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Remember that old Sesame Street segment with the catchy tune “One of these things is not like the other, one of these things just doesn’t belong”? When our awesome upstairs neighbors moved out, the campaign to find a fourth tenant that did go with the others began.

I’ve gushed before over how much I love the combination of folks living in our four-plex. We enjoyed each others company as barbeque buddies, playmates, Twilight groupies, Diznoids, busy parents, Johnny Depp lovers, and sports chauffers. Our differences added flavor to the mix: our ages, histories, marital status, careers, and hobbies. We truly looked forward to hanging out, so the bar was high for prospects.

With a constant parade of lookie-loos, we put on our best manners whenever someone we wanted dropped in. Yesterday’s rainstorm resulted in a higher than expected flow of people and repairs being done. When I saw a car parked in back that night and low lights on upstairs, my initial thoughts pondered the presence of squatters. Then it hit me, someone moved in! I didn’t meet her until this morning and first impressions – we got fortunate again, she’ll fit in great.

To give my children an excuse to meet her themselves, I pulled out our oldest and simplest but favorite recipes! We call it “Cinnamon Cake” although, it’s hardly a prominent flavor.

Buy Yellow Cake mix, any brand – we choose the ones with the most school Box Tops. Follow the directions on the box to bake a sheet cake.

So easy a child can make it!

While the cake bakes, prepare the cinnamon topping. Purchase cinnamon sugar premixed, or mix a teaspoon or so (maybe more) with ½ cup sugar and shake-a shake-a shake-a YAH!

Doing his best Ricky Martin – Shake your cinnamon!

Do the dishes.

Lick them clean!

Immediately after the cake comes from the oven, melt a stick of butter by spreading it on top. Nothing says “Welcome to the neighborhood!” like butter. Relax… you’ll cut this cake into so many pieces that you’ll barely get a pat of butter per slice.

Secret ingredient!

Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar on the cake evenly.

Shake it lightly for even coverage, don’t dump it on.

Cover the cake thoroughly.

As if magic, the sugar crystals change color!

Notice how it turns a nice golden caramel brown!

More please!

Two thumbs up! Why does that only happen for desserts?!

We left treats for every neighbor!

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