Mission Impossible???

September 22, 2015

With the Epcot Food & Wine Festival just days away, let’s take a look at one of the soft opening days from a few years ago…

Eating (and Drinking) around the World

Friday September 25 was the official opening day of this years Epcot Food & Wine Festival, but my sources had intelligence that there were test runs, or soft openings if you prefer, on the Thursday prior… I decided to find the truth out for myself…

I arrived in Epcot a bit after 10 AM and made my way towards the World Showcase – I was trying to be inconspicuous, appear to be just another befuddled tourist with a camera… I was on the promenade by about 10:30, looked right and left, and made my way towards Mexico.


The Dessert and Champagne booth was the first that way as usual (the desserts a new addition to the bubbly this year). Brazil and Argentina were right past, and the Mouse Catch with its assortment of cheeses on the opposite side of the walk… nothing was open but there was activity about –…

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We know there seems to be a day for pretty much anything this days, but a day devoted to that favorite libation of Jack Sparrow seems a natural one to celebrate!

So yes, Dear Dedicated Readers, it’s time to celebrate National Rum Day!

Mmmm... rum...

Mmmm… rum…

August 16, 2015 is the official National Rum Day, but the Harem & I started celebrating (and recipe testing) several days ago…

To backtrack a bit, I was contacted a while back by Caliche Rum with several recipes and an offer to try out their brand, so who am I to turn down an offer like that??? We tried a few recipes that sounded appealing, and here are our favorites:


Cali Strawberry Daiquiri

Cali Strawberry Daiquiri


Cali Strawberry Daiquiri

2 oz Caliche Rum

1 oz Fresh Lime Juice

¾ oz Agave Nectar

1 Fresh Strawberry

Garnish: Strawberry

In a shaker, combine all ingredients, then lightly muddle the strawberry. Shake vigorously until well chilled.  Strain into an ice filled rocks glass and garnish with strawberry.

I really liked this – compared to most versions (very thick and/or frozen), this was a lighter tasting drink and great for a hot summer day!


Cali Gold

Cali Gold

Cali Gold
2 oz Caliche Rum
1 oz Fresh Lime Juice
1/4 oz Fresh Pineapple Juice
¾ oz Simple Syrup
3 – 6 Cilantro Leaves
Garnish: Cilantro Leaf

In a rocks glass, combine all ingredients and lightly muddle Cilantro leaves. Top with crushed ice or preferably nugget ice. Garnish with a cilantro spring.

This turned out really nice! A simple, fruity concoction with the herbaceousness of cilantro… I’ll make this one again for sure!


Cali Intense

Cali Intense

Cali Intense

2 oz Barrows Intense Ginger Liqueur

1 oz Caliche Rum

Add club soda (or seltzer water for fewer calories) and fill over ice. Optional: Garnish with Lime.

Okay, I’ll admit I didn’t use the Barrows Liqueur… had Domaine de Canton Ginger Liqueur on hand, so I used that… and this turned out to be the most popular drink among the Harem!

All these recipes were winners, and I wouldn’t hesitate to suggest you try one (or all!) of them on National Rum Day (or any day, for that matter)!

Now I’ll admit I may not be the biggest expert on rum, but I did sample the Caliche on the rocks as well as in the old standby of rum and (diet of course) coke, and thought it was pretty dang tasty! Next time you find yourself in need of a bottle of rum (and with the holiday upon us, you just might!), it’s worth giving this brand a try… they have a nice web site (with even more recipes) if you want to give it a look…

Thanks to Caliche Rum (and in effort of Full Disclosure, I was given the samples free of charge, but all opinions/comments are strictly mine and objective) for providing the sample and recipes…

Okay kids, back to the bar! See you soon!


Once again it’s time for one of our favorite made-up holidays, National Tequila Day!

Tequila Thyme Lemonade

Tequila Thyme Lemonade

July 24th is celebrated as National Tequila Day, but Dedicated Readers will know that pretty much everyday is NTD around here!

Okay, so let’s celebrate with a drink recipe, shall we?

Tequila Thyme Lemonade

Most of the goods... be sure to use your best rocket-shaped cocktail shaker!

Most of the goods… be sure to use your best rocket-shaped cocktail shaker!

2 oz  Silver Tequila (break out the good stuff for this…)

1/2 oz  Lemon Juice (fresh-squeezed of course)

1/2 oz  Simple Syrup (you know how to make this by now, don’t you???)

2  Generous Lemon Wedges

6  Sprigs of Fresh Thyme

It's simple as syrup...

It’s simple as syrup…

Put the lemon juice, one of the lemon wedges, five of the thyme sprigs and the simple syrup into your shaker and muddle to break down the lemon and thyme. Add the tequila and a good handful of ice or two and shake until well-chilled (or until the darn shaker gets so cold you can’t hold the sucker any longer!).

Hope this isn't too much of a strain for you...

Hope this isn’t too much of a strain for you…

Take a spiffy glass and add some fresh ice. Strain the tasty liquid into same…

"i'm ready for my close-up..."

“I’m ready for my close-up…”

Garnish with the remaining thyme and lemon slice, take a couple of pictures, and drink away!

Tequila Thyme Lemonade

Tequila Thyme Lemonade

Since it’s predominantly tequila (and not like that’s a bad thing…) this is a slow-sipping beverage, but it doesn’t seem too strong at all. Tart and refreshing, this is a great drink to celebrate National Tequila Day on a steamy day in July!

This recipe came from Total Wine, so a big two thumbs-up to them! Hope you try and enjoy this! Please be sure to Like and Share with your adult-beverage-loving friends!

Back to the kitchen (with a stop at the bar on the way…), see you again soon!


Wine Enthusiast Magazine has published their 2015 list of 100 Best Wine Restaurants in America, eateries they identify as this year’s top spots to eat and drink across the country. In the August 2015 issue you can find this year’s annual list that features interviews with star chefs and sommeliers.


And there’s a WDW restaurant listed in the top 100!

Those who have dined at Jiko in the Animal Kingdom Lodge won’t be shocked at its’ inclusion on this list of the best places to wine and dine! According to the piece Jiko houses the largest foreign collection of South African wine. The list contains approximately 120–140 selections, several exclusive to Jiko.



Above is a photo from the article showing one of the signature appetizers at Jiko, grilled wild boar tenderloin with mealie pap and chakalaka which they recommend to pair with Spice Route’s 2011 Chakalaka from South Africa. And from personal experience I can say this is one fine dish!

You can click here to see the Jiko listing, and here is the complete list of the top 100.

Now I’m thinking about a trip to Animal Kingdom Lodge… open the wine please!

The Bog is Back!

June 10, 2015

As Dedicated Readers know all too well, we here at Eating (and Drinking) Around the World just live for the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival! And now that some info about the upcoming festival is beginning to come out, we’re, well, just getting a little bit giddy…

In a recent post on the official Disney Parks Blog, Pam Brandon gave us a “First Look at 20th Epcot International Food & Wine Festival“…  of course there will be Celebrity Chefs, Eat to the Beat concerts (Miss Bonnie is especially giddy about the return of Rick Springfield!) and the 25+ Marketplace kiosks, but the really big news is… wait for it….

Did someone say Cranberry Bog???

“I’m a Bog, I’m a Bog oh, the Bog is Back… (hopefully not) stone cold sober as a matter of fact…”

the bog is back!

The surprisingly popular Ocean Spray Cranberry Bog was a late no-show last year (see the post “Bye Bye Bog…“), but we’re promised a return this year…

Cheers to you Cranberry Bog... we hope to see you back soon!  (Photo courtesy Papa Harry)

Cheers to you Cranberry Bog… we hope to see you again soon!
(Photo courtesy Papa Harry)

and if we’re lucky, we may just get a return trip inside the bog itself!

Many more details on the Festival should be coming out in about a month, as the Tables in Wonderland Sneak Preview is scheduled for the 12th of July, so stay tuned!

Back to the kitchen!

Looking for a last minute dish for Cinco de Mayo? Give this terrific guacamole recipe a try!

Eating (and Drinking) around the World

Maybe I will change your life... Maybe I will change your life…

Many Thursday nights I attend a party – one with cocktails, drinking games involving accents, special culinary guests and lots of fun food talk… of course I’m referring to the internet get-together known as #KitchenParty. On one show a few weeks ago, Gaby Dalkin of the What’s Gaby Cooking blog was the guest discussing (among other things) her avocado obsession, and her newly released book, Absolutely Avocados.


After watching the show, and perusing her blog and recipes, I decided I just had to have this book in my hands! Not even wanting to wait the few days for Amazon to deliver said tome, the following day I made my way to local retailers to gladly pay full price (and sales tax) for the book. On my second stop at Books-a-Million I found the book (tucked away in the Vegetarian Cooking section, even…

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As it’s once again Mardi Gras time – take a look back at Cajun-style dish I stirred up last year… this recipe has been very popular, so give it a try if you haven’t yet!

Eating (and Drinking) around the World

Smothered Chicken Thighs - Louisiana Style Smothered Chicken Thighs – Louisiana Style

With it being slap in the middle of Mardi Gras season (it’s actually Fat Tuesday as I write this), I thought it the proper time to share a Cajun-influenced dish I stirred up a bit ago – chicken pieces cooked in and smothered with a rich sauce filled with the “trinity” of peppers, celery and onions – in other words (and perhaps more familiarly) a chicken étouffée. Since there’s beads to get and Hurricanes to drink, let’s not waste any time – Let’s Cook!

Smothered Chicken Thighs – Louisiana Style (Chicken Etouffée)


4  Chicken Thighs (bone in, skin on – you can remove skin if you must)

Salt & Black Pepper for the chicken

2 Tbl  Canola Oil (or other veggie oil)

4 Tbl (1/4 Cup) Butter

2 Tbl  Flour (all-purpose, or whole wheat AP, etc.)

1/2  Red Onion, finely chopped

1 large…

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