Food Friday: Aloha Dogs Edition

This week we’re going to venture out to the islands. Oh yes the islands of Hawaii!

This Food Friday I’m showing you my newfound obsession: Kona Dog.

Kona Dog’s are  “Authentic Hawaiian-Style Hot Dogs”, I’ve never been to Hawaii, so in the mean time I’ll take the signs word for it. Why not right? Anyways there’s four steps to building, yes I said building, your dog.

Step 1: Picking the Dog

You have choices between a regular hot dog, spicy sausage, and a veggie dog. I’ve chosen the regular hot dog both times that I went. it’s not anything tiny either. It’s very juicy and is a large size.

Let me also note that all the dogs come in a sweet roll, but it’s more like a loaf of bread with a hole in the middle to place the dog. Believe me It’s great. Moving on….

Step 2: Pick a Kona sauce

This is just the sauce they use. It all has a garlic lemon base. So you can pick between Original (Garlic Lemon), Spicy (Jalepeno), or Hot (Chili Pepper). I’ve gotten the Spicy both times, it has a kick to it, but it’s not gonna burn your mouth.

Step 3: Pick a Fruit Sauce

Okay here’s where it gets weird, fruit on a hot dog? Don’t knock it till you try it guys! Choices here are coconut, mango, Pineapple, and Banana. I’ve tried the coconut and the pineapple one, both delish!

If you don’t want to go the whole fruity endevour, you can always get the traditional toppings, like ketchup and mustard. (BOOOORRRIIINNNGGGG)

Step 4: Pick a Mustard

You have another four choices here: pineapple mustard, mango mustard, spicy brown, and regular yellow. I’ve done the pineapple and mango mustards, they were both great.

The end result is in the picture below. A delicious dog ready for you to devour. Say that three times fast!

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I also HIGHLY recommend the Maui Onion chips. They are addictive!!

I’ve tried two different combinations and they’ve both come out great. If you wanna try them out here they are:

1. Original Dog > Hot Sauce > Mango > Pineapple Mustard

2. Original Dog > Hot Sauce > Coconut > Mango Mustard

I really like this place. The atmosphere is relaxing. The staff is friendly. The food is great. I love to hit them up at the end of a night to just unwind and relax. So if you are in the area I really suggest you go try it out!!

Location:
6312 International Dr, Orlando FL 32819

Phone:
407-644-4444

Hours:
M-Th  11:30 AM – 2:30 PM and 6-10 PM
Fri-Sat  11:30 AM – Midnight
Sun  11:30 AM – 10 PM

Website

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Seaworld’s Halloween Spooktacular {Review}

This weekend we finally got a chance to take the kids over to Seaworld for the Halloween festivities. We’ve never checked out this event before, so we were all types of excited (Okay maybe even a little more excited than the kids were).

The Halloween Spooktacular is and in park trick or treat experience and celebration, so you can get the family dressed up (I understood that only kids can dress up, so we only did costumes for them) for the party!

They have 3 main highlights: Trick or Treating, Penelope’s Party Zone, and the Sesame Street Countdown to Halloween. We did it all except the last.

Overall it was a great experience. We all had a great time in all.There’s not much in all to comment on other than that so I will amuse you with pictures of the event with the occasional witty comments!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bam Bam and Pebbles!! We made the kid’s costumes (which was a new feat for us)!!

The Trick or Treat stations are adorned by large jellyfish. The lines are usually pretty long though. We didn’t wait many of them. The ones on the upstairs portion of the stadium where the party zone don’t have many people. Also if you forget to bring your Jack o’lantern for candy they have some bags that you can use to keep your goodies all together.

I also like the fact that they try to show kids that you can have healthy treats too, they passed out mini bananas and peanuts!

The Party Zone. The front had a DJ playing music. They had character meet-n-greets. Some easels with pages to color and tables for families to sit. This was the main part of all the entertainment.

They have a make your own dipped apple station. Which to me was the best thing EVER. You can choose to dip it in white chocolate, regular chocolate, or caramel. Then you take your dipped apple to the topping bar on the side and add whatever you want to it. Very messy, but so much fun!!

What’s Seaworld without some animal friends! This little guy was out so everyone can see and touch him!

We had to visit the penguins (they are my favorite) and even they were in on the festivities!

Also, this flamingo….I think he had his costume on. He sure wasn’t pink like everyone else!!

Well that about wraps it up for this event!
There are two more weekends left for this event so if you have a chance go check it out!

-Sakina

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Epcot International Food & Wine Festival {Round 2}

I think I’m up WAY too early to write this post. But I’m sacrificing myself for you guys (the 3.5 people that probably read this. Thanks) But let’s move on! Yesterday was another Food and Wine day! And boy was it great!!

So Nicole and I decided to check out the Festival Center first before heading out to the food. It was cool. They had some demonstrations going on with real chefs from some Disney property restaurants. They also had all the merchandise avaliable for the event. Some really cool things there! We grabbed the passports which are really cool. You get a stamp in every country and there is all the foods and wines in all the booths. So you get to keep track of what you had!

One of the greatest things I think Is the reloadable Food and Wine gift cards. Basically you put as much money as you want and when you get to the booths you slide the card and don’t have to worry about dealing with cash or with credit cards. I absolutely love it! So we loaded up $20 each and went out to see how much food we could eat. (Well I had $1.85 left on my card so I had $21.85).

We’re going to call this the $21.85 challenge!

THE CHALLENGE FOOD 

Booth: Brazil
Item: Brazil’s National Dish – Feijoada ($2.75)
Review: This was a really great starting dish. It’s basically a stew of Black Beans and Pork. The Black beans were really good, seasoned well, and you got really big portions of a pork sausage chunk. I thought it was delicious.

Booth: China
Item: Black Pepper Shrimp with Sichuan Noodles ($4.50)
Review: I was really hesitant to pay 4 bucks for some noodles and shrimp but I stood by the booth and looked at the plates while other people bought and it was HUGE, so I was in. You got about 4 shrimp and a hunk load of noodles. Really good. The shrimp were seasoned good. They had a nice pepper spice to them, but it wasn’t overkill. The noodles were tender and were great too.

Booth: Poland
Item: Golabki ($2.75)
Review: This was a pork stuffed cabbage. This was a really good dish for cheap. The pork was really tender and was delicious. You could taste the cabbage but it wasn’t overpowering the pork. Really good.

Booth: Singapore
Item: Beef Rendang with Jasmine Rice ($3.25)
Review: I love this dish. I had it last year. The beef is really spicy but sweet at the same time (I know because of the coconut), but its amazing. I do have to warn you it is SPICY. So if you love that, I recommend this  to you!

Booth: Portugal
Item: Calamari Salad with Fennel, Smoked Paprika and Olive Oil ($2.75)
Review: I absolutely loved this dish as well (then again, I didn’t meet a plate of food I didn’t like) I have to say. The calamari was fresh and delicious. Everything else on the plate was just adding to how great it was. I would get it again.

Booth: Belgium
Item: Guylian Belgian Chocolate Seashell Truffles ($1.75)
Review: These are little Belgian chocolates they give you in a box. I really have to say there were amazing. Really rich in flavor. They had a hint of hazelnut which was an amazing addition.

Booth: Canada
Item: Canadian Chedder Cheese Soup ($3.75)
Review: FAVORITE! It was absolutely amazing. We really passed the booth 3 times and were SO CLOSE to buying it again. It was a thick soup that was just awesome. This was the last thing we ate so it was a great wrap up to the night. Plus it was a little chilly out so the soup was perfect.

Booth: Desserts & Champagne
Item: White Chocolate Macadamia Mousse with Dark Chocolate Pearls ($1.50)
Review: This was also really great. I didn’t want it to end at all. The dark chocolate pearls were crunchy so it was a real great contrast. It worked amazing together.

Everything I wrote about above was purchased with my gift card and I didn’t reload it again. The only thing was I paid $1.90 at the last booth because we ran out of money. But if you think about the amount of food that was purchased with only 20 bucks it was great!

Now There are a couple of things Nicole bought differently that I tried as well so I’m going to write about those next.

NICOLE’S DISHES

Booth: Caribbean
Item: Ropa Vieja ($3.50)
Review: Really good dish. The beef was seasoned really well and was very tender.

Booth: Italy
Item: Ravioli di formaggio all’Emiliana ($4.50)
Review: Baked cheese ravioli with creamy beef bolognese, parmesan, and Mozarella. The portion is HUGE. So if you wanna get full go for this one. It was an amazing dish. Everything tasted really great together.

Booth: Belgium
Item: Belgian Waffle with Berry Compote and Whipped Cream ($3.00)
Review: This is one of her favorite things here. She didn’t get the berry’s like always (but always asks for extra whipped cream LOL). This is amazing. They make the waffles right there in front of you and it’s just wonderful and fluffy and just all around amazing!

THE CONCERT

Sugar Ray was the show yesterday. It was awesome. We sang and danced along to all our favorite songs.

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Where is it Wednesday #4

Come one! Come all!! The guessing game is back again!!

If you know how to play, begin! If you don’t, its simple. Just guess where the picture was taken and put your answer in the comments below!

Good luck!

Answer: Inside the Spiderman queue at Universal’s Island of Adventure.

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A Tale of Trades

Pin Trading

The year is 1999. With the millennium approaching, Disney introduced to the world pin trading. I don’t know if they were aware of how big that would become, or it would fizzle out like other fads. But this one has still stayed strong!

What is so cool/unique/fascinating about pin trading?
With Disney pin trading, you can collect pins from either your favorite movie, Disney attraction, and even character. So your collection can be personalized to what exactly YOU want. Also there are special Hidden Mickey pins that you can only acquire by trading with Disney cast members.

Trading Tips

  • Buy starter packs. Buying single pins can cost you a pretty penny, starter packs give you a little more pins for a grouped price.
  • You can trade with any cast member that has a black lanyard around their neck, or  hip lanyard. Green/teal lanyards mean the cast member can only trade with kids 12 and under.
  • You can only trade 2 pins per cast member per day. For example, you can only trade 2 pins cast member Suzy in any one day. After your two trades with her you can move on to another cast member.
  • You can ONLY trade Disney pins. (Seems obvious enough, but just in case the question arrises.)
Disney has pin trading etiquette available.
Also on their website are pin trading FAQ.

Vinylmation

There is now, a new neighbor in the town of trading. These are Vinylmations. While they are not as easily transported as pins are able to be (Can you imagine trying to carry around like 12 of those of your neck all day?), they are unique in their own way. They are the little Mickey Mouse figures that are designed all differently to represent something else.

Vinylmations come in series, like groups, and they are classified by the specific series they are in. For example one of the “on-going” sets are the Park Series, which, like the name implies, are things taken from the parks. There are 12 different Vinylmations in a series 11 of them being known and 1 mystery chaser. The thing is that the sets are limited, and the mystery chaser is even more limited than the individuals in the set.

How do I know what I got? 

You don’t. Until you open the box, and you can’t open the box until you buy it. So it’s pretty much the luck of the draw. There are also sets that are open box, which means there is a little window in the box so that you are able to see which Vinylmation you are choosing.

How big are these things?

They come in the sizes. The normal series come in 3 inch figures, with each series a couple of 9 inch figures are released, and there are also the Vinylmation Jr. which are 1.5 inches and have the ability to be a keychain.

Can I trade these?

Yes! You can trade the regular Vinylmations and in some places even the Vinylmation Jr.’s. There is no trading on the 9 inch figures.

Soooooooooo how do you trade them?

There are two options for this. Clear and blind box trading. Some stores have these large black boxes numbered. You pick a number and then whatever is behind that door you trade for. Again, luck of the draw. The clear boxes contain 3 different figures that you can see and can pick to trade from.

So who is the better of the two? I can tell you that for years the big breadwinner is the pins, but they’ve also been around for years. I honestly like them both though. I have pins and vinyls. They both are different and unique in they’re own way. For example in pins I collect ALL figment pins, with Vinylmation I collect only the ones that I like or mean something to me. My friend Nicole on the other hand also collects a specific character in pins, Minnie Mouse, and with Vinylmation she likes to pick a set she likes them all and then tries to complete the set. So your collection can vary depending on your specific tastes.

What’s in your collection???

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Day Trip: Bok Tower Gardens

I literally stumbled upon this beauty of a place by surprise!

One day my boyfriend tells me to get ready because we are going somewhere and he can’t tell me because it is a surprise. After driving, and driving, and driving, (because when you are in the car and are anxious these things feel like FOREVER!!) did I mention that we were driving? Anyways I finally see signs to Bok Tower Gardens, we have arrived at the surprise, and so far I am psyched with excitement! Amazing and beautiful already and we haven’t even gotten to the good stuff yet!

We pay the entrance, park the car, and head up to the welcome center. In there are some helpful people that give you some maps and information about the the whole place. There is also a video you can watch with some history about the gardens and tower itself. I do recommend watching the video, it has some cool history!

After that you are let loose to practically get lost (not REALLY lost, you can always find your way, I’m speaking figuratively) in the huge beautiful gardens. Words can’t explain how lovely it looks really. So I’ll let some pictures do the talking here.

Also there is of course the tower itself! It’s a 205 ft beautiful tower that sings too! Sings? Yes, the carillon bells can be heard every half hour, and at 1pm and 3pm each day there is a concert. The sounds that come from this huge tower are beautiful and amazing. And here we go again with some more photos!

I suggest taking the whole day to experience the entire thing. They have a cafeteria there so you can stop in for lunch, or also pack a picnic and eat at some of the benches they have set up for such occasion!

Hours: 8am – 6pm (they sell the last admission at 5pm though) and is open 365 days a year.
Admission: Adults $12 | Kids (5-12) $3 | Kids (Under 5) Free

Directions:
(I’m talking this part directly from they’re website…you don’t want to hear directions from me, I’m horrible at it)

From Orlando, take I-4 West
From Tampa, Take I-4 East
Proceed on I-4 to Exit 55. Take Exit 55 and proceed south on U.S. Highway 27 for approximately 23 miles. Proceed two traffic lights past Eagle Ridge Mall. Turn left on Mountain Lake Cut Off Road. At the caution light, turn right (south) onto County Road 17 (also known as Scenic Highway). Proceed on CR 17 for 3/4 miles. Turn left (east) onto Burns Avenue (also known as County Road 17-A). Proceed on Burns Avenue for 1.3 miles. On your left you’ll see a main entrance sign to Bok Tower Gardens. Turn left and proceed to the entrance gate.

From Highway 60 East or West:
Go to Lake Wales and proceed north on U.S. Highway 27. Turn right on Mountain Lake Cutoff Road. At the caution light, turn right (south) onto County Road 17 (also known as Scenic Highway). Proceed on CR 17 for 3/4 miles. Turn left (east) onto Burns Avenue (also known as County Road 17-A). Proceed on Burns Avenue for 1.3 miles. On your left you’ll see a main entrance sign to Bok Tower Gardens. Turn left and proceed to the entrance gate.

From Vero Beach, Take Highway 60 West:
Go to Lake Wales. At Buck Moore Road (the intersection just past WalMart), turn North (right) onto Buck Moore Road (also known as 17-B). Turn between SunTrust and Walgreen’s. Proceed approximately 1.3 miles. At the stop light, turn West (left) onto County Road 17-A (also called Burns Ave.). Proceed on CR 17-A approximately .7 mile to the entrance of Bok Tower Gardens on your right.

For anything and everything else I didn’t cover you can check out their website.

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Food Friday: 24 Hours of Tacos Edition

Got out of work late? Went downtown to party? Just up late at night for no reason at all? And you start to get these grumbles in your stomach. Oh yes, those are the signs that your tummy wants to party as well.

That reminds me of this clip….also very unrelated, but my favorite episode of Adventure Time.

(Video is thanks to CartoonNetwork on Youtube)

Anyways. Back to the food part.
You are hungry and want some food. What sounds better than Mexican food at all hours of the night? I can’t think of anything else really.

The spot: Beto’s. Once in a galaxy long long ago, it was probably a Taco Bell, or some other fast food place that later shut down, and this 24 hour gem came in. Yes, I said it’s 24 hours. So no matter what time of day. Morning, noon, night, or very LATE night, you can satisfy your cravings for glorious mexican food.

Now what food you say? Read on my young padawans, read on.

Continue reading

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{Don’t Overlook} Universal Orlando Edition

This week we are going to take a hop, skip, and a jump away from Walt Disney World over to Universal.
I sometimes think that as a whole Universal is the underdog park, overshadowed by it’s little brother Islands of Adventure. In my heart, since it was the original I love it, I remember when even Citywalk didn’t exist and you parked right in front of the arches. And though I do have a couple of bones to pick with them (*cough* replacing Back to the Future with The Simpsons COME ON! *cough), it’s still a

But we aren’t here to walk down memory lane. We will leave that for another time. Let’s get down to business!

Universal has only a handful of attractions, so seeing the majority of it in one day is mostly possible. I think this makes it most difficult to make this list up for this park. But I’m going to go with what I think.

Continue reading

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Where is it Wednesday #3

This week’s installment is going to get a little bit harder…you have to be SPECIFIC!

Drumroll please…………..

Guess away below! Good luck!

ANSWER: Inside the Manta aquarium at Seaworld Orlando!

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The “Sunshine State”

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Not today I guess….lol

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