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Last weekend, I got the best surprise a Disney geek like myself could ask for – my friend Jenny invited me to come with her, her brother & sister-in-law to experience the one-and-only Club 33!!

For the unfamiliar – Club 33 is the private club inside of Disneyland, located at 33 Royal Street in New Orleans Square. The decor was picked out by Walt & Lillian Disney, and the club was opened in 1967 shortly after Walt’s death.

This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I’m excited to have the chance to share a little bit about the club!

After buzzing in, a hostess welcomes you to the lobby area where you wait until your table is ready. When ready, you have the option of taking the french lift, which was a definite must-try! Especially considering the Vanna White-esque way it was offered to us 🙂

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Amanda, Jenny & Kevin – my fab dining group!

If you can’t tell from the picture, it is a VERY TINY elevator! If you have a larger party, you may want to see if you can split up…

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Upstairs there are two dining rooms, plus an appetizer, beverage & dessert hallway. We were seated in the Main Dining Room, which is gorgeous! The whole club has a very ornate, yet incredibly laid back atmosphere.

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A portrait of Walt enjoying at meal at Club 33, in the hallway

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A harpsichord rumored to have been built especially for Lillian Disney

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The Main Dining Room

I’d heard from my friend Adam, that we simply had to get the chateaubriand…and so that is exactly what all 4 of us did!

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Can you tell how much I’m FREAKING out?

Chateaubriand - delicious!

Chateaubriand – delicious!

Jenny & I also split a bottle of wine from Fess Parker’s winery! Fess Parker was Davy Crockett in the 195os Disney show, and was also the father in Old Yeller (sob). There was a selection of wine his winery bottles especially for Club 33, so that was the one we picked!

After seeing the dessert bar on our way in, there was no way we weren’t going to have one of everything – everything was single-serve (including mini 1 person pies!) so it was easy to sample a lot of the items without exploding from all the food 😉 The group favorite seemed to be the smores, but the chocolate cake and eclairs were delicious as well.

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Before and after the meal, we could walk around on the small balcony that overlooks most of New Orleans square – it’s a great people-watching spot! The New Orleans Bayou Bash was going on the weekend we went, so we watched one of the many repeat performances of the Princess and the Frog show from the balcony.

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On our way out, we checked out the Trophy Room (the second dining room). Initially Walt wanted to use the audio-animatronic technology throughout the restaurant. Microphones were installed throughout the room (in the chandeliers!) to catch bits of conversation and then the audio-animatronics would respond to the guests! It was never used, but many of the microphones and one animatronic vulture are still hanging out.

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The Trophy Room

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Microphones in the chandeliers

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Animatronic Vulture!

All-in-all we spent almost 3 hours there! It was such a special, fun afternoon and the company made all the difference. I still can’t believe we were there! Talk about Disney Magic 🙂

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My parents are in Paris right now, eating french macaroons in actual french bakeries (they told me so today).

I’m incredibly jealous because they are one of my new favorite desserts! I was really excited last year when it was rumored they may become “the next cupcake” (which are SUCH a big deal in places like here, and New York and DC among a billion others) because it meant they would be everywhere, but that day has yet to come.

And so, in a fit of baking madness last week, I attempted to make some for myself.

These are definitely not for the baking-faint-of-heart, and were much more difficult than I thought they would be (and I went into this knowing they weren’t exactly easy).

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Making a mess...

The recipe I used (the trusty Martha Stuart website one) said to make them 3/4 inches around, but I tried to just guesstimate that, since I didn’t feel like measuring, and mine came out a little too small (at least for my preference, as I’ve seen them sold tiny before). I have also never had to whip eggs into any kind of meringue like thing, and I THOUGHT I whipped the eggs until they formed “stiff peaks”…but I’m not entirely sure how that’s supposed to look and so I may not have really done that right (my batter was a little too thin, I believe).

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Everything looked all right in this step!

I also left them in the oven like 20 seconds too long…so while they they tasted great, they definitely weren’t supposed to be this brown:

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Cooling...

The chocolate ganache for the middle though? Came out SPLENDIDLY. Yum.

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And then I forgot to take a picture of the final result (again!) because I am a dodo.

I think it may be a while before I attempt to bake these again — I don’t think I’m quite at a culinary level to tackle these little suckers. In the meantime, I will have to keep hunting for them at The Grove farmer’s market, or ordering them from my friend Nina, who makes AMAZING ones. Those also in the LA area should totally check her out at The Bento Bakery

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I am a big fan of fettucine alfredo, and it is all because of Epcot. I had actually never had it before (to my recollection) before stepping into Alfredo’s in Epcot’s Italy Pavilion on my college program back in 2007.

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Graduation Lunch at Alfredo's, 2007

And then I was hooked. Sadly, Alfredo’s closed their Epcot restaurant in 2007 (right after my program) due to economic problems with the bulk of their restaurants in Italy and the high rent price that Epcot requires.

Imagine my delight though, when looking for a fettucine alfredo recipe the other night, to find the Alfredo’s recipe! (I found it here).

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The Setup

I like that it’s only got a couple of ingredients — super simple! Though not all grocery stores carry egg noodles and European-style Plugra butter, so that could require a bit of a hunt if you’re looking to replicate this yourself.

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The Ingredients

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Noodles, boiling away...

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Alfredo Sauce

The only thing I wasn’t sure of was the alfredo sauce — I think it was supposed to blend together better than it did (it separated a fair amount off the heat), but I’m pretty sure that was an operator-error — I either didn’t stir enough/stirred too much, or didn’t heat it at the right levels. I didn’t ruin it by any stretch though, so that was a relief.

Unfortunately, I forgot to snap a final result photo (I’m clearly not a seasoned food blogger) but it looked good, and tasted pretty much exactly how I remembered.

Here’s the easy-peasy 3-step recipe:

Ingredients:

1 lb. fresh fettuccine noodles
4 quarts boiling, salted water
1 cup unsalted Plugra butter, softened (Or use normal butter if you can’t find Plugra)
1/3 to 1/2 cup Parmesano Reggiano cheese, freshly grated

Steps:

1. Melt butter over very low heat. Go ahead and boil the pasta while the butter is melting.
2. Whisk in grated parmesan cheese; continue whisking over a low heat until the cheese melts and the butter/cheese sauce becomes a creamy consistency.
3. Once the pasta is cooked, drain and place in large pasta bowl; toss with sauce. Garnish with freshly cracked black pepper.

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