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: 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 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!

 

Tuesday Travels: 4th of July in Nashville

Adam and I LOVE Nashville, Tennesse!

Nashville is just a four hour drive from Atlanta- another perfect weekend get-a-way! Our most recent trip to Nashville was over the 4th of July Holiday. As always, we dropped Samson off with his Grandparents, packed our bags and were on the road. Needless to say, we didn’t pay much attention to the weather and picked the perfect, rainy weekend to visit!

If you have not been to Nashville, add it to your list! There is so much to do and for all ages. It’s a great city for families, couples and a very popular place for Bachelorette Parties! Like Charleston, South Carolina, Nashville is home to some fantastic restaurants. {Let’s be honest..there was a lot of good eating on this trip.}

We started our trip at Arrington Vineyards. “AV” is located just 20 minutes outside of Nashville in Franklin, TN. (Such a cute, quaint town. If you had to Nashville make time to stop and shop a bit.) Adam and I came across AV the last time we visited Nashville and fell in love. It’s owned by Kix Brooks of the Country band, Brooks and Dunn.

Our friends, Josh and Kristy, from Atlanta met us at the vineyard. AV has a great policy that allows you to bring in your own food/drinks on the property. The four of us shared a cheese/meat/bread assortment as we tasted our wines and enjoyed the view on an outdoor patio.

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After a little vino tasting we showed Josh and Kristy Downtown Franklin, did a little shopping and stopped for an appetizer and cocktail. We snacked on Chicken and Waffles drizzled with local honey and Fried Pimiento Cheese Balls made with homemade Pimiento Cheese at Gray’s on Main. {Oh-My-Gosh y’all! We can’t wait to go back and eat them again!}

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{Take a peak at their Menu…your mouth will be watering!}

The decor was very rustic, southern. Old Prescriptions lined the walls of the ladies room, rustic chandeliers hung above and we ate on farmhouse style tables. We sipped on handcrafted cocktails. I can’t remember what we ordered, but they were tasty!

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7-4 Nashville Greys Cocktail

Music City is home to one of the largest firework displays in the US. (Whoops! Again poor planning on our part.) The streets of Music Row were jam packed and local artists lined the streets performing. We bobbed in and out of crowds, finding ourselves at The Stillery for supper. We started by sipping on Southern Peaches and Strawberry Rye handcrafted cocktails. Both were great, but I would definitely order the Peach over the Strawberry next time.

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The Stillery is know for their burgers and man are they good! Adam got the MC Burger- the biggest burger ever! Topped with cheese, bacon and fried egg! The burger was a heart attack on a plate!

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Josh, Kristy and I all got the Soronan Burger. It was delicious! It was topped with jalapeños, paperjack cheese and a garlic aioli spread. Kristy had a side of their homemade Mac and Cheese- it was to die for, while the three of us had fries. Both burgers are two of their top sellers and oh so good!

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{Check out their Menu…get a burger, trust me!}

Saturday was 4th of July and we started the morning by meeting an adorable lady from Alabama in our hotel lobby. She asked all about our love story wanting to know all the details from how we met and our wedding. She was even sweet enough to take picture of the two of us.

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The Brinkley’s and Fett’s headed to The Garden Brunch Cafe for breakfast. Next time you’re in Nashville head over to Germantown and check them out. Wow! Can not say enough good things about the staff, service and food. It’s only open Friday-Sunday- keep that in mind when planning. We met one of the owners daughters as the family works in the restaurant reguarally.

I had their Banana Fosters Pancakes…oh my heavens! Words can not discribe how delicious they were….take a look at the goodness.

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From breakfast we headed to our day of brewery tastings. The boys were so happy to have such fun tag-a-long wives. Really, Kristy and I should win an award. We fought torrential downpours and monsoons to go from brewery to brewery. We were troopers!

We visited about 4 or 5 different breweries, but Yazoo and Tennessee Brew Works were our favorites. Yazoo had the best beer out of the ones we visited.

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Tennessee Brew Works had a great food menu for snacking, a live band and table games for guest to play. We shared their BBQ Pork Nachos and Charcuterie Board. So much fun!

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Outside of Jackalope was the BEST shaved ice truck. I can’t remember the name of it, but watch for it if you visit. It’ll make you so, so happy! 

7-4 Nashville Ice Cream

Our hotel had the best view of the fireworks, so we skipped the crowds and rain and watched the show from our room. Sunday we headed out and made a little pit stop at the Jack Daniels Distillery.

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It was a great tour (and tasting too!) If you plan a visit, make sure you go on a sunny day. Much of the tour is outside and there is lots of walking (and stairs)! I doubt it would be much fun in the rain or if you have bad hips.

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Despite the rainy weather and large crowds, we had a fantastic weekend away in Nashville and are already planning a trip back! Do you have any favorite spots? Tell us all about them! We’d LOVE to hear!

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.

Hot! Hot! Oh we got it!

Hot Chocolate!

It’s been a been a while since our last post, with the holiday excitement, winter colds and a lack of creative inspiration on my part….our blog has become…..blogless.

We finally have most of our WEDDING photos in from Tulle & Grace and plan to post them and Honeymoon updates soon! Stay tuned for posts from all the Holiday excitement too!

We’ve had lots of requests from our previous post just what our “Adult Hot Chocolate” was. Last Christmas we became obsessed with William-Sonoma’s Peppermint Bark Hot Chocolate. While we were decorating our artificial tree Adam created a rather tasty concoction.

We just add a little of this and that…and typically have a heavy hand.

We used our Oval Le Creuset Pot to mix up our Hot Chocolate.

  1. About 4 Cups of Milk

  2. 1/2 package of William-Sonoma Peppermint Bark Hot Chocolate Mix (to taste)

  3. A few shots of Godiva Liqueur

  4. A heavy pour of your favorite Vodka (to taste)

Heat the milk on medium-high until bubbles form on the outside edges. Slowly whisk in the Peppermint Bark, once dissolved, remove from heat. Add alcohol- to you liking. Pour in a cute Christmas mug and top with Whip Cream.

Whip Cream Topping:

  1. 1/2 Pint Heavy Whipping Cream

  2. 1 Teaspoon Vanilla

  3. 2 Tablespoons of Powdered Sugar (to taste)

Beat the heavy cream until it begins to firm. Add in Vanilla and Powered Sugar. Beat until firm peaks begin to form. Add additional Powered Sugar to taste.

Dollop over Hot Chocolate, sprinkle Peppermint Bark on-top and Enjoy!
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Enjoy your Newly or Nearly Newlywed moments. Remember we’re newlyweds, not experts.