Oh, how the short frigid days of winter make me long for the sunny Florida weather. I can almost feel the hot sunlight on my skin as I walk through the gates of Epcot. My head bends back farther then I ever need to in the real world as I gaze up at the magnificent spaceship earth. I walk underneath it, glancing at my reflection in the mirror like walls that hold the giant ball up. There is not time to stop to hear Judi Dench remind me to thank the Phoenicians for making my ABC’s so easy. It is almost 11:00 a.m. and I only have one thing on my mind; lunch! I walk past the Fountain of Nations, feeling a slight mist from the wind blowing the water on me. There are crowds of people. Some stand aimlessly with maps in hand as they try to decipher how exactly the Monorail brought them to this park. They wanted to go the place with the tree and animals. But not me. I know exactly where I am headed and that is World Showcase. But where to begin? Turn left and visit Donald and his caballeros while I chow down on an Ensalada Mexicana from La Cantina de San Angel? Or turn right and splurge on a steak from Le Cellier? Or how about some crispy and crunchy Fish and Chips from The United Kingdom? Or skip lunch and head straight to France for some sweet treats at Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie? Is your mouth watering yet? Mine sure is. And while I can’t get to the parks everyday, I can bring some of the Disney magic into my life, and specifically this week, into my kitchen.
Food is a very important part of my Disney vacations, let’s be honest if not the most important part. And World Showcase is one of my very favorite places to eat, I mean, it’s basically like the worlds longest buffet. One thing I love to do while I am away from the parks is recreate some of my favorite meals. While these recipes are not taken from the Disney menus or Chef’s, they are “inspired” dishes that you can create at home. So take a walk with me around the world (showcase), and let’s hop into the kitchen.
First up we have the easiest of the three inspired dishes. This comes to us from the land where Belle met her Beast and where the dishes invite us to be there guest. So say “bonjour” to the Jambon Beurre sandwich from the Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie. This is a wonderful and easy weekday lunch, whether you’re packing your lunch for a day at the office on you’re way to a picnic under the Eiffel tower.
- Thinly sliced ham
- Cheese (Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie uses Gruyère cheese, but remember this recipe is “inspired” so you can use whatever cheese you would like)
- Dijon Mustard
1. Mix 2 parts butter with 1/2 part Dijon mustard. Set aside.
2. Slice the baguette into a top and bottom slice.
3. Spread the butter and mustard mixture onto the baguette.
4. Lay the ham and cheese slices on the baguette
This recipe for Orange Chicken inspired by the Lotus Blossom Café is one you can make in your crock pot filling your whole home with the scents and flavors of Epcot’s China Pavilion. Just add some white rice and broccoli and you have a meal that your whole family will enjoy.
- Chicken breasts or thighs
- 3/4 cup Orange Marmalade (yes, you are adding marmalade to chicken. I was a little skeptical at first too, but trust me.)
- 3/4 cup Barbecue Sauce
- 2 tbsp. Soy Sauce
- White Rice
1. Cube raw chicken
2. Mix together orange marmalade, barbecue sauce, ans soy sauce in a bowl.
*This part is optional, but I think it gives a better flavor. So if I am thinking ahead I will put the cubed chicken pieces, marmalade, barbecue sauce, and soy sauce in a zip lock bag and let it marinate overnight.
3.The next morning I simply dump (is there a nicer way to say dump? plop maybe? Anyway, moving on…) I “plop” everything into the crock pot except the rice and broccoli.
4. Cook on low for 8 hours (you can cook on high for 4 hours or medium for 6, it doesn’t really matter. I just do low for 8 hours so it can cook while I am at work.)
5. Cook rice according to package directions.
6. Steam broccoli on the stove top until tender
7. Plate rice and top with orange chicken. Add broccoli to the side.
At last we have come to the land where the food makes me do my happy dance into the line, Mexico! This totally filling take on La Cantina San Angel’s Ensalada Mexicana will soon become a favorite. I am guilty of making this pretty much every week. It’s so easy and yummy! And best of all you can make it vegetarian, or with chicken, or ground beef. I also like to mix and match toppings depending on what I have on hand when I am making it. This allows for me to eat one of my favorite dishes without getting tired of it. This recipe is also easy to double (or triple depending on how much you need).
- 1 can black beans
- 1 can pinto beans
- 1 can corn
- 1 jar of salsa (I usually prefer mild, but again, this recipe is “inspired” so you can tweak things to your liking)
- Chicken or ground beef (I cook the ground beef on the stove top before it goes into the crock pot)
- Lettuce, shredded
- Shredded cheddar cheese
- Sour Cream
- Guacamole (although slices of avocado is also extremely yummy)
- Tortilla Chips, crushed (or not crushed whateves)
1. This is another “plop” recipe you can do in the crock pot. So, “plop” all of the above ingredients excluding the rice, lettuce, and toppings into your crock pot.
2. Cook for 8 hours on low (again this can be altered according to your needs and preference)
3. Cook rice according to package directions
4. Lay a bed of lettuce in a bowl
5. Top with rice
6. Add the crock pot mixture to the top of the rice and lettuce
7. Add your favorite toppings. I like to do shredded cheese, sour cream, avocado, and some crushed up tortilla chips.