddar Cheese Biscuit with Smoked Salmon Tartare and Sour Cream (whoa!), Baked Goat’s Brie with Kumquat Chutney, and Waterkist Farms Heirloom Tomatoes with house-made Mozzarella, Minus 8 Vinegar and Basil.  All of these sounds delicious.

1. Potato, Chive and Cheddar Cheese Biscuit with Smoked Salmon Tartare and Sour Cream 2. Baked Goat’s Brie with Kumquat Chutney 3. Peach Iced Tea

Biscuit with Smoked Salmon, Baked Goat’s Brie, Peach Iced Tea from The Cottage

The trifles are served in little shot classes and are about 3 bites each.  They have 3 options Ginger and Tea, Chocolate and Berry.  Don’t worry if you can’t decide…you can get a trio plate 😉

Trio of Trifles from The Cottage

Trio of Trifles from The Cottage

Next up, we’re going to visit Taste of Marrakesh for a Spiced Lamb Kebob with Vegetable Couscous Salad.  Probably not my first choice to try, but it looks pretty good.  Also available here are Harissa & Lamb Confit Chicken Drumettes with Chermoula & Cucumber Salad, Baghrir, a Moroccan pancake with honey, almonds & Argan Oil, and various beers and wines from the region.

Lamb Kabobs

Lamb Kabobs from Morocco

Now my favorite booth would be The Smokehouse located in the American Adventure Courtyard.  How can you go wrong with barbecue and beer?!  Here we have a Pulled Pig Slider with Cole Slaw and Smoked Beef Brisket with Collard Greens and Jalapeño Corn Bread.  I’m seriously drooling.  For dessert, there is a Rocky Road Brownie Mousse!

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Pulled Pig, Brisket and Beer from The Smokehouse!

Did you catch that beer flight?  Here are 4-6 oz. pours of Mama’s Little Yella Pils, Liberty Ale from Anchor Brewing Company, Red Ale from Orlando Brewing, and Blackwater Porter from Orlando Brewing Company.  I had an amazing beer flight at Food & Wine last year that was amazing…check it out here.

Moving back around to the front of World Showcase, it’s no surprise that Amanda would stop at Jardin de Fiestas in Mexico.  We have a shared love of Mexican food.  Say the word carnitas and I’m all over that, which is why these Tacos de Carnitas (Pork Tacos topped with Tamarindo salsa, served on a flour tortilla with Chicharrón) are right up my alley!  The Tostada is a Crab served with Chipotle Mayo and Valentina Salsa.  Pair this with the special Rosita Margarita and we’re set!

Tacos and Tostada from Jardins de Fiestas

Tacos and Tostada from Jardins de Fiestas

The Florida Fresh marketplace is very reminiscent of the Florida Local booth during Food & Wine, which had some of my favorite items.  How good does this Shrimp and Stone Ground Grits with Andouille Sausage, Zellwood Corn, Tomatoes & Cilantro look?!?  Here you can also get a Watermelon Salad with pickled Red Onions, Baby Arugula, Feta Cheese & Balsamic Reduction and Angel Food Cake with macerated Florida Berries.  There is also Tomato Wine and Carrot Wine available, but that seems super strange even for me.

Shrimp and Grits at Florida Fresh

Shrimp and Grits at Florida Fresh

The last stop on our culinary adventure today is Pineapple Promenade.   You’ve heard about it, you’ve dreamt about it, you’ve wished for it to be true…now it is.  Here was have the Dole® Whip with Siesta Key Spiced Rum…O.M.G.!  I think I would give my left arm for this…ok maybe not that crazy…

Dole® Whip with Siesta Key Spiced Rum

Dole® Whip with Siesta Key Spiced Rum

You can also get a classic Dole® Whip here or a Pineapple Upside Down Cake here, but that would just be crazy.  I’m now about to look up flights so I can get down and try one of these.

There are other booths also around the lagoon: L’Orangerie in France, Hanami in Japan, Primavera Kitchen in Italy, Bauernmarkt in Germany, Lotus House in China, and Fruits by the Glass.  If you want full reviews of all of the marketplaces, check out this great review over on The Disney Food Blog.  Also make sure to check out the DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining for tips and strategies on this and all other dining experiences in Walt Disney World!

Well, now I’m both hungry and sad.  How about you?  What do you want to try at this year’s Flower & Garden Festival?

Big thanks to Amanda Tinney at Disney Every Day for giving me the rights to her awesome photos!

Friday Feast: Chocolate Chili

Yes, you read that right…Chocolate Chili.  It sounds strange, but just go with me here.  My friend Jenn posted this recipe a few weeks ago and I was instantly intrigued.  With predictions of winter storm Nemo last week, I figured it would be the perfect time to try it while we were going to be hibernating.  Let’s make some chili!

I made some tweaks to the original recipe from The Clothes Make the Girl since B severely despises cumin and I didn’t have a can of tomato paste in the house.  So I added a few additional spices to replace the cumin along with beer (can’t have chili without it in my book!) and tomato sauce.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 medium onions, diced 
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 1 pound ground beef (93% lean)
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground chipotle
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) tomato sauce
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 bottle (12 oz) beer

CC_Ingredients

Directions:

1. Heat the coconut oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.  When the oil is melted, add onions, stir with a wooden spoon and cook until they’re translucent, about 7 minutes.

CC_Coconut Oil

2. Add the garlic and as soon as it’s fragrant, about 30 seconds, crumble the ground meat into the pan with your hands, mixing with the wooden spoon to combine. Continue to cook the meat, stirring often, until it’s no longer pink.

CC_Garlic

CC_Onions & Meat

3. In a small bowl, crush the oregano between your palms to release its flavor, then add all of the dry ingredients and stir to combine.

CC_Spices

4. Add spices and tomato paste to the pot and stir to combine.

5. Add all of the liquid ingredients, stir well and bring to a boil.

CC_Simmering

 

6. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for at least 2 hours.  The liquid will reduce significantly and all the goodness will marry together…YUM!

CC_2 hours later

Serve the chili in some nice deep bowls with your favorite accompaniments.  I topped mine with some cheddar cheese and sliced avocado and it was perfect.

CC_cheese & avocado

CC_Final

This was by far the best chili I have ever had.  The spices, especially the cocoa, gave it an incredible depth of flavor.  It reminded me of a good mole sauce.  I served it with a simple green salad with a lemon vinaigrette.

CC_Salad

I LOVED this chili.  In fact, I’m planning on making it again this weekend.  It was super easy to throw together, it’s good for you and it’s the perfect thing to warm your soul in this frigid February weather!  Let me know if you try this…I’d love to hear how it turns out!

Friday Feast: Omission Gluten-Free Beer

Gluten FreeFor the past 4 months, I have eliminated gluten from my diet in order to see if it is having any effect on the recurring inflammation in my body (more on inflammation next week…it’s a doozy!).  So far I’ve noticed a difference in being less bloated, but to be honest I haven’t noticed much of a change in terms of inflammation or with my colitis.  But I’m going to try to stick with it for a while because it can’t hurt.

Making the transition was difficult, but I was able to find many substitutes that helped to fill the void of that gluteny goodness.  The most difficult thing to replace was beer.  I’m not a huge beer drinker, but I do enjoy a nice craft brew here and there.  Sadly, I do like wheat beers a lot which is now a serious no no.  I tried cider, but I’m really not a fan of the sweetness.  Plus when I want a beer, cider doesn’t fill that void.

My good friend Estelle and her hubs James came to visit for New Year’s Eve and they were thoughtful enough to bring me some gluten-free beer!  They are beer connoisseurs and took the time to research a good one for me!  I hadn’t pursued these options that much because I didn’t want to be disappointed and end up ruining my meal, etc…  Silly, I know.

They went with Omission Lager by Widmer Brothers Brewing.  I was hesitant to try it as I am with all new gluten-free products.  I have this idea in my mind that they will taste overly process or just have no taste at all, but I was pleasantly surprised.  This beer is REALLY GOOD!  It tastes like a good classic lager with a hint of sweetness.  Who knew a gluten-free could taste so good!

Omission Lager

Omission Lager

They also have a Pale Ale that Omission describes at “bold and hoppy.”  I’ve read many great reviews about this beer, but I’m not a big fan of pale ales (too hoppy for me!) so I’m not sure I’d try this one.  Maybe just for research purposes 🙂

Great news from a RAD reader, Bizzi, she had Omission Lager in the Territory Lounge at the Wilderness Lodge just a few weeks ago after the WDW Half Marathon!  So glad to hear this can be found on property.  Does anyone know of other locations that Omission can be found on WDW property?  

Ok I know what you’re thinking…Sarah, didn’t you have a giant beer after the WDW marathon??  Yes, yes I did.  I threw all restrictions out the window after the marathon.  I ran 26.2 miles and deserved a beer damn it!  But I’m glad to know that there are options for me and other gluten-free guests when visiting WDW in the future.  Disney is so accommodating with their food menus, it was only a matter of time before the beverages followed suit.

Have you tried Omission?  Do you have a favorite gluten-free beer?

 

UPDATE: Thanks to Beers and Ears for informing us that Omission is on the standard bar menu in Walt Disney World!  Click here for a list of all of the locations it can be found 🙂

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