Lets get this party started!
A Foodies Fairytale has been in the making for almost a year- well really several years if you add in all the countless months of hearing me talk about blogging, baking and cooking! I knew I loved to write, I knew I loved spending endless hours in the kitchen and I knew I wanted to somehow tie those two talents and loves together…. But how do I do this and be unique??? And then I realized something…. If I add in another “love” I will have a perfect trio of the three things that basically define who I am.
Aside from my husband and two amazing children- those who know me best would likely say my three loves are writing, all things food and travel (specifically Disney but I love it all). Luckily I live in my all time favorite place in the world, Orlando Florida- otherwise know as The City Beautiful. And what a beautiful city it is!!! Some might call me crazy but I see Orlando as a smaller and warmer New York. Yes I know at first that sounds totally bonkers, but seriously we have every possible food that your taste buds are craving. Not to mention some awesome weather that makes us the Food Truck capital of the country- or at least I would like to think so! So what is A Foodies Fairytale? It is a journey through Central Florida via the eyes of a foodie and self-taught chef. Join me as I hit up every hotspot my wallet can endure, and then join me in my kitchen where I will teach you how to make a dish at home just as delicious as what I just enjoyed! We will chat about restaurants, food truck events, famous tourist hot spots, community markets and so much more! Then we will go home and whip up something that you will surely want to add to your favorite recipes to have on hand! Who says dinner at home has to be boring?
Now lets take a look back in time and see how I got to be this food and travel obsessed 30 year old….
It was 2006 and I was about to embark on a life changing adventure. I got accepted as a professional intern for the Walt Disney World Horticulture department.
I had gone to Disney several times as a child but hadn’t really gotten to experience everything Disney had to offer. We always went to Magic Kingdom for one day while we were visiting my family in Florida- although fun, it didn’t allow us to fully immerse ourselves in all the magical possibilities. After a few days as an intern I realized I basically knew nothing about Disney and took it upon myself to become somewhat of an expert. Disney trivia is to me what Summer is to Olaf! “SUMMER!!!!!!!!!!!” –smile-
What fascinated me even more than all the fun facts and unique attractions is the FOOD! After 21 years of thinking Disney was nothing but hamburgers, hotdogs and french fries you can imagine my excitement when I toured the world at Epcot and got to taste food from Morocco, Japan and France! Or when I got to eat at a five star restaurant at The Grand Floridian Resort and Spa! OR when I got to view spectacular fireworks displays from 5+ Disney restaurants that have the perfect view of the show, all while eating some of the best food I’ve had the privilege of tasting!
And so my culinary adventure and obsession began. That summer I started a tradition and life goal that am still working on today- to eat at every single restaurant on Disney property (I’m well over half way there). But something even more magical happened in the summer of 2006. It was around the time when I was getting ready to leave Orlando to continue my pursuit of my bachelors degree in Pennsylvania that I knew I had to find a way to take all this Disney magic with me. So, what does one do when they are obsessed with Disney food and they need to leave central Florida? Buy all the Disney cookbooks of course! I realized I am actually a pretty darn good cook and I absolutely love it- and that my friends is a very magical combination! I have spent the last 10 years slowly teaching myself how to cook- I mean really cook…. As in not just following the instructions on the box of Hamburger Helper…. Which sadly I once thought was cooking….. –Sigh-….
In January of 2014 Once Upon A Cupcake was born.
One night while watching our favorite show- you guessed it- Once Upon A Time, my husband turned to me and said “you really need to start selling your cupcakes” (he probably had suggested this a dozen times). I had been dabbling in baking for years at this point and never thought I could take that love and turn it into a budding business. Something in me that night had a spark of confidence and while watching my favorite show, Once Upon A Cupcake was born.
I have several close girlfriends to thank for causing me to develop an outright obsession with the cupcake. Ann Marie Barron (author of Cupcake of Glam- http://cupcakeofglam.blogspot.com) introduced me to my beloved Magnolia Bakery in NYC many years ago, and I still look up to them to this day as the best bakery I personally have had the opportunity to experience.
Cara Snyder (author of CaraCakes http://caracakes.blogspot.com) taught me two things- first she taught me that baking was easy and to never purchase a box mix again! Second, she taught me the best way to know if a bakery is good is to try their cupcakes. If the cupcakes are moist and flavorful their other items probably are as well. So I have this love of baking, sense of peace whenever I’m in the kitchen and a wonderful daughter who loves every moment she can spend with her Mommy baking everyday. This has turned into far more than a potential business; for me I am getting quality time with my daughter and that you cannot put a price on!
Moving to Orlando did have one downside however… A baker is nothing without her client base. No doubt about it, we rely on our regulars. No this does not mean I gave up or intend to give up on my cupcakes. I love giving my clients a little piece of heaven with my sweet treats. For now I still take orders, do cupcake trials and have volunteered my time and talent to my church where I bake all things sweet for our Sunday socials and special events. We are evolving and I love it!
We have almost come full circle through my journey of discovering what I want to blog about. See for years I was as stubborn as they come that the only good restaurants were Disney restaurants. Don’t get me wrong… I still fully believe that some of the very best restaurants are on Disney property, but I have finally come to realize that Orlando has so much more to offer its tourists and residents beyond the property line of the mouse. Gotta thank my husband for that one- took years but he finally convinced and at times forced me to expand my horizons and I’m so glad he did. Thanks to him we are going to explore some local spots that many don’t know about, but are so worth the trip outside the normal tourist bubbles.
Please bear with me as the page develops- which on that note I have to say a special thank you to my dear friend, John Tran. Without him I would never see the “.com” at the end of my page name and for that I am so very thankful. Hey! I said I loved to write, cook and travel….. never mentioned website development (don’t judge)
Well that about wraps up this intro… Until next time my friends and until then “have a sweet day” and eat something delicious!