A New Chicklet in the Kitchen!

Meet our newest chicklet, Lizzie Pierce!  You may recall she was a Monday Guest Chick.  We’re thrilled she agreed to join us here to share her kitchen adventures!  Lizzie was enjoying the fantastic flavors of Epcot this past weekend so we get to live vicariously through her. 😉  (Plus, one lucky commenter will win a cookbook ~ 365 Great 20 Minute Recipes by Beverly Cox!)

I love food. Love it. Both cooking and baking help to calm me down, but there are also times when I don’t want to go near the kitchen because I’m so darned tired/stressed/overworked. Plus, how much fun is it to try all different foods? Much easier—at least the first time eating something – to get that out and know what it’s supposed to taste like. Plus, I enjoy eating some really weird things. It is very rare that I get squeamish about eating anything, but there’s no way I’ll brave preparing something like jellyfish or chicken feet.

Because of my love for all different foods, one of my favorite annual events to attend is the Epcot Food & Wine Festival. Where else can you get a mass of international dining opportunities all in one massive orgy of consumption? Mmmm…. So for the long Veteran’s Day weekend, we decided to head up there for the last day of the festival. A break from the grading, the housework, and my NaNoWriMo novel so that we could focus entirely on the explosion of flavor. Well, okay, I confess that I brought my laptop with me and wrote at night after the tiny one went to sleep. But I certainly did not bring my papers with me.

Now, something that you need to know about me: I’m slightly obsessive when it comes to dining out. I pour over menus for days after making a reservation at a new restaurant. I will examine numerous options, moaning over the offerings, before deciding where to go on an evening out. Knowing this about me, you shouldn’t be remotely surprised to know that, a few days before we left, I went to the website and read what would be sold at each and every booth. Took notes on where I needed to go and what needed to be tried in the various countries. By the end of my exploratory mission, I may have possibly had a list of 20 different places where I needed to try at least one item, plus 2 where I wanted to try a drink. *blush* Yeah, yeah, yeah, it’s a ton of different foods. But remember, I was sharing with a husband and kids, so that made it all okay! Right? Right????

*ahem*

In case you’re curious, the places I wanted to visit on that original list were: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, the Caribbean, the cheese booth, France, Germany, Hawaii, the hops and barley booth, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, South Africa, and South Korea. The most important, of course, was France. All of us were looking forward to the escargots, as we’d had them in previous years and they were incredible (yes, my kids all eat snails. Even the middle one, who will generally only eat things like chicken fingers, pizza, and mac & cheese. Don’t ask me how the heck I managed to get him to even try escargots. I think it’s because both of his sisters were enjoying them so enthusiastically…). And there were mussels in Belgium (not to mention the coffee made with Godiva chocolate liqueur. I’m supposed to resist that?), and scallops in New Zealand, and pierogie in Poland, and steak in Argentina, and… yeah, in case you hadn’t noticed? Not a vegetarian.

We drove up to the Mouse House on Friday afternoon, but I didn’t get to Epcot until Sunday. And alas, we didn’t have nearly as much time as I’d hoped. Nor nearly as much stomach room! We started off in Hawaii, where we had tuna poke (pronounced poke-ay) with wasabi salad and a Kalua pork slider with spicy mayonnaise. Poke is basically cubes of raw tuna marinated in an asian-style sauce. I let my husband have one bite, and I ate the rest. It was so fresh and delicious that I couldn’t resist. I’d show a picture, but honestly? It was gone before I even remembered to take pictures. The slider was good, but honestly? I like my own homemade pulled pork better (stay tuned! I’ll post that one in the next few weeks. TRUST me it will be worth the wait….). Hawaii also had a mai tai on offer, and it was tempting but honestly? I’m not a big drinker at all — I drink about as much in a year as most people drink in a night out with friends — and it was 11 in the morning. I just couldn’t do it. But I was tempted…

Our next stop was Ireland for the Lobster and Scallop Fisherman’s Pie. Basically, this was a few small bay scallops and a few little pieces of lobster in a creamy sauce, topped with cheesy mashed potatoes. It was… good, but somewhat disappointing. Mostly potatoes and cream sauce. But delicious nonetheless. I guess I’m just used to the food being oh-my-goodness incredible at every booth. In all fairness, I showed up on the last day. They were out of some things.

After Ireland came France, the stop that we’d all been waiting for (by all I mean myself, the man, and the teensy bitsy one. The older two, alas, couldn’t join us. Never fear, though, I’ve promised them a trip back to Disney next month. YAY for annual passes!). In France, I bought two orders of escargots, an order of the coq au vin with macaroni gratin, and one milk chocolate crème brûlée. The escargots (snails, for those of you unaware) were cooked in a garlic and parsley butter and served inside mini hollowed out brioche. Teensy Bitsy ate the tops of all 6 little brioche cups. She also had the equivalent of one cup itself, complete with snail. She enjoyed it but didn’t want any more. That’s okay, more for me. While the size of the snails was somewhat puny, I’m assuming that’s because it was the last day. Love love loved this. One of my favorites of the festival, as usual. The escargots were tender and garlicky, and the little brioche cups were perfect to cut the richness of the dish. The coq au vin was a little mealy in texture, but to be honest, I’m so not a fan of stewed meats and that’s basically all that coq au vin is — chicken stewed in wine. Eh. The man enjoyed it. Teensy Bitsy had one bite and spit it out. Lovely. The crème brûlée was amazing. First of all, this is the first year that they actually managed to crisp up the sugar on top. In previous years it was more crème caramel than crème brûlée. Watching the joy on a three-year-old’s face as she cracks the sugar layer? Brought a huge smile to my face and those of everyone passing by. Not that she enjoyed eating the sugar, mind you. It had that lovely bitterness that comes when you melt the top of your dessert with a blowtorch. It blended wonderfully with the creamy sweetness of the custard itself (which part the little one adored), and it was definitely worth being the only dessert I got in the whole festival!

Belgium, right near France, had several different items, including a Godiva liqueur iced coffee. I somehow managed to resist the coffee, but I could not resist those mussels. A roasted garlic cream sauce and a slice of crusty baguette helped to round out the plate nicely, but the majority of the bread ended up as a mop for the sauce, because we were just popping the (sadly few) morsels of mollusk into our mouths.

As I’d had baklava the night before, and Morocco did not have one of my favorite offerings from previous years (this incredible mint iced tea that tastes as though they just brewed mint leaves, sweetened it up a touch, and poured it over ice), we gave it a pass and moved right on to New Zealand, where I had no trouble making a choice — seared sea scallop with a red curry sauce and an apple-radish slaw, plus a lamb slider with tomato chutney. The slider was good, if a bit messy. Well-seasoned with a slight tingle to it, the burger got decent marks from me. The scallop, on the other hand, was cooked perfectly – incredible, crisp golden brown sear on both sides. How the heck did they manage to DO that? The sauce was decent, though not the best red curry I’ve had, and the slaw was okay. But that scallop… I could’ve eaten a dozen and still wanted more. In fact, I was tempted to go back for another but by this point it was really heating up out there. The family was ready to move on so that we could eventually go home.

Singapore’s shrimp cake was all shrimp and no filler, browned on each side and stuffed with shrimp and seasonings. Delicious! The cold noodle salad that was served with it was a bit too tingly for my little one, but trust me when I say it got eaten. We were good enough not to lick the plate, though.

The Teensy Bitsy is an odd one when it comes to food. If her mood is right, she will eat anything and everything. Alas, at preschool she is surrounded by kids who won’t eat anything; it rubs off on her and I get so frustrated by that. Today she was in an in-between mood. She would taste things, and she really seemed to like the escargots and the crème brûlée (and the garlicky tops to the brioche!), but in general she wasn’t a big fan of most things. Until we got to Italy. In Italy they gave us the biggest portion of any of the booths — I got the baked cheese ravioli with creamy beef bolognese sauce, parmesan, and melted mozzarella, and the tray that held the dish was generously sized and quite full. That could’ve been a full lunch portion for a kid, even one with a decent appetite. I was nervous that any one of the elements would turn her off, but I needn’t have worried. That girl vacuumed the dish. When I say vacuumed, I mean she was eating it almost faster than we could cool off bites. From what I could tell by looking at it (what? me actually get a bite? yeah, you MUST be joking!), the pasta filling was a creamy ricotta mix, the sauce was rich and meaty, and the layer of mozzarella was thick and bubbling. She did such a great job, in fact, that we actually bought her a Mickey Mouse ice cream bar as a treat… that was her favorite item she ate all day 😉

By this point we were slowing down. It was far warmer than we’d expected, given the cool and breezy weather of the previous two days, we were on our third day of Disney, and we were all exhausted. So we passed right by a number of the booths that had been on my original list. At South Korea, we got the bulgogi bbq beef, served with rice and kimchi. The beef itself was bland and had an unpleasant texture, but the rice helped to balance it out and the kimchi had a nice kick to it. After a brief detour to the boat ride in Mexico, from which I didn’t want to get up because it felt so good to be in that cool, dark area, we made our final stop of the day — the Caribbean kiosk for the frozen rock coconut mojito. I will be looking up the recipe for this one, and if it’s not available? I’ll experiment. It was fabulous. There was obviously some rum in there somewhere, but I couldn’t taste it. All I could taste was the fact that they put the lime in the coconut and mixed ’em both together. YUM! There was a teeny after-kick of mint, but it was very faint. Ohhh was that a good drink. One of the best slushies I’ve had!

All in all, while there were some delicious items there, I found the Epcot Food & Wine Festival somewhat disappointing this year. Yes, there were a number of dishes over which I waxed lyrical. But there were also more mediocre dishes than previously. I will, of course, chalk it up to the fact that we didn’t make it until the very last day. Clearly my own fault and something I’ll have to remedy next time. Additionally, next year we will be a group of 5 rather than 3. Room for more dishes!

And now, if you’re still with me, I thank you for reading this far! And I promise to be a bit less long-winded in the future. Well. Okay, I can’t promise that. But I’ll try — it’s all I can do…

Have you been to the Festival before? What’s your favorite dish you’ve had there? Or, alternatively, what are some of your favorite international dishes? And if you have a recipe to share, I won’t complain!

 

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28 thoughts on “A New Chicklet in the Kitchen!

  1. Wow… sounds like I should try to attend this next year. I can’t even imagine having all those choices. I haven’t been too many places, but we did go to the Bahamas for our honeymoon, and their conch chowder was just amazing.

    Your site is so lovely, ladies!

  2. Thank you, Gillian! Lis’Anne does a great job with our headers.

    Welcome aboard, Lizzie, and we’re so happy to have you here. I’m curious about something. You said this: no way I’ll brave preparing something like jellyfish or chicken feet

    Okay, so… does that mean you’ll EAT them? I wouldn’t be surprised considering the foods mentioned in this post (I never wanted to try snails until reading what you wrote about them).

    • Thank you, Gillian & Abigail! I get tired of seeing the same old and I love messing around with images, creating banners and such. I’m already working on one for winter. I keep looking at this one and thinking the images are blurry, but since my eyesight is getting worse and it’s time for new glasses, I can’t really tell if it’s me or not. 😦

  3. If you haven’t been already, you must go to the finer dining restaurant Bistro de Paris in the French pavilion at EPCOT. It’s expensive but worth it if you are celebrating something or just have cash to blow.

    Bistro de Paris serves those wonderful escargots as an appetizer. For dessert, you can get a sampler of four different styles of crème brûlée. There was one that was really crusty and was super creamy inside. It might have been the one at the festival because I talked to the waiter at the time and he said it was hands down everyone’s favorite. The others involved chocolate and raspberries.

  4. Gillian: I love Bahamian conch chowder! And yes, if you are somewhere that makes it not unreasonable to get there next fall? Do hit the Food and Wine Festival. It gives you the opportunity to try small bites of new things from all around the world. So much fun!

    Thanks Abigail 🙂 Yes, chicken feet = delicious if prepared properly (though in all fairness, if they aren’t done well they can be kind of disgusting). I love them stewed in Chinese black bean sauce. As for jellyfish, next time you’re in a big city that has real, authentic Chinese food? Get the cold jellyfish salad. The texture is a little odd (I honestly don’t even know how to explain it. It’s sort of a crunch but not a potato chip crunch. It’s soft. And yet crunches when you bite into it..), but the vinegar/sesame dressing in which it’s tossed? Incredible. There are very few things I won’t taste at least once. I’m glad my description made you want to taste escargots — they are really yummy!

    Fizzgig: On the menu for the Princess’s birthday in December 🙂 She’s turning 12, and she’s disappointed at missing out on the escargots at the F&W fest. So we’re thinking of surprising her with a meal at the French place. Glad to hear that it’s worth it!

  5. Lizzie, I LOVED this post! I’ve always wanted to go to the Epcot Food & Wine Festival, but it’s never been in the cards. I don’t think I could ever willingly put a snail in my mouth and definitely not chicken feet! *laugh* It’s taken me 45 years to finally eat fish and like it. However, I’ve always loved lobster, scallops, shrimp, and crab. The scallop from New Zealand looked to die for and I love stewed meats so the coq a vin would’ve been one of my faves.

    Thank you so much for sharing your festival experiences with us! 🙂

    • I’ve always been a fairly adventurous eater. I come by it honestly — my dad lived in Thailand for a while, and while there he ate such delicacies as giant water beetles and fried pig’s blood. For the record? I would eat neither of those things. I was nervous about snails the first time, but I decided to be brave and was glad that I tried them. As for things like chicken feet and jellyfish, well, my husband is from China. It’s a case of try the stuff or be rude to his family at their banquets. I’m just lucky that in most cases I love it (though not the sea cucumber. Ugh! That was just awful to me. Slimy and… well, I won’t describe what it felt like I was eating, because this is a food blog…).

      You should try new things, even if they seem weird to you. You never know!

      But I’m glad you enjoyed reading about my adventures. I definitely think it’s a great experience for any food lover!

      • I love to try new things…as long as they don’t look too gross to begin with! *laugh*

        My father-in-law was really upset that I didn’t like fish and determined it was because I’d never had the “good” kind. So he decided we’d have a big family fish fry at our house and made me taste his. He was SO mad when I said I still didn’t like fish. :- I finally had to ask him if he liked burritos or pizza (he was an old-school meat & potatoes kind of guy and I knew he didn’t). He said no. I said, I don’t like fish. That was the end of that! He died several years ago, but I know he’d be thrilled that I now LOVE fish! 🙂

        I never thought I’d eat conch or fried calamari, but I tried them and found I love them, too. I just have to work myself up to trying new things. It’s best if they’re hidden inside of something else first. lol

  6. I went to the Food and Wine festival about a month ago, when they still had everything on the menu. Now, when I trooped around the world with her, it was the day after she had flown back into the US after having spent a month in Holland, so she was feeling a bit of jet-lag… but nevertheless, we still went!

    The first thing that we did was hit the festival center, just to see what was going on. Not too much, really. It seems like the things that have been going on in the festival center have been going down hill over the past couple of years, and this year I feel it was at the lowest level. Yes, the wine racks were there, and they had a wine tasting and a food tasting/preparation thing going on, but the book signing area was significantly smaller this year. Oh yeah, CutCo knives were there as well.

    So after this, it was time to head out to the world showcase and sample foods. We went in the opposite direction that you went, so instead of retelling what I experienced, I’ll follow along with what you did and comment in that order. 🙂 First though, you should hear our methodology for all of the booths. When we would come across a booth, we would stand at the exit and look at what the people were buying in order to decide if we even wanted something from the booth in the first place. I have a feeling that this saved us a lot of money, since we were able to choose based on what looked good instead of simply what sounded good. (Hey, we can do it this way! Food is an experience of all the senses, not just taste!)

    So, first on your list was Hawaii. We looked, but passed. I think my mom’s only comment on the booth was on the lotus chips, about which she said “they don’t really taste like anything… pretty, but not flavorful.” I have to agree with her, having had lotus chips used as a garnish on some plates of sushi I have had.

    Ireland we also skipped. It looked alright, but by this time we were actually feeling hungry for a real meal (we had already gone the whole loop) and we had just stopped before this to get some fish and chips from England. This was actually the first time we had ever tried the fish and chips from there, and we were not disappointed. It has now made our list of good things to eat at Epcot, since it is available from the side booth year-round.

    France we also passed on. I have had the escargot in a brioche plate before, a couple of years ago, and really I am not a fan of it. They taste like snails, which really do have a taste all their own, and while I can eat it, it is not really a favorite of mine, and not worth the cost. I feel that there are other things out there that are much tastier. 🙂

    Belgium…. ah, Belgium. I had the mussels in the cream sauce. It was an interesting take on mussels that I had not tasted before, but I think I prefer mussels to be prepared in a simple white wine sauce and their own juices with some garlic… the cream sauce was good, though, and I can think of some other applications where it would be quite nice.

    We also skipped Morocco, mainly because looking at the menu we felt that most of it was simply duplicated from their normal quick-food place.

    New Zealand did pique our interest, as the scallop smelled incredible, but we gave it a pass. The lamb slider was sort of interesting, but we were holding out for the Australian lamb.

    We passed up on Singapore as well, but I loved the smell of the Beef Rendang they had there as well. I was tempted to try it on the second go-around, but by then we were full, so it just didn’t make any sense.

    Italy we also passed, mainly because we both feel that the food produced at an Italian restaurant can pretty much be replicated in our own kitchen, and usually better. Be aware that mother also does not eat a lot of meat, particularly beef, and she prefers sauceless pizza. So Italian dishes do not necessarily entertain the palette for her… I agree with her somewhat, and have given up eating pepperoni on pizzas simply because I dislike the grease it creates. However, I fully agree with the Mickey Premium bar… I was down there about two weeks ago walking through Animal Kingdom, and I just WANTED one… so I got one right after I crossed over the main bridge and enjoyed it thoroughly. 🙂

    South Korea, I definitely have had the lettuce wrap, though that was last year.

    OK… things I had that you did not… lessee… the Golabki at Poland was wonderful, and actually the first thing that we had that day. The grilled lamb chop at Australia, which was as good as ever. Really, the Australia booth continues to disappoint me, as I do not consider shrimp on the barbie to be a real Australian dish… I wish they would get mince meat pies in there instead… I would eat two or three if they did.

    OK, I think I have rambled on enough here…

    • Agreed about Italy. The only reason we stopped there was because I wanted something I was fairly certain the little one would eat 🙂

      A number of the places just duplicated items from their menus, and we really didn’t feel the need to go for that at all.

      Oh, and as for the wishing they had mince pies at Australia… if they had Cornish Pasties at England? It would be my first stop every time. And then I’d go back for more (if they were good…). I’ve not had the Australian mince meat pies, but there’s a place in NY that sells them and which I’d like to go to on my next trip up to visit family…

  7. As for restaurants to try at Epcot… let me see…

    First of all, since Les Chefs de France was mentioned, I will give it a second thumbs up. I have been there once for lunch, and it was quite good. This was a number of years ago, and unfortunately I never wrote down my experience there at that time, so I cannot really recant what I had there or anything, but I do know that it was good, and I would go again. My mother LOVES to window gaze into the restaurant and see what everyone is eating… there always seems to be a high percentage of French Onion soup being devoured there.

    Next on the list (actually, first on my list) is Le Cellier in Canada. I had the Prince Edward Island mussels (yes, I really love mussels). It is served with smoked bacon and potatoes, so there is sort of a chowder broth that the mussels have been laid in. Wonderful dish. I also had the New York Strip, which was quite good. They serve all of their meals with a breadstick bowl, and the bowl consists of three different kinds of breadsticks representing different regions of Canada (Ontario, the central plains, and the Yukon). Yes, I wrote this up, since I went there back in 2007. 🙂

    The Rose and Crown has improved in my eye recently, mainly because the bar no longer smells like stale beer. Doing a quick tour of the premesis I thought the food looked pretty good as well. This is a lesson for everyone, by the way… do NOT be afraid to ask to go into the restaurant and look around. The cast members will be happy to let you in, and you can gauge a lot about whether or not you want to eat in a place simply by walking around the restaurant real quick.

    Sommerfest in Germany is a nice place to get a quick bite to eat… handy finger foods and such. The Biergarten restaurant right across from this is served in buffet style, and you are seated with seven other of your closest friends while an Oompah band plays on a stage… if you don’t have seven other friends, they will find some for you. I have gone in here as a single guest and been paired up with other families, much to their horror and my delight. American’s just are not accustomed to eating with strangers in a restaurant, which to me makes it all the more fun! 🙂 Unfortunately, the cost of this place has skyrocketed recently, and that makes it touch to eat there… I sure miss the herring they would set out that no one seemed to touch…

    I have taken my mother to Tokyo Dining and we really enjoyed it. The food there was quite good, and we go to try some things that we really had no heard of before, which is a tough task for us since my mother has been around the world a number of times.

    I have eaten at the Coral Reef restaurant, where you get a view of the aquarium while you eat Nemo. Not really sure if I would recommend it or not. When I ate there, it was actually with a tour group and we got the special dining room on another level, and the food was served as a buffet, so it really isn’t the same experience.

    My mother has eaten at the San Angel Inn, inside the pyramid at Mexico, watching as the boats go by… she wasn’t all that impressed, and felt that the food served there can be had at any Mexican restaurant in a strip mall. La Cantina on the other hand is great for a quick snack.

    The last on my list is Akershus in Norway. I have never eaten there, and until this most recent trip have never wanted to. Every time I have gone inside to investigate, it has smelled like antiseptic cleaning fluid, which just turns my stomach off. This last time it did not smell that way, so maybe they have fixed something, but I am going to wait until one more run through to ensure that is still the case before I even think of trying to get reservations.

    • I agree with your mom’s assessment of the Saint Angel Inn at Mexico. It wasn’t bad, but it was certainly nothing special or unusual. The Moroccan restaurant is pretty good. And? Belly dancing! Okay, I didn’t really care for the belly dancing – it was loud and distracting. But it made me want to learn *grin*

      As for the Akershus, we’ve been there a few times. It’s where the princess have their meals, and I do have two daughters. The food is actually quite good. Everyone get to go up to the little appetizer buffet, which has salads, cured meats, fishes (including herring!), cheeses… we always enjoy trying all of the different things on the buffet. Then the entrees are generally delicious. I particularly love the roast chicken and farro risotto (Hmmm… perhaps a recipe to prepare in another post!), but they also have what amounts to a Scandinavian meatloaf, a fish dish (ooo but there were bones when I got that, from what I recall. They hadn’t cleaned it well enough), and others. Dessert is a trio of treats for the table. I like the rice pudding best, but I’m a weird one… there’s also some chocolate stuff.

      That’s about it for our visits to the restaurants in the countries. I went to Alfredo’s in Italy years and years ago, back shortly after it first opened, because they said it was the same people who did the original fettucine alfredo. I distinctly recall it being excessively mediocre.

      We do, however, greatly enjoy the Garden Grill over in The Land. Last time we went, it wasn’t as good as usual. But generally? It’s fabulous. The majority of the food is grown/raised right there. And it tastes like it, too.

      • And? Belly dancing! Okay, I didn’t really care for the belly dancing – it was loud and distracting. But it made me want to learn *grin*

        Hey, next time you are up here, and it happens to be the right Tuesday of the month, they have belly dancing at the local pizza place (you know the one… out on 23rd). I make it out there pretty much every month… you can get a pizza or a calzone and watch the dancers out back!

      • *snicker* yes, because I’m frequently up there on a Tuesday 😉 But if ever the opportunity arises, I’m in!

    • Thanks Ben ❤

      You know me — trying to write less would be a herculean effort for me regardless. The only time I'm ever at a loss for words (when in my element) is when I'm trying to write a novel. Ahhh writer's block…

  8. So, the first thing you need to know about me is, I haven’t spent much time in the kitchen since my kids left home. But oh, the memories of World Travel. Thanks for taking me back, vicariously, to some of the best food Hubby and I have ever enjoyed. We were fortunate to have lived over seas for seven years. Believe it or not, we fell in love with a few of the more ‘ordinary’ dishes like Porridge in Ireland that simmered the whole night before breakfast and was topped off with real heavy cream, honey, and a splash of Irish Whiskey. Yum! Seriously, this was more like dessert than breakfast. Then there’s our favorite pub in London where they serve the best Shepherd’s Pie, ever. Plain and simple, but heavenly. And, in Saudi Arabia–where we lived–we’ve not since found an honest-to-goodness Shwarma that stands up to the ones we had over there. As they say, the secret is in the sauce and that one dill pickle rolled into the shaved goat meat. But, the most surprising thing we ever ordered was a pizza while in Rome. We were primed to taste ‘the real deal’ since we were in Italy. Who knew? All we got was the pizza crust which was pretty darned good but only covered with a thin layer of tomato sauce, a few tomato slices and some peppers. No meat and kinda dry. Everything else about Italy was great, especially the Sorbet. Awesome!

    • Glad I could spark nostalgia in you 🙂 You know, my parents suddenly started to eat out quite a bit more once my brother and I moved out of the house lo these many years ago. I understand it, to be honest. As much as I love to cook, the fact of having to do it in order to feed the family is exhausting. Totally don’t blame you for cutting back once it was no longer a necessity!

      As for being a world traveler, I so wish that I could do that. Living in various countries must have been fascinating. I’ve been all around the US and around the Caribbean, to Mexico, and to England. That’s about it for international travel. BUT I do try to seek out the most authentic restaurants in the deeply ethnic neighborhoods whenever possible. Love going to NY to visit the in-laws, because I get to have real Chinese food. The good stuff that they don’t serve at most places. Man, I’m drooling just thinking about it now. Whenever we head down to Miami (not too terribly far), we get Cuban food. But there’s a great Cuban place 10 minutes from me, too. I continue to seek out good, real recipes from all different cuisines…. Also? Keep an eye on the blog — my shepherd’s pie recipe will be coming up in the next month or two! Perhaps not as good as the real deal in the UK, but still pretty amazing…

  9. Welcome to Chicklets, Lizzie! I can tell we’re going to get along famously!

    Like you, I love escargot and Ahi Poke! (I had some Ahi Poke at the Cheesecake Factory in Waikiki back in ’08 and my husband’s been trying to replicate the recipe since!) Amazing!

    Sounds like you had an incredible time at Epcot. I’ve haven’t been there yet, but after your review of the food, it’s definitely going on my list!

    Again, welcome aboard! 🙂

    • Thanks Mary! PLEASE let me know if your husband ever perfects the poke recipe 😉

      Epcot is a wonderful, magical place. Our favorite part of the WDW properties. When you add in the food and wine festival? Heaven!

  10. Hi Lizzie!

    Welcome, you’ll have a blast with the ladies, they’re all so sweet!
    Yay for CITK!!!

    By the way Lis’Anne, love the holiday look, awesome!!

    What a great post!! Thank you for sharing your food adventure at the Epcot Food & Wine Festival with us!

    Between you and Jon and all the other comments, I feel like I was there too.
    I really do not get the chance to venture out at all, so this was a very nice ‘get-away’ for me! 😀 (((hugs))) to all!!

    I have to agree with Ben O., no such thing as too much, if it happens……it happens.

    Have a wonderful day!

    • Everyone does seem wonderful! I’m so happy to be here, and thank you for the welcome!

      And glad to hear that people don’t mind my long-windedness. It’s just who I am. Just ask my students 😉

      SO happy to give you a window into the experience.

    • Woohoo! Another cookbook to add to the collection! You know how to get it to me. 🙂

      (Yes, I collect cookbooks. I have really odd ones, too… like 32 page pamphlet style cookbooks with recipe collections from Air Force wives in Rammstein, for instance…)

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