Friday, February 5, 2010

Nana’s Special Valentine’s Day Treat

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The last time I visited my grandchildren, we spent hours upon hours unsticking and sticking stickers. Mallory loves peeling and pasting every colorful item in patterns and abstracts and has a story to go along with each piece. Ben, not so adept at unpeeling, is a whale of a paster and, unless his train set is beckoning choo choo in the background, refuses to be left out of the fun. Last time, we made sticker puppets out of paper bags and whole scenes of princesses with their many, interchangeable princes. Both kids played for hours and I loved every pasty minute.

For a valentine treat, I decided to send some heart stickers to my grandbabies, perfect for indoor playtime on those chilly winter days. I remembered my own grade school excitement when, on Valentine’s Day, we stuffed our classmates craftily decorated “Valentine Mail Boxes” with construction paper cards and lacy, doily hearts. Never did I feel more popular than when I counted the number of valentines that were crushed into my mail box.

A shoe box (confiscated from Papa), a bit of wrapping paper and some special finds came together for my Valentine treat to my grandchildren this year. I wrapped the top of the box in paper conducive for heavy duty sticker-plastering. Then I stuffed it with heart stickers (and a couple of choo choo stickers for Ben), red lace paper hearts, a heart shaped sandwich cutter, a couple of lovable animal bath toys and a gaudy heart-shaped box, ideal for our next outdoor gathering expedition. Imagining the giggles and smiles on their faces as they take off the top of the box and start examining the contents makes my heart melt.

Nanas know stuff. We know that the simplest treats bring the biggest smiles, and we know that cooking dinner means the entire family eats together. We know that adding just a bit of the not-so-good-for you processed cheese to an otherwise healthful casserole guarantees no leftovers.
So, from one Nana to another, I’m sharing my mother’s (not so healthy) secret recipe for our family’s favorite baked pasta dish: GLOP. It’s a little bit naughty and a little bit nice, all the while tasting warm and yummy. Nonie’s GLOP is made by combining cooked pasta with left-over pasta sauce, topping it with slices of (mums the word) Velveeta cheese and baking it in the oven until the cheese melts. Of course, you can substitute with grated, aged cheddar cheese, but it won’t melt as well and therefore won’t be “gloppy” enough! I make this dish when I have left over Bolognese Sauce, so veggie filled I don’t feel nearly as guilty as I should. Prepare this dish for your family this Valentine’s Day, whether you drop it off or invite them over. Let’s face it; no matter how many healthy, whole food, sustainable meals I make, everyone in my family just loves GLOP. I bet your grandbabies will love it too!

Post your favorite baked pasta dish or Bolognese recipe by clicking on the comment button below this article.

Be one of the first 20 Nanas to join The Nana Network, and I’ll send you a Flirty Apron, a special Valentine’s treat just for you.

If you need help signing up, don’t be shy, just email me at and I’ll walk you through the process.

Happy Valentine’s Day!!

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