Monday, October 25, 2010

Screaming, Dripping and "TRON"ing at Disneyland

Because I'm the white girl equivalent of the Jamaican family from "Hey, Mon!" (I've got eight jobs, mon--no joke), I spent the weekend in Anaheim covering Disney's new film, Tangled, for three different outlets.

One of the journalist perks bestowed on us, besides the rad souvenir photo above (taken by Todd, who a huge fan of Private Chefs and was so excited to see me, I thought Mandy Moore or Zachary Levi were standing behind me as he bellowed, "Huge fun! I'm starstruck!"), were two Disneyland Park Hopper passes which Rachel drove down to enjoy with me, marking her first trip to the Happiest Place on Earth, commemorated by this rad button...

We ran from one side of Disneyland to the other, impervious to the mist that turned into serious rain somewhere between or time at ElecTRONica and our visit to the Haunted Mansion, all tricked out with Nightmare Before Christmas wares, but here are a few of the greatest photo hits from our visit, starting with our time on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad...

Nerding out before getting on the Monsters Inc. ride. "Kitty!"

Speaking of nerding out...They showed us nine minutes of 4D footage (enhanced by lights flickering and wind blowing) that now has me counting the days until TRON: Legacy hits theaters on December 17th (more on that soon).

Flynn Lives!

Moonwalking with MJ...

Sheer, unmitigated terror (mine) and pure delight (Rachel's) as we went over the edge of Splash Mountain. PS: We weren't wet from the ride, we were wet from the rain.

By the time we made it back to the Grand Californian to pick up our cars and head home, it was almost midnight and we were soaked to the core, but just as happy. You simply can't deny the magic of Disneyland.

The only tragedy of our visit was we were both jonseing for a churro by the end of the night and all the stands had closed up shop, so here's my favorite churro recipe for the next time the fever strikes.

Churros with Warm Spicy Mexican Chocolate Sauce
Serves four

1 cup water
1/2 cup butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 Lemon, zested
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
Vegetable oil

Begin by heating 1 inch of oil in a large heavy bottomed frying pan (or deep fat fryer) to 350 degrees.

Heat water, butter, salt and lemon zest to a rolling boil in a large saucepan. Over low heat, stir in flour until mixture forms a ball, about 1 minute. Remove from heat.

Beat in eggs. Continue beating until smooth.

In a large shallow container, mix sugar and cinnamon.

Spoon churro batter into a cake decorators' tube or bag fitted with a large star tip. Using equal pressure, carefully squeeze 4-inch strips of dough into the hot oil.

Fry 3 or 4 strips at a time until golden brown, turning as needed to maintain even cooking and color. Drain on paper towels slightly before rolling in cinnamon sugar.

If fried dough rolled in cinnamon sugar isn’t enough, whip up this spiced chocolate dipping sauce to accompany the churros. Hey, if you’re gonna go, go big!

Warm Spicy Mexican Chocolate Sauce
4oz dark chocolate, chopped
2 cups milk
1 tbsp cornstarch
4 tbsp sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ancho chili powdered

In a small saucepan, heat milk over medium high heat, stirring occasionally. You do not want to boil the milk, just raise the temperature to a simmer. Reduce heat to low.

Place one cup of the warmed milk in a small bowl. Add cornstarch, sugar, and cinnamon, stirring until they dissolve.

Add chopped chocolate to remaining milk in saucepan and whisk until smooth.

Add milk-cornstarch mixture to the chocolate and whisk until smooth and thick, about 5 minutes. Serve warm alongside Churros

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