Jiko Macaroni & Cheese

Today seems like a day for comfort food. Here's the recipe for Macaroni and Cheese that is served at Jiko in Animal Kingdom Lodge.


3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups whole milk
8 ounces shredded Italian four-cheese blend (such as mozzarella, asiago, fontina and provolone)
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 pound elbow macaroni, cooked and kept warm


1. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add flour, stirring until combined. Cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes, or until golden (do not let brown).

2. Add milk to butter mixture, whisking until completely smooth and no lumps remain.

3. Simmer mixture, stirring frequently, until sauce coats the back of a spoon, 5 to 8 minutes.

4. Add cheese to saucepan in batches, stirring until completely melted. Add salt and pepper, stirring to combine.

5. Place cooked macaroni in a large bowl. Add cheese sauce, stirring to combine. Serve immediately.

Just the perfect thing for a chilly winter day!
- Kimberly

Le Cellier Cheddar Cheese Soup

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Picture it: Back in 2010, we didn’t make Advance Dining Reservations (ADR) for dinner one night, Princess Mouse wanted to go to the Mouseketeer Club at the Grand Floridian (RIP, Mouseketeer Club), and the Chief Mouse and I needed a place to eat that night. Did I mention it was September in the midst of Free Dining? So we call Disney Dining and ask what they have available for a party of 2. They have Restaurant Marrakesh at Morocco in Epcot. Yikes. I don’t do Indian/Moroccan/etc. food and DH most certainly doesn’t but the Cast Member on the phone convinces us that it’s quite good and tells us what to order. He shrugs at me, I shrug back, and we go.

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Disneyland Gingerbread Beignets

There are few flavors I love more than gingerbread and few places I love more than Disneyland. Add those two together with a hint of mystery from Club 33 and you have a winning holiday dessert worthy of Mickey!

Gingerbread Beignets

Makes 24 beignets

  • 1 cup evaporated milk, heated until warm but not hot
  • 1 envelope dry active yeast
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1/4 cup sugar, divided
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon plus 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/3 cup shortening
  • Vegetable oil for deep-frying
  1. Combine evaporated milk and yeast in a large bowl; add egg, molasses, 2 tablespoons sugar, and vegetable oil. Stir until yeast dissolves and mixture is combined.
  2. Sift together 4 cups flour, salt, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves in a medium bowl.
  3. Add half of flour mixture to milk mixture. Mix well.
  4. Add shortening, blending until combined, then add remaining flour mixture. Knead until mixture comes together, adding remaining 1/2 cup flour, a bit at a time, if needed. Form dough into ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 4 hours, or overnight.
  5. On a floured board, roll dough to 1/3-inch thickness. Cut into 24 squares. Cover with a clean dish towel and set aside in a warm, draft-free area for 45 minutes.
  6. Line a plate with paper towels; set aside.
  7. Add vegetable oil to a deep-sided pot to a depth of 3 inches. Heat oil to 375°F. Drop in dough squares a few at a time, turning frequently with a long-handled slotted spoon. Cook until puffed and golden. Remove with slotted spoon and transfer to the plate lined with paper towels. Lightly tent with foil to keep warm while remaining beignets cook.
  8. Combine remaining 1/4 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon in a small bowl. Dust hot beignets with cinnamon-sugar mixture; serve warm.

Eggnog Crème Anglaise

  • 2 cups eggnog
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
  1. Combine eggnog and milk in a large, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook until very hot but not simmering.
  2. Meanwhile, combine sugar and egg yolks in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat until light, thick and fluffy.
  3. Very slowly drizzle in hot eggnog mixture while beating at medium-low speed.
  4. Transfer mixture back to saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until sauce thickens and becomes creamy, 10 minutes. Do not simmer or the egg yolks will curdle.
  5. Remove the sauce from the heat, whisk, and strain through a fine sieve. Stir in nutmeg and cinnamon, if using. Serve warm with Gingerbread Beignets.

Don’t forget Club 33′s delicious pumpkin beignet recipe as well! And don’t forget to send me a sample!

Exclusive Club 33 Pumpkin Beignets

I’m addicted to anything pumpkin and these beignets from the secret Club 33 at Disneyland are right up my alley!

Pumpkin Beignets

  • 1/2 teaspoon dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water (105º)
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  1. Sprinkle yeast over warm water in a small bowl, stirring to dissolve. Let stand for 5 minutes.
  2. Combine flour, pumpkin puree, sugar, heavy cream, hot water, egg, shortening, and salt in a large bowl; stir in yeast mixture. Mix dough just until combined and smooth. Let dough rest in bowl, covered with a clean kitchen towel, 30 minutes.
  3. Transfer dough to a well-floured surface. Pat to about 1/4-inch thickness and cut into 2-inch squares. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let dough rise in a warm, draft-free area, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  4. Heat 3 inches of vegetable oil to 350°F in a deep, heavy pot over medium-high heat. Fry beignets until golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes, turning as soon as they brown on one side.
  5. Remove with tongs or a slotted spoon and place on paper towels to drain.

Maple Glaze

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  1. Combine butter and maple syrup in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave until butter melts. Whisk in powdered sugar until smooth.
  2. Drizzle warm beignets with maple glaze and serve immediately.

mmmm… delish!