Friday, June 29, 2012

Disney Dining Friday - T-REX Cafe



My husband and I were fortunate enough to check out this restaraunt when it first opened in 2008.  Daddy F was a bit excited as he had a slight obsession with Dinosaurs growing up. Let me say straight up, this  place did not dissapoint!



T-REX is owned by Landry's, the same super chain that owns Rainforest Cafe, and it has a similar ambiance. Dim lighting with eye catching light shows and amazing animatronics are sure to make for an eventful meal.




When you first walk in the door you are greeted by a giant roaring T-Rex. The bar area is engulfed by a giant octopus (with moving tentacles!) and many glowing jellyfish that seem to be floating in air.



There are several different rooms that you can be seated in all with their own theme. The Ice Room is a favorite with many families as it glows blue and changes different colors during the "meteor shower" every 30 mins.

Artifact Stack
Bronto Burger


 The food here was actually really good! I was expecting it to be along the same lines as the Rainforest where I have been disappointed many a time but was happily surprised by my feast (and I mean feast, the portions are GIANORMOUS!!).

Lost World Chicken Salad Sandwich

Fire Roasted Rotisserie Chicken


With a typical American menu, you can expect to see things such as, burgers, chicken salad, pasta, and some amazing desserts!

Chocolate Extinction 


All in all I would say this is a great experience. It may not be the best for young children. I haven't taken my little ones yet but I know they were afraid the last time we went to Rainforest Cafe.  I can tell you that this place is VERY popular so advanced reservations are highly recommended. Although it is offered on the dining plan (1 table service point) you will have to call the restaurant directly to get your reservations - (407) 828-TREX (8739).

If you would like help booking your next Walt Disney World vacation, contact me directly - jessica@travelwiththemagic.com

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Chicken Cordon Bleu Baked Ziti

Printable Recipe

Pasta is one of our family's favorite dishes. Maybe you get sick of seeing all the pasta recipes. I'm telling you, I can't help it. I seriously am feeling this desire to pack my family up and move to Italy. Don't be surprised when it happens. 

I once ate dinner with a friend and she made what she called "Chicken Cordon Bleu Lasagna". It was yummy. So I thought I would try to give this idea a try. It was a hit with the whole family! 














Ingredients: 

  • 2 eggs
  • 15 oz ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 cup cubed cooked ham 
  • 1 cup chopped cooked chicken 
  • 2 cups garlic Alfredo sauce 
  • 6 slices Swiss cheese
  • 12 oz ziti pasta
Directions:

Bake pasta according to package directions. In a medium bowl, beat eggs. Blend in ricotta, Parmesan, cottage cheese and parsley.  Add in chicken, ham, and Alfredo sauce. Pour pasta into greased 9 X 13 dish.  Mix in cheese mixture. Place slices of Swiss cheese over top. Bake for 30 mins at 350F until cheese bubbles and begins to turn brown.

Our Ratings:


 Mama F:  8- It was really creamy and tasty. A nice spin on a classic meal. 






Daddy F: 9 - It was a nice change. The flavors blended together nicely. 






Fuller Kids:  9 - They really liked the "white mac and cheese" but would have preferred to not have the ham in it. 





Lucky the Dog: 10 - Cheese and Ham! Ham is like BACON!!!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Woofy Wednesday - Dog Days of Summer


It's hot. Miserably hot. Lucky the Dog does not want to go outside. Human Mommy has been keeping the puppies in nothing but diaper and swim suits. Lucky the Dog is covered in fur. Lucky the Dog is hot.



It is hot outside, it is hotter in car! Don't leave your furry friends in cars or they will be on their way to Rainbow Bridge. If your furry friends must be outside all day, please make sure they have water and a shady spot to rest.


It much too hot to want to run and play. I don't even want to play ball with family.

Lucky the Dog has nice shady spot to relax. Biggest puppy has nice tent and we hide in it together to try to stay cool!!

Biggest puppy shares her popsicle with Lucky the Dog! Biggest puppy loves Lucky. And Lucky loves her. XOXO

Have a Woofy Summer and stay cool!!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble Tarts



I miss my grandmother. She was such a strong, beautiful, amazing woman. She taught me so much about so many different aspects of life but I am so grateful for the time she took to teach me how to cook. I have so many treasured memories of sitting in her kitchen tasting all the wonderful things she was making. She always liked to make a strawberry rhubarb pie in the summertime. I decided at a recent get together with friends to give her traditional pie a makeover and made single serving tarts. I think it turned out fabulous, of course I could be biased! Enjoy the pictures a la my new Instagram obsession, these were shot in "earlybird".














Ingredients:

Pie Crust
  • 12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/3 cup very cold vegetable shortening
  • 6 to 8 tablespoons (about 1/2 cup) ice water

 Filling: 
  • 2 cups sliced strawberries
  • 2 cups chopped rhubarb
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch 
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
Crumble Topping:
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 sugar
  • 1/2 brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter
Directions:

Preheat oven to 400F. 

Pie Crust:

Dice the butter and return it to the refrigerator while you prepare the flour mixture. Place the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse a few times to mix. Add the butter and shortening. Pulse 8 to 12 times, until the butter is the size of peas. With the machine running, pour the ice water down the feed tube and pulse the machine until the dough begins to form a ball. Dump out on a floured board and roll into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Separate dough into 4 balls. Grease tart dishes and press dough with your fingers until even across bottom and sides.

Filling:

In a large bowl, mix strawberries, rhubarb, sugar, and cornstarch until a thick syrup forms.  Stir in lemon zezt, lemon juice, cinnamon and vanilla.  Pour equally into crust lined tart dishes.

Crumble Topping:

 Mix flour and sugars. Cut butter into mixture until crumbs form. Sprinkle crumbs on top of tarts.

Bake for 50 mins or until tart begins to bubble and top starts to brown.

Our Ratings:


Mama F: 10 - The smell of this cooking just took me back to my childhood! The crumble top was a tasty addition.





Daddy F: 9 - Generally not a fan of pies this dessert won him over with the crunchy crumble topping.





Fuller Kids: 7 - They liked the tarts but I think they enjoyed helping me make them more. I love passing down traditions to my girls!





Lucky the Dog: 2 - Not a fan. Too much fruit not enough chicken.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Banana Praline Oatmeal



 Okay folks, brace yourself. I finally downloaded Instagram on my phone and I have been going a little wild with taking pictures of anything and everything I can find. So you will just have to deal with all my photo filtered pictures at least for the next few weeks until I get bored of it! haha

I have been trying to come up with some more "healthy" breakfast options as my kids seems to want to eat pancakes and donuts everyday ( I can't blame them, donuts are WAY tastier than oatmeal!). This came out even better than I expected. The bananas give it a taste almost like banana bread and the pralines offer the perfect sweet crunch!


 
Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups mashed bananas
1/3 cup brown sugar
 2 eggs
 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
 2 cups whole milk
2 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
 1/2 cup pralines

Directions:

Begin preheating the oven to 350 degrees.

Mash the bananas well with a fork. Mix the mashed bananas together with the brown sugar, eggs, salt, vanilla, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Next stir in the milk, then stir in the oats. Roughly chop the pralines and stir them in as well. Spray the inside of a baking dish (8x8 inch or similar size) with non-stick spray. Pour in the oat mixture. Cover with foil and bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 15 minutes or until the center is solid and the edges are slightly golden brown.  Serve warm and enjoy! 


Our Ratings:


Mama F: 7 - I liked it, it was much better than I thought it would be. I had to add some sweet because well, I am the cook and I like it that way! 

Daddy F: 8 - I really enjoyed how moist it was. Somewhere between oatmeal and a cake. I even cut it up and took it to work to snack on!
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Fuller Kids: 10 - I was amazed how much they liked this! My toddler seriously kept coming back into the kitchen and stealing pieces and sneaking off with them!

Lucky the Dog: 7 - snack was good. Not good as bacon. But Lucky not complain.
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