2017 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival Favorites

2017 Epcot International Food and Wine Festival Favorites

With just about 4 weeks left in this years Epcot International Food and Wine Festival, 26 days to be exact I wanted to share some of my new favorites to this year’s festival, and some past favorites that are still around. We got to enjoy the first 4 days of the festival earlier in the season and I definitely wish we had more time. I miss the days of being able to go to the festival way too many times while it was going on. Oh the perks of being a local.

New this year was the Light Lab, in the Future World West building behind Club Cool. We really got to enjoy the space on Thursday and Friday the first 2 days of the festival before people started to find out about it and the crowds started to pick up. It was the perfect spot to cool off from the heat, enjoy a drink, with a nice atmosphere. The weekends however had lines to even get in the space, so you couldn’t just hang out. However there were still tables inside the back area of Future World West. We did a beer flight that was in the outside area, and also tried the Blue Spectrum. I really enjoyed it, especially once I popped the Boba Balls trying to get them out. The fun part about Light Lab was that they make the drinks right there in front of you like it’s a science lab, and lab coats are part of their costume.

My favorite thing, and also the last thing I had the entire festival was the Tequila Chipotle Shrimp at the Mexico booth. At first I wasn’t going to try it, I was sad they had something new instead of the shrimp taco I have loved for years. I’m going to be honest, this was even better! This was done on a Black Bean Huarache, topped with Red and Green cabbage, Queso Fresco and Crema Mexicana. I’ll be honest I’m so mad I didn’t get it sooner so I could have had it more than once. I also grabbed their Classic Margarita and the two paired perfect together.

The Almond Orchard was another new stop though it’s location has been many things over the years, it is sponsored by Almond Breeze and they had a variety of dairy free treats. It was nice to find a smoothie for my toddler as they are her favorite and she is dairy free.  It was a pretty basic strawberry smoothie made with Almond milk but it was good and she loved it, especially on a hot day. I actually found there were many more kid friendly options than I’ve noticed in years past. When you pick up your Food and Wine Passport look for the strawberry next to items that are designated as kid friendly options.

With mention of the Passport, a little tip if your kids love stickers the Food and Wine Passport was a BIG hit with my daughter. She loved the stickers and it kept her so happy while we waited in lines. We grabbed a few extra to bring home.

 

The Epcot Legacy Showplace in the Odyssey Center was set up as a tribute to Epcot’s 35th Anniversary, with Foods inspired by Epcot’s past. We tried both good items here the Chilled Scotch Egg wrapped in Sausage with mustard sauce, as well as the Zesty Cheeseburger and Cheddar Cheese Macaroni handwich. We were big fans of the scotch egg. The handwich is one of the best deals of the festival, at $5.50 its a great price for the portion. I didn’t love it because I don’t do onions and it had some big pearl onions in it. ( yes I can be picky) Don’t let that discourage you from trying it though if that doesn’t bother you because everyone else has loved it!

One last one, though there was so much more I wish we would have had time to try was the Sweet Pancake with Spicy Chipotle-Chicken Sausage, Onion Jam, and Maple Butter Syrup and the Piggy Wings from Flavors from Fire in Future World West. The sausage definitely had a kick too it, and the Piggy Wings reminded me a bit of the wings at Ohana but were still different and of course delicious.

Here are a few other favorites that have been around for a while.

China– Chicken Potstickers

Canada– “Le Cellier” Wild Mushroom Beef Filet Mignon

Brazil– Brazilian Cheese Bread

Hops and Barley– New England Lobster Roll and Smoked Beef Brisket and Pimento Cheese

 

Belgium– Belgian Waffle with Berry Compote

We also of course enjoyed some drinks around the showcase. I tried a mix of things while my husband pretty much stuck to beer.

Always a favorite is the Passion Martini Slush in France. While this has changed time to time over the years for the festival it is still the perfect drink to cool down with, and always tasty!

New and exclusive to the festival Schöfferhofer Hefeweizen Pomegranate Beer at the Brewers Collection. This was honestly fantastic! I know everyone has gone crazy over their grapefruit beer which I’ve yet to have but I’m really hoping Schöfferhofer decides to sell this one after he festival, at least in the parks.

Of course I couldn’t not try the Rosè that was available. I’m really only a fan of dry Rosè, I’m not a sweet wine drinker so when you’re looking for a dry one the lighter ones tend to me the most dry ones. I really enjoyed the Meomi Rosè from The Wine and Dine studio. I had been wanting to try this one for a while but didn’t want to pay $20 for the bottle at the store. I also had the Moët & Chandon Brut Rosè Imperial Champagne at the Almond Orchard. It was a tad sweet but still dry, but as you can see the colors in the two are really quite different.

There was so much more we wanted to try but there just wasn’t enough time to do it all. What are some of your favorite finds from the festival?

How to Make the Perfect Cold Brew Coffee at Home

How to Make the Perfect Cold Brew Coffee at Home

It’s summer and sometimes I just don’t crave hot coffee in the warmer months but yet still want my coffee. Everyone always says, oh just our your coffee over ice. NO, this is just not the same as what you get at Starbucks and I actually think its kinda gross. When I discovered cold brew several years ago I knew that did that trick! In the last year Starbucks has actually released at home cold brew packs. They are really great, however at a $11.95  price point to make 2 pitchers it still wasn’t as budget friendly as I wanted it to be though I do still buy them on occasion. If you want to go that route however you can find them here. 

I started reading up on the cold brew process, looked at special pitchers and things and decided I would just make my own. It it actually really simple and only take a large jar, mesh strainer and cheese cloth, most items in which I already had at home. 

I’ve been using the Seattle’s Best Dark Roast and we have been really big fans of it, but you can use any brand you choose. For us we like darker more full bodied coffees. 

Pour your coffee grounds into a large jar. You will want a jar that can hold about 160-200oz. I’ve been using already ground coffee but if you buy whole bean don’t grind it super fine, leave it more coarse it will work better. After coffee is the jar add 10.5 cups of water and stir. The coffee likes to build up at the top so you need to mix it around. Place jar, closed in the refrigerator for no less than 12 hours and no more than 24.  

Once coffee has set overnight you will need another container to strain it. I use a large bowl that my strainer fits nicely on. Place strainer on bowl, and then top with 2-3 layers of  your cheese cloth. Begin to pour contents of the jar slowly  into the strainer, allowing the liquid to seep through. I sometimes have to stop half way and empty my full bowl. You can push and squeeze the coffee in the cheesecloth to get in any extras. Pour your liquid into an airtight container. I use Mason jars. 

This is is a coffee concentrate so unless you love super super strong coffee you will want to make sure to mix with water. We drink this every day so I like to make pitchers of it. You can also make it by the glass. My concentrate filled 4 of my mason jars. 

To make a pitcher I poured 2 Mason jars of the concentrate into the pitcher and added equal parts water. If you still feel that’s too strong or not strong enough you can do less or more. One batch I added more because it tasted extra strong. 

The concentrate can last about 3 months if sealed in your fridge. If you make a pitcher it’s good for about 6-7 days. It does tend to separate some so I stir it good each morning. I like to enjoy it over ice, with stevia in the raw and Califia Farms vanilla almond milk creamer.

Coffee comes first thing each and every day in this house, does it in yours?

I like to enjoy it over ice, with stevia in the raw and Califia Farms vanilla almond milk creamer. Coffee comes first thing each and every day in this house, does it in yours?