Be honest—how many times have you read through the reviews of the 2013 Epcot Food & Wine Festival line-up wishing you could attend? “Le Cellier” Wild Mushroom Beef Filet Mignon with Truffle Butter Sauce, Kālua Pork Slider with Sweet and Sour Dole® Pineapple Chutney and Spicy Mayonnaise, Crème Brûlée au Chocolat au Lait….yes please! After oogling the menu for the umpteenth time, I decided that since my family cannot make the trip to Disney World for the festivities this year, I needed to bring the Food & Wine Festival home. Alas, the First Annual Fannin Family Food & Wine Festival—Budget Style was born.
“Fancy” does not need to mean expensive or time consuming…unless you want it to be. It’s all about the presentation! Put your own twist on the list of offerings from the International Marketplace stops to make them simple and family-friendly. Serve them in bite-sized portions on inexpensive clear plastic plates and use toothpicks for the small samples. To save time and because we only needed small portions, I purchased a lot of frozen, premade dishes to serve. I also made a few dishes for meals earlier in the week and saved a little bit for use in the Festival. I am not a wine drinker, but my husband made sure to sample a few beers from around the world. It was a hit!
Here is what my family enjoyed:
- CANADA: Canadian cheddar cheese soup- This is my very favorite recipe from the Cooking with Mickey and the Disney Chefs cookbook, and a very similar one can be found here: Le Cellier Beer and Cheese Soup. I made this soup for dinner two days before our celebration and it kept well in the refrigerator.
- FRANCE: Boeuf bourguignon (braised short ribs in cabernet with mashed potatoes)- this turned out to be my favorite dish, and I just threw it together the day before! I browned 2lbs of beef short ribs in a Dutch oven, added a chopped onion, chopped celery, chopped carrots, 2 cups or so of red cooking wine, a small can of tomato paste, and a carton of beef broth and let it roast for 2 hours. You can just prepare roast beef however your family likes it and serve it with a small portion of mashed potatoes and viola!
- BELGIUM: Belgium waffle with warm chocolate ganache and whipped cream- ...and then I started to cheat! I used frozen Belgian waffles and served them with hot fudge (from a jar, of course!) and whipped cream--delicious!
- ITALY: Ravioli de formaggio all’emiliana (baked cheese ravioli with creamy beef bolognese sauce, parmesan and mozzarella)- what kid doesn't like cheese ravioli?! I used frozen ravioli and canned sauce and topped it with fresh grated parmesan for an added "fancy-schmancy" touch.
- GREECE: Dannon Oikos® Blueberry Greek Nonfat Yogurt Cup- Feel free to pick a few "easy" food items off of the list...why not?!
- CHINA: Chicken potstickers- Again, I used frozen potstickers here as a timesaver, but Epcot International Food & Wine Festival Cook Book Passport to A World of Flavors has an excellent recipe.
- GERMANY: Apple strudel- Confession time: I purchased an apple strudel from the local bakery...but it didn't make it to our Food & Wine Festival! Oops!
After our bellies were full from our International sampler, we watched Ratatouille! My little guy is too young for a geography lesson, but I look forward to incorporating that in our future Festivals. What will your family choose from the list?