Thursday, September 18, 2014

Beauty and the Beast

Week 19:

Bonjour! Good Day!

The Master is delighted for you to be our guest for dinner tonight.

The dining room proudly presents your dinner

I mentioned in my last post that I was going to have to squeeze this dinner in before our weekend trip and was worried I might not sleep because of it. Turns out that this dinner was actually relatively easy (other than finding the ramekins. Tip: Target and NO CUSTARD CUPS). Thank goodness! Lumière was right. “If you’re stressed, it’s fine dining we suggest!”.

I started with the sparkling white grape juice to cleanse the palate (and, because it seemed fancy and worthy of a royal Disney night).

The next dish had some red wine to go with this scene.

Next, we had Soup du Jour (which mentioned in “Be Our Guest” which is actually a restaurant we hope to get into at Disney World. Guess what they serve other than soup du jour? Croque Monsieur! Our first Disney dinner! AHH!!), or “the soup of the day”. This happened to be French Onion Soup. Beauty and the Beast was set in a French village, so I thought it was fitting.

By the way, the castle in Beauty and the Beast was based off of a real one in France.

The film came out on November 13, 1991. This is interesting, because it was the year I was born AND I just found out that 13 is a lucky number in German culture (we are German and getting married on the 13th). Happy accident!!

Also, we have an "Easter Egg" and another "American Gothic" reference in the movie.

Before Belle's father Maurice ends up at the Beast's castle, he comes across a roadsign in the woods. The sign is badly weathered, so it's difficult to read. But if you look carefully, or take a screenshot and do a little Photoshop work, you can make out the writing. Anaheim is home to Disneyland, while Valencia is the site of Six Flags Magic Mountain, a rival theme park. In the film, the path labelled “Anaheim” is well lit and pleasant-looking while the “Valencia” path is shadowy and frightening. The other signs point to other southern California cities, possibly the animators' hometowns.

For more little known Beauty and the Beast facts, visit this page: http://www.buzzfeed.com/briangalindo/30-things-you-might-not-know-about-beauty-and-the-beast#3ey4o7f.

Back to the soup.

I used the recipe found at this site (http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/French-Onion-Soup-Gratinee/), and it was great! Justice, a fan of French Onion (to my surprise), loved it! He did say you might halve the onions in the recipe, though. My eyes were definitely watering and my hands smelled like onions for days, so I think he might be on to something here. It is like he has a magic mirror (see picture of mirror ornament from Hobby Lobby below. Sorry, had to include it somewhere).

Next, I chose croissants, because soup needs bread (other than the French bread I, also, picked up) and this is a great French food. I was going to go to Starbucks and get some chocolate croissants, but I found these at our local grocery store and they looked too good to pass up!

Plus, Starbucks provided another treat (pumpkin spice latte) that was “dressed” French-style for the occasion.

Next, we had cheese soufflé which was also mentioned in “Be Our Guest” (can you spot it in the picture below?). This was a little trickier, because I have never made a soufflé before. Talk about nerve-racking. After getting custard cups before FINALLY finding ramekins at Target, I set out. I used this recipe (http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/cheese-souffle?action=displayRecipe&recipe_id=608436), which allows for “prepping the dish” (basically getting half the work done) the day before. For all my worrying, it actually was pretty simple and came out great! It deflated a little before I took my picture, but still looks great!

Say cheese!!

For dessert, we had the infamous “Grey Stuff”. Lumière even admits that it is “the best”. The recipe can be found here (http://mommyandthings.com/disneys-the-grey-stuff-copycat-recipe/). I do not have a food processor making my Grey Stuff a bit “lumpier”, I added the whole box of chocolate pudding mix (by mistake) making it darker, and I could not locate my star tip, so my presentation was lacking, BUT it still tasted “magnifique”!

By the way, I used FRENCH Vanilla pudding mix. See what I did there?

Now for the rest of the culinary cabaret (a.k.a. the add-ons).

First, I was going to get some son-in-law eggs (pictured below) for Gaston, because he eats 5 dozen eggs after all. Surely, with eating that many eggs, he has learned a few different recipes and ways to prepare them. However, the Thai places around me did not make them. O well, he did not end up being Maurice’s son-in-law anyway. Not for lack of trying, though!

A little tip for you, Gaston. Do not propose to a girl on her wedding day. It requires a little more thought than that!

You might end up with some of those eggs on your face...or mud..just sayin'

Every time I wear my boots (as shown in the Toy Story picture in an earlier post), I think of Gaston and the part of the song that says, “then goes tromping around wearing boots like Gaston.”. Phew, I am lucky, then! He is a monster.

Going back to the almost father-in-law, I could not forget about Belle’s papa, Maurice. I found this recipe () and decided to make these strawberry twists from Maurice’s Treats in Disneyland.

Instead of making the strawberry “filling”, I used these preserves all the way from France

and "fancy" puff pastries!

They were a bit messy, but these strawberry twists WERE NOT CRAZY!!

Next, in college, some of my friends and I were watching Beauty and the Beast and deciding who was most like which character (yes, this was a very serious discussion) and I came out to be the motherly Mrs. Potts! They even gave me this little “tea set” for a present at one of our service organization events.

Maybe one day I will get the real deal?

Speaking of college, I also went to the Beauty and the Beast off-Broadway show at Texas Tech. It was great! Gaston, surprisingly, was my favorite character in that show. He was HILARIOUS!

Anywho…. Since, Mrs. Potts is awesome, sings the BEST song in the movie (maybe of all princess movies), and apparently is my Disney doppelganger (other than Ariel), I HAD to do something for the tender teapot. I decided to make some tea cookies using this recipe (http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Tea-Cookies-I/) with teapot and tea cup (I had to include her son Chip..notice the chip) cookie cutters.

The cookies were delicious even without the powdered sugar topping!

This still was not enough, so I also made Mrs. Potts Cake Pots using this recipe (http://family.disney.com/recipes/mrs-potts-cake-pops). I am still in need of a fondue or proper chocolate melting/dipping pot, but I was pretty proud of the way they turned out. I couldn’t find Good and Plentys (at Walgreens , if you attempt these), but I used Tic-Tacs. I, also, couldn’t find a yellow candy necklace in time (found them at Target when they restocked), so Mrs. Potts flew off the handle a bit.

She definitely has that French “air” (or, I guess, steam) about her.

Mrs. Potts and the rest of her set also showed up in Tarzan. You KNOW you are awesome when Disney makes you an Easter Egg.

Next, I wanted to highLIGHT Lumière a bit. I couldn’t find a candelabra, unitl this cake candle one (pictured below) once the dinner had come and passed (isn’t that always the way?), but decided to focus on his “tray of treats”. I used a variety of things to create his treats and put them on some silver plates I found at Hobby Lobby. My only regrets? I wish I’d gotten a size bigger plate and remembered to used my little smokies (which I now have A LOT of).

If I highlighted Lumière, I had to highlight Cogsworth, his less-than-debonair sidekick. Justice came up with a theory as to why these two were always fighting. He thought it was because Lumière is OBVIOUSLY French and Cogsworth loos to be English. It makes sense.

O Cogsworth, what are we going to do with you? O ya, make you into a cupcake, of course!

I used this recipe for the Cogsworth cupcakes (http://www.cupcakesandrecipes.com/cogsworth-cupcakes/). I didn’t mix my own peach icing, but used Petal Pink pre-made instead. The chocolate chips may have been a bit big (try out minis, if you make these), but he still looks pretty good. I made him beforehand, so that he would be on time. Cogsworth is not built to be late, after all. He has a tight schedule to keep if he wants to be human again!

These cupcakes were Justice’s favorite add-on of the meal, so I took a few more shots of them!

Cogsworth had one of MY favorite lines in the movie.

Haha. Nice one (Also, had the "if it's not Baroque, don't fix it!" line).

The Beast ended up listening to Lumière instead (surprise, surprise. No one listens to Cogsworth). Lumière suggested that the Beast give Belle something that sparked her interests, so he gave her a library. An AWESOME one at that!

I am like Belle here. I LOVE to read. What did my guy give me for our anniversary? No, not a library, but the modern day version! A Kindle! Yup, that is love.

Lastly, I got some pound cakes and decorated them with Belle’s infamous, yellow dress (she must have been INCREDIBLY beautiful to pull off a yellow dress).

"Oh, it's no use. She's so beautiful, and I'm... Well, look at me!"

Hey, it could’ve been worse Prince Adam, you could’ve looked like the Once Upon a Time version.

Hmm, he is also Tick-Tock Croc in that show. Coincidence?

The pound cakes were also decorated with the rose that symbolized the Beast’s curse (I, also, have the real version by the menu on my table and found this “protective glass” over the weekend (I was taking a risk with mine, though!).

Don’t you just LOVE the grand dinner scene? The stars, the candlelight, the ceilings? Kind of reminded me of some ceilings I saw in London.

Also, Frozen has done it. They have invaded Beauty and the Beast, too!

Let it go!

Look at me, jabbering on, when there's a supper to get on the table. Better change!

Dinner is served.

Bon appétit (I always feel like Julia Child à la Meryl Streep when I say that)!
Speaking of Julia Child, I could’ve used her help and tips with this one. I bet it would’ve been even better! She shares my butter philosophy, would've helped me bundle the herbs I needed, and has one of my favorite sayings, “People who love to eat are always the best people”.
I know the French aren’t particularly fond of Americans, but I may have to revisit some of the things on this menu or try some more French cuisine (other than for Ratatouille, which is still lying in the bucket somewhere). Beauty and the Beast does have an excellent Christmas spin-off movie and we all know Julia Child has lots of recipes to try…hmmm….

Until then, it is au revoir and Justice’s turn to draw!

For his birthday week, it is ....

Fox and the Hound!

Coming Soon: Fox and the Hound

P.S. Here are some Disney items I found at my future sister-in-law’s house this weekend! I will save the ones I found that we haven’t done yet, but I thought, since Belle ended up becoming a princess, she wouldn’t mind if Snow White and Cinderella “visited” her post.

My future sister-in-law is FINALLY someone that loves Disney as much as me. Maybe more. We shall have to play an intense round of Scene It! Disney and other Disney trivia games to find out for sure!

WHHAATT? You think you can beat me?

P.P.S. My future mother-in-law, not to be out done, sent this as a wedding present to us this week. She makes Justice, his friends, and I homemade waffles when we visit. Now, I can make her recipe Mickey-style!

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