Archive for April, 2011

Dear Readers,

The recipe title says “salad” but I think it is really a wonderful dessert.  I can’t remember what church cookbook published this recipe but I do remember how much my family loved it whenever it was served.  It’s a great combination of sweet and salty!

Strawberry Pretzel Jello Salad

2 cups crushed pretzel sticks

3 tablespoons sugar

3/4 cup melted margarine or butter

1 cup sugar

8 oz. Philadelphia cream cheese

8 oz. Cool Whip, defrosted

6 oz. box strawberry jello

2 cups boiling water

2-10 oz. pkgs. frozen strawberries

Mix pretzels, 3 tablespoons sugar and margarine.  Press into a 9×13″ pan and bake at 400 degrees for 5-10 minutes.  Let cool completely.  Mix 1 cup sugar and 8 oz. cream cheese until creamy.  Fold in Cool Whip.  Spread on cooled pretzels.  Mix large box of strawberry jelly with 2 cups boiling water.  Add frozen strawberries.  Stir until gelatin is quickset and pour over cream cheese mixture.  Refrigerate until served.

Enjoy and

Keep smilin’!

Read Full Post »

Dear Readers,

A couple of weeks ago, a schedule of entertainers was listed in the newspaper for the Coachella Music Festival in Indio, CA.  Here’s a sampling of the names of performing groups:  Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti, Flogging Molly, Thao With The Get Down Stay Down, the New Pornographers, Death From Above 1979, The Henry Clay People and Jimmy Eat World.  Pretty outrageous names, aren’t they?  But then if you want to be noticed in a huge music festival, your title has to be shocking and/or offensive.  The purpose of these unusual names is to attract attention and they certainly have succeeded in doing just that.  But it would be interesting to compare the music of Flogging Molly to the sound of The Henry Clay People.

Well, there are many curious names and nicknames I’ve encountered in my own life.  My Dad rode to work every morning with a fellow called Moon DeWald and worked along side of men named Red Muckler and Cooney Threedouble.  I wonder what the story was behind those names.  Dad never gave us the details.

Our family sported some strange nicknames.  We had an Aunt Petey and an Aunt Tubby.  Don’t know why a woman named Norma was called “Petey”.  But I do know why Aunt Martha answered to “Tubby”.  She was very short and a little on the plump side and didn’t mind being referred to as “Tubby”.  Her only son, Clark Kelly, Jr., had the nickname “Boy”.  So our cousin was “Boy Kelly” to us.  My Mom’s brothers called her “Nook” and her father’s nickname was “Dode”.  I wish I knew more about these names and how they came to be.

No one in our family now has a nickname.  Maybe it was more popular in days gone by.  But all these strange and different names certainly add spice to our everyday lives.  And in the words of Martha Stewart, “That’s a good thing!”

Keep smilin’!

Read Full Post »

Tuna Fish For A Lenten Meal

Dear Readers,

There is only one more meatless Friday left in Lent this year; in fact, it is Good Friday and that is being observed today.  Here’s an idea for a great sandwich to pair with tomato soup for dinner.

Tuna Fish Rolls

8 hamburger rolls

1/4 lb. Velveeta cheese (cut into small cubes)

3 hard-boiled eggs

6 oz. can tuna

2 tablespoons chopped onion

2 tablespoons chopped green olives

2 tablespoons chopped sweet pickles

1/2 cup mayonnaise

Drain tuna; mix all ingredients lightly.  Place in roll and wrap in foil.  Bake 30 minutes at 250 degrees.  These may be made ahead of time and placed in fridge.  May also be frozen.

Enjoy and

Keep smilin’!

Read Full Post »

Dear Readers,

Ready or not here they are.  One is an original Mimi Tip.  The second came from my younger sister and the third tip was gleaned from a newspaper article.

Okay, here’s my original tip.  My clear vinyl shower liner was looking pretty grungy as it was covered with white, hard water marks.  I proceeded to clean the liner with straight white vinegar, scrubbing the marks using a Scotch-Brite Dobie cleaning pad made by the 3M Company.  The white vinegar eliminated the unsightly water marks.  Then I rinsed the liner with a clean cloth and warm water.  Re-hung the liner and it looks like new!  Clean the liner every six months to prevent a too-heavy build-up of hard water marks.  This procedure took less than 15 minutes and it’s more economical than purchasing a new shower liner.

The next tip is for storing those plastic bags from purchases at Wal-Mart, Target, etc.  They are excellent for lining those small wastepaper baskets found in bath and laundry rooms.  Take a clean plastic gallon-size milk container and with scissors cut a hole about 2-1/2″ in diameter in the center of one side.  Stuff as many bags in as possible and believe me, the container will hold quite a few.  All the bags are neatly contained in one area and the hole is big enough to reach in and grab one when needed.

The final tip came from the newspaper.  Did you ever notice the colored tag or twist on a bag of store-bought bread?  It’s not just for decorative purposes.  It’s actually a code to tell you what day of the week the bread was baked:

Blue – Monday

Green – Tuesday

Red – Thursday

White – Friday

Yellow – Saturday

I guess the bakers take a day off on Wednesday and Sunday!  Bread can also be frozen and will keep for up to a month.

Hope these tips are helpful and remember to

Keep smilin’!

Read Full Post »

Dear Readers,

This lite potato salad is perfect for an Easter dinner; especially when you’ve been snacking on chocolate Easter bunnies all day.  It’s a “Tangy Lemon Pepper Potato Salad” from the Pillsbury cookbook entitled “Calorie-Wise Meals and Snacks”.  Each 1/2 cup serving contains 50 calories and just 2 grams of fat.

Tangy Lemon Pepper Potato Salad


6 to 8 new red potatoes, sliced

3 eggs, hard-cooked

1/2 cup sliced celery

1/4 cup chopped green onions

1/4 cup chopped prosciutto ham or sliced deli ham


1/3 cup light sour cream

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1 to 2 teaspoons lemon pepper

1/4 teaspoon salt

In large saucepan over medium-high heat, cook sliced potatoes in small amount of water until fork tender, about 12 minutes; drain well.

Cut 2 of the eggs into eighths; reserve remaining egg for garnish.  In large bowl, combine warm potatoes, 2 cut-up eggs, celery. green onions and ham.

In small, combine all dressing ingredients; blend well.  Spoon over salad mixture; toss gently to coat.  Cover; refrigerate 1 to 2 hours until chilled.  Just before serving, slice remaining egg.  Garnish top of salad with egg as desired.  Makes 8 (1/2 cup) servings.

Enjoy and

Keep smilin’!

Read Full Post »

A Prayer For Worriers

Dear Readers,

I don’t know about you but Mimi has a tendency to indulge in needless worry from time to time.  Much of this worry pertains to circumstances that might or might not occur. I find this prayer to be very calming and comforting in the midst of my fretting.  The prayer came from a Redemptorist Mission booklet published in 1988.  Permit me to share it with you.

Prayer For The Present Moment

Dear God, I spend so much time

Reliving yesterday or anticipating tomorrow

That I lose sight of the only time that is really mine –

The present moment.

You give me today one moment at a time.

That’s all I have – all I ever will have.

Give me faith which knows that each moment

Contains exactly what is best for me.

Give me hope which trusts you enough

To forgot past failings and future trials.

Give me the love which makes each moment

An anticipation of eternity with you.

We ask this in the name of Jesus

Who is the same yesterday, today and forever.

O God, grant me

Serenity to accept the things I cannot change;

Courage to change the things I can;

And wisdom to know the difference.  Amen.

Keep smilin’!

Read Full Post »

Dear Readers,

This is a continuation of the love story of my parents, Henry and Alma Weickel.  Part 1 ended with Henry and Alma meeting on a boat ride on the Ohio River.

After the boat ride, they started dating and continued to date for three years before they wed.  Three years is a long courtship but Dad had to secure a good-paying job before he asked for my mother’s hand.  Steady jobs were hard to find in the post-Depression era of 1934.  Dad did find a good job in an unusual way but that’s a story for another time.

As you can see, Dad told us about their courtship because he was the great story-teller in our family.  He told about taking Mom to the movies on a Saturday night.  He would walk up Breckinridge Street to pick her up and together they would continue up another block to catch the bus downtown.  Fourth Street in Louisville was the entertainment area in the 30’s.  The street had three or four movie theaters clustered together and they had their choice of which movie to see – cowboy, gangster or love story.  I have a feeling they chose to view the romantic cinemas.  After the movie, Dad said they would walk to Benedict’s, a large ice cream parlor on Fourth Street.  It was there that Dad and Mom shared a big ice cream sundae or banana split.  Then they would stroll to the bus stop to wait for the city bus to take them back to Breckinridge Street.  Dad never revealed to us if he kissed Mom good night at her doorstep.  But I’m sure he did.

I have a token of love from that long-ago courtship.  It’s a small carved wooden barrel resting on a log base.  It appears to be a souvenir Mom gave to Dad.  “Cleveland, Ohio” is etched on the bottom.  On one side Dad inscribed in dark blue ink the following:  “To:  H. Weickel From Alma Harris July 28, ’34”.  On the opposite end it reads “Henry + Alma” “Love” and he drew a heart with an arrow going through it.

It’s one of the treasures I collected from our childhood home before it was sold.  Now the souvenir rests on the top of a cabinet near my front door.  I often gaze at it when coming and going.  It’s so comforting to see it and be reminded again of Henry and Alma’s Love Story.  After all, if they hadn’t met that summer night on a river boat in Louisville, I wouldn’t be here today.

Keep smilin’!

Read Full Post »

Dear Readers,

Henry and Alma are my parents who were married on April 1, 1937.  They celebrated 52 years of wedlock before my Mom died in 1989.  They were willing participants in a loving union, part of which my sisters and I witnessed growing up.  But the chapter on their courtship is the part I find very fascinating.

Dad loved to describe to us the night they first met.  It was a hot summer night in Louisville, Kentucky in 1934.  A large boat was ready to leave the dock for an evening of music and dancing on the Ohio River.  Dad and a couple of his buddies took a cab to the boat landing.  They were late and had to hurry up the gangplank minutes before the boat was scheduled to depart.  He glanced up and spotted my Mom with her girlfriends standing at the boat’s railing.  He warned his friends that the girl with the pretty brown hair and even prettier big brown eyes was his.  My Mom revealed that she also told her friends that the dark handsome fellow sporting a crisp white shirt and white summer slacks exiting the taxi-cab belonged to her.

Well, they did meet and managed to dance the night away together on the river boat.  Dad said he couldn’t believe such a beautiful young woman was interested in him.  As the evening wore on, Dad asked Mom where she lived.  You can imagine how excited he was to learn that she lived just two blocks up the street from him.  Dad was new in the neighborhood and hadn’t yet seen her.  Everything seemed to fall into place and Henry and Alma were ready to start their love story.

There’s more to tell but I will save it for next time or as they say in the movies “To Be Continued”.

Keep smilin’!

Read Full Post »

Dear Readers,

I’m not sure if the Easter Bunny loves carrot bread but he should.  After all, bunnies love carrots and this bread is chock full of them.  Carrot bread would make a welcome addition to any Easter Brunch menu.  It also freezes well.  This recipe came from a Pillsbury cookbook.

Carrot Bread

2 cups flour (not self-rising)

1 cup chopped nuts

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar

3 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups finely shredded carrots

1/2 cup milk

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 egg

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour bottom of 9×5-inch loaf pan.  Combine all ingredients; mix just until well blended.  Pour into prepared pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool 10 minutes; loosen edges and remove from pan.

Enjoy and

Keep smilin’!

Read Full Post »