Happy Disney New Year!

It’s been quite a year for 2 Miss Mouses. Time to ring in the new, but before we do, we want to share some of our most popular 2013 posts with you.

Disneyland 2014 by 2 Miss Mouses

We had no idea how many of you shared our love of Disneyland clam chowder until we put this recipe post on our Pinterest board. Just goes to show that everyone likes a bread bowl 🙂

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This year it seemed like Disney sweatshirts were everywhere and this was definitely a trend we could get behind.

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We’ve also loved showing you how to decorate with Disney in our Living In posts. Our personal favorite was Living In: Minnie’s House. We’re ready to move in right now!

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We offered plenty of Disney tips over the last year, but none was more popular than this post: Saving Up for Disneyland.

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We’re suckers for vintage Disney and  couldn’t resist sharing Life Magazine’s Prom at Disneyland photo series with you.

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There were plenty of fun Disney offerings from our Around the Web series, including this Buzz Feed article “The 16 Funniest Youtube Comments on Disney Movie Clips.

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2013 meant not just one, but two trips to Disneyland. Our May Trip was one our most special Disney ventures ever because it was our surprise Mother’s Day gift for our mom. Of course, our favorite blog projects have been our trip reports. We have loved sharing our favorite moments in the park. From teacup turns

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To Main Street laughs

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To churro breaks

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We have loved sharing 2013 with our fellow Disneyland fans and we 2 Miss Mouses can’t wait to see what 2014 holds in store.

See Disneyland by Pumpkin by 2 Miss Mouses

Dining at Disney: Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue

Big Thunder Ranch by 2 Miss Mouses

We’ve probably passed the Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue hundreds of times, but it wasn’t till this last October trip that we finally tried Disneyland’s only “All-you-care-to-enjoy” restaurant. So often we stick to our tried and true favorites (Plaza Inn or Rancho del Zocalo), but on this trip we really wanted to try some new experiences (check out our first visit to Mickey’s Halloween Party) and what can we say? We’re mighty glad we did.

Big Thunder Barbecue Halloween Roundup by 2 Miss Mouses

Not only was the space completely decked out for Halloween, but Big Thunder Ranch is also set in one of the quieter corners of the park, so guests get the chance to relax and dine family-style in the great out of doors. As we mentioned before, Big Thunder is an “all-you-care-to-enjoy” restaurant, which is a slightly less gluttonous way of saying “all-you-can-eat.” We came here for lunch, but dinner is also offered. The only difference (aside from cost) is that dinner also includes corn on the cob and smoked sausages. Once we were seated, we were greeted by our “ranch hand” Caleb who took our drinks order (drinks are included in the set meal price per person). P.S. We loved the mason jars!

Big Thunder Iced Tea by 2 Miss Mouses

The lunch meal victuals consist of barbecue chicken, ribs, ranch beans, corn bread, and cole slaw. The deal is that you can ask for more of whatever you want…hello, dream come true.

Lunch at Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue by 2 Miss Mouses

We definitely asked for more corn bread…seriously, it was so delicious….we just couldn’t reign ourselves in…

Lunch at Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue by 2 Miss Mouses

From start to finish, the meal was finger lickin’ good.

Big Thunder Dinner by 2 Miss Mouses

There’s also a beautiful stage at the front of the ranch and we were treated to great live music throughout our meal.

Big Thunder Ranch Stage by 2 Miss Mouses

One of the best things about Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue is the service. From start to finish, the ranch hands were a delight. One of our favorites was Art. When he saw how much we were loving the food, he made sure to bring us a pamphlet with all the recipes (except for the corn bread…dagnabbit!)

Big Thunder Ranch BBQ Recipes by 2 Miss Mouses

Oh, and did we mention the insanely decadent and delightful desserts? Even though dessert costs extra, we decided to splurge once we heard about the seasonal dessert: a snickerdoodle skillet cookie complete with 3 scoops of pumpkin ice cream and a side of caramel sauce! Yee-haw!

Big Thunder BBQ Dessert by 2 Miss Mouses

We definitely recommend a trip to the Big Thunder Ranch BBQ, especially if you or your fellow cowboys have large appetites and a taste for some serious victuals 🙂 If you’re planning a trip to the park, remember that you can make reservations up to 60 days before your visit. Just call (714) 781-DINE (3463)

Dining at Disney: Carthay Circle

Even before the Carthay Circle officially opened in DCA in June 2012, we were in love. The gorgeous exterior itself is such a huge reminder of Hollywood history and glamour and everyone needs a little glamour from time to time 🙂 We couldn’t wait to get inside. In the past year, we’ve been twice for lunch (check out our May Trip report) and both times were wonderful dining experiences from beginning to end.

Carthay Circle Review by 2 Miss Mouses

This restaurant knows how to make an entrance. Disney’s Carthay Circle is a reproduction of the original Carthay Circle- the Hollywood landmark where Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs first premiered in 1937 and movie history buffs will not be disappointed. Make sure to look around the lobby at all the original posters and pictures. Once you check in, grab a drink at the bar and lounge about for a bit.

Carthay Lobby by 2 Miss Mouses

Once you’re table is ready, you’ll be led upstairs. You’ll be given an option of taking the elevators or the stairs. Because we’re all a bit claustrophobic, we opted for the stairs. The hallway leading to the restaurant is lined with photos of Walt in Hollywood & walking through the space, you can’t help but feel that he would have felt right at home here.

Carthay Circle Upstairs by 2 Miss Mouses

We love the bread they serve and who couldn’t get behind a giant pat of butter?

Bread & Butter @ Carthay Circle by 2 Miss Mouses

Dining at Carthay is about much more than the food (although that is great). We really enjoyed being seated in the main room. Between the candelabras, bright sky-lights and colorful murals, the space feels open, luxurious, and warm.

Ceiling of Carthay Circle by 2 Miss Mouses

There’s only one thing you need to know when ordering at Carthay Circle: GET THE CARTHAY HOUSE BISCUITS! Sorry, we don’t mean to shout, but GET THE CARTHAY HOUSE BISCUITS…they are stuffed with white cheddar, bacon, and jalapeno. They are served with apricot honey butter. They are heaven.

Biscuits @ Carthay Circle by 2 Miss Mouses

Hayley ordered the kobe beef cheek sliders and they were delicious (although she did mention that they were a bit chewy).

Sliders @ Carthay Circle by 2 Miss Mouses

The roasted beet salad was our mom’s choice. She said it was light and fresh tasting. Carthay prides itself on using fresh, seasonal ingredients. In fact, their menu changes by season. We’ve tried summer and fall…we can’t wait for spring and winter 🙂

Beet Salad @ Carthay Circle by 2 Miss Mouses

It’s an old joke in our family that the one thing you never order at Disneyland is a burger because well, they ain’t so good usually. But, at Carthay the burger curse is finally over.  I couldn’t resist ordering one when I knew that Hayley was getting the sliders. Also, I always think it’s fun to go to a fancy restaurant and order a burger. To me, it’s the ultimate test. Wow! This was such a goooood burger, but the real stand out were the french fries. They were a perfectly salted and crunchy delight.

Fries Carthay Style by 2 Miss Mouses

The details at Carthay will blow you away. Whoever designed the space did the perfect job of instilling Old Hollywood glamour. Even the dessert menu was stylish.

Dessert Menu @ Carthay Circle by 2 Miss Mouses

We couldn’t leave without trying some dessert. The first time we dined at Carthay we opted for the s’mores tart, which was out of this world. This time we ordered the lemon pound cake with blueberries. What a show stopper!

Lemon Pound Cake with Blueberries by 2 Miss Mouses

On our walk out, we had to stop and take look at this picture of Walt & Shirley Temple. What we truly love about Carthay is that it captures Walt’s love of Hollywood and movie-making. Next time your at the park, make sure to stop by and buy a ticket to the Carthay Circle.

Walt & Shirley Carthay Circle by 2 Miss Mouses

Countdown Chicken Fusilli

On our May Trip, we got the chance to rediscover Red Rockett’s Pizza Port. It was a nice meal overall, but there was one dish that stood out from the rest: Countdown Chicken Fusilli. When we got home we did a little research to find the recipe used at Disneyland and we found a great one at Magical Kingdoms (make sure to check out this site for other treats from the parks). So, let’s countdown to chicken fusilli in 5-4-3-2-1

Red Rockett's Chicken Fusilli Recipe by 2 Miss MousesWhat’s so fantastic about this recipe, aside from the fact that it’s delicious, is that it’s insanely easy and fairly cheap. Literally, we went from measuring out ingredients to dishing up plates in under 30 minutes. Here are the ingredients you’ll need:Ingredients for Countdown Chicken Fusilli by 2 Miss Mouses

  • 5 oz Alfredo sauce mix (dry mix, we used 3 smaller Knorr packets)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup lowfat milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 oz grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 oz Pesto sauce (prepared sauce)
  • 2 1b dry Cavatappi pasta (***the recipe name is a misnomer- the pasta used at Disneyland is actually Cavatappi…we bet they feel pretty Fusilli about their mistake)
  • 1 lb sliced grilled chicken breast (we cooked ours ahead of time)
  • 1 oz sun-tried tomato crumbles (these are optional)

Pesto Alfredo Sauce by 2 Miss Mouses

Start by making the Alfredo sauce. You’ll want to follow the directions on the packet, just make sure to use substitute your 3 cups of liquid (milk + cream + water) in place of what the package calls for. Once the sauce is done, add in your pesto sauce and can we just take a moment to say that pesto is one of the yummiest substances ever? Because it is. Once you’ve given thanks for pesto, start cooking that Cavatappi.

Cavatappi Pasta by 2 Miss Mouses

While the pasta is cooking, the sauce will get a chance to thicken and become even more delicious and then comes the mixing…

Countdown Chicken Fusilli by 2 Miss Mouses

Then slice up the chicken breasts and add some Parmesan and we have lift off…

Countdown Chicken Fusilli by 2 Miss Mouses

If you’d like to try another park treat, make sure and check out our recipe for Disneyland Clam Chowder. It’s Disney delicious!

Park Talk: Churro Bites

Let's Get Cozy Cones by 2 Miss Mouses

We’ve said it before (May Trip Post) and we’ll say it again- the best snack in all of Disney California Adventure is to be found inside a giant orange cone.

Churro Cozy Cone by 2 Miss Mouses

 That’s right. Cozy Cones inside Cars Land is serving up the most delightful “Churro Bites.” We know what you’re thinking, you’ve had churros before, but NO! These are churros taken to the next level. They’re divided up into delicious bite size and might we add shareable pieces.

Churro Bites @ DCA by 2 Miss Mouses

They come piping hot inside…you guessed it, orange cones.

Cozy Cones Churro Bites by 2 Miss Mouses

Did we mention they come with a cinnamon chocolate sauce?

Churro Bites by 2 Miss Mouses

Next time you’re visiting Radiator Springs, make sure to make a pit stop by Cozy Cones. You’ll be glad you did.

Park Nibbles: The Matterhorn

Matterhorn Macaroon by 2 Miss Mouses

We recently re-discovered the Matterhorn. We know what you’re thinking, “Didn’t these ladies notice that big mountain in the middle of the park before?” Yes, we have. But, we are talking about a different kind of Matterhorn.

 The “Matterhorn Macaroon” is made of coconut, covered in white chocolate (aka “snow”), and can fit in the palm of your hand. What can we say? Some mountains were just made to be eaten. This sweet treat can be found at the end of Main Street at the adorable Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe. One of our favorite traditions is to stop here, get a Matterhorn & hot chocolate, grab a table and reminisce about our day 🙂

Disneyland Clam Chowder

Whenever we visit Disney California Adventure, we always make it a point to stop by the Pacific Wharf and grab a bread bowl of the world’s best clam chowder. Creamy, delicious, flavorful- this clam chowder has it all and we’ve got the recipe!

Disneyland Chowder Recipe by 2 Miss Mouses

If you visit the Town Hall (on the left directly as you enter Main Street), you too can grab a copy of some the park’s best loved recipes (clam chowder included). Chef Mickey welcomes you in!

Disneyland Chowder Recipe by 2 Miss Mouses

So, let’s get started with the ingredients you’ll be needing:

Disneyland Chowder Ingredients by 2 Miss Mouses

  • 1/4 lb butter 
  • 1 1/2 cup onions, chopped (we used frozen chopped onions, and our eyes were thankful)
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 1 qt. milk
  • 4 cans or 1 1/2 cups clams, chopped (make sure to RESERVE JUICE)
  • 1/2 cup green bell peppers, chopped
  • 1/2 cup red bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 cube instant chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. white pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. thyme
  • 1 1/2 cups potatoes, cooked and diced

Can you spot the hidden mickey among our ingredients? Here, let us help you out.

Hidden Mickey Spices by 2 Miss Mouses

Start by melting your butter in a medium saucepan. If you are microwaving your potatoes, now is a great time to start them cooking (about 10-15 minutes until done- microwave in 5 minute increments so they potatoes don’t become mushy).

Potatoes by 2 Miss Mouses

Meanwhile, add onions, celery, red and green bellpepper and thyme to the butter.

Chowder veggies by 2 Miss Mouses

Saute this mixture until tender (about 5-10 minutes) over medium heat. Then add flour and chicken broth cube. Cook over low heat for about 5-10 minutes. Be careful- you don’t want to burn the flour. Then add milk and reserved clam juice.

Chowder by 2 Miss Mouses

Simmer for 30 minutes while stirring constantly- make sure to watch it carefully, it scorches easily. The soup will really start to thicken at this point. While the soup is simmering, now is a good time to start warming up your bread bowls. We got these beauties from Panera and they were delicious.

Bread bowls by 2 Miss Mouses

Then add clams, potatoes, salt, and pepper. Simmer for 5 minutes over low heat. Here’s a glam shot of soup heaven!

Disneyland Clam Chowder by 2 Miss Mouses

This recipe will yield about 4 to 6 servings of the best clam chowder you’ve ever had! Voila- Disneyland Clam Chowder complete with bread bowl & Mickey ears!

Disneyland Clam Chowder by 2 Miss Mouses

Bon Appetite!