Archive for January, 2009

Dear Readers,

This coming Sunday will be a day of watching football and eating good food.  Mimi will be viewing the game in spite of the fact that the Eagles didn’t make it through the playoffs.  Oh well, there’s always next year!

Have a great recipe for the pigskin feast.  It’s easy, can be made in advance, (actually tastes better reheated) and my friends have really enjoyed it for the past few years.  It’s Taco Soup and it feeds about 15 people.  The ingredients can also be halved for a smaller batch.  Be sure to serve the soup with bowls of grated cheese (cheddar or pepperjack), taco chips and extra hot sauce for those who want to “kick it up a notch!”

Taco Soup

2 pounds ground turkey (I use all white meat for less fat)

2 medium onions, chopped

salt and pepper (optional

1 can whole kernel corn (I use white shoepeg corn)

2 cans (27 ounces) red kidney beans

3 cans (28 ounces) stewed tomatoes

1 package taco seasoning

1 package ranch salad dressing

2-1/2 cups water

Instructions:  In large cooking pot, saute turkey and onions.  Add salt and pepper to taste, if desired.  Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 30 minutes.

One more Super Bowl item:  Did you see the article about a reporter from the Hispanic media who dressed up like a woman to interview the players?  What’s up with that???

Keep smilin’!

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Dear Readers,

Recently read an article that “the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) recommends that those who take over-the counter remedies throw away expired medicines and restock medical supplies.”  Mimi thinks January is the perfect time to throw out the old and bring in new!  Here’s a list of tems the ACEP suggests to have on hand:

Adhesive bandages of assorted sizes (to cover minor cuts and scrapes)

Gauze pads (to dress larger cuts and scrapes)

Adhesive tape (to keep gauze in place)

Thermometer (do not use mercury-based thermometer)

Alcohol, wipes and hydrogen peroxide (to disinfect wounds)

Up-to-date prescription and over-the-counter drugs

Antibiotic ointment (to disinfect and protect wounds from infection)


Antihistamine (for allergic reactions)

Hydrocortisone cream (to relieve irritations from rashes)

Decongestant (be mind of dosages for appropriate ages)

Acetaminophen, ibuprofen and aspirin (note: aspirin should not be taken by children or teens under age 19)

Antiseptic wipes (to disinfect wounds or clean hands)

The article goes on to say “if you have a pile of pills to get rid of, don’t flush them.  Instead make pills unusable by wetting, breaking or crushing them and mix old medicine with use coffee grounds or cat litter.  Throw it away in the trash sealed in a childproof container without any information on it”.

Hope this info is helpful to all of you.

Keep smilin’!

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Inauguration Thoughts

Dear Readers,

Here’s Mimi’s thoughts on the inauguration as viewed through the eyes of a mother.

When I first saw the huge crowd on the Washington Mall, my immediate reaction was “I hope they have enough bathrooms for all those people”!  Another concern was if the crowd was dressed warm enough for the bitter January day.

Thought Obama’s speech was very good.  Like the idea of “picking ourselves up, dusting ourselves off and starting again”.  Sounded like advice from my mother.

Liked Michelle’s dress of lemongrass lace.  It was an unusual color but she pulled it off nicely.  The olive leather gloves were a great touch.  The real fashion star of the day was Sasha with her bold combination of pink and vibrant orange.  Wonder how many mothers will purchase that same outfit for their little girls from J. Crew?

The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court should have had a cheat sheet containing the presidential oath with him.  Be prepared!  Any mother would have given him that advice.

Elizabeth Alexander did a super job delivering the inaugural poem “Praise Song for the Day”.  It was very easy to understand and so eloquent in its simplicity.  Loved the phrases “figuring it out at the kitchen table” and “What if the mightiest word is love?”

Had some motherly worry that Obama would be late to the reviewing stand to see his grade school alma mater band.  The students came all the way from Hawaii to strut their stuff!  Was glad to see Obama sipping some water during the parade.  Wasn’t he and Michelle tired?  I was hoping they would be seated for longer periods on the reviewing stand!

Then they were scheduled to dance at 10 inaugural balls!  I keep forgetting they’re a lot younger than me.  They make such a handsome couple and look like they really love each other!  That a good thing for them and for the country.

And finally I worried if Barack got enough sleep last night.  After all, he is the leader of the free world!

Keep smilin’!

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Pray for Barack Obama

Dear Readers,

Tomorrow is the inauguration of Barack Obama.  It is a momentous event in our country’s history.  As we watch this event unfold, let’s all keep the president in our prayers.  Pray for his wisdom and strength and for the safety of him and his family.  Pray also that he will be able to be the healer that our country is in such desperate need of.  And finally, pray that all of us will have the courage to make the sacrifices necessary to keep American strong and free!

On a much lighter note, I can’t wait to see what Michelle Obama wears to the inauguration ceremony and to the balls!!!

Keep smilin’!

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The Battle Against Dirt

Dear Readers,

It’s been a long time since Mimi has offered a cleaning tip.  (Don’t want you to think I’m surrendering in the battle against dirt and filth!!!)  This tip is for those of you who have a flat top electric range.  If you’ve ever had potatoes boil over on the stove, you know what a mess it makes.  Now there’s an easy way to clean it off.

3 M makes the Scotch Brite Cook Top Cleaner with 6 pre-moistened pads.  It has a unique handle that resembles a small iron.  The pads adhere to the handle and are disposable.  You might have to use a little elbow grease to remove baked-on debris, but these pads really clean and also polish the cook top.

Wal-Mart sells the whole kit with handle and 6 pads for around $6 to $7.  Once you purchase the kit, you need only buy the disposable pads.

No, I don’t own any 3M stock; but in the interest of complete disclosure, I do have an old friend who works there!

As always,

Keep smilin’!

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Mimi’s Movie Picks

Dear Readers,

Here’s Mimi’s take on three movies that have recently hit the screens.

Changeling:  It’s a true story about a missing 10 year old boy and how his mother (Angelina Jolie) fights to convince corrupt police that the child they return to her is not her child.

It’s an interesting movie directed by Clint Eastwood, much better than I expected.  John Malkovich plays a preacher trying to help Jolie.  (He’s sporting a really weird wavy hairdo!)  The police captain does a great job of talking down to Jolie in an extremely sexist manner.  I guess women weren’t taken very seriously in the 1920’s.  Angelina is convincing in conveying the inner strength of a mother unwilling to abandon the search for her missing son.

Australia:  Great story with beautiful cinematography starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman.  Real star is the aborigine child, Nullah, who narrates the story.  (Love his accent!)  Movie is rather long (165 minutes) but worth it to see Hugh Jackman.  He’s a real cutie and what he does for a tuxedo is incredible!

Slumdog Millionaire:  This is by far the best movie I’ve seen in a long time.  It is very different but constantly holds your interest.  It’s the story of a kid or shall I say survivor, who becomes a winner in a Hindi version of “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” and then is unfairly accused of cheating.  It’s such a great love story with wonderful actors.  Freida Pinto is beautiful and plays the main character’s childhood friend.  Some scenes are violent and hard to watch.  But they are necessary to develop the plot.  Has a fantastic soundtrack; a combination of Bollywood disco and Hindi rap music.  It’s up for a Golden Globe award and is worthy of an Oscar.  This movie is good enough to pay a babysitter in order to see it!

If any readers have seen these movies and want to comment, please feel free to do so.

Keep smilin’!

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Alice’s Tortellini Soup

Dear Readers,

First of all, let me wish you a very Happy New Year!  Let’s hope 2009 will be better than 2008.  January is a good time to get out the recipes for warm comforting food and I have one that is easy and delicious.  Got this recipe from a dear neighbor in PA.

Alice’s Hearty Tortellini Soup

2 cloves crushed garlic

1 tablespoon butter

2 – 13 oz. cans chicken or beef broth

1 – 8 oz. package fresh or frozen cheese tortellini

1 – 10 oz. package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained

1 – 16 oz. can stewed tomatoes, undrained and coarsely chopped

Grated parmesan cheese

Saute garlic in butter in large saucepan on medium-high heat for 2 – 3 minutes.  Add broth and tortellini.  Heat to boiling.  Reduce heat, simmer 10 minutes.  Add spinach and the tomatoes.  Simmer 5 minutes more.  Serve with grated parmesan cheese on top.

Nothing like a bowl of hot soup on a January evening.  Add a tossed green salad, some crusty Italian bread and a bottle of red wine (preferably a chianti) for a very nice meal.  You might even want to light some candles for this feast!

Keep smilin’!

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Another Laundry Tip

Dear Readers,

A close friend recently suggested that Mimi write a blog about sorting clothes for laundering.  So here’s my take on the subject.

White Clothes:  Sturdy whites such as athletic socks, men’s tee shirts and underwear and men’s handkerchiefs can be washed in hot water on a regular cycle.  Add a little bleach now and then to keep them white.  Oxyclean is also a good whitener.

White dress shirts and blouses and women’s tops can be washed in warm water on a perma-press cycle.

White delicates such as lingerie should be washed on a delicate cyle with either warm or cold water.

Light pastel colors can be washed together with warm or cold water, using a perma-press or delicate cycle, depending on the type of clothing.

Medium color clothes can be grouped together using the same procedure as pastel colors.

Dark clothes such as jeans, dark socks and sweatshirts can be combined using cold water on a regular cycle, if they are made of sturdy fabrics.

Towels of like color can be laundered in hot or warm water depending on color on a regular cycle.  (Read an article once that stated hot water is best for ridding clothes of bacteria.  I tend to agree with this but I also realize that some fabrics can’t tolerate hot water.)

Most sheets can be washed in warm water on a regular cycle.

Red is a very tricky color, when it comes to laundering.   I always wash red clothes in cold water in a separate load.  Red tends to bleed no matter how many times it has been washed.

Black is another tricky color and can also bleed, although after a few washings, this usually stops.

Checked my washer manual for more tips and came up with this:  “Sort lint givers (towels, chenille) from lint takers (corduroy, synthetics) to prevent lint”.

Always check pockets for kleenex because it can create havoc in the washer!!!  If you miss one, just shake kleenex residue off wet clothes outdoors, clean inside of washer tub and remaining kleenex will come off in the dryer.  Don’t forget to clean the residue off the lint filter.  And don’t worry, we’ve all had kleenex catastrophes, even Mimi!

If any reader has any questions or suggestions, please feel free to comment.

And as always,

Keep smilin’!

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