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Halal Food at Disney World

It’s taken a few visits and some trial and error, but we had such a great experience with halal food throughout Disney when we went back to Disney World this past August (and with relatively minor hiccups).

 

First and foremost, it is very important to research and plan ahead of time what restaurants on the Disney property you are going to eat at, and make a reservation ahead of time. A lot of the reservations at the Disney restaurants fill up quickly months in advance, so plan ahead… and if it’s a last minute trip — keep looking — reservations do open up.

 

Most Walt Disney Parks and Resorts table service restaurants that accept reservations can accommodate Halal meals if requested at least 24 to 72 hours in advance. I would just suggest doing it about two weeks prior to your trip if possible, so you have time to go back and forth with any questions you may have. To request it, there is a Special Diets form you fill out and email to special.diets@disneyworld.com. In the form, be sure to include the restaurant names, reservation number(s), number of people in your party, and dates & times of your dining reservations. 

 

In my experience from August 2019, at each of the restaurants where I had made a prior reservation, as soon as I alerted a staff member upon arrival, I was told that the Chef would come out and speak to me and my guests so they could be sure to accommodate what we were looking for.

 

Here’s a few places we ate at during our most recent trip in August 2019:

 

At Chef Mickey’s, not only do you get to enjoy a variety of items in their buffet including things like guava pastries and Mickey Mouse waffles, but the halal steak and grilled chicken were absolutely delicious!

At Spice Road Table in Epcot, we enjoyed their steak

At Cosmic Ray’s in Magic Kingdom (this is a quick service restaurant, with no reservation required ahead of time). we had chicken and beef burgers that were served in a Mickey Mouse bun:

The best part is that the halal options are not just limited to the restaurants that require prior reservations — not only have I had halal meals delivered to my resort through room service, but I was told that halal meals are readily available at the following Theme Park Food & Beverage quick service locations with no advance notice needed:


Disney’s Animal Kin
gdom Theme Park:

  • Satu’li Canteen

Disney’s Hollywood Studios:

  • ABC Commissary
  • Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant

Epcot:

  • Sunshine Seasons
  • Restaurant Marrakesh and Spice Road Table (can vouch for this one – see above)

Magic Kingdom Park:

  • Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe  (can vouch for this one – see above) 
  • Tony’s Town Square

What’s for Dinner: Nachos

It’s sort of become a late night tradition that whenever we go to to Canada, we go out for nachos and desserts with our cousins.

A couple of weeks ago, I was craving those particular nachos… so decided to make my own version. The only thing I did differently was that I had diced avocados in mine… because who doesn’t love avocados?

Here’s what I use:

  • Tortilla chips
  • Taco seasoning
  • Chicken, cut into very tiny pieces
  • Salt, black pepper, garlic powder, paprika, and cayenne paper (to taste)
  • Nacho Taco Blend Shredded Cheese (the one I use is a combination of Cheddar and Monterey Jack Cheese that is seasoned with spices)
  • Avocados, diced
  • Tomatoes, diced
  • Cilantro, minced

Here’s how I make my nachos:

  1. I take the bite sized chicken pieces and I marinate it with salt, black pepper, garlic powder, paprika, and cayenne pepper. On low to medium heat I cook the chicken until it’s almost done cooking. Add the taco seasoning, and let the chicken absorb the flavors.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Line your baking tray with tortilla chips.
  4. Sprinkle a generous amount of cheese on all the tortilla.
  5. Add the layer of chicken.
  6. Bake in your preheated oven for about five to seven minutes, until the cheese melts completely.
  7. Once you take it out of the oven, add the diced tomatoes and avocados on top. Sprinkle the cilantro last.
  8. Serve warm and enjoy!

Like my recipes? Click the below link to purchase my cookbook “What’s for Dinner”:

P.S. This post is a part of my “What’s for Dinner” series, where I share what I’ve been cooking and my recipes.

Arham Turns Four!

My [not so little] baby is four! 

It seems like just yesterday when … where, oh where, has the time gone?

Arham beta, you are growing up to be such an amazing boy mashAllah and I pray you always thrive in whatever you set your mind to.

You are inquisitive, curious and observant… and I love that about you. Your amazing memory still catches me off guard from time to time for some reason. Your story-telling abilities keep me entertained. There is truly never a dull moment with you.

You make me laugh constantly. Your hugs (especially “snuggle hugs”) and kisses melt me instantly. Your “I love you most-est Mama” are everything.

You fell asleep in my arms today, as if you too wanted to cherish these moments for as long as we can. Where did the nights go where you fell asleep in my arms every night? There are moments and days I wish I could freeze time and keep you little forever, but at the same time each milestone you hit has a special place in my heart.

It’s so amazing to reflect back on the milestones you achieved in the past few months alone, yet I can’t believe how fast the days seem to go. Arham beta, you are, and always have been, wise beyond your years. I pray Allah SWT keeps you shielded under His infinite protection always. I cannot wait to see what year four has in store for you.

I love you my most-est Arham beta!

 

What’s for Dessert: Milkyway Chocolate Cheesecake

One of the desserts I made last week for Eid was this Milkyway Chocolate Cheesecake!

 

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What I used was:

  • 2 cups Oreo crumbs
  • 4 tables of unsalted butter, melted (half a stick)
  • 2 (8 ounce) packages of cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 (14 ounce) can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 30 mini Milky Way Chocolate bars, cut in half
  • 1/4 cup Smuckers chocolate sauce
  • 1/4 cup Smuckers caramel sauce
  • whipped cream, optional
  • extra milky ways, optional

How I made this cheesecake:

  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
  2. In a ziploc bag (for easy cleanup, combine the Oreo crumbs and melted butter and mix well.
  3. Press mixture into the bottom of a [9-inch] springform pan.
  4. Bake your base for 10 minutes in your preheated oven.
  5. Once you take your base out of the oven, reduce the oven to 300 degrees.
  6. Meanwhile, start on your cheesecake filling by mixing your cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk, eggs, and vanilla extract.
  7. Mix in your mini chocolate bars.
  8. Pour half of the filling batter into your springform pan.
  9. Pour the chocolate and caramel sauce on top of the filling (creating a checkerboard on top). Then, use a spatula to swirl the sauces into the filling.
  10. Pour the remaining cheesecake filling into the pan and repeat the process and swirl around the chocolate and caramel sauces.
  11. Bake in your preheated oven for about 90 minutes.
  12. Let your cheesecake cool completely before decorating the top.

Like my recipes? Click the below link to purchase my cookbook “What’s for Dinner”:

P.S. This post is a part of my “What’s for Dinner” series, where I share what I’ve been cooking and my recipes.

What’s for Dessert: Chocolate Chip and Cream Cheese Danish

Last Friday I made these danish at home — they were so easy to make and tasted delicious!

They are perfect to make for breakfast, a snack, or even to serve as a dessert.

 

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What I used was:

  • 1 roll Pillsbury Crescent Roll
  • 4 ounces of cream cheese, softened
  • ⅓ cup of sugar
  • A cap full of Vanilla extract
  • Milk chocolate chips, about a cup
  • ⅓ cup of powdered sugar
  • 5 teaspoons of milk

Here’s how I made mine:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line your baking sheet with parchment paper (for easy cleanup).
  3. Open your roll of crescent rolls but do not unroll  and separate them. Instead, using a sharp knife, cut them into 8 think slices to form the danishes.
  4. Lay each of the eight slices down on your lined baking sheet, and press down on each to flatten them.
  5. Meanwhile, mix your cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla into a smooth consistency.
  6. Then, take about a teaspoon of the mixture and put it in the middle of each.
  7. Add milk chocolate chips on top of each — remember the danish will expand a little so it’s put more than a few on each.
  8. Bake in your preheated oven for about 12-14 minutes.
  9. For the glaze topping, combine your milk and powdered sugar and mix with a spoon until it’s the right consistency.
  10. Use your spoon to drizzle the glaze topping on top of the danish.

While they tasted good cooled, these definitely tasted the best freshly served!

They were so quick and easy to make, I know I’ll be making these again soon.

Like my recipes? Click the below link to purchase my cookbook “What’s for Dinner”:

P.S. This post is a part of my “What’s for Dinner” series, where I share what I’ve been cooking and my recipes.

What’s for Dessert: No Bake Chocolate Rice Krispy Cheesecake

 

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I made this no bake cheesecake two days ago and I was pleasantly surprised at how good the combination of the chocolate cheesecake with the rice krispies worked.

 

It required minimum prep, was easy to put together and I know I’ll be making this again soon! The best part of this cheesecake was that it was a no-bake. For the rice krispies base, I used my rice krispies recipe that you can also find by clicking here.

 

What I used:
  • a stick of unsalted butter
  • 7 + 1/2 ounces of marshmallow fluff
  • 6 cups of rice krispy cereal
  • 8 ounces of milk chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup of of heavy cream
  • 16 ounces of cream cheese, softened (two sticks)
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 2 + 1/2 cups of whipped cream, softened
  • 1 chocolate bar, room temperature, for decorating (I used lindt milk chocolate)
How I made my cheesecake:
  1. Butter the sides and base of your springform pan with butter.
  2. In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter.
  3. Once your butter is completely melted, turn the heat down to low and add the marshmallow fluff, stirring constantly (for about five minutes). 
  4. Add the rice krispy cereal and mix it well.
  5. While the rice krispy cereal mix is still warm, transfer them to your springform pan.
  6. Press down into the rice krispies to form the base of the cheesecake and press the edges against the springform pan to cover the sides. Set aside and let it set.
  7. In a large bowl: mix the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla until smooth. 
  8. Place your milk chocolate chips in a small microwave-safe bowl and pour the heavy cream on top. Microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring until it is melted.
  9. Pour in the melted chocolate mixture into the cream cheese mixture and stir to incorporate all the ingredients.
  10. Add about 1 and ½ cups of whipped cream to the chocolate mixture and fold with a spatula until everything is combined.
  11. Pour the cheesecake mixture into the crispy rice base and smooth the top with a spatula.
  12. Refrigerate your cheesecake for at least 3 hours or overnight, until the cheesecake is set. 
  13. I then use a vegetable peeler to shave the chocolate bar into shavings for decorating the middle of the cheesecake. It’s much easier to peel when the chocolate is room temperature, but I would put the chocolate in the fridge once it’s shaved/peeled.
  14. Once the cheesecake is set, release the springform pan. 
  15. To decorate what I did was: I put whipped cream in my decorating tool (or you can use a piping bag) with a star tip (I used a 2M) and decorate the top edges of the cheesecake.
  16. Lastly, take the chocolate shavings from earlier and put it in the middle of the cheesecake

Like my recipes? Click the below link to purchase my cookbook “What’s for Dinner”:

P.S. This post is a part of my “What’s for Dinner” series, where I share what I’ve been cooking and my recipes.

What’s for Dinner: Cheesesteak Quesadillas

One day last week, I made these cheesesteak quesadillas that were soo juicy and delicious! My family loved them and I know I’ll be making these again soon. They require just a handful of ingredients, and is very quick to put together… whether as a snack or a meal!

 
 
 
 
 
 
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What I used:

  • 2 pounds of beef sirloin steak, cut in thin strips
  • 4 teaspoon of (Lawry’s) Seasoned Salt
  • 2 teaspoons of Montreal Steak Seasoningicon
  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • 2 bell peppers, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper
  • Slices of provolone cheese
  • Flour tortillas
  • [Canola] oil

How I made my Cheesesteak Quesadillas:

  1.  Season your thin strips of beef sirloin steak with two teaspoons of of season salt, two teaspoons of steak seasoning, and half a teaspoon of black pepper. Mix and combine well to ensure the steak meat is fully seasoned.
  2. Combine your diced bell peppers and onion and season with two teaspoon of seasoned salt and half teaspoon of black pepper.
  3. Meanwhile, put about one tablespoon of [canola] oil in your skillet and turn your heat to medium/medium-high.
  4. In batches, cook your steak meat for a few minutes per side.
  5. Once the steak is cooked, add about another tablespoon of [canola] in the same skillet over medium heat again.
  6. Add your seasoned bell pepper and onion to the skillet. Saute for a few minutes, until softened, making sure to mix frequently.
  7. To assemble quesadillas, i used my quesadilla maker:
    • I sprayed both sides of my quesadilla maker with non-stick cooking spray, before laying one flour tortilla on it.
    • Then I lay about four slices of cheese on the tortilla, covering the tortilla with cheese.
    • Add a layer of meat, followed by a layer of peppers and onions. cover with another flour tortilla and close the top.
    • Once it’s browned, cut into triangles, halves, or whatever you prefer!

Eat warm!

A perfect side to go with these would be chips with my guacamole!

Like my recipes? Click here to purchase my cookbook “What’s for Dinner”.

P.S. This post is a part of my “What’s for Dinner” series, where I share what I’ve been cooking and my recipes.

What’s for Dinner: Baked Garlic Parmesan Puffs

I made these baked Garlic Parmesan Puffs, amongst a few other easy things like my Garlic Knots and my strawberry trifles, a few weeks ago as a quick snack when I couldn’t think of what else to make.

They were so quick to put together and bake, and the best part is how great they tasted too! I’ll definitely be making these again soon.

What I used:

  • 2 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons of grated Parmesan
  • 2 teaspoon minced garlic (fresh or dried)
  • 2 teaspoon Italian herb blend (dried thyme, oregano, rosemary)
  • 2 teaspoon parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
  • 1 sheet of refrigerated puff pastry sheet, thawed

How I made my Garlic Parmesan Puffs:

1. Preheat you oven to 400°F . Line your baking tray with parchment paper for easy cleanup.

2. Mix together your olive oil, Parmesan, garlic powder, Italian spice mix, parsley, salt and pepper.

3. Roll out the puff pastry and then brush a little more than half of the Parmesan and garlic mixture on top. Once you have brushed the mixture, then roll the pastry so it forms a roll before cutting small rolls about 1 or 2-inch thick.

4. Place the puffs onto your baking tray and brush each of the puffs with the remaining garlic and Parmesan mixture. Place into oven and bake until puffed and golden brown, about 8-10 minutes.

Serve immediately!

Like my recipes? Click here to purchase my cookbook “What’s for Dinner”.

P.S. This post is a part of my “What’s for Dinner” series, where I share what I’ve been cooking and my recipes.

What’s for Dinner: Homemade Guacamole

 

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Who doesn’t love guacamole? Making your own at home is quick and easy… and so delicious that you’ll want to make it again and again.

It takes just a few ingredients, and is ready in mere minutes.

You need:

  • 3 avocados, all peeled, pitted and mashed
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 3 tablespoons of chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon of minced garlic
  • 1 pinch of ground cayenne pepper

What I did was simple: I mashed my avocados and mixed in all the remainder of the ingredients together

Apparently you are suppose to refrigerate your guacamole for an hour or so before serving, but of course I couldn’t wait for that…

Yesterday I made all appetizers for dinner, and this guacamole with tortilla chips was just one of the things I made. You can also find my recipes for my boneless chicken wingsspicy chicken tenders, and chicken nuggets.

Like my recipes? Click the below link to purchase my cookbook “What’s for Dinner”:

P.S. This post is a part of my “What’s for Dinner” series, where I share what I’ve been cooking and my recipes.

What’s for Dessert: Ferrero Rocher Nutella Cheesecake

A combination of Nutella, cheesecake, and Ferrero Rocher chocolate. How can you go wrong with that? For a work dessert party, I recently made this Ferrero Rocher and Nutella Cheesecake. It was a crowd pleaser for sure.

It’s decadent and full of flavor. You can’t go wrong with this one!

This cheesecake didn’t involve pre-baking the crust, and like all my other cheesecake recipes, isn’t difficult to make… but this one had an additional step than most, with the ganache topping… but more on that later.

Here’s how I made this cheesecake:

I started off by lining the bottom of my springform pan with parchment paperTo do that, remove the ring and cover the bottom part (the base) with parchment paper. Fold the excess paper back under the base and put the ring back in its position with the other hand. 

For the crust/base of the cheesecake, I used:

  • 2 + 1/2 cups of graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 cup of Rice Krispies Cereal, slightly crushed
  • 1/4 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup of butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup of Nutella

I combined the graham cracker crumbs, Rice Krispies cereal, and sugar together in a large mixing bowl.

In another bowl, I combined the butter and Nutella and microwaved for about 30 to 45 seconds before mixing until both ingredients were well combined. I then poured over the dry ingredients. With a glove on my hand, I mix until everything was evenly combined and then pressed the mixture firmly at the bottom of the pan. Set the springform pan aside on a baking tray.

The next step is the cheesecake filling, for which I used my standard Nutella cheesecake filling:

  • 2 (8 ounce) packages of cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 (14 ounce) can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • [about] 1/2 cup of Nutella [or your choice of chocolate-hazelnut spread]

In your food processor, add your cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk, eggs, Nutella and vanilla extract. Do not over beat the mixture, just beat it until your mixture is smooth.

On top of your crust, pour your cheesecake batter.

Place the cheesecake in the center of the middle oven rack [in the preheated 300 degree oven]. Bake for about 50 minutes, or until the center is almost set.

Let your cheesecake cool completely before adding the ganache topping. That means at least a few hours, if not overnight. Do not take it out of the springform pan yet.

For my Nutella and hazelnut ganache topping, you need:

  • 1 + 1/2 cup of  semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup of Nutella
  • 1 cup of heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons of butter, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup of roasted hazelnuts, finely chopped
To make the Nutella and hazelnut ganache:
  1. combine the semi-sweet chocolate chips, Nutella, whipping cream and butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat in the microwave for 1 minute, and then stir the mixture to combine. Repeat the process one more time, if needed. At this point, the ganache should be completely smooth, silky and combined.
  2. Take about 1 cup of that ganache into a small bowl and place it in the refrigerator for about two hours … until it has the consistency of thick frosting. You can mix it from time to time to check for consistency. This step, of leaving about a cup of ganache separate before adding the hazelnuts to the mixture is super important because trust me piping thick ganache with chopped hazelnuts is nearly impossible!
  3. Anyways, once you have set some of the ganache aside, add the chopped hazelnuts to the rest of the ganache and stir until well incorporated; pour over the cheesecake and spread it evenly all the way to the edge. Put your cheesecake back in the fridge until the ganache is set. Once the ganache has set on top of the cheesecake, remove the cheesecake from the springform pan.
The last step is the presentation: once the Nutella ganache that you set aside earlier has thickened, use it to decorate the top of your cheesecake and add Ferrero Rocher chocolates on top.

Like my recipes? Click the below link to purchase my cookbook “What’s for Dinner”:

P.S. This post is a part of my “What’s for Dinner” series, where I share what I’ve been cooking and my recipes.