In 2009, Tiana premiered as Disney’s first new princess in more than a decade, not since Mulan in 1998 had a princess hit the big screen– and Disney did it in a big way. Not only was Tiana Disney’s first black princess, most modern princess (set in the 1920s)– and let’s be real: most relatable princess — but Princess and the Frog was also Disney’s first hand-drawn film in over five years! (compare the animation style of PATF to Tangled and you’ll see what I mean) Tiana embraces hard work, prioritizes her future, and proves to be not only a keen business woman, but a fierce friend.
My personal favorite thing about Tiana though, is how much she cooks; my fiancé, Kyle, is a whirlwind in the kitchen, but every once in a while, I like to dabble in baking, and if I do say so myself, these beignets are the best thing that I’ve made in a long time! Scroll down for the recipe for these fluffy delights, delicious gumbo, and if you’re really looking to round our your stroll down Bourbon Street at home, I’ve also included our recipe for a Hurricane.
Sometimes I Quarantine: With Princesses! This series within a series really started as a way for me to keep my spirits lifted while completely socially distancing. Watching the movies gave us something to do during that afternoon slump, trying to think of an activity to match gave us another (we don’t always have a matching activity, but we’re trying!), taking the movie in to account while deciding what to eat that day helps us think of fun and new ideas for food options, and doing a daily DisneyBound encouraged me to wear more than just PJs while working from home! I highly encourage the last one, it’s been super fun- if you want to see any other DisneyBound outfits that I’ve done, you can find them here!
Day 19: Princess and the Frog (2009)
Princess and the Frog Food & Bev
Breakfast: Beignets & Cafe au Lait
The perfect beignet is light, fluffy, fried on the outside, with a big air pocket on the inside, and covered in a bonkers amount of powdered sugar. They sound complicated, but are actually super simple to make at home (and way better than the beignets at Port Orleans)
We edited this recipe for “The Best Authentic New Orleans Beignets Recipe” by Chef Billy Parisi in partnership with King Arthur Bread Flour. But only just barely, so feel free to use his recipe too! Total time is about 2.5 hours. I prepped the dough early in the morning, and let it do a 90 minute rise while we went on a walk for the whole time (“earning” our beignets) then came back and got to rolling & frying!
Edited to add: we fried up about half and then froze the rest. To re-fry, remove from freezer and allow to come to room temp + rise (this may take up to 2 hours). Fry and enjoy as directed below.
• 8 fl oz (1 cup) warm water (105-115 * F)
• 5 g (1 3/4 tsp) instant yeast (such as SAF Instant) (or 2 tsp active dry yeast)
• 67 g (1/3 cups sugar) + 13 g (1 Tbsp) granulated sugar
• 5.33 fl oz (2/3 cups) whole milk
• 1 large egg + 1 yolk
• 43 g (3 Tbsp) melted unsalted butter
• 6 g (1 tsp) sea salt
• 18.5 oz (4 1/3 cups) all purpose flour (thank goodness we were able to find some!) + more for kneading + dusting
• peanut (or any neutral) oil for frying
• powdered sugar (more than you think you need, imagine how much a 4-year old would want to use, and plan for at least that much) *note: organic powdered sugar is less gritty because it uses tapioca starch instead of corn starch, but during quarantine, whatever baking supplies you can find will be fine.
THESE THINGS WILL MAKE YOUR LIFE EASIER but are totally not necessary, you’ll just have to do some kneading by hand and rougher measurements
• kitchen scale
• stand mixer
• pizza wheel or pastry/ ravioli wheel
• bench scraper
• dough scraper
• French rolling pin
1. Combine yeast, 13 g sugar, and 8 fl oz water in the bowl of a stand mixer. (The water should register between 105 and 115 on a thermometer, a little over 110 is okay because the bowl will cool down the water pretty quickly, but don’t let your water get over 115 or it will kill the yeast.) Whisk together (by hand).
➝ Note: If you’re using instant yeast, this step isn’t strictly necessary, but it never hurts. If you’re using active dry yeast, this step is critical and you’ll need to wait about 15 minutes (min 7) until the top is frothy — like the head of a beer — which means the yeast has fed and it’s ready to help your beignets fluff up!
2. Add remaining sugar, milk, egg + yolk, & melted butter. Whisk (by hand) until combined.
3. Attach the bowl to the mixer with the dough hook. Add salt + flour and mix on medium speed (around a 4 on a KitchenAid) for 2-3 minutes until it’s smooth and pulling away from the sides of the bowl.
4. My dough comes out wet since the original recipe calls for by volume measurements (which are notoriously unreliable). I tossed a big heaping handful of flour onto the counter (like seriously, a whole handful) and kneaded by hand for a few minutes. Dough is forgiving, it knows what it’s supposed to be and how much flour it needs, it won’t take on more than it can handle. So add flour until your dough becomes smooth (should be roughly 1/2 cup flour).
➝ Note: if you used volume measurements, you may have a different experience, but I would suggest airing on the side of caution and not going crazy with the flour at the beginning because you can always add more flour, it’s harder to add more liquid and fats.
➝ Note: this is where I use a dough scraper to get all of the dough out of the bowl, not only does it ensure that I got every last drop, but it makes cleaning the bowl afterwards wayyyyy easier.
5. Cover the dough (I have a lid for my bowl, but you can use plastic wrap or a towel) and let it sit at room temperature for about 90 minutes or until it’s about doubled in size.
➝ A few tricks: (1) letting dough rest on top of the dishwasher while it’s running (a good time to clean your kitchen and wash the big ‘ole mess you just made mixing dough); the heat from the dishwasher helps the dough rise since your house is probably chilly in the morning; (2) take a picture of your dough beforehand, especially if you’re using a glass mixing bowl, it’ll help you see how much your dough has risen, it’s also super fun to actually see the difference.
take a walk, watch Princess and the Frog, do a yoga, clean your kitchen, go back to bed… it’s going to be a while
…once doubled in size (roughly 90 minutes later)
start heating your oil, you’ll want it to register 350*F on your thermometer
➝ too hot and you can burn the beignets | too cold and they’ll get soaked in oil before they have a chance to cook)
6. Coat a large clean surface in flour & pour out the dough (the dough scraper might come in handy again). Top the dough with more flour. Roll out until it is 1/2″ – 3/4″ thick (the measurements on the side of the bench scraper are useful).
7. Using a pizza wheel or a pastry wheel, cut 1″ – 2″ ‘squares’ of dough. (do not use a knife directly on granite or stone!
➝ (*note: I took the wonky pieces from the edges to make a Mickey Mouse shaped beignet, but if you have a mickey cookie-cutter, this would be a good time to use it!)
8. working in batches of 4-5, gently place the beignet squares in the oil (don’t drop them or splash oil on yourself!). Fry for 90 – 120 seconds on each side they should be golden brown.
9. Remove the fried beignets from the oil & rest on a paper towel.
➝ all out of paper products during quarantine? a clean smooth dish towel will work just fine! seriously, this is how we used up the last of the paper towels in our house, haha.
10. Pile them on a plate and coovvvverrr in powdered sugar.
Dinner: Authentic Gumbo
*Note: this is an insanely strong drink… We usually split one or I’ll make one and have it for my first two drinks! We also make our own syrups and squeeze our own juices(because what else are you going to do during quarantine??), but you can absolutely make these with store-bought juice & syrup. Actually– if you’re trying to recreate this Bourbon Street Classic, you’re probably just fine with store bought! This was developed in the 1940s, so about 20 years after Tiana’s time, but since they’re both from The Big Easy, we’re just going to let the good times roll.
• 60 ml (2 fl oz / 1/4 cup) white rum
• 60 ml (2 fl oz / 1/4 cup) dark rum
• 30 ml (1 fl oz / 2 Tbsp) freshly squeezed lime juice
• 30 ml (1 fl oz / 2 Tbsp) freshly squeezed orange juice
• 15 ml (0.5 fl oz / 3 tsp / 1 Tbsp) Passionfruit Juice/Pulp/Syrup (really whatever you can get your hands on will taste great!)
• 15 ml (0.5 fl oz / 3 tsp / 1 Tbsp) Sugar Syrup*
• 15 ml (0.5 fl oz / 3 tsp / 1 Tbsp) Grenadine**
• 5 ml (1 tsp) Orgeat***
• fruit + maraschino cherry, for garnish (+ extra cherries for snacking)
• 10 ml (2 tsp) 151 proof rum, for floater
Combine all ingredients — except for garnish + floater — and shake over ice. Notice how much liquid there is in this recipe — almost 8 full ounces! — it’s huge. The recipe is technically for one Hurricane, but we typically split this because, also, 4 oz of rum + 10 ml of 151 is a llloootttttt of alcohol for one drink! Make sure to serve it over plenty of ice, & if you decide on a floater, use a straw.
Princess and the Frog Outfits
“Almost There” Tiana DisneyBound
“ALMOST THERE” TIANA BOUND BREAKDOWN
Paradise Classic Garment-Dyed Polo Dress from Tommy Bahama (similar) • Striped Apron folded in half from Anthropologie (similar) • Oxfords from leather market in Florence (similar) • Minnie Mouse Mug from Shop Disney Parks (similar)
For the story behind what I’m doing here and to see more, check this out! Sometimes I Quarantine: with Classic Princesses!
Eleven years before Tiana graced the theaters, Disney’s last princess was Mulan! We also paired those movies with some delicious Chinese dishes, if you liked these recipes, check out Sometimes I Quarantine: with Mulan!
Tiana was just the start of the princess revolution in the 2010s, less than two years later came Tangled, Sometimes I Quarantine: with Rapunzel!
If you’re struggling to find ways to get moving during your quarantine, check this out: Sometimes I Quarantine: 3 Ways to Stay Active.
Still bored, I’ve compiled a list of more than 20 things you can do: Sometimes I Quarantine: Quarantivities.