Homemade Pizza Pockets

I don’t know if this even qualifies as a recipe, but it checked a bunch of boxes for my boys! 1. Individual portion. 2. Toppings of their choice. 3. It’s a pizza pocket! All you need is:

refrigerated pizza dough (like Pillsbury)

ricotta cheese

shredded mozzarella

pizza fillers of your choosing (pepperoni, mushrooms, tomatoes, spinach, pepperocini, etc.)

2 tbs melted butter

Marinara for serving

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. To make four servings, roll out your pizza dough, and slightly stretch it beyond its normal rectangle shape. Then cut it in to four smaller rectangles. Fill (don’t over fill) each rectangle with tbs of ricotta, and 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella and a remaining 1/4 cup of toppings of your choice. Then fold that rectangle in half lengthwise, and pinch all sides with a fork. Repeat with all remaining dough. Place on a nonstick foil lined pan. Slice a few small slits in the top of each pocket and then brush all pockets with melted butter. Cook for 10-13 minutes until golden brown.  Let cool, it’s going to be hot! You can serve them with jarred marinara, or make your own. My favorite jarred marinara is here, and my favorite marinara recipe is here.

I served it with the warmed marinara and a simple side salad.

This recipe is so easy, friends!

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One of my favorite parts of this trip was our monorail loop resort hoping. We had a lazy morning and then headed over to the Polynesian Resort and rode the monorail to The Grand Floridian. In all my years of going to Disney, I don’t think I’ve ever been inside The Grand Floridian, so I was excited to explore the resort!

They have lovely gift shops with a variety of Disney (and other) souvenirs:

Many Minnie and Mickey themed mugs:

And J, our always decisive souvenir chooser, picked out an emoji slap bracelet:

They also have several grassy outdoor expanses to just play games and lounge:

And of course, views of the castle:

After exploring for a bit we settled on Gasparilla Island Grill for a quick lunch.

This quick service stop features booth and table dining, with a variety of sandwiches and desserts. It also has some pretty fancy lighting:

But enough about the chandeliers, on to lunch! The boys got their standards which was a hot dog and macaroni and cheese:

 

 

And B got his standard turkey sandwich:

I constantly give Disney props that they get his food correct, with no sauces or things he cannot eat.

I got the roast beef and cheddar sandwich on a pretzel roll:

Friends. This sandwich is enormous. You could easily, I mean easily, share it. It also was really good. It had sautéed red onions, a rich yellow cheese sauce, and finely sliced roast beef. And the bread was fluffy soft.

The boys would also want me to tell you that they have the coke machines with “a million flavors”. After finishing our lunch we explored dessert. This mocha chocolate chip cupcake was a front runner:

But we couldn’t resist the whimsy of the carousel horse cupcake:

This is very instagram worthy, but was kind of tricky to eat. The horse is hard white chocolate, and the inside cupcake is a moist confetti cake. The buttercream was okay, but I kind of wished we’d gotten the mocha chocolate because I favor a chocolate cupcake more.

Overall, we really enjoyed our morning at The Grand Floridian! I would definitely suggest visiting here on your next trip. We also have Citricos and Grand Floridian Cafe on our list of restaurants to try!

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Friday Favorites

Current mood.

A fun Fourth of July party with a candy tray!

Our Wednesday night dinner from this week.

Bark art.

Secrets kept by The Gone Dead haunt the living. Such a great tag line!

Drinking coffee is good for you.

Making childhood dinner favorites a little more grown-up.

We have been having family drawing nights with this Art for Kids YouTube channel.

Finally, I’ve been working on a list of potential items to purchase during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. So far, I’ve got a halter dress, jean jacket, boots, loafers, and a laptop tote saved on my favorites.

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This and That

This week we tested out Picky Palate’s Fire-Fly Disneyland recipe:

It turned out really tasty and the boys loved that they thought at first we were only having Fritos for dinner:

I actually browned the meat (I didn’t use sausage) and then added all the ingredients into my slow cooker on low for about 7 hours. This is awesome for a group or party!

We also made red, white, and blue popcorn this week:

And went to a local Concert in the Park that the kids had a blast at:

And I had a crab cake sandwich that I might be headed back to Concerts in the Park in July to have again:

It was from one of our local food trucks, In the Bun, and it was so good!

And I’ve also got this coffee on my list to get next time we’re at the Arsenal Coffee truck:

And finally, my parents’ pool is open! The boys are going to have a blast!

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Villains After Hours Review

This was a last minute decision for our trip. Anticipating the hot summer weather in Florida, we decided to forgo the daily park ticket and instead go at night. I would only suggest this if your kiddos are good with staying up until 1:00 a.m. (or later). The Villains After Hours Party at Disney World runs from now until August on select nights (you can check here for more details). It’s similar to some of the other after hours parties (and annual pass holder after events), but it features specially themed treats, a stage show, and the dragon, Maleficent, makes appearances throughout the park. Here’s a peak at the map:

 

Let’s start with what we loved about it!

First, short lines. I mean walk onto Peter Pan short. We rode Jungle Cruise, Pirates of the Caribbean, Peter Pan, Winnie the Pooh, Thunder Mountain Railroad, Space Mountain, Tea Cups, Buzz Lightyear, and Haunted Mansion all within the “party window”, but we also rode additional rides before that because you are allowed in at 7 p.m. (3 hours before the party actually starts).

Second, drinks, Mickey treats, and popcorn are all included in the cost. You can just walk up to any of the carts and the cast members will hand it to you. That was great (especially when I needed a second box of popcorn after riding Space Mountain with J).

Third, fun light theming of different rides:

 

Fourth, there are themed snacks for purchase, which the boys were very excited about.

We tried the headless horseman brownie:

This was a basic brownie, the theming is basically that one chocolate on top. It was made well though and is big enough to share.

We also tried the dragons breath:

The theming of this one was fun! The spun candy on top was VERY hard to eat, but the boys enjoyed the soft serve with cherry sprite type soda. Think a Shirley Temple with vanilla soft serve.

Last we tried the Hades Temptation:

So, besides being nearly impossible to carry without spilling it, this was very tasty. It again had kind of a cherry/berry slushie taste.

So, now that we’ve talked about what we loved, let’s talk about a few things that were just okay.

First, villain encounters. They kind of make it seem like although you won’t have the opportunity to do meet and greets with the villains, that they will be walking around the park. This is the only place we saw them:

Second, the theming of the rides for villains was waaaayyyy over stated. If you tell me there’s going to be a themed Pirates of the Carribean, I’m expecting Jack Sparrow. Although, this guy was humorous:

 

Last, the transportation back to the hotels is by bus. For our experience (I say that because that type of thing is always subject to change), there was no monorail or boat option. We had to get on a bus after the party that went to the Contemporary, Polynesian, and Grand Floridian. It took awhile. Overall, I think the after hours experience is a great idea. I would suggest trying it. However, if you want a spooky themed experience (depending on when you are going), I would suggest Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. The tickets are similar cost and you can check out our experience with that here!

 

 

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Friday Favorites

The boys’ finished up their first camp of the summer, and they had the best time! This weekend we are having dinner with friends, testing out my parents’ new pool, and getting new hardwood floors put in our bedroom! It’s going to be a busy weekend! I got several more lesson plans outlined for the Fall this week, and I’m hoping to get my July course ready to go while they are putting in the hardwood floors today! In between driving kids to camp, watching Octonauts with my niece, and lesson planning, here are some of my favorites for the week.

I’ve started watching Racheal Ray in the afternoons and I’ve got this meal on my list for next week.

Traveling journals….this has inspired me to start including some collage elements for the photo books of our trips.

All the beaches in Honolulu to visit.

Almost finished with Hickory Dickory Dock.

Take a walk.

True words.

Summer palette perfection.

I’ve got this T-shirt and skirt in my cart waiting for JCrew to have a sale.

My favorite yoga practice of the week.

And finally, a lesson in making chilaquiles.

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Kona Cafe

Also known by my kids as “not Ohana”, Kona Cafe open air table service restaurant on the second floor of The Polynesian serves up Asian style eats with a Polynesian twist. Despite the fact that this is not Ohana, our meal was very good, and I would recommend it if you are staying at The Polynesian, one of the other nearby resorts, or you want to take a break from The Magic Kingdom and head over here for dinner.

First up, we got an appetizer of potstickers, because that seemed to be the theme of this trip:

They were pan fried (my favorite), and I can honestly say I’ve never been served potstickers like this. They were pull apart and were definitely a filling way to start the meal! A loves potstickers:

In addition to our order of pot stickers, we were also snacking on the Hawaiian bread with macadamia nut butter that comes with the meal:

 

You all. Come for the rolls. They are delish! Anyway, while we were eating those we checked out the menu:

As you can see the menu contains a wide-range from sushi to burgers. You also can watch them making the sushi if you are sitting close enough, which we were:

B ordered the sashimi sampler:

We found the prices for both the sushi and sashimi to be very reasonable. The sashimi was light, and B probably would’ve ordered a side…if he hadn’t had an extra helping of rolls.

I ordered the Mahi Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato:

It was weird. The Mahi was also a little dry. And there were big pieces of barely toasted bread underneath….it was just a little odd. I would probably order something different if we went again.

And the boys ordered pasta and a burger:

Both were good. Oh and a heads up from our resident kid foodie:

If your kiddos also get dessert, just a heads up. The yogurt parfait is just a scoop of yogurt on a plate. Get the ice cream instead.

Afterwards, we headed outside to watch the fireworks:

At The Polynesian they dim the lights and play the music from the fireworks show at The Magic Kingdom, so its fun to view it from the beach!

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This and That

This is the Nintendo game announcements we watched this week in anticipation of new Switch games.

This is J checking out his first set of summer books from the library:

This is me trying to visualize the rug I bought for in our bedroom once we get hardwood in there:

This is B checking out the boys’ Father’s Day Cards….that they made with scented markers:

This is J helping me make snickerdoodles for Father’s Day lunch:

And finally, this was Sunday dinner:

Happy Monday, friends!

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Friday Favorites

Can we talk about our weather for five minutes? In the south our temps are notoriously hot beginning in mid-May. However, it’s June and 75 degrees. I mean. It couldn’t be more perfect. We stopped in Auburn on our way back from Disney last weekend and had the best time, I cannot believe how much construction is going on there! We’ve gotten back into the swing of things after our vacation, catching up on laundry, sleeping in late, and doing lots of reading. I’m knee deep in outlining chapters, extended lesson planning, and re-recording lecture videos for a new textbook. All of the things I have time to do now that I rarely have time to do during the school year. We are looking forward to pool time with friends today and then Father’s Day on Sunday! Here are some of my favorites from the week!

You had me at guava cake.

My favorite podcast of the week.

Amelia Bedelia….housekeeping rebel?

The video I had to save because not only do I love it, but also it shows the development of language that I can share with my foundations of communication course!

Adjusting foundation coverage, good for transitioning between summer and work.

Really the only cheese that needs to be on your charcuterie board.

The social influencer you need to be following. In other news…a great example of how something goes viral. Can you tell I’m lesson planning?

Lots of work wear ideas for fall featuring a pencil skirt.

Strawberry cake.

Got this faux leather hobo bag in my cart.

Summer is all about one pot meals. Or one plate. Or one grill.

Finally, I’m loving the brightness of this flushed coral lip gloss.

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Morimoto Asia in Disney Springs

Can one dream about a meal? By far this was one of our favorite meals of the trip. I’ve read mixed reviews, but let me tell you, our server was fantastic, our meal was fantastic, and I really loved how the kids’ meals, menu, and options were so unique!

The atmosphere is upscale, but like most Disney restaurants, people were in a variety of dress from casual to cocktail-ish. The sushi kitchen is upstairs and it was fun to view it from below.

We started off with pork dumplings for our appetizer because those are A’s absolute favorite. These would probably be my only complaint. For eleven dollars there were only four, and they were barely filled. They were also steamed, and I prefer mine slightly pan fried (this I knew when we chose them, so that’s on me). For the cost, I would pick something else. They also don’t tell you on the menu how many you get, and I assumed we’d get at least six (again, I should’ve asked this before ordering). On the plus side, it came in a fun steamer and the boys tested out their chopstick skills before their lo mein came.

 

 

On to better things! Starting with the kid’s menu, because it was awesome. It had three origami papers and instructions for making three basic origami items. We spent (okay maybe, I spent) almost all the way until our dinner came working on the fish and frog.

 

And while we were working on those, we were sipping on fruity boba tea. J was unsure, but A was totally converted. He’s been asking for boba tea again ever since.

 

They both ordered the kids’ shrimp lo mein, and there wasn’t a noodle left.

So, now for the grown up meals. B is a big fan of sushi and sashimi, so he ordered Jyo Sushi Combo, and the only potential issue for his allergies was the sushi roll. Our server was great and easily requested to have his roll swapped (the combo is a “chef selects” so it depends on the day what you get). It was almost too pretty to eat!

I opted for the buri-bop which is the famous dish that Morimoto created to win one of the Iron Chef competitions. They prep it by the table, and unfortunately I didn’t take a picture before it was mixed. It was sooooo good. I mean. It was a combination of yellow tail, rice, egg, veggies, and other tasty items. As a side note this does come in a 400 plus degree bowl, that stays that hot pretty much the entire time you eat it. So this is not a meal you’d want to eat near small kiddos who might grab the bowl (or irresponsible adults who might do it “too be funny”, just saying).

And finally, we ended the meal with hidden Mickey sorbets for the boys!

We really loved our overall experience at Morimoto’s and would definitely go again!

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