Friday, September 23, 2016

Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic returns for its seventh year with largest-ever event

New experiences include Sunday Bubbles Brunch, seminars and all-new
immersive area inspired by San Francisco’s Chinatown

 *Friday, October 28 and Saturday, October 29, 2016
 *5:30–9 p.m.
 *Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort Causeway
*Advance purchase unlimited food and beverage samples are $105 per person; beer garden upgrade is $130 per person including taxes
*Interactive seminars start at $50 per person, per class including taxes
*Sunday Bubbles Brunch with J Vineyards and Winery is $75 per person
 *Overnight packages, available for one or two nights, including room accommodations and two tickets to the outdoor festival (seminar tickets and beer garden tickets may be added for an additional fee) are available starting at $392  

 The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic will celebrate its seventh year October 28 – 29 at the Epcot Resort Area resort with its largest event to date featuring 50 food and wine stations, 10 seminars and opportunities to meet the award-winning chefs behind featured culinary masterpieces. 

With more food and drink stations spreading out among more space than ever before, guests will delight in numerous opportunities to sip and savor along the resort’s causeway, alongside the resort’s private lake, and for the first time, on the resort’s private beach all weekend while enjoying live entertainment.

What’s New

Making its festival debut this year is an immersive area, which will transport guests’ palates to the streets of San Francisco’s Chinatown with d├ęcor and dishes inspired by the famous neighborhood. 
Two new dishes were created by resort’s award-winning culinary team will be featured in the area: crispy duck with cucumber, scallion, hoisin sauce and a steamed bun as well as Shanghai dumplings, handmade with pork, rice wine, ginger and scallion, served with soy sauce and chili oil sauce.
Also new for 2016 is the Sunday Bubbles Brunch with J Vineyards and Winery at Il Mulino New York Trattoria, featuring a lavish menu of traditional and unconventional dishes like various cured meats and imported cheeses along with an array of sushi and trattoria-inspired entrees.

Featured Food

Friday and Saturday nights, feature menus full of new and unique dishes sure to please the palate, including spinach and potato agnolotti with pork, tomato cream grilled radicchio and ricotta salata; smoked beef brisket with white cheddar beignet and concord grape and smoked bacon remoulade; and seared striped bass with fall artichokes, nicoise olives and Spanish caper emulsion.

Favorite dishes from the past years also return, such as the shrimp cocktail steamroller, Thai chicken salad with organic greens, green papaya tamarind and ginger dressing as well as the dragon sushi roll with crispy shrimp, tuna and avocado.

The resort's World Champion Pastry Chef, Laurent Branlard, provides a sweeter side to the evening with decadent desserts ike the all-chocolate choux and caramel sea salt eclair with vanilla whipped cream and comfit gingered pears. The Sundae Action Station returns allowing guests to choose their own toppings like chocolate cake and caramelized banana.

Seminars and Upgrades

Two new hands-on educational seminars, taught by members of the resort's award-winning food and beverage team, are being added to this year's seminar offerings. The Craft Cocktails seminar educated guests on the origins of traditional cocktails and how to make them, and More than Malbec introduces the world of popular Argentinian wines, with tastings and tips for pairing. 

Popular returning seminar topics include wine blending, Italian wines, champagne, beer, tequila, pasta making, sushi and sake and wine and cheese pairing. All seminars require separate tickets, and space is limited.

As an upgraded ticket option, guests can experience a beer garden, featuring a variety of local and seasonal brews from around the world, alongside Oktoberfest-inspired cuisine made by the resort's culinary experts.

Award-Winning Chefs 

To add to the event’s appeal, guests can enjoy a meet and greet with celebrity chef Todd English, the namesake of the resort’s Todd English’s bluezoo restaurant. Guests can also meet the world’s only two-time World Champion Pastry Chef and the resort’s very own executive pastry chef, Laurent Branlard. Barbeque fans shouldn’t miss the Cib’s Smoke House station for signature barbeque dishes from the resort’s Executive Chef Robert Ciborowski.

With 17 restaurants and lounges, a distinguished culinary and beverage team and unmatched customer service, the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort continually receives national recognition for its food and beverage program. The culinary team has had the honor of presenting multiple dinners at the distinguished James Beard House. The resort boasts more than 70 certified wine sommeliers and 1,400 wine selections, including organic and rare vintages. The resort’s restaurants are annual winners of the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence including Shula’s Steak House, a five-time recipient of the exclusive Best of Award of Excellence.  

*Contact Mary at the Link on the right to BOOK NOW! 

Sunday, August 28, 2016

NEW!! Breakfast Poutine at Disney Springs Town Center



There's a brand new, delicious treat available at The Daily Poutine in Disney Springs, Town Center...Breakfast Poutine!! The best part is that it's served ALL DAY! 
For those unfamiliar, poutine is a Canadian dish of french fries, cheese curds and gravy. The Daily Poutine has the classic as well as a few other variations such as Latin style with pulled pork and Italian with bolognese sauce (for a full menu and review click here.)

Starting today, the menu has expanded to include what I think may be my personal new favorite, Breakfast Poutine. This consists of potato puffs that are hot and crispy, a big pile of rich cheese curds, a slathering of creamy, lightly-peppered sausage gravy, and it's all topped with a freshly-fried egg. AMAZING!


This week The Daily Poutine will open at 9 A.M. on a trial basis. So, Guests will be able to have a hearty breakfast to kick off a long Disney day. Don't worry if you can't make it for breakfast, because this item will be available ALL DAY!

I also strongly recommend the Breakfast Poutine as a late night snack. After a few Cool-Headed Monkey cocktails or a Reggie's Revenge at Jock Lindsey's Hangar Bar in the Disney Spring's Landing, stop by The Daily Poutine for this perfect treat!

*The Daily Poutine is a handicapped accessible kiosk.
*Find Jeanie on Twitter @PrincessPapers and on Facebook @ThePrincessPapers or @JeanieGallo. You can also find her on The Disney Dream Girls Podcast @DisDreamGirls on Twitter.
*Contact Mary Morales of Mad Hatter Travel by clicking the link on the right for all your Disney travel wishes!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Theme Parkology Has Something for Every Disney Fan!

 

Theme Parkology is a fan-based company that creates Disney Theme Park Documentaries for the love of Walt's vision and Park history. Jerry Cornell and his team offer a large variety of documentary topics. Most include historic footage as well as fantastic interviews with Disney Greats such as Bob Gurr and Rolly Crump. 

Two of my recent favorites are Tiki Room and Country Bears. Although still in Disneyland in California, long-time Disney fans from the East Coast will enjoy the brand new, Mr. Toad's Wild Ride documentary as part of the new "The Dark Series" for nostalgia. 

I urge you to browse the Theme Parkology website and see if something strikes your fancy. I've really enjoyed watching many of the videos with my father who is one of the biggest Disney historians I've ever known. It's lovely to see the classics with all the background history.

For a direct link to Theme Parkology, CLICK HERE

*I received several complimentary copies of Theme Parkology documentaries. This did not bias my review of the product.
*Find Jeanie on Twitter @PrincessPapers and on Facebook @ThePrincessPapers. You can also find her on the Disney Dream Girls Podcast. Show link on the side of the page.
*Sponsorship provided by Mary Morales of Mad Hatter Adventures. Contact Mary for all of your travel needs with the link on the side of the page.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

TIARA GIVEAWAY & Mad Hatter Adventures!!

WINNER IS ERICA BLANK!!! CONGRATULATIONS AND THANK YOU TO ALL WHO ENTERED! KEEP WATCHING FOR OUR NEXT TIARA GIVEAWAY!!!




I'm delighted to announce a new partnership with fellow Princess, Mary Morales of Mad Hatter Adventures. Princess Mary visits Walt Disney World every month and you may find us princessing around the World often! She specializes in Disney Vacation planning and can help you with ALL of your vacation planning needs! The best part is, her services are FREEEEE!!

Need help with setting up fastpasses, dining reservations, choosing a resort, or have questions about special needs accommodations?? Mary can take care of everything and give you the MAGICAL vacation of your dreams! She can also book travel for all over the world, not just Disney destinations!

I'm so happy to have Mary as part of The Princess Papers family! To celebrate our new princessing adventure, we've decided to do a GIVEAWAY! What better than a beautiful, sparkling tiara?!

Entries will be accepted through September 3, 2016. A WINNER will be announced on September 8th, 2016!!


HERE'S HOW YOU CAN ENTER:


1. Comment below on this Post!

2. LIKE The Princess Papers Facebook Page HERE and/or

3. LIKE Mary Morales Mad Hatter Adventures Facebook Page HERE and/or 
4. LIKE Disney Dream Girls Podcast Facebook Page HERE and/or
5. On September 8, 2016, check The Princess Papers page on Facebook or Twitter @PrincessPapers to find out if you are a winner!

YOU MUST COMMENT HERE AND LIKE OR FOLLOW ALL 3 IN ORDER TO QUALIFY!

So, make sure to comment below, LIKE/FOLLOW!

As Mary says, "always let your inner princess shine through."

*A winner will be chosen by Jeanie, Owner of The Princess Papers. All decisions are final. 
*The winner will be verified as a FOLLOWER of all 3 accounts.
*The Winner will be notified by Jeanie or The Princess Papers directly on Facebook or Twitter by Private Message to obtain mailing address. DO NOT RESPOND TO OTHER ACCOUNTS REQUESTING PERSONAL INFORMATION!

Friday, August 5, 2016

NEW!! Chef Art Smith's Homecoming Kitchen Review, Disney Springs!



Celebrity Chef Art Smith's new restaurant, Homecoming Kitchen, brings down-home southern flavor to the Landing area of Disney Springs! It's comfort food at its best, and you can taste the love in every bite. Homecoming Kitchen can best be described as a fancy, love-filled, home-cooked, Sunday dinner at grandma's house!



Chef Art is very hands-on with the new addition to Disney Springs. Don't be surprised if you are greeted by his smiling face. He's a very gracious man, and that definitely adds to the welcoming feeling of Homecoming Kitchen. 

The Food


I expected a lot of spice, heavy black pepper, and saltiness in the foods because that's what I've encountered with several "southern" fast food fried chicken restaurants. Don't expect to find any greasy, fast food style chicken here! I was happily surprised that all of the flavors are mild enough for any tastes and showcase nothing but fresh quality ingredients. This truly is the flavor of home-cooking. For those who enjoy an extra kick, a bottle of Chef Art's own hot sauce is on the table. 


Appetizers
Jasper Board ($15.00)- Assortment of pimento cheese, smoked sausage, shaved ham, bread and butter pickles and candied pecans.
This appetizer is perfect for sharing. The pimento cheese is so creamy. It has a mild flavor and I recommend a dash of hot sauce to add some lip-tingling heat. Top one of the benne seed (sesame) crackers with it and a little piece of shaved ham for the perfect bite. The smoked sausage reminded me of the mild pepperoni that I used to get at the Italian markets in my hometown outside of Pittsburgh. 
 
The bread and butter pickles were a nice sweet and slightly sour bite to balance the richness of the meats and cheeses. I can't say enough about the candied pecans...sweet, crunchy, bursting with freshly-roasted, nutty flavor. I would enjoy a bowl of them with a cocktail any day. Bonus: Unlimited crackers!

Church Lady Deviled Eggs ($10.00)- Homecoming-style whole deviled eggs.
The first impression is that the presentation is absolutely adorable. The second impression after taking a bite is that these may be what gets a Church Lady into heaven. The filling is creamy, smooth, and topped with some of the shaved ham (I believe). There's no strong mustard flavor or heavy seasoning. Just simple and rich.

Bee Haven Bay Fried Green Tomatoes ($12.00)- Shaved ham, remoulade sauce and dressed local greens.
More flavorful than any fried green tomatoes that I've had before, these were delicious. I often find that fried green tomatoes have an overwhelmingly sour taste...NOT THESE! There was only a hint of sour that was offset by the ham and breading. I'm not one to normally order fried green tomatoes, but I would enjoy having a plate of these as my lunch.

Bunch of Puppies ($9.00)- House-made pimento cheese hushpuppies served with red jalapeno jelly.
Seriously? This is just brilliance. How can we make pimento cheese better? Answer: pimento cheese hush puppies. The jelly makes a wonderful dipping sauce and despite having jalapenos, is not overly spicy. I suggest topping them with a big dollop of pimento cheese spread form the Jasper board. That's what I did!

Addie Mae's Chicken & Dumpling Soup ($7.00)- Simple and Delicious.
This should be renamed "A Big Bowl of Warm Love." What is more comforting than homemade chicken soup? It tasted like the homemade broth my mother made (and I make now). The vegetables still had some texture. The dumplings were more of a wide noodle style than a heavy dumpling. It's reminiscent of homemade chicken pot pie without a heavy, greasy crust. Another perfect choice for lunch.


Entrees
Art's Fabulous Fried Chicken ($26.00)- Chef Art Smith's Signature Dish! Buttermilk-brined for 24 hours then perfectly fried and served with creamy mashed potatoes, cheddar drop biscuits and LOVE.
Definitely lives up to the name. Fabulous! Juicy, tender, crispy, full of flavor without being overwhelmed in black pepper and spice. We heated up the leftovers the following day and it was just as juicy and delicious. The mashed potatoes were the surprise standout with the meal. Creamy, rich, and a hint of garlic (I believe, although not listed on the menu). With some of the cream gravy they are a warm hug. 
The cheddar biscuits were the only slight misstep of the evening. I say slight because the first one that I had a nibble of was very tough and dense as if the dough were overworked. However, I tried a piece of a second one and it was much more tender. Both had mild cheddar flavor and the richness that you expect from a homemade biscuit. Again, they were not heavily salted as I've experienced from other restaurants. I recommend a few of them along with the Chicken & Dumpling Soup.

Strip Steak Topped with Palmetto Butter ($41.00)- A 16-ounce cut served with creamy mashed potatoes and dressed greens (greens replaced with cheddar biscuits).
This steak was huge and looked perfectly cooked. I cannot eat beef, but the rest of my party made a lot of comments and sounds that made it obvious how amazing it was. The first bite brought on a reaction of slowly-closed eyes followed by a big smile. For any steak-lover, this is a WIN!

Big Fish Sandwich ($18.00)- Grilled fresh Florida fish of the day, hot sauce aioli, shaved lettuce and tomatoes. Cucumber salad substituted for BBQ chips ($1.00).
This was a very BIG piece of fish (server, Lilly, said grouper). It's definitely enough for sharing. The cut was thick and yet stayed moist and flaky throughout when grilled. In fact, it was so juicy that the bun, tomato and lettuce (not shaved but I find shaved to be potentially messy) were warmed and "marinated" with the flavor of the grilled fish. The aioli added a perfect dressing to the fish. It was not spicy, just well-seasoned and did not distract from the mild fish in the slightest. 
The quality of all components of the sandwich were beyond my expectations. The tomatoes tasted fresh-picked from the garden. The bun was soft, sweet, and lightly toasted. For those looking for a lighter menu option, the grilled fish is an excellent choice.

(Although I did not taste any of the salads, I did see them and ask a few questions. They are very large portions, definitely enough for sharing. The shrimp on the Greek salad are massive. The Homecoming Kitchen salads are not a "healthy throwaway". They had the same quality as all of the comfort food items on the menu.)

Fried Chicken Sandwich ($16.00)- Buttermilk-brined for 24 hours and double-battered, dressed with shaved lettuce, tomato and bread and butter pickles.
Great option for trying the famous chicken in a smaller portion size. Much like the Big Fish, the bun is lightly toasted and the fresh tomatoes make all the difference.


Sides
Southern Slaw ($5.00)
No-mayo slaw with a sweet and sour flavor. I loved the crispness of the shredded vegetables and the little hint of sweet. The menu doesn't describe the dressing, but I would guess it is made from apple cider vinegar.

Momma's Mac and Cheese ($7.00)
Possibly the ultimate comfort food. The thick, rich, decadent cream sauce envelopes the macaroni with cheesy goodness. The added touch of a pile of cheese bubbling on top creates a masterpiece.

KC Greens: braised kale and collards ($6.00)
Another well-balanced bite, especially when matched with a bit of mashed potatoes. I expected them to be full of ham and grease, but they are not. Just fresh greens cooked until tender but still have some bite. Nothing mushy about these beauties.


Desserts
These rich desserts are suitable-for-sharing sized portions and worth EVERY calorie!
As Chef Art says, "Never underestimate the power of cake."

Hummingbird Cake ($10.00)- The famous pineapple-banana cake with cream cheese frosting, from Chef Art's bestselling cookbook "Back To The Table". Served with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.
The first bite reminded me of a banana split. It was moist, rich, sweet, and everything a dessert should be (when they aren't chocolate). The best way to describe it is to say the reaction of one of my dining companions. She took one bite and started to tear up and said, "that tastes like my grandma's cake." There's nothing more to say.

Shine Cake ($10.00)- Chef Art's signature dessert. An adult only butter cake soaked with moonshine syrup. Served with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.
Hold on to your hat! The scent of alcohol (moonshine) proceeds each bite of this rich treat. It is a buttery pound cake made extra moist by the addition of the moonshine syrup. There's a reason why this is ADULTS ONLY. That moonshine is strong stuff.

Hamilton County Pecan Pie ($9.00)- A 100-year-old traditional Smith Family Farm recipe. Served with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. Available seasonally.
Toasty pecans with dark chocolate pieces scattered over them keep this dessert from being too sweet. It is very thin and has only a small amount of the gooey pecan pie center. I enjoyed the intense, almost bitter, chocolate flavor of this dessert. It's excellent for an adult palette.
Cocktails


The selection of specialty cocktails is delightful with interesting and unique options that you will not find elsewhere!


Moonshine Mash ($12.00)-Mrs. Sutton's Watermelon Likker, fresh watermelon, lime juice and simple syrup.
Perfectly refreshing in sunny Florida and lightly sweet. Few things pair better with fried chicken than watermelon!

Muleshine ($10.00)- White Lightning, peach puree, fresh lime juice, with a splash of Ginger Beer.
I understand why this is called "mule." It packs a KICK! At first taste, the ginger flavor was a bit strong, but then the notes of peach came through and it reminded me of a nice drink to sip while sitting on the back-porch rocking chair. This drink also paired PERFECTLY with every food that I tasted. It was particularly delicious following a bite of benne seed (sesame) crackers topped with pimento cheese and a splash of Chef Art's hot sauce. YUM! 
Homecoming Souvenir Cups ($6.00)- Charming reusable, non-crushable, solo cups are available in a variety of colors and designs. "Don't go home, SOLO."

Decor


Homecoming Kitchen combines warm tones and country elements in an upscale, yet welcoming, design. A blend of booth seating and various table designs lends an eclectic feel. Whimsical touches such as the chair coverings, front door design, and moonshine still are lovely details. 



We were seated at a large table that appeared to be a cross-section of a massive tree (I am not certain if it was man-made or not). The windows along the back of the restaurant provided beautiful views of the springs. The only thing missing from Homecoming Kitchen is a place to nap after all of the delicious food!



A sampling of sandwiches, sides, and desserts are also available for take-out.
A lovely bar, located along side of the dining room, is a nice stop for a refreshing cool-down out of the Florida heat.  

I highly recommend stopping in for the delicious, love-filled, home-cooking at Homecoming Kitchen. 
*HK is handicapped accessible.
*HK accepts the Disney Dining Plan and Tables in Wonderland Discount.
*Special thanks to Mary Morales of Mad Hatter Travel and Team Tink for inviting me to this fabulous food tasting event! Look for her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/MaryMoralesDisneyTravel/?fref=ts
*LIKE AND FOLLOW TO SUPPORT MORE PRINCESSING! Find Jeanie on Twitter @PrincessPapers Facebook @ThePrincesspapers and on the Disney Dream Girls Podcast @disdreamgirls on Twitter!