Copycat Dole Whip!

Happy National Ice Cream Day! Let’s celebrate with one of my favorite treats! And while it’s technically not ice cream, it’s cold, creamy and refreshing. And a fairly decent replica of my absolute FAVORITE Disney Park treat. And lord knows I like a lot of Disney treats.

Now, for those who aren’t familiar, a Dole Whip is a pineapple soft serve treat. You can get them at Adventureland in Disneyland and The Magic Kingdom, as well as several other spots in Disney World. Some places you can get it swirled with vanilla ice cream, some places you can get it with a shot of coconut rum. My favorite way to have it is as a float. Pineapple soft serve with pineapple juice. It is sooooo refreshing after a hot day riding rollercoasters and getting your picture taken with Mickey.

And, as it turns out, it’s really easy to replicate it at home! So if getting to one of the parks isn’t in your foreseeable future, don’t be too sad, at least you can snack as if you were there.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups frozen pineapple chunks
  • 1/2 cup milk (any kind, I use almond)

Instructions

All you need to do is put your frozen pineapple chunks and milk into your food processor and turn it on. The hardest part is being patient while your food processor turns those frozen chunks into the perfect soft serve consistency, which usually takes me about five minutes and several breaks where I smush it down to get rid of all the chunks.

The only problem with these is that they don’t photograph well, but believe me, they taste yummy! And it’s a fairly healthy treat since it’s nothing but pineapple and milk. Let me know what you think!

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My Favorite Quick Service Restaurants at Disney World

I love Disney World. I love food. So, naturally I have a lot of thoughts on food at Disney World. I decided to share some of those thoughts with you. Below I highlight my favorite quick service (aka counter service) restaurants in each of the main theme parks.

Backlot Express – Hollywood Studios

Backlot Express is, fine. I chose it because right now, before the opening of Toy Story Land and Galaxy’s Edge (Star Wars Land) there aren’t a whole lot of interesting quick service options at Hollywood Studios. It beats out the other options solely because of the Star Wars theming to the food. I’m a sucker for Darth Vader waffles, what can I say?

It serves pretty standard theme park food, chicken nuggets, burgers, fries, with a Star Wars twist. So those chicken nuggets become Dark Side Chicken and Waffles (Vader waffles, yum), the burger has a black bun, etc. The food is good, but basic, and there are decent lighter options as well. My favorite things about this place are the super cute themed cupcakes and the Star Wars glow cubes in my drink.

Columbia Harbour House – Magic Kingdom

Magic Kingdom has lots of really good quick service restaurants, so what makes this one my favorite? Two words; Upstairs. Seating. I know, what’s the big deal about upstairs seating? In my personal experience, no matter how crazy busy the park is, the upstairs at  Columbia Harbour House is always relatively quiet. This is the restaurant I go to after using all my Fast Passes, riding all the mountains, meeting Mickey and the princesses, and the kids (and adults) have melt down. I get my good food and I head upstairs to find a table by the window.

Harbour House sits in between Liberty Square and Fantasyland, so depending on where you sit you have some fun views of Haunted Mansion or Rapunzel’s Tower. I like the food too! They have great Mac and cheese (my daughter’s go to), a huge meal with fried fish, shrimp, and chicken nuggets (my husband’s go to), and lots of other options that have a tendency to change so that I get the variety that I like in a restaurant.

Tangierine Cafe – Epcot

Okay, this was a hard choice. I loooooove eating at Epcot. Picking just one restaurant from there is almost as hard as picking which of my kids I love most. And honestly, I hardly ever have a full meal at a quick service at Epcot because I’m usually enjoying all the small plates that are offered at one of their many food-centric festivals.

But if I had to pick, Tangierine Cafe would be my favorite. It’s located in the Morocco pavilion in World Showcase and offers up huge, delicious portions of Mediterranean food. Shawarma, couscous, hummus, so much yum! They also offer up great vegetarian options and less adventurous options for the kids. The shawarma chicken and lamb platter is full to the brim with deliciousness and also enough to split between two people who aren’t huge eaters.

Flame Tree Barbecue – Animal Kingdom

Going from the hardest choice to the easiest. Here’s the thing. Animal Kingdom has really good food. The stuff at Harambe Market looks mouthwatering. I’ve heard great things about the quick service food in the new Pandora land. But somehow, even when I have every intention of expanding my horizons, and trying something new, I always end up at Flame Tree Barbecue.

Why? Well it probably has something to do with the smell. As soon as you enter Discovery Island you can smell the smoked meat, and once that happens all intentions of eating somewhere else disappear. The food tastes as good as it smells, and thank goodness that barbecue sauce is self serve so I can drown everything in it. And I can’t not talk about their French fries with pulled pork and cheese. Because it is my everything. I tried this late at night with Animal Kingdom’s signature beer, the Safari Amber, and all the stress of the day just melted away. And it had been a stressful day. We were visiting Pandora the second day it was open and I had Fast Passes for Flight of Passage for 8:15am. But none of that mattered when I bit into those fries.

I love the seating here as well. It’s all outdoors, but covered, and a lot of it has very nice views of the water. It can be very tranquil, however, my favorite place to sit is where I can see Expedition Everest and hear people screaming on the ride’s big drop.

So those are my personal favorites and why I like them. Agree? Disagree? Let me know. And if you go to Disney World soon, bring me some of those fries?

 

Grapefruit Cake Recipe

I make this cake every year for my husband’s birthday. He’s not a sweet eater (awesome, more for me), but he loves this cake as much as I do, and what is a birthday without a birthday cake?

This is a recreation of the Grapefruit Cake that was served at the Hollywood Brown Derby during the Golden Age of Hollywood. Legend has it, a powerful gossip columnist complained to the restaurant’s owner, Robert Cobb, that all of the desserts on the menu were too fattening. So he told his chef to put grapefruit on something, since grapefruit is known to be slimming.

Now, is the cake delicious? Yes. Light and refreshing? Yes. Healthy? Welllllllll, with the layers of decadent cream cheese frosting it’s definitely not the most healthy cake out there.

While the original Brown Derby restaurant no longer exists, there is a replica restaurant in Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Disney World. They serve this cake along with other legendary dishes from the original restaurant including the Cobb Salad. I try to stop by every time I’m there. Not only is it like stepping back into time, but it is a very nice break from the heat and crowds. But, if a trip to Disney World isn’t in your immediate future, you can still make this cake at home and pretend. 😉

Ingredients

For the Cake

1 1/2 cups cake flour

3/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 large eggs, separated

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup water

3 tablespoons grapefruit juice

1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

For the Cream Cheese Frosting

16 oz cream cheese, softened

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon lemon zest

1 cup powdered sugar

Grapefruit, well drained

Dehydrated grapefruit wedges (optional)

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  1. First things first. If you decide to decorate your cake with dehydrated grapefruit wedges, you are going to want to dehydrate your wedges the day before you bake your cake. This is an easy (albeit time consuming) way to give your cake that extra bit of pizzazz. Preheat your oven to 170°F. Cut your grapefruit into thin (about 1/4 inch) slices, then cut those slices in half. Spread your grapefruit on a cookie sheet and pop them in the oven. It should take about 9 hours to fully dehydrate. I flipped my slices every 3 hours to help them dehydrate evenly.
  2. Time for the cake. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Lightly grease two 9-inch cake pans. Line the bottom with wax paper, and then lightly grease the paper. (Note: The cake will fit into one 9-inch cake pan, I prefer using two so that I don’t have to cut the cake in half. I always make a mess of it when I try. If you are more coordinated than myself, feel free to stick to one pan.)
  3. In a large bowl, sift together your flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  4. In a medium bowl, mix together your egg yolks, oil, water, grapefruit juice, and lemon zest until smooth. Mix in your flour mixture. IMG_0963
  5. Grab another medium bowl. Using an electric beater, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar until stiff peaks start to form. IMG_0967
  6. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the egg whites into the yolk mixture until just blended. When I was first making this recipe, this is where I always got tripped up. I either over mixed it or under mixed it. You separate the eggs and beat the whites to get lots and lots of air into your cake batter, which will make your cake light and fluffy. So when mixing the egg whites with the rest of your batter, you want to do your best to keep all that air in there. Folding it in helps keep all that air from escaping. Never stir it in! IMG_0972
  7. Bake the cake for 12-15 minutes (25-30 if you used one pan). Insert a toothpick into the middle of your cake. Your cake is done when the toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Let the cake cool completely on a wire rack.
  9. Make that frosting! In a medium bowl, use an electric beater to beat the cream cheese until light and fluffy.
  10. Add in your lemon zest and lemon juice. Gradually mix in the powdered sugar.

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    Always good to have a helper if you don’t have three hands 😉
  11. Cover your bottom layer of cake with frosting. Top it with well drained grapefruit sections. IMG_1009
  12. Cover with the second layer of cake and frost the top and sides. IMG_1041
  13. Decorate and enjoy! IMG_1055

I hope you enjoy this cake as much as I do. Let me know in the comments how it turned out for you!