Air Fryer/InstaPot Makes Life Easier

First, let me say, and some of you already know, I am an avid Southern style cook and baker. Born in Georgia, and a true Georgia Peach, I was taught to cook, fry, and bake at an early age. I stirred, mixed, separated, and whisked with the best of southern cuisine. Oh yes, I can roll out dumplings and bake a mile high cake. I love to plate pretty food using colorful combinations. While I can do this with a easy skillset, I have learned to use tools, appliances and ways to make my kitchen life easy. These methods don’t take away from taste at all. It’s in the seasoning my friends, use those herbs, spices, and broths to bring it all together……just simpler and easier. Does this mean I have stopped my southern style meals? Not hardly, I combine my styles and I am not always hovering over a hot stove every meal.

Yesterday, I took out ground chuck and also saw a pack of stew beef and took out that package too. When my husband called saying he was on his way home from his American Legion Leader Conference and it would be over an hour, I took a look at the package of stew beef and my InstaPot was calling my name. I grabbed the pot down from its place on the shelf. Here is how simple and in 35 minutes of pressuring, it was so tender and hot when Greg walked in the door.

  • InstaPot Stew Beef made entirely in 40 minutes from package to noodles:
  • 1 pkg of good quality stew beef (already in chunks so no chopping
  • 1 Large Onion (chopped in large chunks
  • 1 pkg Ranch Dressing Mix
  • 1 pkg. Lipton Dry Garlic & Herb Soup mix
  • 1/2 carton Beef Broth
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Directions: Saute the beef after sprinkling both pkgs of Dry Seasoning mixes with a Tablespoon of Olive Oil. Add chopped Onions and Salt and Pepper
  • Add small amount of Beef Broth to deglaze bottom. Once deglazed, add the rest of beef broth. If not adding other optional ingredients, close lid and follow instructions for Meat and Stews and locking procedures. Pressure for 35 minutes.
  • Optional add ingredients: Carrots, potatoes, peppers, mushrooms. Serve over rice, mashed potatoes, or noodles (I used pre-cooked linguine, so easy for quick meals)
Photo courtesy of Google recipe search

Air Fryer Drumsticks

Before I go into this quick and easy way to make a lot of drumsticks (our grands love drumsticks), I think we are all watching our budgets as food costs are rising but you can use this recipe for thighs, and breasts. Remember that breasts are drier so don’t overcook them.

Instant Pot Chicken Drumsticks

These Instant Pot Chicken Drumsticks are so easy to make – brush them with BBQ sauce and broil in the oven for crispy chicken!Prep Time5 minsCook Time20 minsTotal Time25 minsCourse: Main CourseCuisine: AmericanKeyword: chicken drumsticks Servings: 4 servings Calories: 308kcal Author: Taylor Stinson

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup water
  • 8 chicken drumsticks
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp each salt & pepper
  • 1/2 cup BBQ sauce
This is my photo of placing seasoned drumsticks in InstaPot.
Ready to Pressure Drumsticks
So tender but tasty!
Placed on Broiler for a few minutes for crispy skin.

Instructions

  • Add water and trivet to the bottom of Instant Pot. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix together spices then coat chicken in the mixture, rubbing well all over.
  • Place lid on Instant Pot and make sure valve is set to seal. Press the pressure cook button and set to high, then cook for 10 minutes. Instant Pot will take about 5-10 minutes to come to pressure then pressure cook for 10 minutes.
  • Let the Instant Pot do a natural pressure release. Meanwhile, set oven to broil on medium-high and adjust wrack to the second highest placement.
  • Open the lid when pressure gauge has dropped and the lid opens easily. Carefully remove chicken with tongs, then transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Broil drumsticks for 1-2 minutes per side, watching closely so they don’t burn.
  • Add chicken to a large bowl then toss in BBQ sauce. Serve and enjoy!
Chicken in Air Fryer made so crispy and tasty.
Shrimp is so easy with the air fryer.

I will post more recipes using the InstaPot and the Power Air Fryer but check out my Pinterest Boards if you want to learn how to use these handy appliances. Go to: /https://www.pinterest.com/alm06/power-air-fryer-oven-cooking/

Go to my InstaPot board for more recipes: https://www.pinterest.com/alm06/instant-pot-recipes/

Cook smart, cook fast, but always cook tasty. Happy Meals….Until We Cook Again….Arline Miller, Reinvention Queen

Lessons from a Doggie’s Point of View

I had so many warm and receptive responses from Whisker’s post a few days ago, I thought I had one more to share that I would love to have a picture from that day, but I think if you use your imagination, you will get a visual impression when Whiskers went rogue and joined the ranks of the Oompa Loompa from the movie Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

This was the last pictures of Whiskers along with Bandit, our rescued Yorkie. Even though Whiskers was sick, he would not give up and went along with the Christmas festivities.

Whiskers had a lot of terrier in his mixture of a schnauzer and if you know terriers, they are inherently diggers. It’s in their blood and Whiskers lived true to his heritage. Before we rescued him, he was infamous for digging out of his yard and visiting his neighbor’s Rottweiler who was huge, but that didn’t stop Whiskers. I am sure it was frustrating to his owners to have to fill in the holes only to have him dig new ones.

I think, looking back on our life with that rowdy fella, he would have made a trucker an ideal copilot as he would have jumped into any truck or car and rode. Greg and I joke about he is trying to get my Mom to take him for a ride in Heaven and if that were possible, he would tell her to speed up so his fur would blow for his “weasel” look. Or he would round up Greg’s Mom who drove like a speed demon as she definitely would get the fur blowing.

Several times in Augusta, we didn’t have a fenced in yard, we would be allowing Whiskers out to do his business in the back yard which looked like it was in the mountains with a stream flowing, Whiskers would be strolling around and it was like something came over him and off he would run. Of course, we would get all panicky and try to call him back while he so candidly looked back and seemed to laugh that he was free and off he would go. I won’t go into the many rides and tears of worry I went through only to find he had found a big girl doggie somewhere and was visiting her. One was a big Lab and one was even a chow that was chained which normally makes them unfriendly, but there was Whiskers acting the cool hand Luke and looking at us like “What?”

No matter what was going on, Whiskers had to be in the middle of the action.

When we moved to Kathleen, of course Whiskers loved the adventure of riding with Mommy and seeing places he hadn’t seen and then came that big wooden fenced in yard at our new home. All the years, we lived there, and each time he went out the doggie door, he patrolled “his” yard. Squirrels had to jump and run away from him as he was the Security Guard. We thought how nice we don’t have to worry about Whiskers running off. Right, you think? Wrong!!

On one side of the back yard, the fence had a slight opening along the bottom to keep the gate from dragging. I know that rascal probably saw that light in that opening while we were at the office working and thought why not? As it is common in Georgia where we live, we have a lot of red Georgia clay so you may begin to paint a picture. I am not sure how long he had to apply his claws to that mission, but apparently he broke through and dug out. We have no clue on where he went and how long he wandered.

At some point, and this is where the lesson came in, Whiskers had a life moment. Even as much as he loved wandering and exploring, he realized he had found humans who loved him, accepted him with his seizure condition, his scruffiness, his security, and care. We loved him when he was unwanted and we gave him a home, this home he had worked to escape to see what else was to see. When we came home, sitting at the garage door, with his famous thrown out back leg was Whiskers, totally orange from the clay covering, but wanting to go inside and never to dig out again. Whiskers had learned the lesson like Dorothy in Wizard of Oz, “There’s no place like home.”

Whiskers was one of a kind and unforgettable. We love you!

A little side note: Greg did pour concrete in the ground at the gate and that might have been more of a solution but we like to think he learned how good he had it and chose to stay home.

Home is a valuable refuge from all of the worldly noise. We have a link to our childhood home or homes even as we move away and go in different directions. Take time to make memories to share with your children and grandchildren. I try to sit with our grandchildren and share my childhood memories and their eyes show interest and yes, they ask questions and that warms my heart. Don’t let those memories get lost. Savor those Whiskers moments by sharing them.

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

The Lessons We Can Learn From Our Pets

This post may not be interesting to the people who don’t own pets and even don’t like pets, but for the many of us who have pets who we consider family members, will get this and probably will want to comment. All of us who love our fur babies love to mention our babies and feel welcome to post pictures and stories.

Whiskers, our wonder rescue dog, who would tolerate being dressed in costume.

My husband and I have been blessed to have some “humanistic” rescued doggies since we have been together. Our first rescue was Whiskers, a schnauerrier (mix of schnauzer and terrier) and his name was perfect. We didn’t name him as we knew where he came from and he had his name. Here is Whisker’s story:

I was in insurance at the time and called on businesses for supplemental health insurance. My husband, Greg, knew of a auto repair shop, and actually set up the appointment with the owner. I drove over to the shop and the waiting room was full of customers and so I sat down to wait for the owner to discuss him offering his employees some coverage. While I sat there, I happened to notice a rough cardboard sign which read “Free puppy to a good home.” On the floor, there were two bowls, water and dry food. My curiosity was raised so I asked what the sign was about. I learned about Whiskers, who was owned by the shop owner’s neighbor. Whiskers was intrigued by his big Rottweiler, Zeus, and would dig out from his yard and visit Zeus. One day, they noticed a big moving truck in front of Whisker’s home early as he left for work and was shocked that afternoon they had completely moved out but left Whiskers in the yard with a handmade note saying “Please find Whiskers a good home.”

When I heard his story, my heart went out to Whiskers as I could only imagine him wondering where his little girl had gone as they usually played outside. I am not going to express the anger I felt from his abandonment. The guy who owned the business I was calling on brought Whiskers over to his house which seemed fine with Whiskers but Zeus, while accepting Whiskers as a visitor, was jealous of Whiskers as a potential resident. Here is where I felt a confused and almost angry response. Thinking Zeus might harm Whiskers, he decided to take Whiskers away and drove him 9 miles and put him out on the side of the road. Oh, I had to fight the inclination to be verbally loud at that moment of the story. What was incredible was Whiskers walked back the entire 9 miles to the only place he knew, he came back. This created the owner to take him to the shop and see if he could find Whiskers a good home. Now, here I enter the story. Greg and I had discussed having a dog as we are both dog lovers. What I want to interject at this time, I had not seen Whiskers and Greg was working.

As I listened to the story, my heart tugged. He, after telling me of the history, asked me would I like to see him? At the very second he asked me, he opened the door next to me and out came Whiskers. He was wagging his tail, looking around with excitement at him being let out to investigate all of us waiting. He went around the room, stopping with old people, young people, every race, every size, with the same amount of enthusiasm and friendliness. He didn’t judge or make a sound, but worked the room until he came to me. Our eyes met and he just knew. He sat down in front of me and waited. When I reached my hand down to his head, he let out a squeal, not a bark. Again, he knew he had a new owner, a new family, and he never looked back. We went out to my car after I had called Greg who didn’t have a clue what he looked like or anything else but immediately said, “Yes, bring him home.”

I am going to stop the story as we were so blessed and I have millions of stories of how smart he was and how much he meant to us. We both sigh at the memory of Whiskers who had seizures which was probably the reason he was abandoned, but not for long, as we had the blessing of the cute dog that chose us for a good life. The lesson from Whiskers is to never give up as happiness is a wag away if you keep finding your happiness.

Photo courtesy of Good Housekeeping.
  • Dogs accept their owners without any judgment of looks, wealth, personalities. If you are having a bad hair day, they are fine with it.
  • Dogs forgive easily. It may be that their memory span is shorter than humans. Maybe humans need to forget and forgive.
  • Dogs don’t need a lot of toys or entertainment sources to keep them happy and if you look around, dogs that are owned by poor families are usually as content as dogs who live in luxury.
  • Dogs will protect their families if threatened, to the death if necessary without thinking whether that is a good idea. It is a natural instinct.
  • A dog loves unconditionally and fully. A picture that breaks my heart is to see a dog that has been abandoned, with or without food or water, wait patiently or try to run after their owner’s vehicle. It doesn’t seem feasible in their mind they won’t come back for them.

I thought our love of animals who capture our hearts would be a good focus instead of all the serious and tragic events going on in our world. I will post some of the stories that make our memory bank full of the laughter filled moments and the emotional tugs. Whiskers lived 9 1/2 years which is great for a dog who had seizures since before we got him but if he could have talked, he would tell you he had a happy life full of adventure with us.

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

I Am Positive That I Am Positive.

Arline Lott Miller

tS23pocnnsocrehdh  · Shared with Public

Public

Being positive doesn’t mean we are happy, happy, happy all the time. When others hurt, when we hurt, it hurts period. Being positive means we trust that everything, even the sad and hurtful times, will work in a positive direction. Even failure can be a positive step in the direction of success. Times of sacrifice can build strength and character. Positive people lose, suffer, are tested, and the difference between negative people is the reaction. The little engine says it well, “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can!” That attitude is a perfect description of positivity. When I feel my positivity trying to leave my brain, I say to myself, I think I can!!!Do all of my meals turn out perfectly? No, and it is ironic, but sometimes when it fails, it tastes better. Not always, but sometimes. I think I can!Do all of my attempts to maintain my health work smoothly? Ask me on some mornings when I feel queasy, but my glucose numbers are starting to level out. I grab a cracker and some ginger ale and say “I think I can!”Do I always say the perfect thing? Oh I could go on about this one as my mouth will get ahead of my brain and the train goes off the track, but when I say something that actually encourages another, and they acknowledge how it helped, I say thank you for allowing me to have the blessing of positivity. I think I can!Do I know what I should do every minute of every day? Of course not, but I am positive that I can pray and search for answers. I know I can! God is the most positive Google search engine and I know He Can. Be Positive, Be Encouraging, and Be Faithful to Your Faith.

Here’s a thought to start our day off in a positive light:

Morning Thought: Enlighten Your Being by Seeking Those Things Which Are Given Freely.

1- A child’s laugh and giggles.

2- An old person’s story of a time when they were young.

3- Animals at play with each other or by themselves.

4-Nature in all forms can be soothing or exciting but always enlightening.

When we allow ourselves, what I like to call, gliding thoughts with no specific direction it produces creative results. Think light and breezy thoughts to get past any conflict blocking enlightenment. Enlighten by lightening the load in our heads.

Photo From Facebook.com

photo by Ian Hunt.jpeg

Positivity breeds productivity. At a young 72, I am optimistic for a long, healthy, productive, and creative life. I see more not less. I see good and not bad. You may ask how I can say that last statement in the midst of all of the chaos and confusion in the world. It is this simple. I can only control myself, not the world. I can focus on each good thing which allows me less time to focus on bad things. I am not naive at all. I CHOOSE how I react to negativity which at 72 years this is not my first rodeo and I CHOOSE to think I will survive the bad and thrive on the good. If you concentrate on life and not politics as one is a given as each breath and day is a blessing but politicians come and go. Wasted breath is what I refuse to spend my valuable day and time and I love cooking and baking. That is my therapy to avoid that back and forth chatter. Spend time in the yards, kitchen, writing, drawing, crafting, creating whatever hobby you love, sing, dance, walk, and any other healthy and wise activity you enjoy.

Photo Courtesy of Greg Miller

I encourage my husband who is a great amateur photographer to take photos. He does and it excites me to see his talent. It doesn’t matter what you are good at or even if you are not spectacular doing what you love…….Do It! Be Positive about Doing It! You will be surprised at how much more tolerant of all events in life when you see life in a positive light.

I want to spend a few lines on the biggest factor on being positive which is your faith. Faith is a mixture of a lot of things:

Faith in Our God and Higher Power

Faith in Ourselves as Acceptable to God and Our Fellow Person

Faith in Our Way of Life

Faith in Our Community

In all of these, we can build a positive link to enjoying the good parts in life and there is no room for negativity. It is a positive direction to remove negativity and build on what can be accomplished by trusting in God, Ourselves, Our Way of Life, and Our Fellow Human. May you find positive outlets to fulfill a happy life.

(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 if known.