What Will We Do Today? http://whatwillwedotoday.com Every moment counts Sun, 08 May 2016 14:56:14 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.4.10 My Extraordinary Storybook Life http://whatwillwedotoday.com/2015/11/14/extraordinary-storybook-life/ http://whatwillwedotoday.com/2015/11/14/extraordinary-storybook-life/#comments Sat, 14 Nov 2015 22:53:34 +0000 http://whatwillwedotoday.com/?p=12486 Read More]]> It has been a rather extra-ordinary year.

Here’s the story.

Mr. H. and I decided that it was time to down-size and move closer to our family and friends in another state.

Because we were busy freaking out, packing, worrying, sorting, working, shuffling, organizing, storing, pitching, donating, juggling, laughing, crying (just a little), good-bye-ing, hello-ing, down-sizing, out-sizing, super-sizing, up-sizing and, ultimately moving, I just couldn’t find the head space to update What Will We Do Today!!

Want the whole story?

Read along.

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And they lived happily ever after…..

Oh, and for those of you who have written and asked if I was going to blog again, I thank you for your concern.  It has really soothed me to know that you are all still out there!

It’s a new journey of discovery and I’m so glad you are along for the ride.

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CD Spider Babies http://whatwillwedotoday.com/2014/10/16/cd-spider-babies/ http://whatwillwedotoday.com/2014/10/16/cd-spider-babies/#comments Thu, 16 Oct 2014 12:48:43 +0000 http://whatwillwedotoday.com/?p=12447 Read More]]> Spider plants have always reminded me of macrame.

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(In the event you did not grow up in the 1970s [the decade that style forgot], macrame is essentially a friendship bracelet for your plants).

As it happens, I haven’t been a fan of shag toilet seat covers, wood paneled rooms or macrame wall hangings for decades.  As a result of my total rejection of all things 70s, I haven’t had a spider plant in my home for several decades.

Until two years ago.

A friend (Betsy, you know who you are…) gave me a spider plant baby.

 

A baby she had weaned from her Momma Spider Plant.

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What a lovely, thoughtful gift.

I left this baby in her little baby spider plant glass of water for…well…better than a year (don’t tell Betsy)….and then I decided to plant her.

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Wow!   I felt so abundantly maternal.  I loved these little spider plant babies.

So naturally, I wanted to grow some more.

In a seemingly unrelated bit of housewifery, I was cleaning out my office closet and found that I had a stash of no longer needed CDs.

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Bingo

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I carefully snipped some little spider plant babies from their little spider plant umbilical stalks.

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…and then inserted these little darlings into the CDs (shiny side up) so that their little spider plant baby leaves wouldn’t touch the water (plus, it looked really cool).

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Over time, the little spider plant babies grew long luxurious roots…

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…and I planted them in soil.

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I now have a whole clutter of spider plant babies (the collective name for spiders is either cluster or clutter.  I prefer clutter…cluster seems …. ominous…)

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If I could only remember how to macrame.

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Peace, Love and Understanding – One Blog at a Time http://whatwillwedotoday.com/2014/08/29/peace-love-and-understanding-one-blog-at-a-time/ http://whatwillwedotoday.com/2014/08/29/peace-love-and-understanding-one-blog-at-a-time/#comments Sat, 30 Aug 2014 02:13:44 +0000 http://whatwillwedotoday.com/?p=12433 Read More]]> My first indication that people outside of my circle of friends and family were interested in my blog was a letter I received from UNESCO some time ago.

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Who knew?

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Art Day; Camp Grandmama and Grampy Campy; 2011

I was curious to know if people from other countries were visiting my site, and through the magic of a web analysis tool…

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… I discovered a wealth of friends from all over the world (daily map from August 24, 2014).

Many of my visitors are from countries that are experiencing war, sickness and a myriad of other traumas.

And yet….

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… in Rostov-on-Don (Russian Federation, on the border of the Ukraine), someone is interested in making origami flowers.

In spite of the tumult…

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… in Zhitomir (Ukraine), someone likes my picture of the pilliated woodpecker.

Other surprises emerge on a daily basis as countries, many with historical and current conflicts, appear to have surprisingly similar tastes.

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In fact, throughout the few years of my blog, people from more than 90 countries have expressed an interest in Camp Grandmama and Grampy Campy, crafts, recipes and even some of my more esoteric ramblings.

I don’t need to enumerate the problems and issues that people in the world are dealing with these days.  Turn on the TV, listen to the radio, log on to Facebook or read the paper.   Plenty to worry about.

But, in spite of all the worry, I am struck by how similar we are.   Most people want to be loved, want to provide for their families, want to be understood, want to be happy.

And more than a few ….

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… want to make something with buttons.

 

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U-Small – your moving and storage solution for fairies…. http://whatwillwedotoday.com/2014/08/20/u-small/ http://whatwillwedotoday.com/2014/08/20/u-small/#comments Wed, 20 Aug 2014 21:32:17 +0000 http://whatwillwedotoday.com/?p=12415 Read More]]> It’s been a crazy summer…

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Our daughter and son in law blessed us all with our ELEVENTH grand-child (welcome, Mary Claire).

We had some crazy packing, moving, staging schedules to deal with and ….

…after 20+ years of living on the lake, Mr. H. and I decided it was time to sell our home (anyone want a beautiful lake home?), scale down and move closer to family.

A logical move, but I must admit the decision has led to a fair amount of anxiety …

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Where will I put my hoard stuff?

 

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What will I do with my bed rotation charts?

 

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It is even possible to become a Bears fan again?

 

The grand-kids were very specific about their concerns ….

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Don’t forget to bring the cereal rack (the source of relatively healthy cereal)!!

 

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Don’t leave the star rug from the upstairs hall (unbeknownst to us, the rug is part of a rather complicated password system developed by, and administered by the kids)

 

and the biggest concern of all ….

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Are the fairies moving with us?

Of course, we weren’t entirely sure what the fairies had in mind, but the kids took a peek during Camp.

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I wonder if they have some boxes we can borrow?

 

In case you happen to have some fairies who need some moving boxes….

U Small Template

 

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Canvas Wrapped Print for about $1.00 http://whatwillwedotoday.com/2014/05/08/canvas-wrapped-print-for-about-1-00/ http://whatwillwedotoday.com/2014/05/08/canvas-wrapped-print-for-about-1-00/#comments Thu, 08 May 2014 16:23:42 +0000 http://whatwillwedotoday.com/?p=12381 Read More]]> You don’t know it yet, but soon – very soon – you are going to jump up, click your heels and yell “Yippee”!! IMG_6818-1-2 Yep.  Pretty sure that’s what you’re going to do, because …. drum roll please …

I am going to show you how to make canvas wrapped prints for a little more than $1.00 per picture!!!

You’re Welcome.

Besides a computer and printer, you will need:

    • unwrinkled tissue paper cut to just under 8 1/2 x 11
    • 8 1/2 x 11 card stock
    • masking tape
    • 8 x 10 canvas panel ($20 for 10 at Michaels, but with a 40% – 50% discount…..)
    • sponge brush
    • Paper Mod Podge – Matte (you can also use satin or gloss, but I liked the look of matte)
    • Oh, and don’t forget to have a nice photo.  (I used black and white, but if you decide to print in color, do let us know how it works!)

Because I was making a whole lot of prints (and making a whole lot of mistakes … so that you won’t have to make a whole lot of mistakes), I prepared a whole stack of tissue paper… IMG_6046 (Clearly, this was a desperate bid to somehow do something with the 75,000+ pictures on my hard drive…)

Let’s just say you are only going to make one canvas print.   In that case, cut the tissue paper just a bit smaller than your card stock (about 1/8 an inch should do nicely). canvas When you are taping the tissue paper to the card stock, be sure to keep the tissue taut and smooth so there are no wrinkles to jam your printer head.

If, like me, you are making multiple prints, go ahead and make a stack.  If you are normal, make just one….(no judging, please).

Load your paper so that the printer will grab the masking tape edge first. IMG_6069 Follow your printer’s directions so that you print on to the tissue paper side.  In most cases, that will mean the tissue paper side will be facing down.

Once printed, cut away the taped edges (it’s best to cut the long edges and the non-masking tape edges first.  That way, the final taped edge holds everything in place). IMG_6143-2 Hang on to the card stock and one of the taped edges (use the longer edge).  You will use the card stock and the taped edge to help apply the picture to the canvas. IMG_6151 Before you apply the tissue paper, mark the canvas so that your picture will be centered on the canvas. IMG_6154 Pour some Mod Podge in a container. IMG_6155 With the sponge roller, spread the Mod Podge evenly on the canvas (you can’t really see it in this picture, but trust me the Mod Podge is evenly spread).

You want to be sure that it is evenly wet, but not sloppy. IMG_6175 Before you begin to apply the picture to the canvas, the tissue paper picture should be lying on the card stock.  Align the bottom of the tissue paper between your two dots and slowly pull the card stock away from the picture so that the tissue paper picture falls on to the Mod Podged canvas.  Use the taped card stock edge to help the tissue paper picture lie smoothly on the canvas.

Once the entire tissue paper picture is lying on the canvas, put the card stock (remember, I told you to save it) on top of the tissue paper picture.  Quickly smooth the area by applying pressure with your hand.   Remove the cardboard right away (if you don’t, some of the picture might transfer to the cardboard).

NOTE:  You may be tempted to try to smooth things out while you are laying the tissue paper picture on the canvas, but DON’T DO IT!!!  Use the cardboard and smooth it with your hands. IMG_6199 You will notice some bubbles on the canvas.  Use your fingers (make sure they are dry) to press them down.  It’s sort of like popping bubble wrap.  (Some of the ink will transfer to your fingers, so be sure to wipe them off before pressing bubbles on lighter areas of your canvas).

Strangely satisfying.

Once you have all the bubbles pressed out, let your picture dry.  Optimally, you would let it dry for a few hours, but I have done some with only a 40 minute drying time.

Once dry, you need to put another coat of Mod Podge over the entire picture and canvas.

You need to work fast. IMG_6781 Apply a blob of Mod Podge to a piece of card stock IMG_7785-3 and roll it out to the size of your canvas print.  Use the foam roller.  It’s fast and efficient. IMG_6788 Press the Mod Podged card stock on to the canvas and rub quickly with your hands.  Lift the card stock.  It should leave a nice even layer of Mod Podge on your canvas. IMG_6789 Use the foam roller to smooth out the Mod Podge.  See how quick I was?  You can barely see my hand move…. IMG_6803 Use your finger to smooth things out a little more (not quite bubble wrap, but pretty darned close…).  You will undoubtedly smear some of the ink on to the white edge of the canvas.  That’s okay.  Once you are happy with your picture, you can take a wet rag (not soppy wet) and wipe the ink from the canvas (do NOT wipe the picture). IMG_6806 Let the picture dry for several hours. By the way (and this was very important for me while I was trying out different methods), up to the point of the canvas drying, if you make a mess (and that’s entirely possible the first couple of tries) you can quickly wash the tissue paper and Mod Podge off the canvas (use a dish rag to help remove the old Mod Podge, tissue and ink).  Once the canvas dries, you can use it again!!! IMG_6813-2 This method is so fun, so easy and so cheap, I want to put everything on canvas. Yippee

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Little Bunny Face…. http://whatwillwedotoday.com/2014/04/10/little-bunny-face/ http://whatwillwedotoday.com/2014/04/10/little-bunny-face/#respond Fri, 11 Apr 2014 01:53:52 +0000 http://whatwillwedotoday.com/?p=12369 Read More]]> Whenever my Dad gave my Mom a card, he would sign it with the sweetest little bunny face.

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Every card, every letter…for all of their married life, he would sign his letters and cards and sweet little notes the same way.

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This picture is exactly why my Dad thought Mom was such a sweet bunny face…

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(You can’t see it, but that is a pink angora sweater my Mom is wearing..)

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(Dad was pretty cute, too).

Since Easter is approaching, I thought it would be sweet to make a few bunny noses (I threw in a few chick noses as well).

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You’re welcome.

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Here’s the template for the chick and bunny noses so you can have your own little bunny face.

Straw Toppers Template

Happy Easter!!

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Leprechaun Cupcake Trap http://whatwillwedotoday.com/2014/02/26/leprechaun-cupcake-trap/ http://whatwillwedotoday.com/2014/02/26/leprechaun-cupcake-trap/#comments Thu, 27 Feb 2014 04:27:42 +0000 http://whatwillwedotoday.com/?p=12338 Read More]]> We were robbed.

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This very hammer was used to break in to our precious hoard of gold.

How could this have happened?  Read on, my friend.  Read on.

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A couple of days ago, I decided to create a new type of Leprechaun trap.  I figured any self-respecting Leprechaun would be enticed by gold hidden in the chocolatey depths of a festively decorated cupcake.

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What could possibly go wrong?

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Oh, the cute cupcake sleeves?

There are two schools of thought with regard to trapping Leprechauns.  Some say that Leprechauns are suspicious and won’t be tricked into “free gold”.

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If that’s your belief, this cupcake wrapper is for YOU!

Some believe Leprechauns are too clever to be tricked.

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Just an innocent looking cupcake covered in shamrocks.

Some believe Leprechauns are very, very greedy.

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Could this be more obvious?

As for me.  I thought it would be funny to mock the “In an emergency, break glass” idea.

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Hysterical.  Right?

What were the odds that Leprechauns would have access to a teeny-timy hammer?  I felt confident that my M&M hoard was safe.

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I was wrong.

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I hadn’t realized that our resident fairies, quite without our knowledge, had decided to rent out their room through Fairybnb (a wholly owned subsidiary of Airbnb).  Clearly, the Leprechauns borrowed a teeny tiny hammer from our teeny tiny fairy friends.

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Foiled again.

Leprechaun Trap Cupcake Wrappers

 

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Leprechaun Doughnut Box Redux http://whatwillwedotoday.com/2014/02/19/leprechaun-doughnut-box-redux/ http://whatwillwedotoday.com/2014/02/19/leprechaun-doughnut-box-redux/#respond Thu, 20 Feb 2014 00:14:48 +0000 http://whatwillwedotoday.com/?p=12328 Read More]]> Evidently there is a run on Leprechaun Doughnut Boxes.

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Over the holidays, a UK grocery chain (Sainsbury’s) asked if they could feature my Leprechaun Doughnut Boxes in their Holiday circular (to be used for the Elves).

I was very excited.  Who would have thought that a random (but very discerning) editor from the UK would have seen the Leprechaun Boxes and said “Blimey, that’s brill, innit?”

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As if this wasn’t enough …. Family Fun Magazine (one of my very favorite magazines) contacted me to see if they could feature my Leprechaun Doughnuts and Doughnut Boxes in their St. Patrick’s Day issue!

Cool!!

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I couldn’t contain my delusions of grandeur.  I envisioned a vast empire cluttered with cloverly-adorned cruller cartons!  A dynasty founded on diminutive donut boxes!

Evidently it takes more than two interested parties to make an Empire…..

and so, I’ll just share the new template for your St. Patrick’s Day pleasure.

Leprechaun Trap and Donut Boxes

It was good to be Emperor…..

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Aelplermagronen (Alpine Macaroni or Swiss Macaroni) http://whatwillwedotoday.com/2014/01/05/aelplermagronen-alpine-macaroni-or-swiss-macaroni/ http://whatwillwedotoday.com/2014/01/05/aelplermagronen-alpine-macaroni-or-swiss-macaroni/#comments Mon, 06 Jan 2014 01:30:46 +0000 http://whatwillwedotoday.com/?p=12298 Read More]]> Untitled.007

The weather in Chicago is colder than the weather on the top of the Matterhorn in the Swiss Alps.

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The Midwest is entrenched in freezy, frigid, frosty, frigerific winter weather.

Because we have family and friends who are …

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…dealing with snow

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…experiencing travel delays

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…hunkering down in large pots of hot water…

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…and blinging it old style …

…I am going to share with you the most satisfying, hearty, soul-stirring, comfort-laden recipe I have in my recipe box to help sustain you over the next few days.  Think of this as the epicurean equivalent of a warm blanket, a roaring fire or warm woolen mittens.  IMG_5115-1

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At first, you may think this is just another adult mac and cheese, but don’t let the pasta and cheese fool you.  This is so much more!!!

The caramelized onions and buttery cinnamon apples set off the comforting goodness of the cheesy potatoes and noodles (can you tell I love this?).   The slightly nutty Gruyere (a wonderful melting cheese from Switzerland. named after the town of Gruyères in the canton of Fribourg) and the tasty Appenzeller (an ancient Alpine cheese made in the 6th century in the Appenzell region in the Swiss canton of St. Gallen) deliver just the right amount of savory, stringy goodness (can you tell I did a little research?).

Because this recipe is from Switzerland, I think it’s necessary to use the Swiss cheeses.  I suppose you could substitute if you must, but I know some Swiss farmers who just might not approve.

As for the name?  Aelplermagronen really means Alpine Macaroni, but if you can’t quite get your mouth around Aelplermagronen, just say Alpine Macaroni or Swiss Pasta.

Warning:  If you have children, don’t ever make the mistake of referring to this as Mac and Cheese.  Horrors! There is no child I am acquainted with who wants anything other than the boxed, powdered, cheese-like variety when they are being told they are having Mac and Cheese.   They will reject this on principle alone.   (BTW, I call it The Groaning Apple and that seems to have mass kid appeal).

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You don’t need many ingredients (in fact, I’m guessing this was popular in the Swiss Alps because this was what they had available when they were snowed in on top of those high mountain peaks).

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Ingredients

for the Macaroni:

  • 2 large potatoes (to equal 4 cups)
  • 1/2 lb elbow macaroni (to equal 2 cups dry)
  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 3 large onions
  • 1 1/2 cups gruyere cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups appenzeller cheese (if you can't find, add another 1 1/2 cups of gruyere)
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • salt and pepper to taste

for the Apples:

  • 2 cups granny smith apples (about 3 apples)
  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon
Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Cook Time: 15 Minutes
Total Time: 45 Minutes

Instructions

for the Macaroni:

  • Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F
  • Peel the potatoes and dice into 1/2 " cubes (this will assure that the potatoes get done at the same time as the pasta)
  • Bring large pot (about 6 quarts) of salted water to a rolling boil.
  • Add the potatoes and the elbow macaroni to the boiling water (stir to make sure the pasta doesn't stick together). Boil for 15 minutes or until potatoes are done. Drain the pasta and potatoes.
  • Peel and thinly slice the onions.
  • Melt the butter in a frying pan and add the onions. Fry them until they are golden brown.
  • Grate the cheeses.
  • Put 1/3 of pasta/potato mixture in an ovenproof casserole dish.
  • Add 1/2 of of the grated cheeses to the top of pasta/potato mixture.
  • Add another 1/3 of the pasta/potato mixture
  • Sprinkle with the remaining cheeses.
  • Top with remaining 1/3 of the pasta/potato mixture.
  • Add salt and pepper (to taste) to the cream and pour it over the top of the casserole.
  • Spread the browned onions on top of the pasta/potatoes.
  • Cover the casserole dish (so you don't burn the onions) and bake for 10-15 minutes until it is steaming hot and the cheese is melted.

for the Apples:

  • Slice apples (I leave the peel on, but you may wish to remove the apple peel) and cook in melted butter, Add the cinnamon and sugar and cook until browned and soft.
  • To serve, make a ring of the cooked apples and mound the pasta/potatoes in the middle. I generally hold some of the onions to spread on top.
  • If you have time, make this a day ahead and cook for 30 - 45 minutes at 375 degrees. Be sure to cover the casserole dish so you don't burn the onions.
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Happy New Year http://whatwillwedotoday.com/2014/01/01/happy-new-year/ http://whatwillwedotoday.com/2014/01/01/happy-new-year/#respond Thu, 02 Jan 2014 04:18:39 +0000 http://whatwillwedotoday.com/?p=12297 Read More]]> I know I posted these wishes last year, but … I am once again on the way to the sun from a place covered in snow, I love mash-ups and I think the sentiments stand…

Happy 2014!!

Christmas 2012 1 Christmas 2012 - 2 Christmas 2012 - 3 Christmas 2012 - 4 Christmas 2012 - 5 Christmas 2012 - 6 Christmas 2012 - 7 Christmas 2012 - 8 Christmas 2012 - 9 Christmas 2012 - 10 Christmas 2012 - 11 Christmas 2012 - 12 Christmas 2012 - 13 Christmas 2012 - 14 Christmas 2012 - 15 Christmas 2012 - 16 Christmas 2012 - 17

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