Friday, October 2, 2015

The 20th Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

Hungry for the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival?  I know I am!!

With social media saturated with images from the 20th Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Presented by Chase, I am positively salivating!  Lasting through November 16th, 2015, there are 56 days of culinary possibilities ahead and a global mix of tastes at the ready.

For the very first time, the global marketplace experiences will expand into Future World.  However, the majority of  the offerings sit along World Showcase, where you can "eat and drink your way around the world."  These small plates and sips from 30 global marketplaces allow for sampling of sometimes exotic tidbits that we might not otherwise be exposed to.  Let me take you on a gourmand's tour:

American Adventure Coffee Cart
Block & Hans (spirits)
Brewers Collection
Cheese Studio - NEW
Chew Lab - NEW  (Inspired by ABCs "The Chew")
Craft Beers
Desserts & Champagne
Dominican Republic
Farm Fresh
Fife & Drum Tavern
Hops & Barley
Intermissions Cafe
New Zealand
Odyssey Coffee Cart
Refreshment Cart
Refreshment Cool Post
Showcase Coffee Cart
South Korea
Sustainable Chew - NEW  (Inspired by ABCs "The Chew")
Test Track Coffee Cart
Wine Studio - NEW
**  Plus 32 NEW marketplace dishes and 75 NEW beverages!!

And what to do whilst grazing and supping?  Eat to the Beat, of course.  In the beautiful outdoor America Gardens Theatre, you can enjoy some of your nostalgic favorites playing to the hungry crowds three times each evening.  Over 20 acts, from Boyz II Men to Chaka Khan to Air Supply, will perform throughout the festival.

Not full yet?  Not to worry.  Special Dining Experiences are aplenty in 2015.  Food & Beverage Pairings, Dining Adventures Around the World, Party For The Senses, Rockin' Burger Block Party, Eat to the Beat Dining Packages, Culinary Demonstrations, Mixology Seminars, and Dining with Celebrity Chefs are all available by calling 407-WDW-Fest.

For the young and young at heart, the new Remy's Ratatouille Hide and Seek looks to be scrumptious fun.  Remy statues hidden around World Showcase promise to lead one and all on a festival scavenger hunt; with maps, stickers, and prizes!

New this year are Facebook Place Tips; via your Facebook mobile app, marketplace menus, maps and magical event factoids will appear at the top of your News Feed.  Never miss a favorite dish or libation again!  (But I'll be planning on coming prepared with my mobile charger.)

Inside tip:  My personal recommendation is to time your Epcot International Food & Wine Festival vacation when it overlaps with two other not-to-be-missed Walt Disney World Resort special events.  Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party (September 15- November 1, 2015) and Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party (November 8- December 18, 2015) will add a side dish of magic and wonder to any stay.

Better yet, meet me at this year's Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend, where you can carb-load and protein-fix like no other race weekend.  Be sure to check the updated Best Runner Eats at Epcot International Food & Wine Festival.  After the race, you can eat and drink to your healthy heart's content at the Runner's Ultimate Night Out.  How's that for special? Don't walk, RUN to this year's festival.  Ciao!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Lobster and Seafood Fisherman’s Pie | Ireland's Global Marketplace

Twenty years!  Carrying on the annual tradition of marking the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Presented by Chase with The Virtual Food & Wine Festival hosted by Focused on the Magic, I once again hit the kitchen and my copy of Passport to a World of Flavors.  As I wrote in Pearls From Walt Disney World's 40th Anniversary Celebrations, one of the many scrumptious festival selections stole the show for me.  It's no wonder that it remains on the Global Marketplace menu four years later.  For 2015, I'd like to highlight Ireland's Lobster and seafood fisherman's pie.

Grab a Guinness and get to work!

Lobster and Seafood Fisherman's Pie


Lobster Bisque:
2 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
2 cups chopped celery
2 lobster shells (meat removed)
1/2 cup tomato puree
2 tbsp. flour
1 tbsp. brandy
4 cups chicken stock
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. crushed garlic
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

Mashed Potatoes:
6 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
4 tbsp. butter
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

Lobster and Seafood Fisherman's Pie:
2 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 cup diced onion
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced carrot
3 1/2 tbsp. flour
2 tbsp. brandy
1 lb. bay scallops
1 qt. lobster bisque
1 lb. lobster meat, cooked and chopped
1/2 tsp. tarragon
1/8 tsp. hot sauce
2 cups Irish cheddar cheese, shredded


Lobster Bisque:
- Place butter and olive oil into large saucepan over medium heat.
- Saute onion and celery for 6-7 minutes until tender.
- Add lobster shells and tomato puree; cook for 1-2 minutes.
- Add flour; stir and cook 1-2 minutes.
- Add brandy and stock; cook for 30 minutes.  Stir and scrape bottom of pan during cooking.
- Add heavy whipping cream and bring to a boil; continue cooking for 15 minutes.
- Add cayenne pepper and garlic; stir to combine.
- Remove lobster shells.
- Place mixture into a blender and blend for 15-20 seconds.  Scrape sides and blend for another 5 seconds.
- Pour the bisque through a fine strainer lined with cheesecloth to remove shell pieces.
- Pour bisque back into saucepan and heat over medium heat until it boils.
- Season with salt and pepper.  Set aside.

Mashed Potatoes:
- Place potatoes into a large stockpot of boiling salted water.
- Cook over high heat for 15-20 minutes or until potatoes are soft.
- Drain water and whip the potatoes with a hand-held mixer on low speed until soft.
- Add butter and whipping cream and mix until combined.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Set aside.

Lobster and Seafood Fisherman's Pie:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Place butter and olive oil in a large stockpot over medium heat.
- Saute the onions, celery, and carrots for 6-7 minutes or until tender.
- Add flour and stir until combined and continue to cook for another 1-2 minutes.
- Add brandy and stir while cooking for another 1-2 minutes.
- Add scallops and lobster bisque and stir to combine.  Continue to cook for another 8-10 minutes until mixture comes to a boil.
- Add the cooked lobster, tarragon, and hot sauce and stir to combine.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Pour mixture into 3-quart baking dish.  (I choose ramekins to more closely mimic my Epcot experience.)
- Top and cover the entire dish with mashed potatoes.
- Sprinkle with cheddar cheese.
- Cook for approximately 25 minutes.  (I wisely choose to place dishes on a baking sheet first.  These babies ooze goodness!!)

Back to that Guinness.  I paired the dish with my Irish Soda Bread and the Irish liquid gold.

If you get to Ireland's Global Marketplace this year, these are the other choices you will have to weigh:

- Kerrygold cheese selection: Reserve cheddar, Dubliner with Irish Stout and Skellig.
- Warm chocolate pudding with Kerrygold Irish Cream Liqueur Custard

- Kilkenny Irish Cream Ale
- Bunratty Meade Honey Wine
- Chilled Irish Coffee featuring Bunratty Potcheen
- Kerrygold Irish Cream Liqueur


If you'd like to take a taste tour of other countries, grab your fork and passport and head to:

Aloha! Kalua Pork Slider with Sweet and Sour Dole Pineapple Chutney and Spicy Mayo | Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Hawai'i

Still hungry?  Stop by Deb's hop!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Jeff Galloway's Runner Training Strategy

The Blue Fairy dubbed Jiminy Cricket as, "lord high keeper of the knowledge of right and wrong, counselor in moments of  high temptation, and guide along the straight and narrow path."  Despite spending eight days in Walt Disney World last week, my conscience heard from another authority.  "Stick to the plan" was the voice inside my head.

With Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon right around the bend, my training could not be forsaken for ADRs, rope drop, or FastPass+.  Sensing Jeff Galloway on my shoulder, I hit the road and inserted a scenic Florida run into my program.

Palm trees and balloons beat my neighborhood track!

WHY SHOULD I HAVE A TRAINING PLAN?  When using a proven strategy, a runner gains control over fatigue while improving motivation.  Those who follow the right training plan, for the individual, tend to improve more, with less injury risk.

WOULD BEGINNERS BENEFIT MORE FROM A PLAN?  Unfortunately, most beginners “run as they feel” or follow conflicting advice.  This leads to confusion and more aches and pains.  The right schedule will systematically increase the type of running needed for a goal, with strategic rest for rebuilding.


1)       A longer run builds endurance, 2) a hilly run builds strength, 3) Scenic or social runs insert fun and keep you coming back for more.  (A DIStherapy favorite!)
WHAT IS ADDED TO A PLAN IF THE GOAL IS TO RUN FASTER?  The right training plan will gradually increase the speed repetitions needed for the individual goal.  Easier days and rest days must be inserted before and after speed workouts.  To avoid injury, the pace and the increase must be realistic for the individual.    
EVERY OTHER DAY!  Most runners—especially beginners—run best when they run every other day.  This allows for the “weak links” to heal.  The very slow long run is usually on the weekend when there is more time available.  Hills and fun days can be run on the short runs during the week (for example, Tuesday and Thursday)
SHOULD I EXERCISE ON NON-RUNNING DAYS? While you don't have to exert yourself on non-running days to improve your running, exercise will energize your mind, and improve your attitude and vitality—while burning some fat.  So I recommend any exercise that does not fatigue the calf muscle, such as recreational walking.  
DOES VARIETY HELP?  Changing things a bit can improve motivation.   You don't have to change the “mission” on specific days, but alternating some of the courses or running with different groups can make each day more interesting.
WHAT ARE VARIOUS MISSIONS FOR VARIOUS DAYS? Each type of run bestows a different benefit.  Hill runs build strength.  Drills that work on cadence, gentle acceleration and gliding will improve your running form.  Long runs produce stamina and endurance.  
WHAT SHOULD I DO THE DAY BEFORE AND THE DAY AFTER LONG OR FASTER RUNS?  Take it easy on these days.  Do little or no exercise, don't over-eat, drink 8 glasses of water/sports drinks, and focus on how you will enjoy the next run.
SHOULD I SKIP THE REST DAYS—TO IMPROVE MORE QUICKLY?  Not Recommended!  It is during the days off from running that the running body rebuilds and improves.  While some runners can get away with running short and slow runs on rest days for a while, these “junk miles” can compromise recovery and lead to injuries.  

IF I DON’T LIKE A WORKOUT CAN I SUBSTITUTE? Following a consistent plan is more likely to lead to success and improve motivation.  Those who pick various elements from different schedules experience  more burnout and injury.  

Register now for the Jeff Galloway 13.1 Half Marathon weekend from December 11-13th. 
  • Jeff Galloway 13.1 - Sunday, Dec. 13th
  • Barb's 5K Presented by BeeCause - Saturday, Dec. 12th
  • NEW Fit Kids Run/Walk - Saturday, Dec. 12th
Register now!

NEW Jeff Galloway's Customized Training Plan!

Let Jeff customize a plan that allows you to "have a life" while achieving your goals!  Your 6 month plan includes:
  • customized training schedule
  • daily email reminders for your workouts
  • drills to improve your running form and efficiency
For for runners of all levels, from beginning to ultra, with busy schedules or without a local Galloway training program.

Learn more now!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration | 60 Years of Beloved Images

A collection of the "Happiest Posts on Earth."  That's what our series 60 Days to 60 Years had aspirations to be.  But what made our retrospective so much more than dates and attraction openings and happy happenings were the devoted authors and the vein of deep-rooted passion that coursed each post.

So, too, it is with the ongoing Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration.  Much more than bunting and pyrotechnics and blue buttercream cupcakes, it is the underlying 60 years of transformation and heart that makes it so cherished.  It is this "One Man's Dream" that brings a tear to the eye of any visitor that, like our 60 authors, truly understands.  Walt Disney knew the impact of weaving "fond memories of the past" (his first human Audio-Animatronic was Abe Lincoln in Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln) with the "promise of the future" (Walt dedicated Tomorrowland in 1955 with the words "... a step into the future with predictions of constructive things to come.")  And no trip to Disneyland Resort during this 60th anniversary is complete without appreciating its past and recognizing that NOTHING in its future is impossible; by now we well know that if you can dream it, a Disney Park can do it!

Each of the following photos has a story, an Imagineer, a Cast Member, and a kindred spirit underlying the obvious.  This magical photo essay is lovingly dedicated to them.

1955  Series co-host (and herself a Disney original) Disney Gals remembers Disneyland's opening year with its "weenie" beckoning the mass of new visitors towards Sleeping Beauty Castle.  Today, that same castle beckons and bedazzles us wth Disney diamonds.

1956  Guru Donna Kay writes about Disneyland's very first and hand-lit fireworks displays!  In 2016, the Disneyland Forever pyrotechnics are accompanied by their own soundtrack and multiple point-of-view projection shows.  WOW.

1957  Disney Running Mama reminds us that the long-loved Baby Care Centers opened this year as the Gerber Baby Center.  Over the course of these 60 years, we can only imagine how many millions of families have found sanctuary here!

1958  Focused on the Magic reminds us to look up; the lamp in Walt's apartment above the Main Street Fire Station is still on and is now framed lovingly with a sparkling blue"D."

1959  I Am a Mommy Nerd reminds us that Monorail Red took its maiden voyage with Vice President Richard Nixon looking on.  Today, it rides above the street modeled after the one Walt may have seen as he stepped off the train in 1923's Los Angeles.

1960- best view of Dixieland Bandstand
1960  Disney historian Tim O'Day transported us to Disneyland's 5th anniversary and the debut of Dixieland at Disneyland.  This show was just the first that would employ the Mark Twain Riverboat and utilize the Rivers of America as its backdrop.

1961  Did you know?  (Love Our Crazy Life does!!)  "Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color" weekly television show debuted on NBC this year.  In the 1960's, it was my absolute favorite thing to watch on TV!  I am thrilled that it would inspire "World of Color - Celebrate!" The Wonderful World of Walt Disney almost 54 years later.

1962  I agree with Inspired by Dis; the Swiss Family Tree House, though now called Tarzan's Tree House, still has the best views of Adventureland and the Rivers of America!

1963  Tiki-lover Flowers Croon shares that upon its opening this year, Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room was the first three-dimensional show to feature Audio-Animatronics.  Rush to the Adventureland Bazaar and pick up your own facsimile of these iconic parrots who started it all!!

1964  then and now
1964  According to Fans of Mickey Mouse's House, this was the year that Disneyland went to the New York World's Fair.  And so did we!  In fact, it would take 51 years for my mom and me to be reunited in front of our all-time family favorite, "it's a small world."  This time, it was a world of tears all around!!


1965  Maker Mother Marathon Runner takes us to Disneyland's Tencennial, when the Main Street Opera House got its own Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln.  Doesn't it look grand today?

1966  The Delightful Life poignantly prepares us for a Disneyland without Walt.  Thank goodness Roy, D 23 and others have preserved his memory so prominently in the parks.  Sniff.

1967  Though opening three months after his death, Pirates of the Caribbean has Walt's genius all over it.  Thankfully, Frontierland Station brings us video of the master discussing the Imagineering of this Disneyland classic.

1968  Plus the Magic shows us some pictorial souvenir and guide books from 1968.  I've included some of the 2015 variety.

1969  My Adventures in Disneyland takes us to the opening of most "swinging wake."  Thankfully, those 999 happy haunts are still at it!  Join their ranks and become a grinning ghost during the Diamond Celebration!!

1970  Lynette Nobel shares wonderful family memories of Disneyland 1970.  I did some virtual shopping for you girl!

1971  Disneyland welcomes its 100 MILLIONTH visitor in this year, but Mostly Mommyhood reminds us that the really big "news" was being made in Orlando!

1972  Superheroes and Teacups trumpets the arrival of the first Main Street Electrical Parade.  Paint the Night is billed as the "biggest, brightest and most vibrant parade in the 60-year history of the Disneyland Resort."  Believe it.

1973  50 years for The Walt Disney Company!  Ellen Cusack reminds us that a "Big Adventure Book" of all "E" Tickets costs $3.00 in 1973.  Today, you can get admission and all the "E" Tickets your heart desires in a Disneyland 1-Day Ticket for $99.  Stay tuned!

1974  Recreating Saving Up for Disney's family memories!  Great idea!!

1975  Thankfully, to celebrate Disneyland's 20th anniversary, Krystina Whitten reminds us that The Walt Disney Story is preserved; to this day, Walt's dream remains front and center!

1976  Disneyland Entertainment Guide, then and now, thanks to Funk Squared.

1977  Disneyland takes Walt Disney World's lead and launches its own Space Mountain this year.  "Pilot" and former Cast Member from What's the Point? takes us on a personal, out-of-this world tour of this beloved classic.

1978  As Reporting From Disney World well knows, having "Mansion servant" in your midst is other-worldly!

1979  Jane's World has it right - "let Disney enchant you."  Though Splash Mountain opened in Disneyland in 1979, my 85-year-old mom wasn't enchanted until last month!

1980  Just Me & My Running Shoes includes a view of Disneyland's Silver Anniversary park.  Here's the Diamond version!

1981  Minnesota Girl in the World describes the internal park happenings to highlight the opening of the film The Fox and the Hound.  In 2015, Disney California Adventure Park does the same for Ant-Man.

1982  The Disney Kids remember the Disneyland Hotel of the past; today's is bedazzled.

1983  The medieval fair vibe of the original Fantasyland is replaced this year by the whimsical architecture of Walt's Storybook Land Canal Boats miniatures.  Trips with Tykes describes the complete transformation of this first New Fantasyland.

1984  4 Well Rules describes how Disneyland rolls out the welcome mat for the 1984 Olympic Games.  In 2015, they do the same for the Special Olympics World Games!

1985  Can Do It Mom brings us Disneyland's 35th Anniversary Celebration and the television show of the same name with Julie Andrews.  The 60th showcases Mary Poppins, Bert, and friends.

1986  Disney Gals tells us that in this year, you could often see one of Disneyland's draft horses taking a break at Big Thunder Ranch.  Look how these regal animals are dripping in diamonds today!

1987  The Mousekatools Mom's Mickey Mouse still knows how to be the star of the show.

1988  The "friendly Mickey Mouse face made of flowers" that welcomed The Real Up House this year continue to smile at Guests today.

1989  The Sparks of Magic family favorite opened this year and, as evidenced above,  Splash Mountain is still the "laughinest and splashiest" place on earth.

1990  The Disneyland 35th Anniversary Dream Machine contest included prizes such as Delta air and a GEO car.  Run All the Races asks us: "Haven't you always wanted a GEO?"  I'll confess that I sure did want that Disneyland Diamond Days Sweepstakes Disneyland Dream Suite stay  Unfortunately, I missed the 'Word of the Day' while snapping the above photo...

1991  Dawn's Dorky Diary reminds us that the Celebration U.S.A. Parade debuted and ended in 1991.  We sure are hoping that Paint the Night sticks around for quite some time!

1992  Tiny Bits of Magic introduces us to the spectacular Fantasmic! For the sixtieth, the show features Disneyland Forever projections and fireworks on the Rivers of America.

1993  Cast Member and Tour Guide Babes in Disneyland welcomes the Partners Statue this year celebrating Mickey Mouse's 65th birthday.  Today Walt and his pal have a sparkling backdrop.

1994  Disney Parks Moms Panelist Courtney Bautista shares Disneyland family traditional photo ops of her youth.  DO NOT miss the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration Photo Spots!!

1995  Lottie Ferguson  describes the Disneyland 40th anniversary festivities.  The above is this year's line-up!

1996  Debbie's runDisney Challenge describes the additions to windows on Main Street, U.S.A. in 1996.  These same windows are now draped in blue bunting.

1997  Disney California Adventure park construction continues and Party of Five shares some fabulous photos of the process.  It sure looks mighty fine today!

1998  It's a great, big beautiful New Tomorrowland according to Disney Day By Day!  It looks pretty out-of-this-world today too!

1999  Nancy Sinclair Brook introduces us to Disney's FASTPASS and it's still the most coveted ticket in the park!

2000  As The Joys of Boys outlines, Disneyland begins its pin trading program in April of this year.  The Diamond Celebration pins are sparkly must-haves!

2001  My No-Guilt Life gives us a tour of the newly-opened Disney California Adventure park.  The Sun Icon of that year is now the bejeweled Carthay Circle Theatre.

2002  As Cork, Fork, Passport describes, It's Tough to Be a Bug!debuts in A Bugs Land in a park expansion.  This summer, the exclusive sneak peek of Ant-Man temporarily evicted Flik and his multi-legged friends...

2003  Johnny Depp walked the "world's longest red carpet" for his Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl in-park movie premiere in Idahome's 2003.  Thank goodness he decided to stay!

2004  Hey Entertainment Media Network!  This one's in honor of your Disney honeymoon!

2005  Park Talk Podcast celebrated Disneyland's 50th birthday; this cake in the lobby of Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa is ready for 60 candles!

2006  Disneyland (and Plugged In Family) welcomes Monsters, Inc. Mike & Sully to the Rescue! this year.  Sully gets his own float (and doors) in Paint the Night.

2007  Vy Spear reminds us that "before the Mad T Party, there was only Mickey and Monsters, Inc."

2008  Toy Story Mania! may be the first Disney Parks attraction to debut in the same year in two different parks, but Kendra Kuske points out that Mr. Potato Head only got a West Coast gig.

2009  Bibbidi Bobbidi Booze toasts Fantasmic's introduction of the evil fire-breathing dragon; she makes a perfect introduction for the Disneyland Forever fireworks!

2010  The Diaper Bag Confessions remembers the original version of "World of Color"; "World of Color - Celebrate!" celebrates other originals.

2011  This Roller Coaster Called Life pays homage to "classic" Cast Members.  We tried to do the same with Chef Oscar this summer!

2012  Home is Where the Mouse is shares the Cars Land Opening Ceremony; I videoed the must-see nightly "Sh-Boom" Lighting Ceremony.

2013  Rolling With the Magic  captured the year of Limited Time Magic, with one of the highlights being Long Lost Friends Week.  Since capturing unique character autographs was my son's biggest quest when he was younger, he was almost beside himself when Max and Rafiki came to visit during "Minnie & Friends - Breakfast in the Park" at the Plaza Inn!

2014  Vintage Disneyland photography pro (and all-around generous guy) Daveland reviews the many park refurbishments, including Club 33.  The new entrance was as far as we got!!!

2015  Finally and most eloquently, My Dreams of Disney sums up this 60-blogger strong tribute to Walt Disney's legacy.  For me, the only thing that approaches to this lump-in-the-throat sentiment is the New Orleans Square Train Station Cable Office.  I am ashmed to say that it was not until recently that I learned that the constant tap, tap, tap that you hear while waiting there for the Disneyland Railroad is actually a version of Walt Disney's July 17, 1955, speech in Morse code.

To all who come to Disneyland, welcome.  Here age relives fond memories of the past, and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future.

I believe these 60 authors have proven that Walt surpassed that promise.  For all of you who continue to wish upon his star, may your dreams always come true!

(And to my partner and Disney Gal Gayle, may you stay forever young.)