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REINVENTION QUEEN HAS BEEN BUSY REINVENTING LEFTOVERS

While I played nurse to my husband who had a total knee replacement a month ago, we were homebound except for physical therapy and follow up visits. Since we work from home, I have cooked a lot for us and I love finding ways to reinvent a meal to eliminate that dreaded “leftover” syndrome. If it looks the same, we have a tendency to feel the Oh No, not that again. It has become a challenge, a fun one, to see what and if I can make it look new. Here are a few of my latest reinvention meals to share with you.

Remember, I am not trying to give you recipes but I want to encourage you to use what you have, try a few tricks of my trade, and waste not, want not. Open the door to your imagination, feel flavors, sense what will go with what, and experiment.

STUFFED BELL PEPPERS FROM LEFTOVER PORK AND RICE

My husband wanted to give me a break as I have cooked the three square meals while he recovered, and he made some awesome pork and rice in our InstaPot. He used cream of mushroom soup, can of mushrooms, chicken broth, salt and pepper. The rice, which I suggested he use Success Rice made in microwave and added at the last few minutes to prevent the rice from getting too soft or mushy. It was great but it made a lot so I thought what can I do to make a new dish.

Look at how great the InstaPot Pork and Rice made by Greg Miller looks and tasted.

I thought about some bell peppers I had in the fridge which needed to be used. Hmmm, remembering how a recipe I had created making stuffed peppers had rice and tomatoes and how could some yummy chopped pork not add flavors?

I cut the bell peppers in half, cleaned out the insides and coated with a small amount of EVOO and placed on the pan with a rack on top.

I mixed the pork and rice in a bowl. In my small chopper I combined a can of drained fire roasted tomatoes, garlic, chopped shallot, some leftover yellow onion pieces, chopped fresh garlic, seasonings and blended. This became the filling once mixed together with the chopped pork and rice. I added some grated Havarti cheese with dill too. Of course, I added some mirin, tamari sauce, and even a tsp of Worcestershire sauce. I added some goat cheese on top with fresh cilantro. I filled the peppers and baked on 350 degrees for 30 -40 minutes. See the photo for the results. For my summary, you could do this with leftover chicken and rice.

Here are the reinvented peppers I made.
Now, here is how I think when I make a dish, what can I do with the leftovers even from a reinvented meal….I placed the leftovers in one of our food saver bags and we sealed this for a future meal from our freezer. Free food…Love it.

Garden Peas with Leftover Spam Made Easy

I have made this easy breezy lunch all the way back when my daughter was in college. She makes it often without the meat, but this was my first time adding leftover Spam and it was delicious.

A quick summary as this is so easy, you don’t need a recipe: I can of Garden Sweet Peas, 1/2 macaroni, Spam which I had in fridge, butter 2 tsp., 1/4 cup half and half, Seasonings including Onion and Garlic Salt and enough chicken stock to cook macaroni. Saute’ Spam to give it a browned taste in pan, add butter and chicken stock and when hot, add macaroni. After about 4-6 minutes, add half and half, seasonings, and then add garden peas. Cook for same amount of time or until macaroni is cooked but don’t overcook macaroni. Cover and allow to sit for a few minutes and liquid will reduce into macaroni. This is cooked in less than 15 minutes. You can add boiled eggs, pimentos, and even cheese.

This doesn’t need a recipe. I seal leftovers such as small lima butterbeans cooked with leftover pieces of baked ham in our food saver bags and frozen. I had the cheese muffins leftover and thawed the butter beans and heated in pot. I added chopped shallots and chopped chives as a topper. This meal tasted fresh and took approximately 10 minutes.

I hope you will begin to experiment with leftovers by adding cheeses, meats, seasonings, make fritters from leftover veggies, and I am contemplating reinventing some of my great salmon patties into a breakfast dish with eggs so watch out for more from Reinvention Queen.

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

REINVENTION QUEEN REINVENTS LEFTOVERS

What do you do when you have leftovers in the refrigerator and don’t want to waste food? You can do what I did by thinking what dish would these leftovers were combined with a few extra goodies added? I thought I should help “stir” your imagination on how you can make a great “new” dish from foods you have handy.

DECONSTRUCTED CHICKEN POT PIE

Here is how it looked when I mixed it together
Finished Deconstructed Chicken Pot Pie. Would you ever believe it was made with leftovers?

Here was what I had in the fridge:

Leftover Chicken Thighs I had cooked in the InstaPot this week (6 thighs)

Leftover Sweet Carrots and Zucchini with Onions from a local restaurant

Leftover Rice from a local Chinese Restaurant which they always give too much rice.

Chicken Broth in box leftover from other meals which I didn’t want to waste.

Butter (always have butter handy)

1 can each Cream of Chicken and Cream of Mushroom (pantry always has these on my shelves for helping a reinvention recipe have instant flavor)

Seasoning (I keep seasonings handy at all times to spark up flavors to reinvent leftovers as the Poultry Seasoning in this dish)

Chives this time but I would as easily have used parsley, thyme, rosemary, or basil. Fresh chives don’t last long in the refrigerator so they needed to be used.

Mix the pulled chicken pieces with the other ingredients and add the soups and broth in large saute’ pan and once ingredients are blended, place on low heat and simmer until you are ready. Remember everything is already cooked so it is only for flavor blending. Enjoy and think you can substitute other items as long as you remember an important key factor in reinventing a dish. Think of your plate of food and would you serve all ingredients together as separate dishes? Such as the carrots would always go with chicken, what soups taste good with what meats/veggies, and seasonings should be compatible with the main ingredient………..Until we cook/bake again…..Arline Miller, Reinvention Queen

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

Cupid’s Calling All Chocoholics

Each year, as Valentines Day creeps closer, that urge to have chocolate increases. It’s not like we haven’t indulged during the holidays, but it pulls at our minds and tummies even more when it is associated with love and passion. I find myself saying it’s okay because it’s Valentines. I have been able to cut down on chocolates while on my mission to find better health. However….it will be Valentines Day soon! Here is my post from a few years ago for all Chocoholics.

FOR THE BEGINNING OF FEBRUARY 2021, I found a great post about the big event so I thought I would repost it on the first of February to whet our appetite.

Calling all Chocoholics (Chocolate Lovers who might need intervention)! Valentines Day is coming soon so excuses are not needed as it is the reason for the season but WHY? Let us consider the pros and cons of downing the chocolate, milk, white, dark, or mixed with nuts, fillings, or whatever form we can get it. Is there a link to Love? Is it a feel good reason we have to have it. Today, we enter the river of flowing chocolate and get our mouths drooling. Here is an enlightening article I found giving us the psychological reasons and we already know the real reason is “we can’t live without it.”

Why Do We Crave Chocolate So Much?

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Why Do We Crave Chocolate So Much?

The psychology behind why we love chocolate

Posted Feb 11, 2014

Source:Why do we crave chocolate so much? I consulted a professor of psychology and neuroscience, Dr. Amy Jo Stavnezer, to help us understand why we desire chocolate so much (just in time for Valentine’s Day!).

Dr. Albers: On a biological level, why do we crave chocolate?

Professor Stavnezer: We crave chocolate because it is good! It tastes good. It smells good. It feels good when it melts on our tongue. And all of those ‘feelings’ are the result of our brain releasing chemicals in response to each chocolate experience. The experience of eating chocolate results in feel good neurotransmitters (mainly dopamine) being released in particular brain regions (frontal lobe, hippocampus and hypothalamus—definitions a bit later).

Dopamine is released when you experience anything that you enjoy—sexlaughing, or watching your favorite Olympian claim the gold. This reward circuit is partially hard-wired by genetics, but it learns, changes and responds to your specific preferences based on your life experiences. This malleability of the brain is what makes each of us unique. In fact, there are supposedly people in the world who do not like chocolate.

By simply using one neurotransmitter system to associate rewards with actions, an efficient and powerful brain network evolved so that a positive outcome would be repeated. The dopamine signal sent through the reward circuit brings about positive feelings and assessments of the situation in the frontal lobe (just behind your eyes), creates a memory of the experience including where, who, what and why and links that to the positive experiences via the hippocampus (about an inch inside of each ear), and when food is involved, the hypothalamus (a few inches above the roof of your mouth) gathers information about the caloric and nutrient content for future hunger and satiety signals.

It was originally thought that chocolate contained compounds that could activate this dopamine system directly (like cigarettes and cocaine do). Chocolate does contain theobromine that can increase heart rate and bring about feelings of arousal, caffeine which can make us feel awake and increase our ability to work and focus, and fat and sugar which are preferred food sources for humans because they are calorie dense. However, elegant experiments in which the components of chocolate were separated out indicated that just ingesting the chemicals in chocolate without the mouth-feel and taste does not decrease craving.

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Photo courtesy of goodhousekeeping.com



Maybe this is why we eat chocolate?

I found an excerpt from an article on the history of how chocolate became the ruler of Valentines Day. It is from National Geographic and is titled Why We Want Chocolate for Valentines Day

THE PLATE

Why We Want Chocolate for Valentine’s Day

3 MINUTE READBY APRIL FULTON

So how did chocolate become the ultimate Valentine’s Day treat?

The origins of the historic combination are far from clear. Chocolate has been considered an aphrodisiac since the time of the Aztecs, and was once only available to the wealthy. Spanish conquistadors brought it back to Europe, and according to The Oxford Companion to Food, Italian chefs were shaving blocks over their risottos in the late 17th century. The French made pastilles in the 18th century, a favorite of the marquis de Sade. But it wasn’t until the cocoa butter extracted from the beans was processed into the rough form of a candy bar in England in 1847, according to Cadbury, and later rounded out with milk, that its appeal began to grow. Once candy became cheaper to produce, more people got to taste it. And once they tasted it, well, you know the rest.

Meanwhile, the origins of Valentine’s Day are even more complex. They can be traced to Roman times and Lupercalia, a Pagan festival that involved fertility and feasting in mid-February. The Romans “were drunk. They were naked,” Noel Lenski, a historian at the University of Colorado at Boulder, told NPR in 2011. Young women lined up for the men to hit them, Lenski says. They thought would make them fertile.

Not too romantic, was it? It gets crazier. The early Catholic Church martyred a rebel priest named Valentine and tried to take the nakedness out of the Lupercalia festival by declaring Feb. 14 as St. Valentine’s Day. Chaucer combined the essence of the pagan rituals with courtly ideas of love in one famous Valentine’s poem about bird sex: “And, Lord, the blisse and joye that they make! For ech of hem gan other in wynges take.” And then Shakespeare took the notion of romantic love even further in the sonnets.

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Hopefully, this will get your Valentine craving for chocolate flowing and from this Sipping Cup of Inspiration blogger, Happy Valentines Day and now it is official, you have a natural reason for loving chocolate. My deeper thought is to LIVE LIFE, LOVE LIFE, AND LIVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST by digesting all that life has to offer as long as you add to other’s lives and not make their lives unhappy. Eat chocolate or don’t, but love always.

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

Let’s Keep the Power Up with Power XL

I have to say getting the Power XL Air Fryer Grill Oven for Christmas is better than a lot of gifts I have received and they were all wonderful. Most of you know how much I love to cook. Yes, I said it. I love to cook. I find a challenge learning how to make something even more delicious and most importantly, even more easy and time friendly. I thought I would continue to share my testing series. Here are some of my other goodies:

BAKED BEANS AND GRILLED HOT DOGS VIA POWER XL

Look at the caramelization which came from baking beans and pre-cooked bacon in the Power XL Oven


The Grill Pan is awesome and places great grill marks on the hot dogs. It doesn’t matter if it rains outside, we can grill inside.

Yummy and Quick with the flavors of traditional cooking/grilling in the Power XL
This is how a chili slaw dog should look without having to deal with a grill.

I made my baked beans with the traditional recipe you can find anywhere on Pinterest but I used pre-cooked bacon since the oven does the caramelization quicker. Bake selected and it took 25 minutes. I sprayed my casserole dish and so no scrubbing afterwards. The hot dogs were done on Grill in the oven’s grill pan for 7 minutes and then I flipped for an additional 5 minutes. Perfect dogs!

FRIED MUSHROOMS IN THE AIR FRYER

The Crisper Tray works like a charm and our oven came with two. Mushrooms are terrific in the air fryer.
I made a sauce horseradish blue cheese dressing and wow, it hit the spot.
If you wonder about the crunch, don’t worry. Look at the crust.

I dredged the mushrooms in an egg buttermilk soak, then in seasoned flour, and back into the egg mixture then into panko crumbs. Easy and tasty. Garlic salt, onion powder, paprika, and seasoned salt and pepper.

I have several more to test and report on but I am happy to say that it is going very tasty in my kitchen. I love the ease of clean up which has been incredibly easy so far. I made french fries last night so watch for more exciting blog messages. I will demo stuffed mushrooms, burgers, french fries, and will make a cake.

Click on this link to learn more (Image just for display)

https://powerxlairgrill.com/https://powerxlairgrill.com/

Please feel free to make comments on your experience if you have a Power XL Air Fryer Grill Oven and maybe I can get some ideas from my readers….Until we Cook and Air Fry Again……..Arline Miller, Reinvention Queen and Blogger

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

REINVENTION QUEEN REINVENTS NEW POTATOES

2022 Kickoff for Reinvention Queen “New Potatoes are reinvented into Clam Chowder”. I posted this idea in 2021 and the other day, I used this idea to make some fantastic chowder. Before I throw any food out, as long as it is still safe to eat, I figure out what new dish I can make from the leftovers. During this year, I will walk you, my readers, through the creative approach I use. Let’s revisit one of the many posts I did. If you are looking for some ideas, search in the search box by typing Reinvention Queen and you will see several selections. Here is the original post:

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 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.

My Oh My Do I Smell Pumpkin Pie?

TODAY THE WORDS ARE HOLIDAY SCENTS

No blog message on the HOLIDAY Scents would be complete without the scents of mountain air and beautiful leaves with their awesome display of color. This photo was from our wondrous changing of the leaves vacation.

Pumpkin flavored everything seems to be in all ads, coffee, shakes, lattes, cookies, pies, tarts and breads bring the strong allspice and cinnamon flavors. Answer me this…..As I listed these tasty and fragrant delights, did your smell sense rise especially when I mentioned cinnamon? Let’s go on a little memory trip and visit the gingerbread land.

When I was young and always ready for something Momma had baked; I looked forward to her tea cakes, her pound cakes (which we would always catch her out of the kitchen and jump up and down to cause it to fall; bless Momma’s heart it was years before she realized her cakes would have been beautiful if we hadn’t sabotaged her efforts to have it taste better), but I remember her gingerbread best of all. I could smell the fragrant aroma of the gingerbread loaf before I made it home from school. Walking up to our house, I could smell it’s wonderful smell and I was so excited. I am speaking from my heart but this was a unanimous contention for all of my siblings. It was a wonderful and joyous moment and now a great memory of those spices and more importantly, the love shown by our Mom.

We, as humans, are susceptible to smells as much as taste. We are usually expressive either pro or con about smells and aromas. Fall presents strong aromas and seemingly tied to family gatherings and holidays. This brings me to my focus for this message.

The Health Benefits of Pumpkin Spice

Tis the season … for pumpkin spice, that is. This seasonal spice blend might have its naysayers who believe that the pumpkin spice love has gotten a little out of control, but to them, we say: bring it on. Even Trader Joe’s is embracing pumpkin spice mania — or, as they put it, “Pumpkintopia”.

If you don’t know what pumpkin spice is, we have to say, you are missing out. Contrary to the name, it doesn’t contain any actual pumpkin, but the warming blend of spices pairs oh-so-well with pumpkin pie and the famous concoction that has stolen our hearts over the years: the pumpkin spice latte. Unfortunately, the most mainstream example of our beloved latte, the Starbucks PSL, is not and cannot be made vegan, but worry not — it’s easy to make your own vegan pumpkin spice latte at home.

Bonus: this homemade version comes with some health benefits. Let’s break down the reasons why.

Ahh, pumpkin spice … A warming symphony of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves.
Cinnamon has been shown to have antibacterial and antifungal properties. Studies have also suggested that it may have anti-inflammatory properties.

Ginger boasts a variety of health benefits, such as combating stomach ailments, reducing inflammation, reducing headache pain, aiding in digestion, and increasing metabolism.

Nutmeg is rich in manganese, which helps regulate blood sugar, absorb calcium, metabolize carbs, and helps form tissues and bones.

Allspice, also known as pimento, is rich in antioxidants, has anti-inflammatory properties, may help improve blood circulation and more.

Cloves are a rich source of manganese and an active component called eugenol, which functions as an anti-inflammatory substance. It has also been the subject of studies on the prevention of toxicity from environmental pollutants like carbon tetrachloride, digestive tract cancers, and joint inflammation.

Make Your Own Pumpkin Spice Blend at Home
Ready to make your own pumpkin spice blend? First, make sure you have your supplies. You’ll need an empty bottle (save the bottles from spices you use up just for moments like this) and a kitchen funnel. You could also make your own kitchen funnel by cutting a sheet of printer paper in half diagonally, shaping it into a cone, and taping it.

Then, combine 1/2 cup ground cinnamon, 2 tablespoons ground ginger, 1 tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1 teaspoon ground allspice, and 1 teaspoon ground cloves.

Now, you’re ready to use your homemade blend in homemade pumpkin spice lattes and more! Here are a few of our favorite recipes, courtesy of the Food Monster App:

Pumpkin Spice Latte With Homemade Pumpkin Seed Milk
This dairy-free version of the ever-popular Pumpkin Spice Latte by Courtney West is made using homemade pumpkin seed milk! The latte is a concoction of the pumpkin seed milk, pumpkin spiced maple simple syrup and cold brew concentrate. Though this may seem a little involved for a coffee drink, the recipe will make enough for about four drinks, so you can keep sipping on PSLs all week long

I thought I would share my own Pumpkin Pie Recipe which I created over the years, but it is a winning combination of just enough spices and sweetness to satisfy any pumpkin pie lover.

Yummy, yummy to the tummy Pumpkin Pies

Now for the deeper thought……As our senses tell us what aroma is filling the air; we need to be as conscious of who and what is filling our lives. We need to “sniff”our home environment and smell out what children are hearing and watching.

We need to appreciate the warm, comforting times we spend with our family and friends. We can seek out God more and take time to thank Him for all the sweet blessings and treats of life. We want to cherish the good taste of life while we smell the cinnamon aroma of living and loving life.

FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:
Proverbs 15:17 ESV
Better is a dinner of herbs where love is than a fattened ox and hatred with it.

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

WHAT’S UP WITH THE JACK-O’LANTERN?

THIS IS A REPOST FROM 2016 but I thought it was an interesting post so I decided you might like to read it too.       WHAT’S UP WITH THE JACK-O’-LANTERN? A young man, Blake Lott posted on Facebook When and why did it become a social tradition for people to sit around a table and carve spooky vegetables together? 🎃 👻 Did you know the original jack o’ lantern was actually a turnip ”     “”

I thought, “How interesting are those questions!” I decided to do a little digging and I hope everyone enjoys this post about our pumpkin carving tradition which is really not American but is tracked back to Ireland. I found this article on the legend:

THE LEGEND OF “STINGY JACK”People have been making jack-o’-lanterns at Halloween for centuries. The practice originated from an Irish myth about a man nicknamed “Stingy Jack.” According to the story, Stingy Jack invited the Devil to have a drink with him. True to his name, Stingy Jack didn’t want to pay for his drink, so he convinced the Devil to turn himself into a coin that Jack could use to buy their drinks. Once the Devil did so, Jack decided to keep the money and put it into his pocket next to a silver cross, which prevented the Devil from changing back into his original form. Jack eventually freed the Devil, under the condition that he would not bother Jack for one year and that, should Jack die, he would not claim his soul. The next year, Jack again tricked the Devil into climbing into a tree to pick a piece of fruit. While he was up in the tree, Jack carved a sign of the cross into the tree’s bark so that the Devil could not come down until the Devil promised Jack not to bother him for ten more years.Did You Know?The original jack-o’-lanterns were carved from turnips, potatoes or beets.Soon after, Jack died. As the legend goes, God would not allow such an unsavory figure into heaven. The Devil, upset by the trick Jack had played on him and keeping his word not to claim his soul, would not allow Jack into hell. He sent Jack off into the dark night with only a burning coal to light his way. Jack put the coal into a carved-out turnip and has been roaming the Earth with ever since. The Irish began to refer to this ghostly figure as “Jack of the Lantern,” and then, simply “Jack O’Lantern.”In Ireland and Scotland, people began to make their own versions of Jack’s lanterns by carving scary faces into turnips or potatoes and placing them into windows or near doors to frighten away Stingy Jack and other wandering evil spirits. In England, large beets are used. Immigrants from these countries brought the jack o’lantern tradition with them when they came to the United States. They soon found that pumpkins, a fruit native to America, make perfect jack-o’-lanterns.

Article Details: History of the Jack O’ Lantern  

I have heard a discussion back and forth whether Christians should or should not celebrate Halloween. This is a personal decision and I leave it to individuals but I decided to do a little digging on the holiday itself. Here is a definition from Wikipedia on Halloween:  From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Halloween&oldid=745513786
This article is about the observance. For other uses, see Halloween (disambiguation).

“All Hallows’ Eve” redirects here. For other uses, see All Hallows’ Eve (disambiguation).

Halloween, or Hallowe’en (a contraction of All Hallows’ Evening),[5] also known as Allhalloween,[6] All Hallows’ Eve,[7] or All Saints’ Eve,[8] is a celebration observed in a number of countries on 31 October, the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows’ Day. It begins the three-day observance of Allhallowtide,[9] the time in the liturgical year dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints (hallows), martyrs, and all the faithful departed.[10][11]
It is widely believed that many Halloween traditions originated from Celtic harvest festivals which may have pagan roots, particularly the Gaelic festival Samhain, and that this festival was Christianized as Halloween.[1][7][12][13][14][15] Some academics, however, support the view that Halloween began independently as a solely Christian holiday.[1][16][17][18][19]
Halloween activities include trick-or-treating (or the related guising), attending Halloween costume parties, decorating, carving pumpkins into jack-o’-lanterns, lighting bonfires, apple bobbing and divination games, playing pranks, visiting haunted attractions, telling scary stories and watching horror films. In many parts of the world, the Christian religious observances of All Hallows’ Eve, including attending church services and lighting candles on the graves of the dead, remain popular,[20][21][22] although elsewhere it is a more commercial and secular celebration.[23][24][25] Some Christians historically abstained from meat on All Hallows’ Eve,[26][27] a tradition reflected in the eating of certain foods on this vigil day, including apples, potato pancakes and soul cakes.[27][28][29]

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I thought it would be interesting to find out more about Trick or Treating tradition’s history too. Why not? Here is an article from Smithsonian.com (link below article)

 It’s almost that time of year when underaged kids get into costume and traipse around the neighborhood ringing doorbells and begging for treats. When you think about it, trick or treating is kind of a weird thing. Where did it come from anyway?

Today I Found Out discovered that the practice began with the Celtic tradition of celebrating the end of the year by dressing up as evil spirits. The Celts believed that, as we moved from one year to the next, the dead and the living would overlap, and demons would roam the earth again. So dressing up as demons was a defense mechanism. If you encountered a real demon roaming the Earth, they would think you were one of them.Fast forward to when the Catholic Church was stealing everybody’s holidays and trying to convert them. They turned the demon dress-up party into “All Hallows Eve,” “All Soul’s Day,” and “All Saints Day” and had people dress up as saints, angels and still a few demons. Today I Found Out writes:

As for the trick or treating, or “guising” (from “disguising”), traditions, beginning in the Middle-Ages, children and sometimes poor adults would dress up in the aforementioned costumes and go around door to door during Hallowmas begging for food or money in exchange for songs and prayers, often said on behalf of the dead.  This was called “souling” and the children were called “soulers”.You might think that this practice then simply migrated along with Europeans to the United States. But trick or treating didn’t re-emerge until the 1920s and 1930s. It paused for a bit during World War II because of sugar rations, and it’s now back in full force.The term “trick or treat” dates back to 1927. Today I Found Out explains:The earliest known reference to “trick or treat”, printed in the November 4, 1927 edition of the Blackie, Alberta Canada Herald, talks of this,Hallowe’en provided an opportunity for real strenuous fun. No real damage was done except to the temper of some who had to hunt for wagon wheels, gates, wagons, barrels, etc., much of which decorated the front street. The youthful tormentors were at back door and front demanding edible plunder by the word “trick or treat” to which the inmates gladly responded and sent the robbers away rejoicing.The British hate Halloween, apparently. In 2006, a survey found that over half of British homeowners turn off their lights and pretend not to be home on Halloween. Yet another reason by the United States is happy to be free from British rule. No funs.

          Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/the-history-of-trick-or-treating-is-weirder-than-you-thought-79408373/#vWJK4Mu5ro0d2pUI.99 Give the gift of Smithsonian magazine for only $12! http://bit.ly/1cGUiGv Follow us: @SmithsonianMag on Twitter

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All in all, Halloween is on its way, whether you carve the Jack-O-Lantern, Trick or Treat. You can choose to participate or not. I find it interesting to read the history and how these traditions have come about. However you decide is fine with me. I am 67 years old and I have never felt an evil feeling about Halloween and over the years my husband and I have enjoyed the small children coming to our door with their little costumes yelling Trick or Treat. May your holidays be bright and cheery.

(C) Copyright 2012-2021 Arline L Miller with all rights and privileges reserved. All third party material sourced to original location for credit.

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.

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  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.

Reinvention Queen Sails Into Port with Shrimp Salad with Creamy Horseradish Sauce

Reinvention Queen uses the the rest of those golden shrimp as well as a few leftover delicious scallops in a quick to assemble even making the copy cat version but reinvented Arline Style Creamy Horseradish Sauce that is so good you will be tempted to drink it but save it for Roast Beef Sandwiches or other dishes like salmon. Ok, enough of my reinventing and waste not, want not theory and off to how to use leftovers along with fresh herbs from my garden, and even cucumbers and red onions from the fridge.

FRIED OR GRILLED SHRIMP SALAD

If using leftover shrimp and in this one, leftover seared scallops, warm in air fryer over or you can warm in a saute pan without any oil. I set for 3 minutes in air fryer oven and they were perfectly warm. Set aside.

4 Slices of Bacon (optional but yummy) Fried and drained on paper towel to be crunched before adding to salad.

1 pkg of super greens in bag for convenience or make two bowls of variety of salad greens. I use my kitchen shears to cut the pieces into bite size. You can adjust amounts but this made two hearty salads.

Chopped garden tomatoes or you can use cherry or grape tomatoes.

1/4 sweet onion grated so you don’t taste a lot of onion. By grating the onion, it allows some of the juice to blend in the salad.

Cucumbers and red onions with a little bell pepper is chopped from the prepared cucumber onion salad that is available in most delicatessens. I buy it in quart size to add to salads or as a side dish. I used about 10 of the cucumber slices cubed.

Feta cheese or even goat cheese is sprinkled into bowl of greens. Your decision as this is optional but it was a great addition.

Salt and pepper as well as some fresh herbs can be added: Dill and chives were my selection for this salad.

Mix together and dress the salad with shrimp, scallops if you included, bacon bits, and the following dressing (sauce) Add your favorite crackers or place the salad in a tortilla baked shell (one of the pictures will demonstrate the tortilla bowl).

This is my Fried Shrimp Scallop Salad with my version of Horseradish Sauce.
My Creamy Horseradish Sauce. My daughter and I created this sauce a few months ago. Delish!

 Copy Cat Creamy Horseradish Sauce

1/4 grated onion

1/2 cup Sour Cream

1/2 cup Mayo (Hellmans)

2 T. Honey

2 T. Dijon Mustard

2 T Lemon Juice

2 T. Worcestershire Sauce

1 tsp. Garlic Herb Seasoning

1tsp. Onion Powder

3 T. Horseradish Sauce

Chives and Dill weed (fresh)

Salt and Pepper to taste

Mixed dry herbs to taste 

Mix all ingredients together and refrigerate at least 30 minutes. 

Here is the salad in a tortilla shell which I turned a muffin pan upside down and placed the shells around the raised circle and placed in oven 400 degrees until toasty.
Shrimp up close for yumminess.

Grilled Shrimp can be used for this same salad.

We grill a lot of shrimp at a time and get busy reinventing ways to have a different dish each time.

It is a Shrimp Delight Salad. Endless Combo Possibilities.

Reinvention Queen Notes: As you can see, you can stretch a “Cook Once, Eat Many” task into several delicious but quick and easy by using things on hand and making wise and fresh choices. Use herbs, seasonings, sauces, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and cheeses and get creative. I would love to see how you would created dishes by reinventing what “you’ve got.”

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

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

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