Courtesy of Jonah Franklin


Courtesy of

When you’re craving a hearty weeknight dinner, make this one-pot creamy tortellini soup. It calls for just three easy steps and 30 minutes of your time. All you need to do is toss, mix and enjoy! Before you know it, you’ll have a rich and comforting dish on the table. INGREDIENTS: 3 tablespoons butter 1 small yellow onion, diced 2 garlic cloves, minced 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour 3 cups broth 28 ounces canned crushed tomatoes

1 teaspoon dried basil 1 teaspoon dried parsley

3 to 4 cups refrigerated tortellini 1/2 cup heavy cream or half & half 6 cups spinach (optional) DIRECTIONS: 1. In a large pot over medium heat, warm the butter. Add the onions and cook until translucent, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and flour and whisk until thick, about 1 minute. 2. Slowly add the broth and mix well. Add the tomatoes and spices. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, mixing continuously. 3. Add the tortellini and heavy cream. Stir until heated through, about 10 minutes or according to the tortellini’s directions. Stir in spinach and mix until wilted, about 2 to 3 minutes. 4. Top with fresh Parmesan and serve immediately. Enjoy!

Salt and pepper, to taste 1 teaspoon dried oregano

JANUARY JOKES Q: What do you call ten rabbits hopping backwards through the snow together? A: A receding hare line. Q: Why did the boy keep his trumpet out in the snow? A: Because he liked cool music. Q: How does a penguin build a house? A: Igloos it together. Q: What’s a good winter tip? A: Never catch snowflakes on your tongue until all the birds have flown south for the winter. Q: What can you catch in the winter with your eyes closed? A: A cold. Q: How do you know that a snowman crawled into your bed with you? A: You wake up wet and there’s a carrot on your pillow. Courtesy of

MICRORAPTORFACTS Ready to meet the smallest carnivorous dinosaur? Weighing in at less than a pound, the Microraptor couldn’t fly – although it’s arm structure allowed it to launch from trees and glide through the air. Scientists discovered remnants of the Microraptor in northeastern China, an area of the world known for its fantastically preserved fossils. The fine-grained rocks containing the Microraptor fossils show the impression of feathers, adding more evidence that dinosaurs are closely related to birds. SNOWBIRDTRAVEL TIPS With some estimates listing the number of Canadians that head south for the winter at 500,000, if you consider yourself a snowbird – you’re in good company. Still, there are a few things you need to ensure before embarking on your long stay. First off, to keep your home safe while you’re away, don’t announce your travel dates on social media. Publicizing such information makes your house vulnerable to break-ins. Better yet, have someone stay at your home or stop by for regular visits so it isn’t sitting empty. You could also install timers on indoor and outdoor lights to help your house appear occupied. Make sure to have someone remove fliers from your porch and shovel your sidewalks and driveway if necessary. Next up, make sure all your travel documents are in order. Double check your passport won’t expire while you’re away and make photocopies of all your documents. Leave a copy of everything with a friend or family member back home. And make sure to notify your bank and credit card companies that you’ll be accessing your accounts from another country so your transactions aren’t flagged. Last of all, make sure your friends and family know where you’ll be staying and how to reach you – in case of emergency on either end.

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