Hail the New!

“Fast away, the old year passes
Fa la la la la, la la la la
Hail the new, ye lads and lasses”

Can you believe it’s already 2023? 2022 (for the most part) just zoomed right by! Here’s a look at how we celebrated New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day this time around.

I like a theme, so we started the day yesterday with hot chocolate rolls:

We spent a lot of the day decorating sugar and gingerbread cookies. Mickey Mouse shapes were very popular this year!

I also (finally!) made eggnog:

We decided that 2022 deserved one more Disney Dinner, so I made one of our favorite recipes from Delicious Disney, Monte Cristo sandwiches:

After Apollo 13, we had our traditional hot chocolate bar, with the addition of hot chocolate bombs that Ladybug and I made!

Another new addition was hot chocolate Chex mix:

My only motivation to stay up until midnight is ringing in the New Year on my Animal Crossing island, and I made it!

New Year’s Day is the perfect excuse to wear something sparkly, am I right?

Of course we started the year with a special dinner, so I set the table with the china again, and this time, I learned a new napkin fold to make things a little fancier!

Pork tenderloin is a fairly traditional New Year’s Day main course here, although I did prepare it differently this time. I also made twice-baked potatoes, roast carrots and parsnips, and for the first time, spiced apple rings, since you apparently can’t buy them in a jar anymore.

It was delicious, and not as much work as Christmas dinner (and way, way less work than Thanksgiving!).

For dessert I made a hot chocolate cake, complete with homemade marshmallow creme (I told you I like a theme!).

So that’s how we said goodbye to 2022 and hello to 2023…and now I’m looking forward to giving the kitchen a bit of a break!

Tasty Tuesday: The Top Five–Food Photos of 2022

It’s time to take a look back at 2022, starting with my favorite food photos of the year (minus desserts and drinks)!

Let’s start in February, with this beautiful quiche I made for the tea party we had to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s accession to the throne:

A lot of my best food photos this year occurred during our “Disney Dinners,” like these Moana’s Motunui Sliders:

Some of my other best food photos came from my adventures in German cooking, like this Bavarian Obatzda with homemade pretzels:

We had a lot of fun with The Nightmare Before Christmas cookbook…I love how colorful this “Snake and Spider Stew” was!

More German cooking…this time, a whole dinner plate featuring homemade schnitzel:

And a bonus picture, because nachos at the ballpark just photograph so well!

I took a lot of food photos this year, so stay tuned for specialized lists focusing on desserts and drinks, too!

Tasty Tuesday–A Look Back at Disney Dining

For the last few months, I’ve been sharing all of the Disney Dinners I’ve made…here’s a look at each dish we tried from either a Disney cookbook, or an online resource with copycat Disney recipes:

We also tried quite a few thing while we were at the Disney parks (my favorite was the Dole Whip!):

And we enjoyed one very special dinner at the Hollywood Brown Derby:

This wraps our summer of fun Disney dinners, but I’m looking forward to trying (and retrying) recipes from our Disney cookbooks in the future, and I’ve already pre-ordered The Official Disney Parks Cookbook, which is scheduled to come out next February, so we’ll have even more new recipes to try!

Tasty Tuesday–The Twelfth Disney Dinner

For our final Disney Dinner of the summer, I didn’t use any of my cookbooks…instead I turned to the internet, where I first found a copycat recipe for violet lemonade like they serve at the EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival, something we were able to attend on our trip. The drink had a lovely floral quality, and was such a pretty color!

The Disney Parks Blog had a recipe for Totchos as served at Woody’s Lunch Box in Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The recipe included a simple, thick chili as a topper, and while it wasn’t my famous three-meat chili, it is perfect for things like totchos, hot dogs, and baked potatoes, so I’ll probably make it again!

For dessert, we had classic but simple Mickey Mouse cupcakes with Oreo ears! I know I saw a picture of this idea online somewhere, but it’s not like you need a recipe to make it happen.

While we’ll continue making recipes from our Disney cookbooks (we’re already looking forward to getting The Official Disney Parks Cookbook, a companion volume to Delicious Disney, when it comes out next year!), there was something really special about this summer of Disney Dinners that I’m really going to miss!

Tasty Tuesday–The Eleventh Disney Diner

For our penultimate Disney Dinner of the summer, I turned to Delicious Disney for all three recipes. We started with the seasonal old fashioned from the Enchanted Rose Lounge. Yes, an old fashioned is by nature an alcoholic drink. But what my children were most interested in was the combination of fall flavors like cranberry and rosemary, so I substituted apple cider for the alcohol, which paired well with the other flavors in the drink.

For the main course, I made honey spicy crispy chicken from Nine Dragons Restaurant, a fine dining establishment in the China area of Epcot’s World Showcase. I don’t usually deep fry chicken, but I made an exception, and I’m glad I did, because this was one of the best recipes we tried all summer!

For dessert, I made Amorette’s recipe for pumpkin crème brûlée topped with sable cookies. This was kind of a disaster, because I dropped mine on the floor, breaking the ramekin in the process. I’m told it was good, though, and it kept with the “fall flavors” theme of the meal.

Stay tuned for our final summer Disney Dinner!

Tasty Tuesday–Disney Drinks and Dessert, Part Two

The first time we had just Disney drinks and dessert, it was because the dinner I had made to go with them was a failure. This time, I made just drinks and dessert just for fun! The Lava Smoothie from Leaping Horse Libations at Disney’s BoardWalk Villas tasted like the tropics in a glass!

And because we just haven’t had enough Mickey Mouse-shaped food, I made Mickey Mouse Rick Krispie treats that were extra special because they were topped with white chocolate and m&ms!

This was a fun way to sneak a few more Disney-themed items into our summer!

Tasty Tuesday–The Tenth Disney Dinner

Our tenth Disney Dinner was all about taking a second chance on the rib recipe that didn’t turn out earlier in the summer, but before we get to that, a drink I put a lot of effort into coming up with, the Frozen Sunshine from Disney’s Beach Club Resort. The more Disney Dinners we had, the harder it was to find drink recipes that didn’t include alcohol, or that could at least have the alcohol substituted out. I went through pretty much all of the recipes in our cookbooks, so I turned to the internet for copycat recipes, which is where I found this Creamsicle in a cup!

I was still upset about the “Disney Disaster” we had previously, so I gave the hoisin chili sticky ribs from Delicious Disney based on Chef Morimoto’s recipe from his restaurant at Disney Springs, Morimoto Asia, another shot, substituting baby back ribs for spare ribs. They were perfect…definitely the best ribs I’ve ever made!

For dessert, we had Mickey Mouse-shaped beignets with lavender sugar. Can you have too many Mickey-shaped treats?!?

This was a fun meal, and I really enjoyed the redemption when making the ribs!

Tasty Tuesday–The Ninth Disney Dinner, Star Wars Edition

Our ninth Disney Dinner was A Big Deal, because I tried to recapture the magic of something we tried at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Hollywood Studios…but first, something new and something a little scary, the Sarjenn Snowcap, a cola slushy topped with sweetened, condensed milk. I wasn’t really sure how it would taste, but in the end it was very similar to a cola float, and very good.

The star of the meal was Batuuan Ronto Wraps, a popular item at Hollywood Studios. We shared a Ronto Wrap our first day at the park, and Turkey liked it so much, he bought his own for dinner the second day we were there. The Galaxy’s Edge version has both sliced pork and a sausage, but we had ours with just the sausage, and it really wasn’t missing much.

For dessert, we had Cavaellin Spice Creams, which were pretty much gingerbread cookie whoopee pies filled with orange cream cheese frosting.

It was fun to really have a little bit of Disney at home!

Tasty Tuesday–The Eighth Disney Dinner

I planned our eighth Disney Dinner to coordinate with a very special day…Dole Whip Day, something we were especially excited about since we had recently tried an actual Dole Whip! But first, the drink. I made Cinderella’s Midnight Magic Punch, which was delicious, pretty, and extra fun with the rock candy stirring rod!

The main course was Monte Cristo sandwiches with currant jelly sauce. I have wanted to make Monte Cristos for years, but the idea of it was always too intimidating. They really weren’t bad to make, though, and they were really, really delicious!

And in honor of Dole Whip Day, a “Frozen Pineapple Treat Inspired by Dole Whip.” I think we were all skeptical, because we liked the Dole Whip we had a the Magic Kingdom so much, and we knew it wouldn’t be quite the same, but we all agreed that it was a pretty decent facsimile!

This was an especially fun Disney Dinner because it included something we had actually tried on our trip…stay tuned for the next one, where the main course is a replica of a meal we had a Hollywood Studios!

Tasty Tuesday–The Seventh Disney (Breakfast for) Dinner

I planned our seventh Disney Dinner to coincide with Bastille Day, so I had an excuse to make S’mores French Toast Sandwiches (or “delicious hot schmoes”) as found in Hollywood Studio’s Toy Story Land. Since it was such a decadent meal, we didn’t have dessert, but who needs it when dinner looks like this?!?

For the drink, I used the recipe for Keshian Spiced Milk from the Star Wars Life Day Cookbook…it was very much like a horchata, and very tasty!

Normally I wouldn’t make something like this for dinner, but for a special occasion, it was fun, and it may even return to the table as a dessert in the future!