The Best of 2011

Mickey Mouse Silhouette Cake Pops2011 marked my first full year of food blogging. It had its ups and downs – from almost burning down our new apartment baking a cheesecake to some really simple (but awesome recipes) like these homemade peanut butter cups.

Here’s a look back at the most popular posts (based on the number of views) that were published last year:

1. Recipe: Biko (Filipino Sticky Rice Dessert) – March 14, 2011
2. DIY: Mickey Mouse Cake Pops – Oct. 31, 2011
3. Chocolate Lover’s Month at Dunkin’ Donuts – Feb. 14, 2011
4. Dining on the Disney Dream – Pt. 1 – May 18, 2011 – Guest blog by Disney Food Blog’s AJ Wolfe
5. Dining Reservations at Walt Disney World – July 26, 2011
6. Cookie-Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies – March 2, 2011
7. Dining on the Disney Dream – Pt. 2 – May 21, 2011 – Guest post by AJ Wolfe
8. Taste Test: Blueberry-Flavored Greek Yogurt – April 10, 2011 – Guest blog by Brett Finnell
9. Cupcake Camp Boston 2011 – April 14, 2011
10. Review: Blue’s Egg – Jan. 3, 2011

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DIY: Mickey Mouse Cake Pops

Mickey Mouse Silhouette Cake PopsEditor’s Note: This post is featured on the Disney Blog Carnival #34. Read more great posts about all things Disney!

In honor of one month ’til I’m back at my most favorite place on Earth – Walt Disney World – I decided to make my first batch of cake pops.

Cake pops are little balls of crumbled cake and frosting that are then covered in candy or chocolate coating and decorated with more candy, sugar crystals or sprinkles. These little sugary treats have been popping up all over WDW the past year or so (check out Disney Food Blog’s intro on the cake pop infiltration), and they have also seen a rise in popularity from Bakerella.

The process of making cake pops is very labor intensive. Be sure to do your homework on this project before you start. It helps to know all of the materials you’ll need (styrofoam blocks, paper sticks, candy coating, etc.) in advance so you’re not scrambling for items in the midst of dipping or forming the pops – since the candy coating sets fairly quickly.

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Coke Freestyle Comes to Boston

When it comes to regular sodas I am a Pepsi girl all the way – ever since I was a little kid. But when it comes to diet sodas, I do enjoy the occasional Coke Zero every now and again.

Recently, a cool new product debuted in the Boston area at Kelly’s Roast Beef locations. The Coke Freestyle is a touch-screen soda fountain that was introduced by Coca-Cola in 2009.

From this beverage station you can enjoy more than 100 different flavors of Coke products from Diet Coke with lime flavoring or Dasani water with vanilla. You can also get obscure beverages that were only available in foreign markets like Orange Coke.

I first learned about the Coke Freestyle machines from a report on the Disney Food Blog.

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Dining Reservations at Walt Disney World

Cinderella's Castle at Disney's Magic KingdomEditor’s Note: This post is featured on the Disney Blog Carnival #27. Read more great posts about all things Disney!

Today marks 130 days until we’re at Walt Disney World again. We are all set to spend Dec. 1 through Dec. 3 at a villa in Jambo House at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. Then, on Dec. 4, we embark on a 4-day cruise of the Caribbean taking in stops at Nassau, Bahamas, and Disney’s own private island – Castaway Cay.

So, today I wanted to take a look behind how to make a dining reservation at the most magical place on Earth…

At 180 days, you can begin to make dining reservations for your meals at Disney World. The “advanced dining reservation” process can be a bit complicated since you need to count backwards 180 days from when you check in. That marks the day you can make your ADRs. For us, our 180 mark was June 4.

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Dining on the Disney Dream – Pt. 2

Disney Dream exterior photoWe’re back today with part two of AJ Wolfe’s look at dining aboard Disney Cruise Line’s newest ship – the Disney Dream. (Click here in case you missed part one.) AJ takes us to some of the Dream’s fast food, or counter-service options, as well as to Castaway Cay, Disney’s private Bahamian paradise. Then, we look at some of the adults-only areas on the ship.

Take it away, AJ!

Counter-Service Options

Flo’s V-8 Cafe is located pool-side offering pizza, sandwiches and grilled items to savor in the sun! And Deck 11 Aft is where you’ll find the popular Eye Scream ice cream which is self-serve in a dish or cone, all-you-can eat while aboard the Disney Dream (have the caramel sauce!).

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Dining on the Disney Dream – Pt. 1

Disney Dream's AquaDuck

Disney Dream's AquaDuck watercoaster

Yesterday marked the 200-day mark until Brett and I embark on our first Disney Cruise. Not only is this our first cruise, but we will be taking it on Disney Cruise Line’s newest ship – the Disney Dream. My dear friend (and fellow Disney food lover), AJ Wolfe from DisneyFoodBlog.com had the awesome chance to spend some – albeit very short – time on the ship. Today is part one of two looking at the food options on this spectacular ship.

Take it away AJ!

In January I had the lucky opportunity to spend two days eating on the Disney Dream Cruise Ship, the Disney Cruise Line’s newest — and biggest — vessel! And when I say “spend two days eating,” I mean it. I’m pretty sure I always had a fork in my hand!

The food options seem endless on the Dream, and with five full-service restaurants, a breezy buffet, 24-hour room service, and plenty of grab-and-go counter service options, they pretty much are. Here’s a little overview of how to feed your face at sea!

Rotational Dining

The Disney Cruise Line assigns dining arrangements via a rotational dining system. This means that guests are assigned to dine at one of the main dining locations each evening, and they’ll “rotate” through the restaurants throughout their cruise. This way, you get to experience all of the main dining options on the ship! Best of all, your attentive waitstaff rotates with you.

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Taking a Little Breather

Dear friends,

I want to take this opportunity to, first, thank you for continuing to visit my blog. This has truly been an interesting endeavor that has also proved to be a learning experience and, at times, a struggle. My goal when I first started writing last June was to bring new content to you at least several times each week. Unfortunately, recently I have not been able to live up to those expectations due to some personal health concerns. Please do not worry about me!

It has been a tough decision to make but I have decided to take a short hiatus from the rigorous schedule of blogging. I have been taking the last few weeks to recharge my batteries and refresh my mindset toward the blog. I want to be able to bring you new, exciting content about food for a long time and feel that this is a necessary break for both my personal health and the health of the blog’s future.

In the coming days and weeks, you’ll still see posts. Starting next week, we will have a series from the fabulous AJ Wolfe at DisneyFoodBlog.com. AJ takes us behind the food on Disney Cruise Line’s new ship – the Disney Dream, which Brett and I will set sail on in early December. AJ’s series marks the 200-day mark to our embarkation date. We will also have some planning articles on making those Disney ADRs (advanced dining reservations), as our 180-day mark makes its way. Also coming up from the Boston realm, we have reviews of some North End staples: Dolce Vita and Mike’s Pastries.

I thank you from the bottom of my heart for reading my ramblings and being supportive of this writing experiment. I want to continue to bring you fun photos, videos, reviews and recipes to enjoy with your family for a long time into the future.

-Christina