Welcome back friends! Autumn is my favorite season and while pumpkin spice has its charms, I prefer apple cider!
My family and I are starting a new Halloween tradition this year that includes drinking apple cider (check back on Friday for more details) and I thought it would be special to create our own!
Please feel free to use this recipe to create some delicious apple cider for you and yours! This cider is sweet and spiced; I used all Honeycrisp apples, but you can experiment with the combination of apples to change the flavor!
HOMEMADE APPLE CIDER
10 medium apples, quartered
1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons of ground cloves
4 – 6 tablespoons of sugar
Place the apples, cinnamon, cloves and sugar into a crockpot, then add enough water to cover the apples.
Cover the crockpot and cook the contents on low for 6 hours.
Once the 6 hours have passed, use a spoon to gently crush the apples, then allow them to cook for 1 more hour.
Once cooked, turn off the heat and allow the contents to cool slightly.
Slowly ladle and strain the liquid through a fine mesh sieve into a large pot or pitcher, then strain it a second time; discard the solids.
Welcome back friends! This week we’ll be cooking Hen Wen’s Apple Porridge from Disney’s The Black Cauldron.
This recipe is featured in the beginning of the film, when Caer Dallben asks Taran to feed Hen Wen the porridge he prepared for her.
This porridge looks much more appetizing than the one in the film. I couldn’t help myself! I thought to myself, if I wanted to eat porridge with apples, I’d want the apples to be cooked separately to develop their flavor more and I’m sure Hen Wen would approve!
HEN WEN’S APPLE PORRIDGE
2 apples, peeled and cut into slices
1/3 cup of water
1 cup of old fashioned oats
1 3/4 cups of whole milk
1/8 teaspoon of salt
Peel and cut the apples into slices.
Pour the water into a small sauce pan, then add the apples.
Sprinkle the desired amount of cinnamon and brown sugar onto the apples and stir to distribute.
Cover and cook until tender, stirring occasionally to evenly coat and cook the apples.
Once cooked, remove from the heat and set aside for the porridge (see below).
In a medium saucepan, boil the milk with the salt.
Stir in the oats.
Cook the oats for about 5 minutes over medium heat; stirring occasionally.
Remove the porridge from the heat and sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon, then stir to distribute.
Spoon the porridge into two bowls and arrange the cooked apple slices (see above) on top. I arranged mine into the shape of a rose and I believe next time I’ll cover the porridge completely.
Welcome back friends! This week we’ll be baking Trigger’s Blackberry Pie from Disney’s Robin Hood!
This recipe is featured when Robin Hood is discovered at Prince John’s archery competition and a fight ensues. One of the Sheriff of Nottingham’s henchmen, Trigger the vulture, is hiding out in a pie booth surrounded by these pies.
Note to self: Blackberries have seeds! This pie is sweet, tart and delicious, but there are seeds from the blackberries that startled me before I expected them! You could strain the seeds out by forcing the blackberries through a sieve. This recipe calls for whole berries, but you can adjust accordingly if the seeds throw off your groove!
TRIGGER’S BLACKBERRY PIE
2 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon of kosher salt
1 cup of unsalted butter, chilled
6-8 tablespoons of water, chilled
1 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of flour
4-6 cups of fresh blackberries
Add the flour and salt to a bowl and whisk to combine.
Cut the chilled butter into cubes and add the cubes to the bowl of flour and salt. Using a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour mixture until well combined.
Begin adding the tablespoons of chilled water one at a time and stirring well after each addition until the dough forms.
Turn the dough out onto a clean flat surface and work it into a ball. Cut this ball in half and plastic wrap each piece, then set inside the refrigerator to chill for at least 1 hour.
Bring out the first half of the dough and roll it out until it is about 1/4 inch thick and large enough to fit into your pie pan.
Gently pick up the rolled out dough and place it gently into the bottom of your pie pan, then smooth it in and trim the edges.
Pre-heat the oven to 425 F.
Wash the blackberries and add them to a bowl.
Add the sugar and stir until well coated, then add the flour and stir until well coated.
Pour the filling into the prepared pie crust.
Bring out the second half of the dough and roll it out until it is about 1/4 inch thick and large enough to cover your pie.
Gently pick up the rolled out dough and place it gently over the top of the pie, then trim the edges.
Using a fork or your fingers, crimp or pinch the edges.
Add 3 to 4 slits for venting while the pie bakes.
Cover the edges of the pie with a 2 to 3 inch strip of foil to prevent excessive browning.
Bake for 45-55 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and juice begins to bubble through the slits in crust, remove the foil for the last 15 minutes of baking.
Remove from the oven and allow it to cool on the rack at least 2 hours or more to allow the filling to thicken.
Welcome back friends! We took a little break from creating Disney recipes, but I’ve missed this, so we’re picking things back up again! This month we’ll be roasting the peanuts from the WDP Circus in Disney’s Dumbo.
This recipe is featured twice in the film. Timothy mouse is snacking on them when he first meets Dumbo, and when Dumbo stretches his ears to fly, he sucks them up and sprays over all the rude elephants.
I love salted peanuts! These are brined to get the salted flavor within the the shell, then tossed with peanut oil and salt before roasting. These are a healthy and delicious snack, I hope you enjoy them!
WDP CIRCUS’S ROASTED PEANUTS
1 1/2 pounds in-shell raw dried peanuts
2 quarts of water
1/2 cup of kosher salt
2 tablespoons of peanut oil
2 tablespoons of kosher salt
Thoroughly rinse the peanuts under cool water to remove any excess dirt.
In a large bowl or pot, dissolve the 1/2 cup of salt in the water, then add the peanuts.
Place a plate over the water’s surface to ensure the peanuts are submerged and brine for 24 hours.
Drain the water, and spread the peanuts on baking sheets in a single layer to dry (this may take several days).
Once the peanuts are dry, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the peanuts in a large bowl and toss them with the peanut oil and salt until well coated.
Spread the peanuts back out onto baking sheets in a single layer.
Roast in the oven for 40 to 45 minutes, rotating the pan(s) after 20 minutes. Everyone’s oven is different, so keep an eye on them so they won’t burn!
Remove the peanuts from the oven. They will continue to “cook” and become crunchy as they cool.
Happy February friends! I have some chocolaty Valentine cookies for you, and whether you celebrate Valentine’s Day or not, cookies are rarely unwelcome!
You may have heard that you can make cookies with boxed cake mix and this recipe does just that, but with a boost of unsweetened cocoa powder and M&Ms! They are delicious; rich and not too sweet. If you’re looking for something tasty to bake for yourself or someone(s) you love, please try these and enjoy!
1 box of devil’s food chocolate cake mix
1/4 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup of butter, softened
2 cups of “cupid’s mix” Valentine M&Ms
Pre-heat the oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Pour the cake mix and unsweetened cocoa into a large bowl and stir gently to incorporate.
Add the eggs and softened butter into the dry ingredients and mix until a thick dough forms.
Divide the M&Ms: Mix one cup into the cookie dough and place the other cup into a separate small bowl.
Roll the dough into 1 to 1 1/2 inch balls, then dip the top of each dough ball into the small bowl of M&Ms and place each one onto the baking sheet.
Place the baking sheet into the oven and bake for 10 to 12 minutes depending on the power of your oven.
Bring the cookies out of the oven and allow them to cool on the sheet for about 5 minutes, then transfer the cookies to a cooling rack for another 5 to 10 minutes.
Repeat this process until all the cookie dough has been baked, this should yield about 16 cookies.
Welcome back friends! This week we are roasting the turkey legs Sir Kay eats in Disney’s The Sword in the Stone.
This recipe is featured near the beginning of the film, in a scene that establishes Sir Kay’s contemptible nature. He munches on this turkey leg as he declares his indifference about Arthur’s whereabouts and safety. When I was little, I remember being fascinated at how easily he eats the meat off the bone.
This was an experimental recipe to be sure, but super fun to research! I looked up what kind of spices cooks had available and used on their meat during the Sword in the Stone’s time period, then created this rub! It is delicious, but I will warn you it is rich. I would definitely pair it with something fresh like a salad or another fruit or vegetable.
2 Turkey legs
1/16 teaspoon of black pepper
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 tablespoon of garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon of ginger
1 tablespoon of minced onion
1/8 teaspoon of nutmeg
3/4 tablespoon of salt
1 cup of chicken broth
INSTRUCTIONS (TURKEY LEGS)
Combine the black pepper, cinnamon, garlic powder, ginger, minced onion, nutmeg and salt in a small bowl and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Pat the turkey legs dry and place them in a large roasting pan.
Rub and pat the seasoning over and into the turkey legs.
Pour the chicken broth into the bottom of the pan around the turkey legs.
Roast the turkey legs for about 1 hour and 20 minutes.
Bring the drumsticks out of the oven and glaze with honey then put them back into the oven for 10 to 20 minutes or until a meat thermometer registers 170 F.
Remove the roasting pan from the oven, cover it with foil, and let it stand for 10 minutes.
Once cool enough to eat, remove the foil and enjoy!
Welcome back friends! This week we will be cooking up Tiana’s gumbo from Disney’s The Princess and the Frog!
This recipe is featured at the beginning of the film when Tiana makes gumbo for her family and community. It’s one of my favorite moments in the movie, revealing the loving relationship she shared with her father and how much she looked up to him, her passion for cooking and her generosity within her community.
This recipe is delicious! Absolutely perfect for this time of the year or whenever you need something warm and comforting.
1/4 cup of butter
1/2 pound of smoked beef sausage, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1/3 cup of flour
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 cup of celery, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup of onion, chopped
1 cup frozen orka, thawed
1 14-ounce can of diced tomatoes, undrained
2 1/2 cups of chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon of black pepper
2 teaspoons of cajun or creole seasoning
3/4 teaspoon of chili powder
1/2 teaspoon of hot pepper sauce
1 teaspoon of salt
1 pound of frozen cooked shrimp
Melt the 1/4 cup of butter in a dutch oven and brown the sausage in it.
Remove the cooked sausage and set it aside.
Whisk the 1/3 cup of flour into the butter and meat drippings until combined.
Continue to cook the roux, stirring constantly, for about 10 to 20 minutes or until it turns a dark amber-brown. If it’s cooking too quickly, or starts to smell faintly burnt, turn the heat down a little.
Stir in the bell pepper, celery, garlic, onion and okra until they are completely coated in the roux.
Cook these ingredients for about 5 minutes or until the vegetables have started to soften, stirring every 10-15 seconds.
Once the vegetables have begun to soften, add the tomatoes and the chicken broth, stirring as you go to smooth the roux into the broth.
Add the bay leaf, black pepper, cajun or creole seasoning, chili powder, hot pepper sauce and salt; stir to combine.
Bring the gumbo to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir in the shrimp, then cover and allow to simmer for about 5 minutes or until the shrimp thaw and cook through.
Remove the bay leaf and serve the gumbo on its own or over cooked white rice. We recommend Jasmine Rice!
Welcome back friends! This week we’ll be cooking up the gumbo Tiana makes in the bayou from Disney’s The Princess and the Frog!
This recipe is featured on Tiana, Naveen, Louis and Ray’s journey through the bayou to reach Mama Odie. When they stop to rest for the night, she teaches Naveen how to help prepare the food and they learn a little more about one another. She is such a talented cook that she can still create a delicious gumbo from the ingredients on hand.
I used a little more than the ingredients she had on hand, but I did keep it to a vegetarian theme and baked it in a pumpkin, which was so fun! How often do you get to make food inside of a pumpkin?
“BAYOU” GUMBO IN A PUMPKIN
1 medium-sized pumpkin
1/2 cup of butter
2/3 cups of all-purpose flour
2 red bell peppers, cored and diced
2 celery stalks, diced
5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 white onion, peeled and diced
1 cup of fresh or frozen okra, chopped
1 small cauliflower, chopped into florets
1 lb. of baby bella or button mushrooms, diced
14 ounce can of fire-roasted tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon of cayenne
2 teaspoons of Creole or Cajun seasoning
1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme
1 bay leaf
3 cups of vegetable stock
1 tablespoon of butter
Salt and pepper, to taste
Green onions (optional garnish)
Wash and dry the outside of the pumpkin, then cut the top off and thoroughly clean out the pulp and seeds.
Place the pumpkin (and it’s top) on a baking sheet lined with foil and set aside.
Melt the 1/2 cup of butter in a dutch oven, or large heavy-bottomed pot, over medium-high heat, then whisk in the flour until combined.
Continue to cook the roux, stirring constantly, for about 20 minutes or until it turns a dark amber-brown. If it’s cooking too quickly, or starts to smell faintly burnt, turn the heat down a little.
Stir in the bell peppers, celery, garlic, onion and okra until they are completely coated in the roux.
Cook these ingredients for about 5 minutes or until the vegetables have started to soften, stirring every 10-15 seconds.
Add the cauliflower, mushrooms, tomatoes, cayenne, creole/cajun seasoning, thyme, and the bay leaf.
Cook and stir for another 5 to 10 minutes until the ingredients are well combined and the new additions have softened a little.
While the ingredients cook, set the rack to the lowest point of your oven and pre-heat to 375 F.
Carefully ladle this mixture into the pumpkin and slowly pour in the broth, stirring the ingredients a little to smooth out the broth.
Place the tablespoon of butter on top of the gumbo and replace the pumpkin’s top.
Bake the pumpkin in the oven for about an hour, but please keep an eye on it! When done, the outside of the pumpkin will turn a dark orange. The inside of the pumpkin should be slightly tender, but not overly so, we are not scraping the sides to use in our gumbo.
Remove the baking sheet with the pumpkin from the oven and carefully remove the top. Remove the bay leaf, stir the contents and add salt and/or pepper to taste.
Welcome back friends! This week we’ll be cooking up Little John’s beef stew featured in Disney’s animated feature, Robin Hood!
This recipe is featured when Robin Hood and Little John are taking a break in the woods. Unfortunately Little John leaves Robin to tend the stew, and Robin starts daydreaming, effectively burning the stew (don’t worry we won’t burn ours). Friar Tuck shows up while Little John is trying to salvage the food; he tries the stew, coughs a bit, and comments “well done, ain’t it?”
I love a good, hearty stew! I thought burning it would be in poor taste (#momjoke), so I kept an eye on it. I also feel like Little John takes pride in his cooking so I kept it simple based on ingredients they may have been able to obtain, but not so simple as to insult his enthusiasm.
2 tablespoons of butter
1 pound of beef stew meat, cubed
1 large onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon of basil
1 teaspoon of black pepper (plus a few sprinkles more to season the meat)
1/2 teaspoon of oregano
1 teaspoon of rosemary
1 1/2 teaspoons of salt (plus a few sprinkles more to season the meat)
1 teaspoon of thyme
3 cloves of garlic, minced
3 ribs of celery, chopped
1 cup of tomatoes, diced
2 cups of water
4 carrots, peeled and chopped
4 potatoes, chopped
2 tablespoons of flour
1/4 cup of water (additional)
Melt the butter in a dutch oven or large pot on medium heat.
Season the stew meat with a little salt and pepper, then add it to the pot and brown all sides.
Once browned, remove the meat and allow it to rest on a plate with its juices.
Add the onions, basil, black pepper, oregano, rosemary, salt, and thyme to the meat drippings within the dutch oven and sauté for about four or five minutes.
Add the garlic and celery, then sauté for another two to three minutes.
Deglaze the pan with a little water (enough to loosen up the food particles left behind from cooking the meat and aromatics) and stir, then allow everything to cook for another five minutes.
Add the beef (and its accumulated juices) back into the pot, along with the diced tomatoes and two cups of water.
Bring everything to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for about an hour to an hour and a half, or until the beef is fork tender.
Add in the carrots and potatoes and bring the liquid back to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for another thirty to forty minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender.
In a separate bowl, mix the flour into 1/4 cup of cold water and add it into the stew.
Continue cooking and stirring the pot until the sauce has thickened (about 10 more minutes).
Zoey, our little Tinker Bell, is one year old! This year has been an unusual one (understatement of the century), but it has flown by faster than I could have imagined and I have been fortunate enough to spend the majority of it at home with her; grateful for every moment.
Like many one year birthday boys and girls, Zoey has not been exposed to much sugar. Now I don’t mind a little sugar, but I did not want to sugar bomb her all at once so I created a homemade smash cake with frosting for her without adding extra sugar.
This Tinker Bell petal smash cake is a variation of a banana bread recipe my family has made for years without added sugar and a variation of cream cheese frosting without powdered sugar. I would consider the cake a tame banana flavor and the frosting a tangy cream cheese flavor, smoothed out with the addition of a natural sweetener (I used agave nectar). I purchased a used Disney Infinity Tinker Bell figurine off of Mercari, gave it a good cleaning, and used it as a cake topper with the obligatory “1” candle.
She was very tentative about smashing her smash cake, almost like she wasn’t sure if she was allowed to. Even with her audience coaxing her she only tasted a little bit of cake I broke off for her and mostly just played around in the frosting. Her favorite part of the cake was the Tinker Bell figurine up top and she ended up fixating on that. And what the hey, as long as she had fun!
So let’s make a smash cake for the little Tinker Bell in your life!
BANANA SMASH CAKE
3 bananas, overripe
1/2 cup of butter, softened
1 1/4 cup of flour
3/4 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of salt
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Grease two 6-inch cake pans, or line them with parchment paper.
Cream the butter and bananas together with a (hand) mixer.
Add the eggs in one at a time, beating each in with the (hand) mixer.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients a little at a time, mixing and scraping down the sides of the bowl in between each addition.
Pour the mixed batter into the prepared cake pans about half to 3/4 of the way full.
Bake for about 30 to 35 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean. The timing may vary depending on your oven so keep an eye on them!
Remove the cakes from the oven and allow them to cool in their pans for about 10 minutes, then remove them from the pans and allow them to cool completely on a wire rack.
Mine were pretty flat. If yours do not turn out flat, cut the very tops off of the cakes to create flat tops for stacking and frosting.
Frost your cake (see below).
CREAM CHEESE FROSTING (NO ADDED SUGAR)
5 tablespoons of butter, room temperature
1 1/2 packs of cream cheese (8 ounce), room temperature
A pinch of salt
2 to 3 tablespoons agave nectar, honey or maple syrup
1 to 2 tablespoons whole milk
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
1 to 2 tablespoons corn starch
Green food coloring
*You can make the frosting up to several days in advance and store it in the refrigerator. Bring it to room temperature before frosting.*
Whip the butter and cream cheese together in a large bowl until well combined.
Add the agave nectar (or sweetener of choice), milk, salt and vanilla extract. Whip again, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Add 1 tablespoon of corn starch and whip until well incorporated. If at this point the consistency is right for you, you can move on to the next step. If not you can add cornstarch one teaspoon at a time until it reaches the desired thickness (careful not to exceed 2 tablespoons total).
Divide the frosting four equal parts in separate bowls. Add green food coloring to each bowl of frosting, ranging from dark to light green. Put each shade of green frosting into a pastry bag.
Pipe and smear frosting on the top of the first layer of cake and gently place the second layer on top of this.
Begin the petals by piping a dollop of dark green frosting on the side of the cake at the base. Take a flat slender spatula or butter knife press gently into the dollop and smear it to the right. Pipe another dollop of dark green near the end of the smear and repeat all the way around the cake.
Repeat this process with the next shade of green and repeat, but stop before you reach the lightest shade of green and the top of the cake.
Pipe and smear a healthy dollop of the lightest green frosting onto the top of the cake and smooth it out with a flat spatula, then continue with the last layer of petals in the lightest shade of green around the top of the cake.