Thursday, March 26, 2020

Saratoga Springs Derby Dash

With all of the craziness and stress going on in the world right now, let's pause and take a few minutes to enjoy a little Disney escape, shall we?

For starters, several resorts throughout Walt Disney property offer a fun run of some sort during the week. Saratoga Springs just so happens to offer their "Derby Dash" on Thursday mornings at 8 a.m. The cost is $15 and the distance is approximately 1.44 miles. The offerings with these runs are also different for each event, so check them out if you're interested. I've participated in one other resort fun run besides this one, and it was the Beignet Dash at Port Orleans French Quarter.

During our recent Princess Half Marathon vacation, we stayed at Saratoga Springs. This was our first time to stay at this resort and to be honest, I completely forgot that they offered a fun run during the week. Also, I heard through the grapevine that these fun runs were not operational during runDisney weekends, so I never even thought twice about it. Note to self: The Derby Dash does take place on "runDisney weekends" and I don't think a Thursday is considered a "weekend" for them.

The evening before the fun run, we received a voicemail to the phone in our room, "reminding" us of the Derby Dash the following day. Although I wasn't mentally prepared to run it, I had everything I needed (this was a runDisney trip, after all) and I'm never one to pass up an opportunity like this, so I set my alarm and planned on running it the following day! I figured since I was already physically there and I had no idea if I'd have this opportunity again, I might as well run it!

The race began at the Community Hall which was super easy to find. It was quite a bit of a hike from our room (about a 12 minute walk), but I made sure to leave in plenty of time.

Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. and in order to register, you must see a cast member inside of the Community Hall. You can pay with your magic band if it's connected to a credit card which makes things super easy. 

Saratoga Springs has the perfect layout for this race because the grounds of this resort are HUGE.We didn't even see the entire resort during our 1.4 mile run which is crazy to me!

 At exactly 8 a.m., and with a quick "Call to Post" (a super cute touch), we were off!

This course was adequately marked and I never felt like I could have gotten lost. It was a fabulous way to see the layout of the resort, too!

My favorite part of this course was the running portion that took us by Disney Springs. It was so quiet and peaceful in the morning, too.

Almost done!

After crossing the finish line, each runner received a medal. There was also a table with water bottles, wash cloths, granola bars, bananas, and oranges.

I was so happy I decided to participate in this race! It was a very good way to see the resort, a nice shakeout run before the upcoming Fairy Tale Challenge, and I got "unexpected bling" out of the whole deal!

If you're on the fence about running this, I think you should. This race was a nice way to get a little "touch" of runDisney, especially if you happen to be there on a non-runDisney trip. It was also a great way to kick start the day!

Have you ever run a resort fun run at Walt Disney World? If so, which one and what did you think? Let me know in the comments below.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Mickey Shaped Beignets At Home

Hello, happy Monday, and welcome to the Coronavirus diaries day 1! Kidding...

But seriously, who has spent the past week looking for "out of the box" fun things to do with your kiddos while you're home together for this extended period of time? Well, if you're a Disney fan who  loves the beignets over at Port Orleans French Quarter at Walt Disney World (or Cafe du Monde in New Orleans), and you own an air fryer, look no further!

As a full disclaimer, although this recipe was good and we all enjoyed these beignets, they don't taste *exactly like the ones you'd find in New Orleans or at the French Quarter resort, but they are a fun, at home substitution! 

During this experiment, I tested out two recipes - one that did not include active dry yeast and one that did include active dry yeast. In the end, although the one that included the yeast took longer to prep, it was definitely the better of the two recipes. The one without yeast was incredibly sticky and too cake-like. So, moral of the story - if you're making these beignets and want a decent tasting recipe, go with the yeast!

After prepping the dough (including rising time) Brayden and I set to work on cutting out Mickey shapes!

We used an air fryer for this experiment because I've never actually deep fried anything (like, ever) and was kind of scared of burning the house down!

I will say, although I love the option of using an air fryer, these beignets weren't as light and fluffy as they would have been had we deep fried them. Don't get me wrong, they were very good, but not Cafe du Monde perfect.

Look how precious they turned out, though!

Jason and I enjoyed this little touch of our two favorite places (Disney and New Orleans) with a cup of coffee for breakfast! Brayden loved them too, and he even asked for a second serving! 

Mickey Shaped Beigents (with an Air Fryer)
Adapted from: The Blue Jean Chef


Yeast mixture:
3/4 cup of warm water
1/8 tsp of sugar
1/2 envelope of active dry yeast (about 1 tsp)

Dough mixture:
1/4 cup of sugar
4 cups of all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp butter - room temperature
1 egg (lightly beaten)
1/3 cup of almond milk
1/4 cup melted butter
1 cup of powdered sugar

  • Combine lukewarm water, 1/8 tsp of sugar, and yeast in a bowl to let proof for five minutes.  Make sure your yeast mixture makes a froth at the top before using it. If not, check the expiration date on the packaging and start again.
  • In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, butter, and sugar and combine. 
  • Add the egg, milk, and yeast mixture to the bowl and stir until mixture forms into a sticky ball. 
  • Knead the yeast for a few minutes (about 5 minutes or so).
  • Transfer dough to an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap to let it rise for at least 2 hours. You may refrigerate overnight if needed, but make sure dough is at room temperature before proceeding.
  • Once the dough has risen, roll the dough to a thickness of 1/2 inch with a rolling pin or cup. Use a Mickey cookie cutter (or any shape you like) to cut out dough. 
  • Brush the beignet shapes on both sides with melted butter.
  • Air fry in batches at 350 degrees F for 8 minutes.
  • Once the fryer is finished, transfer beignets to a bowl and cover with powdered sugar. 
  • Serve and enjoy! 
If you prefer to deep fry these, you can! Make sure to use vegetable oil and have it at a heat of 370 degrees F. Fry until golden brown on both sides, transfer to a paper towel lined plate, sprinkle (our pour) over with powdered sugar and serve!

A faster option to making these beignets is to purchase the Cafe du Monde mix itself. Since we are in the middle of this craziness and I was trying to limit my social interactions as much as possible, I opted for making my own at home vs making a trip to the grocery store.

If you try this recipe, let me know in the comments below! I hope you enjoy as much as we did! :)

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