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: Borgo Argenina

Welcome to Borgo Argenina, a truly magical stone estate in the hills of Chianti. IMG_2414.JPGIMG_2419.JPG

Visiting Borgo Argentina was an experience like no other and my absolute favorite part of our Newly Newlywed Italian Adventure. The 998 AD Peasant Farmer home had been abandoned for years when, now owner, Elena Nappa, discovered the property while on a holiday from Milan. A former fashion designer, Elena quickly fell in love with the estate. She knew in her heart it was a calling for her to restore the hamlet into a stunning seven room Bed & Breakfast and that is exactly what she did. Her story of how she transformed this property without electricity and running water into a fully functioning Bed and Breakfast is really remarkable. IMG_2416.JPG

Adam and I drove from Florence to the Chianti hamlet. Passing thousands of grape vines and olive trees, around curvy bends, narrowingly escaping head on collisions with Italian drivers and through the rolling hills to get to Elena’s. Upon arrival at Borgo Argenina we were greeted by Elena’s four-legged friends, Giuseppina and Pasqualina along with other guests who were sitting on the grand stone patio, enjoying a glass of vino taking in the sunset over Chianti. IMG_2420.JPG

“Welcome! You must be new! Elena is upstairs in the Kitchen.” one guest said. Instantly we were family.

Our journey at Borgo Argenina began as we passed the bell to ring for Elena if you arrive after hours and opened the original wooden double doors adorned with iron locks and handles. IMG_2415.JPG

Once inside the main house, up the narrow stone stairway with one tiny window over looking the garden, we found Elena, tooting around her kitchen. IMG_2433.JPG

“Ah! Bella! Benvenuto! I’ve been expecting you! Fett, si?” Elena asked.

She grabbed the keys and escorted us to the Piccola Suite, our home for the next four days. We had a quaint sitting room adjacent to our bedroom, an attached private bath and views of the rolling Chianti Hills and Elena’s garden. PicTapGo-Image-5.jpg

Each room is equip with a mini bar and tea kettle that is refreshed daily, wifi and a hairdryer. (Yay! One less thing to pack!) There is no air conditioning at Borgo Argenina, thankfully, even during the Summer months the nights were cool and a flowing breeze filled our room. Elena took us downstairs, showed us the Parlor and Breakfast Room before heading outside.PicTapGo-Image-2.jpgIMG_2434.JPGIMG_2423.JPGIMG_2422.JPG

After a tour of our suite and parts of the property we sat down with Elena on the stone patio outside. She shared some of her favorite places in Tuscany with us over a glass of wine. PicTapGo-Image.jpg

We chatted for what felt like hours of friends catching up before we realized the time and that we were late for a supper reservation she made for us at Giorgio’s. We will share that experience with y’all a little later. Delizioso!

Every morning, Borgo Argenina guests are greeting to a beautiful breakfast spread prepared by two of Elena’s three employees. On the daily menu: Fresh Coffee, homemade Yogurt, local meats, cheeses and honey, fresh fruit, and varieties of Elena’s Coffee Cake.  PicTapGo-Image-3.jpgPicTapGo-Image-1.jpgPicTapGo-Image-4.jpg

Elena also invites her guests to a nightly Cooking Class at Borgo Argenina. If you’re staying with her, this is a MUST! It was by far the best food we had during our time in Italy and if she had extra room we would have taken the class a second time! Each guest is gifted with her Borgo Argenina Cookbook-filled with Elena’s family recipes and traditional Italian dishes. The time we spent in the kitchen with Elena and other guests was a highlight of our trip. Pop over next Monday to see what was on our Menu! IMG_1196.JPG

Y’all, I really can not express how much HeliHubby and I enjoyed our time at Borgo Argenina. It is in a perfect location to be a “home base” for Montepulciano, Volterra, Siena and more little Tuscan Wine towns. It’s truly an enchanting, one of a kind Italian escape. Elena is absolutely wonderful. She is warm, welcoming and lovely. We felt like we had known her for years and yet we just met. Leaving we all three got a bit teary eyed as we said our “goodbyes.” I don’t know when the Newly Newlyweds will get to return to Chianti to visit Elena, but I do know HeliHubby and I both left a piece of our hearts in Tuscany at Borgo Argenina. It is just magical.

If you’re considering a Tuscan Vacation I highly reccomened you consider Borgo Argenina as your home. Have questions about the hamlet or want help planning your vacation? Feel free to message us- I am happy to help! PicTapGo-Image-7.jpg

Fino all prossima volta, we hope you’re enjoying your Newly Newlywed or Nearly Newlywed moments as much as we are!

Cheers Y’all!

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!

 

 

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 Favorites Homemade Chicken Salad

Happy 2018!

Can you believe we’re already 22 days into the New Year? It seems like just yesterday we were gathered around the TV, watching the ball drop and counting down to 2018. The New Year brings new beginnings, new goals and new resolutions.

Like most of America, one of our resolutions is to get healthier. Oh, I know, I know….we all probably say it, but as January 1st came and went, so did our first day of another Whole30.

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Here we are, 22 days in and feeling great! You might remember we began our Whole30 Lifestyle about this time last year. It was fantastic. We lost a few pounds, felt great, slept great, craved healthy food and then….Football Season happened. While all of our hard work didn’t go down hill, we did notice all the changes and honestly didn’t like how we felt. Together we pledged to continue what we started in 2017 and get back on the Whole30 Bandwagon.

We’re often posting photos on Instagram of our daily dishes and are constantly getting comments and messages asking “What’s the recipe,” “Can you send me your favorite whole30 dishes,” or “Oh my goodness! That looks so good! How did you make it?”

Seriously, I love the Whole30 love! It gets me so excited to continue this journey, play with recipes to make them compliant and share our story with you. I’ve loved connecting with friends over the Whole30 and helping each other continue this journey for whatever reasons they have for doing it.

You can betcha for weeks and months to come our weekly Monday’s Menu will be Whole30 inspired. Most of the recipes have come from Melissa Hartwig’s Whole30 books, Whole30 Recipes on Facebook or Instagram and from a few of my favorite Whole30 Bloggers. Wherever we find the recipe, we will make sure to add the link and give credit where credit is do.

One of my favorite Whole30 recipes comes from Anya’s Eats, Homemade Chicken Salad. It is a great basic recipe and is so versatile- you can really make it your own! Which is exactly what I’ve done.

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Homemade Chicken Salad

  • 2-3 chicken breasts or equivalent in leftover roasted chicken (dark meat is fine too)
  • 32oz oz chicken broth (only if you don’t have chicken pre-made)
  • ⅓ cup red onion, diced (I use about 2/3 cup)
  • ⅓ cup celery, diced (I use about 2/3 cup)
  • ¼ cup pecans, finely chopped (I use about 1/2 cup)
  • ¼-1/3 cup Primal Kitchen Foods mayo (I use 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon)
  • pepper, to taste
  • salt, to taste
  • garlic powder, to taste ( I use about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 cup chopped grapes, into forths

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INSTRUCTIONS
  1. If you are cooking the chicken, place in a large pot and cover with chicken broth. Or if you’ve got your Kamado Joe is hot, Adam will often inject the chicken with broth, season with salt & pepper and pop on the grill.
  2. Bring to a boil then turn down to low, cover and simmer for about 1 hour. Chicken is done when it falls apart very easily.
  3. Drain broth and place in large bowl.
  4. If you are using leftover chicken, you can start here. Place chicken in a large bowl and pull apart with two forks until shredded. (TIP: Put your chicken in your Kitchen Aid stand mixer, attach the dough hook and turn on high to shred the chicken quickly and easily)
  5. Add onion, celery, pecans and spices and mix together with chicken. (Add grapes here.)
  6. Add mayo and mix until fully combined. Start with ¼ cup and add more if you want it to be less dry.
  7. Serve with celery sticks, sliced cucumber, or over a bed of lettuce. SO GOOD y’all!

I love this recipe. Like I said you can really interchange the ingredients and make it your own. Trust me…you won’t even know its Whole30 and not your normal Chicken Salad! The Primal Kitchen Mayo is delicious!

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Adding the grapes and a few more ingredients helps to make the dish go further. It lasts us a week of lunches in our home and if you’re on the Whole30 you know how wonderful it is to not have to be in the kitchen all the time.

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Do you have a favorite Whole30 Chicken Salad recipe? Have you made this with your own additions? Share your recipes with us! We’d love to give them a try too!

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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!

Monday’s Menu: Whole30 Roasted Red Pepper Hot Sauce

Last week we shared one of our favorite WHOLE30 recipes, Banh Mi Bowls. This sauce is used to top the Banh Mi Bowls. It is an extra added step, but so worth it! This sauce makes the bowls!
Red Pepper Sauce- WHOLE30
Photo Credits: @sodiumgirl
ROASTED RED PEPPER HOT SAUCE
2 red bell peppers
1 to 2 dried ancho chili peppers
1/2 tsp ground cumin
2 Tbsp olive oil
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Cut the bell peppers in half, remove stem and seeds. Cover a baking pan with foil & place the peppers flat-side down. Place in the oven and turn on broiler. Cook until charred, about 15 minutes. Then place peppers in a bowl and cover with the foil to steam for 15. Meanwhile, steep the dried ancho peppers in very hot water until they soften.
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When cool, slip the charred skin off the peppers. Roughly chop the bell peppers & ancho, and transfer to a food processor or blender. Add olive oil and 1 Tbsp of the chili steeping liquid. Blend until smooth, adding more liquid or oil as needed.
Drizzle over the Banh Mi Bowls and enjoy!
*TIP: This recipe does make more than enough sauce for the bowls. Store some in the fridge or freeze and use later.
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Did you try make the bowls last week? What did you think?

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

Cheers!

Adam & Holly

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

 

Monday’s Menu: Blue Apron Delivery

“Yay! It’s here!”

I cheered with excitement as Adam and I returned home yesterday from lunch in the city with our friend and my sorority sister, Ann Marie. We both had anxiously been waiting for our Sunday delivery from Blue Apron and it had arrived!

On the Menu this week:

Bhindi Masala

Fresh Basil Fettuccine

Corn & Green Bean Empanadas

Tonight’s choice? Fresh Basil Fettuccine

Ingredients: 

Fettuccine 1

Recipe:

Wash the veggies. Fill a medium pot with water, season with salt and bring to a boil. Cut off the ends of the zucchini, quarter length wise and thinly cut crosswise. Peel the garlic and mince. (We have an awesome kitchen gadget that minces garlic- stay tuned for our Friday Favorite on that!) The original recipe says to cut the tomatoes in half, however, we quartered them.

In a large pan, heat 2 TSP of Olive Oil. Add the zucchini, garlic and crushed red pepper flakes (to taste) season with salt and pepper. Cook 2-3 minutes until slightly soften. Add tomatoes, season with salt and pepper and cook 3-4 minutes until soften. Remove from heat.

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While the tomatoes cook, add the pasta to the water. Cook 2-3 minutes until al dente. Drain. Reserve 1/2 cup of water.

Add the cook pasta, butter and half of the reserved water to the veggie mixture. Season with salt and pepper and cook on medium-high for 2 minutes. Stir and throughly combine.

Plate. Garnish with cheese and ENJOY!

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This meal was WONDERFUL! It made just enough for Adam and I to both have plenty and be comfortably full. Highly recommend trying to make it at home or order from Blue Apron yourself! We will definitely be making it again!

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

Cheers!

Adam & Holly

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