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Reinvention Queen Meets the Meat…Meatloaf that is!

In this time when prices are high, we can get creative and try our hands at reinventing our meals/ingredients and stretch that frail dollar. I can eat leftovers if I reinvent them to “fool” me into thinking it’s not the same old same old. This week I had my creative fun making a great meatloaf into three meals and all three were excellent.

First, I love meatloaf and I have posted my meatloaf recipe several times and I am smiling as I just throw it together and don’t have a recipe per se.

Arline’s Meatloaf

2 lbs of ground chuck
1/2 Onion chopped
2 eggs
1/2 cup Carnation Evaporated Milk
2-3 slices crumbled bread or hamburger buns
2 T. Minced Onions
1 T. Worcestershire Sauce
1 splash hot sauce
1/3- 1/2 cup Catsup
1 heaping T. Bone Sucking Mustard (or substitute spicy brown mustard
1 T. onion salt
1 -2 T. Everyday Seasoning
Sea Salt and Pepper

Mix meat, onion, eggs, milk, and crumbled bread with seasonings listed in bowl until completing mixed together and make two loaves.Sprinkle Panko crumbs on top of loaves.Place in foiled casserole and top with onion slices and bell peppers and add catsup lines before placing in oven 375 degrees for 1 hour.

Meatloaf ready to be eaten with veggies, potatoes or by itself. What’s next?

Here is how I reinvent the humble but delicious meatloaf.

First, we make meatloaf sandwiches. I will admit I didn’t take this picture so we will give credit to https://www.meatloafandmelodrama.com/the-best-leftover-meatloaf-sandwich/

Our sandwiches looks so similar and it is a free meal to us. I usually slice or just warm a portion of the loaf in the microwave, but you can warm in a pan on top of the stove or air fryer. We cut a good slice, add whatever we want on ours and will use soft white bread or toast whatever bread is available. If you are counting, this is meal #2 of the same meatloaf. Also, a meatloaf sandwich gives the meatloaf a totally different taste by whatever condiments/relishes you add.

What is better than a spaghetti made from meatloaf? Have you tried it? I thought why not. I have made the vintage School Cafeteria Spaghetti and that was a hit with us. I wondered looking at that beautiful meatloaf and thought to myself, Why Not? Here is the third meal which was over the top good and took such a short time to prepare it that this idea will be a part of the reinvention process when I make the next meatloaf.

In a sprayed pan, I placed some spaghetti sauce from a jar after crumbling the meatloaf, adding a pkg of dried spaghetti sauce mix, a pkg of Italian Seasoning mix, and the rest of the spaghetti sauce as shown in the picture.

I cooked some thin spaghetti until al dente and placed over the meat mixture. I mixed the spaghetti and meat together and then added the cheeses I had freshly grated. The cheese is your choice. I used Monterey Jack and Sharp Cheddar Cheeses and they worked great, but it’s because I had them in my refrigerator. I baked them in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes but anywhere from 20-30 minutes is okay. This is a great way to have spaghetti without the fuss. You have already done most of the work making the meatloaf so why do a lot more. Waste Not; Want Not!

I wanted to give you even more hints on how to keep reinventing meatloaf especially if you find the beef on sale and make a large double meatloaf like I always make. Here’s a list:

  • Stuffed Bell Peppers by mixing the crumbled meatloaf with the other ingredients and stuffing in the prepared peppers.
  • Make soup easier by adding crumbled meatloaf .
  • Believe it or not….Tacos….Crumble meatloaf and add a packet of Taco Seasoning and make tacos so easy. It totally changes the flavor but adds another level.
  • Stir fry by adding Italian Sausage and vegetables. The added flavor of the meatloaf enhances the other ingredients.
  • Create your own reinvented meatloaf as I intentionally left some of my ideas off so you can figure them out.

Have fun, and we will reinvent more dishes in the near future. I have a lot of Reinvention Queen ideas already on the blog so go to Search menu on right and type in Reinvention Queen and have an adventure with food.

(C) Copyright 2012-2023 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 references.

SWEETS AND SWEET FAMILY TIME

I thought I would double up on the blog and share one of my recipes I created and my family time. This past weekend, we combined both and it was so sweet. Due to so many health issues, work related tasks, and also the confinement atmosphere due to the economy and the COVID reoccurrences, our family time has been limited to the extreme. After a lot of thought and contemplation, we agreed it was time for my sister, my daughter, my husband, and my sister’s great granddaughter to gather at our house and do some cooking, laughter, outings, and good ole talks. Of course GA DAWGS played and we mixed yelling and catching up at the same time.

First, all of you have learned how close my daughter is to me and her stepdad. We share a lot of weekends now that she is closer in proximity. She and I love to cook both separately and together with created dishes that we create. This weekend we took different tasks and then put them together at our house with our guests. On the first day, Saturday, we went out for lunch, seafood at a local restaurant Charles’s Seafood, been here forever but still great food. Since the DAWGS played at 3:30 pm, we chose to eat out and get back to the house to cheer them on to victory. Pizza was delivered later that day with dessert available with ice cream for anyone who had an inch left in their tummies Next, I will go over the dessert recipe I created for a fall treat (or it could be great for any time of the year)

Here is our Pecan Apple Streusel with my recipe to follow. It was a winning dessert.

Top this wonderful fall dessert with some delicious ice cream and the guests will love you even more.

Our family visit was long overdue and we made the most of it. Before they came, I invited God to join us and it seemed we were blessed with the most joy and love we could have experienced.

To add to our fun all of the fur babies including Luna who spotted our uninvited little guests who put on a show for all of us in the backyard. You will see in the next couple of pictures who they were.

You have to look close but two young frisky squirrels were above Luna and she was on point. They played, almost like they were teasing her. Quite the show!

This was a close encounter as Luna was ready and all of us worried about both the squirrel and Luna.

Now for our Sunday dinner, with Missy making her awesome fresh garlic bread and her deviled eggs. I made a chef’s salad with ham and mozzarella cheese, black olives, pickled banana peppers, iceberg lettuce, and of course Thousand Island Dressing. For the main course, I made Lemon Garlic Peppery Pasta. Here is a summary of how it was made:

Our Sunday lunch which as my sister said was Better than Good!

Lemon Garlic Peppery Pasta

1 pkg. Spaghetti or other type of preferred pasta cooked in large pot with oil and salt

1 cup Pasta water (save from spaghetti pot)

Drain spaghetti after retaining pasta water. Allow to properly drain.

3/4 – 1 stick butter melted in large saucepan

1 1/2 T. freshly ground black pepper (I covered the bottom with pepper I ground)

Lemon zest from 1 lemon and the juice from that lemon

Freshly roasted garlic 4 cloves or as much as you like to taste.

1/4 cup chopped chives.

Salt and pepper to taste (I added a little more pepper at the end)

1 1/2 cups Picaroni cheese hand grated from a block

3/4 – 1 cup Parmesan Romano Cheese (freshly grated is best).

In a flat sauce pan, I melted butter with black pepper. Once I blended this together, I added the garlic, lemon juice and zest, and 1/2 cup pasta water. I allowed this to blend and added cheeses. Once this combines into a sauce, I added the chives and the spaghetti. I gauged the sauce and added about 1/4 cup more pasta water. It is done at this point so turn off the burner. Allow to sit for a few minutes before serving. Sprinkle with more Parmesan and chives if desired. Bon Appetit!

My daughter and “my personal chef”Missy Haas, Makenzie Hester, Arline (me), and my sister, Juanelle Fussell. It was a great gathering. My husband was taking the photo, so next photo is Greg.
Greg Miller, my husband sporting his GA Bulldog shirt. Go DAWGS, we cheered you on to victory.

I hope you enjoyed our visit and recipes. One more joyful moment. Later, after Missy, Juanelle and Makenzie had gone, we were blessed again to have Cory, Teddie, Nolan, Mason, and Rubie Miller, more of our great family drop in because the youngest granddaughter kept telling them she wanted Nana. For those of you who have grandchildren know how they will fixate on one name when they are little. Nana made Rubie’s list and I am loving it. Granddaddy kids her but she was sharing a lot of love. They enjoyed Missy’s deviled eggs and then on to the dessert. It was happiness all over again. Mason showed me her pierced earrings and I told Nolan how everyone thought our German Chocolate cake we made was a big hit too. Great times for all of us and that brings me to my final thoughts.

When things try to get in the way of family times, and it seems you will not get to share times with your loved ones…..Stop and make time! It is never going to be easy to fit in time, but it is healthy for your soul and heart. It’s those smiles and laughter that keep us going and loving so fill ’em up and plan for the next visit. Live Life, Love Life, and Live and Love Life by Filling Your Days with Love and Family!

Reinvention Queen Revisits Potatoes

The following post was from almost a year ago and I decided that it is getting that time again for thinking of chowders, oyster stew, soups and chilis so what better way but to revisit this idea. Look for the other ideas for reinventing our normal foods into a new dish. Here is how I expanded some great potatoes into a delicious c

Yesterday, we were the recipients of one of my husband’s long time friend, David Fletcher who is an avid gardener, first bounty freshly dug new potatoes and awesome fresh garden grown onions. I was over the moon with the sight of the vegetables and I washed them off and thought of my childhood. Before I share both of my dishes, I thought I would reminisce a little.

When we were little, times were not easy but they were good. I don’t have a memory of a horrible childhood but rather a time much simpler than all the craziness in the world. We had neighborhood playmates and if we could be called a gang, it was an innocent one, and we now call ourselves the Willow Street Gang. One of those neighbors is smiling if he is reading this, as Duane Tucker and I jokingly refer to our days on that little street in my hometown of Douglas GA. Now, for the background story of the new potatoes or potatoes in general. To say our Mother could stretch a dollar for a mile, would be to insult that crafty lady. How she could make a meal out of almost no cost is still a mystery but one I remembered after I became an adult.

We may not have had a bounty of food but she always had just enough to feed us all. There were four children and two adults and one can of salmon would feed us and we left full. A mess of potatoes and we had the creamiest, tastiest, and filling meal. She would make bread to go along with it and sometimes if a neighbor had surplus and we got vegetables, oh yeah, we ate well. As I stated, she could make enough for us growing children to leave the table satisfied. When I made the fresh new potatoes, I was smiling while cooking them. Now, let’s move on to how I made two meals from this yumminess.

A large pot of stewed new potatoes with so much flavor.

Arline’s Stewed Potatoes:

  • Approximately 2-3 lbs of potatoes (new for me but regular russet potatoes can be used)
  • 1 large onion preferably sweet Vidalia or similar sweet garden variety chopped
  • 1 large box chicken or vegetable broth (chicken used)
  • 1 stick of salted butter
  • Mixture of garden herbs with more dill than others
  • 3 Tablespoons of Flour (either type, SR or AP)
  • 3/4 cup – 1 cup Heavy Cream or Half and Half Cream
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 T Onion Powder

Scrub potatoes and cube into large bite size pieces. Place them into large pot with the broth. You can use some water in addition to broth if you need to fill to above potatoes. Add butter cut into cubes with crushed or finely chopped herbs as stated above. Cook until potatoes become fork tender on medium heat.

In a small cup, place some of the broth and flour and whisk until flour is dissolved. Add to pot and mix together. Add cream to potato broth with salt and pepper and onion powder and turn on low heat. Cook until they are very tender. Turn heat off and let the potatoes soak up some of the thickened liquid. (Tip: If liquid is not thickened enough, you can add a small amount of corn starch or mix small amount of flour to thicken to a sauce of richness.

These were so delicious that I almost didn’t make the next dish from the leftovers but I couldn’t resist the reinvention from them to the easiest clam chowder I have made. I made my simple but you can go wild with carrots, celery, whole kernel corn and use canned clams. The possibilities are endless but this one was put together in a couple of minutes with the biggest task of opening cans.

Reinvention Step of Enhancing Stewed Potatoes into Clam Chowder in Five Minutes.

To the pot of new potatoes, I opened three cans of Bar Harbor New England Clam Chowder but may I say, there are numerous brands of canned great chowders on grocery shelves so I used what was in my pantry. I added some celery seeds, garlic salt, mushroom seasonings, oyster sauce, and some Old Bay Seasoning to pump up the chowder flavorings. This I leave to all of you fine cooks, use your creativity. You can make it spicy and/or hot, but I go the middle of the road.

In a few minutes, I have a new meal so that it doesn’t reflect leftovers. This morning, I will return the chowder to the stove top and cook it very low and slow for all of the flavors to blend and when it is lunchtime, it will be Chowder Time at Millerville. All of this done with very little effort.

Here is the clam chowder complete with grated white cheddar cheese.
I seared some scallops marinated in buttermilk and herbs galore and seared them in a hot skillet with butter, grape-seed oil, soy sauce and oyster sauce. I made a roulade sauce. Definitely a delicious accompaniment to the chowder!

Until We Cook Again……Happy Meals……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 if used and original location and author are known, it will be sourced for credit reference.

REINVENTION QUEEN “HAMS” IT UP

I posted the following blog post about a year ago. Since that time, I have baked more ham, froze the bone with meat, and used them to season cabbage, greens, beans, soups, and I thought that it is a good mental reminder to think of ways to continue make the most of meats that we cook. I am adding a list of ideas of how to use leftover ham before the original post:

  • SUGGESTIONS FOR LEFTOVER HAM
  • Leftover Ham Salad
  • Ham and Bean Soup
  • Leftover Ham & Leek Pies
  • Baked Ham and Penne Pasta
  • Ham and Cheese Croissant Casserole
  • Ham and Cheese Hot Pockets
  • Scalloped Potatoes and Ham
  • Leftover Ham and Cheese Pizza
  • Ham Hash
  • Glazed Ham Hash Loaf
  • Leftover Ham Breakfast Sandwich
  • Ham and Cheese Grits Casserole
  • Ham and Pineapple Rice
  • Ham and Potato Casserole
  • Ham Pot Pie Soup
  • Leftover Ham and Cheese Biscuits
  • Leftover Ham Chowder
  • Leftover Ham Sandwich
  • Split Pea Soup
  • Ham and Cheese Sliders
  • Leftover Ham and Potato Soup
  • Ham and Spinach Casserole
  • Leftover Ham and Cheese Scones
  • Ham and Cheese Breakfast Muffins
  • Leftover Ham and Cheese Frittata
  • Waffles with Leftover Ham
  • Ham and Cheese Pinwheels
  • Ham and Cheese Bread Pudding
  • Leftover Ham Pasta
  • Monte Cristo Sandwich

For the recipes for all of those listed above please visit the following link to find out how delicious these recipes can be: https://insanelygoodrecipes.com/leftover-ham-recipes/

Last weekend I informed my husband I was craving an oven baked ham like I used to do before the days of the wonderful smoker prepared hams he does so well. I have to say I have enjoyed the past few years with Greg smoking the turkey and ham which gave me the room in the oven and the time it took. But like they say, you can take the girl out of the country but you can’t take the country out of the girl. I think the same goes as you can take the cook out of the kitchen but you can’t take the kitchen out of the cook. Yep, I was craving it and you may have figured something out about me, I will not be denied. As I was baking this wonderful and best smelling ham, my mind was already going to making all of the extra meals.

This is what we were craving ….juicy, flavorful, and just right!
The picture of my ham after it was glazed with a pork dry rub, dijon mustard, whole grain mustard, honey, brown sugar, everyday seasoning, coca cola at the end but mixed in glaze as well.
The first meal and the one we had craved was Ham Sammies with the softest bread we could find along with mayo and salt and pepper. I tell you it was over the chart yummy.
Foil is important and you do see it but I tent the top with foil and seal the sides while it bakes, It keeps the flavor and allows the meat to tenderize while baking. I baked this ham at 325 degrees all day with the last two hours at 300 degrees. I kept it foiled and it turned this gorgeous color.
I like to score the ham to thoroughly cook with the basting glaze seeping into the meat further enhancing the flavor.
I can’t even express the flavor this ham brought to our kitchen. If you consider how many ways you can use this ham, it becomes economical even in these high food cost days we are in.
I use the ham bone in the first meal I make after baking the ham but I have frozen the bone with some yummy ham attached for soup later.
The ketchup is purely for me and something my Dad taught me. The ham pieces flavor any kind of beans and black eyed peas too.
One of the favorite Reinvention Queen is to season fresh or even frozen greens with my ham pieces. Blanch the greens first and all bitterness will leave.

The pictures show several ways to use a baked ham. As someone who doesn’t like to waste any food, I will share a list of selections of how I will use leftover ham. I start thinking of what meals I use the meat at the onset of preparing it.

  • How to use a baked ham for many meals without getting tired of it:
  • Ham and rice (cook the rice in some broth with the ham pieces). Add garden peas and carrots or celery for flavor.
  • Ham and stewed potatoes (Stew potatoes with onions and add ham pieces to enhance the potatoes) You can add vegetables but I prefer the ham and potatoes.
  • Make a ham crusted pie. Use a bag of frozen vegetables thawed and a can of cream of celery or mushroom thinned with some heavy cream. Add cubed ham and mix with salt and pepper, garlic salt if you like, place in a frozen pie crust that you can bake but not brown and cover with another pie crust. Bake at temperature on pie crust package.
  • Breakfast suggestion: Slice ham and place in hot skillet to fry slightly and use in biscuits with fried or scrambled eggs. The slightly browning will make a great taste change from baked ham.
  • Cube ham pieces and add to soups. You can freeze the cubes and conveniently add to so many dishes as needed.

I could keep listing meal suggestions but you can use your own ideas once the creative juices begin to flow like the ham juices that come from making your own. I love fast and easy preparation but taking some time and preparing the foundation foods are worth every minute. Thanks for allowing me to share my ham ideas with you. It is great the first meal, fantastic the second round, and even more wonderful when you can freeze some for the next time you crave some old fashioned, slow baked ham by thawing it out and not even having to cook dinner. Until We Cook Again…..Happy Meals from Arline Miller, the 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 to original location and author if known for credit references.

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.

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 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.

STAKING MY REPUTATION ON AIR FRIED GRILLED STEAK

I have promised my readers/followers that as I test out different dishes/meals in my Power XL Air Fryer Grill Oven 7 n 1 appliance, I would update you on the good and the bad (if any) results and I am excited to tell you that one of my concerns was grilling a steak. It is so pricey these days to purchase beef of any kind but steaks are so costly, that a chance of failure was highly stressful.

Here is how I prepared steaks for us yesterday with the most favorable results, better than I could have imagined, and even my grill master husband Greg said they were excellent and so tender.

We started with good steaks and seasoned with my husband’s blend of salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Before we placed them in our Power XL 7 n 1 Air Fryer Grill Oven, we used the tenderizer which works wonders. Then after they had time to mellow, we placed them on the grill pan in the bottom slot. I splashed a few small dashes of Liquid Smoke to add that outdoor taste. I set it on 400 degrees, Grill feature, time was set past 20 minutes (oh yes, I preheated for 5 minutes prior to inserting steaks.)

The next thing was I had made garlic butter by processing room temperature butter, 2 heaping teaspoons of minced garlic and a dash of onion salt. I added 2 tsps of dried parsley. This was awesome and I smeared some on the steaks after they began grilling. We also used a pat of this garlic butter on top of the grilled steaks. Yummy!

I don’t know about you but these are perfectly medium rare steaks. The first time was 5 minutes on Grill, Flipped them and set timer for 3 minutes, changed the setting to Broil for 3 minutes, and wallah, perfect steaks without cranking up the grill and dealing with rainy cold weather.

We let the steaks rest for about 5 minutes and then plated with some macaroni salad as well as a small green salad. Easy breezy. No condiments needed and we discovered a great way to use our Power XL Oven. BTW, next time I grill pork chops, I will follow the same procedure.

Here is our grilled steak and I hope you will try this method as the clean up was as easy breezy as the grilling. Grill marks on a tender delicious steak. Don’t forget the Liquid Smoke and the Garlic Butter. The knife glided through the steak and that is all I needed to see.

Please remember you can do the sides in the Air Fryer as well like a perfect baked potato or fries. Veggies can be air fried/grilled easily too. I have a lot of recipes on my Pinterest board for your viewing and pinning.

I hope you will try many recipes and feel free to let me know how they turn out. I want to try the Bang Bang Salmon soon….Until We Power Up Again….Happy Meals to You…..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 original location/author for credit reference.

Reinvention Queen Sails into Fried Shrimp Salad

As I promised, here is one of the dishes I make from my bounty of those yummy fried shrimp from yesterday’s post. My Power Air Fryer Oven comes into play warming up the shrimp and keep that crunch without taking away their freshness. This made a scrumptious lunch with a totally different presentation and look. Let’s see how simple having the shrimp ready helped in preparing lunch.

Finished Shrimp Po Boy Arline Style
Here is my Remoulade Shrimp Sauce and how I made it early to allow the flavors to marry.

Shrimp Po Boy Sauce

Horseradish 1 tablespoon

Mayo 1/4 cup

Dijon mustard 1 tablespoon

Jalapeño mustard 1 teaspoon

Tartar sauce 2 tablespoons

Remoulade sauce 1/4 cup

1 tsp. lemon juice

Grated onion 1/4

Garlic herb seasoning Sprinkle

Salt and pepper to taste

Worcestershire sauce Sprinkle

Fish sauce 2 drops

Mix all ingredients together and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Amounts shown in this recipe are guesses as I don’t measure so you can adjust them to your taste buds. This sauce is used to spread on toasted buns or can be used as a condiment on shrimp, oysters, and scallops. 

Some of the ingredients for topping the sandwich.

Toast the bread (You can use many kinds of buns so that selection is up to you. The bakery/deli buns were split prior to toasting or you can choose not to toast. We love ours toasted but I have eaten Po Boys not toasted and they were good too.

Buns split and ready for toasting. Soft butter spread on these for that buttery taste. You can get creative and add some garlic/herbs to the buns but I chose buttery taste.
I use my large oversize non stick frying pan to place all of them in for toasting and on high heat while standing there and watching them carefully as this goes fast.

At this time, I have removed the sauce from the refrigerator and assembled the condiments and veggies. A tip that might come in handy is how I place the onions in my mini food processor for a grated ingredient which is not in your face oniony. You can chop the onions as well but I do this for the onions I add into the Remoulade sauce and for toppers.

My husband doesn’t want tomatoes on his so the assembly is by taste choices.
Fresh herbs are the secret ingredient to lift this wonderful sandwich to the next level and I cut fresh dill weed and chives. These were spread on top of the Remoulade Shrimp Sauce and shrimp were placed on top of the herbs. Great taste combo.
By using the Power Air Fryer Oven, the shrimp tasted freshly fried and remained so crispy. Awesome way to reinvent leftover fried shrimp.

Reinventing food is very simple and the secret is to think about cooking enough, varying the presentation and taste, and enjoying the idea you do not have to live in the kitchen to eat Restaurant Worthy foods any day of the week.

Greg grilled some tender and delicious flank steak and you know us, he made enough for another meal so tonight will be surf and turf with a copy cat sauce from a restaurant on St. Simons Island Ga mixed in a salad with the remainder of the shrimp to go with our steak. If you are counting, this will be three (3) meals.

One side note: Don’t forget the Pickle Juice Slaw as it will be reinvented with some beefy hot dogs for a fast lunch. Until We Cook Again….Happy Meals…..Reinvention Queen, Arline Miller

(C) Copyright 2012-2021 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material is sourced if known to original location and author for credit reference.

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