Disneyland and California Adventure Parks @ Anaheim, California

Last month (September 2021) we spent two magical days at #Disneyland to celebrate my birthday and our 6th year wedding anniversary! And we park hopped to the Disney California Adventure park on our last day. 


We had so much fun since it was @make_it_ranis and Little Miss’s first times going to Disneyland. And I have never been to Disney World nor DisneyLand during a holiday, so being at Disneyland during the Halloween festivities made this Disney visit super fun!

And I was so happy for my daughter who got to see and take pictures with her favorite Disney characters, with all the COVID19 precautions in place. 


As a public health professional, I was very impressed how the Disneyland cast members reminded everyone to wear their masks during the indoor rides and upon entry into a shop or restaurant. Also there were many hand sanitizers, especially at the ride exits. 
Overall, we had a magical time! 


Here are my favorite food pictures from our Disneyland trip, and several photos above are from using #DisneyPhotoPass (which I believe is totally worth it paying for the unlimited pictures taken by the Disney photographers). 

It was my daughter’s first time eating a pretzel, so she truly enjoyed this Mickey Mouse face-shaped pretzel! And you can find these vegan pretzels at various snack carts throughout the Disneyland park.

Another first was eating popcorn! My daughter had two bags of vegan popcorn during our two visits at Disneyland!

And the third “first foods” that my daughter tried was Dole Whip! Little Miss loves pineapples so she definitely enjoyed the vegan Pineapple Dole Whip float and soft serve we had during the two days at Disneyland!

It was pretty hot during both days at Disneyland so we stayed cool by indulging in these icy snacks-

This Minute Maid soft-frozen strawberry lemonade was great at California Adventure when the sun was blazing in the afternoon. You can get these yummy cups at any snack cart throughout the Disneyland parks.

This icy lemonade slush drink from the Edelweiss Snacks stand in Fantasyland was refreshing during a hot day at Disneyland:

 

During our last day at Disneyland, we park hopped to California Adventure. We enjoyed seeing the Coco movie theme area in the Paradise Pier area. Here we enjoyed the vegan hot apple pie and Mexican tacos lunch at Paradise Garden Grill:

        

Here’s a video when we ate lunch at  the Carnation Cafe in Disneyland, a few days after they opened up again since the COVID-19 closure:

See my post about our dining experience at the Carnation Cafe.

And here is a post of when we celebrated my birthday brunch at the Storytellers Cafe.

In the Downtown Disney area, we enjoyed going to Salt & Straw and Sprinkles. Both places had vegan desserts, yummy vegan ice cream flavors at Salt & Straw and vegan red velvet cupcake at Sprinkles, which we happily indulged in!

We cannot wait to go back to Disneyland in a few years. For now, it will be WDW more often (since it’s closer to us!)

Have you been to Disneyland and/or Disney World during Halloween?

Carnation Cafe @ Disneyland, Anaheim, California

When it was decided we were going to Disneyland, I was so excited to plan our activities! There are yummy fast food options at all the Disney properties. However since we had two days at Disneyland, I wanted to enjoy a nice meal at a nice sit down restaurant in the park.

I was so excited when I was able to book a character brunch at the precious Storytellers Cafe in the beautiful  Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa  (you can read the blog post here) and at the Carnation Cafe inside the Disneyland park.

The Carnation Cafe recently opened on 9/16/2021, which was a few days before we were at Disneyland, and they are known for their comfort foods. I was so excited because I wanted to try all the yummy dishes there, like Walt’s favorite chili and the  Chicken Fried Chicken. And we did!

We shared a cup of Walt’s favorite chili

This Chicken Fried Chicken plate was my husband’s, in which he enjoyed it but he wished there was more!

And I ordered the popular chicken salad, which I don’t normally order salads at restaurants, so it was nice to eat something different and healthy!

My daughter, who has multiple food allergies, was able to order some of classic comfort food favorites, which included an allergy-friendly burger (kid’s fun size), steamed broccoli (one of her favorite veggies), and a fruit bowl! And in good Disney fashion, we had no worries of food allergy reaction eating at this fine Disneyland eatery.

We were all satisfied and full after this delicious lunch and had a lot of energy to ride more rides at Disneyland, the Happiest Place on Earth!

Have you eaten at the Carnation Cafe before?

Storytellers Cafe in Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa @ Disneyland, California

Last month due to a COVID-19 surge in Hawaii, we changed our vacation plans to Los Angeles, CA. I only had like 2 weeks to book activities in California. Despite the change of travel plans, I was still excited that we planned to go to Disneyland, which the last time I was there (I actually ran through the parks) was in 2015.

One Sunday before our trip, I attempted to see if there were any openings for a character brunch….and there was! At the Storytellers Cafe in the beautiful Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa

It so happened to my actual birthday so I was so happy to be with my favorite Disney characters at brunch with my family! And even though there was still a pandemic going on, the characters visited our tables, standing at arms length!

When we arrived, we spoke to the chef of what they could offer my daughter with food allergies:  unlimited allergy-friend Mickey waffles, assorted fruit, sausage, bacon, and special potatoes from the back.

And my husband and I enjoyed everything from the brunch buffet!

Even the Disney gang stopped by several times!

Despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it was great to spend my birthday at brunch in one of the nicest Disneyland resorts at  the #HappiestPlaceOnEarth!

Have you had brunch at the Storytellers Cafe?

 

 

Terralina Crafted Italian – Allergy-Friendly Pasta @ Disney Springs, Orlando, FL

When we were at Disney Springs in June 2021, we ate at Terralina Crafted Italian. I was hesitant at first because of my daughter’s allergies. However, the server was great about inquiring more of what my daughter can and cannot eat. But when I saw the description of the Wild Mushroom Rostini (asparagus, sun-dried tomato, toasted garlic, & olive oil), I knew my daughter would love it! This dish is actually vegan and gluten-free (we do not have a gluten allergy)

My daughter loved it! And so did I. I was actually sharing this dish with her and I tried not to eat it all!

Also, the fried calamari and table bread with olive oil for dipping tasted so fresh and delicious!

We will definitely come back here!

Baked Egg Challenge

This week we went back to the allergist, after my daughter had her 6 months food allergies follow-up appointment last month. At that visit, it was determined by the blood test that my daughter would be able to have a baked egg challenge. Also determined by the blood and skin tests, she is still highly allergic to cow’s milk, all nuts (except coconuts), and seafood (however, she is able to eat shrimp, but still gets itchy and redness).

I was very happy that we qualified for the baked egg challenge. And it was fun to bake the allergist’s “Baked Egg Challenge muffins”. The recipe yielded 6 muffins, but I ended up making 7 muffins even though I filled each muffin cup with batter. Before the challenge, the allergist commented that they looked so fluffy and moist!

It was interesting to me that the recipe called for corn oil. I think that attributed to the moistness of the muffins and also taste similar to cornbread. In this receipt, it called for 2 eggs. I made sure I measured everything precisely so that my daughter’s challenge will go well the next day! 

We arrived a few minutes before our 8:30am appointment and I made sure we brought my daughter’s tablet, coloring books, and crayons. I told it was going to be about a 4 hour appointment so I wanted to make sure my daughter would be entertained during the challenge.

 The challenge started promptly on time and my daughter did well after eating a 1/8 piece of the muffin. Then, a 1/4 of the muffin. And then, a 1/2 of a muffin.

And then, she was given one whole muffin, which we cut into 1/4 pieces so she can easily eat it.

My daughter ate almost 1/4 of the whole muffin, but then started getting irritated, itchy, and red on her face and her arms. The allergist examined her and said that she did great! The goal of the challenge was to eat 2 whole muffins and my daughter ate about 1.5 muffins, which is her tolerance for baked egg.

 To soothe the redness and irritation, the allergist gave my daughter some Benadryl and Zyrtec. She even applied some vanicream on the redness spots on my daughter.

Then, we waited for another hour in the office to make sure my daughter did not have any other reactions.

I was pleased at the end of the baked egg challenge. Now, I make sure to give my daughter at least 1 whole muffin a day, just so she is exposed to baked egg. And in 6 months when she gets her blood and skin tested again for food allergies, she will hopefully not have an egg allergy anymore!

After the challenge I tasted the muffins and they actually tasted really delicious. Don’t worry! I plan to share the recipe in a future recipe post. 

Vegan Crispy Rice Cereal Treats with Sprinkles

Since my daughter was getting tired of cupcakes, which I make using the allergy-friendly Duncan Hines cake mixes and the Sweet Loren’s cookies, it was time to come up with another allergy-friendly dessert.

I had a box of organic rice cereal, vegan marshmallows, and vegan butter, so I thought I could make some crispy rice cereal treats! And I added colorful sprinkles to make the treats extra special!

Once I greased my glass pan with vegan butter, I melted a cup of  vegan butter and the whole bag of vegan marshmallows in a pot. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NOTE: It did take longer than expected for the vegan marshmallows to melt. Then, I added 2 cups of rice cereal to the pot of melted butter and marshmallows.

I felt like I was doing an arm workout with all the stirring I had to do to get the rice cereal mixed with the fluffy marshmallow plus melted butter mix.

   

And I added colorful sprinkles as I was mixing the rice cereal batter.

Finally when the mixture was all stirred up, I placed it in the greased pan. I tried not to push the mixture into the pan so the treats would not become too dense.

And I added more sprinkles on top of the treats before I let the pan cool.

The crispy rice cereal treats turned out so yummy and colorful!

And my daughter enjoyed the crispy rice cereal treat with sprinkles!

Have you made vegan crispy rice cereal treats before?

 

Allergy-friendly eggs – Turmeric & Greens Scramble

When we found out that my daughter was allergic to eggs, I was not sure how to add more protein in her diet. However, I am glad she is not allergic to soy because I learned how to make “egg scrambles” using tofu.

    

Surprisingly, my daughter loves the Turmeric & Greens Scramble I prepare and have on hand in the freezer for breakfast. I do feed my daughter her breakfast before I drop her off for preschool because I want to make sure she eats something in the morning. Also, it’s one less meal I have to worry about that she eats at school.

The Turmeric & Greens Scramble contain tofu, chopped greens like organic kale or spinach, extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), garlic salt, turmeric, & ground pepper.

First, I add the EVOO to the pan. Then, sometimes I sauté the greens (chopped kale or spinach) in the pan first with the garlic salt seasoning. Here I threw in the chopped tofu first. It doesn’t really matter what you throw in the pan with EVOO first because both ways you season the tofu and greens with garlic salt, turmeric, and ground pepper. All seasoning (garlic salt, turmeric, and ground pepper) are to taste, but I wouldn’t use more than 1 tablespoon of turmeric in this dish. Turmeric is a known anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant spice and it gets activated by black pepper. Read more about turmeric here.  And the turmeric provides a nice yellow color for the “egg” scramble.

 

After mixing all ingredients in the pan, I allow the scramble to cool before I place them in the storage pods for the freezer. These storage pods are helpful freeze food for my daughter so I have it ready during the school week. After the food is frozen, I pop out the food pods and place them in a Ziplock bag to store in the fridge.

My daughter eats this with chicken sausage, her Minnie Mouse waffles, toast with jam, etc.

Have you made an allergy-friendly scramble?

Vegan Ube Donut– Everglazed Donuts & Cold Brew @ DISNEY SPRINGS, ORLANDO, FL

 During the Easter holiday, we went to Florida to visit my parents and in-laws. Lucky for us, my parents live close to Disney World (like a 20 minutes drive without traffic to the Magic Kingdom).

Whenever we are in town, we like to go Disney Springs since we usually do not have enough time in a weekend to go to the Disney Parks.  At Disney Springs, you can shop and dine at some of the best restaurants in the Orlando area! 

I blogged in the past about the allergy-friendly bakery, Erin McKenna’s Bakery, where we usually go when we are in town to purchase some yummy goodies for my daughter.

There’s another spot where we can get goodies, which is the Everglazed Donuts & Cold Brew at Disney Springs.

We have been trying to go to this donuts place when we were in Orlando during the Christmas and New Year holidays. Good thing we were able to go this trip without waiting in a long line! And we were all there to taste the Vegan Ube Donut (and the other yummy, not-so-allergy-friendly ones)!

The verdict: the vegan ube donut was really delicious! And my daughter loved it!

We went to this yummy spot with my brother, who is a food blogger @Droolius.

And my daughter enjoyed another ube donut the next day!

Have you tried this delicious #vegan #ube donut at @everglazed_fl yet?

Homemade Pizza – Dairy, Egg, & Nut free

Last month my daughter asked for pizza out of the blue! She has had the frozen Daiya roasted veggie pizza, so I wanted to make a homemade pizza for her.

On my next Trader Joe’s trip, I gathered the following ingredients:

Traditional Indian Style Flatbread, Trader Joe’s pizza sauce, & Organic Broccoli Florets

On hand, I had the organic chicken sausage (from Costco) and Daiya vegan shreds (kept frozen in my freezer).

Since most of the ingredients are already cooked, I heated the chicken sausage and broccoli so I can cut them in bite-size pieces.

I assembled the pizza by spreading the pizza sauce on the flatbread. Then I added the Daiya shreds, chopped broccoli, and bite size pieces of chicken sausage.

I put the pizza in our toaster oven at 350 degrees and left it in there for about 20 minutes to melt the Daiya shreds.

The pizza was a hit and my daughter loved it! This will be a new meal on our rotating menu for my daughter!

Have you tried making your own allergy-friendly pizza at home?

 

Oat Frozen Dessert

Another product I was excited to see at our local Whole Foods Market is Oatly frozen dessert.

I selected the strawberry flavor since my daughter enjoys eating fresh strawberries.

She liked it!

Even more with an allergy-friendly cone!

I tried the “ice cream” too and it was creamy and full of strawberry flavor! I usually buy the chocolate coconut ice cream and mango sorbet, both from Trader Joe’s. But I will definitely buy this oatmilk ice cream too!

Have you tried this oatmilk frozen dessert?