Square Life Round World

I'm navigating through this round world while living a square life, and it fits exactly as it should.

Mix It! Make It! Celebrate It! Starring Bronwen Weber

Most people who are interested in attending the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival know about the kiosks located all around the World Showcase. For a few bucks per bite and sip, foodies can nosh their way around the World to their hearts’ content.  

Welcome to the Festival from the International Gateway


However, special events are also a huge part of the Festival. When I visited a few weeks ago, I attended one of the Mix It! Make It! Celebrate It! workshops. 

Admittedly, I didn’t do a ton of planning for this trip like I usually do. A few dining reservations and FastPass+ selections pretty much summed up all I put into it. About 2 weeks before the trip (last minute, much?), I began to peruse the list of special events taking place during my trip and found this new workshop. Even better, there was one with Bronwen Weber, celebrity cake artist from Dallas who frequents the Food Network. I was sure it was sold out, as all celebrity special events do, but thought I’d call just to be sure. Imagine my surprise when the Cast Member I spoke with told me spaces were still available. Sweet (pun intended)! 

Spaces were still available two weeks before the event.

Since this was a brand new event and I was visiting toward the beginning of the Festival, I couldn’t find out very much in advance about what I could expect for my $49. All the website said was we would leave with our very own edible masterpiece. What does that meeeeeeeeaaaaaannnn??? Still, I was optimistic that the Disney folks would do it up right, and I was not disappointed!

I arrived about 45 minutes in advance, and people were already beginning to line up. They started letting us take our seats 15 minutes prior to the event. I was lucky enough to score a seat at the front and center table, and I was thrilled. At each place setting was some colored fondant, a small pastry brush, child’s safety scissors, a skewer, a tiny bit of water, cornstarch and a cup for water.  

Place setting for the Mix It! Make It! Celebrate It! workshop.

There were also a few pages of instructions, which hinted at what we would be doing. They were hand illustrated by Bronwen herself, no less!  

Bronwen Weber hand illustrated our instructions.

Yet, I was beginning to wonder if I would find the value to be worth the cost. 

Soon after Bronwen took the stage, glasses of Prosecco were passed out.  

A bit of bubbly to set the mood

Ahhhh…much better! Then, we began to work on our masterpieces. Bronwen was an absolute doll, walking us step-by-step through each creation. We made a pumpkin, ghost and bat, all out of fondant.  

Fondant pumpkin made by yours truly


My ghost-my fondant skills are a bit scary!


My bat–clearly I don’t need to quit my day job.

I’ve never worked with fondant before because I don’t like the taste, and the workshop didn’t inspire me to change that. However, Bronwen was very entertaining and personable.  

Bronwen Weber and Pam Smith, Festival hostess

About halfway through the workshop, huge pieces of neopolitan cake were passed out.  

So delicious!

The cake was made by Bronwen and her bakers in her Dallas bakery, Frosted Art Bakery. I have to admit it was the very best cake I’ve ever had!

As the workshop concluded, bakery boxes were passed out to transport our fondant figures home. We also each received a packet of recipes from Bronwen and a bamboo cutting board featuring the Festival logo as a very nice take-away gift.  

Each attendee received this bamboo cutting board as a take-away gift.

My conclusion? I found the workshop to be, not only an excellent value, but a fun way to spend the afternoon. I can’t say that I will use any of the skills I learned (I use that term loosely), but I was thoroughly entertained. With so many of the Festival special events rising significantly in cost year-over-year, I say bravo to Disney for offering a new, high-quality, mid-level priced event. 

What’s your favorite Festival special event?

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Into and Over It Part One, Into

There’s this new show on the Food Network called The Kitchen.  It’s sort of a talk show meets cooking show hybrid hosted by several Food Network personalities.  At the end of the show the stars each share one thing they are “into” and “over”, which may or may not be food related.  I always find their “intos” and “overs” interesting, and this has inspired my post for today.

Things I’m Into Lately

My Dog–I love my little 7.5 pound maltipoo Jasmine!  She keeps me company, loves me unconditionally and is wildly entertaining.  She has a part of my soul, and I truly cannot imagine life without her.

I love my baby girl, Jasmine!  Yes, I named her after the Disney princess.

I love my baby girl, Jasmine! Yes, I named her after the Disney princess.

Pinots from Oregon and Washington–I’m talking about Pinot Noir here.  I took a wine class a little over a year ago featuring wines from Oregon and Washington, and fell in love with the Pinots.  I’ve been buying them ever since, and I’m still very much into them.

I'm also into drinking my Pinot Noir from Oregon out of my Disney Princess Half Marathon 2013 glass.

I’m also into drinking my Pinot Noir from Oregon out of my Disney Princess Half Marathon 2013 glass.

The Olympics–I love the Olympics!  I’ve been watching every night and on the weekends.  I’ve even been Googling for spoilers because I can’t stand the suspense.  So far I’ve determined that the snowboarders are having the most fun and would be the ones I’d most like to hang out with.  I’ve also noticed there are at least 3 USA athletes with the last name Gold.  Go Team USA!!!!

Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games

Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games

Grinding Coffee Beans–I never used to be a coffee drinker at all.  I got a Keurig machine about two years ago and started drinking it.  I got tired of buying the K-cups all the time so I got a coffee grinder and some beans.   Now, every morning I grind my own coffee beans.  I use the reusable filter that came with the machine, and the quality of my morning coffee has improved exponentially.

Coffee Beans ready to grind for my morning coffee

Coffee Beans ready to grind for my morning coffee

S’mores–Without fail, every fall I start to crave these little nuggets of chocolatey, marshmallowey yumminess!  They couldn’t be easier to make in the oven.  Usually, I make them once or twice and I’m done with my craving for the year.  This time, however, I’m still into them.  It’s no secret I have a major sweet tooth, and just one graham cracker, a quarter of a Hershey candy bar, and two marshmallows more than satisfies it lately.  It’s much lower in calories than a whole candy bar or a cup cake, so I can feel relatively ok about it, too!

Ready to make some S'mores!

Ready to make some S’mores!

Organizing My House–I don’t really do New Year’s Resolutions, but in spite of this I’m very much into home organization this year.  I didn’t really make a conscious decision to do anything differently.  I took two long weekend trips in January, and to stay ahead of unpacking, packing, laundry, etc. from those, I started doing things every day.  The trend is continuing, and I really like it!

My New Contact Lenses–What I’m about to tell you may shock some of you.  I have been wearing the same contact lenses for ten years!  They are not disposables, rather daily wear, which means they are supposed to have a one year lifespan.  I extended that by more than a few years.  It’s terrible!  I know!  See, I hate going to the eye doctor!  I’ve had problems my whole life (reason enough to actually go more often) and my prescription is difficult.  No doctor I have ever seen since my childhood doctor has been able to get my prescription and fit right.  It took my last doctor 5 months of tries to get it acceptable.  He never did get it exactly right.  I’ve just been dreading and putting this off.  Well, I broke my glasses the day before I left for my most recent trip.  I only wear them around the house, but that still ended up being the catalyst to make me schedule an appointment.  I loved him!  He got it right!  One try!  And they are comfy!  Yes!

Making My Own Salad Dressings–I intensely dislike store-bought salad dressing.  I can taste the preservatives in it, and can’t stand it!  Homemade salad dressings are so easy!  A little oil, vinegar, salt, pepper and a few more additions depending on what I’m making and in very little time,  I can have fresh, homemade dressing that is better for me anyway.  It costs less, too!

This is the beginning of homemade salad dressing.

This is the beginning of homemade salad dressing.

Check back tomorrow to see what I’m totally over!

What are some things that you are into lately?

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