Orchids + Sweet Tea Tarte Aux Fraises

One of my favorite things to do at Disney is, well…. EAT. I always want to bring home a little of the snacking magic and what better than re-creating one of the yummy treats you can find at Disney.

My gorgeous friend, Shanika, over at Orchids + Sweet Tea created a Disney themed recipe for me. If you haven’t seen her blog or instagram, definitely check it out!. She has the most beautiful pictures and recipes to accommodate many different diets.

I cannot lie, sweets and pastries are my weakness. When it comes to pastries at Disney World, I can’t think of a better place than the France Pavilion at Epcot. It doesn’t get much better than enjoying a sweet buttery goodie, amongst the replica of the city of lights.

The France pavilion at night is one of my favorite places to sit and stay awhile. It transports me right back to my visits to Paris.

But now, it’s time to grab your apron and check out the wonderful recipe Orchids + Sweet Tea created for us, a remake of France’s Tarte Aux Fraises dessert!

Let’s get started with a list of Ingredients:

For Crust:

    • 1 cup unsalted butter, cold + cubed


    • 1 1/2 cups organic whole wheat pastry flour


    • 1 cup organic fine pastry flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill)


    • 2 Tbsps powdered sugar


    • 1 tsp ground cinnamon


    • 1/4 tsp sea salt


  • 1/2 cup Non-dairy ‘Buttermilk’ + 1 Tbsp (Non-dairy milk + 1 Tbsp lemon juice)

For Strawberry Filling:

    • 3 cups diced strawberries


    • 1 cup pure cane sugar


    • 2 Tbsps lemon juice


    •  1/4 cup water


    •  1/4 tsp vanilla extract


  • 1 Tbsp of cornstarch + 2 Tbsps warm water


  • Cool Whip!, lite version


  • Egg wash (1 egg + 1 Tbsp of non-dairy milk, lightly beaten)


For crust: 

  1. Whisk the whole wheat flour, pastry flour, cinnamon, powdered sugar, and sea salt together in a medium bowl. Add the cubed unsalted butter and using a pastry blender, blend butter into dry ingredients until the mixture becomes “peas-like and crumbly.
  2. Add the cold non-dairy ‘buttermilk’ and stir until the dry ingredients are moistened. **NOTE: If the ingredients feels a little too dry, add 1 Tbsp of milk at a time, until it’s moistened**
  3. Add dough to a lightly floured surface and knead a few times, about 2-3 minutes. Now, shape the dough into a ball and flatten it into a thick disk-like shape.
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Every day should be Spa day.

Have you ever given thought to trying one of the Spas at Disney World? Well, ponder no longer, I can help convince you it’s 100% worth every penny.

I hate massages… said nobody, ever

First of all, there are several spas at Disney World but I recommend “Senses – A Disney Spa at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort“. It’s the biggest of all the spas at Disney which allows for more room to spread out and relax. It’s located at Saratoga Springs resort and you can get there by driving, via Disney Bus or boat from Disney Springs or my favorite take a quick uber if you are already on Disney World property.

When you book any spa service, you’ll have full access to the spa facilities for the entire day. Therefore, I recommend arriving a few hours early or staying a few hours after your session.

When you first walk in you’ll be greeted and given a tour of the facilities if you’ve never been. You’ll also be escorted to your locker room and given a robe and slippers to wear. You’ll have the chance to lock up your bag, cell phone and any other items in a personal locker. Just about everything you could need is readily available such as towels, toothbrushes, hairbrush and hairstyling tools. That said, you’ll need to bring your own swimsuit for use in the whirlpool and sauna.

When waiting for your service to begin, you’ll be in the relaxation room. Here you can find light beverages and snacks. Your attendant will arrive in the room and call your name. At the conclusion of your service, you can head back to the relaxation room for an adult beverage or you can go straight back to the locker room.

I’ve had massages, pedicures, and manicures and everything has been amazing! Remember to be sure to ask about discounts. On my last visit they were offering 15-25% off for Annual Passholders, Disney Visa cardholders or DVC. In addition, a 20% gratuity is automatically added on every spa service.

I cannot speak highly enough about the Disney Spas. They are especially wonderful after one of the RunDisney races or mid vacation when you’re feet are especially aching. End the day with a wonderful meal at Disney Springs or fireworks at Magic Kingdom for the extra luxurious feel.

Have you tried one of the spas? Leave a comment and let me know below!… Read the rest

Brunchin’ at the Top

View from the 15th Floor of the California Grill

It’s no secret that my favorite thing to do at Disney (or anywhere for that matter) is to eat.

If you’ve never been to the California Grill, you’ll immediately feel like royalty when you check in with the hostess on the 4th floor of the Contemporary Resort. From there, an attendant will assist you in your private elevator up to the 15th floor where the California Grill is located.

Upon arrival on the 15th floor, we were immediately offered the signature cocktail. It was champagne with blueberry boba.

I had one, or two, or six. My champagne was refilled like it was water so I lost count.

The house-made Charcuterie was by far everyone’s favorite item. Some of the best Charcuterie and homemade pickles I’ve ever had for that matter. Halfway through my first plate I realized that I hadn’t taken a photo, so please enjoy my half-eaten Charcuterie. It still looks amazing. haha!

Look at the deliciousness. Take me back.

In addition to the all you can eat buffet, (which includes way more than just the Charcuterie), you will also be able to pick an entree. I shared the Shakshuka and the Steak and Eggs. Everything was delicious and perfect.

Desserts were a variety of pastries and chocolates for the table.

One of the chocolates was “ponzu” flavored. It was surprising and I loved it. Everything felt extravagantly delicious in the best way and nothing was overly sweet. Beautifully presented.

Do you think they made this hidden Mickey on purpose?

If you are interested in booking this make sure to set your alarm. It’s widely popular which means you’ll need to call on the 180-day mark. This brunch is in the $90 range before tax and tip. You can get an AP discount and tables in wonderland, last we checked.

It’s a hefty price tag but when you include all the food, champagne, and overall experience I find this a STEAL. For a fun bonus, you can always save your receipt from brunch and come back for Happily Ever After fireworks viewing later that day! I should also note, valet parking for brunch is complementary.

I’m a huge character meal fan and I would pick this brunch over any character meal. It might be my favorite meal ever at Disney World. Does this mean I’m growing up now?

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