Happy Independence Day! Doing it Disney Style!

4th-of-july-fireworks-magic-kingdom-00

Fire up the grill! Time to celebrate our nation with BBQ’s, Backyard Games, and of course… FIREWORKS! And what better way to experience the lights in the sky than to view it over Cinderella’s Castle?!

This year, Disney Parks Blog will be live-streaming “Disney’s Celebrate America! A Fourth of July Concert In The Sky” online starting at 9:00pm. Watch the fireworks over the castle or from the viewpoint of the Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort.

For more information, please click here.

buzz

I hope you all have an excellent Fourth of July! Now I’m ready to kick-off my week long vacation! But don’t worry, I’ll keep in touch with you all from beautiful Maine!   ~Party safe~ 

 

Stir Fried Noodles

Are you a fan of strong flavors? Do you absolutely love peanut butter, and think it can accompany any meal; breakfast, lunch, snack, AND dinner? Like to eat your meal within 20 minutes of starting to cook it?

If you answered yes to all of these craftily pointed questions, then I am pleased to announce that I have found the perfect recipe for YOU! Straight from the beautiful Polynesian Resort’s lovely restaurant, ‘Ohana, I give you their masterful Stir Fried Noodle recipe!

I will admit right off the bat that I did take a couple of shortcuts. They were necessary, and you can feel free to use them. I promise that the flavor was not compromised. All right, let’s get to it!

Stir Fried Noodle Ingredients

First things first, gather your peanut butter sauce ingredients in one happy pile. You will need to chop 2 cloves of garlic, about 1/4 of a Spanish onion (very sweet!), and chop about 1 tablespoon of roasted peanuts.

Note: Chop up an extra tablespoon of roasted peanuts to garnish the dish.

Add those ingredients to a heavy bottom pot, along with 1/2 cup of good, smooth peanut butter and a 1/4 cup of soy sauce, sugar, and water each. Now, let’s address the ginger situation, or Shortcut #1.

ginger

The recipe calls for a chopped piece of ginger (about 2″ long). Up here in the north, we don’t always have ginger, and if we do, it isn’t always fresh. I used to substitute fresh ginger for powder, which does sacrifice the flavor. The ginger was always sort of off, because fresh versus powder is hardly comparable. But one day, the Ginger Gods heard my plea, and to ward off my agony, they delivered the above product to my grocery store. It’s fresh ginger, processed into an easy squeeze tube. I added about 1 tablespoon of this ginger to the pot along with the other sauce ingredients.

Stir Fried Noodle Sauce (2)

Let this mixture boil gently while stirring often. Once it gets to a boil, turn the heat down and let simmer for ten minutes. Now, you could take this sauce, add it to a blender, and puree it til smooth. OR, you can use the most under-rated kitchen tool of our time.

the emulsifier

This is a great tool for mashing potatoes, blended vegetables for cream soup, and now, blending yummy peanut butter sauce! I’m telling you, invest in this. It’s magical.

While you wait for the sauce to boil (trust me, it doesn’t take long at all!), start preparing the noodle part of the dish.

Stir Fried Noodle Veggie

Warm up 2 tablespoons canola/vegetable oil in a wok (or deep saucepan). Slice up 1/2 red pepper into small slices, and an equal amount of pineapple. Add to a wok along with ginger and garlic.

Shortcut #2: The original recipe calls for pureeing the ginger and garlic together, but that’s too much work, and feels unnecessary. I simply squeezed my ginger into the vegetables, and added about a tablespoon of minced garlic.

Once the vegetables have incorporated and the peppers are tender, you can add your udon noodles.

Udon Pack

Again, I was limited to the udon selection at my grocery store, and this caused me to take on Shortcut #3, or instant, fully-cooked noodles. The awesome part of having this around is that since they are cooked, you don’t need to boil water and dirty another pot. So… yay!

Add the noodles to the cooked vegetable mixture. As the package says, I needed to cook this through for 2 minutes. Make sure whatever type of udon noodles you use, that they are cooked and tender before adding the sauce.

Veg and Udon

Once the noodles are done, add your luciously peanut buttery sauce to the wok. Don’t add it all at once. Depending on your own measurements and preference of sauce-to-noodle ratio, I would suggest adding about 1/2 cup of sauce to the noodles first, mix thoroughly, and taste. Remember, you control the quality and quantity of the ingredients, so make it to your liking!

Stir Fried Noodle Complete

Top the final product off with some chopped peanuts, and wa la! Simple, right? Keep this recipe in your back pocket and you will truly impress those foodie friends of yours! Enjoy!

Source

Disney Fact #97

Strange history was once made at Walt Disney World, and surprisingly enough, it had to do with The Beatles!

On December 29, 1974, while vacationing at Walt Disney World’s Polynesian Resort with his family, John Lennon finally signed the paperwork that broke up The Beatles forever. Interesting!

It's still sad...

It’s still sad…

Source

 

Pancakes with Macadamia Nut Butter

I found this recipe at allears.net where they have a lot of WDW park recipes saved. These sweet little pancakes really complement the macadamia nut butter. It’s a really simple dish, and adding the little extra really changes up your ordinary pancakes.

This recipe can be found at Kona Cafe in the Polynesian Resort.

TIP: Take out a stick of butter before you begin. This way it will be soft enough for the mixture by the time you’re done cooking the pancakes.

Start by sifting the flour into a large mixing bowl. I usually sift the flour and baking powder together to make sure they mix thoroughly. Add the brown sugar and a pinch of salt to the flour mixture. It does seem like a lot of brown sugar, but the pancakes really don’t end up being overly sweet. It isn’t until you add the macadamia butter that the sweetness comes in.

mp1

Now add the eggs, milk, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract to the dry ingredients and beat until smooth. You can use an electric mixture but I just used a sturdy whisk. My batter, at first, was very runny, I think it’s because I used extra-large eggs (which was all I had at home) and it added too much liquid. If that happens, just add more flour until it’s a better consistency.

mp3

Make sure to get the pan hot. I dropped a little butter into the pan to create a good crust on the outside of the pancakes. Because of the brown sugar, the pancakes have a moister middle, almost gooey, so having that harder crust on the outside is necessary or they would be too soft.

mp4

Make little silver dollar sized pancakes. Again you don’t want the middle to get dry and lose that moist center, so the smaller size is better. Once tiny bubbles begin to surface on the top of the pancakes, it’s time to flip them. Each time you add more batter to the pan, make sure to add a little more butter to the pan to keep them from sticking and make that crust on the outside.

mp6

As you can see, this recipe makes for a good amount of pancakes. I got about 18 silver-dollar sized pancakes. When they come off the pan, have a wire rake set upside down on top of a baking sheet to keep the bottom of the pancake from touching anything. It will get soggy if the hot pancake sits on a plate or any surface.

Now that the pancakes are all done, it’s time to make the macadamia nut butter spread. This is really easy. Just quickly toast some macadamia nuts in a saucepan and roughly chop them. I chopped most of them up fine so it would be easier to eat, but I kept a few larger chunks so you could see what was in the butter. Mix the nuts with the softened butter and honey and serve on top of the warm pancakes.

mp5

You can make the butter ahead of time and keep it out while you cook the pancakes so that the butter mixture is soft.

mc4

Now all you have to do is grab a nice cup of coffee and enjoy a quick trip to Polynesia.

mc1

Ingredients:

Pancakes:

1-1/4 cups brown sugar

3 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1-1/2 cups milk

3 eggs

6 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method

Sift flour into medium bowl.  Add brown sugar, baking powder, and salt into medium bowl.

Add eggs, milk, vegetable oil, vanilla extract and beat until smooth.

If using an electric skillet pre-heat to 350 F; pre-heat griddle or skillet on medium until a few drops of water dance on the surface.

For each pancake pour 1/4-cup batter onto skillet and cook on first side until bubbles form and sides look dry, flip over and cook until golden brown

Top with your favorite syrup or macadamia nut butter (below).

Macadamia Nut Butter

One stick butter (at room temperature)

1/4 cup toasted Macadamia nuts

1/4 cup honey

Method:

Combine butter, honey, and toasted Macadamias.

Use a spoonful to top pancakes.