Hello! Posts may be kind of sporadic for the next week or so, as we won’t have Internet hooked up in the new place until next Saturday. I’m working on this from the old apartment, in the middle of a major cleaning session.

Last night we went to a friend of Spike’s house for a party, and I brought my usual party dish: taco dip!  I can’t call it 7-layer dip because I don’t think I have all 7 layers accounted for in my version, but it’s yummy just the same.  We got lots of compliments on it last night!

I start with a layer of spicy fat free refried beans

I mix together a packet of Ortega hot and spicy taco seasoning and a container of fat free sour cream, then layer on about a third to a half of this mixture.

Next comes a layer of shredded Mexican cheese (a handful or two, a little less than half a bag), followed by diced tomatoes with green chilies (sometimes I use salsa here, but I usually favor the canned tomatoes).

Then another layer of the sour cream mixture, another layer of cheese, and topped with sliced black olives and scallions.

Delicious! And sloppy. And not all that bad for you!  We brought a bag of jalapeno Scoops and another kind of tortilla chips, but ended up leaving both because there were already tons of chip options for dipping. I had a few chips’ full of this dip, some Sabra hummus (my favorite), a sample of homemade guacamole, a chocolate chip cookie and a few handfuls of cashews.  And a few sips of Spike’s beer!

Do you have a standby recipe that you always make for parties?

Enjoy the rest of the weekend! Until next time…


Spike and I shopped up a storm today! We had really good luck finding all the pieces we needed for our new house at great holiday sales prices.  And everything will be delivered on the same day next week!

But first, breakfast…

I’m still feeling like a cold is coming on, so I’ve been chugging orange juice.

While we were out at the mall this afternoon, we picked up snacks…


His and hers ice cream from Maggie Moos.  His was pumpkin pie with heath bar, graham cracker and caramel, and hers was red velvet cake with brownie, almonds and pecans. Yum!


The future in-laws are visiting this weekend, so we met them for dinner at a new pizza place up the street from our new house–Coal Fire.  They got stuck in traffic, so while we were waiting Spike and I shared a calamari appetizer.


Spike also tried a new Sam Adams seasonal.  He liked it a lot and said it was a perfect lead-in to spring.


For our meal we split a grilled caesar salad (which the waiter warned us would be served warm).  It was really different.  I loved the grilled flavor of the romaine.  The bread on the side wasn’t bad, either. 😉


We also split a small pepperoni pizza.  Coal Fire’s ‘special’ sauce was slightly spicy and sweet, which went really well with the toppings.  And I love burnt pepperoni, so I was in heaven.

Sharing everything was a great plan–we got to try a lot of different flavors, but I definitely didn’t leave feeling too full.  We have a bunch of restaurant dinners coming up this week, so I’m trying to behave myself.

Happy early Valentine’s Day! Good night!

This is what we woke up to this morning:

And this:

And this:


They’re saying the roads won’t be plowed in Howard County until Monday night/Tuesday afternoon.  YIKES!

Anyway, onto more food-related items.  After seeing me ogling it for the past few weeks, Spike surprised me with this chocolate on Wednesday (he’s sweet like that): Lindt dark chocolate with a touch of sea salt.

Needless to say, we totally devoured it.  The sweet/salty balance is muy perfecto.  Anyone else have any good recommendations for chocolate? (Being that it is near Valentine’s Day and all…)

Back to staring out the window and thinking about the next 3 days of shoveling.