The Pickypants Family, Part 2

Background: For a friend's Christmas dinner, I baked a chocolate "decadence" cake from the Silver Palate Cookbook. 
Making the dessert included melting chocolate, beating egg whites, sifting flour ... work. Son No. 1 -- who has preferred processed foods to fresh since he was a baby -- wasn't thrilled with it. 

A couple of days after Christmas, he and a friend baked their own cake in the wee hours, apparently in tribute to the movie they'd just seen, Django Unchained. This conversation happened the following morning.

Son: We made a white cake last night.

Mother: I saw. It looks great. What'd you do, use a mix?
Son, defensively: Yes, we used a mix. It was good.
Mother: That's great. Most people use mixes. They don't make things from scratch like I do. There's nothing wrong with that.
Son: And it's better.

Fantasyland’s New BE OUR GUEST Restaurant

For food-focused travelers, the most exciting part of the Magic Kingdom’s new Fantasyland additions will be Be Our Guest, arestaurant themed around Beauty and the Beast. Here are some inside details about what to expect.

The restaurant will be an immersive experience. You’ll cross a bridge lined with pots of fire to reach it and, upon entering, be swept up in the movie. Three dining rooms have entirely separate looks, such as the ballroom, which is grand and carpeted, and the ...

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17th Annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

For 17 years, Epcot has transformed its World Showcaseinto a mecca for folks who like to taste new foods and wines. And for 17 years, the Food and Wine Festival team has brightened the festival with new flavors. The 2012 event will have Florida and vegan (called Terra) marketplaces. Kids will get to drink frothed up Nesquick in chocolate or strawberry and adults can sample a wine made from key lime juice. The Florida Beer ...

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Taco Tuesday. Meh.

“It looks pretty saucy. Is it saucier than usual?”

This is Josh, my college student, home for the summer. He’s examining a frying pan filled with flavored chopped meat, perplexed, nay concerned, that the dinner set before him isn't quite right. It’s Taco Tuesday, you see, a weekly event in our kitchen because Josh misses Cornell’s make-your-own supper, in which he indulged every Monday last school year. (They don't menu plan via alliteration there, apparently.) Taco night relieved Josh from the monotony of ...

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The Rest of Orlando's Best


When the editors of Orlando Home & Leisure couldn't fit all my "best of" suggestions into their next issue, they generously agreed to let me share the remainders here. These are sensational tastes and such in and near Orlando. Get in those cars, locals! For more  -- the ones that did make the cut, check out the magazine's May 2012 issue.

Best Reason Never to Order Fried Mozzarella Sticks Again

We used to battle over ...

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Faux Moi

You should have seen me Saturday night, wiping salt off my tongue. Not wiping. That’s too civilized a description. With a force of desperation, I was dragging a linen napkin over my tongue, from top to bottom, top to bottom. Occasionally I’d jam a finger in and wrap it around my tongue to scoop out more of the assaulting mess.

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