Sunday, February 8, 2015

5 Restaurant Recommendations for your Disney Trip

If you're planning your very first trip to Disney, you might be feeling really overwhelmed by your dining options. As a way to help you jump start your planning, I've listed 5 of my very favorite table service restaurants for you. All of these have been reviewed in detail over on Real Mom's Disney and I've linked those individual reviews for you, in case you want to see pictures of the food, restaurant and more details (including menus/prices on some). 

I highly recommend reading this post before making any reservations. It explains everything you need to know about Disney dining reservations!

I'm going to start with my favorite Disney restaurant for dinner, Be Our Guest.

BOG is located inside of Magic Kingdom so you will need to have a park ticket to visit it. It's currently one of the hardest (if not the hardest) Disney dining reservation to get. The whole dining experience at BOG is just magical, and to top it off, the food was spectacular.

If you're using the Disney dining plan, it will take 1 table service credit per person to eat here. If you aren't on the dining plan, expect to pay up to $60 per adult entree. The food is French/American and you'll find things like New York strip and pork chops on the menu.

My full review of Be Our Guest

Next up is another favorite, Cinderella's Royal Table. This restaurant is pretty unique, as it's located inside of Cinderella's castle at Magic Kingdom! Every nook and cranny is decorated exactly as you would think it should be. Your dinner includes a meet and greet with Cinderella herself before entering the dining room. You'll also get a printed picture of your family with her.

Once inside the dining room (pictured above) you'll also meet Snow White, Aurora, Jasmine and Ariel. Dinner here is really good as well, though BOG holds strong as my number one pick. The menu is small and also includes steak and fish entrees. Note that if you are on the Disney dining plan that this restaurant will require TWO table service credits per person. This worked out for us because we had credits for the night we arrived (we got in late) so we just saved those to apply towards this dinner.

My full review of Cinderella's Royal Table

One of the quintessential Disney dining experiences is Chef Mickey's at Disney's Contemporary Resort. When I was a kid we went here for breakfast, and when we took our kids for the first time we visited again. It says something when nothing has changed in twenty years!

Now I'm not going to lie...Chef Mickey isn't my favorite food, though a lot of people LOVE it. First, I'm not a huge breakfast fan. However, based on the fact that you get to meet Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy and Pluto (they come to your table), this restaurant makes the cut. I would recommend breakfast over any other meal and it's one of those things you just have to do once!

My full review of Chef Mickey

Next up is O'hana which is located at the Polynesian Resort. It's a Hawaiian/Polynesian type of restaurant where you'll be served without ordering, family style. First up you'll be given bread, wings and potstickers, followed by a new addition (as of my last visit in November 2014) of lettuce wraps, then meat, vegetables, noodles and finally, dessert.

The potstickers are one of my very favorite foods at any Disney restaurant, and the coconut race for kids is a must do - my kids still talk about it!

Lindsey's full review of O'hana

Last on today's list is T-REX, which you'll find at Downtown Disney. One great tip is that if you can't get an ARD on Disney's website, then call T-REX directly, because they also make their own reservations. In fact, that's how I got ours for our last trip. Disney was out of reservations, but when I called T-REX, they said I could pick any time I wanted and make a reservation. Perfect!

The food is good but a bit's much like a Rainforest Cafe (probably because it's owned by the same company). The atmosphere is great! We ate in the Ice Cavern (the hardest room to get into) on our last trip. During the meteor showers that take place throughout dinner, the ice cavern turns blue, red and purple.

My full review of T-REX

I hope that these suggestions help you out if you're planning on going to Disney! Be sure to check out all of the great restaurant reviews on Real Mom's Disney and if you have any questions, email us or leave a comment over on that page! 

Friday, January 30, 2015

Garlic Hummus & Sea Salt Pita Chips

I love hummus. 

I am a non-discriminatory hummus eater. I have yet to find a flavor that I don't like. That said, garlic hummus remains one of my favorites. And this recipe is so easy. It's even better when paired with homemade pita chips, perfect for scooping up the garlicky deliciousness.

Best yet? This takes virtually no time to make. The chips and hummus take me less than 20 minutes (including baking time!) to whip up. Score!

Garlic Hummus & Sea Salt Pita Chips

For the hummus:
2 cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/2 a lemon, squeezed
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/4 cup tahini 
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper

In a food processor, combine all ingredients, adding more water if needed to achieve desired consistency. Store in the fridge.

For the pita chips:
4 whole wheat pieces of pita bread
Olive oil
Sea salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Split pitas in half so that you have 2 circles. Stack them and cut into halves, then halves again and once more to make 8 triangles from each piece (16 total).

Place triangles on a baking sheet evenly (do not overlap). Drizzle with olive oil and salt. Bake 10 minutes. Serve hot or store in a ziplock bag.

Monday, January 26, 2015

The Ultimate Super Bowl Menu

In preparation for your big football soiree's, I have some of my favorite, easy recipes lined up for you!

This is one of my families favorite appetizers! If you like it spicy, try this one!

Jalepeno Popper Dip

My 10 Minute Bean Dip is super simple and delicious. My mom has been making this since before I was born and it's one of my go-to appetizers for any occasion!

10 Minute Bean Dip

If you're wanting something a little different, try my Southwestern Corn Dip! It's packed full of flavor!

Southwestern Corn Dip

What is a party without salsa? This is my favorite homemade version!

Better Than Restaurant Salsa

Turkey Chili - I amazingly do not have a picture of this, but it's a super healthy and really flavorful recipe! Bonus? I can whip this up in less than 30 minutes. Serve with cornbread!

If you want a different type of chili, then this is the recipe for you. My white chicken chili is delicious and one reader even entered it into a chili cookoff... and WON!

White Chicken Chili

Mix it up this year and bring this S'more's pie. Everyone will be begging for more!

S'more's Pie

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