Monday, October 25, 2010

my disney world dining recommendations.

Prime Time 50's Cafe in Hollywood Studios - very authentic, good fried chicken, waiters and waitresses play the part, and if you do not eat your greens you will be sent to the kitchen to see Ma! (I am not kidding)

Tony's in Magic Kingdom - delicious spaghetti and great desserts - Ladies and Tramps are welcome.

Main Street Bakery in Magic Kingdom - BEST cinnamon rolls you will ever taste and amazing egg and cheese croissants . Mmmm

I want to go back!

when you wish upon a star...

When planning a trip to Walt Disney World, (or anywhere else for that matter) nothing compares to the Unofficial Guide series. In the Unofficial Guide Walt Disney World 2011 Bob Sehlinger and Len Testa cover all of the magical bases.

I was just in Orlando visiting Disney World back in January of this year. I love that place more than anywhere else in the world, (and I have been to a lot of places). The Unofficial Guide gives you information on Accommodations with details on all of Disney's fabulous resorts. There is a section designed specifically for families with kids of any age.

Ahh, Disney Dining - one of my favorite sections of this guide book. Disney has the best dining plans, and this book is filled with restaurant profiles. This section is incredibly detailed with reservation information, dress codes, cost, and the type of cuisine served.

Also included are in depth descriptions of parks and attractions. Whether you are a frequent visitor, or it's your first time, this Disney guide book is your best option because it is updated for 2011!

Monday, October 4, 2010

new nicholas sparks.

Nicholas Sparks scares the crap out of me whenever I read his books. He does not mess around, he WILL kill off your favorite character, it's been done before. You can understand my anxiety while reading his latest, Safe Haven, about a woman who ran away from an awful past, and falls in love with an amazing man (and widower) along with his two young children. Hello? Nicholas Sparks waits for characters to find love and then RIPS it away from them. It's what he's known for.

You can tell from the beginning that there is something off about Katie. She moved to the small town of Southport, North Carolina, alone. She is young, pretty and quiet, and in a small town secrets are not secrets for very long. Her past is revealed pretty easily to Alex. Southport is his late wife, Carly's hometown, they planned to raise their children here, and when she passed away a few years earlier, he couldn't bare to move away. He owns the general store in town and watches Katie pretty closely for weeks until he realizes that she is obviously in hiding. Just by her mannerisms, and his experience as a detective in the military he can tell that she is keeping a very dark secret.

Katie does let Alex into her life, she trusts him with her secret and her heart, but what happens when her past meets her present and endangers her and everyone she loves? Will Sparks live up to his reputation and end their story before it even really begins? I had to bite my nails and wait it out, and so do you friends.

summer may be over, but grilling is not.

Today I am presenting you with two AMAZING cookbooks (you're welcome.) I have recently started teaching myself how to cook, so I've been obsessed with cookbooks as of late.

The Big Green Egg Cookbook: Celebrating the World's Best Smoker & Grill was put together by a fantastic team - foreword by Ed Fisher, recipes by Sara Levy, text by Lisa Mayer and Photographs (love!) by Mark O'Tyson. Together, they created the biggest (and best) cookbook you've seen this year, by far. I must be honest, these recipes are a bit above my palate level, considering my favorite food is grilled cheese. Just because they are a bit fancier than I'm used, doesn't make them any more difficult to make, (okay, maybe a little because let's be serious, grilled cheese is pretty easy). The main course (meat) section is ginormous, filled with recipes from beef & lamb to chicken and seafood. Appetizers, baked goods, and of course the "egghead" recipes. The EGG is apparently a ceramic cooking dish that will make your meat moister than cooking on the grill. To use this book, you do not need this cooker, but it is highly recommended to achieve maximum results. You can cook every one of these hundreds of recipes in an EGG, that's pretty amazing in itself.

On to more traditional grilling. Steak with Friends: At Home, with Rick Tramonto, obviously written by Rick Tramonto is not solely steak oriented. Tramonto begins with appetizers as well, cold and hot - convenient eh? He covers soups, sandwiches, lobster pot pie, vegetables and others sides along with an entire steak (and many other meat) section, including the glazes. Yum. He gives the basics, like how to tell if your steak is done, to those of us who are just embarking on this cooking journey. He includes a lot of sauces, which is fabulous for a condiment lover like myself, and he does not forget about dessert! Highly recommended, the recipes are not difficult or overly detailed. You beginners will not get migraines while trying to figure out how to make a three course meal out of this book.

Either cookbook will give you recipes to impress your friends and family. I suggest both because they are completely different and will give you A LOT of different recipes to cook up your favorite meat and sides.

***To win a copy of either of these books, e-mail your name, address and the book title to!