Live August Disney Trip Report #2

Still here at Walt Disney World – and, as I expected, I’m too busy and tired to write much. The non-existent “free wi-fi” at my resort isn’t helping either. I’m not dragging my iPad to the parks, so without wi-fi, there’s no way to get the pictures on here to share with you.

Here’s one for ya – lunch today at the Sci Fi diner at Hollywood Studios. The All American Picnic Burger: a burger topped with a hot dog topped with sauerkraut, all of the fixins and a pickle spear…


Live August Disney Trip Report #1a


We are on our way! Up in the air somewhere over the East Coast. Got off to a bit of a late start, probably because of the weather. The plane was a few minutes late getting in and after we boarded, they announced that we would have to wait at least an hour before we could take off because our route was closed… Luckily, they found another route that took us out over the ocean and we were only about 30 minutes late getting off the ground.

I have to say in the MANY times I’ve flown Southwest, this is only the second time we’ve been significantly late. And 30 minutes isn’t so late, so it’s tough to complain.

One thing I am going to complain about is the size of these seats! Got one of the really old planes with the flat wings (not the cute Southwest fins) and I barely, just barely fit with 3 of us in the row. And I’m not that big.

Little bit of turbulence but not so bad. I ordered a Bloody Mary just in case. It was a little lite on the tomato juice, but it helped me sleep for a while.

I’m sure I will have to power down shortly, so I’ll see you when we land!


On the bus!!!

Live August Disney Trip Report #1

Ok – let’s see if I can keep a live trip report going!

Heading off to Walt Disney World for the weekend. Someone posted one of those silly pictures to my Facebook a couple weeks ago that said “I see you’re feeling down lately. Maybe you should book your next trip to Disney and see if that cheers you up”


This last minute getaway is partially in response to a very sad, rough couple of weeks. And while it’s certainly not a cure – I sure am feeling better.

Dropped the Woodster off at “camp” this morning (I’m sure he’ll post about that!), sailed through security at the airport and here I am waiting at the gate in my big red Minnie crocs.


See ya real soon!

Cauliflower & Brussel Sprout Gratin

This Cauliflower & Brussel Sprout Gratin is inspired by Bobby Flay and his Bar Americain recipes.  I was looking for a cheesy side dish to go with my pulled turkey sandwiches.  Something that wasn’t potato based (although I do LOVE potatoes).  When I was shopping for the ingredients, I came across some beautiful brussel sprouts and thought they would make a great addition.  I’m never quite sure if I like goat cheese, so I used cheddar jack as one of my cheeses, to counteract some of the sourness.

This is not a particularly quick or easy recipe, but it’s well worth it and the leftovers just keep getting better.

Preheat the oven to 350°.  Shred your cheeses and cut up the cauliflower and broccoli.


Flowers and Sprouts

Bring the milk to a simmer in a small pan.  In a larger saucepan, melt the butter and make a roux by whisking in the flour.  Whisk and cook for about a minute, but don’t let the roux get too dark.

This happens a lot in my kitchen

Roux, who?

Whisk in the milk bit by bit and bring up the heat.  Keep whisking until the mixture thickens.  Remove from heat and whisk in about half the cheese.  Season with salt and pepper to taste – if needed.  The cheese may be salty enough already.

Cheese rocks!

Add the cheese sauce to the cauliflower and brussel sprouts in a large bowl and mix to coat the veggies.  Spoon into a buttered baking dish and top with the rest of the cheese.

Look at the sunlight glinting off that cheese…

Bake for about an hour.  The cheese will be bubbly and gooey and the veggies will be tender.  If you are using a shallow pan, put it on a baking sheet to keep the oven clean.

Inspired by Bobby Flay

Cauliflower & Brussel Sprout Gratin

  • 3 cups whole milk (I do use the “real stuff” for this)
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar/jack cheese
  • 4 oz crumbled goat cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • salt & pepper
  • medium head of cauliflower cut into bite sized pieces
  • dozen (or so) brussel sprouts

Preheat oven to 350º and butter a baking dish big enough for your veggies plus cheese.  Bring the milk to a simmer in a small pan.  Make a light roux by melting the butter in a larger sauce pan and whisking in the flour.  Whisk for about a minute until blended, but not dark.  Slowly add the milk, whisking continuously until thickened.  Remove from heat and whisk in half the cheese.  Add to the cauliflower and brussel sprouts and mix until veggies are well coated.  Scoop into the baking dish, top with the rest of the cheese and bake for about an hour.  Let it settle a bit before serving.

Worth all the whisking

I served this with pulled turkey sandwiches and it was even better when some of the gravy snuck over and mixed with the cheese.  So, soooooo good!  I can also see this going really well with a nice steak or other chunk of meat.

As I think about it, some crispy bacon or pancetta would be pretty awesome baked into this…