Wednesday with Walt: Eating Around Epcot

Hello Epcot International Food and Wine Festival 2018!

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Yay! It is here y’all…well it actually started last week, but TODAY was my first time visiting the festival this year.

I started the day at a VIP Pass Holder Playtime in Toy Story Land at Hollywood Studios. Ahhh-MAAAAZE-ING y’all! Don’t worry, I will be sharing all the details from one of the best Disney days I’ve ever had soon, but for now we are talking all about Food & Wine!

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After riding all the rides at Hollywood Studios it was time for me to Park Hop! Frozen Ever After had a 20 minute wait, so I figured I’d make my way over to Epcot. Since today was my first time visiting the Park during this year’s Food & Wine Festival, I immediately headed over to the Festival Center to get my Annual Pass Holder Magnet.

Coincidence or perfect timing? I just happened to get to Epcot in time for lunch! Eating my way around the world it is! There are SO many choices y’all and I want to try them all!

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I started my way around the World Showcase scoping out the various menus and Japan’ Teriyaki Chicken Bun sounded too good to pass up!

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Oh my heavens y’all! The Teriyaki Chicken Bun was delicious! It’s a steamed bun filled with Chicken, Veggies and a Sweet Teriyaki Sauce. It is the perfect tasting portion and full of flavor. I highly recommend and would definitely consider getting it again during this year’s festival.

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From Japan I continued on my journey around the World Showcase and stopped in the Good Ole’ US of A. Hops and Barley had one of my favorite eats at last year’s Festival. Naturally, I just had to have the New England Lobster Roll again this year!

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So, so, so tasty! A griddled bun topped with warm lobster meat and a Fresh Herb Mayo. It literally melts in your mouth y’all. Its all delicious, but I LOVE the griddle bun. It is a perfect sized bite, although I wouldn’t complain if they made it bigger!

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I am heading back to the Festival tomorrow for another VIP Event and looking forward to trying a few more dishes. Have you visited the festival this year? What are some of your favorite, MUST TRY dishes? I’d love to hear your recommendations!

See You Real Soon!

We hope you’re enjoying your Newly Newlywed or Nearly Newlywed moments as much as we are!

Cheers Y’all!

Adam & Holly, but mostly Holly

PS: Remember, we’re newlyweds, not experts!

 

 

Throwback Thursday: 2017 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Favorites

It’s here! Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival begins today! I love the different festivals at Epcot for various reasons, but Food & Wine will always be a favorite. The park offers food and drink tastings, speciality paring classes, cooking classes and meet and greets with famous Chefs, concerts, and so much more during the festival!

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So…why do I love this festival so much? Have you seen the concert line-up? The Eat To The Beat Concert series offers something for everyone and their taste of music. But, y’all lets be honest….HANSON is a fan favorite that comes to the Festival annually and my inner 13 year old LOVES it! Helihubby not so much.

Since it starts today we figured sharing some of our favorite finds of 2017 would be a fun way to celebrate Throwback Thursday and the kick-off of the 2018 festival! Join us as we eat and drink around the world!

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Epcot is one of three Walt Disney World Parks that guests can walk around the park with an adult beverage in hand. {This might be the main reason it’s the favorite park for us Newly Newlyweds.} Grab a cocktail and make your way eating and drinking around the world, exploring different countries, their rides and little hidden gems! During the Food and Wine Festival, Epcot adds additional countries and speciality spots throughout the park for guests to have even more dining options. What a great opportunity for people to taste samplings of dishes that may night otherwise have a chance to try!

Take a look at our favorite eats and drinks from the 2017 Festival!

Spain– Traditional Spanish Paella served with Shrimp, Mussels, Chicken and Chorizo img_1857.jpeg

France– La Passion Martini Slush a mix of vodka, Grey Goose Le Citron Vodka, Cranberry and Passion Fruit juiceIMG_1927.JPG

The Chocolate Studio– Gluten Free Liquid Nitro Chocolate-Almond Truffle with warm whiskey-caramel and a glass of Justin Cabernet SauvignonIMG_3582.JPG

Earth Eats!– Grilled Beef Skewer with Romaine, Apricots and FetaIMG_3581.JPG

Hops & BarleyHanson Brothers Beer Company Hop Jam Festive Ale and New England Lobster Roll: Warm Lobster with Fresh Herb Mayonnaise and Griddled RollIMG_3599.JPG

Greece– Spanakopita: Greek Spinach Pie {This was super tasty!} IMG_3580.JPG

Morocco– Chocolate Baklava: Rolled Phyllo Dough with Toasted Almonds and Dark Chocolate Sauce {This was my FAVORITE snack of the 2017 Festival and YES they have it again in 2018!} IMG_3598.JPG

Ahhh! Are you hungry now? We are and can not wait to arrive back at Epcot next week! Are you heading to the Festival?

What are you most looking forward to trying this year? It’s not on our Whole30 plan (which we are trying to stick to since we are running the Food & Wine 10k in November) but we will be trying the Belgian Waffle with Warm Chocolate Ganache and Whipped Cream from Belgium, Le Cellier’s Wild Mushroom Beef Filet Mignon with Truffle-Butter Sauce from Canada and Florida Beer Company Passport Triple Chocolate Milk Stout from Cape Canaveral, FL from Craft Drafts. YUMMM!

Let the countdown to our return to the Happiest (and tastiest) Place On Earth begin!

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See You Real Soon!

We hope you’re enjoying your Newly Newlywed or Nearly Newlywed moments as much as we are!

Cheers Y’all!

Adam & Holly, but mostly Holly

PS: Remember, we’re newlyweds, not experts! {and Go Stros!}

 

Tuesday Travels: Doing Disney {Tasting Around The World}

Hey there Musketeers!

Are you dreaming of Disney on this Travel Tuesday? We just returned from a quick weekend trip. I too, am wishing we were walking our way around Epcot. Sipping on seasonal cocktails and enjoying the fantastic March weather during the Flower and Garden Festival!

Come on! Take the stroll around Epcot with us! It’s not just for kids- adults can love Disney too!

We arrived at Epcot via boat from the Swan & Dolphin Hotel. Did you know you can do that? We went through the back entrace by the International Gateway. It was there we made a quick right to cross the bridge into France, where our day Tasting Around The World began!RenderedImage.jpeg

Our first stop was at Les Vins des Chefs de France for a little cocktail! We cheersed to our Day of Disney with a glass of Champagne and Adam had a French Beer similar to a Blue Moon. IMG_8012.jpeg

Also in France is Les Halles Boulangerie-Patisserie, where we had a yummy French Duo-  a White and Dark Chocolate Mousse Cake. SO good y’all! It just melted in your mouth. The Mousse was so creamy- clearly this was not a Whole30 Day! IMG_8020.jpeg

Did you know you could travel 1,200 miles in just three minutes? You can! At Epcot anyway! From France we made our way to Morocco where Adam had his second beverage, a Casa Beer, an original Lager from the host country.  IMG_8045.jpeg

After Morocco we made our way to Japan where Adam and I shared a Sapporno Beer from Kabuki CafeIMG_8061.jpegIMG_8059.jpeg

We passed through the American Adventure (we can have a Bud Lite anytime y’all) to Italy for another glass of Bubbly! IMG_8064.jpeg

Next, we headed to Biergarten Restaurant in Germany where Adam took in the, ehh, local fashion culture and even found himself an Epcot souvenir! IMG_8070.jpeg

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China was next on our list, before we headed to Norway for a Beer with Olaf! IMG_8086.jpegIMG_8316.jpeg

I think a Margarita is calling my name! Is it for you too? Mexico was next where we had Cucumber Lime Margaritas.  A mix of Tequila Avión Blanco, Fresh Cucumber, Orange Liqueur, Lime Juice and Agave Nectar. Whew y’all! These little babies were strong! Stronger than we expected for sure! We washed down Beef Empanadas filled with Barbacoa Beef, topped with Chipotle Sauce, Crema Mexicana and Queso Fresco and served with a side of Corn Esquites with our Margaritas from Choza de MargaritaIMG_8108.jpeg

We finished our snack in Mexico and  headed North to Canada for a little beer eh! IMG_8140.jpeg

We crossed the pond for a Half & Half at the Rose & Crown Pub in England for our final beverage on our World Tour of Epcot. IMG_8152.jpeg

Well just like that we traveled thousands of miles and tasted ten new toddies in a few short hours! What’s your favorite country to visit while at Epcot? Do you have a favorite cocktail or meal you have to get while visiting? We’d love to hear about it!

Wouldn’t it be nice to be back in Orlando making our way through Epcot and the World Showcase? Who knows…with just a little Pixie Dust anything can happen! Maybe HeliHubby and I will make our return sooner than planned!

 

We hope you’re enjoying your Newly Newlywed or Nearly Newlywed Disney moments as much as we are!

Cheers!

Adam & Holly

PS: Remember, we’re Newlyweds, not experts!

Throwback Thursday: Travels with Thelma & Louise Finale

Mom and I have traveled 12+ hours, over four and half states to the GREAT State. Up to Oklahoma and now we’re on the final leg of our Throwback Thursday Thelma & Louise Summer shenanigans!

After taking in all that Pawhuska, OK had to offer Mert, Louise and I took the road back to Tulsa for the night. For the short amount of time we spent in the city, we had a fantastic time and would love to go back! I was so surprised at all the unique shopping and little restaurants.

We spent the night at the Hard Rock Tulsa to do a little gambling! Before we tried to hit it big, we explored downtown Tulsa for supper. We found a great little Mexican/Taco spot called El Guapo’s. IMG_7517.jpeg

Y’all their Margaritas are spot on! So delicious! They have one named “The Horny Toad,” you know the three of us TCU Frog Fans just had to give it a try! IMG_7520.jpegWe had great service at the bar and the food was great! We started with stuffed jalapeños  with a homemade ranch dipping sauce. Y’all they were to-die-for! I would go back for those alone! I had some sort of semi-healthy grilled pork dish with grilled mexican corn. Ah! My mouth is watering just thinking about it! Guess we have to go back! IMG_7523.jpegIMG_7524.jpeg

Sadly, we didn’t win BIG money or any money that is at the Hard Rock Tulsa Casino, so we packed our bags and headed back to the GREAT STATE. The next day Mom and I said goodbye to our travel partner, Big Mert and hit the road for Waco.

{Ok, I know what all of our TCU friends are thinking right now. You know the only reason we would go to Waco is to 1) See TCU beat Baylor or 2) To get our DIY Fixer Upper on and check out the Magnolia Market at the Silos!}

Waco is just a few hours from the Big MP and since we were in no rush to get back to Georgia Mom and I decided to add a little adventure to our Thelma & Louise trip. We would visit Waco, maybe head to Houston to catch up with friends, maybe stay the night and eventually start our trip back to the Peach State. If you’re heading to Waco from Dallas a stop at Slovacek’s, a Czech bakery and gift shop is a MUST! They are known for their Czech kolaches. Best things ever! They are yeast-risen rounds of dough topped with fruit filling or in this case savory sausages. Is your tummy rumbling like mine right now? IMG_7573.jpeg

After stopping for a snack and a little shopping we finally made it to the Magnolia Market!!! IMG_7582.jpeg

No signs of Chip or Jo and it was packed of course! We didn’t take into consideration that it was July 4th weekend and everyone was off work- whoops! Poor planning on our part, but we had a great time anyways! We snapped a few photos, met new friends, toured the grounds, tried a few food trucks and did a little {more} shopping! IMG_7594.jpeg

Just like that we were back in car {imagine that} and on the road to Houston! No trip to the GREAT STATE would be complete without a stop at Buc-ee’s! IMG_7595.jpeg

We may or may not have planned our drive around stopping at a location or two. What’s Buc-ee’s? Think glamorized gas station. What? Is that even possible? How about, the Walmart of gas stations? Ok, ok more like the Target of gas stations.

It probably sounds ridiculous, but unless you have stopped and shopped at a Buc-ee’s you have no idea! They have it all- literally! From branded Buc-ee products that everyone loves (get the Buc-ee Beaver Nuggets- just trust me) to brands like Mud Pie and Kamado Joe, you’ll find it at Buc-ee’s, not to mention all the super cute Texas stuff!

After a stop or two at Buc-ee’s we decided to pass over Houston and head towards Georgia and stopped in Baton Rouge for the night! (TG & I both love a good hotel.) Shout out to my @helihubby for being quick on his toes and scoring us a room at the Watermark Hotel. In LOVE! It was a great location and such a trendy hotel. We got in late, ordered room service and hit the bed! IMG_7609.jpeg

Before hitting the road and rolling out of BR we did a quick swing by the Campus of LSU and the ZTA House. Of course I just had to get a picture! IMG_7655.JPG

We made a few stops along the way since we took a different route home and not our usual I-20, but opted to forgo the grand adventure to get back to Atlanta in time for the Braves July 4th Game! IMG_7642.JPG

Lordy! Are you exhausted? I am just thinking about all that driving and what a jam packed day it was! Just like that my Throwback Thursday Thelma & Louise stories have come to a close, for now anyways! It’ll be hard to top last year and all of our shenanigans, but I have no doubt whatever Mom and I get into this Summer it’ll be just as fun! I’m so lucky to have a Mom that is not only my Mom, but my best friend. We may drive each other crazy sometimes, but I wouldn’t have it any other way and I am so thankful for our summers and time we get to spend together. Love you TG!

Do you have an Annual Mother-Daughter trip? I’d love to hear your stories! We’re always looking for new places to go and things to do – brownie points if they are in Texas! Thanks for coming along on our adventures! Stay tuned for more heading your way this Summer!

We hope you’re enjoying your Newly Newlywed or Nearly Newlywed moments as much as we are!

Cheers!

Adam & Holly

(Mostly Holly & Mom this time)

PS: Remember, we’re Newlyweds, not experts!

 

 

Throwback Thursday: Traveling with Thelma & Louise Part II

Last week we began our #ThrowbackThursday Thelma & Louise Adventure series. It’s full of lots of fun and laughs as Mom and I made our annual Road Trip to the GREAT state of Texas. We’re picking up mid-week into our grand adventure- come along and join in on our fun!

Mount Pleasant is a small, North East Texas town. They have a 4 screen movie theatre, a Walmart, a growing downtown square with a handful of cute local spots and that’s about it y’all. After seeing all the Big MP had to offer we had the bright idea to continue the road trip and head up to Oklahoma!

Oklahoma? Yes! Oklahoma! Pawhuska, OK to be exact! Why sit still when you can go, see, and do? We talked Aunt Tina, aka Mert, into joining us on our little adventure! We were off to see The Pioneer Woman! We’ve been to Paula Dean and Emeri’s restaurants. Sat in the audience for a filming of the Rachel Ray Show. Cooked with Cat Cora at Disney, so why not add another Chef to our list? IMG_7414.jpeg

We doned our denim and cowgirl boots and hit the road towards Pawhuska! About 3 or so hours from Mount Pleasant and an hour from Tulsa. The Mercantile was everything we could have imagined and more! Beautiful wooden floors, rustic displays, exposed brick. {It reminded me of a more rustic Anthropologie.}  They had Pioneer Woman Merchandise, like you can purchase at Walmart, and all sorts of kitchen and Mercantile branded products. I could have stayed there for days!

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The line to eat at The Merc Deli was down the street! We were able to walk right in the store- no wait!

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We did some shopping, picked up a few surprises for Adam, and of course had to sample some of Ree’s sweet treats from the Bakery upstairs. No surprise, it was delicious! We wanted it all! {Tip: Get the Cowboy Coffee if you visit! I crave it!}

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Specific days of the year while The Pioneer Woman Show is not taping, they invite guests of the Mercantile to head to the Drummond Ranch and tour the Lodge. One of these days, just happened to be the day we visited! The views of the Drummond Ranch from the Lodge were absolutely breath taking. Everything you could see was their property.

IMG_7535.jpeg IMG_7416.jpegIMG_7415.jpegIMG_7470.jpeg We look like we fit right in at The Ranch, don’t you think?

We met the pups and the Drummond Ranchhand. I can’t reminder his name, but he has been working for the family for 30+ years! The nicest Cowboy y’all! He even wanted to get his picture with us Texas gals! I think we were the favorite visitors that day! Clearly!

Looks like Ree might have a little competition in the kitchen with Thelma, Louise & Mert!

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Loved our time at the Lodge and highly recommend planning your trip to Pawhuska and The Mercantile when you can visit the Ranch too.

Our time in Oklahoma continued to Tulsa. Check back next Thursday as we Throwback and share the rest of our Thelma & Louise Adventures!

Have you been to the Mercantile or Drummond Ranch? Share your stories with us! Were you lucky enough to meet Ree too? What about your favorite Pioneer Woman recipes? I’d love to know which ones you and your family enjoy most!

We hope you’re enjoying your Newly Newlywed or Nearly Newlywed moments as much as we are!

Cheers!

Adam & Holly

(mostly Holly & TG this time! )

PS: Remember, we’re Newlyweds, not experts!

Monday’s Menu: Whole30 Zoodle Spaghetti

Ok…ok.  I know what you are thinking. GROSS!

There is no way you can make a tasty spaghetti with zucchini noodles. I’ll admit, it doesn’t compare to the real thing and honestly, it might take a little getting used to, but with the right Whole30 Compliant Sauce and full of flavor meat it can be a delicious substitution and SUPER quick meal!

There’s no real recipe. I just sort of threw together ingredients hoping to end up with something edible. Scary, isn’t it?

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You can use whatever compliant sauce and meat you prefer, this is just what I used.

Ingredients:

Trader Giotto’s Organic Spaghetti sauce with mushrooms  

Whole Foods pre-packaged Zucchini Noodles

Pederson’s Italian Ground Sausage 

In a skillet, brown sausage. You can dice some onion and add it to it for more flavor and extra veggies if you want.

While the sausage browns, heat up a small pan and warm up spaghetti sauce. Transfer sausage to strainer and drain over pepper towels and remove excess oils. In the same skillet as the sausage was cooked in, add zoodles. Cook until desired tenderness. (I like mine pretty tender) Do not add any extra oil to the pan. It will just make the zoodles watery when added to the sauce- gross!

Add meat into sauce pan and stir together.

Once everything is cooked and warm. Add zoodles to a bowl. Top with meat/sauce mixture and top with fresh basil or oregano or both if you’d like! Enjoy!

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Have you made a Whole30 Zoodle Spaghetti? What do you think about it? Do you have any tips for making it less watery? We’d love to know what you do to make it a delicious dish! This one is an easy recipe, but honestly, not one of my favorites. If I have the ingredients and don’t feel like spending a lot of time in the kitchen, I’ll make it, but it is not one of my favorites. Trying to get there though!

Hope you’re enjoying your Newly Newlywed or Nearly Newlywed (Whole 30) moments as much as we are!

Cheers!

Adam & Holly

PS: Remember, we’re Newlyweds, not experts!

Monday’s Menu: Whole30 Bangers & Mash

Y’all this recipe is one of our absolute favorites! Adam has said multiple times he could eat it every day. It’s so delicious and left overs are even better!

We discovered the recipe during our first Whole30 from Melissa’s Whole30 book,  “The Whole30: The 30 Day Guide to Health and Food Freedom,”  and it has become a staple during (and after) our Whole30s.

You’re 29 days in! If you’ve not given it a try, tonight is the perfect night! Enjoy!

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Banger Sausage Patties with Sweet Potato Mash and Caramelized Onions

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For the Sausage (I like my sausage to be full of flavor and add more seasonings than the recipe calls. My notes are in parentheses.) 

1 pound ground pork
¼ teaspoon ground sage (1 teaspoon)
¼ teaspoon garlic powder (1 teaspoon)
¼ teaspoon dried thyme (1/2 teaspoon)
¼ teaspoon onion powder (3/4 teaspoon)
¹⁄8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (1/4 teaspoon)
¹⁄8 teaspoon nutmeg (1/4 teaspoon)
1 teaspoon salt
¹⁄8 teaspoon black pepper
Grated zest of 1 lemon

For the Mash

2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into large dice
4 tablespoon ghee or clarified butter
½ cup full-fat coconut milk
1 onion, thinly sliced
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper

PREHEAT the oven to 350°F. Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

PREPARE THE SAUSAGE: In a small mixing bowl, combine all the sausage seasonings.

 

In a large mixing bowl, mix up pork and add seasonings a little at a time. {TIP: If you have plastic gloves, they are great to use while you fold in the seasonings and form the patties so your hands don’t get icky.}

Form pork mixture into (about) 8 small patties. (I typically get about 6) Place on a plate and chill in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes while starting the sweet potato mash. (I don’t always chill my patties and they turn out just fine.

COOK the sweet potatoes in the boiling water until fork tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain and return the potatoes to the pot. Add 1 tablespoon of the ghee and coconut milk. Using a potato masher, immersion blender, or large kitchen fork, mash and mix the sweet potatoes with the ghee and coconut milk. (I add salat and pepper to the mash.) Cover the pot to keep warm and set aside.

REMOVE the sausage from the freezer and place on the parchment paper–lined baking sheet. Bake the sausage patties in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes, until the internal temperature reaches 145°F, and no pink remains in the middle of the patty.

MEANWHILE, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of ghee in a large skillet over medium heat, swirling to coat the bottom of the pan. When the ghee is hot, add the onion and cook for 15 minutes, turning them periodically as they begin to brown and caramelize. (Do not rush this step—the browner the color, the more concentrated the flavor will be.)

TRANSFER the mashed sweet potatoes to the plate. Top with the pork and gently set the cartelized onions ontop of the pork. Enjoy!

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This recipe can easily be doubled- I actually recommend it so you have left overs for breakfast or lunch the next day! You can also pre-mix the seasoning mixture and save in little zip-lock bags or in mason jars so you already have it ready when you’re making this dish. It will just save you a little time!

If you make this dish- let us know what you think! What’s your favorite Whole30 Dish? Share them with us!

We hope you’re enjoying your Newly Newlywed or Nearly Newlywed (Whole30) moments as much as we are!

Cheers!

Adam & Holly

PS: Remember, we’re Newlyweds, not experts!