I Tried Hello Fresh And This Is What Happened…

So I am in college and in college its hard to find time to sleep let alone eat a healthy or home cooked meal. And forget going to the grocery store, its like a war zone in there. So we end up eating what ever our hands reach first on the frozen food isle or what ever fast food place is open the latest at night and can easily be consumed in or on the way to the library. Going home and having your mom cook your favorite meal is like precious gold, but now that I’m a senior even going home has become a rarity. So I had to do something.

One night I went to dinner at my boyfriend’s mother’s house. They were talking about this food service called Hello Fresh and it literally sounded to good to be true. Fresh, healthy meals delivered straight to my door and I get to completely by pass the grocery store, of course, I would want to sign up for that!

I will admit it is pricey at $60 a week but my plan serves two people per meal. Essentially that ends up being 6 meals so really its about $10 a meal. About what you would spend on eating out. And the food is fresh, fresher that what you even get for the grocery store sometimes! The meals are healthy and they haven’t sent me anything yet that I wouldn’t eat again. I also only have to go to the grocery store now for things like milk and cereal and things like hot pockets for lunch so it honestly has saved me money.

I really like that it is structured that I know what I am eating each night and that I have everything right there too cook it rather than risking forgetting something and having to go all the way back to town to get the one thing I forgot. I also love that I know what I am getting in each box and if I don’t really want one of the options I can change it online. I can pick my meals weeks in advance and if I need to skip a week for any reason I can it is as easy a pressing a button and I wont even be charged for that week. Each recipe only takes 30 minutes to cook and its actually fun to do. And the best part the clean up is SUPER easy! 10/10 Would Recommend this, my boyfriend and I are literally loving it!

Here is the link: Hello Fresh got check it out for your self. ( Your first box is usually half off so you can try it for $30.) Also here is a picture of one one of the things I have cooked using Hello Fresh so you can see that it really does look like they say it will!IMG_2554

A few of my favorites have been: Maple Glazed Pork Chops, Chicken Cheddar Fajitas, and the Herbed Chicken over Zucchini Risotto (This is what is pictured above). Try it and let me know what you think in the comments! 🙂

Disney World Vacation 2017

IMG_1713Hey ya’ll! So I have been on vacation in my favorite place in the world, Disney World. I try to go at least once a year and have been going for years so we have figured out most of the do’s and don’ts of Disney World. I have done a post about how to get the best deals with the meal plans and the ticket packages a while back but I still wanted to review some of the things we did and places we ate on our vacation this year.

First off we got the 2017 Disney Dining Plan not the signature or the quick service one. This meal plan has changed a little since the first year we purchased it but I think you get more of your moneys worth out of it with the changes made. This year everyone was entitled to one Quick Service Meal (Entree and a drink) per person per day, 2 Snacks per person per day, and a Table Service Meal (Entree, Drink and Dessert) per person per day. This plan comes with a bit of sticker shock but if you have ever been to Disney and tried to eat cheaply its almost impossible. We calculated it this year and the meal plan costs $69 a day per person but a Hamburger and fries can easily cost a person $15-$20 a piece in the parks and a table service meal can cost twice that. If you use it efficiently its defiantly worth the money!

We always eat at the Trails End Restaurant in Disney’s Fort Wilderness Campground. Its at the Settlement area of the resort which is the area near Bay Lake. You can get here by going to a park and catching a bus to this campground or going to Magic Kingdom and catching the boat that takes you across the Lake. This restaurant is a country cooking style buffet and one of the only places on property you can get sweet tea! It takes one of the Table Service Entitlements per person. Its super good and kid friendly. I recommend using the Disney Mobile App to make reservations though because it can get pretty crowded at prime meal times but they do offer walk ups.

Another Table Service restaurant I highly recommend is the Be Our Guest Restaurant located in Magic Kingdom. Its a restaurant that seats you in the ball room of the beasts castle or in one of the adjacent wings including the West Wing where the enchanted rose is contained in glass just like in the movie. They also serve The Grey Stuff for dessert! Its delicious, if you don’t believe me, just ask the dishes! I cannot stress this enough: MAKE RESERVATIONS! This is the one place that you will not be able to walk up to ever. Or at least right now while its still so popular and new. The food is amazing and would easily cost $30 to $40 a person without the meal plan. The menu has something for everyone too! It also only takes on Table Service Entitlement per person.

We also tried a New Place this year called Le Cellier. It’s a steak house located in the Canada area of the Epcot World Showcase. I recommend reservations but you can walk up too (try a off meal time like 2 or 3 o’clock or 4 or 5 o’clock or after the dinner rush as gone down.) This restaurant ins considered a signature dinning location which means it’s expensive but in terms of the meal plan it will take 2 Table Service Entitlements per person at 1 sitting. This isn’t too bad considering the cheapest thing on the menu is $44.

We went to aa lot of other places too but these were just a few of my favorites.

So you’re probably wondering what a quick service restaurant is in relation to the dining plan. They are any of the fast food style restaurants. Basically burger and fries places but part of the beauty of Disney is that they are so creative. If you do your research you can often find places that are Quick Service but offer a far better selection than a theme park burger. Here are just a few that I like but they have many more and you can find them on the Mobile App and the menus are listed there as well.

Magic Kingdom: Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe (has 3 bays all offering different options, here you can get a 1/2 chicken, mashed potatoes, and green beans.) Pinocchio’s Village Haus (Pizza)

Epcot: Sunshine Seasons (located in The Land has options from the green houses that are housed there.) Also check out each country in the World Showcase they all have a quick service as well as a Table Service restaurant themed to that country in them.

Animal Kingdom: Flame Tree BBQ ( huge plates of BBQ dishes, Ribs, Chicken, BBQ etc.)

Hollywood Studios: I personally don’t care for the foods in this park but they do have a Restaurant that serves chicken and waffles called The Backlot Express if your in to that. **Bonus: There is a snack place right next to  the Indiana Jones Stunt Show that offers Funnel Cakes! Its on the meal plan as a snack and you can get a plain one with powdered sugar but also one with ice cream, chocolate syrup, and strawberries! (Basically a heart attack on a plate.) But this item is $11.95 and considered 1 snack entitlement and you get to per day plus its big enough to share with 3 or 4 people… I’ll let you do the math on that one.

Disney Springs: D-Lux Burger is on the Dining plane and you get so much food! Yeah its a burger place but not the average burger place.

Now that you know what to eat when you go, I need to tell you the best things to ride/ get fast passes for.

So there’s the usual rides like Soarin’, Test Track, Seven Dwarves Mine Train, Peter Pan, and the Various Mountains (Space, Splash, Everest, and Big Thunder) but they have just opened a brand new area in Animal Kingdom from the Avatar Movie called Pandora! If you haven’t seen the movie I highly recommend it! So here is my review of Pandora. First of all there are lots of things that are interactive in this portion of the park; things to move and touch. During the day its beautiful with the water falls and floating mountains and native plants. At night its a totally different place! Everything glows and lights up and it’s all interactive. Now there are two rides in this area if you can get a fast pass for either of them get it if you can’t then they are still worth the wait! Trust me! You do not want to miss the Flight of Passage Ride! This is going to have the longest line stand in it! You will not regret it! If you love Soarin’ or even thought it was kinda cool this ride will blow your mind. You get to ride on the back of a Banshee (the flying dragon thing from the movie). Probably one of the most incredible rides at Disney World to date!

The other ride in Pandora is the Navi River Journey. This line for this ride tends to thin at night to about 30 minuets. We got on it at a 30 minuet wait time and probably only waited 10 minuets. Its really just one of the average boat rides similar to Pirates of the Caribbean and It’s a Small World. Its pretty to look at and interesting but the Flight of Passage definitely blows this one out of the water.

Another thing you cannot miss is the Happily Ever After Show every night at Magic Kingdom starting at 9:00 p.m. It is what replaced the Wishes Show and while I loved that show Happily Ever After is about 10 steps above it! Go see for your self.

Bonus: The frozen sing along show at Hollywood Studios is worth a visit!

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Kendall and I at Animal Kingdom (Find A Big Who Love Disney As Much as You Do)

If ya’ll wanna know more about any rides or parks or restaurants let me know in the comments and I can review them too because I have probably visited them before and if not I for sure know someone who has my Big is a Cast Member.

Warning: This is a life changing dessert recipe post… Proceed with caution.

So I know I have been MIA for a few weeks but I have been busy with finals, then I went to New York, and came home and started a new job at Wild Wing Cafe. But I am back now and done with school for a bit so I will be able to post pretty frequently… Hopefully. So be on the look out for tons of pictures and details from my Fashion Study Tour to New York City and some other really fun posts.

So for the first post in a while I discovered an amazing dessert recipe on Pinterest. I don’t usually have a lot of good luck with recipes I find on Pinterest. I might cook it once and it be pretty good but not good enough to stick around as a regular dish. This one however is defiantly a keeper.

Me and my friends had a “cook in” the other night. It was literally pouring rain and so we couldn’t have our previously planned cook out. We had already bought all the things too cook so we went ahead and cooked and so I made a dessert. We had hamburgers and mac and cheese, pasta salad and chips and dip. I had made this dessert previously and it was great but it turned out to look like a mess because I didn’t have a spring form pan. I 10 out of 10 would recommend a spring form pan to put this in. So I got this off Pinterest so its not my own recipe but here it is.

Brownie Batter No Bake Cheesecake

(Did I mention that it was no bake? How easy is that!)

INGREDIENTS
FOR THE CRUST
  • 2 ½ cups (225 g) chocolate sandwich
  • cookie crumbs (I use Oreos)
  • 6 tbsp (86 g) unsalted butter
FOR THE FILLING
  • 24 oz (680 g) cream cheese, softened (I use light)
  • ½ cup (96 g) granulated sugar
  • 3 tbsp (44 ml) heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) vanilla extract
  • 3 cups (375 g) brownie mix (dry) (I use a Low Fat mix)
FOR THE GLAZE
  • 3 tbsp (23 g) brownie mix (dry)
  • 3 tsp (15 ml) vegetable oil
  • 4 tbsp (59 ml) heavy whipping cream
  • (or milk)
FOR THE TOPPING
  • 1 cup (237 ml) heavy whipping cream
  • ½ cup (65 g) powdered sugar
DIRECTIONS
FOR THE CRUST
  1. Prepare a 9-inch (23-cm) springform pan by lightly greasing the edges of the pan with cooking spray, and then wiping gently with a paper towel. Before measuring, grind the cookies into fine crumbs using a food processor or blender. In a microwave-safe bowl, microwave the butter for 45 to 60 seconds until the butter is melted.
  2. In a separate medium-size bowl, pour the melted butter into the cookie crumbs and stir until there are no dry crumbs left. Pour the crumbs into your springform pan and press firmly into the bottom and up the sides of your springform pan to create a thick crust.
FOR THE FILLING
  1. Beat the cream cheese on medium-high speed for 2 to 3 minutes until it’s light and fluffy.
  2. Slowly add the sugar into the cream cheese while beating the mixture. Next, add the heavy whipping cream and vanilla extract. Beat until the filling is smooth and creamy, scraping down the bowl as needed.
  3. Slowly add the dry brownie mix, beating on medium speed until the dry mix is completely blended into the cream cheese.
  4. Pour the filling into the prepared crust and spread evenly. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours until the filling is firm.
FOR THE GLAZE
  1. In a small bowl, combine dry brownie mix, vegetable oil and heavy whipping cream or milk. Whisk until the mixture is smooth. For a thinner mixture, you can add additional heavy whipping cream. Drizzle over the cheesecake.
FOR THE TOPPING
  1. Place the mixing bowl and whisk attachment in the freezer for 5 to 10 minutes to chill.
  2. Pour the heavy whipping cream into the chilled bowl and use an electric mixer to beat the heavy cream on medium-high speed until the cream gets bubbly. Slowly add the powdered sugar and continue beating on high speed until stiff peaks form.
  3. Remove the springform pan edge and use a large star tip to pipe the whipped cream on the outside edges of the cheesecake.

This is where I got the recipe, defiantly check out this site it has some great recipes!

http://www.thereciperebel.com/no-bake-brownie-batter-cheesecake/

One thing I did to… well… enhance this recipe was add some strawberries! They are so good with this and it helps cut the richness of the chocolate in this cheesecake! I personally think it makes it 10 times better!! If you love chocolate like I do you will love this recipe! Try it and tell me what y’all think about it!

 

And Straight on ‘Till Morning Part 2

So sorry for the delay in posts but I got really busy with school.

**Just a heads up since I wrote part one I read up on the meal plans and they have now changed it to where you must purchase a magic your way package to get a meal plan which means staying on property is a must but that is essentially what my family has been doing for years we use to put it together ourselves**

Who doesn’t love food, right? Especially on vacation and especially at Disney World ( I mean really Mickey shaped everything!) but it’s so expensive! Not to worry have a way that will totally save you money!

Okay, so when you go on to look at these meal plans don’t panic! They are expensive but there are different levels as far as what each one offers but the initial sticker shock is a bit much but let’s do the math really quick. So my family consists of 4 people none of which are considered children anymore, so for us to get a burger, fries and a drink each (quick service which I will talk about in a minute) costs about $50 and if your doing that roughly 3 meals a day for, say, a 4 days that ends up being $600 for literally just fast food that you can get from McDonald’s at home. And on top of that, you miss out on the amazing cuisine that Disney World offers. And that doesn’t even include snacks or extra bottles of water or anything else that you might want to buy on your vacation.

I highly recommend researching the meal plans. There are different levels as I mentioned earlier. So the first is the quick service meal plan. That basically offers fast food type dining experiences. However, don’t be fooled by the term fast food because many of the fast food or quick service restaurants serve so much more than your usual burger and fries. For example the Be Our Guest Restaurant is a quick service place at lunch time. This is one of the most sought after places to get a reservation because it is so beautiful on the inside. It is a must do! (Make reservations to eat here when you make your vacation reservations.)

The second is the Disney dining plan which offers one quick service meal a day, one sit down meal (nicer restaurant) and a snack. This one is a bit more expensive but if you were to eat like this every day for again like 4 days you would spend well over $1000. This one is the one my family normally gets and it is the best deal in personal opinion.

The last meal plan is called the Deluxe Dining Plan this pretty mush offers the most high-end restaurants on Disney Property. Their restaurants are the ones you have to dress up to go into. If your family likes that kind of thing then this would be perfect but when I am on vacation I don’t really want to dress up and all from being in the park all day. None the less there are some amazing restaurants that you have access to with this dining plan.

It is very important to research which one would be most beneficial for your family. I do 100% recommend it if you’re going to be there for a longer vacation.

*** Also just a heads up: Disney now has Starbucks in every park and even some the resorts and everything in there is considered a snack on the Disney Dining Plan. And if your want a cake pop make sure you ask for the snack because you actually get three because of the price! Your welcome! 😉

That being said there are so many ways to enjoy Disney World so I am going to give you a few of my personal MUST DO attractions.

Food: Be Our Guest Restaurant (lunch or dinner), Trails End Restaurant, Boma- Flavors of Africa, The Garden Grill (Character Dining), Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. Skipper Canteen, The Roaring Fork, SiFi Dine-in Theater, Sprinkles (Has Gluten Free cupcakes), Sunshine Seasons, The Coral Reef Restaurant, and Teppan Edo (* Disney offers gluten free and other dietary restricted items in almost every restaurant on property)

Attractions: Hoop Dee Doo Review, Ohana, Movie nights at the Resorts, Wishes, Main Street Electrical Parade, Magic and the Memories ( they animate the castle very, very cool.), Illuminations, The new night time show on the tree of life similar to Magic and the Memories.

Ride: Sorin’, Test Track, Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Rail Road, Dinosaur( I have never actually seen this whole ride my eye close about half way through, but I am kind of a wimp), Rockin’ Roller Coaster starring Aerosmith, Expedition Everest ( literally my favorite ride here), The Jungle Cruise, Kilimanjaro Safaris, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (really long line, really short ride but fun), Star Tours, Toy Story Mania, and Space Mountain just to name a few.

My Favorite Parks: Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney Spring, and Typhoon Lagoon.

If you have long kids or just wanna be kids again this is the place to go and have fun. It’s like a real life Neverland. You don’t have to be grown up here and that to me is the best vacation. It’s the second highway exit to the right instead of the second star to the right… but basically the same. 😉

** Last thing: To me it makes it more fun to know the history behind Disney World and Walt Disney so if your interested in that try reading the book “Walt Disney: An American Original” ( they Disney Family hired Bob Thomas a personal friend of Walt’s to write his biography) and if you want a little extra magic at the parks check out the Latest Version of the book ” Hidden Mickey: A Field Guide to Walt Disney World’s Best Kept Secrets” by Steven Barrett. And take advantage of meeting Characters too! its fun no matter what age!

If y’all have an questions or other topics you want to know more about leave a comment and I’ll answer it!