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STAKING MY REPUTATION ON AIR FRIED GRILLED STEAK

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I hope you will try many recipes and feel free to let me know how they turn out. I want to try the Bang Bang Salmon soon….Until We Power Up Again….Happy Meals to You…..Arline Miller, Reinvention Queen

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

REINVENTION QUEEN’S LITTLE BITS & PIECES

Today, while it is chilly or rather colder than I like it to be, I am staying inside and while I am hibernating, I thought I would share some of my tips and even some I have learned from others with my readers. I love reinventing dishes from leftovers and I have some awesome spaghetti sauce that needs to be eaten but you know as well as me, that making the same spaghetti dish gets mundane. While looking this morning, I found an easy way to make personal pizzas in the air fryer using English Muffins. Look at this easy way to use that spaghetti sauce:

Recipe by Gilat Split the English Muffin in half Place the English Muffins split side up in the air fryer for 3 minutes at 400 degrees.Remove from air fryer and top each with pizza sauce and cheese (optional: mini pepperoni, Italian seasoning, and garlic powder.Place back into the air fryer for 4 minutes at 400 degrees.

These are ideas that can be used to add ingredients you have on hand and make it your own.

Don’t you find that you always have more salad that you can eat when you order from a restaurant that have awesome salads, especially Caesar Salads with the delicious super greens? Next time, you could use one of my tips by removing some of the greens into a storage container for later. Make sure that you keep the greens with no dressing to stay fresh and crisp. Yesterday I shared this tip on FB when I made homemade tuna salad that I used one of the dressing containers of Caesar Dressing in the tuna mixture which was an awesome taste.

I have learned to save the extras from take out, store immediately, and use. Do you save the condiments like soy sauce, ketchup, duck sauce, Arby’s sauces (the horseradish sauce is great for making your own tartar sauce). Waste not, want not is Reinvention Queen’s motto.

Another great tip for saving extra rice from Chinese take out as you know they give you too much to eat at the time you get it home: Place extra rice with a paper towel in a zip loc bag or container. You can make a quick soup by using the rice along with a tomato condensed soup, a vegetable can of soup, or a cream of whatever soup with a little broth added to the leftover rice. Wallah, instant soup and usage of food. Never waste, make something new instead. BTW, add some leftover cooked veggies to whatever soup you make.

How about making your own seasonings? This is a handy reference and we all know we have so many bottles of spices in our pantry. Why buy the blends? Make some from what you have on hand.

What to do if you find your favorite bread on sale and know that you would love to stock up but worried about keeping it fresh? See this tip:

Photo tip by Thehomesteadsurvival.com

One of my dear friends cooks with fresh veggies and fruits to keep her immune system cranked up and here is a great tip from Debra Brown:

This is where I use creativity by looking at what I have in the refrigerator and adding it to some pantry items. Deb and I think alike.

Note from Arline Miller, Reinvention Queen: I have posted several dishes made from an original dish on my blog and if you search on my home page on the right side and type in Reinvention Queen, it will bring up several posts focused on making the most of what you have. When I bake, broil, fry, meats, I do more quantity in the first round to save energy (both mine and the stove’s).

Jon Taylor provides a great tip for making Nature’s Flu Shot and my thoughts are make this up by using excess lemons, pineapple juice, and garlic that you may have in your fridge.

Let’s get our minds to working to use up the pricey items we are buying so that we don’t waste and conserve our money. Inflation hurts but we can beat the odds by using what we have in oh so many ways….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, for credit references.

MAKING A RECIPE MY OWN VERSION

Do you love to use your imagination in baking and/or cooking? I do and I like to use the things in my pantry to see if they will work in an existing recipe like the one below. I know if you make this recipe the exact way it was created, it would be delicious and I am not knocking on this recipe. Quite the opposite, if I choose a recipe to base a creation on, it means I think it is a winner. I am posting the original recipe to give credit to the source.

This Cinnamon Sour Cream Coffee Cake from Mary Younkin’s new cookbook, The Weekday Lunches & Breakfasts Cookbook, is a recipe you’ll make again and again. With a super moist cake and two layers of cinnamon streusel, this morning treat is hard to resist. It is THE perfect accompaniment to your weekend morning coffee! This recipe was found on 365 Days of Baking & More.

Photo courtesy of 365 Days of Baking & More https://www.365daysofbakingandmore.com/cinnamon-sour-cream-coffee-cake/?fbclid=IwAR17QMToxXhxo9c_TTv9Ihyuj1dDlxJ1sHArU-UXzOG4_ZCEtOQ_OSao_0k

Cinnamon Sour Cream Coffee Cake

This Cinnamon Sour Cream Coffee Cake will be love at first bite! With a super moist cake and delicious cinnamon streusel layers, it’s the perfect treat with your morning coffee!4.62 from 31 votesCourse: Breakfast, DessertCuisine: AmericanKeyword: Coffee Cake, Sour Cream Coffee Cake Prep Time: 20 minutesCook Time: 40 minutesTotal Time: 1 hour Servings: 12 people Calories: 408kcal Author: Lynne Feifer

Ingredients

Cinnamon Streusel

  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar packed
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup butter melted

Cake

  • 1/2 cup butter room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup sour cream

Instructions

Cinnamon Streusel

  • Combine the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and butter in a medium bowl. Mix together with a fork until clumps are formed.

Cake

  • Preheat oven to 350° F. and grease a 9 X 9-inch pan with butter.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and cinnamon. 
  • In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, approximately 3 to 4 minutes. 
  • Add the eggs and vanilla and mix well, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • Add the flour mixture.
  • Add the sour cream and mix until well combined. 
  • Pour half of the cake batter into the prepared pan and with an offset spatula, spread to cover the bottom. 
  • Sprinkle half of the cinnamon streusel evenly over the cake batter.
  • Cover with remaining batter and then sprinkle again with the remaining streusel. 
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes, until lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out with moist crumbs. Cool completely before slicing.

Nutrition

Calories: 408kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 86mg | Sodium: 193mg | Potassium: 89mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 30g | Vitamin A: 695IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 52mg | Iron: 1.4mgHave you made this recipe?Please share on Instagram @365daysofbaking or tag #365daysofbaking!

Note from Arline Miller, Reinvention Queen: My changes which allowed me to put this tasty coffee cake together quickly. It didn’t change the recipe taste but with the use of a Moist Yellow Cake Mix, I assembled the coffee cake easily. I made the streusel the same but added a cup of chopped pecans for added flavor.

I used this cake mix instead of the cake portion in the original recipe. I also added the 1/2 cup sour cream in the cake batter as well as 1/2 tsp of nutmeg and 1 tsp. cinnamon. Since I used sour cream, I reduced the 1 cup water to 1/2 cup to equalize the liquid. I baked my cake for 50 minutes to make sure middle was completely cooked. Toothpick tested.
My version of this recipe image. Ooh lala, it is so moist and full of good spice but not overpowering.
You can see it has a great streusel layer inside the cake and top. Toss on some whipped topping and you have a hit. This is wonderful with a good cup of coffee or a glass of milk. Your choice.

My thoughts after trying it is for the baker to make the choice of which way you like it. I am pleased with using the cake mix. I would like to say to all of my readers and followers, learn to reinvent recipes to make them your own or make them exactly like they were planned. It is entirely up to you……. Until we cook or 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 to original location/author, if known, for credit reference.

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.

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.

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