Review: The Garden View Tea Room at The Grand Floridian Resort, Walt Disney World

Walt Disney World’s The Garden View Tea Room at The Grand Floridian Resort

Afternoon tea is not the first thing that comes to mind when one thinks of Walt Disney World. You think of Mickey and Minnie Mouse, monorails, princesses, and Mickey shaped EVERYTHING. I expected that if there were a tea in WDW, it would be a character princess meal catering to the little ones. So imagine my surprise and delight when I learned that The Grand Floridian Resort—one of the most beautiful hotels I’ve ever seen—had a traditional afternoon tea! And of course, in Disney fashion, the tea quickly surpassed all previous teas to take the top spot of Favorite Afternoon Tea.

IMG_1573

First Impressions and Service

Review: Sweet Butter Kitchen

It’s only a few days away from Thanksgiving and I’ve already begun my meal prep. No, I’m not crazy (okay yeah I am), but when you have 14 people coming over and you are so obsessive-compulsive that you have to make EVERYTHING from scratch, believe me it is a multi-day process. Thankfully–no pun intended–I have my parents to take on the roles of Sous Chef and Grillmaster. (We are actually smoking one turkey so calling my dad the Grillmaster is completely accurate.)

With all this hustle and bustle of preparation, I can forget to take a rest. What better way to do that than sitting down to a makeshift afternoon tea with my mom? You’re right! Reviewing it for the blog IS better.

So we decided to pick up a selection from Sweet Butter Kitchen and check out how their baked goods stack up.

about sweet butter kitchen

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bread and Muffins

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Muffins

Last year I hinted at a future incarnation of my Pumpkin Cinnamon Chip Cheesecake Bread and I am nothing if not a keeper of promises. Though, this is probably not a promise you all remembered from one little post in November 2014, but just in case one of you did remember and has spent the last 12 months anxiously awaiting that new, equally delicious version of that loaf cake I have now kept my promise!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Muffins

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Muffins

That previous pumpkin bread recipe was so perfect that it would’ve been borderline sacrilegious to alter it too much. With a thick, rich pumpkin flavor countered by creamy, tangy cheesecake layer, this bread was an instant favorite for the fall holiday season. And what is the one additional flavor that makes everything better? Yep. Chocolate!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Scones

What do you mean you’ve already had your fill of pumpkin?! It’s only been a month and a half of the annual pumpkin spice takeover! We are only halfway done! Trust me, in a few weeks when all the pumpkin yumminess is gone and replaced with gingerbread and eggnog everything, you’ll be glad you took as full advantage of pumpkin season as possible. (Unless you are like me and never get tired of pumpkin/pumpkin spice everything; if that is you I’m going to let you know that pumpkin baked goodies freeze very very well 😉 .)

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Scones

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Scones

Apple Cider Scones

I’m going to Disneyland today! Confession: I go a lot. Like a lot a lot. Like “I am a Disney addict” lot. But today is a special trip because we are heading off to the Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party! It’s a special event made even more special by the sheer amount of cool people watching opportunities and the exclusive fireworks show. But about that people watching…

Apple Cider Scones

Apple Cider Scones

Normally I am not a huge dress up in costume kind of girl, but I love admiring all the guests’ creative costumes! My favorite are the full family costumes like the family I saw last year with the mom as the Queen of Hearts, the dad as the White Rabbit, the son as the Chesire Cat, and the little daughter was Alice. Cue the “awwww” moment. This year my mom and I are actually dressing up (last year I just made us Halloween hats) and I can’t wait to show off Mom’s amazing sewing skills with my dress 😀

Congratulations Kershaw Cupcakes GO BLUE!

Sometimes, I am a walking, talking stereotype. (1) I love Disney (2) I’m in LA pursuing acting (3) I am a proud Dodger fan (4) Clayton Kershaw is my absolute favorite player. Can you blame me? I mean he is only one of the best pitchers to come out of baseball since…ever. And he comes across as such a genuine and humble person and having personally known my fair share of professional baseball players/athletes in general, I appreciate the rarity of someone like that.

IMG_7603_FotorThis past Sunday was the last game of the regular season and my mom and I sat in her car listening to the radio (damn you Time Warner) just to hear Kershaw break 300 strikeouts. 300 STRIKEOUTS! For you non-baseball fans, that’s a pretty incredible accomplishment. Needless to say we were super excited for him. And the Dodgers in general.

And hence we have these Congratulations Kershaw! baseball cupcakes. I really will take any excuse to bake! This post is all about the story behind the cupcakes–which you just read–and showing a fun way to decorate cupcakes. The recipe is just my basic but delicious vanilla cupcake with basic but delicious vanilla frosting. It’s so easy! Just spread a smooth layer of frosting over the cupcakes and pipe red lines to match the laces on a baseball. I used leftover red frosting in a tube with a Wilton 3 tip.

While I made and photographed these on Sunday, all ready to share them with you because no one should have to wait for cupcakes, my camera decided to take a vacation and I had to borrow my friend’s computer to get this picture to you. Just in time for post-season to start tomorrow! Let’s go Dodgers, let’s go!

And a personal note to Kershaw: Thanks for so much entertainment this season and all the rest :)

Review: Blueberry Scone at Espresso Profeta

The other day I met up for coffee with a friend from college. She is back here from the Bay Area so I had to ask her if there were any Westwood haunts she has been missing. You know, for nostalgia with a side of nostalgia. As I knew she would, she chose Espresso Profeta. I was starving and needed some sort of food, so why not multitask and taste test another cafe’s scone while I was restoring my blood sugar? Hmmm…which flavor to try? Oh, wait. They only have blueberry. Decision made.

Blueberry Scone at Espresso Profeta

Blueberry Scone at Espresso Profeta

Pumpkin White Chocolate Chip Scones

FINALLY! It’s FINALLY October so it’s FINALLY acceptable for me to post something pumpkin. Now, here in Southern California we are amazingly pumpkin spice anything obsessed despite it never really being cold enough to justify the warming, spicy taste of anything pumpkin spice flavored. Maybe it’s a case of wishful thinking, or hope that it’ll turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy (we act like it’s cold maybe it will become cold). But who can blame us when pumpkin is the best thing about this season?!

Pumpkin White Chocolate Scones

Pumpkin White Chocolate Scones

The other week I binge-baked pumpkin scones. I couldn’t help myself. I like variety and I love chocolate and I love love pumpkin, so it only made sense to make multiple batches of pumpkin scones.

Breakfast Blueberry Cornbread Muffins *gluten free!*

My dad does something really really weird for breakfast. He eats breakfast sandwiches. “How is that weird?” you ask, “A sandwich with egg and bacon on an English muffin is perfectly normal.” Oh, wait, I forgot one crucial detail: He puts fruit jam on the breakfast sandwich.

Breakfast Blueberry Cornbread Muffins

Breakfast Blueberry Cornbread Muffins

Told you it was weird. It makes absolutely no sense and I’ve never seen anybody else do it. But if we go to a cafe for breakfast and he orders any kind of breakfast sandwich, he asks for a side of jam. If he’s bought frozen breakfast sandwiches and reheats one in the morning, he opens the fridge for a scoop of jam. If my mom or I ever happened to make breakfast sandwiches fresh, he’d definitely eat one with a knife sticking out of the jam jar. So it’s no surprise that when I was making my variations on my new cornbread muffin recipe, Dad’s favorite was the one with blueberry jam. But jam on a cornbread muffin is a more normal addition, so if I call these Breakfast Cornbread Muffins maybe he’ll replace the weird breakfast sandwich habit with something less bizarre. Like these. 

    %d bloggers like this: