Welcome to the next stop on Magical Blogorail Yellow. Today we are sharing Mother's Day gift ideas, crafts, and recipes.


Mother's Day is fast approaching and so is the panic among children, spouses, and loved ones on what exactly one should get that special mother in their life...  Flowers?  Chocolate?  A card?  Jewelry?  

As a mother, to that I say...  Yes, you should get her all of that.

But along with that, maybe consider a special, intimate breakfast to start the day off right?  If Mickey Waffles are already on your regular breakfast rotation, then how about a recipe that brings people to their knees at the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival...  By which, of course, I mean the famous Belgian Waffles from the Belgium Marketplace.  

If you haven't been lucky enough to have these things, let me just tell you, you're missing out.  These waffles are the things of dreams.  The line is always long for a reason.  The runners at the start of the Wine and Dine Half Marathon start talking about eating these by the plateful on the buses on the way to the race for a reason.  They're just that incredible.  


Maybe it's because they're aged overnight in the fridge, allowing the flavor to really develop.  Maybe it's because they're yeast-based, which means they're light and fluffy.  Maybe it's because the secret ingredient is beer... 

Regardless, I promise you if you slide these in front of Mom on her special day, you'll be bringing a huge smile to her face.  When you tell her they're a recipe straight from Disney World, she'll be touched and maybe even fondly reminisce about past trips and happy memories.  And when you tell her there's alcohol in it, then she'll probably rejoice.

Just think how great her day will get when you give her the flowers, chocolates, and jewelry later on.  

PS - I didn't use fresh berries, I used frozen.  In New Hampshire, our fresh fruit is pretty scarce right now.  I think you could probably get away with doing the same...  Trust me, I'm a mom.



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Belgian Waffles with Berry Compote and Whipped Cream
As is served at Belgium Marketplace, Epcot's International Food and Wine Festival, Epcot


Belgian Waffles  
°o°  2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour  
°o°  2 tablespoons sugar  
°o°  1 teaspon dry-active yeast  
°o°  1 1/2 cups water 
°o°  1/2 cups milk  
°o°  2 tablespoons beer  
°o°  1 egg  
°o°  1 tablespoon vanilla extract  
°o°  1 stick butter, melted

Berry Compote  
°o°  1 tablespoon cornstarch  
°o°  1 tablespoon red wine  
°o°  1/2 cup apple or orange juice  
°o°  1/4 cup sugar  
°o°  1 teaspoon lemon juice  
°o°  1 cup fresh blueberries
°o°  1 cup fresh blackberries  
°o°  1 cup fresh strawberries  
°o°  1 cup fresh raspberries  

Sift flour into a bowl, add sugar and yeast.  Make a well in the center of the mixture and add water, milk, beer, egg, and vanilla.  Stir until dry ingredients are moistened.  Do not overmix!  Add melted butter and stir.  Allow batter to rest overnight in fridge.  Batter will be lumpy.

Take batter out of fridge, allow to sit for 20 minutes.  Ladle onto a hot waffle iron and cook according to directions on waffle iron.  Keep warm.

To make berry compote, combine red wine and cornstarch and allow to dissolve.  Combine fruit juice, sugar, lemon juice in a saucepan and bring to a simmer.  Add red wine, blueberries, and blackberries.  When berries have softened and mixture has thickened, add strawberries and fold in raspberries.  Serve warm over waffles and top with whipped cream.

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Welcome to the next stop on Magical Blogorail Green. Today we are discussing the best ways to end a Disney vacation.



Leaving Walt Disney World is never easy.  Trust me, I'd know...  When to comes to crying quietly and discretely at the back of the Magic Express bus, I'm a pro.  I may be in my early (mid) 30's, but I just find saying goodbye to be one of the most difficult parts of our vacation, to a point where I used to start my last day with a sinking feeling in my stomach and that feeling of impending doom.

To help ease that pain, I turned to two of my favorite things...  Lasting traditions and food.  The mom in me loves traditions.  They're something dependable, that you look forward to.  The person in me who likes eating likes food.  Win-win!

For us, our last day starts with a trip to Pop Century's Everything Pop! Food Court.  Our final resort meal of choice used to be a lunch of whatever the special was and one or two huge, overstuffed, bean burritos (those would be for my husband, not me), but since the invention of the Pop Tart Breakfast Sandwich, that has changed slightly.

Then it's off to our final park of choice...  Epcot.

Epcot is our favorite park and we tend to walk through like George Bailey at the end of "It's a Wonderful Life."  "Goodbye Soarin!"  "Goodbye Club Cool!"  "Goodbye Japan Pavilion!"  We want to see all of our favorites and get our fill before we leave.


Generally, our first stop is Club Cool.  I can't explain it...  The allure of free soda in a potpourri of flavors, it just appeals to me.  I need my last fix of sticky floors, sparkle, thumping club music, and whatever soda is my passion for that trip (China Smart Melon, I still miss you).  From there to The Land Pavilion, the home of one of the best smells anywhere in the world.  Disney, please bottle and sell whatever it is you use to make that building smell so good?  After going through Living with The Land (I love that ride, don't judge) and crying my way through Soarin' one more time, we stop at Sunshine Seasons for another snack: the Strawberry Shortcake.  It's amazing.  Hey, if my husband gets two bean burritos that are the size of my forearm, I can get a slice of cake.

From there, it's our last trip around the world, starting with our traditional viewing of "Captain Eo" and ending usually somewhere around the Japan Pavilion, where I impulse buy everything I'd been staring at all week but insisted I didn't need, but now have to have because I may never see it again.  Thanks to those last minute feelings of panic, I've ended up with everything from a kimono I impulse bought at the register (bet you didn't know you could do that, did you?) to bento boxes to about $15 of Hi-Chews.  It's always fun unpacking when I get home and asking myself why I bought what I bought...

When we leave during the Food and Wine Festival or the Flower and Garden Festival, just give ourselves completely over to gluttony.  I still remember the trip where we ate pretty much everything in sight.  Dole Whips with rum, Nudel Gratin, Candied Strawberries, Sausage and Polenta, Green Tea Ice Cream, Cheese Soup...  Man, was that an uncomfortable plane ride home.

With our arms full of impulse buys from Japan and our stomachs full of food that probably nobody should ever try to eat all in one sitting, we (and by we, me) head to the front gates of Epcot and tearfully walk through the turnstiles.  That last glimpse of Spaceship Earth is always a killer for me.  We head back to Pop and wait for the Magic Express to bring us back to reality.  The longest and worst bus ride in the world.

After we go back to the gift shop and get armloads of cookies and candy, of course.  I mean, you have to have something to snack on when you're on the plane...  Let's be real here, it's a long flight and I get hungry.



Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail Green | Best Ways to End a Disney Vacation Loop:


I know what you're thinking.  This is not a real thing.  I have to be making it up for April Fool's Day.  This can't be an actual meal that you can go to a counter, order, and eat.

Well, I'm here to verify that not only is this a real thing and they serve it at Pop Century, but according to my husband, it's the best use of a breakfast dining credit anywhere in Walt Disney World.

No, I am not joking.

In fact, when we went to Disney for the Wine and Dine Half Marathon last November, my husband ordered not one, not two, but three of these things only a few hours after finishing the half.  While I sat there and vainly picked at my Pop Waffle hoping that my stomach would want food ever again, he ate every last bite of all three sandwiches and debated getting a fourth.  My husband is legendary for his iron stomach.

I can honestly say I had no desire to try this.  I didn't even have a bite of his sandwich, not that I could have had one if I had wanted it.  This just seems like a sugary, salty, hot mess to me. Even with my very well publicized love of bacon, I just wasn't tempted.  Maybe it's because I can barely stand Pop Tarts, or maybe it's just because I'm not a breakfast sandwich person.  But when I said I was making this, my husband could not contain his excitement.  He has been asking me all week which day was Pop Tart Breakfast Sandwich day.

The verdict according to my husband?  Just as amazing as they are at Pop Century.
 Total sandwiches consumed?  Four.  Number of regrets?  For me, too many to count.  But for him, today was the "best day ever."

Happy April Fool's Day everybody!    What are your plans for today?  Did you "get" anybody, or did anybody "get" you?  What are your thoughts on using Pop Tarts as the bread to a breakfast sandwich?

Looking for more silly recipes from Walt Disney World?  Check out the Piggylicious Bacon Cupcake from Epcot's International Flower and Garden Festival, Cotton Candy Lemonade from Disney's Pop Century Resort, and Tie-Dye Cheesecake from Disney's Pop Century Resort.


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Pop Tarts Breakfast Sandwich
As is served at Everything Pop Food Court, Disney's Pop Century Resort
 
°o°  2 Strawberry Pop Tarts  
°o°  1 eggs, beaten
°o°  1 tablespoons milk  
°o°  2 slices of bacon, cooked crispy
°o°  1 slice American Cheese

Toast Pop Tarts according to package instructions using toaster or toaster oven.  While Pop Tarts are toasting, combine egg and milk and mix well.  In a small frying pan sprayed with nonstick spray, using a egg sandwich mold (if desired), pour eggs into pan.  When almost set, flip and cook on other side until egg patty is no longer runny, making an egg patty.  

To assemble, layer Pop Tart frosting side down, egg, bacon, and cheese, toast open face for 1 minute to melt cheese, then top with remaining Pop Tart with frosting facing up.  Serve warm and immediately.    
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I promised some pretty out there recipes this week in honor of April Fool's Day this week and I think this one, well, it takes the cake (ba dum bum tish).  This is bacon.  And pretzels.  And cake.  All together in one glorious, glorious cupcake.  Served at the American Pavilion in Epcot during the Flower and Garden Festival, this cupcake is the stuff of legends, long lines, and as it pairs perfectly with beer, it quickly became one of the most popular treats out there.

This is so easy to make, it's ridiculous.  They're so perfectly delicious, they're addicting.  This may be the perfect cupcake and that's not a title I hand out lightly.  The maple flavor in the creamy frosting is a slice of absolute heaven and it sets off the sweet, salty richness of the cake and bacon so beautifully.  I didn't even mind the crunch of the bacon in the cupcake.  Really, it's just like chocolate chip chunks...  Only bacon!  You can really pick out every layer of flavor perfectly, from the maple to the cream cheese, to even the flavoring of the cake.

While I did make these exactly as the recipe suggested, I'd say the next time I'd tweak it ever-so-slightly by adding a little more bacon fat as these were a bit drier than I tend to like my cupcakes, and I'd probably add a tiny bit more sugar.  I think that extra pop of sweetness would really take these to another level.  Also, I ended up making these as mini-cupcakes.  Maybe I did it because I wanted something small and easy to snack on.  Maybe it's because I was in the mood for mini cupcakes.  Or maybe I couldn't find the regular-sized cupcake pan...  The world will never know.  And for everybody saying "Wait a minute, she did a muffin recipe last week, how could she have lost it?" it's time for me to come clean...  I couldn't find it then either and I used a popover pan instead.


Yes, that's right.  I know where my popover pan is but not my cupcake pan.  Welcome to the
crazy world of me.

I think it goes without saying this was a huge hit in our house.  I couldn't keep my husband out of them, I couldn't keep the kids out of them, I actually couldn't keep myself out of them.  I thought by making the mini cupcakes I'd have enough to send in to work with my husband, but I honestly don't know that they'll make it that long.  I was thinking about making another batch, but I'll be honest...  We'd probably just eat all of those too.

I have to say, for people who're looking for a fun, funky take on the traditional cupcake, you've got to try this.  Because bacon.  But also because they're delicious, they're unique (you know nobody else is bringing this to a birthday party)...  And bacon.

In case you couldn't tell, I love bacon.  Maybe that explains all the other recipes I've shared with bacon in them too...  If you've got half the bacon craving that I do, make sure you check out the recipes for Le Cellier's Bacon Beer Cheddar Cheese Soup, Art of Animation's Spaghetti Carbonara, Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater's Bacon Mac-and-Cheese, and Wolfgang Puck's Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf.  Yum...



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Piggylicious Bacon Cupcake
As is served at the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival, America Pavilion, Epcot
 
Cupcake
°o°  Boxed yellow cupcake mix
°o°  Bacon fat equal to the oil required for the mix  
°o°  1/2 pound maple bacon, crisp cooked, diced fine


Frosting  
°o°  8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
°o°  1/4 cup butter, room temperature  
°o°  2 tablespoons maple syrup  
°o°  2 cups confectioners sugar  
°o°  Crushed pretzels
Preheat oven to temperature outlined on cupcake mix.  Prepare boxed cake mix as outlined on the box, substituting the suggested oil or melted butter for bacon fat.  Fold in cooked bacon.  Bake according to package directions and cool completely.

For frosting, combine cream cheese and butter and cream using an electric mixer until light and fluffy.  Add maple syrup and sugar.  Continue to beat until well combined, there are no lumps, and frosting is smooth and creamy.  Pipe onto cooled cupcakes and top with crushed pretzels.  Chill slightly before serving, store in the fridge to preserve frosting and bacon.
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I don't know about you guys, but I always kind of look forward to April Fool's Day...  Even though every year I fall for something.  Somebody will post an article somewhere and I promise you, I will forget what day it is and believe every word of it.  Remember the year somebody shared all over Facebook there was a fifth Disney park opening in Florida?  Yup, I totally fell for that.  Also fell for the article that proclaimed Harrison Ford as the race director for the Star Wars Half Marathon.  You'd think that a quote by "M. Falcone" would have tipped me off, but nope.  I fell for it and shared that article all over Facebook and Twitter.

But I get in the fun too...  Or at least I did in 2013 when I announced on Facebook I was re-branding as the "Universal Chef" and focusing on recipes from Universal Studios.  Last laugh was on me though...  I lost almost 50 Facebook followers that day. D'oh!

This year I'm going a relatively safer route by highlighting some crazy recipes from around Disney Parks.  And Disney has some surprisingly unique foods...  I know I've had some crazy meals there.  And I'm featuring one this week that is so crazy, it's hard to believe it's even real...  But not only is it real, it's actually one of my husband's favorite, favorite Disney foods...  But, I digress.

That said, I'm starting off with the most "normal" dish for the week: Boma's African Fruit Fool.  Yes, I know...  Fool, April Fool's...  It's a little obvious.  But it's so good and I'm so ready for spring, I just had to do it.  I haven't quite kicked my citrus craving yet.

Prep for this was actually a lot easier than I thought it would be.  I did cheat and buy the pineapple pre-cored and peeled, but the rest of it I did myself.  The secret is to actually cut and dice the fruit in the peels, then scoop them out with a spoon (look at the instructions here, starting at 2a.  You'll see what I mean).  Super fast, super easy, relatively mess-free.

Honestly, even though there was a lot to cut, core, peel, slice, dice and mix, I got it all put together in less than 15 minutes.

I have to say, I love that this recipe calls for sweetened condensed milk as sort of a secret ingredient.  Traditional fool recipes call for a sweet custard or something similar...  Rumor has it, it was called a "fool" because it was made from older, bitter, stewed fruits and gooseberries and the custard "fooled" the taste buds into thinking the past-their-prime fruits were still fresh, sweet, and delicious (yuck).  Since most modern recipes use just the fruit and the whipped cream or topping, the use of the sweetened condensed milk in this just kicks the sweet decadence of this recipe up another step.  It's not the same old grocery store fruit salad, it's something different and unique using really exotic fruits and it tickles the tongue in a whole new way.  I know I could sit with a bowl of this and a spoon and not stop until I hit bottom.

I did embellish a little by topping it with a cherry and a mint leaf.  I thought it was a clever way to make the flavors pop a bit more.  My son, who ate the entire mint leaf you see pictured in one bite disagreed.  His face was pretty priceless though.

Like the looks of this recipe?  Be sure to check out the other fruity recipes I've featured, including Chilled Orange and Mango Soup from Disney Cruise Lines, Passion Fruit Cheesecake from 'Ohana, Coconut Almond Chicken from Kona, or my personal favorite, Tonga Toast from Disney's Polynesian Village Resort.  If you're not familiar with Tonga Toast, trust me, you need it in your life.


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African Fruit Fool
As is served at Boma, Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge
 
°o°  1 cup fresh pineapple, diced 
°o°  1 green apple, peeled, cored, diced  
°o°  1 cup mango, peeled, diced  
°o°  1 cup papaya, diced
°o°  3 bananas, peeled, sliced  
°o°  1 cup shredded coconut  
°o°  3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk  
°o°  1 cup heavy cream  
°o°  1 teaspoon vanilla extract  
Combine all fruits in a large bowl and toss.  Drizzle sweetened condensed milk.  Set aside.

In a separate bowl, whip cream and vanilla until stiff peaks form.  Gently fold whipped cream into fruit mixture.  Cover and refrigerate 30-45 minutes or until chilled.  Serve.  
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Adventures By Katie


Happy Sunday Funday everybody!

I had so much fun with this week's recipes, it's hard to even pick a favorite.  They were all so different and unique and I think a great compliment to all of this March Madness frenzy that's sweeping everybody right now!  

In case you missed it, this week I featured:

I also want to do a special "thank you" to the folks at Planet Hollywood for sharing and retweeting the recipe to their pizza.  Such an honor and I hope I did you and your food justice!  I also want to thank all of my readers.  We broke 18,000 followers on Facebook this week, we're rounding the corner on 2,000 Pinterest followers, and you helped not one, not two, but three of my pins go viral this week.  How awesome are all of you guys?!

I think if I had to pick a favorite, it's neck-and-neck between the pizza and the soup, though I know the big hit for the kids in our house was for sure the corn dog muffins.  I may or may not be making them again this week...  Hey, I have to use up the rest of the hot dogs, right?

So this week is, of course, April Fools.  So what better way to celebrate by highlighting
some of the craziest foods that can be found around Disney Parks?  Foods that are totally unique, out-of-the-box, and unlike anything you've ever seen before...  Keep an eye out for a funky mixed drink, a cupcake that is almost too bizarre (but tasty) to be real, and a breakfast item that actually made national news for how...  Out there...  It is.  If you're a fan of Pop Century or Epcot's food festivals, you for sure want to keep tuned in to what I've got up my sleeve this week!

Still hankering some food to add to your sports themed party?  Be sure to check out these past recipes:
Did you get a chance to try any of this week's recipes?  What is next on your "to make" list?  Let's do a check-in...  How long until your next Disney vacation?



Please, nobody laugh at me.  I have a reason for today's recipe...  Truly, I do.

When I was talking about this week's recipes and theme with my husband, the kids overheard.  Of course, the word they overheard was "party food."  Well, specifically, the word "party."  From that moment, I was in trouble.  When I told them the food I was making, all I got were blank stares.  Chicken wings?  Soup?  A crazy salad pizza?  Even the cheese dip was met with a little bit of apprehension because I put the funny word "nacho" in front of it.  Then came the words that were like a knife to my heart...  "But what about us?  Why can't we pick food for our party?"

So, there we have this recipe.  Chosen by children.  Cooked out of guilt.  Shared with apprehension because this is basically dressed up boxed cornbread with a hot dog in it.  Something that probably actually doesn't need a recipe at all for most people...  Yet, here we are.

My silver lining to this is, however, that it was (and still is occasionally) served at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort at the Grand Floridian Cafe and on the buffet table at 1900 Park Fare, which means at least it's corn dog muffins served by a fancier place.  Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if these came to be after a chef was approached by an adorable, wide-eyed, Disney loving child who said much the same as what I heard...  And the subsequent mad dash back to the kitchen to throw something together out of guilt.  Let's be honest, the food there is outstanding, but there was awhile there at both locations that kids really just were there for the characters and fruit.  I can't imagine the salmon lox and bucatini were high on the kids "gotta eat this" list.

All of that being said, these are actually really good.  I was nervous about the cheese and  The texture on them is still light and fluffy and the hot dogs don't make the corn bread wet or soggy (my pet peeve), I think because the cheese provides enough additional fat to keep things moist and the use of turkey hot dogs cuts down on the sweating the dogs do while baking.  Everybody loved them, even my husband, who was happy to eat them but equally curious as to why I really needed to share the recipe.  When the kids rounded the corner on their second muffin and were done with dinner in less than 20 minutes, there were less questions though.  
the sugar combination and these are sweeter than your average corn muffins, but not in any sort of bad way.

So I'm kind of glad that my kids pointed out that I did an awful job planning a kid-friendly menu for the week because now I have a quick, easy, go-to corn dog muffin recipe for those last-minute weeknight meals.  Though, in my defense, the kids had everything but the wings and loved every bite of it, especially that nacho dip.  My table looked like a chip tornado had torn through.

Like the looks of this recipe?  Check out the recipes for Disneyland's Famous Cornbread (using cake mix?!), or try pairing it with an Oreo Milkshake or my favorite, the Red Velvet Cupcake Milkshake from 50's Prime Time Cafe!


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Corn Dog Muffins
As is served at 1900 Park Fare, Disney's Grand Floridian Resort and Spa
 
°o°  1 pound box of cornbread mix (or two Jiffy Boxes)  
°o°  2 tablespoons brown sugar  
°o°  2 eggs  
°o°  1 1/2 cups milk  
°o°  1 cup grated cheddar cheese  
°o°  Turkey hot dogs, cut into halves or thirds (depending on muffin tin size)  
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and generously grease muffin tins with nonstick spray.

In a large bowl, combine cornbread mix and brown sugar.  In a seperate small bowl, combine eggs and milk, whisk completely.  Add to dry ingredients and stir until just moistened.  Mix in cheese.  Spoon mixture into muffin tins 2/3 full.  Add hot dog to center of each muffin.  Bake 14-20 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.  Serve immediately.  These do not reheat well. 
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