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Reinvention Queen is Trifling with a Trifle

2022 Note from Arline Miller, Reinvention Queen as this came up in my memories. When I shared this memory, I wrote the following message as life is short, make the most of each day: Take time for the little ones; take time for the adult ones; take time for yourselves too. Life is about sharing times that children remember all their lives. The proof in this statement is if all of us think back on our childhoods, we will recall a certain food, or event such as fishing, sports, or times like reunions that a certain action was so special that your heart felt that memory. My aunt Willie Mae Ponsell baked the best Coconut Layer Cake that ever was, my grandmother Alliner Parker made cathead biscuits with white syrup that I never forgot; my other grandmother Lillie Holt Johnston made the best pickles; my Mom fried fish like nobody has ever bested hers; my Granddaddy brought me and my cousins watermelon and let us eat as much as we wanted and he also taught me how to combine eggs, meat and grits together. I almost cry when I make Cornbread Salad as it takes me back to Aunt Ludell Moore (I called her Aunt) with her smile as she told me where her cornbread salad was at the reunion table. I remember my FIL, Papa Smith, making the best potato salad, unmatched even with all my cooking skills, he holds the record, and my Uncle Buddy Ponsell making hush puppies that melted in our mouths. I could go on and on, but you have your memories too. The point of this thought is make time, make memories, make life happen for you and even better for others to sit down at some point in their later lives and remember how someone made something special or took time for you to show you how to enjoy life. Love to all!

Here is the original post from last year. The time is perfect for fresh fruit and this trifle can be made from peaches, mangos, grapes can be added too. Be creative and send me picture of your creations.

I found out our grandchildren were coming over for Sunday lunch. We haven’t seen them in a while due to camps, trips, etc. and we wanted to have them what they call “Nana’s Surprise”. I know how they love strawberries and blueberries and spotted the pound cake that would make a quick base for something delicious. A Trifle would be different that serving the cake alone. I thought I would video my efforts and just a hint, It was a total success! The children and the grown ups complimented it. The visual is incredible so if you want to have some colorful and tasty visual desserts, Trifle with a Trifle.

Basic ingredients which can be substituted or replaced according to your taste buds and availability in your kitchen. Here is what I assembled:

  • Fresh strawberries, 2 packages,washed and de-stemmed. I cut mine so they looked like hearts to display on the sides of the bowl.
  • 1 T Karo Syrup (clear)
  • 2 T. Granulated Sugar
  • A large/high glass bowl to show off the layers.
  • 1 package of fresh blueberries, raspberries, or blackberries
  • 1 large container of Cool Whip or you can make your own whipped cream but I find Cool Whip is easier to spoon over cake.
  • 1/2 or small pound cake cubed into bite size pieces. I used 1/2 of a large cream cheese pound cake but any pound cake will do.
  • 1 pkg of Instant Vanilla Pudding made with ingredients on pkg.
  • 2 T. of strawberry jam (you can use homemade jam or store bought jam)
  • 1 box Lorna Doone Cookies/Crackers with 4-6 cookies crumbled for topping

The video shows how I layered my Trifle but it is not set in stone. Nuts can be added, chocolate pudding, different jam flavor, graham crackers instead of Lorna Doone Cookies and the choices are endless so make it your own. I bought chocolate syrup to pour over it but I can assure you it wasn’t missed. I saved the chocolate syrup for my next surprise.

I used my phone camera as doing the video was a last minute decision. Overlook my amateur videoing.
Tip: Using a Tablespoon of Light Karo Syrup to coat fruit prior to sprinkling with sugar makes it stick to the fruit easier.
Some of the ingredients I used in the Trifle
If you watched the Jammin’ It Up video, you saw how Missy and I made the Carnival Jam and I used a couple of Tbs. in my vanilla pudding. Oh yeah, it worked great.
This is my Taste Tester Group who unanimously gave a big thumbs up. I took the photo before they ate their share and it was large enough even after 4 adults ate too to send some home. It made a huge Trifle. Nana scored a Big YES from these precious children.

Until We Cook Again…..Happy Meals to You!…….Arline Miller

Look for the next video with my special chef Missy Haas who is my daughter and loves to cook as much as me. Reinventing Pickles will be our theme.

(C) Copyright 2012-2022 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material, if source is known, is listed for credit reference.

Reasons Why I Don’t Do Cooking Videos…Reinvention Queen

As much as I love cooking and baking, and yes, after being asked numerous times to do videos, I tried a few and it didn’t take long before I realized I am not cut out to do the step by step, measuring and attempting to work a video camera. My daughter who is a lot more savvy even saw how difficult it is. First of all, let me applaud all of you who have the patience to make them, I am impressed. However, I love to learn new tricks and I am enthralled by kitchen hacks, right? You are too. Here comes the BUT….I see so many mistakes and non preparation in these videos that it is hard not to become a critic. All in fun, but has anyone looked at the videos afterwards to see how they could be improved, or maybe in this time of instant recognition, some have a tendency to grab on to “stardom” and forget people are actually watching these videos.

Cooking comes second nature to me but the appeal of cooking is to grab a spice, or herb at the time of cooking and add it to see if that is the bomb. Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t but the talent of cooking is to have that inner talent of “fixing” a recipe. My daughter and I cook and bake a lot when she visits. We talk about what we want to try to make prior to her coming over. Missy and I may look at recipes but we never stick to a “formal recipe” as it is too much fun playing around with some of her preferences and my own take on the good combos of flavors. That kind of spoils a prepared presentation but allows us so much freedom of creating some powerfully flavored dishes.

We eat with our eyes first, so the appeal has to be considered when plating.

If we see the food bubbling or seeing the freshness of the ingredients, the appetite is heightened.

I will see I have a message on my phone and it will be her new version of a dish that she has thrown together for a breakfast, lunch, or dinner. I usually ask what’s in it and she has to stop and think what she added. When we discuss creating a cookbook, we have thought it should be titled, “A Little of This and A Lot of That” because that’s the way we roll. I thought I would give you my reason for not doing cooking videos and that reason may change as time goes on, but now, I would like to throw some pointers to those brave souls who attempt to be the next Paula Deen or Brenda Gantt. Here are my thoughts and they are valued at cents on the dollar and we all know how little that is now. Some of you who love to cook and who watch videos observe the same mistakes or at least I think you have observed these things too:

What to Check before cooking and/or Videoing a Cooking/Baking Show:

  • Check the background in your kitchen before you start videoing. I cannot tell you how much clutter and weird things we see which are distracting. The less that is visible in the kitchen area keeps the viewers’ attention on what you are cooking.
  • Semi-rehearse what steps you are going to take. Repetition of the same steps, over and over make the videos longer and sometimes very boring. The terms, this is how I like to do it, I, I, I, gets old after a while. An outline of the steps might be wise to create and try to mentally follow it. Natural is good but when I watch several of the videos from the same person, I cannot stay with it if it is the same old same old stuff.
  • Prepare a lot of the measured ingredients prior to video. The shows I enjoy the most are the ones who have measured the salt, pepper, seasonings, and the chopped ingredients. It is okay if you have a tip or shortcut for the viewer on chopping, but no one wants to watch five minutes of chopping, slicing, or mincing. I watched a lady peel about six large potatoes and then chop them just to demonstrate how to make potato salad. This may be a time that you pause the video after showing the first one.
  • Have space on counters for what is going to be done. Switching back and forth can work havoc on us ADD folks so keep the video smooth as possible and we know cooking is real and anything can happen so you cannot control every little step but you can control being prepared.
  • Choose non noisy utensils, banging in drawers, pots and pans, and any nuisance should be avoided. I have actually screeched watching videos and if I have, I guarantee it unnerves a lot of people.
  • Be aware of your appearance. I am not saying that only pretty people can cook but hair unkempt is not a good match to food prep, and clean nails, and clothes neatly worn are attractive and not distractive.
  • Conversations of personal stories should flow and should not slow down the cooking activity. We love the stories of the cooks as they allow us to get to know them, but it may be annoying when the cook/chef makes it all about them.
  • Make an impression by creating a good fairly short video instead of making your debut as a wanna be food network star. If people like the way you cook, your creative ideas, and your easy cooking talents, they will watch the next one.
  • I am no expert on this as I said, I don’t do videos unless I want to share the good times I have with my daughter in the kitchen which brings me to my last tip on videos. Just because you love your family and pets, it is not a good idea to have them continually say hello, help cook all of the time, and go over their adventures. Occasionally, this might be cute but if someone has tuned in to see how you make a cake, they are focused on the cake recipe, listening to you and your tips. There is no one that loves her family more than me, but my thoughts are Keep it Simple. As I said, occasionally, but watch overloading the audience with too much traffic during the cooking time.

I say all of this to possibly help some of you who are thinking about videoing. We are in a world of almost thinking it is okay to go with the person when they go to the bathroom and let nature take its course, but I am from the old school of there are moments to share and there are times for privacy. The videos can be entertaining more than educational. I think the combo is the preference for most of us. I have learned a lot of handy ideas and I appreciate someone taking the time to make a video. If you have tried to make one, you realize it is a big effort if it’s done right.

Live Life, Love Life, and Live and Love Life to the Fullest by taking a little time to prepare. Just loving to cook or trying to get it on video is sometimes not providing the full picture. The way I see it, if you don’t keep your kitchen clean, don’t offer to cook for me. Just Sayin’……Until We Cook and Clean Again….Arline Miller, Reinvention Queen.

(C) Copyright 2012-2022 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration and Reinvention Queen with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material is sourced, if known, to the original author/location for credit reference.

SPEAKING FROM MY HEART

Speaking from my heart, the blog covers why we either show how much we care or why we put our needs ahead of others needs.

This past weekend was a super celebration of several recognition. My birthday was on Saturday, my daughter’s birthday was on Sunday, and we celebrated Father’s Day too. My mind has been collecting thoughts on how special these occasions are, not for presents which are great, but for the precious time for laughter, fun, reminiscing over past celebrations, and emotional tugs for those missing in our wonderful times.

We started out with a normal size family and now, today only my sister and me are still living. We miss those who are no longer with us.

Now, that the days of recognizing the blessings of being granted another year has passed, I wanted to speak from my heart on what I perceive as good qualities in people and what I feel is the loss of a great opportunity to create good memories by either selfish motives and/or ignorance of the importance of living in times that will not be repeated. It is up to people what is important but I felt very much love on my birthday, Missy had time with friends and us and it was great, and Greg enjoyed his Father’s Day too.

My daughter who celebrated her birthday with her Dad who she took care of for over two years who passed away. He was recognized as it was Father’s Day.

Let’s just get this out in the open as I know some people were lonely over this weekend, somehow forgotten on their birthdays, and Mother’s Day and Father’s Day as well as all the other holidays are not recognized with even a phone call or card. In the past, I have seen the good, bad, and ugly actions and have heard of those who are alone and the hurt they feel. Are you guilty of placing your own priorities in front of your parents, children, and other members of your family to do things with friends, play golf or other hobbies?

My husband celebrated Father’s Day with an added bonus of us going to visit the grandchildren with some ice cream. Greg’s son, Cory was cooking on the grill for his family and some of the grands had made dishes. Good going, Nolan, Jonas, and Elias for being helpful on Father’s Day.

Am I A Considerate Person or Am I Selfish?

I thought I would create a list of Dos and Don’ts for us to read and mentally check off this rather candid look in the mirror:

  • Do I check to see what my family members are planning for a holiday/celebration before I make personal plans?
  • How often do I make a phone call or even a text to find out how an elderly family member, friend, neighbor, and/or associate is doing?
  • Do I expect others to check on my health or well being instead of considering others’ health and well being?
  • Do I make plans without any consideration for my family?
  • Do I make the effort to recognize other’s accomplishments, special occasions, awards, or just a feel good text, message, and/or phone call?
  • Do I want to be encouraged by others or do I want to be the cheerleader?
  • Here is the big one….Is it all about me or do I feel better if I have done something special for someone else?

All of us are guilty of any of these at one time or another, or at least I know I have been selfish at times, but I am not proud of that. Let’s take a look in the mirror and start with Father’s Day that was this weekend. Did we go out of our way to recognize our fathers that are living? I can almost without fail say that those who have lost their Dads felt a void, wrote a message, posted pictures, but can we truthfully say we exercised every effort to be with them, take care of them, and show them love. Remember, no one lives forever and all of us will leave this earth. This is not in our control but we can control our actions while we are living and others too.

Nuff said, but I will add one personal note. When Mom was in the nursing home, my sister and I were very good to visit, shop for her, assist in her care when we were there, give her reasons to laugh, and provide all of us with precious memories. I worked all week, lived two hours away, but left each weekend that was possible to stay with her each weekend day, and only leave her for a few hours to sleep after she had gone to sleep. I don’t regret a second of that time. It gave me forever memories. My sister was faithful to go during the week. All this was out of love. When the New Year came near, I dreaded the traffic and thought I would wait until the second day of the new year to go for my usual weekend. I got up early that morning and packing my clothes in the car, ready to go and I received that dreaded phone call that Mom had passed an hour before. I cannot tell you how I replayed that call, that decision, and the cold fact I couldn’t see her one more time. She knew she was loved, but those actions or non actions can be long lasting so I say to everyone, if you can visit or see your loved ones, by all means, DO IT!

I turned 73 and I had the best presents…my daughter and my husband making my day special. I had so many Happy Birthday Greetings I had to group thank everyone.

(C) Copyright 2012-2022 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration and Reinvention Queen with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material is sourced if location/author are known for credit reference.

My Birthday Present Is A Day In The Kitchen With My Daughter

Today, I am 73 and a happy 73 at that. I quit giving aging a thought years ago and just enjoy each day. One of the best things is my daughter who has lived across the country up until 2017 and we have learned we are different cooks but have a lot of similar traits. We will celebrate with my husband, my birthday, her birthday, and Father’s Day as well. We have worked on our menus, Greg and Missy have shopped for different ingredients. Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday to Missy, and Happy Father’s Day to Greg. Here is a post that I made in 2020 and I am adding my latest salad delight, Watermelon Salad with no recipe for now, but this will be in a future cookbook that Missy and I are working on.

Arline’s Version of Watermelon Salad (recipe will be in cookbook)

Original Post: I have cooked since I was 12 or 13 in the kitchen since my Mom worked and on Saturdays, I began cooking for my family. It wasn’t sandwiches as those were the days when meals were meals. I could fry chicken or pork chops and there were side dishes. At that time, I didn’t bake anything but rolls. Looking back now, at age 71, I may have survived largely due to the time in the kitchen as my therapy sessions. I love to cook and bake and simply adore a post that someone used one of my recipes. For those of you who cringe at the thought, another type of hobby can do as much for you if it is something you love.

Here is the clincher. I have diabetes II and have had to monitor and watch what and when I eat. So, my cooking and baking is not necessarily for me but I love to spoil people with the dishes they love. One of the things that has helped me the most in managing my diabetes is I eat very small portions on a regular schedule. I don’t go long periods without a small piece of this or that and only indulge in a high carb or sugary dessert as a rarity. Over the years, I found that a spoonful of a dish can keep me from feeling I have been deprived. Some people do not have the will power to do this type of eating but it works for me and my A1C is dropping to a healthier level. My doctor said he was happy and I replied, if you are happy so am I.

I plan on sharing some of the meals/dishes I cook and believe me, they are mostly Southern dishes. I throw in some healthy dishes too but if you want more of them, watch my tab Healthy Bites at the top of my blog. I will try to add more of the yummy recipes there for the ones who love to eat healthier.

Another tip for all of you whether you are watching your weight, your health, or your happiness. Pretty food provides a mental ploy. When you see a plate that is “dressed up” your mind will be better convinced that it is also tasty. Look at this variety of salad photos for an example:

I show you these for a reason, as I found that making food a display of colors is more enticing that throwing it together without thought. Sure, it all goes to the same place but how you perceive it going down can be therapeutic and more satisfying. It is hard to imagine that you are sacrificing when you see the brilliant colors and taste the freshness. Are you beginning to understand how taking a little time, receiving satisfaction from the creation, and then tasting your reward can be a wonderful experience while at the same time filling your belly?

I hope you will try to become a food artist and while you are preparing your pretty plates of healthy choices, take photos and then look through them. I hope you see the art of eating instead of the indulgence. Good eating my readers!

(C) Copyright 2012-2022 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration with all rights and privileges reserved and to be used with permission. All third party material is sourced to original location if known for credit reference.

Reinvention Queen Gets “Corny” with Cornbread into Dressing

As most of you are learning from reading my reinvention series posts that I don’t waste food and enjoy the challenge of making something delicious out of leftovers. I baked a huge pan of cornbread with plans of us eating it in that format, but I went into a different direction and saw the large amount of cornbread in the refrigerator. So, being me, I knew what I could make out of the cornbread that was delicious. Chicken dressing is one of my husband’s favorite so I took on the challenge of quickly assembled ingredients for a dressing that is normally reserved for holidays.

I want to walk you through the process without a specific recipe as I don’t normally make my dressing by a recipe. I took pictures to show you the process and it will give you an idea of the ratio quantities.

This is the inspiration behind the Cornbread Dressing I made by reinventing the purpose of the cornbread. The first step is to crumble the cornbread into fine pieces. I add about 4 slices of bread I have moistened with a little water and squeezed the excess out.
Four (4) skin on Chicken Thighs are placed in Chicken Stock (1 box), 1/2 stick butter, 1 vegetable bullion, 1/2 chopped sweet onion, Everyday seasoning to taste, Salt and Pepper. I placed 4 eggs in the liquid to boil at the same time, set timer for 20 minutes. I removed eggs and into a cold water bath, peeled and chipped the eggs and placed into cornbread mixture. Continue to cook until chicken is tender. Allow chicken to cool and cut into medium bite size pieces.
Before I added the chopped boiled eggs, I sautéd celery and onion in small amount of butter, added to cornbread mixture with a half sleeve of crushed saltines.
Onions and celery sautéing in butter and then mixed in with cornbread mixture.
This is when the chopped eggs are placed on top of the mixture and then it is gently mixed evenly. Once this is completed, seasonings of onion and garlic powder, everyday seasoning, salt and pepper, and a small amount of cayenne pepper. Next comes the pan fill.
The mixture is placed in pan and then the chicken broth from the stock pot is poured over to moisten the dressing. Pat small pieces of butter to help brown the top. Place in a 400 degree oven for 30-40 minutes but watch carefully the last 10 minutes to not over brown or dry dressing out.

While I bake the dressing, I placed the darker meat that is next to the bone of the thigh in a small saut’e pan with butter, some of the chipped boiled egg, and some of the stock broth. 2 Tbs. of flour and whipping cream in a jar and shake it up well. When the stock is bubbling, add the flour/cream mixture to the pan and stir until it combines with the stock. Also, I had added a big amount of black pepper for the enhanced flavor. I turned the temperature to low and allowed this to simmer for 30 minutes.

My husband said this gravy was as good or better than my giblet gravy on the holidays. I will remember to use the thigh meat as it is easier to acquire at the holidays than giblets.
This is the end product with the gravy on top of the dressing. It doesn’t get better than this in our neck of the woods or in reality our subdivision.

Take the cornbread out of the bag and bring dressing in at times other than holidays. This way was so much easier than what I have done in the past for the holidays and nothing was lost in taste but a lot of time was gained. I hope you enjoy it. Always remember, seasonings are up to you. More if you like it spicy or herbier, but keep it moist inside the toasty brown crust. Don’t forget to think ahead of what you can make from the dressing. I am thinking of fritters. Hmmm?

Until we cook again, Reinvention Queen keeps the food ideas alive even while I am making the original dish. How can I reinvent this one? What else can I make from this dish? That’s me and I will be back with another dish soon…Arline Miller.

(C) Copyright 2012-2022 Arline Miller of SippingCupsofInspiration and Reinvention Queen with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material/photos are sourced, if known, to original location/link/author for credit references.

Reinvention Queen Is Reinventing How We Cook

Today, instead of showing several reinventions of meals, I thought I would give my readers an insight on how I think in my kitchen. I never think of only one meal when I cook, but how I can reuse the ingredients or even the whole dish in a new way that it takes away the sting of eating “leftovers” but a new dish with different and/or additional ingredients. I am going to list out my reinvention thoughts when I begin to prepare a meal. The list will be broken down into food categories and it may give more insight than showing recipes after recipes. I will continue showing you reinvented meals but let’s start with how it helps from the get go. Here’s the list:

MEATS

  • Seafood
  • Beef
  • Chicken
  • Pork

Each category offers flexibility in multiple uses and we will review how to choose, prepare, and store. I use shrimp a lot in reinvented meals but salmon makes an excellent source for my reinvented dishes.

Seafood such as shrimp or salmon can be cooked in larger quantities than the first dish and stored until it is reinvented. I usually begin with grilled, sautéd, baked and I will prepare the seafood to have at least three meals from the initially cooked meat. I am aware you are thinking why not prepare as you need it. Most certainly, you can do this. Maybe, I am hesitant about the multiple preps and cooking time. It makes sense if I am grilling, grill three times the amount in one grilling event, rather than prep three times and grill three times. When we are really “lazy” we buy the freshly steamed shrimp from our supermarket and work from the larger amount we buy. Salmon is prepped the same way, more quantity is bought, prepped, and grilled either on the grill, the air fryer oven grill, or sometimes in a pan, but always more is prepped and cooked than our initial meal.

The first meal was steamed shrimp topped with my homemade cocktail sauce.
One of the three follow up meals was this delicious Shrimp ala Arline Pasta. The shrimp were added after the cooking and blending and placed on top and covered to allow the shrimp to come to the same temperature as the other ingredients without recooking.

Beef is a common reinvention meat that several dishes are made from the initial prep and cooking. I will make meatloaf and work from that initial dish and reinvent another dish using rice or noodles. I have used my leftover meatloaf to make the best burgers or have used the meat in the base for spaghetti or soup. Beef roast becomes the main ingredient for a sandwich with other ingredients. Maybe the thought behind my reinvention queen mentality is what else can I make from the meatloaf or roast. Build from the first meat dish and I will remove and/or replace some ingredients in the next dish such as potatoes and carrots from a roast and make a pot pie from those ingredients with a different meat, such as leftover baked or stewed chicken. Use your refrigerator as a cold pantry instead of only thinking how many times will my family keep eating leftover meatloaf or roast.

Chicken is one of my favorite reinvention meats. I grill, I bake, I stew, and then I store the extra. If any of you have learned to reinvent, I will say you probably use chicken more in the recreated meals than other meats. I have stewed a pot of chicken breasts or thighs, or even both. I will store what I am not making the first day but don’t put it past me to recreate a new meal from the first dish too. Let’s say I make chicken and noodles the first day. Let’s put our Reinvention Hats on and think what could I make from that initial chicken and noodles? What if I add a crust which can be a store bought crust and use leftover potatoes and carrots from a roast I spoke about in the beef section. Throw in a can of sweet garden peas, even a can of whole kernel corn, some chopped or sautéd onions, and make a chicken pot pie. I would process the noodles slightly to encourage a thickened filling. Add herbs and seasonings to make the pie the preferred taste. How simple can that be? What about taking the breasts and/or thighs and either make a bbq sauce or use a bottled one and wallah, you have bbq chicken in a few minutes. Or what if you chop the cooked chicken and make a great chicken salad, adding celery, mayo, grapes, nuts, and seasonings. The ideas go on and on. The key is in the beginning. Don’t cook a small amount, think of the quantity of three meals/dishes would require. Cook the meat at the same time and a good tip is to invest in quality sealing containers. Never leave the extra meat out, but store immediately as this will give you a freshly cooked meat.

Pork is another great reinvention meat. Ham, oh sweet ham can be a great reinvention queen ingredient. I bake or Greg smokes the ham and I don’t do anything in the beginning as we want the presentation for the first meal. Greg will take the ham pieces off the bone leaving enough meat for a great bean or greens cooking. I make a base from cooking the bone until the flavorful broth is formed. Sometimes, and this is where I think about what can come next. I store some of this ham broth for multiple flavorful dishes. Never use the broth for one reinvented meal, think three if possible. I then will use the ham for breakfast meals with eggs or omelets. Some of the ham pieces can be used for a ham pot pie, or flavoring a soup, sandwiches, and even use in dips, or like deviled ham salad. I think you see what I am plotting and planning when I prep that ham in the beginning. Pork chops are a gift from heaven as they can be grilled, baked, and/or fried. After they are cooked, they can be eaten of course, but if you make enough, you can store the extra, chop and use in Pork and Rice, sau’te some of the chopped pieces with a mustard base with sautéd onions and peppers or a great sandwich and/or even a salad. I can go on and on many other ideas, but now is the time for you to get creative yourselves.

I reinvented the blue cornmeal muffins into my Cornbread Layered Salad and used a lot of the veggies and sauces I refer as my pantry staples. Reinvent, and recreate is my motto!

As a true Reinvention Queen, I found stocking my pantry and refrigerator with what I call filler foods. Mushrooms fresh and canned, onions, garlic, herbs, peppers, cheeses, cream and buttermilk, seasoning bastes, vinegars, balsamic vinegars, seasoning salts, and dried herbs, honey, sugar, cream of whatever soups, broths vegetable and meat, vegetable bouillon as well as better than bouillon, bread crumbs and crackers to make crumbs, flour (I use White Lily) WL corn meal, and specialty mixes for quick breads, and BUTTER as well as EVOO, and even shortening. That is a short list but it helps to have it on hand instead of trying to make a list every time for each meal.

For some of my reinvention meals, Search on my home page search for Reinvention Queen and several blog posts should come up for you to go one on one with me in my world of reinvention. Use What You Have and a philosophy I believe is WASTE NOT, WANT NOT! Have fun, try new things. Mix it up and create your own dish. Until we reinvent again………..Arline Miller, Reinvention Queen 2022.

(C) Copyright 2012-2022 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration and Reinvention Queen with all rights and permission reserved. Third party materials, if known, are sourced to original location/author for credit reference.

Memorial Memories of Honoring The Fallen 2022

Today is Memorial Day 2022 and my heart is filled with love and gratitude for the fallen who sacrificed the ultimate gift to our freedom. I have included the poem and post in 2020 as it touches my heart even though it was my writing. Please join me in a salute and tribute to all of the fallen with respect for those who have served and for those serving now. We respect this day as the one chosen to honor the fallen.

Greg Miller of American Legion Post 21 with two of our grandsons who helped give out the flags to the big group of volunteers in preparation for Memorial Day. Thanks guys!

I was inspired to write a poem and I cried when I read the words I had written.

I don’t express this as an attempt for attention but I felt this one in my soul.

A Soldier’s Last Night

As I woke from a restful sleep, I began to wonder

How a lonely soldier felt about his chosen plight.

In the trenches, so far away from home, so somber.

Did he know the ultimate price he would pay tonight?

As he lay in the muddy hole which would be his last

His heart, did it pound or was he unusually calm?

Did he stay alert, did he pray, and that tear fall fast?

His silent cry, his grip tightened, only thoughts of harm.

Did he think about the protests and why he was here?

Or did he only try to overcome any temptation to run?

Did he find the urge to do his best and to hide any fear?

He may not have known his job on earth was done.

Did those hours before his end seem like a million years?

Was it true that one’s life does indeed flash before the eyes?

We may never know, only a brave soldier’s mind would veer.

We come to pay homage at the cold grave where he lies.

A small flag stands as a symbol of his ultimate sacrifice.

A cross may stand to remind us of his absence of life.

To you, the soldier who stood tall and paid the price

For Our Freedom, let us honor and recognize your strife.

Written by Arline Miller with homage and respect for all of

The Fallen and Gone but Never Forgotten.

Happy Memorial Day, May 25, 2020

This last Friday and Saturday were filled with my husband, Greg Miller, participating in the flag placement activity. He made me so proud of him for posting, calling, asking neighbors and businesses to donate flags to be placed on the graves at Oakridge Cemetery in advance for today’s celebration. Our neighbors, Lowes, and many other organizations, including American Legion, civic leaders and citizens donated and placed about 1400 flags. One of our neighbors, Ike Branch, was active in the placement event right along with Greg and about 40 dedicated participants.

How patriotic and gratitude filled event in Tifton.
Greg Miller, American Legion Member and Ike Branch, local clergyman and neighbor at the flag placement event.

An additional tribute and such a life lesson taught by Greg for and with our oldest grandsons, Abram, Jonas, and Nolan Miller on how to properly respect and depose of the existing flags taken from the cemetery. They readily filled the need to ready the flags for the retiring ceremony to be completed by local scout group. Respect is taught at an early age and continues throughout life.

Abram, Jonas, and Nolan Miller making sure the flags are properly dismantled and taken for the flag retirement ceremony by the Boy Scouts.

(C) Copyright 2012-2022 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material, including photos, are sourced to origination, if known, for credit reference.

RAMBLIN’ THOUGHTS, MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING

Sometimes, I find my thoughts rambling from either news events, personal occurrences, or then sometimes it is just plain rambling. I don’t make a lot of serious decisions during these times, but once in a while, what comes to my mind will linger and I will retrieve them while I can use them. I heard the term used in a negative meaning, “I think I am overthinking this.” Come with me this morning into Arline’s way of under-thinking.

Why does everything have to be life shattering these days?

What happened to funny times with friends and family?

Why is everything politicized?

Why did people quit fishing like we used to do?

What happened to family reunions and Sunday visits?

When did we stop seeing gray instead of all black and white?

When did almost naked women and men become the center of commercials?

Why does anything not matter any more or nothing matter so much?

source for photo (click on link)

If we don’t ask why, we can never understand anyone’s reasoning. If we don’t understand anyone’s reasoning for thinking a certain way, we can never have a reasonable conversation with the other person. (ALM 2022)

I am not sure why I love diving into a problem, see it from both sides or almost see everything from both sides as there are a few things and/or beliefs I don’t get, but after considering why the other person sees or feels the way they do, I may not agree with their thinking but I can understand how they came to their beliefs.

Life is sometimes a cesspool of thoughts, but if we remember the clean feeling that comes after a good shower or bath when we have gotten so muddy, we actually feel the mud has become a part of us. It is sticky and clings to every crevice we have.

I am not writing to give any credit to my way of thinking as it is only my way of thought processes. As I get older, I have learned to go deeper but with less stubbornness. I have learned to listen, even feel empathy, amazing I can feel sympathy easier. I have learned that listening is just that. Even listening to persuasive people, very intelligent people, professional people, savvy and interesting people, we have one thing in common…..Guess what that is? All of us have ears and can listen. Does it mean we have to agree with each one or all of them? Absolutely not, and if they feel we are required to agree or think like them, walk away. I feel I have grown wiser listening more and learning why I want to think for myself, but only after considering all sides, accepting that all others are not going to agree with my beliefs and thoughts. Whether their thinking is good or bad, the end product is it’s my choice, my mind, my life and I have no one to blame how it turns out but ME.

In closing on this subject, I want to say to each of you reading this blog. It is never my way or the highway. I love sharing thoughts, but they are only my thoughts and not meant to do anything else but open your thought process. I used to go 100 mph in both action and thoughts. I felt if you didn’t want to know how I felt about a subject, don’t ask. Times have changed, I find that less people want to talk with someone but rather, everyone seems to talk at each other and not listening. I heard that expression if God had wanted us to do more talking than listening, He would have given us two mouths instead of two ears. Right?

Today, I choose to find adventure whether it be in cooking something new, read something interesting, have a good conversation, stop and look at our tomatoes growing, check out our flowers/plants blooming, and yes, I will thank God for forgiving this ole stubborn gal for all those times I wasted on idle conversations talking at folks instead of really getting to know them by listening instead of gabbing. LIVE LIFE, LOVE LIFE, AND LIVE AND LOVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST BY LISTENING TO THE SOUNDS OF GOD MORE THAN THE CHATTER OF FOOLISH MEN AND WOMEN.

A-Z QUOTES, image courtesy of Neale Donald Walsch

Copyright 2012-2022 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration and Reinvention Queen with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material is sourced if known to original location/author for credit reference.

THE FALLEN SOLDIER, I WILL REMEMBER YOU

My Husband, Greg Miller proudly participates in his local American Legion to honor the fallen on Memorial Day. Ike Branch, pastor of the Church of the Nazarene lended his support.

TODAY THE WORDS are I SHALL REMEMBER YOU. This holiday especially, even though some of us still work on this day while others get to relax and enjoy celebration, is one for all of us, no matter where or what we do on this day, to take more than a few seconds and whisper to all fallen soldiers worldwide, not just America “I shall remember you”.

Photo courtesy of Google. Sacrifices have been made by so many.


I would like to step outside the USA boundaries and give us something to ponder on this Memorial Day. A soldier is a soldier! A soldier is also a son or daughter of parents and when they came into this world, the entire world lit up in the same parents eyes.

God sees beyond nationality, ethnicity, social circles, wealth or poverty, and God tells us to love all people. With this in mind, God doesn’t agree with mistreating others and does not agree with evil in any form, shape, or religion. This may cause confusion to many. When a soldier gets an order it is an order and he will fight, he will save lives, he will rescue and/or destroy. He is not carrying out his personal feelings sometimes but is being a true soldier. So many times, in the heat of the battle, opposing soldiers have found themselves in a predicament and did a valorous deed and actually assisted his “enemy”. What is hard for all of us to understand is that war is the enemy, not the actual soldier. What is harder to understand; the soldier has to and will respond to enemy fire or combat without seeing the soldier as a human being. War, in any form, is a tragedy for so many and cannot be taken lightly. If, we as God’s people, can figure out a way to avoid war and share love for all mankind; we can say, “I shall remember” and remember how we were able to lie down like that lamb and the lion together (technically not the way it is actually stated as you will see below) in God’s love.

Happy Memorial Day to all members of the military, family and friends of those who have sacrificed and paid the highest price so that we can look around today and enjoy God’s beauty and freedom to breathe a sigh of relief and peace.

FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:

Isaiah 11:6 King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)

The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.

(C) copyright 2012-2022 Arline Lott Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission. Third party material including photos are sourced to original location if known for credit references.

ACCEPTING YOURSELF TO ACCEPT OTHERS (2020 Post)

I have given this post a lot of thought. It seems we are struggling to accept others and this struggle has brought a lot of discord among all people. Politics have taken the place of parenting as we are persuaded to think this way or another. As children, our source of influence was simpler. We had parents who wanted us to behave in a certain way, respect or even disrespect according to how they felt, and our faith had a lot more to do with how they believed than a personal relationship with a Higher Power. Today, I look at the pros and cons of thinking on our own and finding ways of accepting ourselves in order for a better assessment of how we feel about others.

Let us begin with the quote from Lucille Ball:

Love Yourself First And Everything Else Falls İnto Line. You Really Have To Love Yourself To Get Anything Done İn This World.

How can we expect to love others with their imperfections if we do not accept our imperfections? How can we accept love from others when we are incapable of accepting self love?

I looked at this perception of love and I know this is the key to a more peaceful transition. This quote from John Spence is reflective of my thoughts:

Maybe if we get alone with ourselves, accept the good qualities we possess, as well as the imperfections which may be inherent or here’s a thought…We can work on ourselves first to improve our ability to co-exist with others if we obtain a peaceful environment about ourselves. I have assembled some questions to begin the contemplation of whether we truly love ourselves as a person:

Here are some thought provoking questions:

1- If I met someone exactly like myself, would I like them or would I find fault?

2-Could I carry on a conversation with me and find it interesting, boring, or antagonizing?

3-When I am alone, am I content or do I try to find alternate ways to avoid myself by eliminating alone time?

4-When looking in a mirror, do I look at myself realistically or do I imagine a different person staring back at me such as a younger, leaner, athletic, or a more contented person?

5-Do I value my thoughts and write down my thoughts or do I depend only on others written words?

6-Do I share my thoughts or creative ideas on how to do something with others or offer to teach things I know how to do well?

7- Do I always find myself in contradiction to surroundings, events, news, books, movies, etc.?

8-Can I compliment myself when I exhibit good qualities or do I shy away from personal achievement or recognition?

9-Do I see my life as a success, even with occasional set backs or do I feel like a failure?

10-Can I express love for myself to do the following instructions as expressed by Dr. Steve Maraboli?

This self evaluation is necessary for us to be fair in how we accept others. It would be impossible to accept others if we cannot accept ourselves. We, as well as others, will never be perfect. Imperfection is a part of love, self and expressing love to and for others. In life, the average looking girl can be happier than a homecoming queen sometimes. The reasoning is the bar was never pushed so high for the average girl but so high for the homecoming queen that maintaining happiness is not sustainable as time and wrinkles come. Live in reality, love the uniqueness of each individual by initially accepting yourself.

(C) Copyright 2012 -2022 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration with all rights reserved and to be used with permission. Third party material is sourced to original location if known for credit references.

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