STARRY-EYED DISNEY

Ami B. (NDM#381) (35 Posts)

Princess Ami grew up going to Disney World when it was young and very small in comparison to today. It was a “World” that spanned only the Magic Kingdom resort area and the E-ticket was king! Disney World grew and Ami did with it, savoring every moment and change. Now that they are both knocking on 40, Magic Kingdom does its Disney magic with 3 more parks. It’s probably not a coincidence that Ami now experiences that new magic with 3 more princesses in tow. The girls are growing up addicted to the magic just as their mom did. Married to Prince Scott, Ami is gradually converting him over to the pixie dusted side! In addition to writing Disney infused blogs like www.disneyparkgoddess.blogspot.com and www.faithtrustandpixiedusted.blogspot.com, Ami is a singer in her Virginia church’s contemporary praise band and a self-proclaimed foodie.


“Honey, would you please plan another Disney vacation?”

~The most romantic words ever spoken.

When faced with all the possibilities that a Disney World visit holds, something awakens inside a person.  Suddenly visions of togetherness, life experiences, and memories-to-be-made flood the senses, and a very basic awareness of happiness remains.  Family vacations are full of possibilities, and the sheer thrill is enough to make those about to travel feel light as a cloud for months on end!  If you’ve got the blues, it is indeed a panacea!

Imagine the feeling if the escape is for only two. Wink.

As the excitement builds, and plans are set, envision the feelings shared between couples.  Busy duos whose lives are filled with jobs and children find their relationship unexpectedly rekindled, and young lovers get to know each other in a new and enlivening light.

Photo credit Ami Brundick-Eller

Disney World is home to some of the most amorous places on earth.  The fundamental element of magic woven into every aspect of Disney is most certainly a good place to start.  Out of the blue you are whisked away from reality and all that is mundane, and you are plunged into a fairy tale world where all that matters is you and your sweetie-kins.   That feeling of living like royalty, consumed by the details of beautifully themed resorts and culinary adventures is infectious.  Just now, visions are stirring of cuddling on a leisurely boat ride to the Magic Kingdom, a kiss under the glow of Wishes and a shared crème brulee…or maybe you each get your own.  Hey, I don’t judge!

Surely, Disney dates are unparalleled.  This could be why it is such a popular destination for proposals and weddings.  What could be more romantic than castles and rose gardens and wishing wells?  Come on….sigh with me {ahhhhh}.

Ok, here is the bad news…not all dates happen in Disney World.

The good news is you can bring a little bit of that Disney magic into your own home any time you wish.  When you close your eyes and think about the most perfect place in Disney World, the place you have to visit on every trip because it gives you such a rich sense of fullness, where do you visualize?  Is it the Moroccan Pavilion in Epcot?  Buy, beg, or borrow a few throw rugs and pillows and recreate that spicy eastern atmosphere.  A belly dance lesson might be interesting too.  Do you love the Polynesian Resort?  You could wear flower leis and listen to Hawaiian music while drinking something with an umbrella out of coconuts.  Is Victoria and Albert’s your dream date?  Dress in evening wear, use your best china and light a few candles.  Cooking recipes from your favorite Disney restaurants is another great way to bring some authenticity to your evening.  Look for a few Victoria and Albert’s recipes at the end of this blog to jump start your date. Maybe you just love strolling hand in hand through Epcot listening to Illuminations.  You can download the soundtrack and be there in an instant.

No matter how you decide to bring Disney home, you will be sure to remember some of your best moments together in the process.  The next best thing to being in Disney is remembering it fondly. Not every moment with your significant other can be a Disney-fied moment.  Everyone has conflict at one point or another, but it is important to evoke the good times and hold them close.  It was Martin Luther who once said, “Wives, make your husband happy to come home, and husbands, make your wife sad to see you go.”  Adding a little Disney magic sure couldn’t hurt.  Who knows…it just may lead to planning another vacation, Honey!

Carrot-Ginger Cream Soup

Ingredients

12 carrots, diced

1 large shallot, diced (about 1/3 – 1/2 cup)

2 ribs celery, diced

2 cloves garlic, diced

¼ cup chopped Italian parsley

¼ cup sliced fresh ginger

4 cups carrot juice (you can substitute with veggie broth, or use equal parts broth and juice)

1 pint heavy cream (optional, but it does make it creamier)

Salt and pepper to taste

Pinch of dried Basil, crushed

Directions

Heat the butter in a large Dutch oven or stock pot over medium heat until the butter has melted.  Add the garlic, bay leaves, shallots, parsley, celery and carrots.  Sauté for about 10 minutes or until all the veggies have softened.

Add 3 cups of the carrot juice and sliced ginger to the pot and stir.  Bring to a boil.  Turn the heat down to a simmer and then add the cream.  Let the soup simmer for about an hour, stirring occasionally.

Remove the bay leaves.  Add the pinch of dried basil and a pinch of salt and pepper.  Pour the soup into a blender and puree.  You may need to do this in stages as all the soup may not fit in the blender all at once.  Pour the pureed soup back into the pot and season with additional salt and pepper to taste.

If the soup is too thick, add the remaining 1 cup of carrot juice to thin the soup.

Serve immediately.  You can keep it warm on the stove if needed.  Just keep the heat on low.  This soup can be refrigerated and reheated stove top, or microwave.  But it’s best freshly prepared.

Serve with seasoned croutons and a dollop of crème Fraiche.

Wine pairing: Belgium ale

Crab Cakes

1 cup diced artichoke bottoms (canned or frozen)

1 pound lump crabmeat

¾ cup panko bread crumbs

1 tsp finely chopped red onion

½ tsp chopped fresh herbs (parsley, thyme and chives)

½ cup mayonnaise

1 egg yolk

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

½ tsp Tabasco sauce

Coarse salt, to taste

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

¼ cup butter

In a mixing bowl, combine artichokes, crabmeat, bread crumbs, onion and herbs.  Add the mayonnaise, egg yolk, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, salt and pepper.  Mix thoroughly.  Divide mixture into 8 large crab cakes or 16 small ones.  Heat butter in a hot sauté pan.  Fry crab cakes until golden-brown on both sides.  Serve immediately.

Wine pairing: Sauvignon Blanc

Tiramisu

1/2 cup water

½ cup plus 1/3 cup granulated sugar

¼ cup espresso coffee

¼ cup dark rum

3 cups mascarpone cheese

3 large egg yolks

2 tsp pure vanilla extract

2 cups heavy cream

12 Italian ladyfingers

1 tablespoon cocoa powder, for serving

Heat ½ cup sugar in a 2-quart saucepan, stirring over medium heat, until the sugar is dissolved.  Transfer the mixture to a bowl and let cool.  Stir in the espresso and the dark rum.  In a bowl with an electric mixer, beat the mascarpone cheese, egg yolks, 1/3 cup sugar and vanilla until very light and smooth.  Add the heavy cream and beat for 2 to 3 minutes, or until thickened.  Soak 5 lady fingers in the coffee syrup and arrange them in the bottom of a 10-inch round, 4-inch deep bowl.  Add a 2nd layer of the mascarpone filling.  Soak the remaining 7 lady fingers in the coffee syrup and place on top of the mascarpone filling.  Spoon in the remaining mascarpone and smooth the top.  Chill, covered, for at least 4 hours before serving.  Just before serving, sprinkle the tiramisu with cocoa powder.

Wine pairing: Vin Santo from Italy

Contributed by: Ami B. (NDM#381) Ami is the DDL Ethics and Marriage Blogger. She is also the creator of Disney Park Goddess.

Ami B. (NDM#381)

Princess Ami grew up going to Disney World when it was young and very small in comparison to today. It was a “World” that spanned only the Magic Kingdom resort area and the E-ticket was king! Disney World grew and Ami did with it, savoring every moment and change. Now that they are both knocking on 40, Magic Kingdom does its Disney magic with 3 more parks. It’s probably not a coincidence that Ami now experiences that new magic with 3 more princesses in tow. The girls are growing up addicted to the magic just as their mom did. Married to Prince Scott, Ami is gradually converting him over to the pixie dusted side! In addition to writing Disney infused blogs like www.disneyparkgoddess.blogspot.com and www.faithtrustandpixiedusted.blogspot.com, Ami is a singer in her Virginia church’s contemporary praise band and a self-proclaimed foodie.

%d bloggers like this: