It may be time to let you guys in on a secret weapon of mine that is also very useful in helping me plan our Disney meals…Aldi. Yes, this amazing little store is a FANTASTIC resource for cool seasonal food items. They have different food items from around the world at various times throughout the year. I’ve been a customer long enough to know approximately when and what to expect during each season. Whenever I see something interesting or unique, I pick it up and see if I can work it into a cool dinner. They also have a great selection of tried and true year round items that I can always count on. One of their routine items was instrumental in creating our yummy dinner from the United Kingdom for 101 Dalmatians night!
When I think of the U.K. one of the first dishes that comes to my mind is…..FISH AND CHIPS! I’d say that’s probably the number one answer you would get from most people. It’s also easy to make, and kid approved! This dinner was another one of my quick and low maintenance dinners. I like to do a mixture of both so that our Disney dinners are always special but not overwhelming. I scored big on my trip to Aldi with some aged English cheddar. Cheese is one of the best things ever, so I couldn’t pass it up. This is for sure one of those odd ball seasonal items. When I happened upon it, I grabbed it and built dinner around the idea of visiting the UK. *Pro tip: when you find one item from a particular country, look around because there are often others from the same area.* Thankfully Aldi always carries a great selection of beer battered fish and french fries (aka chips,) so the rest of the meal was super easy to put together.
I’m not one to generally fry much of our food, but since this meal consisted of both fried fish and chips, I did it up right. I didn’t have any newspaper to put our food in, but I did have some food baskets from a birthday party a few years back that helped complete the “pub food” look I was going for. We served them with fresh lemon wedges and malt vinegar. For the adults, we also nabbed some Fuller’s London porter to complete the meal.
For dessert, we enjoyed an apple crumble! (Again, store bought since this was a low maintenance dinner.) When I revisit this again, I hope to shoot for black and white iced cookies as a play on Cruella’s hair. There are a ton of possibilities!
This is probably also a great time to mention that Cruella is my all time favorite Disney villain! She has got all the sass, fashionable (excluding the puppy coat idea), she’s a wild driver, AND she has her very own theme song! Who is your favorite villain and why?
Tangled has got to be one of our favorite Disney movies of recent years. *Personal Confession*- I think it’s way better than Frozen! (shhhh don’t tell)
We actually ended up using this particular movie TWICE for two separate Disney dinner nights. Our first Tangled theme was during a recent trip back home to New York! I still have 3 aunts that live in NewYork and it’s great to be able to get the family together. My family is originally from Germany, and I wanted to pay homage to our roots during our family gathering. We’ve done several German based dinners, as there are several German based Disney movies. German food is Neyland’s #1 favorite, so she’s all for any and all German themes. Tangled is actually set in the fictional kingdom of Corona (yet another reason we doubled down on this movie during this worldwide pandemic.) I have no clue what they might eat as traditional food items in a fictitious land, so we elected to go with the traditional origin of “Rapunzel” which is Germany!
During our NY Tangled night, we elected to do an “Oktoberfest” type theme. We took a trip to my FAVORITE store ever- ALDI! It is always an awesome place to find cool foods from different countries (especially German food since it is a German company!) You can generally find a good selection of bratwurst and knockwurst, which is what I chose to get. I have a friend who lived in Germany as a child, and he routinely throws some awesome Oktoberfest celebrations. Because of this, I am well versed in such festivities. I decided to make some curry wurst for our celebration, complete with homemade mayonnaise (making homemade mayo is another life skill I picked up from this same friend- DO IT…you’ll seriously never go back.) We also added in some delicious sauerkraut and fries for good measure. Since Rapunzel is also pictured making homemade pie while locked in her tower, I figured we could end the night with that.
During our visit to Disney, I got Neyland a Cinderella dress at the Bibbity Bobbity Boutique. But I also fell completely in love with Rapunzel’s dress and ended up ordering it for her for Christmas. She wore her gorgeous dress and let me braid her hair and then we picked wildflowers to decorate her braid! I didn’t have a fun princess dress, but I do have a fun outfit for Oktoberfest, so I brought that along. I connected my Mom’s new bluetooth speaker and popped on some fun Oktoberfest tunes and the mood was set! We even played games like she does when she’s trapped in her tower!
I gently pan grilled/steamed the brats and knockwursts and used my Mom’s new air fryer for the fries. Once done, I sliced up the sausages and served with fries and the homemade mayo (check out the recipe below) with a generous sprinkling of curry powder. We also had some grainy German mustard available for dipping.
After dinner and some dancing, we watched Tangled and had our delicious homemade pie! We ended up making a mixed berry rhubarb pie. It was tangy and tart and absolutely perfect. I was able to call my Grandma in TN to obtain her OH SO PERFECT pie crust recipe.
New York Recipes
1 whole egg, plus one extra yolk
1 tsp granulated garlic
1 tsp dijon mustard
juice of half a lemon
2 cups extra light olive oil or avocado oil
kosher salt to taste
Step 1- Add eggs(room temp is best), garlic, dijon, and lemon juice to a food processor
Step 2- Turn on the processor and slowly drizzle in the oil, or add it in small batches to ensure it emulsifies. Don’t add it too quickly. The mixture should appear nice and creamy.
Step 3- Test the flavor and add salt as desired.
Store in the fridge. This mayo can last 2-3 weeks.
Grandma’s Perfect Pie Crust
Sorry kids! This one is a family secret!
When we got back home, a few months passed before Neyland’s birthday. Seriously- HOW IS THIS CHILD 6?!?!?
I generally throw a big birthday bash for her, but in 2020 with all the COVID-19 craziness, we decided to just do something small and go on a private trip instead. Instead, we decided to revisit Tangled since her birthday fell on Disney dinner Tuesday. As previously mentioned, German cuisine is her absolute favorite, so I knew it would be a hit. I was able to procure some pork schnitzel for the event. Her favorite way to eat it is pan fried with a squeeze of lemon with a side of pickled red cabbage. We also had some more German sausages. I also recycled some decor she had from a previous princess party. In this case, a super cheap and easy decoration consisting of long yellow plastic table cloths (they’re like $0.99 at Walmart.) I bought several and cut them into thirds lengthwise. After cutting, I braided them into a SUPER long golden braid and draped it ALL OVER the house. We ate our yummy dinner, watched our movie, dressed up, opened gifts, built Legos, and ended the night with real fire lanterns! I wanted to do something super special since it was her actual birthday. Since Rapunzel’s parents release floating lanterns every year on her birthday, I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to do the same! I purchased a pack of 5 from Amazon. If you’re interested, you can find them here. The ones we got were tethered to a kite line, and the materials used to make the lanterns is supposed to be flame resistant. They come pre-assembled, and were relatively easy to get going. I’d highly recommend you tether these guys. We set these guys up in our side yard, and if they weren’t connected they would have been long gone. I was really worried that they would land on a neighbor’s house or something, but with the nifty string, we were able to control them easily.
This was seriously magical. We had so many neighbors and random cars stop just to watch these beautiful lanterns float through the night sky.
If you decide to get “tangled” up in the Disney dinner life, drop me a comment and let me know what you did!