Posts Tagged by Epcot Food & Wine Festival

RAD Reads and Weekly Review: October 13, 2013

I seriously become incommunicado when I travel.  It’s like my brain shuts down and I can’t even muster the strength to open up my laptop.  I guess that’s a good thing so I actually live in the moment and enjoy my vacation, right?  Anywho…I got back from a whirlwind weekend in Walt Disney World for The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10-Miler (full recap coming this week!) and then dove right into a seriously hectic work week that involved numerous events and a trip to Boston.  Gah!  Disney trips always leave me needing a vacation from my vacation, but I would give anything to be here right now:


Speaking of Food & Wine, I was lucky to get to film a few episodes of Travel with Rick while I was there.  Check out my take on the Cheese booth at the festival this year!

In case you missed it, here’s what I’ve been up to on Running at Disney these past weeks:

And here’s what’s been happening over on RAD Living:

Now on to some long overdue RAD Reads!

Running & Fitness Posts
Live, Run, Grow explains R.I.C.E for Runners…a tried and true recovery technique.

Fit2Flex proves that you can do anything when you put your mind to it.

Journey of a Dreamer answers the question Will CrossFit Help Me Lose Weight?

Disney Posts
WDW News Today has a first hand report of the new Disability Access Service that began this week in Disney Parks…looks confusing…

DVC News found evidence on a New Balance Disney Running Trail map that there might be a name change in store for the Polynesian Resort.

The Disney Food Blog reports on the new cancellation policy coming to ALL table-service restaurants in WDW.

Bwana Blog shares the story of Harambe…it’s quite intricate.

Eating WDW experiences and awesome event at the Ocean Spray Cranberry Bog.

Imagineering Disney reviews the details of the Club 33 Expansion…I’m so glad I got to see the Court of Angels while it was still open to the public!

Weekly Review
Full recap of the Tower of Terror 10-Miler coming this week, but the short story is…

1. It was HOT


2. I got more awesome runDisney bling


I managed to get a few workouts in when I got back, but my week was definitely lacking in the exercise department.  And let’s not even talk about the paleo challenge…sigh.  Here are all of my workouts from this week and to view a complete list of WODs, visit my dailymile page.

Sunday: 11 miles combined running & walking in WDW
Monday: Rest
Tuesday: CrossFit: Power Cleans, Strict Press, Romanian Dead Lifts & Air Dyne Sprints
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: Rest
Friday: CrossFit: Back Squats, Pull Ups & Lurong WOD 5
Saturday: Rest

This week I really need to get back into my steady CrossFit routine.  I’ve got Barbells for Boobs coming up soon (make sure to donate!!) and I need to get my strength up to tackle Grace.  I also want to start tackling the things I’m not good at…pull-ups, box jumps, handstands.  I’m never going to get better if I keep avoiding the things I don’t like…maybe I should adopt that theory in all areas of life.

Have a great week and remember to Be RAD!

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!

Photo Mar 08, 10 33 56 AM

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!

I Made it to Walt Disney World!!

I made it!  I’m in Walt Disney World!  It was a bit questionable for a while if I would even get here at all.  First, we had Hurricane Sandy and were out of power for 6 days.  Once I could watch the news again I heard we had a Nor’easter headed our way.  Oh great…just what the Northeast needs right now.  Plus, this one was bringing snow…I HATE snow.

The snow started at about 10:30 am at my office and came down fast.  An hour later, the ground looked like this:

My boss closed the office early so we could all get home safely.  I have a 25-mile drive home, so I was very thankful for this.  But it wasn’t before I get a text from B that our power had gone out again….SERIOUSLY?!?!  We only had power back for less than 3 days and now I had to go home to a cold, dark house and try to pack for my trip the next day, which might get cancelled altogether because of this storm.

Thankfully, the power was restored by 6:00 pm and we were able to get some heat in the house.  The cats and I were getting cold.  Neala made a bee line for the heat vent in the bathroom where she spends the majority of the winter.  I started cheering and clapping in my house and wanted to run out and give the crew a big ole hug, but that probably would’ve been inappropriate.

Neala <3

Now that the power was back, my focus turned to Winter Strom Athena and what the next few hours were going to look like.  A few friends already had their flights cancelled for Thursday morning and with mine at 8:30 am, I was getting nervous.  JetBlue was still listing the flight as being on time, so I was going with it.  B and I went out to get some dinner, which was an interesting drive on snow-covered roads, and I hit the hay by 10:00 pm.  A good night sleep was definitely in order after my emotionally stressful day.

The roads were somewhat cleared by the morning, so we got up early and B took me to the airport.  Something you may not know about me is that I HATE to fly.  It terrifies me.  I wrote about this on my first solo flight down to the Princess Half Marathon and now with 2 more trips under my belt since then, I knew I could handle this flight.  And guess what I did!  We were delayed for about an hour, but I made it with no issues to report.  I’m a big girl now! 🙂  Oh and I need to point out what an awesome packer I am…my bag came in at 49.7 pounds, just under the mark where I’d have to pay an overage fee.  Guess I can’t take anything home!!

Heavy Bag!!

Super busy White Plains Airport

My bestie Amanda was there to meet me at the airport in her Chevy Volt….the quietest car on the planet!  We came straight to the World, checked into our hotel and headed to the Food & Wine Festival for lunch.  It’s 60 degrees and beautiful down here…perfect running weather for the Wine & Dine Half Marathon.  I might never leave!!

Tuna Poke surrounded by some friends from Craft Beer

It’s such a relief to have just made it down here…let the festivities begin!!

Do you have any travel nightmares?

Friday Feast: Exploring the Epcot Food & Wine Festival on Travel With Rick

It’s no secret that Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival is my favorite time of the year!  Throw a foodie into the middle of 26 international food kiosks and you’ve got one happy camper.  Make that happen in Walt Disney World and you have heaven on earth 🙂

So imagine my excitement when my good friend Rick Howard from Kingdom Magic Vacations and Travel With Rick asked me to be a guest on his show and sample some of this great food.  How could I turn that down?!?  Here are 5 of the episodes I was fortunate enough to be a part of.  I hope you enjoy!



Brewer’s Collection


South Korea – my favorite!!

Now if that doesn’t get you wanting to visit the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, I don’t know what will!  Rick picked some great booths for me to try, but my favorite will always be South Korea.  That roast pork lettuce wrap with kimchi slaw is just to die for!

There are still just over 2 weeks left of the Food & Wine Festival, so hopefully you can make it down there to check out all the delicious things happening this year!  If you’re looking for healthy options at the festival, check out part 1 and part 2 of my healthy picks this year.  And if culinary demonstrations are your thing, you can find that at the Festival as well.  I recently saw Cat Cora & Kevin Dundon give wonderful demonstrations, which were both tasty and a ton of fun!

Oh and don’t forget to pick up your DFB Mini-Guide to the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival!  Since this is an e-book, I was able to keep it on my phone and use it as a reference when I was at the Festival a few weeks ago.  So handy!!  It’s also great to help plan your visit so you don’t waste time reading menus or trying to find a booth you really want to try.

I’ll be back to the Food & Wine Festival this year during Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend, so let me know if you’re around.  I’d love to grab a lettuce wrap with ya! 😉

Friday Feast: Epcot Food & Wine Festival Culinary Demonstrations

I recently attended two amazing culinary demonstrations at the Epcot Food & Wine Festival.  This is my 4th year attending the festival and these demonstrations were something I had yet to do, so I made it a priority this year.  Given my love of cooking and how I’m always interested in trying new food, I knew these would be right up my alley.  The culinary demonstrations are relatively inexpensive ranging from $9 – 14 depending on the chef.  DVC Members and Annual Passholders are eligible for a $2 discount, so make sure to utilize that when booking.

I was lucky to be in Walt Disney World when two great chefs had demonstrations back to back, Cat Cora of Kouzzina and Iron Chef fame and Kevin Dundon from one of my favorite restaurants on property, Raglan Road.  Cat Cora was the first for the day and she drew a HUGE crowd.  Not only was the demonstrations area full, but there were a lot of people watching from the preview center.

Iron Chef Cat Cora and Kouzzina Chef Dee Foundoukis

We were seated and immediately given a glass of wine.  Wine?!  Score!  I didn’t know these demonstrations came with a wine pairing.  My $12 investment was now well worth the price.  There was also a menu listing what we would be eating that included a recipe so we could replicate it at home.  From the menu, I found that the wine was a Bloomfield Viognier from Bloomfield Vineyards, which was a nice crisp white.

There was a change to the menu that day and the feta mashed potatoes were being substituted with orzo.  The chefs walked us through the steps of making the dish and shared some techniques on how to prepared the items.  There was a camera set above the cooking station that was being shown on televisions around the room, so we could see just what they were doing….a really nice touch!  This was also when the audience got to ask questions and I was pleasantly surprised to see how fun and down to earth Cat Cora was.  She had a great time conversing with the audience.

Then the carts appeared!  We were about to taste these yummy smelling meatballs.  I’m not a huge fan of lamb, but these were DELICIOUS!!  They were much lighter than regular meatballs and the sauce had a little spice to it to add some additional flavor.  I’m glad that this was served with the orzo because I think that the feta mashed potatoes would’ve been too heavy.

This was a fun and entertaining demonstration and the food was a hit too!  Cat Cora is at the Food & Wine Festival every year and I would highly recommend checking this one out next year if you are in town during that time.

Later that afternoon, we saw Chef Kevin Dundon from Raglan Road in Downtown Disney.  I love this restaurant and it’s upscale pub fare, so I was most looking forward to this demonstration.  Chef Dundon did not disappoint!  He was incredibly funny and lively.  You can see that he is really passionate about cooking and also enjoyed talking with the audience.

On the menu was an updated version of the classic French dish, Coquilles St. Jacques, which is scallops in a heavy cream sauce with mashed potatoes.  Delicious, but rich!  Chef Dundon instead seared the scallops and made a lighter cream sauce infused with apples (YUM!!) and served this over mashed potatoes.  It was to die for…I really would’ve like 4 more of these little plates.

This dish was served with a nice, full bodied Chardonnay that brought out the apple flavor in the sauce.

A surprise bonus of this demonstration was dessert!  In sticking with the classic theme, Chef Dundon prepared Cherries Jubilee   This is always a show stopper because of the flambe aspect in the preparation   We were all instructed to oooh  and ahhh on cue.  This was a very good dessert, but the sauce was a little too sweet for me.

Overall, both of these demonstrations were well worth the nominal fee.  You get about 45 minutes of culinary entertainment, wine, a food tasting and maybe even dessert!  Not bad for $12, but remember that park admission is required.  I’m already looking forward to next year and who I will be able to see!!

Have you attended any of the culinary demonstrations at the Epcot Food & Wine Festival? 

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