Reinvention Queen Tells My Secrets

No, all of my skeletons are not falling out of my closet, even though it is a good season for skeletons to be out and about. I am referring to some of the secrets I want to share to help you in your kitchen. I am not a lazy cook, as a matter of fact, I am a person who loves cooking and baking. However, one thing I don’t like is having leftovers that can get boring to keep eating over and over. Since I am a creative writer, I practice the same thing as I do in my writing, I change my plots by twisting them and creating a new chapter in my books. Today I want to share a couple of ways I alter a dish or meal I prepared to continue to use the basis dish but I re-create or reinvent it to appear to be a totally fresh cooked meal. By following the thinking and preparation tips I will share, your spouse may not even know it’s leftovers, and if they do, they won’t care.

When I prepare the base meat and/or dish, I am already thinking of at least two or three dishes I can reinvent this base. For an example, recently I fried several chicken tenders using an egg/ buttermilk/spices marinate, a seasoned flour/bread crumbs dredge. I had a vegetable (any kind will do) to go along with the delicious but easy tenders. I saved the extra six tenders (making ahead and using the air fryer to warm them saves a lot of time in cooking).

The Base Ingredient Chicken Tenders which are reinvented for three easy meals
  • Meals/Dishes Made from the Tenders
  • The first is the original eaten with a fresh vegetable. You can use a salad too, but I will show you how I made another meal using a salad. Total prep was 5 minutes and 12 minutes to fry and serve.
  • Sandwiches made by warming tenders in the air fryer and placing the tenders on a good bun with a mayo using some chopped herbs and green onions. Pickles, lettuce, tomato can be added too. Makes a great and fast lunch which took 6 minutes to warm tenders while I prepared buns and mayo. No photo since we were in a hurry to get back to work.
  • The last meal was prepared from chopping the rest of the left over tenders (Only 2 larger tenders and 1 small one was chopped to make two big salads. I used a Sweet Kale Salad Mix, added some cherry tomatoes, 2 shallots, cheddar cheese shredded (mild or sharp whichever preferred) and salad toppers. I used the Poppy Seed Dressing and seeds in mix and also Ken’s Steak House Thousand Island (a little amount). This salad took 10 minutes total to assemble and serve.
The Simple Chicken Tenders Salad using a salad mix and some additions

If I add the time for all three meals which were so yummy, no food wasted, and all three meals took no more than 40 minutes from the initial meal to the finish of the last meal. Most of us take more than 40 minutes to make one. The best news is I could do at least three more meals starting from the initial meal and I practice this rule of prep almost every time. Here is my thought process:

1 – Choose a meat whether it is chicken, pork, beef, and/or seafood.

2 – Mentally envision three methods and/or meals this meat can be used .

3 – Prepare meat by a cooking method that can lead to multiple meals. You have seen my husband grill a lot of shrimp which I will separate into multiple ways on implementing those shrimp into salads, pasta, cocktail dish, scampis, etc. Once the prepared meat is completed and stored, it is only used one time in a different meal so that it tastes fresh and not recooked, only warmed and added after other ingredients are cooked as stir frying vegetables and only adding the prepared shrimp at the end for warming and merging sauces.

It’s all in the prep. Cooking larger amounts of meat to begin with and store extra immediately makes the taste difference.

The key is to properly prepare the meats but not overcooking as the meat doesn’t need to be cooked to death. I seal and store the meat until the next meal.

You can do this method with vegetables by prepping ahead like slicing, chopping, roasting pans of vegetables and then using them as you need them for stir fries, soups, casseroles. It Is All In The Prep!

Roasted vegetables make casseroles, side dishes, and soups so easily assembled.
Another salad made extraordinary and an easy lunch.
Variety of salads made from the seafood bounty.
My Scallop Shrimp Garlic Sauce with Fettuccine & Parmesan delight lunch
It never seems you are eating leftovers with a bright new salad using different additional ingredients.

When I post meals during the week, some people are surprised since I work full time and I get asked how I can do those meals. I am an early morning person so I prep early, assemble the dish, and then put it in the oven while I work to have it come out piping hot at lunch or dinner. Cooking is easy if you think ahead and make it so convenient.

As a true Reinvention Queen I love seeing how many meals I can make that my husband loves and expresses how tasty they are. My advice is to try this method by preparing a larger amount of meat and try to make at least two different meals as an example of grilling steaks or chicken by chopping the leftovers and then making a stir fry or a salad for a second meal. When you see how easy it is to reinvent a meal into a savory, delicious but oh so easy, you will be on the reinvention team. I would love to hear what you make and how you feel about cooking once, and enjoying it at least two meals. Until We Cook Again….Happy Meals To You…….Arline Miller, Reinvention Queen

(C)Copyright 2012-2021 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups Of Inspiration with all rights and privileges reserved. Third Party Material will be sourced to original location/author if known for credit references.

REINVENTION QUEEN IS HAMMING IT UP

Last weekend I informed my husband I was craving a 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, 2012-2021 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration with all rights and privileges reserved. Third Party Material is sourced to original location and author if known for credit references.

REPEAT AFTER ME, I DID THIS TO MYSELF

As a person who has lost 42 pounds over a span of years, I have learned some tips. One of the most beneficial to me is not to deprive but thrive on smaller portions of healthy choices while allowing myself a few bites, not portions, of all food groups. I posted this blog post several years and thought you might find it interesting now. Here is the original post:

Quite often, I post blog messages that apply to myself mainly, but true to form, others jump in and comment, this is me too. The focus of today’s message is a blunt look at how we humans remain in denial on many issues. We have a desire to stay healthy, look attractive, succeed at whatever work or career we choose or is placed at our door. We strive to have a wonderful relationship with our spouse, lover, sweetheart, and also our families and friends…….Or do we? Uh, oh, I feel the crunch of me stepping on toes but please know I am feeling the pain as this is a selfie message so I feel ya!

DREAMSTIME.COM (photo courtesy)

Let us begin the recognition of a stumbling block to our happiness by answering some hard questions:

  1. Who do I blame when I gain weight?
  2. Do I actually realize who is at fault when I fail at goals?
  3. Do I feel I have to justify my actions or throw blame at my parents, my life, God, or family/friends?
  4. Do I review my actions in any matter which caused me to succeed or fail to better future actions/results?
  5. Am I the first one to thank another person who has encouraged or do I feel they overstepped their boundary?

Can you see where I am going with this train of thought? Too many times, we want the denial excuse rather than make the appropriate changes we could make to change outcomes. This morning, very well timed, a post I wrote on Facebook seven years ago showed up and it is worth reading:

Today is a good day to think back over life and ponder over things that have happened. What would we change, what we have said differently to someone if we had a “do over”, what would we do about our occupations, would we live where we live now, would we go for a dream that we put off for other things or people, would we have chosen to eat healthier, exercised more, loved better, smiled more and forgiven easier? The reason I ponder about these things is to say that the past is the past, but today is today and tomorrow is yet to come. Right now and for the future, we have choices and we should not delay to make some changes or insure that the good things stay intact an securely, love better, stay in shape and healthily, be frugal, and above all else, remember that if we have been forgiven, we have to forgive others. Removing any anger allows the smile to come forth more readily, and it is healthy to smile. Arline Miller 2012

I think we all have great intentions as it would not make any sense on any given day, we wake up to be a failure at anything but we are humans with weaknesses and who doesn’t love a treat, a gift, a pleasure, right? It is when the realization of the repetitive giving into temptations over and over seeps in and becomes a denial. Now, to get really real with myself and hopefully you may find yourself saying oops, I do that. Here are the usual denial hoops we jump through. An additional thought for you to ponder: Apply these hoops by replacing words and see how the denial train stops at all life stations whether it be health, wealth, love, and just life.

  1. I don’t know why I can’t lose weight. I try so hard.
  2. I must have bad genes as I don’t overeat.
  3. I should be able to eat sweets, candy, desserts like all of my friends.
  4. I don’t know why I don’t lose weight because I go walking, or cleaning my house but it doesn’t work.
  5. I plan healthy foods but my family won’t eat them so I stopped making them.
  6. It takes too much time to prepare healthy foods and I work all of the time.

I could go on and on but you get the idea. What I feel would help us the most is to get tremendously honest with ourselves. I will go first with the honest answers to these questions. Seriously, don’t try to deny that we use these reasoning to avoid doing what is necessary to be what we want to be.

  1. Do I try that hard because in the past when I have eaten properly, I have lost weight and until I stopped doing it right, the weight stayed off. Ugh, the truth hurts and that is the truth.
  2. If family genes are the culprit, and I will admit they make it harder but not impossible, we would all be fat or skinny and let’s look at family pictures. My grandparents changed their bodies while living, some didn’t. Okay, I have all of their genes combined. Justifying weight by family history only explains if we are repeating eating habits not gene repetition results.
  3. Okay, I am diabetic type 2, and yes family history but hey, that is no excuse. Someone who is not diabetic should not eat sweets as a constant “nutritional” food. It is not one and is very addictive. The more sweets we eat, the more we want and so goes the vicious cycle. One good reminder of how much sugar plays into our weight, is to think back when sugar was a novelty and not a substance. Pictures prove hardly any percentage of people were obese. Those who were likely had their hands on sugar supplies.
  4. Here is my personal truth….I don’t exercise and there it is, the hard truth. When I was younger, I worked at more physical jobs and walked, ran, and danced like a fool but I moved. I don’t need to make excuses; I should move.
  5. This is one I may be the least guilty of using. My family will join in and eat healthy if I prepare it. Do they always like to keep eating healthy? No, but I am being honest. Neither do I. I love the tempting foods and I bleed Southern fattening cooking blood so I have to be aware of my deficiency in desiring healthy foods. The bottom line is do I want to sabotage my health in this way?
  6. This is a myth and I will have to say, I don’t use this denial tool but I have heard others say it many times. Do you?
Stickabilty will stop us from having to use any denial tactics and will move us toward our goals so Stick with your healthy eating and living programs.

(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 location for credit reference.

When We Eat With Our Minds, Our Body Thrives

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I thought I would repost this message with some great updates on my personal health. Finding out that I can use the principle of small amounts but eating a well rounded mixture of foods, I have lost over 40 pounds, lowered by A1C, my blood pressure and cholesterol in a better normalcy. It works for me, I am happier than I have ever been, and at 72 feel I am mastering my body for the first time instead of eating controlling me.

WE SHOULD EAT WITH OUR MINDS and NOT OUR MOUTHS. I will throw out a personal opinion on why our minds and not our mouths should determine what and when we should eat. Let’s think about this theory. In our lifetime, we will go on several diets or eating plans. They will be varied and when we go on most of these, if not all; we lose weight, right? My thoughts are what causes the initial weight loss and what changes over time in which the loss begins to dwindle or even disappear? I think I have discovered what is the culprit…..Our minds. When our mind becomes disgusted when our eyes show the extra weight in the mirror, it can either decide to avoid thoughts of obesity or decide to do something about it.Let me share this: It is not the diet or eating plan; it is the mind who decides if we are full or because of emotions it decides to allow us to overeat. 

A personal note: Some time ago, my husband Greg and I decided (look at the action of the mind) to not play around with eating healthy but get serious. Since we “decided” and not allowed our mouths to do the talking; we have both lost weight, our emotions are calmer, our motivation is higher and the results are a better attitude as well as feeling better. I had expressed it is not only what we eat; quantity is a big factor. Large amounts of salads or fruit or going the protein maximum will not allow us to lose what we need to eat but add portion control to these great foods aids in the satisfaction of eating without starving. Greg has dropped about 10 pounds during this time and he is now “thinking” about what he eats and how much. Even though I had already decided my health was more important, it has helped me eliminate some items and add some healthier foods. I wanted to share with everyone as too many times, we are guilty of talking the health talk but fail to walk the health walk. Just saying our intentions but not involving some serious mind changing methods; it would only be another diet tried and failed. The real reason any diet fails is the mind is not engaged; only the mouth. Try to think about this post and see if you find yourself retracing your “diet” history. When you wanted to lose; I mean when you really wanted to lose; you lost. When you only played with dieting; you might have lost a few pounds and without thinking; you stuck a cookie or candy or even pizza. Instant sabotage, but I can guarantee you; you didn’t think before you stuffed your mouth with those diet killers. I am not preaching; I am reminiscing about my diet history. When I think about what I eat, I lose. When I impulsively eat; it doesn’t work and off another great, sensational, guaranteed to lose, return to my high school figure, lose all fat non fail plan one more time. Does this ring a bell with you or at least start you thinking? I hope so as we are thinking our food through!

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The following is an excerpt from an article called Mindful Eating-Curbing Stress:

How to Put Mind Over Mouth

Jean Kristeller, Ph.D., president of the board of directors at the Center for Mindful Eating, shares tips on how to break the pattern of stress-induced munching.

By Carin GorrellSep 17, 2007

During a high-stress situation it’s natural to feel pulled toward something that distracts you and makes you feel better fast — and often that something is food, explains Jean Kristeller, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at Indiana State University and president of the board of directors at the Center for Mindful Eating. “Eating can become an automatic, unconscious response to tension and anxiety,” says Kristeller. “But learning to become more mindful in these moments can help you break that pattern of automatic reactivity.” Here’s how.

ACKNOWLEDGE THAT YOU’RE STRESSED. “We don’t always recognize when we’re on edge, and it’s hard to interrupt something if you don’t know you’re in the middle of it,” says Kristeller. Learn to recognize your stress signals, which might include headaches, rapid breathing, or munching when you’re not hungry.

ENJOY WHAT YOU’RE EATING. “If you’re just stuffing food down, you’re not enjoying its tastes, textures, and smells, which is how we derive comfort from food in the first place,” says Kristeller. The more you savor your food, the fewer bites you’ll need to get the comfort you seek.

LISTEN TO YOUR WISDOM FROM PAST EXPERIENCES. Maybe during your last stress-induced binge you devoured a half-dozen doughnuts — and the guilt you felt afterward only added to your stress. This time, take steps to maintain portion control: Pick up a single doughnut at the bakery instead of a dozen.

PAUSE. When you find yourself mindlessly diving into a bag of potato chips, stop and check in with yourself. “Think: Do I really want to eat this? Is it going to be helpful?” suggests Kristeller. Taking this moment to reflect can help interrupt the automatic urge to nosh.

DON’T IGNORE YOUR CRAVINGS. Denying that those cookies are calling your name will only strengthen your desire to have one, but acknowledging your craving creates choice: Do you want to have one cookie now, or wait until the urge is so overpowering that you inhale an entire sleeve of cookies? Recognizing that you have choices puts you in charge, not the craving.

EVALUATE YOUR HUNGER. “Often we don’t distinguish between physical hunger and emotionally driven cravings,” says Kristeller. Rate your physical hunger on a scale of 0 to 10, with 0 being not hungry at all and 10 being famished. If it’s a 0, 1, or 2, reconsider that pantry raid. If it’s a 9 or 10, eat something healthy first: “If you’re really, really hungry, you’re more vulnerable to overeating,” says Kristeller.

***************************End of excerpt from article.

  On a light, positive note I want to post a writing from this morning to all.  This morning I rose with gratitude in my heart, humility in my soul, and joy in my entire body. God grants us the opportunity to be diligent in our faith and today is a great day to serve Him with love, forgiveness, charity, and kindness.

“When we willingly love,We receive from above.

Life is a wonderful gift.We are given such a lift.

Beauty is joy bestowed.Immense love has flowed.

From the stem of a rose.To the child’s turned up nose.

When we willingly love, God smiles from above.”

(written by Arline Miller 02/17/2016)

(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 if known for credit reference.

SHOULD I USE AIR OR PRESSURE IN MY COOKING?

From the number of views on the last post about using my InstaPot, I could tell a lot of you are interested about learning more about these convenient ways to cook. I have to say that when my husband purchased my InstaPot, I was slightly apprehensive from the stories of the old style pressure cooker and did not use it “instantly”. I want to put that worry to rest. As with any appliances, you should follow the instructions and only the methods they have approved. I love my InstaPot now and My Power Air Fryer Oven is the bomb.

Do you know you can make salmon patties easily, healthier in the Air Fryer Oven? I do.

If you want to see a sample of how many recipes you can make using your Air Fryer/Oven, please go to my Pinterest account and browse. You will find yourself even making a quick amount of biscuits in it. The link is: https://www.pinterest.com/alm06/power-air-fryer-oven-cooking/

This is one of my pinned Air Fryer Recipes on my board listed above.

What I would like to give you are some tips on using the air fryer for the handy-dandy leftover warming magician:

  • We prepare a large amount of sausage, bacon, and other meats, burgers, etc. for the convenience of having a quick put together breakfast, lunch, or snack. A few minutes and all of these foods warm up without getting the microwave softening. Easy to clean, no pots to wash, so we use ours sometimes several times a day.
  • Leftover biscuits, rolls, croissants, buns, and toast as well as pastries brown so easily and have a crispy outside crust. This has sold me on the air fryer.
  • Using the air fryer oven saves us time as we can use it, remove the grill shelf which washes great in the dishwasher, and we are done.
  • I haven’t figured out why hot dogs taste incredible in the air fryer, but it is almost like grilled hot dogs without having to crank up the grill.
  • French fries are like the fast food restaurants if you use the method they suggest. We have the turn barrel and I can’t tell the difference except for the absence of so much grease from the fast food fries.

I can go on and on about using the Power Air Fryer Oven but it will be more fun if you get on the air waves and make something yummy and so convenient. I take my door off mine, keep it clean by easy method, and it sits on my counter ready to make my life easy.

Happy Meals to You….Until We Cook Again….Arline Miller, Reinvention Queen.

(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 for credit references.

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

Onion, Spunion What’s The Difference?

As most of my friends know, I am a huge fan of Brenda Gantt’s and share her Cooking With Brenda Gantt’s posts often. She is the real deal, very down to earth and even with her now celebrity status, she is inviting to watch and I have truly learned some great tips from her. Not to steal any thunder from her, but I love to learn new ways, shortcuts, and ideas on how to prepare great food with simple instructions. This is how this blog topic has originated when I watched Brenda show us how to make a blooming onion her way.

I am not going to post Brenda’s video on the blooming onion as I feel you might miss a lot of good cooking videos so I invite you to follow her on Facebook, at Cooking with Brenda Gantt (look for the blue check for the authentic page).

She loves buttermilk drenching and used it in the video. She took her time and opened the onion to make sure the buttermilk coating got all the way down. She added seasonings and then placed the coated onion in flour and even taking more flour and pouring it into the petals of the onion. She has more patience than me was my thought at the time. Her blooming onion turned out fantastic and she took her now famous crunch test by biting it. Yes, total success for her.

Since I love a blooming onion and have paid a hefty price in restaurants, I decided to give a shot and I thought I followed her instructions to the letter. As you can see in the photo, mine looked okay but was not “Brenda crunchworthy” to the bottom of the onion.

My attempt at making a blooming onion
. Not bad but not great so next try soon.

Hey, it was good but I could do better for my taste. So here comes the Arline wants the crunch idea. I had seen onion petals in restaurants as a menu item so what if I cut all the way through and release the petals prior to coating them and that is what I did for me. It worked and set the stage for the blog topic which you will see shortly.

Up close and crunchy is how the onion petals came out. Wow, I think Brenda would be proud.
This is what I was looking for, crunchy, tasty and easy to cook and eat.

Once I had found what was easy for me and produced the quality and taste I prefer, I thought I would share it on one of the cooking/baking groups I am a member. This is the focus of the blog, not the success of the onion petals. A lot, and I mean a lot of members loved my idea (it wasn’t a new idea as others have made them before). So many said they would try it this way, but a lot and I mean a lot of others told me how I guess me and Brenda should have iced watered the whole onion which seems like a lot of work and I wasn’t comfortable adding a lot of water to an already full of liquid onion. I am not faulting anyone for their ideas and it was a good response post and that is what we bloggers look for, the reaction.

What was intriguing was all of the attention over an onion. A blooming onion or onion petals? It fascinated me with all the hoopla over a simple food. I realized something very impressive. Maybe we have gone overboard with all of the freedom of social media that we feel a need to respond to each post and or blog or a group. It may be healthy but I saw strong opinions, yes very firm opinions over an onion. This led me to a deeper thought.

Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration, Reinvention Queen
  • If we took the same approach to homelessness, downtrodden and scarred people who even by their own fault fell into this trap of life, could we, would we solve this tragedy in our country?
  • If we took the same approach to education of our young children and teenagers to see what and how we can improve the quality of good education and not meet the demands of those who want to think for our children, could we, would we solve and move our educational goals higher?
  • I we took the same approach to caring for our elderly, who have given their time to take care of us when we were children and now left to live so frugally and sometimes even impoverished and left without proper medical care and treatment, could we, would we have a better outcome for their senior years?

I could go on and on listing all of the areas we can focus and insert input and solutions to the problems we, and others face. Onion, Spunion! Could it be possible to use the analogy of how so many responded to the Onion Saga, but never lift a finger or voice to the true causes of problems. I will give you a hint, It’s not due to an Onion so we can choose to make blooming onions or onion petals, or guess what, even Onion Rings. My point is there are many options to solve and recommend how to do the best activity to produce lasting and high quality outcomes.

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

Reinvention Queen goes from Stewed New Potatoes to Clam Chowder Made Easy

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 2012-2021 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration 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- Mushroom Lemon Herb Angel Hair Pasta to Spaghetti with Meatballs

REINVENTION QUEEN TRANSFORMS THE MUSHROOM LEMON HERB ANGEL HAIR PASTA INTO MEATBALL MUSHROOM SPAGHETTI:

This is how you will see me reinvent a leftover into a fresh new dish. See below for instructions.
Here is the ready to simmer Meatball Mushroom Fresh Herb Spaghetti.
Touch of Parmesan Cheese and Wallah!
I did bake fresh garlic bread but after a spin in a colander the angel hair pasta looked as fresh as when it was freshly made.

REINVENTING THE SAUCE INTO FRESH SPAGHETTI SAUCE:

  • Removing the lemon herb mushroom sauce that was leftover and placing it into a bowl with 2 jars of good quality Spaghetti sauce, 1 small can of tomato paste, 2 small cans of v-8 juice, with 1 jar of filtered water and mix well.
  • In a large pot, add 1 pkg of frozen or thawed meatballs.
  • Add the combined sauces to the meatballs and stir.
  • Add some seasonings like oregano, basil, dry Italian seasoning, garlic herb seasoning, minced onions, and whatever you like in homemade spaghetti sauce.
  • Top with fresh herbs for enhanced freshness (this is the difference by adding that fresh pop—also you can cube fresh garden tomatoes toward the end of the cooking with enough time for them to cook but maintain a fresh taste.
  • Take a look at the photos above and you will see the amount of herbs which can be adjusted to individual tastes.
  • I will top the angel hair pasta with a wet paper towel in the microwave for 60 seconds and it freshens up nicely.

This is the way I do it. I don’t want to spend my Saturday cooking from scratch for dinner. Add a salad and bread if you desire for a meal that usually takes a long prep time. Enjoy and please comment if you like the reinvention idea.

This is the original post for the Mushroom Lemon Herb Angel Hair Pasta.

My husband is a carnivore and loves his meats at a meal. Some time ago, I began doing some lighter pasta dishes and he hasn’t missed his meat for the meat. I don’t add any bread and serve the pasta with fresh grown herbs and we have enjoyed this lunch as a very tasty dish.

Thai Basil and Rosemary growing on our deck.

You see the title Reinvention Queen and may wonder what this dish has to do with that subject but already, my mind is working on what I can do with the leftovers to provide a fresh meal with new flavors. Keep this in mind as you will see how i got that title soon.

This meal was easy but it tastes as if I stayed in the kitchen for hours and in reality, I was only in the kitchen about 15 minutes. Now, for full transparency, I had onions cut up, I had the herbs minced, lemons out for zesting and juicing. Once I started composing the dish, it was easy to complete in the amount of time the angel hair pasta required cooking.

Pineapple Mint, Dill Weed, and Sweet Basil

Here is the recipe I came up with today. I wish I could tell you I go by certain amounts and/or ingredients but I am a cook/chef that makes it up as I go. A lot is determined by what I find in my pantry. It is as follows:

Reinvention Queen Mushroom Lemon Herb Angel Hair Pasta Recipe

Angel Hair Pasta (1/2 pkg) cooked and drained

Fresh Herbs (variety of your preference chopped) 1/8 – ¼ cup

2 Lemons (zested with lemon zest saved) squeezed into bowl

½ onion chopped or thinly sliced

1 pkg fresh mushrooms (can use preferred type)

1 stick butter (softened)

1 8 oz cream cheese (softened)

¼ cup sour cream

3 to 4 garlic cloves (or use equivalent amount of minced garlic)

1T minced ginger

Seasonings:

Charlie’s Choice Seasoning 1tsp.

Lane’s BBQ Garlic Herb Seasoning ½ tsp.

Onion Salt Sprinkle of ½ tsp.

Red wine vinegar 1 T.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil 2 T.

Splash Low Sodium Soy Sauce (optional)

Sea Salt & Fresh Ground Black Peppercorns (Use preferred amount)

Watch Video for step by step instructions using the ingredients listed.

  • My tips shared on the video:
  • I use my grater to zest lemons and/or oranges
  • I clip my fresh herbs and allow them to semi dry on a paper plate. Once they are not moist, I mince them and place in a zip loc bag. I use one bag and make a combo of several herbs. I will separate others that I allow them to completely dry.
  • If I am in a hurry and if I need softened cream cheese or butter, I place in a paper bowl and place in microwave for thirty (30) seconds. Instant softening.
  • I keep fresh garlic and it is the best way to cook but if I am in a hurry, I keep a jar of minced garlic and I keep minced ginger in a jar too.
  • This is not my idea or tip but one I saw that works when cooking pasta on high temperature is to lay a wooden spoon on top of the pot to prevent boil overs.

I am sure I have more tips and will introduce you to them. Use what you want, discard those you would never do. It’s your kitchen, do what you will when you are in your own kitchen. Limit yourself to your particular taste buds and eating style.

Happy Meals to You Until We Cook Again…..Reinvention Queen, Arline Miller

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