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SPRING WILL BRING NEW THINGS!

After so many posts and many years (2012 began this adventure), I have decided to revamp the blog in June 2023. It will be focused on a blog which will feature Reinvention Queen Ideas, collaborative blog messages with my talented daughter when we take on the kitchen with our diversified cooking and baking talents to come up with the creative dishes and meals. Also, I will maintain my inspirational blogs from all of these years because I see many of my readers visiting the library and pulling up “My Life As a Dumpling” or similar posts. Those posts will be there for you to access.

I want the blog to be more focused but entertaining but always informative and helpful to the many worldwide readers. In this interim before the new and improved version makes its appearance, I will be gaining information on how to develop partnerships and collaborations for the future. I hope to have guest bloggers as well as we move through topic blogs to enhance your experience as a loyal reader and follower.

I am so excited about the future and to brainstorm with my daughter on those times we get it going on and make the kitchen come alive with a mixture of Southern cooking as well as her healthy versions like her collard greens….they ain’t your Mama’s collard greens….But Oh So Good.

Look out, Missy and I love to cook with “A Little of This and A Lot of That”.

To give you a little hint, I recently made the best Southern Potato Salad and wondered how to make it last longer and taste just like I made it.

Keep visiting the blog, we will keep you updated as we move into the new version of Sipping Cups of Inspiration. Until We Blog Again, Arline Miller.

(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 reference.

IF YOU COULD CREATE A PERFECT DAY, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

In most of our lives, we are conditioned to do what is laid out for us. If we work, we normally do basically the same for at least 5 -6 days. We develop routines, what time we wake up, what are our preparation regiments to get ready for work, what we eat or don’t eat prior to leaving. If you wrote down your routine for a week, you would find very little variance as we are mostly creatures of habit. In this blog message, I am going to take your mind out of this routine as it is beyond any of our control but how life determines what and when we do certain tasks. Let’s go down the creative and imaginative path for a detour.

Perfect Day for My Daughter and Her Dad. Outdoors and on Horseback.

First, let’s take work out of the equation so today is a free from work day. What would you do with your time? I made a list of questions to start the creative juices flowing:

  • What are things/hobbies/tasks you love to do? Try making a list of those items for us to review later in the blog.
    • I will start the thought process as I love to bake and cook. I love to write both poetry and books (I actually wrote three novels which I am proud that I didn’t quit and all of my author friends appreciate the effort behind this undertaking). I love to decorate and make florals. I love family and family gatherings and even though the pandemic has placed a dampening on those times, I am ready for this to resume soon. I love some travel but I am not a Traveling Mac for sure so this is a back step priority if you know what I mean.

Second, let’s actually delete things/events we don’t like to do:

  • I don’t like organizing but I love organized cabinets, closets, and drawers. I don’t enjoy lectures, some concerts, or outdoor activities. I don’t like to shop and/or browse. I never have; I probably never will. Yard sales don’t appeal to me at all. The next one will probably surprise you but I don’t like reading books. Ouch, as an author, this sounds ironic. For you to understand my unwillingness to sit and be still long enough to read a lengthy book, it has to be fast action, lots of twists and turns, mystery I feel I can solve quickly, and I have to have a page turner so that I finish it in a flash. That’s me, so what are your dislikes? I ask you to list your likes as well as your dislikes for a reason.

Third, let’s compare what you like and dislike as these lists will define your personality and from here we can move in our imaginary world for a day. If you have listed outdoor activities primarily as what you love, you may want to consider your perfect day doing one or more of outdoor trips, activities, and/or hobbies. If you love traveling, lots of people do, you may on your perfect day plan a trip and include the destination to provide this type of entertainment pleasure. If you love to shop, design a day around shopping and if you are a connoisseur of good restaurants, plan to eat at one of your favorites as an enhancement to your shopping experience.

I think you are moving into the creative realm, imagining what makes you happy and what you would avoid if you had the opportunity to choose. By opening your mind to the perfect day, you can tolerate the routine days much better by planning good activities and keeping your mind in a positive light. Even though you may not be able to actually have a perfect day, you will benefit from going through the mental exercise of planning the perfect day. Dream and the dream may come true. Plan and save for that perfect day as that becomes a precedent of organizing your thoughts, your budget, and your attitude. I wanted to give you some food for thought. Self help and building positive goals and seeing dreams come to reality are the best tools available.

Now for the deeper thought: It is great to dream and I am a realistic dreamer. I see Yes and I don’t see a lot of No’s. What I trust in is a strong faith in My Maker and Creator as God placed the creative side in me but He also placed the ability to realize the work and effort to make those dreams become a reality. Let’s Get Creative and Use those God Given Talents to Live Life; Love Life; and Live Life to the Fullest by Creating a Loving Environment.

(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 location and author for credit reference.

SIPPING CUPS OF INSPIRATION NEEDS YOUR HELP/DONATION

First, have you enjoyed the blog this year and want to see more of it in 2023? If so, please go to the Donation Page at the top menu bar. Whatever amount you can donate to keep the blog going since it takes funds to pay for the expenses, not revenue. I will have to pay publishing costs and I need the readers to pitch in instead of me having to charge for subscriptions.

Christmas is the time for giving and I hate to ask and I had hoped clicks on the ads would suffice to take care of the publishing costs. If you can’t, I understand but at the same time I would hope you would understand if I can’t continue paying all of the expenses to give others inspiration.

Have a Happy New Year with a Merry Christmas to All!

Thanks, from my heart and your wallet, Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration.

WHY OR WHY NOT, FRUITCAKE?

This year and for several years, it seems the world has become fruitier than a fruitcake, with so many changes in our lives I thought I would buy a small fruitcake and I know what most of you are thinking….Why even buy fruitcake? I thought about this possible reaction. I happen to be one who loves fruitcake and I try to be flexible in all the topsy-turvy world, still holding to my personal value and being true to myself. Whether you love or hate fruitcake, try to see humor in all the nutty, fruit filled days in 2023. It’s coming soon to your neighborhood.

NOTE FROM ARLINE: Merry Christmas to All and I decided to bake an Orange Slice Cake instead of the fruit cake to hope 2021 will be a better year. I wish you and your family a safe and prosperous New Year as well.

I watched a video from Cooking with Brenda Gantt who showed us how to make this cake. For the recipe go to Cooking with Brenda Gantt on Facebook. Be sure to follow her as she is a talented cook and great spirit.

FRUITCAKE SEEMS TO FIT THIS YEAR with all of the craziness going on in our country and our world. It seems the entire human race has become fruity and early this morning this inspiration came to me. It may seem satirical but I am known to be a little brassy and sassy and even a little fruity so let’s bite right into this subject.

When we were little, the Christmas Fruit Cake was a great treat for us so I have never understood the adversity to the fruit. We would have to wait after Momma baked her fruitcake, packed it with sliced apples, and wrapped it in cloth (later became foil). It seemed like the longest days before that luscious smell in the oven to actually getting a piece. We all stood round when she finally cut into it for her approval of her baking skills. She would say, “This is a good one or “We need to let it mellow longer” which was not the news we wanted to hear. Even if she was going to let it sit as she called the time we were waiting, she would give us a sample. Keep these words in mind as I move through this thought process. I will refer to this time again.

Momma’s Fruitcake

1 lb. Candied Pineapple                                    1 cup Self-Rising Flour

1 lb. Candied Cherries                                       1 cup Plain Flour

6 cups Pecans                                                       1 t. each vanilla & lemon extract

1 cup sugar                                                            1 cup chopped dates               

1/2 lb. margarine melted (butter for me)    1 cup golden raisins

5 large eggs

1 can Angel Flake Coconut

Chop fruit and nuts in large container. Pour coconut, sugar, flavoring, and beaten eggs over fruit. Add melted butter and mix. Add flours over mixture and mix until wet. Bake in lined pan (Momma used wax paper but modern times have other options) at 275 degrees for 2 1/2 hours. 

Note: No mention of the apple slices placed on top of cake and wrapped. To be kept unopened for several days until it becomes moist.

History of the Fruitcake

A traditional Easter Simnel cake

The earliest recipe from ancient Rome lists pomegranate seeds, pine nuts, and raisins that were mixed into barley mash. In the Middle Ageshoneyspices, and preserved fruits were added.[citation needed]

Fruitcakes soon proliferated all over Europe. Recipes varied greatly in different countries throughout the ages, depending on the available ingredients as well as (in some instances) church regulations forbidding the use of butter, regarding the observance of fastPope Innocent VIII (1432–1492) finally granted the use of butter, in a written permission known as the ‘Butter Letter’ or Butterbrief in 1490, giving permission to Saxony to use milk and butter in the Stollenfruitcakes.[2]

Starting in the 16th century, sugar from the American Colonies (and the discovery that high concentrations of sugar could preserve fruits) created an excess of candied fruit, thus making fruitcakes more affordable and popular.[3]

Here is what I perceive has been going on in our lives and how fruity we have become.

  • We want things in life to be “sweet” even if it goes against any healthy reasoning or moral values, manners, or traditions and we are asking people to accept anything that has that “sugary” feeling.
  • We see videos over and over on the cat-dog, pig-dog, cats-horses, etc and we want to believe that all animals accept all animals can live in harmony and on the surface, it seems so beautiful but nature is nature and we have to stop and consider the safety of each species. It is not a given that all creatures get along and we have to consider the rule of nature and take precautions to prevent injury to either one.
  • Some people just don’t like fruitcake. I personally love it but have to eat a small piece now for health reasons but I have seen so many people go “Ugh! How do you eat fruitcake? I can’t stand it.”

For all of you who want more of Fruitcake Trivia, I found an interesting article that is too lengthy for me to add in this blog. Here is the link to the article

15 Fun Facts About Fruitcake

Click on the link above to take you to the article for your reading pleasure.

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This brings me to my focus of this message.

No matter how much you blend, chop, mix, and/or bake, some people are never going to like fruitcake and that my friends is society in a fruitcake. You can preach, beg, threaten, or try to convince people and if they don’t like it, they don’t like it. We need to stop saying we believe in inclusion and acceptance and then tell the others they can’t say this or they can’t say that. That is not acceptance……that is bullying! We all have preferences and some like fruitcake and others prefer pound cake or pie or neither. My point is that even though I personally like fruitcake, I can understand others not liking it. I can see their side and accept that side. I don’t however, feel I have a right to push fruitcake on them. I personally don’t like raspberries very much so I would prefer someone understanding my dislike. I wouldn’t have a problem with others eating raspberries and I think this is the true meaning of inclusion and acceptance. In our society, we could benefit from agreeing to disagreeing but never demanding that the other one has to say “I love fruitcake” when they don’t. Get my drift?

As I promised to return to the period of “curing” time for Momma’s fruitcake and it contains a wonderful lesson in life. Thank you Mom! Here is my interpretation: Mom’s cake would have been good when she took it out of the oven. As children, we would have gobbled it up immediately but Momma was wise and knew it needed that quiet time, that curing time, that sweetening time. Waiting while it matured in flavor, we were impatient and wanted what we wanted right then but the lesson we were taught was the following:

“Anything worth having or accomplishing is worth the time that it takes to happen in the right way. Success cannot be impulsively demanded but has to have the mellowing and adding that extra ingredient to complete perfection.”  (these are my words but could have been delivered by Mom during our waiting time).

I leave you with this final thought: Life is not just a pound cake, fruitcake, cookies or even pie. Life is a continual meal and has to be prepared on a daily basis.

LIVE LIFE, LOVE LIFE, AND LIVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST by adding ingredients and mixing it up with some fun ingredients.

(C) Copyright 2012-2022 Arline Miller with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material is sourced to original location if known for credit reference.

The Fun Is In The Kneading.

My last message was inspired by learning a new method for me in making homemade yeast rolls and how the dough had to be punched down with the analogy of how life works. As a curious soul and a serious baker, I decided to override my intimidation of yeast and go for some yeast rolls which my family loves. I had a great experience which proved very satisfying so I will share my experience.

I love to watch other cooks and bakers’s videos and I happen to see Mountain Cooking with Missy and guess what she was making. Yes, homemade yeast rolls. To watch the video, go to her page on Facebook and look for the video for Hot Baked Rolls or a similar title. She does a great job of simply instructing us through what seemed hard to do previously. I don’t have permission to share the video on here at this time. If I get the okay, I will edit this post to include the video. She doesn’t have a written recipe so I watched a couple of times and assembled the ingredients. I paused several times and it worked for me. I am including photos.

This is so exciting to know how to make yeast rolls and I am sure that practice will make perfect or at least close to perfection. What I want to share are my personal thoughts on actually experiencing how this analogy works with some added enlightenments I experienced.

I was interested in the blooming of the yeast and it seemed to come alive (actually does become active) and I referenced it to life beginning as our bodies and minds develop, we become active and begin to “grow” as the yeast did in the glass with the sugar. It occurred to me that it needed the sugar to help it activate and in life don’t we need love or as I like to say “sugar”?

I prepped the liquid of milk and softened butter as instructed and then added the magical yeast with an egg. I stirred and stirred until it was mixed and as I did so, I thought of how we mix family, friends, school, romance, and together they work as a future rising star. I cannot express the childlike anticipation I felt peeping under the dish towel that draped the unknown yeast but as I watched (periodically checking) it grew and you can see in one of the pics, it rose and rose. It is the same in life when we strive toward a goal, relationship, and or career. It is with excitement but can include stress too. We swell with pride upon success and we will get punched down a few times or even many before we can become what we strive to be.

The kneading was the most gratifying part of the process. The feel of “my dough” under my fingertips was so much fun. I see why my friends have love to make yeast dough. It is like a potter spinning the clay and watching the art become a reality.

I can go on and on with how much insightful this experience was and will be in the future as now yeast rolls and bread making is my new friend. This is relevant in life as we should never get stale in our relationships, religion, friendships, and our careers. We should be willing and actually enjoy the kneading required for each of these. The bread of life has to be kneaded properly or it will not be flakey and delicious as it can be.

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

KNEADING THE BREAD OF LIFE

I have been so pleased with the response to one of my posts My Life As a Dumpling which has proven to be one of the most popular blogs. While I was watching its popularity, I was also a student of desire to accomplish making yeast rolls/breads. For someone who will keep trying with the mentality of I think I can, yeast rolls have not been a success for you…..YET!

I began researching and observing the baking/cooking groups I belong for hints, the ultra secret, the magical tip, etc. What I found was interesting so another attempt will soon be coming. As most of you know that have followed me, is I apply everything to everyday life and at 4 am one morning the enlightenment came and now it is time to share it with my readers. If any of you have not tried to make yeast “something” you should. You will see the relationship with my blog post of The Bread of Life.

I have provided a link to this recipe Courtesy of Chocolate by Grace.

When the dough has risen, punch dough down with a floured hand and shape and bake as desired.

I borrowed this instruction as the basis of my analogy of making yeast dough to life. One of the times I attempted to make yeast bread, I was so proud of the rise the yeast dough had made, I forgot this important step…In order for the final product to process and make the dough the best it can be, it has to be punched down, right, all of you best bread bakers? I thought about this and my daughter reminded me something I had said to her many times. Success is a result of many small failures. So the punching down may be a little overwhelming, it is part of the process.

In life, and in yeast bread making, some recipes require two or even three punch down tasks. Shortcuts to success are usually shortcuts to failure and it takes patience to wait for the dough to rise. Life works that way. Once in a while, we will see what appears to be instant success but if you study those successes, it was the result that seemed instant and a lot of time and patience with several punch downs taking place that gave the true success.

Now, let’s talk about another important step in making yeast dough, KNEADING. Here is another place or step that I failed. I am not a person who has a lot of patience and some would testify that I may not possess any of that beautiful talent. I want everything I do to be resolved, completed, and successful in a second or maybe two. That doesn’t work in breads. You can do the prep, the mixture, the perfect rise and yes, even the punch down and the second or third rise, but if you skip the proper kneading you won’t have the successful end result. I will provide how important the kneading is to the process.

I found a great article that is linked below with some excepts/pictures:

https://www.thespruceeats.com/kneading-dough-bread-baking-for-beginners-427562

Why We Need to Knead

The reason kneading is an important part of bread making is to create structure and strength in the dough, leaving it silky and soft with a little cushiony feel. Flour contains two proteins that combine to form gluten, which is responsible for creating the elastic texture in the dough. After the dough ingredients are mixed, the proteins are in a random pattern and knotted together. When the dough is kneaded, the proteins begin to line up in such a way that strands of gluten develop and create a structure that allows for the trapping of gases and the dough to rise.  

This is how we should see success in yeast baking. We should also see success in our lives if we are willing to do the work. If we get punched down, remember we will rise again!

I have some more thoughts about comparison of life with everyday events and processes. If we understand, some learning curve is necessary and practice makes perfect, we get life. LIVE LIFE, LOVE LIFE, AND LIVE TO LOVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST BY ROLLING WITH THE PUNCHES AND RISE TO THE TOP.

(C) COPYRIGHT 2012-2022 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration and Reinvention Queen with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material including photos are sourced to the original location and author, if known, for credit references.

WHAT’S TO SAY ABOUT UNSPOKEN PRAYER REQUESTS

In a conversation recently, unspoken prayer requests came up and it brought back some thoughts I had originally about unspoken prayers. I felt a need to “say” something about unspoken prayers. I hope for some readers, it may make sense for the first time, answer some questions this subject may have raised when we see I have an Unspoken Prayer Request, and what the importance may be symbolic of this particular request.

I have given this topic some thought and in years past, I wondered why people have a reason for not giving specifics or details to enable the one willing to pray with and for them. I was confused when I prayed as it seemed obscure and I was not understanding the meaning of unspoken prayers. The following is from iBelieve and answers the definition of the prayers that are on the heart but not speakable.

God knows each one’s heart and mind with all needs for His Love, Mercy, and Healing. Image is from BibleVerseImages.com

What Are Unspoken Prayers?

Unspoken prayers can be those prayers requested when words are too difficult to speak. We can lift someone up to the Lord when they seek help, comfort, guidance, healing, and other needs. We can also give thanks and praise to the Father for being able to bring unspoken prayers to Him. There may be times when hearts and spirits are broken due to circumstances. Prayer is needed.

Perhaps someone is embarrassed to share why they are requesting prayers. When a person requests prayer without giving details, we are called to pray and not judge. Maybe the situation will be shared at a later time. Perhaps the person needs comfort and guidance from the Lord. We can pray and be assured that God is listening. He will answer in His timing and in His way.

I gave this thought and I was humbled on my previous questioning of what could be the reasoning behind unspoken prayers. It finally made sense and I realized that unspoken prayers may have more impact and importance than spoken prayers. Whatever the reason for a person to request prayers, we as prayer warriors should not question what the need is. As a matter of fact, God already knows the need and is looking for the faith behind the effectiveness of prayer, the trust to share prayer requests with others, and keeping communication between all of us and God.

I speak now to those who have needs that fit the category for unspoken prayers. Do not hesitate to call on others to pray for unspoken prayers as God knows and already has your situation under His Control. What we find when we pray is comfort and a camaraderie with the Creator of All. Solace and peace, guidance and protection, and a feeling we belong no matter how embarrassing or stressful our need personifies.

I have included an excerpt about praying for one another and if you click on the author, it should take you to the entire article in The Blazing Center.

PRAY For One Another And Watch God Do AMAZING Things!

November 6, 2018 by Mark Altrogge

God does AMAZING things when we pray for one another. 

Have you ever said to yourself or someone else, “There’s nothing left to do except pray”?

That’s a pretty silly statement when you think about it. 

When we pray for others, we’re asking our all-powerful God to take action. We’re asking God to do what we can’t. 

Praying for others should be our first action, not our last resort! 

When someone asks you to pull them up, you don’t ask why. When someone asks you to pray for them, you don’t need to ask why, just pray. God will take care of the rest.

WE STILL REMEMBER THE DAY THE WORLD STOOD STILL 9/11/2001

TODAY THE WORDS are WHEN THE WORLD STOOD STILL. We remember, and we in America, will always remember this particular day on September 11, 2001 when we had tragedy come to our shores by foreign terrorists. Seemingly, the world seemed to stop. If we ask anyone where we were on this day, we can readily tell you where we were and each of us have our “story” of 9/11. So many lives were affected by the almost three thousand lost lives both in New York and at the Pentagon as well as the flight which heroically crashed in a field to avoid more lives. In the midst of this terror, American heroes rose to be what Americans do best as they rose to sacrifice their lives to save others; some gave their lives to save others; and others gave aid while subjecting themselves to smoke and dust. Yes, America cried and we grieved as we still do thirteen years and in that grief; we honor those who are not here with us today; some innocently killed while becoming a hero for our way of life; and those who were forever injured either physically and/or emotionally; we hail them as heroes. 

American people have been accused of being selfish and greedy and anytime I hear this accusation; my mind goes to not only the days and years of this tragedy where so many have given money, time, and even their own lives to protect our country. Strangers helping Strangers; Families hugging Family members; charitable organizations not even hesitating going into Ground Zero to assist and contribute aid and supplies. For a day the world stood still; Americans were on the move as they have moved when other countries have needed help and Americans have been willing to be there even if they are mocked or rebuked. Why on earth would anyone rebuke strangers willing to help in those times when their lives depended on this unwarranted help? When their worlds have stood still; Americans with sometimes with no thanks to come MOVED to go to those in need. 

For my deeper thought….. I say today, while we are remembering the day our world stood still; AMERICA MOVED. We moved in love, help, compassion, and a willingness to do what we need to stay strong. We never forget; we MOVE. We are a nation of not only survivors but thrivers. WE MAY STAND STILL while we have moments of silence today for the victims; but we will applaud the heroes and even ourselves for loving our country, coming together as a country when it counts.

FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:

Romans 15:1-2 ESV

We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. 


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

MANAGING MY MIND MANAGES MY WEIGHT

I am happy to say that I turned 73 in June and now have lost 52 pounds! I thought this post bears repeating and even is more convincing with more results. I have a goal for next year at this time to report a possible loss of 10 or more which will put me at a 40 year lowest weight. My husband has jumped on the get healthier and in shape, but he will deserve his own post as he has made great and I mean great strides in the last 6 months.

I think this photo was taken when I was approaching the 50 pound loss marker.

Here is the original post that confirmed my life eating style change:

I am turning 72 in June and have lost 37 pounds. No, not by any miracle diet, not by restricting or avoiding any particular food……Smaller portions and when I eat the good foods outweigh the bad ones….Literally. Today, I am not an expert but I want to share my experience in a lifetime of fighting the bulge. I used to be an exercise advocate and to all of you who exercise, Kudos. As I got older, the thought of having to exercise is not as exciting as it used to be. I do stay active for my age but never do I hit the gym or track like the golden years of youth. Here is how I have gotten to where I am today and maybe, some of it will make sense to some of you and you get off the diet track and get on the eating the amount of food that you can digest without a lot of digestive side effects and maintain and/or lose some pounds. This is not a solicitation for any method of culinary preferences, just a woman who struggled for as long as she wanted and found a way to make it happen for her.

Arline Miller, 71 years old, 37 pounds lighter, and still loving life.

About 8 to almost 9 years ago, my husband encouraged or maybe the better word is demanded I go have blood work. I was the worst person as I felt good almost all of the time but had somehow began to fall asleep in the late afternoon even sitting up. I say this lovingly, and now appreciatively, I went to get him to stop saying everyone needs a check up at least once a year. Okay, so I gave in with no idea of what I was about to find out. First, I had always been on some kind of “diet” or “program” since I didn’t want to be fat so I could name so many diets I tried. My thoughts are any diet will work for the time you can stay on them. It is the harsh truth that it is almost impossible to stay on any diet for a long period of time. We get bored eating the same foods; we feel victimized and controlled so we rebel; or the excuse event such as a wedding, birthday, anniversary, cruises, trips, etc and we make the almost guarantee to fail on the diet statement of “I will eat a little now and go back on my diet, just this one time and it will be fine.”

PHOTO OF ME before the weight loss and I wish i showed a picture of my whole body at the time. This is me at my highest weight.

On to the chapter of the doctor’s appointment: I go and cheerfully think I will be fine. I was just tired, no problem. I am a go getter and workaholic so that is why I feel tired. Right? No, Wrong. I will repeat the words my doctor said to me, “You are a walking time bomb. You are diabetic with your A1C at 8 with hypertension, overweight, and your cholesterol and liver enzymes are out of sight.” What was he talking about? I was close to tears, in shock, and thought he was a jerk. He had to be talking about someone else, not me, not superwoman. Oh, did I walk out of his office in a fog, a stupor, and thinking he doesn’t know me. I had always had a mental theory I was okay as I kept a positive attitude.

When I got over my pity party. Yes, I had a big one and even contemplated accepting the bad news and not doing a blasted thing about it and go on with my bad self. Then it hit me that he actually said, walking time bomb. Uh oh, that meant if I didn’t do something to change or diffuse this bomb in me, it was, or rather I would explode. I woke up in the reality, what I was doing was not the path I had to choose.

Food satisfies when it is dressed up for the celebration of a meal.

Next, all of the dieting experiences I had previously performed looked like the way to go. On one program, then to the next, and then trying another one as I had a hard time either eating all salads or meats, or only bland food. I am a rebel and this jerked my chain and I would think even when I was losing weight that I am not living; I am existing.

I decided once I had lost 17 pounds and wanted more off that me restricting my foods only raised the element of rebellion in me. One day, as I wake up very early, I had an epiphany to try to eat small portions of those foods I crave and eat healthy foods in larger portions so here came my new eating way of life. If I made potato salad, I took out a heaping tablespoon of it and placed it with my other food. If I made a cake, I cut a small slice, almost a sliver, but I ate it. I cut my portions of meat down to 1/3 of a fried chicken breast and yes, it was fried or from the air fryer. I eat a tablespoon or two of mac and cheese, rice, potatoes, and I will eat 5 or 6 french fries. I don’t ever take out large portions and I eat a half bowl of soup, spaghetti, or a small plate of mini portions. I eat a good size salad and use my dressing of choice but I don’t pour it on, I use it sparingly. The surprise from this change is I am full even with smaller portions and find I cannot eat a large quantity of anything. I retrained my mind and that is why the title of this blog is Manage Your Weight is To Manage Your Mind.

Make your plate pretty and now, my plate would be a salad plate and a lot less quantity.

If you want to try this method, don’t do it all at once. Try cutting the portion of the highest carb or sugar foods first. Breads can be cut out or lessened in amounts. Just be conscious of the amounts not what you eat. If you have a sandwich, cut it into four (4) square pieces. The mind will adjust and feel you have eaten more. The next time, make a half sandwich and cut into two (2) pieces. You will be amazed at how you will feel satisfied since the separate pieces will give you the satisfaction of more than one. Cut pieces of meat into smaller pieces prior to beginning to eat as you will see more pieces and it will feel like more. The next time, cut a larger piece of meat in half and do the same thing and so on and so on. Peel fruit and go ahead and separate the slices on your plate. The next time cut the fruit in half and you will find yourself eating a lot less over time. Make your plates pretty no matter what you are eating. That is something I do feel I do that makes whatever, even if small portion, is enticing and calms the cravings and satisfies my desire from food.

The old saying of make sure you eat everything on your plate is the root of all food evil. On this luscious and healthy meal, there is nothing wrong with eating small portions and repurposing food for another meal. I will have some blogs on my repurposing food anther time.

As I think that i will spend some blogs on how this process has changed my life and how much sweeter it is now that I know a small taste of something good, instead of feeling deprived keeps me on track. It’s the mind, not the diet, that causes the best things to happen.

(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 location for credit reference.

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.

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