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Friday, December 12, 2014

Adventure Stops: Scoops on 5th

On Mike's and my visit to Mount Dora for their Christmas lights display, we walked around their downtown area and absolutely fell in love with it! So many great places to shop and eat, and all so close to home, it is quite exciting!

One particular place that we just had to try was right along the park area where the Light Up Mount Dora celebration was happening. As I have mentioned before, Mike and I are big dessert fans. Mike especially loves ice cream, so how could we say no to a place called Scoops on 5th??

The shop is a small place, which appeals to us also as being a local hangout. It was very colorful with a great sign that beckoned you in. The class display cases are filled with dozens of baked goods and that smell combined with freshly popped popcorn make for an interesting fragrance combination. 

See?! Huge Eclairs!!
I knew that Mike already had his mind decided on ice cream, but my mind wasn't made up until I saw that it was Hershey's Ice Cream! Being born and raised a mere hour and a half from Hershey, Pennsylvania, that name is near and dear to my heart. I love getting that ice cream whenever possible.  Oh, and not to mention the fact that this place has 36 different flavors!

After pain-stakingly deciding on a flavor (Midnight Caramel River for me and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough for Mike), we went to the register to pay. Heading up to the register you get to see all of the amazing baked goods and other treats you can purchase. This place has cookies, cinnamon rolls, mini cakes, unique flavored cupcakes, HUGE eclairs, popcorn, floats, and smoothies. There is also a selection of coffee and fountain beverages.
Price wise, for a small shop, I really thought the prices were reasonable and I look forward to going back soon to try some of their baked goods. 
Some of the basic prices

Scoops on 5th is located at 130 E. 5th Avenue (who would have guessed, right) and is open daily from 12pm to 9pm. 

Have you ever been? What would you try first? Let me know in the comments below and head over to Scoops on 5th's FaceBook page for up-to-date information and pictures. You can also review them on TripAdvisor, which I will be sure to do after another trip there!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Yet Another Potential Reason to Visit the UK

I had to post about this just because I found it VERY interesting...

I am not a huge television watcher. I like watching football, baseball and hockey and around this time of year, I will watch as many Christmas specials as absolutely possible. I used to watch Once Upon a Time, however I fell out of sync with it and just have not been interested enough to pick it back up.

I have recently started watching shows with Mike, ones that he has watched already but thinks I would really enjoy. The first, which we have been watching for probably about a year and a half now is Doctor Who. We finished the whole new series and I am anxiously waiting the Christmas episode. The more recent one is Sherlock, which we are beginning the third season on. Apparently, I really enjoy British shows.

Why do I bring this up and what the heck does this have to do with visiting the UK?!

Well, there have been several articles today that say Paramount is in talks with BBC and that a preliminary contract has been signed to have Doctor Who, Sherlock and Top Gear featured in a theme park.  Paramount is set to open a theme park in Kent in 2020 and would like to have these hit shows featured in attractions.

To read more, here is an article from The Independent in the UK.

Would you go to a theme park with those shows featured? I am picturing a flying TARDIS attraction and some mystery dinner theatre featuring Sherlock. As I said, if this pans out, it just adds another day onto my eventual trip to the UK.

Pixar's Inside Out Trailer: Intrigued

Ok, I have seen these posters for this movie in the Animation building in Hollywood Studios for the last couple years and, I will be honest, I was skeptical. I mean, all it had on it was a colorful face, what on earth were we supposed to get from that?!

Well, we finally know what to expect and I am finally getting excited about it! It also left me with many questions that makes me look forward to the next trailer; what makes different emotions in charge? Do they take different positions permanently or do they move around? Are these the 5 emotions that are always inside us or do they grow as we grow?

What questions does the trailer make you think of? See for yourself and leave your answers below:

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Adventure Stops: Mont Dora Brewing

Mike and I went out for an afternoon drive to Mount Dora, which is about a half hour from my house. We were going that way to cross off another lighthouse on our list, the only freshwater one in Florida. On the way there, we heard on the radio about a Christmas light ceremony that was happening that evening, so we decided to stick around and see what it was all about. 

After the lighthouse and this awesome flea and farmers market adventure, we had some time until the lights came on. We did not know what would be in that area, so we decided to stop somewhere to eat.

Enter Mount Dora Brewing. It had brewery in the name, which is always a winner with Mike, and we were just looking for some small local place to eat, we love those! 

The inside just screams local hangout, and not just the fun deco on the walls, but this place was Cheers style, knowing peoples names as they walked in. There is the bar and a stage where local bands play but also a few sets of tables throughout. There is also a dining room in another part of the building that is open different hours, but they serve the same food as on the bar side. 

The first thing Mike and I wanted to try was the Pretzel bread and beer cheese appetizer. They come in a hearty portion and very warm. They have a light pretzel
flavor to them, and are very fluffy on the inside. The cheese is a bit sharp but it was still a great combo, I thought Mike might lick the cheese bowl clean. did have to be asked for. 

We both got burgers for dinner, a BBQ bacon one for Mike and a regular bacon cheddar for me. The bun was toasted, the burger was juicy and the fresh made kettle chips were pretty impressive for such a small place. Silverware and ketchup were not right at the table, those

While we didn't try any beers (it wasn't our cheat day and even with only eating half a burger we weren't doing so hot as it was) but the food and atmosphere was so welcoming and good that I am sure we will be back again to try them. Overall I was very impressed and look forward to finding more fun local joints like this to visit. 

Monday, December 1, 2014

Adventures in the Kitchen: The First Thanksgiving Dinner

Ok, so not THE first Thanksgiving dinner, but certainly our first Thanksgiving dinner. Mike and I took on the foodie's favorite holiday of Thanks and here's how it went:

As Mike is an Italian, every holiday has to incorporate pasta in one form or another, so that was his job in the morning; making a lasagna. As I am slowly learning how to be Italian (absolutely no Italian blood whatsoever), I observed from a close distance. He was nice enough to let me grab pictures of the lasagna process and result, which was quite delicious I must say! What I did not get to snag was the recipe; he throws things in fast and doesn't measure, so I will have to pay closer attention next time.

After the lovely lunch was cleaned up, it was my turn to take over the kitchen! Thanksgiving dinners do not just prep themselves!

Our Thanksgiving menu:

The meal begins!
Turkey Breast (As there is only two of us, there was no point in cooking a huge whole turkey)
Stuffing (family recipe, my first attempt at it)
Mashed potatoes
Sweet potatoes
Green Beans
Crescent Rolls (I wanted to make them from scratch, however there was already too much to do and the recipes I kept finding involved the dough rising twice and it was just too much for that day)

The turkey was pretty easy as it was just a breast; clean it up, butter the outside real good (I know that is not what the package says, but I have always seen my mother do it this way and I had always liked her turkeys), toss it in a floured bag and into the oven. For the size we had and since I thawed it out, cooking time was 2 hours.

Stuffing and sweet potatoes were immediately started next. I knew the sweet potatoes would take a while to cook and the stuffing is quite a process. For the stuffing, we use:

  • white bread with no crusts
  • onions and celery, chopped fine the day before, but not put in a food processor as this makes them soggy and harder to work with
  • chicken broth
  • butter
  • poultry seasoning
Butter, Sausage, Onions and Celery cooking up
Bread is added before the chicken broth to moisten
Ready to go into the oven!
Finished product
And for an extra ingredient this time around, I added some ground smoked sausage for Mike. He would have wanted Italian sausage, but it was quite hard to find. I thought the smoked worked just as well though. 

Once the stuffing was taken care of, I mashed the sweet potatoes and threw them in the oven as well with some brown sugar on top. 

The rest of the food was pretty easy; the veggies just needed to be heated up and the mashed potatoes were pretty basic once the potatoes softened. 

What do you think of my spread?

My thoughts: The turkey was just a tad drier than I would have liked, but came out well for my first time. The stuffing was AWESOME!!! I was so excited with how flavorful that was and how the sausage worked in the mix. The mashed potatoes were pretty good and the sweet potatoes came out well, though I really want to find some kind of topping to put on them next time. 
Not a typical Thanksgiving dessert, but how could you
say no to a deep dish chocolate chip cookie with ice cream?

What are your Thanksgiving traditions? Anything you tried new this year? Any suggestions for me? Please leave me comments below!

I hope that you and your family had a wonderful Thanksgiving and that your holiday season will be filled with Adventure!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Today's Adventure: Black Friday

Back up north, my family and I would go to different shopping centers and just walk around on Black Friday. We would look at the people rushing around and take our time looking in shops we were interested in. Since I moved to Florida, I had always been working on Black Friday, so I never got to see what this shopping day is like here.

That all changed today! Mike and I dropped his car off at Firestone (they have some amazing deals this weekend, check them out if you have one nearby! Oil change, new wiper blades and a full inspection plus more for $26.99!) and we ventured to the mall.

My first time in Altamonte Springs Mall was very nice, not crazy crowded as you would assume and there is quite a good selection of stores. It is also far enough out of the tourist bubble in Orlando that you didn't have to worry about being mobbed by tour groups.

Other stores we perused include Michaels, Christmas Tree Shops, Home Depot, Target and Ashley Furniture. They one one of all of these stores that was actually crazy was Target, and that may just be because I live near a very small Target. We picked up small items here and there, saw some good deals but nothing that we really needed...

and then there was Walmart, where Mike and I found the television we have been looking at for weeks!  I haven't really had a television for the last two and a half years. I had an old RCA box television that I plugged my Playstation 2 into (yes, I am that far back in the electronic times), but nothing I could actually use for entertaining.

After doing our research, Mike and I decided on a Samsung 40 inch television and Walmart had it on sale for $297 today! Best buy of the day for us!

My Black Friday treat!

Did you get any great Black Friday buys??? Share with us below!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

This week's throwback is in celebration of the holiday today and a reminder of what I was thankful for 5 years ago. Many of these comments still stand now, plus so many more. In a year when I have bought a house and changed careers, I just cannot begin to list all of the wonderful things I am thankful for in my life. Enjoy!

Happy Thanksgiving!

The True Disney Fan would like to wish all of her American friends a Happy Thanksgiving!

This is what The True Disney Fan is Thankful For:

  • Her Mother, Father and little sister
  • Her loving boyfriend
  • All of her great friends from her University
  • Food on the table
  • Walt Disney and his many visions
  • The opportunity to work with Celebrations Magazine
  • The amazing people she has met on Twitter, Facebook, and other awesome Disney sites
Last, but not least, She wants to thank all of the awesome people who read and enjoy her blog posts! If it was not for all of the positive responses she has gotten from her readers, she would not be so enthusiastic about writing!

Have a safe, happy and delicious Thanksgiving!! 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Adventures in the Kitchen: Flourless Fudge Cookies

Mike and I are motivating each other to eat healthy. We find that whenever we are together, we tend to eat whatever we want. We eat out more and eat junk more. Since he left for his core rotations, we have been working together but separately to come up with a healthy eating regimen that way we can stick to it when we visit each other.

Part of our regimen is that we get one day a week to be our "cheat day", meaning that we can go over our calories deliberately and indulge a bit. This may be the day we have a few drinks, eat out or have a little extra dessert.

Entering this past week, I had my meals planned out and knew what I would cook when. After planning everything, I realized I did not really give myself a cheat day. The worst thing I was making was the Corn Chowder, so I decided to make that my cheat day and I would decide how to indulge when the day got there.

The week went by and Friday finally arrived. I made my chowder and it was great, but outside of having some chocolate milk at breakfast and throwing some bacon on my salad, I really would not consider myself having a "cheat day". Heck, I didn't even reach my calorie goal with everything I ate.

I wanted something sweet, but not candy, and I really did not have anything to fill that craving. I also did not have a wide variety of baking ingredients. I searched my Pinterest boards and finally came across a recipe that I had the basic ingredients for. The recipe was from


  • 2 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup cocoa Powder
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (gluten Free if you are trying to make them that way)

The other ingredient that could have been added was 1 teaspoon of espresso powder, but I did not add this as I really do not like coffee.


  1. Preheat Oven to 365. Grease two baking sheets. 
  2. Stir the ingredients until smooth, scraping the bowl as you stir. 
  3. Drop the soft, batter-like dough onto the baking sheets in 1 1/2 inch circles. 
  4. Bake the cookies for 8 minutes. They will spread out, become shiny and some may have a cracked look on top. 
  5. Remove the cookies from the oven and allow them to cool on the pans. 

The directions were easy to follow and yielded 16 cookies. They were not too sweet and the chocolate powder that I used really gave them a strong flavor, but as a quick and easy dessert, I was quite pleased.

Flourless Fudge Cookies

Makes 16 3" cookies
Calories: 88 per cookie


  • 2 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup cocoa Powder
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (gluten Free if you are trying to make them that way.


  1. Preheat Oven to 365. Grease two baking sheets. 
  2. Stir the ingredients until smooth, scraping the bowl as you stir. 
  3. Drop the soft, batter-like dough onto the baking sheets in 1 1/2 inch circles. 
  4. Bake the cookies for 8 minutes. They will spread out, become shiny and some may have a cracked look on top. 
  5. Remove the cookies from the oven and allow them to cool on the pans.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Today's Adventure: Sea World's Polar Express

went to Sea World today to see their Christmas event. What I didn't know, and what is good to reference, is that the majority of their celebration happens after 5pm. It all sounded awesome; the Sea of Trees, the Christmas Marketplace, ice skating, I just was not planning on spending my whole day there today. I am still excited to see everything and will make a trip to see it, just now at a better time. 

The one Christmas attraction I did get to see was what called me to check it out to begin with. The radio commercials last year for The Polar Express had me so excited for it and it was open at 10 am today! I figured I would share my pictures from my Polar adventure. Look for more Sea World fun soon! 

So Excited!!
The pre-show looks like the boy's bedroom. 
It even whistles like the train!
We are loaded onto the train, the ride itself was quite gentle for a motion simulator
Gorgeous tree
Santa is even here!!!
The facades in general were not many, but added to the scenery well. They even were playing the music from the soundtrack throughout the entire attraction. 
How could I say no, especially to that price!
The exit, and yes, I do believe!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Adventures in the Kitchen: Crockpot Corn Chowder

Hurray for Friday! After a long week, I just don't feel like cooking at times. Enter the amazing invention; the Crock Pot (or slow cooker, whatever term you prefer). Just throw some stuff in the pot, turn it on low while you are at work and you come home to a meal! Its brilliant and I want to shake the hand of the person who invented it!

I figured, after the chilly week we have had here in Florida (Yes, I was cold, don't judge me) I thought coming home to a crock pot filled with corn chowder would be a great idea!

The recipe I found was from This recipe had been sitting in my Pinterest space for a while. Very simple recipe, just adding the ingredients, letting it cook, adding a couple more and then it is done. I relative novice chef shouldn't mess that up!

First: the Ingredients: 
  • 6-8 potatoes (peeled and diced)
  • 1 Can cream corn 
  • 1 Can whole kernel corn
  • 2 Cups chicken broth
  • 8 Ounces diced ham
  • 1 Cups diced onions
  • 1/4 Cups butter
  • 2 Cups half and half
For the potatoes, I cut them up the night before. The ones I found were pretty large
so I only used 3 of them. In hindsight, I could have probably done with one more, but I was happy with my choice. Both varieties of corn were Del Monte as they were buy one, get one free at Publix. For the chicken broth, I actually used chicken stock as it is supposed to have more flavor than just regular broth. This seemed to work just as well for me. It was an all natural version called Kitchen Basics. The diced ham was also a natural version, no MSGs, by Cumberland Gap. They actually had a pre-diced version that was exactly 8 ounces, which made it very easy to just dump into the pot. The butter was Target brand and the half and half was from Organic Valley, a perfect pint size. 

The Directions: 

Adding the ingredients
1. Put the potatoes, both cans of corn, chicken broth, diced ham and onion into the crock pot. 

2. Cook on low for 7-8 hours

3. Mash the mixture to your desired consistency and then add the butter and half and half.

4. Cook for 30 minutes on high and then serve. 

After 9 hours cooking
When I woke up this morning, it took a total of 8 minutes to put the crock pot bag in the pot, open everything, pour it into the pot and turn it on low. It was great! I then left and forgot about it. As my day at work had to start a little earlier than usual, my chowder ended up being in the pot for almost 9 hours, but that did not seem to change anything about the recipe.

When I got home, the house smelled great! I went into the kitchen, stirred the contents and then mashed it up a bit. (I love my Farberware utensils, I have a Nylon Basting Spoon and masher from them and they work great!) I don't think this had to be done, but I cut my butter up into chunks and threw it in the pot with the cream. After a half hour on high, I poured some into a bowl and had probably the best dinner I had all week!

After adding the butter and Half and Half
I ate it just the way it came out of the crock pot, but some may want to add some salt and/or pepper to theirs, all depends on your taste. 

If you are interested in the calories, according to MyFitnessPal when I plugged it in with my ingredients, it said this dish would be 383 Calories for 6 servings.  After spooning it out and putting the rest of the chowder into containers, I am thinking that I may be getting 8 servings out of it, but we will see. 

Would I recommend this recipe? Absolutely!! I plan on saving it to my recipe book on my tablet and would definitely make this again!

What are your thoughts on my first Adventure in the Kitchen? Have you made this before? What would you have done differently? Please leave comments below and let me know your thoughts! 

Crockpot Corn Chowder

Servings 6-8

  • 6-8 potatoes (peeled and diced)
  • 1 Can cream corn 
  • 1 Can whole kernel corn
  • 2 Cups chicken broth
  • 8 Ounces diced ham
  • 1 Cups diced onions
  • 1/4 Cups butter
  • 2 Cups half and half

The Directions: 

1. Put the potatoes, both cans of corn, chicken broth, diced ham and onion into the crock pot. 

2. Cook on low for 7-8 hours

3. Mash the mixture to your desired consistency and then add the butter and half and half.

4. Cook for 30 minutes on high and then serve. 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Mickey's Birthday

Here is a throwback post from my previous blog, The True Disney Fan, celebrating the my former boss' birthday in 2009. Enjoy!

November 18, 2009

Happy Birthday Mickey Mouse!!

In Honor of Mickey Mouse's 81st Birthday, I thought I would post some pictures that I was given from a Disney magazine from a past birthday!

Happy Birthday Mickey Mouse!! 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Today's Adventure: Osborne Lights!!

I love the Christmas season, it runs in my family and even though I try very hard to keep the holiday prep until after Thanksgiving, I just can't help but take opportunities when they are presented to celebrate. Osborne lights are one of those opportunities. Especially when you have a cold day like today, it just felt like Christmas!  I will talk more about my love of the lights another time, but I just had to post a favorite picture from tonight.

 Many things are hidden throughout the display; hidden mickeys, a black cat, a razorback, infamous leg lamp and so on. While searching for these hidden gems, this classic character was pointed out to me. Baby Sinclair is such a happy memory from my childhood! I actually had a stuffed doll of him when I was little that said classic phrases such as "Not the mama!" and "I'm the baby, gotta love me!" I was so excited to find this and had to share it out. 

What is your favorite part of the Osborne lights? Have you seen them before? What is your favorite song? Please leave your comments or questions  below and check out my Instagram page for video and pictures from the lights this evening.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Adventures in the Kitchen: Intro to my Kitchen

I have always loved cooking. When I was little, I found an basic pound cake recipe in one of my mothers cookbooks and after making it a couple times, decided that I could make it better. I tweaked the recipe to make a vanilla pound cake, a rainbow pound cake and a cinnamon pound cake.

My pride and joy :)
I took chef's classes in high school and loved every minute of it. I was even in the FCCLA (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America) and competed in cake decorating and table setting (winning bronze and gold respectively).  In those classes, I first worked with a KitchenAid Mixer and fell in love. I kept telling my mother I wanted one and she told me when I got my first place she would buy me one. It took 8 years for that to finally become a reality.

The kitchen is just a happy place to be in my opinion and creating something delicious out of a bunch of  random ingredients is quite a fun science (and the closest I will get to being good at a real science)

So, why post about my little self's cooking past? Well, I figure that if I want you to read and take my cooking and ideas seriously, you should know my background and where I come from. I am no chef school graduate nor a food critic, I just enjoy cooking and want to share what I learn along the way.

Some facts about my kitchen:

  • I like to try to cook healthy, but there will be no guarantee that every recipe that I make will be. 
  • Desserts can be big in this house (especially when Mike is visiting), plus I just love to bake!
  • I have been working towards trying to use organic products and products without MSGs, however,
  • I am a poor teacher that lives on my own and organic can be expensive! I will be specific in my ingredients what I am using
  • Also on the poor teacher route, there are few name brands or products that I am 100% loyal to (I tend to go store brand or what is on sale), I will label those as I come across them
  • I love kitchen gadgets! If you know any good ones, comment away!
  • Recipes that I make come from everywhere; cookbooks, Pinterest, friends and just the internet. 
I hope you enjoy the recipes that I will soon be posting and if you have any suggestions of things you would like to see please send me an email at or leave a comment below!