Creme Egg Croissants

Happy Easter everyone!

Whether you celebrate today for religious reasons, celebrate it as a chocoholic or just use the 4 day weekend as a chance to catch up with life a little bit, this recipe is absolutely for you (sorry non-dairy folk, this isn’t for you!)

The best part about this recipe is that it is super quick and easy, and even if it comes out looking like a total mess, it definitely won’t taste like one, so you can’t really lose, and you don’t even have to make anything from scratch. You just need:

  • a roll of croissant dough – y’know, the kind that comes in a cardboard tube that makes that little *poof* noise when you open it
  • one Creme Egg (or Caramel Egg) per croissant – I don’t wanna tell you to suck eggs or anything, but remove all the foil..

Preheat your oven to 180C. Unroll your croissant dough, and if yours is the kind that has the ideal little perforations, just tear it into the marked pieces, and if not, cut triangles from your dough. Don’t worry if you rip the dough a little while tearing it up, it won’t show too much once its rolled!

Place your triangles onto a baking tray – either a non-stick tray or give it a little spray of cooking oil first – and at the wider end of your triangles, place your unwrapped egg.

The trickiest part is rolling the croissant, but this isn’t even that difficult, it just looks a little bulky. Start at the wider end where you placed the egg, and roll up the egg, squishing the dough down a little bit round each side, until you end up looking a bit like this:

You can coat your croissant in a bit of whisked egg or milk, but personally I prefer not to because I like my croissants super crumbly, then pop them in the oven for 10-12 mins. PS. This will feel like the longest 10-12 mins of your life.

Once they’re done, serve immediately while the gooeyness is at its best!

Oh, and here’s one I did with a Caramel Egg, which was super delicious too!

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My Ultimate Easter Rocky Road Recipe

I haven’t done a baking recipe in what feels like FOREVER (I will bombard you with them after we’ve moved into our new house so enjoy the relative rarity of them while it lasts) and with the Easter weekend upon us, I figured I’d throw as many Easter themed treats into one recipe, and that called for one of my favourite recipes: rocky road.

The great thing about this recipe is that you can add or remove anything you fancy once you’ve got the core mix, so you can totally make this your own and go a little crazy if you want, but here’s how mine turned out..

You will need:

  • 225g chocolate (I personally prefer to use milk, but if you want to do dark, go for it!)
  • 100g butter
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup
  • 100g mini marshmallows
  • 100g chocolate chip cookies or digestive biscuits, broken up
  • 100g maltesers (I used slightly less for this recipe because I added mini eggs)
  • 75g Mini Eggs plus extra for decorating
  • 4-5 Creme Eggs

Line an 8-inch square tin with greaseproof paper.

To start off, melt down the chocolate and butter – I do this in a pan over hot water, but you can microwave it if you prefer. Mix in the cocoa powder, caster sugar and cocoa powder until completely smooth.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the marshmallows, cookies/biscuits, Maltesers and Mini Eggs, then pour in the chocolate mix and stir well until everything has a good coating of the chocolate mix, then pour into the tin and squish it down a little bit, but not too much.

Using a sharp knife, cut your Creme Eggs length-ways (along the little join). I then cut them in half again to make them go a little further, but that’s completely up to you! Press the Creme Egg pieces into the top of the mix so that they make their own little indentations to sit in, and chuck a couple of extra Mini Eggs on for good measure, then get this into the fridge for 1-2 hours.

Once set, chop into chunks and be prepared for it all to disappear a lot quicker than you expected..

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My Top 8 Most Underrated WDW Dining Locations

Cheeseburger Bao Bun from Satu’li Canteen

When it comes to planning a trip to the most magical place on earth, choosing where to eat is a big decision, and one that has to be made quite far in advance if you want to snag all the right places.

I love planning for advanced dining reservations (ADRs), and I’m always on the hunt for somewhere new and different to try; I like to believe that one day I’ll have eaten in every restaurant on Disney property, but I’ll always end up going back to my favourite spots, plus I doubt I’ll ever keep up with the expansion and addition of new eateries, but I can dream, hey?

And you don’t even need to be a total Disney buff to know of some of the most talked about dining locations of WDW; places like Be Our Guest and Cinderella’s Royal Table are so iconic that I defy anyone who wouldn’t want to take a trip to these magical places. But are they the best?

These are some of my favourite lesser-known dining options that you may want to visit on your next trip:

Table Service

Grand Floridian Cafe – over 1900 Park Fare

I must admit, when I used to think of a good place to eat in Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort, my mind always used to jump to 1900 Park Fare. I’ve never eaten there before myself, but I see lots of people going there all the time, although I have heard some mixed reviews. Instead, I’ve always opted for GFC, and I’ve had both breakfast and dinner there, both of which have blown me away.

Sure, you don’t have the character element that 1900 Park Fare gives, but the menu is absolutely flawless in my opinion, and if you’re not on the dining plan, its actually one of the most reasonably priced table service meals I’ve ever seen – our dinner there should have cost around $65 plus gratuity for the two of us (main and dessert), and when I had breakfast there it would have been only $41 for two of us.

Mickey’s Backyard BBQ – over Hoop de Doo Revue

Again, I’ve never actually done Hoop de Doo, but having had the BEST time at Mickey’s Backyard BBQ, I’m in no rush to switch. Both cost the same both in cash and dining credits, both are unlimited buffets which included beer and wine for over 21s, and both have musical entertainment but Mickey’s Backyard has the added bonus of character meets and the opportunity to get up and get involved in the dancing with Mickey and the gang, and I don’t think I’ve ever had a night of more fun on Disney property. I’ve got a full review here.

Skipper Canteen

I was actually really surprised by the lunch we had here back in November – I had booked it because I wanted to try somewhere new, and then when we looked at the menu both Matthew and I felt a little meh about the offerings, but when the food actually arrived it was amazing! Yes, its a Jungle Cruise themed restaurant so there’s puns flying everywhere, but its also got a real Joe Rohde vibe to the place and the cast members were all really lovey, plus it was pretty quiet when we went!

Tusker House

I feel like I rarely hear people talking about restaurants in Animal Kingdom, so this may not be as underrated as I think it is, but absolutely rate this place. Now I haven’t been since 2014, so there may have been some changes but my whole family were blown away by the food, which not only catered for my picky-eating cousins (who at the time went as young as 5) but also for the adventurous adults in the group. Its a buffet – bonus – and although we had no idea when we booked it, its also a character meal!

Quick Service

Flame Tree Barbecue

If you ever need to make your dining credits go further, or need good value for money on your meals while in Animal Kingdom, this is the place you need to go – one meal could easily feed 2-3 people with the portion sizes you get! Also, if you want a decent view of Rivers of Light without queuing or paying for the dinner packages, grab your food from here early on and head down to the seating area on the edge of the water. Sure, you’re a little further away from the main seats, but you still get a great view!

Satu’li Canteen

This may not be underrated exactly, but if you’ve heard that its good, then that’s wrong because its AMAZING. Hands down, this is probably the best quick service meal I have ever had.

Yak and Yeti Local Food Cafes

Last Animal Kingdom place, I promise! If you’re a fan of the table service restaurant, but maybe you aren’t on the dining plan, I’m gonna share a secret with you: the honey chicken that you get in the restaurant for $18.99 is identical to the quick service alternative at $10.99, its just in a plastic container rather than served on a proper plate. This is also a good place to grab breakfast if you’ve run to Expedition Everest at park opening rather than joining the 3 hour queue for Flights of Passage..

Pinocchio Village Haus

Now this may be out of date as I’ve heard rumours that PVH is changing/has changed its offering, but this was always one of my favourite places to grab lunch when in Magic Kingdom. The flatbreads make a wonderful alternative to the normal doughy pizza bases you get in most quick service places and there’s always a tonne of seating available, plus I like waving to the Its a Small World boats as they pass below the window!

What restaurants do you think don’t get enough attention?

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Blueberry Pancake Cupcakes

Happy Pancake Day everyone! I mean, its the most important day of the month today, right?

And I know that I know there are some people out there who aren’t totally pancake crazy (weirdos.. I joke) but if that’s the case or not, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to share a recipe I’ve been sitting on for a little while now: my blueberry pancake cupcakes!

For the cupcakes, you’ll need 125g butter, 125g caster sugar, 2 eggs, 125g self raising flour, 1 tsp vanilla extract and 1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional), plus a handful of blueberries – you can decide how blueberry crazy you want to be! Oh, and preheat your oven to 190C

  • Cream together the butter and sugar, then whisk in the egg.
  • Add the vanilla extract, then sift together the flour and cinnamon and mix well.
  • Line a cupcake tray with 12 cases, and drop a couple of blueberries into the bottom of each case, then add your remaining blueberries to the cake mix and whisk a little more so that they break up and release some of their yumminess into the mix.
  • Bake for 12-15 mins, then remove and allow to cool

While your cupcakes are baking, you can start on the fun task of making the (optional) tiny pancake toppers for the cupcakes, because these will also need a chance to cool before you compile your cupcakes at the end. This really calls for a classic American style pancake, and if you have your own favourite recipe then you can go ahead and whip that up, or this is the recipe that I use (you may want to make a half batch though!):

  • Sift together 135g plain flour with 1 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt and 2 tbsp caster sugar.
  • Separately whisk up 130ml milk with an egg and 2 tbsp melted butter, then pour into the flour mixture and whisk well until completely smooth.
  • Then you can go ahead and fry up your pancakes on a hob set at a medium heat – you can judge when its time to flip when little bubbles start to form on the top!

I tend to make a bunch of big pancakes, then use a cookie cutter to get them down to cupcake size, but if you have the patience to make a bunch of teeny tiny cupcakes then I’m all for that too! Pop these to one side, and make the buttercream:

  • Whisk together 175g caster sugar with 500g icing sugar until smooth
  • Optional: add 2 tbsp maple syrup and combine well – you may need to give your icing a chance to chill in the fridge before piping

Once everything is ready, get building! Pipe or spoon a good helping of buttercream onto each cupcake, top with a pancake and drizzle a little golden or maple syrup over the top and enjoy! If you’re making these in advance, don’t add the pancake until right before you serve, otherwise it can dry out a little bit, but the cupcakes themselves will store in a sealed container for up to a week!

You can thank me later!

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Quick and Easy Breakfast Puffs

For me, breakfast just doesn’t get enough attention. On weekdays its always rushed in the rat-race of getting ready for work, and on weekends its often brushed over by the plans of the day, when in reality it has the potential to be the best meal of the day.

Enter my breakfast puffs! These are my go-to when I’m craving something a little more special than a Belvita soft-bake or beans on toast, and they’re a real crowd-pleaser, while also being super easy to throw together.

You’ll need: ready roll puff pastry, eggs (1 per pastry), bacon (1-2 rashers per pastry), grated cheddar cheese, a sprinkling of your favourite herbs and a dash of salt and pepper. Preheat the oven to 180C

To start off, roll out the pastry and cut into squares, then carefully fold over the edges to create a little rim. Take a fork and prick a few holes into the centre of the pastries, then pop into the oven for about 10 mins. Meanwhile, grill or fry your bacon.

When the 10 mins are up, remove your pastries from the oven, and if the centres have puffed up, press them back down using the back of a fork, so that the rim is still the highest part of the pastries.

Firstly, place your cooked bacon onto the puff, then crack an egg on top of each pastry. Sprinkle with cheese and herbs, and a dash of salt and pepper, and pop them back into the oven for another 5-8 mins, until the egg is fully cooked.

I normally like to sprinkle a little bit more cheese on top before serving, but that’s completely up to you! You can also mix these up by adding spinach or goats cheese, or whatever you fancy – that’s the beauty of them!

Enjoy!

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Be Our Guest – Which Meal Is Best?

Be Our Guest Restaurant is one of the most popular dining spots in Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, and tomorrow actually marks 5 years since the Beast’s castle opened its doors to guests.

Situated in Fantasyland, the restaurant opens for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and each meal offers guests a different dining experience. I recently ticked breakfast off the list of meals I’ve had here, so now I’ve done the set, here’s the low-down on what each meal offers!

Breakfast

BOG is one of the three restaurants in Magic Kingdom that opens for breakfast at 8am, meaning that if you can get a reservation then you get early access to the park, and the perks that come with that AKA empty Main Street and castle photos! Now don’t let the word reservation fool you – while advanced reservations are usually for table service meals, breakfast is actually quick service, so a worthwhile use of a QS credit if you’re on the dining plan! That said, however, while you do visit a counter to pay for your meal, the food is brought directly to you at your table. And to add more magic to the experience, you can actually pre-order your food on the Walt Disney World website so that you don’t have to even worry about deciding what to eat on the day! As for the food..

This is the Croque Madame, which was one of the best breakfasts I’ve ever had in WDW, but there are a few options from classic breakfast dishes to sweet options, and every table also gets a selection of fruit and assorted pastries to tuck into as well!

If you’re not on the dining plan, entrees are $25.

Lunch

Lunch is also a quick service meal, but as with breakfast its highly recommended that you get a reservation, but if you can’t snag one, try to get to the restaurant for when it opens and you stand a good chance of a minimal wait! Again, while being technically classified as a counter service, you order at a booth but the food is brought to you wherever you choose to sit, whether that’s in the West Wing, the Ballroom or the Gallery.

The menu is primarily sandwiches and salads, but there are some soup and other veggie options. I tend to stick to the Croque Monsieur, which is basically a ham and cheese toastie but it comes with a good helping of fries and definitely worth a quick service credit!

Entrees at lunch are all around the $17 mark.

Dinner

I did dinner for the first time here in February this year. Dinner is table service, and as such guests receive a bit more of a magical experience, including each party being given a Lumiere to light their way to the table. The restaurant is a little more packed in during dinner (or at least it felt like it the one time I was there!) so it can be a bit louder.

The food is also a lot fancier, which you’d certainly hope for with a table service meal. I really enjoyed the food – I mean when do I not? – but compared to other amazing meals I’ve had in WDW it was average, so personally I don’t think I’d do dinner here again if I wasn’t on the dining plan.

That said though, once you finish your meal you get to experience the other magical moment that having dinner here gets you, and that’s meeting the Beast himself!

Dinner entrees range from $22-36, appetizers are $10-15 and desserts are $5.

Good things to know

With it being such a popular destination, the restaurant can be pretty noisy, especially during the quick service mealtimes, but if you get breakfast early it can be quite quiet, depending on the time of year. The restaurant is also well set up with plenty of different table sizes, including big round tables that can fit a party of 10.

What I cannot fault about the restaurant in any way is the decor, so be sure to explore each of the three rooms of the restaurant, including seeing the Enchanted Rose in the West Wing! My favourite room is the Grand Ballroom, and I love watching the snow fall outside the window.

Whatever meal you choose, you’re in for a magical meal and its an absolute must for any Beauty and the Beast fans!

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Hidden Pumpkin Cupcakes

The spookiest day of the year is now just around the corner, and while I’m not the biggest fan of Halloween, I love a good bit of baking, and I can’t believe I’ve never shared this recipe before!

With one of my cousins having her birthday on the 29th, I have been baking Halloween themed treats for her birthday parties for years now, and it was actually 5 years ago that I came up with these surprise centre cuties, and now you can make them too!

For 12-15 cupcakes, you will need:

  • 125g caster sugar
  • 125g butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 105g self-raising flour
  • 20g cocoa powder
  • Plus..
  • 65g caster sugar
  • 65g butter
  • 1 egg
  • 65g self raising flour
  • Orange food colouring
  • Orange flavouring (optional)
  • Green candy melts
  • Your favourite chocolate frosting

You’ll also need a cupcake tray and either a cake pop machine or a cake pop baking mould!

Pre-heat your oven to 190C and start by making your little pumpkin balls! Cream the 65g butter and caster sugar together, then whisk in the egg and add the flour. Once the mixture is smooth, add the orange food colouring and flavouring. Bake for 10 mins, or as per your cake pop machine’s instructions – I think mine takes about 6 mins!

Let these cool, and use the remainder of the ingredients to make the chocolate cupcake mix using the same method. Line a cupcake tray with cupcake cases, and place one orange cake ball in the centre of the case, then using a teaspoon, add chocolate mix around the edge of the pumpkin – its ok if the top of the pumpkin isn’t covered because the cake will rise around it!

Bake for 12-15 mins, and while baking, chop the candy melt buttons into thin strips – it doesn’t matter if these aren’t perfect! Once the cupcakes are done, let them cool for about 5 mins, then carefully push each little green strip into the centre of the pumpkin, and then allow them to cool fully before icing. I personally like to keep the icing simple so it doesn’t give away the surprise inside, but you can find your own style!

Then sit back and watch the amazement when your unsuspecting consumers discover they’ve just bitten into a pumpkin!

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