Posts Tagged by tacos

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!

Friday Feast: San Angel Inn

Due to still not having power, I’m finally getting this week’s Friday Feast up using free WiFi and power at Starbucks 🙂  Hopefully, I’ll be back to a normal schedule next week.  Enjoy!

San Angel Inn used to be one of my favorite restaurants in Walt Disney World.  I am a Mexican food addict and here you can enjoy some different and unique dishes compared to your local Tex-Mex joint.  The Mexico pavilion is also my favorite in World Showcase.  I love how it completely takes you to another place.  You can go from the sweltering Florida sun and humidity to a cool evening in a Mexican marketplace.  The restaurants atmosphere is romantic and oddly scenic if you can get a table overlooking the El Rio del Tiempo…oh wait, the Gran Fiesta Tour 🙂

When La Hacienda de San Angel opened across the way a few years ago, I forgot about San Angel Inn for it’s newer, spiffier cousin.  I love the simplicity at La Hacienda and kept returning there when I had a Mexican craving.  So recently, I decided to head back to my old favorite for lunch with my friends Amanda from Disney Every Day and Tony from Disney By the Numbers to see if it was still as good as I remembered.  Let’s take a look at the menu first before diving into the meal…

Drink Menu

Appetizers & Entrees

They have an extensive tequila and margarita list here that is very similar (if not the same) to La Cava De Tequila’s menu.  I went with the San Angel Inn margarita, which is the classic preparation.  I was very excited when they came to the table with the shaker and then left a “2nd round” for me to pour.

How cute is the mini ice bucket?!

As with most Mexican restaurants, we were brought chips and salsa after we placed our drink orders.  The chips were very good and seemed homemade, but the salsa left something to be desired.  It was very spicy, but was lacking in overall flavor.

Amanda and I ordered the Enchiladas Verde de Pollo which are corn tortillas filled with pulled chicken, covered with green tomatillo sauce, topped with sour cream, queso fresco and onions, served with black refried beans.  Salsa verde is one of my favorite sauces, so I was sold immediately on this one.  This was insanely flavorful, the chicken was moist and the black beans were great to scoop up with the tortilla chips.  Big winner here!

Enchiladas Verde de Pollo

Tony ordered the Tacos de Carne (my second choice!) which is a grilled New York strip on flour tortillas, topped with chipoltle pepper sauce, scallions and avocado.  Served with rice and beans.  I don’t think I would’ve been happy with the whole scallions in the tacos, but Tony said the dish was really good.

Tacos de Carne

It wasn’t very crowded during lunch, so this is a great options if you are looking for a good meal for lunch without an ADR.  San Angel Inn has moved back to the top of my list of WDW dining.  The food is tasty and fresh and the atmosphere is unlike anywhere else.  I’d highly reccommend giving it a try!

What do you think of San Angel Inn?

Friday Feast: Fish Tacos

It is no secret that I am obsessed with tacos.  Pork, beef, chicken, fish…you name it!  They are the perfect bite of food and simple to make.  I could eat them everyday and be fully satisfied.

So when I was looking at some of the items I had from weeks 5 and 6 of my CSA, I knew I wanted to make a nice fresh slaw.  Barry had the great idea to put it on top of fish tacos, one of my favorites!  This is why I married him 🙂

For this slaw, I shredded savoy cabbage, white carrots and kohlrabi.  This was my first time trying kohlrabi and I was surprised how much I liked it.  It has a great crunchy texture and a very mild cabbage taste.

Shredding Kohlrabi

Once all of the vegetables were shredded, I made a dressing of apple cider vinegar, lime juice, olive oil, chili powder, salt and pepper.  I tossed everything together and had a very fresh and tangy slaw.

Slawtastic!

 

For the fish, I had two cod filets that I seasoned with chili powder, smoked paprika and a little cayenne.  I placed them in a baking dish and popped it under the broiler for about 10 minutes until they were tender and flaky.  While the fish was cooking, I warmed some whole wheat tortillas and cut up some cilantro and lime for garnish.

Broiled Cod & Garnishes

I assembled the tacos by topping the fish with the slaw, chopped cilantro and a good squeeze of lime.  These tacos were absolutely delicious and so easy to make.  It’s an easy weeknight meal that can be done in 20-30 minutes.  And the best thing is that they are really good for you!

Tacos!

There was a ton of slaw left over, so I’ve been eating it all week for lunch with some lemon and herb grilled chicken that I cooked earlier in the week.  The vegetables are sturdy enough to hold up with the dressing for a few days and go with a variety of things.  Bonus!

What’s your favorite kind of taco?  Have you ever made fish tacos?

Friday Feast: The Hunt for Healthy Snacks

I set out with the goal of writing this post about healthy snacks in Walt Disney World. I began to scour all of the menus I could find online (a favorite past time of mine) and started to get discouraged. There really aren’t many options out there. Yes, I must admit that when I take a trip to WDW I have a weakness for crisp rice treats, croissants and cupcakes, but now that I’m trying to focus on better nutrition I’m looking for something healthier.

The majority of healthy snacks I found were fruit and trail mix, which can be found at numerous locations throughout the parks and resorts. But really, how boring is that?! Plus, I’m allergic to melons so fruit salads are generally not an option for me. I found a few good options, but they were limited. A surprising find was over at the KRNR Station by Rock’n’Roller Coaster you can get fruit smoothies made with non-fat yogurt in four different flavors. I definitely need to check this out on my next trip!  At Tangerine Cafe in Morocco, they offer side dishes of Tabouleh (bulgar wheat mixed with parsley, tomatoes and scallions), Lentil Salad, and a Tangerine Couscous Salad.  Check out a great review over at Eating WDW.

Lentil Salad at Tangerine Cafe

Tangerine Couscous at Tangerine Cafe

So this was about the extend of my healthy snack finds. This disappointment led to a fun brainstorming session with my friend Estelle on what kind of healthy snacks we would like to see at WDW. Take notice Disney, these are some winners!

An easy fix would be to have unsweetened iced tea at all quick service restaurants and snack stands. Sugary drinks run rampant in WDW.  Soda and sugary fruit drinks are everywhere.  What about an option for those of use who dislike these drinks and would like something more flavorful than water.  There are a few places around the parks to find an unsweetened iced tea, namely the Royal Anandapur Tea Company found in Asia at the Animal Kingdom, and you can also find iced tea machines in most quick service locations at the resorts, which is a plus, but I’d like to grab one to go while touring the parks.

I'd like to walk around the parks with this...

Taking a hint from the KRNR Station in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, why not set up more fruit smoothie stations throughout WDW?  Smoothies are filing and nutritious if done right.  A base of non-fat yogurt or fresh fruit juice make a healthful base and then guests can make their own concoctions.  How about blueberry-banana or kiwi-pear…YUM!  This is a great snack or even dessert option.  Going one step further, include a juice bar with fresh vegetables and fruits.  You know you want that extra energy from a wheatgrass shot to keep you going! 🙂

Fro-Yo!

Fro-Yo.  Plain and simple.  Add this to the various ice cream places around WDW and you have the perfect healthy, warm weather snack.  Then you can add toppings like fresh fruit and even chocolate chips without guilt.  I like the sound of that!  With places like Pinkberry popping up all over the country, frozen yogurt is increasing in popularity for those looking to remain healthy while still feeling like they are indulging.  What a smart way to beat the heat!

All of these things are easy fixes to add in to various areas of all four parks, but a whole entire area I would LOVE to see revamped is the left side of Sunset Boulevard at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  This is where Anaheim Produce and Fairfax Fair are along with a wonderful outdoor seating area.  Currently the only produce available at Anaheim Produce  is fruit and some carrot and celery sticks.  Disney could support local farms by bringing in fresh, seasonal, local produce to this area.   A great way to give back to the community while providing their guests with healthy snacks.  For Fairfax Fair, get rid of those insanely fatty, high caloric hot dogs topped with mac n’ cheese and turn it into a taco stand.  Fresh corn tortillas, simply roasted meats, a little cilantro and onions, some limes…can it get any better?!  It fits in perfectly with the California theme and provides a great handheld snack.  It would also feed my taco obsession, so that’s a bonus.  Something along these lines…

So those were a few of our ideas.  I’m sure I’m missing some healthy snacks that are currently available in WDW and I’d love to hear from you what they are.  Also, let me know what snacks you would love to see in the World…I can’t wait to hear your ideas!

Happy Snacking!

Back in Action and Team Challenge Training

I’m back baby!  Well sort of.  I’m not where I used to be, but I’m running again which is definitely a start.  I’m glad I listened to my physical therapist and took those 3 weeks off to rest.  I’m running pain free and feel much better.

On Thursday, I went to my first training practice with my Team Challenge group.  This was a track practice held at a high school and it was the perfect place for me to get back in the swing of things.  It’s a flat, cushy surface to minimize any strain on my legs.  I stretched and did 3 laps before training got started.  I had met a few of my teammates at a bowling event a few weeks prior, but it was great to meet some more of the crew.  We started with the following drills for about 25 yards down and back: high knees, butt kicks, high skips, and cross side steps.  This was followed by 8 rounds of high knee speed hurdles that were killer!

Hurdles...boooo

We then began our run.  We did 4 sets of 2 laps with a 3 minute rest in between each.  I was able to maintain about a 12:30 minute-mile for all of the laps, which I was very happy with since this was my first run in 3 weeks.  My endurance has definitely declined, but I’m glad I kept up with the Spinning classes in the off time because it could be much worse.  I also had no pain in my psoas.  I will repeat NO PAIN!  That rest thing really pays off 🙂

I should also mention that this was my first run with my new Brooks Ravenna 3’s and I LOVE them.  Super comfy and I felt so much lighter in them.  I can’t continue to stress enough how important it is to get fitted for proper running shoes on a regular basis.

Brooks Ravenna 3

Running with coaches watching your form and yelling out your time was very new to me.  Running has always been a very solitary activity for me and is a way to relax a bit to let my mind wander.  But I must say that having coaches on hand is really nice.  Coach Janis noticed right away that I was swinging my arms incorrectly.  Apparently I have been crossing my arms in front of me as I run, which is a big no no.  She told me to hold my arms at a 90 degree angle and pretend like I’m holding a carton of eggs.  Keeping my arms apart like this will help my momentum and move my body forward more easily.  And boy did it work!  I have to say that it was hard to keep my arms in that position since I’m not used to it, but I really felt like it was easier to move.  Coaches rule!

After our track practice, we all headed back to the Team Challenge/CCFA office for a sports nutrition seminar from a local specialist in Sports Dietetics.  This was very insightful and I’ll be highlighting it in more detail in a later post…so stay tuned!  I stopped for tacos on my way home from my favorite spot Bartaco since I felt I deserved a reward after my pain free run.  Probably not what the nutritionist had in mind as a post race meal, but hey, I have a weakness for tacos.  YUM!

Pork Belly & Red Snapper Tacos!!!

I felt good the next day, but my quads were sore from not being used for a while.  That’s a good pain though.  I took Friday and Saturday off due to other obligations, but I also don’t want to push myself to hard in the beginning.  I want to make sure I give my body enough rest between runs so I don’t re-aggravate my injury.

Sunday morning I went out for my second run of the week and all was good.  I ran along the Long Island Sound, which is one of my favorite spots and I feel so lucky to live right down the street from it.  I had intended to do 5 miles, but around mile 2 I had to turn around and head home due to a minor GI emergency.  That was a difficult 2 miles home, but I managed to get through it and end up with a good time.  My average pace was 13:24 for the 4.1 miles, which included quite a few walking breaks.  Not too shabby for just getting back into the swing of things!

Gorgeous morning for a run along the Long Island Sound!

Now that I’m back to training, my goals for the week are the following:

  • Tuesday: 2.5 miles
  • Wednesday: Spinning (15 miles)
  • Thursday: 3 miles
  • Sunday: 6 miles

What is your training schedule for the week?

Here’s hoping for another week free of pain and continued improvement of my endurance!