Eating Our Way Through Walt Disney World 2017

We loooooove Walt Disney World! I mean how can you not?! The sights, sounds and smells… it really is the most magical place on earth. We recently got home from our third trip as a family, and every trip is more magical than the last. I grew up going to Disney with my family and I feel so blessed to be able to make all of these amazing memories now with my children.

Those of you that have been following me for a little while now know that I am very much a planner. And I looovve lists for everything!! Now that totally comes in handy, because planning a Disney trip is a ton of work! I will not go into all of those details in this post, we would be here all day but for those interested stay tuned for more about that later. Now this post is ALLLLLL about one of the most important parts of the trip… the FOOD! Before every trip I do tons of research, scour all the blogs and come up with my must eat food list for the trip. For each of the four parks I make a list of all of the deliciousness I want to try! So exciting right?!?! Maybe a little crazy?! Maybe, but fun!

Now normally we eat pretty healthy. We generally avoid gluten and most dairy items at home and steer clear of processed foods. Buuuut at Disney all those rules go out the window… we are there to completely enjoy ourselves and that means to indulge on things we don’t eat on a regular basis. Now we avoid gluten and dairy in our daily lives because it makes us feel our best. We do not have any food allergies so that is why we can be more lax on vacation. Now for us when we go to Disney it’s all about living in the moment and enjoying every second we are there!

Here you will find my favorite things we ate on this past trip! We were not on the Disney Dining Plan and did not do a ton of sit down meals during our trip, so most of the things on this list you will be able to get without reservations. There is really no particular order to this list as we loved almost everything we tried. But stay turned for my reviews on each of our Table Service Meals coming soon!

Oook Here Goes… I’m getting hungry just typing this!!

 

Hollywood Studios

Butterfinger Cupcake!

Let’s start in Hollywood Studios as that was the first stop on our trip…

There were only two things on my list here to try and they were both decadent and delicious!

First the Butterfinger Cupcake ($5.59)  from Starring Rolls Cafe. I am not a huge cupcake person, but I would eat one of these everyday for the rest of my life. Under all of that amazing butterfinger deliciousness is vanilla buttercream frosting on top of a sweet and delicious chocolate cupcake. The cupcake is moist and has a specials chocolate frosting in the center! Satisfies all of your sweet cravings!

Second on the list was the Carrot Cake Cookie ($3.99) from Sweet Spells. Huge and delicious! Carrot cake and cream cheese icing sandwich… so good and big for the price!

We also grabbed a sandwich and some other snacks from Starring Rolls for lunch that day, and we had no complaints! We did not do a table                                                                                                             service meal in Hollywood Studios so I have no recommendations there!

 

Animal Kingdom

Animal Kingdom wasn’t a huge eating park for us this time.  We did eat lunch at Flame Tree BBQ, which was delicious.  We got a few items and shared them all and were more than happy. Unfortunately we were starving and the kids were cranky, so I have no pictures from this meal. But I highly recommend it! The pulled pork sandwich and their platters were great. And it is an easy place to eat gluten free and fairly healthy!

We also got to have our first Mickey Bar of the trip here in Animal Kingdom! You can get these glorious chocolate dipped vanilla ice cream bars from any cart in any park. But there is just something about eating a Mickey Bar at Disney World that is special for all of us. And this was our youngest daughter’s first trip to Disney, so she got to experience her first ever Mickey Bar! Special Day!

And for those who love the Dole Whip they now serve them in Animal Kingdom! At Tamu Tamu Refreshments you can get one for $4.19. And for the adults they actually served a spiked Dole Whip, with either Dark or Coconut Rum for $7.00. Delicious on a hot, sunny day!

 

And that was about it of our eats in Animal Kingdom!

Magic Kingdom

Now this trip we spent a few days in Magic Kingdom and we ate a lot of amazing things! Between kids and running from ride to ride there are a few delicious things we ate that we didn’t get pictures of. Two of those being the Fresh Fruit Waffle Sandwich ($7.49) and Sweet and Spicy Chicken Waffle Sandwich ($10.29) from Sleep Hollow. These are a must eat every trip and are always a favorite. Although this trip I think the Chicken Waffle was not as good as it has been in the past. Boo, because this was one of my favorite things from our last trip.

We shared the Waffle Sandwiches along with Beef Nachos ($11.99)  with all of the toppings from Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe for lunch one day and that was more than enough food for our family of five.

Now this ginormous treat was delicious and enjoyed by all of us… by that I mean it took our whole gang to eat this thing.

This is a Cinnamon Roll from Gaston’s Tavern ($4.49). Sooo good and Little Miss could not take her eyes off of it! Also try LeFou’s Brew ($5.49) for a sweet drink!

One day we also grabbed lunch from The Lunching Pad in Tomorrow Land. Here we had the Ham and Cheese Stuffed Pretzel ($7.49), a Hot Dog ($7.99) and a Cream Cheese Pretzel ($7.49). Standard pretzels and hot dogs. The Ham and Cheese Pretzel was pretty good, but the Cream Cheese Pretzel was not as good as I expected. Way too much gluten for one meal for us! Thankfully we brought our own fruit and water!

Every trip we always stop in the Main Street Confectionery for some sweet treats! We love the Caramel and Chocolate Apples ($10.99), Assorted Fudge ($4.39) , and Rice Krispy Treats ($5.49). There are so many more options here too. And every trip isn’t complete without a Mickey Pretzel and some popcorn, so of course we snacked on these as well!

We did do a Table Service Dinner at Cinderella’s Royal Table here and it is a must do, just for the ambiance and magic. Beautiful! But even after spending three days in Magic Kingdom there were a few food items we didn’t get to check off my list. Time seemed to get away from us and we got caught up in the experience. Too much to see and too many rides to ride that the food took a backseat! Oh well, there is always next time! I always try to make a point to slow us down and really enjoy every second there. If that means we don’t get my whole list check off, that’s fine!

Epcot

Ok Friends… to those of you still with me I saved my favorite eating park for last! Epcot has so much to offer, but it is often overlooked because many think there is not much to do here. We adults love Epcot especially for the food and drink options, but there is also so much to do for the kids that we always spend a whole day there. Now my list of things to eat here is always ridiculously long! But we had an awesome time tasting almost everything on my list!

Let’s get started. There are endless food options in the World Showcase. I searched the blogs and came up with a few things we just had to try. In Germany the Nudel Gratin ($4.29) is a favorite. This baked macaroni and cheese is delicious. Here they also have Bratwurst and German Beers that are also great!

 

 

Also in Germany make it a point to stop at the Karamell- Kuche and you will not be disappointed. The Caramel Popcorn ($3.99/$5.99) is a must eat for us. But there is so much more to try here. Cookies, chocolate and caramel covered fruit, candies and much more. Be sure to try a few things!

 

 

Along the way we also sampled the Gelato from Italy, which was out of this world. As I said before sweets aren’t my thing. I would choose salty food first any day. But this was exceptional. We tried the chocolate and the cookies and cream and both were great!

 

My FAVORITE food item we ate this trip was from Les Halles Boulangerie & Patisserie in France. OMG. We tried four different things here and all were fabulous, but the Macaron with Raspberry and Lime Cream ($5.75) was exceptional! Get one and eat it all by yourself and thank me later. Sooo delicious! We also tried the Croissant Jambon Fromage ($4.75), which is a warm ham and cheese croissant, the Napoleon, which is puff pastry layered with cream, and a Tarte Au Fraises, which is a strawberry tart. Everything was great but I’m really wishing we also tried a Creme Brûlée because they looked wonderful! Literally everything here looks amazing… they have both lunch options and sweets. And I do not think anything would really be a disappointment! I would love to here all of your favorites here! Leave me a comment!

OK now that I am putting it all in writing it looks like all we ate were sweet things! Well continuing with this trend the Croissant Doughnut ($4.99) from the Refreshment Port in the American Pavilion is the perfect treat. We grabbed a few on our way out of the park for the night and they were a delicious way to end our day.

Again we did not eat at a Table Service restaurant here in Epcot so I have no recommendations regarding those. And there are hundreds of other things to try that we didn’t get a chance to. We stuck with things that were quick and didn’t always require sitting down to eat. With young kids things need to be portable!

Well I think that brings my my list to an end finally! We had an amazing trip and enjoyed many delicious treats. Hopefully this brings you a little inspiration if you are planning a Disney Vacation! Stay tuned for my reviews of the Table Service restaurant we did visit this trip, and a few more Disney themed posts! Hope you all have a magical day and I look forward to reading hearing all of your favorite Disney Foods!

 

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Meal Plan Monday 2

Well Friends it’s Monday again… and that means I have more of my favorite recipes to share with you all!! Hope everyone had a wonderful week and weekend! The weather has started to warm up around here… so the kiddos and the hubby got to spend tons of time outside this weekend! While I slaved away at work! Boo! But… this week is suppose to be beeaauuttiful so we will be parking it a lot and hitting up our favorite nature trail! With bikes and strollers in tow! This week is my off week from meal planning and grocery shopping too, which gives us more time to soak up the awesome weather.

Now I am all about quick, easy, cheap and healthy dinners lately. We have been attempting to make some huge changes in our house this year! Healthy eating, budgeting and spending more time as a family are on the top of my list. Check out all of my New Years Resolutions here! Anyways… I have been making big changes in the way I grocery shop and meal plan. It’s a struggle trying to bring down the amount of money we spend on food without sacrificing the quality of the food we eat.

Over the past month I have completely stopped shopping at our local big chain grocery store. I have been able to find everything we need at Aldi’s, Costco, The Grocery Outlet and our local Dairy. This change has managed to save us close to $200 a month, crazy right?!? This process takes a fair amount of planning and a little more time, but it has been worth it. And that extra $200 a month can go towards other things we want to pay off, win win!

Now I am super Type A! I need to have everything planned out and I have lists for everything! This super planning gene I have comes in handy with the whole meal planning process for sure! I am slightly obsessive about my meal plan and grocery list, and will never step foot into a grocery store without my trusty planner! I try to stick to my list as much as possible and avoid buying things that are not necessary.

Sooo the meal planning tips to take home today are check out stores that are out of the norm for you. You may be pleasantly surprised by what you actually find! Not gonna lie I was a little unsure of Aldi’s at first, but it has quickly become a staple stop for us! I cook dinner at home for my family almost every night. Soooo I am always on the hunt for new, delicious, affordable and healthy recipes to serve my family.

Check out my favorite recipes from last week… some are mine and others are from other amazing bloggers! Click on the link to get to the full recipes! Enjoy and happy cooking! Get out and do something out of your comfort zone this week and please feel free to share all of your thoughts on this amazing food with me! Have meal planning tips to share?!? Post them in the comment section below, I would love to hear what works for you and your family!!

  1. Cheeseburger Rice – I stumbled upon this recipe while searching for budget friendly gluten free dinners on Pinterest. If you are on a budget but still want to eat healthy Erin from $5 Dinners has hundreds of tips and tricks to help you cut money on your grocery bill! So much amazing information!  Merissa from Little House Living came up with this delicious recipe and we loved it!
  2. Hearty Sausage, Pepper and Onion Skillet– I looove one pot meals! And I scored some good quality sausage on sale last week so this recipe was a no brainer! I came up with this recipe because I always have all of these ingredients on hand! Quick, easy, and delicious… just how I like it!
  3. Beef and Cabbage Stir Fry– Beth at BudgetBytes has a knack for creating delicious, healthy meals that don’t break the bank, and this one did not disappoint! I am fortunate to have kids that will eat almost anything and cabbage is a favorite in this house! So this recipe was a win all around, and the leftovers were even better!
  4. Butternut Squash Lasagna– Like I said I scored a good amount of sausage on sale last week so I needed recipes to use it up! This is a simple and gluten free favorite in our house!

That’s all the recipes I have for this week! The rest of our menu last week was not so exciting… roasted chicken and veggies, ribs with potatoes and veggies and lots of leftovers rounded out our menu! Come back next week for some for delicious recipes!!

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Happenings on the Homestead Vol. 2 and a Freedom Ranger Update

Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving Day with My Girls!

As another week comes to a close, I am finally getting a chance to unwind and reflect. It’s been yet another busy week around here, filled with so many blessings. Hopefully you all had an amazing Thanksgiving! We spent the day enjoying delicious food, surrounded by all of those we love. It truly was a great day, made a little bit better by the fact that I got put on call from work Wednesday night! Night shift nurses know how few and far between on call shifts are, so I savored that one!

After an amazing Thanksgiving day, we spend a good part of our Black Friday harvesting our Freedom Ranger Chickens (way more on that in a little)!! Then finally after two long night shifts of work for me, we were able to spend an amazing day today with an amazing photographer and friend. Little Miss turns the Big O.N.E. on Friday! So today we captured some amazing shots of her and got our Christmas cards pictures all done in one shot! Stay tuned for all the pictures and First Birthday Party details to come in the next few weeks!!

chickens-2
Some of our big Roos a Few Days before Processing

That basically sums up another crazy week here on our homestead. We are very new to homesteading as I have said before. My husband still works full time outside of the home as do I, so we fit as much homesteading in that we can in the little times we have. We are branching out and getting back to the basics more and more, and I must say it feels great. We will slowly add more things to our little farm, which bring tons of learning opportunities! I am always open to any words of wisdom you veteran homesteaders can send our way!

Soooo I’m a little late with the Month 2 Freedom Ranger update, as I am with everything in my life lately! We actually ended up harvesting them a little earlier than expected, due to their freaking ridiculous growth rate. So I decided to combine all of that info into one post. These little suckers, well not so little anymore, grew like weeds! We harvested all 15 of them on Friday at close to 10 weeks old.

This was our first experience killing animals we have raised for food. I’m not going to lie I was very nervous. My husband is a hunter and has shot, gutted and butchered numerous kinds of animals. So I knew he would be just fine, but this was my very first experience killing anything. We have prepared over the past few days, watching numerous videos on the actual process. Butchering them in the most humane way possible was very important to us, so we wanted to make sure we did it right. The past few days have also been spent gathering all of the supplies needed and we were as ready as we could have been!

I’m proud to say that my husband and I alone butchered all 15 of our beautiful, organic chickens in a little over 3 hours. Not too shabby for our first time. The one huge regret we have is not buying a automatic chicken plucker. That was the longest and most painstaking part of the whole process, it was so freaking tedious. Not my favorite part for sure. We also made our own “kill cones”, which worked ok. But for the next time we may just purchase some. All in all things went pretty smooth!

Five Chickens into the Process!
Five Chickens into the Process!

For our first time we kept all of the birds whole. They are currently chilling in our spare fridge for the next few days and will be vacuumed sealed and stock the freezer soon. I plan on cooking one for dinner tomorrow, which will be the real test of all of our hard work! The taste will be the real decision maker if we decide to get more in the spring. We didn’t mind caring for them and the butchering was not nearly as bad as I expected. So as long as they taste awesome, this is something that will become a staple on our homestead. Next time we raise them I plan on doing a much better job of tracking their feed and growth rate so I will have much more information for you all! This time we just kind flew by the seat of our pants!

Our children were present during the whole process, for the most part. We had them stay in the house for the first one, because we weren’t really sure what to expect. But after that and we got the hang of things they were very interested in helping with everything. My four year old son helped my husband bring down the next bird and enjoyed learning what all the internal organs were. My five year old daughter helped pluck feathers and actually ate lunch with us in the garage while we worked. So they were pretty comfortable with everything.

Big Sister enjoying her lunch and overseeing the process!
Big Sister enjoying her lunch and overseeing the process!

I’m going to rant here for a just a second because we have gotten a lot of crap from a lot of people for letting the children be so involved in this process. The whole reason we decided to start homesteading is because we want to show our children a different way of life. They now know the farmers and the fields where our fruits and vegetables come from, and that the chicken they eat for dinner is so much more than a vacuumed seal package from the grocery store.

Our children value life so much more than most adults I know. We made sure to thank each bird for giving their lives to feed our family. We feel it is very important for our children to realize that the meat we consume was once a living, breathing, beautiful creature that had to lose it’s life in order for us to eat. There is nothing crazy or wrong with them learning the value of life. Ok rant over, I’m sure my fellow homesteaders have been in this situation before and any advice on how to handle this would be awesome!

Stocked!
Stocked!

Ok back to the chickens… I was not good at documenting the butchering process this time. I was more concerned about getting the job done right our first time. Next time I plan sharing each step in our process with you all! This time we basically had a little assembly line going where the chickens went from kill cone, to hot water, to our plucking then evisceration station. Hubby did the killing and gutting, I did the scalding, plucking and packaging. I didn’t even gets weights on them after packaging, next time!! It was a pretty good little process. So for those of you looking into meat chickens as a possibility for your family I highly suggest it! We found it to be a great learning experience and a great way to stock our freezer!

So thanks to all of you who actually read this whole post… I told you it was going to be long! After this awesome week full on things to be thankful for tonight I am most thankful for my tiny family. I am so thankful I have an amazing husband by my side to guide our three monsters through this crazy life. Things are not easy at all, but together we will get through and be able to live the life we imagine! Hope you all had a great week and are motivated to start your Monday! This post does contain affiliate links. But I do not endorse any product that I do not wholeheartedly believe in or use myself.

Halfway Wholesome is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com

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School Lunches Vol. 2

Happy Monday Everyone! Hope your week is off to a wonderful start! I just got home from a 12 hour nightshift and am hanging with Little Miss, while the big kiddos are at school. Hoping to get a nap in soon but I wanted to share Big sister’s lunches from last week first!

Here is our round-up from last week. And I am proud to say I got her to eat a few raw carrots!! If you read my post from last week, find it here,  you know I was struggling to find some kind of veggie to pack her. She kept sending them back home so that’s huge  step in the right direction for us! I am also grocery shopping Wednesday so expect to see some new things in the round-up next week! Only four lunches this week we had a half day last Monday.

 

School Lunch
Mini Ham and Cheese Sandwich, Carrot Sticks and Spinach Dip, Carrots, Boom Chicka Pop, Grapes, a Clementine and a Baby Lara Bar for snack

 

sl-3
Grass Fed Uncured Hot Dog, Cheese, Grapes, Pineapple, Annie’s Cheddar Bunnies, Pretzels and Dark Chocolate Chips

 

sl-2
Leftover BBQ Meatballs, Cheese, Apples with Almond Butter, Grapes, Clementines, Animal Crackers and Yogurt Raisins

 

Big Sister got to share a wonderful Veteran’s Day breakfast at school with Daddy so lunch was snack today. Boom Chicka Pop, Apple with Almond Butter, Pineapples, Animal Crackers and Yogurt Raisins

 

So there you have it, hopefully next week I will have some more creative lunches to share! Hope this gives you some inspiration! I am still looking for veggie ideas and would love to hear what your kiddos love! Leave me some comments with you favorite things to pack!

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