Chip ‘n Dale’s Harvest Feast at the Garden Grill

Today I’m flashing back about 4 1/2 years ago to the boys’ first trip to Disney World. The very first place we went after checking into the hotel was Epcot and I had made a dinner reservation at Garden Grill.

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Garden Grill is a rotating restaurant located inside The Land. If you aren’t familiar or haven’t been to Disney World, The Land is one of the pavilions in the Future World portion of Epcot. The restaurant rotates so that you can see different scenes from the Living with the Land attraction as you eat. Garden Grill is a character dining restaurant and features Chip ‘n Dale’s Harvest Feast. The meal here is served family style so they bring out platters for everyone to share. Here is the menu from when we went:

I wish this wasn't so blurry but here is what it says: Warm Bread with Maple Butter Harvest Inspired Farmer's Salad Char-grilled Beef Strip Loin with Herb Sea Salt Roasted All-Natural Turkey Breast with Cranberry-Orange Relish Sustainable Fish of the Day with a Florida Citrus Crumb Garden Fresh Vegetables, Smashed Potatoes and Turkey Dressing Apple-Current Crisp with Hand Whipped Vanilla Bean Cream Child's Platter Oven Roasted Chicken Drumstick, Baked Macaroni & Cheese, Broccoli, and Crispy Sweet Potato Sticks with Mickey "Mousse" Cookies & Cream

I wish this wasn’t so blurry but here is what it says:
Warm Bread with Maple Butter
Harvest Inspired Farmer’s Salad
Char-grilled Beef Strip Loin with Herb Sea Salt
Roasted All-Natural Turkey Breast with Cranberry-Orange Relish
Sustainable Fish of the Day with a Florida Citrus Crumb
Garden Fresh Vegetables, Smashed Potatoes and Turkey Dressing
Apple-Current Crisp with Hand Whipped Vanilla Bean Cream
Child’s Platter
Oven Roasted Chicken Drumstick, Baked Macaroni & Cheese, Broccoli, and Crispy Sweet Potato Sticks with Mickey “Mousse” Cookies & Cream

Since this was a couple of years ago the menu has changed but it is still fairly similar. Bread, salad, beef, turkey, and fish are basically always on the menu with the main difference being how they are served. For example, currently the bread is served with an Orange Blossom Honey Butter which sounds delicious. The current Sustainable Fish of the Day is served with Tomato Jam and the dessert is always a seasonal skillet dessert.

All of the food was delicious.

The Salad

The Salad

Beef Strip Loin, Turkey, and Fish

Beef Strip Loin, Turkey, and Fish

Kid's Platter and the Bread

Kid’s Platter and the Bread

Apple-Current Crisp

Apple-Current Crisp

Mickey "Mousse" Cookies & Cream

Mickey “Mousse” Cookies & Cream

Now on to the characters. Characters here are Chip, Dale, Farmer Mickey, and Pluto. This was the boys’ first interaction at Disney World with the characters and JT was especially excited. He loved them, particularly his favorite, Mickey Mouse. I have more pictures of JT here than I do Connor because JT was just so excited and Connor is more on the shy side.

First up is Chip.

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Next up was Mickey!

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Mickey took JT by the hand and they walked away. JT was all too happy to go with him. He didn't even say goodbye.

Mickey took JT by the hand and they walked away. JT was all too happy to go with him. He didn’t even say goodbye.

The next one to come was Dale.

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Last but not least was Pluto.

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I highly recommend eating at Garden Grill. It is one of my favorites and one of the best character dining restaurants in my opinion.

Who else has eaten here and what other restaurants are your favorites?

Browne’s Irish Marketplace- Kansas City

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day┬áI thought I’d write a short post about Browne’s Irish Marketplace in Kansas City, Missouri. I probably should have written it yesterday when it was actually St. Patrick’s Day but oh well.

Last week we went to Kansas City and one of the places we visited was Browne’s Irish Marketplace.

As we were driving to Browne’s there were Irish flags starting from a few blocks down and ending at Browne’s. I’m not sure whether they are always there or were just there because it was close to St. Patrick’s Day but it really helped me find it. When I saw them I knew I must be going in the right direction.

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When you walk into Browne’s you are entering the dining area which is a small room with a only a few tables. Browne’s is a deli so they have a variety of sandwiches, soups, and salads. We were there just for the Irish Potato Soup because I read on some forum somewhere that it was a must try.

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I believe there was only one size of soup but I can’t quite remember. It was a good size though. It was creamy with chunks of potato in it and paired really well with the oyster crackers they put on the side.

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Besides being a deli, Browne’s also sells Irish and Celtic items. They had some items for sale in the front room and another 6 rooms of items in the back. Browne’s also claims to be the oldest Irish business in North America having started in 1887.

I’m sure that this is place the to be in Kansas City on St. Patrick’s Day. I know that they have some special stuff going on that day. Has anyone else ever been to Browne’s? If you have let me know what you think about it and if you’ve ever been there on St. Patrick’s Day.

Thank for reading!

Reese’s Spreads VoxBox

I received a free Reese’s Spreads VoxBox from Influenster. A VoxBox is a box of items that Influenster sends out to its members to try for free.

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The boys were excited to sample the Reese’s Spread so I sliced up some apples and gave them some of the Reese’s Spread to dip their apples in. I never got any pictures but JT really enjoyed it and ate all of his. Connor tried it but didn’t like so he just ate the apples. I was really surprised that Connor was the one that didn’t like the spread because Connor loves both Reese’s and peanut butter.

I also tried Reese’s Spread on toast. I liked it but both boys refused to try it.

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Reese’s Spread is very creamy and very easy to spread. I liked that it wasn’t too sweet. I think it had just the right amount of sweetness. You can see the little clumps of peanut butter in the spread. The peanut butter taste is light so it does taste slightly like a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.

There are plenty of recipes to try on the Reese’s Spreads website and I really wanted to make some but just haven’t gotten around to it.

Have you tried Reese’s Spreads yet?

I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.

Hogsmeade and Hogwarts

Since we’ve been reading Harry Potter I thought I’d use my Flashback Friday post to write about the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal’s Islands of Adventure. This was back in December 2012 so it was just Hogwarts and Hogsmeade.

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I wanted to go on the ride inside Hogwarts but didn’t end up going because of the line. The boys were too small to go on it then but we did go through the castle. They had a separate line just to tour the castle.

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We saw the Frog Choir and the boys took a picture with the Hogwarts Express conductor.

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We also went took a look at some of the shops. We did the Ollivander’s attraction rather than just go in the store. Connor bought a Harry Potter wand and then we ate lunch at The Three Broomsticks. We loved the Butterbeer.

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Quidditch

Quidditch

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They also had fish and chips.

They also had fish and chips.

The Three Broomsticks had macaroni.

The Three Broomsticks had macaroni.

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Then there was of course the Butterbeer!

Then there was of course the Butterbeer!

It was delicious!

It was delicious!

The last thing we did before we left was go inside Honeyduke’s. JT got a chocolate frog and he was very happy with it. He loves chocolate.

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I really want to go and see all of the new Harry Potter stuff at Universal. We went to Disney World in November and I really wanted to go then but I have a hard time stepping away from Disney World so I wanted to add on days and that would have been more expensive so we didn’t go. If you’ve been to the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter let me know what your favorite part was.

Standard Deviants Accelerate Review

Standard Deviants Accelerate is an online program for kids grades 3 through 12. I’m always excited to try a new program so I was excited to be given a free subscription through Educents.

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Standard Deviants Accelerate currently offers 14 different courses. The courses include math, history, science, English and AP courses. We have only focused on Arithmetic which is for grade 3 and up but I did take a look at some of the other courses.

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The program is really easy to use for both the parents and the kids. When you login it take you to your home page where all of your courses are shown and you can click which one you want to work on. What I really liked was that from the teacher portal you can select a class and you’ll be able to see exactly what the kids are going to see. You can take a look at the videos, vocabulary, diagrams and quizzes before you assign your kids to a class. You can even do the diagrams and quizzes yourself. The only thing I found you can’t preview is the tests. There is a review test after each section and I wasn’t able to preview these.

Standard Deviants Accelerate really tries to make learning fun using their videos. The videos are upbeat and they use examples that kids can relate to. Each section will have a video to watch, vocabulary, a diagram to complete, a quiz and a written answer.

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Another thing I found interesting about the program is that for each subject there is “The Big Question”. They really incorporate critical thinking into each subject and I found that really interesting. The course has you rethinking the question after each new section.

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If you are looking for a new online learning program to use for your kids I would recommend taking a look at Standard Deviant Accelerate. They have an offer on the homepage for a free 2 month trial so you can see if it is something that would work for your kids. I found it easy and useful and I think you could use it either once a week (which is what we have been doing) or everyday.

If you’ve used Standard Deviants Accelerate let me know what you thought about it.

Discover Brookside

*Disclosure: I received a free bag of Brookside Clusters to sample. A blog post was not required and all opinions are my own.*

I was chosen to receive a free sample of Brookside Clusters through Crowdtap. The bag I was received was the Berry Medley flavor. I wasn’t familiar with Brookside before but after I received the sample I noticed people snacking on these and I saw them at the store.

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All of the Brookshire chocolates are dark chocolate and there are four different flavors. There is the pomegranate, acai and blueberry, goji and raspberry, and the crunchy clusters in berry medley. The Crunchy Clusters are clusters of multigrain and fruit centers. They are then covered in dark chocolate.

When I first tried them just out of the bag I liked them. They are crunchy but the bigger pieces are a little chewier. The primary flavor to me is the chocolate and it’s followed up with the slightly sweet berry flavor. The flavor combination works really well.

JT was really excited to try these. He loves chocolate but he didn’t like them. I was really surprised because he will even eat bittersweet baking chocolate if you let him.

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I made some sundaes with the Brookside Clusters as a topping and they tasted even better in the sundae than by themselves. They seemed to be crunchier in the sundae which I really liked. I made sundaes using both strawberry and vanilla. Then I added a layer of chopped strawberries, whipped cream, and then the Brookside Clusters and a cherry.

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I was hoping JT would like them in the ice cream but he didn’t. Connor however is not a big fan of chocolate and didn’t want to try these but he really liked them on his sundae.

I’m glad I got to Discover Brookside and would really love to try the other flavors.

Rawhide, Arizona

I’ve gotten super behind on these Flashback Friday posts but the last time I wrote one I promised a Rawhide post next so here we go.

Rawhide is a western town and steakhouse in Chandler, Arizona which is right by Phoenix. We went here back in March of 2010. I was just taking a look at the website and it seems that there are a couple of different things but you can see how it was when we went. I have a lot of blurry pictures so I’ll try to pick out the best.

This is over the entrance to Rawhide. I took it when we left so it was dark and there were these 2 bright lights right next to the sign so this didn't come out well but I figured I should use it anyways.

This is over the entrance to Rawhide. I took it when we left so it was dark and there were these 2 bright lights right next to the sign so this didn’t come out well but I figured I should use it anyways.

We’ll start off with a few views of the town and as with any good western town there was a general store.

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The first thing we did was ride on the train and then ride on the stagecoach. Looking at the website I don’t think they have the train anymore and the stagecoach ride looks different.

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Here are the horses that pulled the stagecoach. According to the website, the stagecoach is now pulled by mules.

Here are the horses that pulled the stagecoach. According to the website, the stagecoach is now pulled by mules.

We sat on the top in back of the stagecoach.

We sat on the top in back of the stagecoach.

After that Connor rode on some of the little rides while JT watched. Then we went to go eat in the steakhouse.

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Connor had one of his favorite foods- ribs. He also got a sheriff's badge. I don't remember what I ate; I'm sure it was steak. I do remember that it was good though.

Connor had one of his favorite foods- ribs. He also got a sheriff’s badge. I don’t remember what I ate; I’m sure it was steak. I do remember that it was good though.

They also had a band playing in the steakhouse.

They also had a band playing in the steakhouse.

Once we were finished with dinner Connor rode on a donkey and attempted to toast to marshmallows and rope hay bale cattle.

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After that we left. We enjoyed it and had fun and I would go back again.