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!}

 

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!

Friday Favorites: Ferrero Rocher Pie

Oh my! This Pie is Heavenly.

I wish I could take credit for coming up with it, but I can’t. One of my most dearest friends, Kristy, recently made it for her husband’s 30th Birthday….and it was love at first bite. Thank you Kristy {and Pinterest} for this most delicious recipe and this weeks Friday Favorties!

Ferrero Pie

Ferrero Rocher Pie
Serves 8

Ingredients: 

Ingrediants

Crust

  • 28 chocolate wafer cookies, crushed – I used chocolate Oreos
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons butter, melted
{I used a store bought pre-made Oreo Cookie Pie Crust}

Pie Filling

  • 3/4 cup hazelnut chocolate spread – I used Nutella
  • 8 ounces Cool Whip
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup confectioners sugar (Or Powder Sugar)
  • 3 ounces 60% cacao dark chocolate, chopped very fine
  • 10 Ferrero Rocher chocolates, coarsely chopped

Final Touches

  • 6 ounces Cool Whip
  • 4 Ferrero Rocher chocolates, coarsely chopped

Method

  1. To begin, prepare your cookies and chocolate.  Using a food processor, crush the cookies into a fine crumble.  Set aside. (Remember if you use a store bought crust you can skip this and step 3&4).
  2. Using a small pairing knife, gently run the knife along the dark chocolate bar, creating small shavings.  {I used a microplane– made it SO much easier and quicker} This is a bit time consuming but completely worth it.  Large chunks will not work in this filling.  Set chocolate aside.  Do the same with the Ferrero Rocher chocolates and set aside.
  3. Melt butter and combine with cookie until all the crumbs are saturated.
  4. Using a 9-inch pie plate, press the crumbs into the bottom of the pie plate, covering the entire surface and forming the crust.  Make sure the cookie mixture is evenly distributed.  Place in the freezer.  mixing
  5. With an electric hand or standing mixer, combine the cream cheese, shaved dark chocolate, sugar, and hazelnut chocolate spread.  In three to five minutes, the mixture should become light and fluffy.  Then, on a low setting, combine Cool Whip and 10 chopped Ferrero Rocher chocolates.  Combine well.
  6. Remove the crust from the freezer.  Using a spatula, spread the filling mixture over the crust, covering completely and smoothly. Return to the freezer for 15 to 20 minutes to allow the filling to firm.
  7. Once the filling has grown semi-firm, remove from freezer.  Cover the filling with Cool Whip.  Then, sprinkle with remaining four Ferrero Rocher chocolate pieces.
  8. Serve and enjoy!
Photo Credits: flourandfancy.com
Photo Credits: flourandfancy.com

Seriously y’all it is the best no bake pie. A Nutella lovers dream. Delicious! It was so good we forgot to take more photos!

Hope y’all are enjoying your Newly Newlywed or Nearly Newlywed moments as much as we are!

Cheers!

Adam & Holly