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The Fun Is In The Kneading.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

KNEADING THE BREAD OF LIFE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why We Need to Knead

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

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

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

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

HAPPY HALLOWEEN

TODAY THE WORDS are HAPPY HALLOWEEN! Get the costumes out for the kiddies and for those adults who refuse to grow up and love Halloween as much or more than they did as kids. We have an average of 200 trick or treaters at our home each year. Over the years, we have had the cutest and some scary visitors. May all of the little ones be safe and have fun getting the sugar rush of the year. May all parents who will feel the effects of the sugar highs…..Patience dear parents….we used to be them!  I wanted to give us a little history which is later than the Celtic Pagan festivals for the dead. I found an excerpt from Bodie Hodge’s article for us to enjoy.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN TO ALL! 

WE HAD FUN DRESSING UP OUR PETS IN FORMER YEARS AND NO PET OF OURS ENJOYED SEEING THE KIDDIES AS MUCH AS OUR WHISKERS.
HE EVEN FOLLOWED SOME OF THE KIDS ACROSS THE STREET. I THINK HE THOUGHT HE WAS SUPPOSED TO TRICK OR TREAT WITH THEM.
WHISKERS in HIS HALLOWEEN COSTUME
MILLER’S HALLOWEEN 2007

HAPPY HALLOWEEN

The Name “Halloween” (Excerpt by Bodie Hodge on October 29, 2013)

Around AD 600, Pope Boniface IV created All Saints’ Day, and Pope Gregory III later moved this holiday to November 1 in an effort to give a Christian alternative to this pagan celebration.5

Christians who did not want to celebrate pagan festivals celebrated something of positive spiritual value—in this case honoring the saints and martyrs. With the overwhelming expansion of Christianity in Europe, All Saint’s Day became the dominant holiday.6

In fact, the current name of “Halloween” originates from the day before All Saint’s Day, which was called “All Hallow Evening”; this name was shortened to “All Hallow’s Eve” or “All Hallow’s Even.” The name changed over time and became “Hallowe’en.”

A couple hundred years later, the Roman Church made November 2 All Souls Day to honor the dead. This may well have been influenced by the continued persistence of the day of the dead by the ancient Irish, Scots, and others in Europe. Standing against this, many Protestant Christians celebrate October 31 as Reformation Day in honor of reformers such as Martin Luther, John Calvin, and others who spearheaded the Reformation in the 1500s.

Now for the deeper thought…..Many people wonder if Halloween should be celebrated. As anything can be used for good or evil; remember to keep good thoughts in any holiday with reverence and kindness. For us, it is a time of fun for the the children to dress up in costumes and go to either church events and/or going around the neighborhoods for treats. It is up to the individual families to decide for themselves. We, as children, had so much fun trick or treating, I cannot see harm in it; but again choose for yourselves and enjoy your children doing something fun.

An alternative to Trick or Treat is the Trunk and Treat which a lot of churches are participating to control the risks of going home to home which has been successful.

DAILY FEATURED BIBLE VERSE:

Colossians 2:16–17 (NKJV)

16 So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, 17 which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.


(c) copyright 2012- 2022 Arline Lott Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration and Reinvention Queen. The material here copyrighted, use only by permission and third party material is sourced, if known, for credit reference.

WHAT’S TO SAY ABOUT UNSPOKEN PRAYER REQUESTS

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

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

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

What Are Unspoken Prayers?

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

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

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

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

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

PRAY For One Another And Watch God Do AMAZING Things!

November 6, 2018 by Mark Altrogge

God does AMAZING things when we pray for one another. 

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

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

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

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

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

LET’S SLOW DOWN TO GET FAST RESULTS

What do I mean by this title of my blog message? I feel we have gotten into a manic rush form of thinking and doing. Let’s look at the names of appliances and social media such as InstaPot and InstaGram, Snapchat, etc. We have adapted our minds to an Instant Decision Making Process. No longer do we take reasonable time to consider the consequences of our actions. My focus on this message is perhaps on the important matters, we should use the Slow Cooker method to allow our decisions to simmer long enough to obtain the maximum positive results. Let’s dive in, and go over the options of pros and cons of thinking and how our actions can affect our lives.

Photo courtesy of Indeed.com (they own rights to this image)

My Assessment of this Use of Thinking Skills

In my lifetime, not one time but many, I have used impulsive buying as in see something, buy something. Impulsive buying has had a probable result of 50-50 satisfaction. I think if I had exercised 1, 2, and 3 steps, I could have moved my satisfaction meter up to at least 75% or higher. Tags on clothes, that I gave away due to the 50% non satisfied are proof.

Communication #4 has been boggled by social media. The intention of most of our social media platforms was to engage all of us, even though we have different locations, ethnic backgrounds, work diversification, religious and political beliefs, genders, etc. This sounds like a great idea but it also allows for dissension among the social media followers and argumentative actions can be counter productive. Maybe unbiased research and conversations in a private setting may be more productive and less hostile. Constructive criticism (I hate the word criticism as it negates any positivity so I like to use input or feedback) if used in a character building manner can be useful.

Problem Solving #5 is a way of life for me, maybe to a fault. If someone, even someone that I have the highest regard and value their intelligence, tells me of a problem or situation that requires solution and/or resolution I want to offer my opinion immediately. This is not a good thing and I am working on it. Let’s see what I have been working on to help solve problems but not mandate my solution:

  • If I ask questions instead of making recommendations, this gives the person an opportunity to self help of making decisions with a confidence builder for them.
  • Once a person has stated a problem, by asking a question of what they think should or could happen to resolve this problem, it puts the ball back in their hands. It becomes their decision, not yours.
  • Listening instead of talking, asking instead of telling will be more effective and the recipient of any input from me is better received.
  • Caring enough to follow up with someone who has stated a problem on the status, what has been accomplished, what is still outstanding, and if not resolved, ask what they feel is the next step.

I am going to take a step backwards to #2 Analysis. I am learning, WIP, to do what I term as Realistic Analysis. What is the difference by adding Realistic to Analysis? I am a writer and also a very positive person. I see the best, but I have learned that I have to expect realistic results. Prince Charming is not every man or every woman is not a Princess. There are trolls and evil queens outside of fairy tales. Realism is a realistic way of life and we should analyze possibilities in a realistic visual. Some examples are creams help diminish wrinkles topically but they are still part of the aging process and even though the creams help, we can expect this is an ongoing part of aging. We can dream to accomplish what we would love to happen in our lives, but the reality is, can we live without that dream if it doesn’t come to us? We can, we can also dream of other accomplishments we can realistically achieve while we work on the master dream.

Sipping Cups of Inspiration is now in its 10th year with well over 150 countries viewing it.

Let’s slow down, brew a slow brew of delicious coffee bypassing the instant coffee. Let’s doodle, draw, write, sing, dance, exercise, meditate, contemplate, envision, go fishing, watch football, baseball, or even work puzzles, cook or bake instead of take out. We are each going to come to a Stop Sign of Life and that is about as realistic as it gets. LIVE LIFE, LOVE LIFE, AND LIVE AND LOVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST BY SLOWING DOWN TO SMELL THE ROSES!

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

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Food For Thought: I have given much thought as to what effect if we knew what was going to happen before it actually happened. Would we change course, would we run as fast as we could, would we accept the inevitable, what would we do? During life, we get hit with unexpected situations, changes, losses, gains, relationships, moves, windfalls and devastations. We question Why and either celebrate or find ourselves wondering how we will overcome this obstacle.

I am not sure we would benefit from knowing. My reason for this assumption is in my life, I have grown from the difficult times. I have learned from my mistakes and yes, from other’s mistakes too. I have learned compassion and empathy from life’s events. I have mourned the losses, appreciated the wins, and have found and lost love. I have learned all friends are not true friends and have learned how to figure out which is which. I have worked for a long time in different vocations and if you asked me which I enjoyed the most I would reply all of them because each one taught me how to use different skills and talents. I have been shocked by so many things that these experiences have taught me not to be shocked and actually expect the unexpected. This taught me how to be flexible. I have learned to not depend on mankind without having the firm faith in God who takes care of us if we trust and believe. I learned from my experiences with mankind an important structural fact…Man is Limited but God is Limitless. Giving things in which we find ourselves limited over to God enhances the possibility of obtaining what is out of our control.

Yes, it seems like it would be an easy life if we had the prior knowledge of things to come. I would like to offer a hint to all who believe in The Holy Bible. It gives us a heads up as to the future. No, it doesn’t give dates but at least we are given a true picture, even those listed in parables, of the possibility of a future in Heaven where it will not be necessary to wonder what is going to happen tomorrow. Just saying, put our faith and trust in God that everything can be all right if we live for God to serve His Truth.

Have a blessed day in Christ and love each other as He Loves Us.

May be an image of sky

This is a short blog post that I placed on my FaceBook Page but I wanted to share with you. I do not push my faith on anyone as I firmly believe we have to find our own salvation. I do wish everyone peace and joy in your lives.

(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 location and author, if known, for credit references.

MANAGING MY MIND MANAGES MY WEIGHT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reinvention Queen Revisits Potatoes

The following post was from almost a year ago and I decided that it is getting that time again for thinking of chowders, oyster stew, soups and chilis so what better way but to revisit this idea. Look for the other ideas for reinventing our normal foods into a new dish. Here is how I expanded some great potatoes into a delicious c

Yesterday, we were the recipients of one of my husband’s long time friend, David Fletcher who is an avid gardener, first bounty freshly dug new potatoes and awesome fresh garden grown onions. I was over the moon with the sight of the vegetables and I washed them off and thought of my childhood. Before I share both of my dishes, I thought I would reminisce a little.

When we were little, times were not easy but they were good. I don’t have a memory of a horrible childhood but rather a time much simpler than all the craziness in the world. We had neighborhood playmates and if we could be called a gang, it was an innocent one, and we now call ourselves the Willow Street Gang. One of those neighbors is smiling if he is reading this, as Duane Tucker and I jokingly refer to our days on that little street in my hometown of Douglas GA. Now, for the background story of the new potatoes or potatoes in general. To say our Mother could stretch a dollar for a mile, would be to insult that crafty lady. How she could make a meal out of almost no cost is still a mystery but one I remembered after I became an adult.

We may not have had a bounty of food but she always had just enough to feed us all. There were four children and two adults and one can of salmon would feed us and we left full. A mess of potatoes and we had the creamiest, tastiest, and filling meal. She would make bread to go along with it and sometimes if a neighbor had surplus and we got vegetables, oh yeah, we ate well. As I stated, she could make enough for us growing children to leave the table satisfied. When I made the fresh new potatoes, I was smiling while cooking them. Now, let’s move on to how I made two meals from this yumminess.

A large pot of stewed new potatoes with so much flavor.

Arline’s Stewed Potatoes:

  • Approximately 2-3 lbs of potatoes (new for me but regular russet potatoes can be used)
  • 1 large onion preferably sweet Vidalia or similar sweet garden variety chopped
  • 1 large box chicken or vegetable broth (chicken used)
  • 1 stick of salted butter
  • Mixture of garden herbs with more dill than others
  • 3 Tablespoons of Flour (either type, SR or AP)
  • 3/4 cup – 1 cup Heavy Cream or Half and Half Cream
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 T Onion Powder

Scrub potatoes and cube into large bite size pieces. Place them into large pot with the broth. You can use some water in addition to broth if you need to fill to above potatoes. Add butter cut into cubes with crushed or finely chopped herbs as stated above. Cook until potatoes become fork tender on medium heat.

In a small cup, place some of the broth and flour and whisk until flour is dissolved. Add to pot and mix together. Add cream to potato broth with salt and pepper and onion powder and turn on low heat. Cook until they are very tender. Turn heat off and let the potatoes soak up some of the thickened liquid. (Tip: If liquid is not thickened enough, you can add a small amount of corn starch or mix small amount of flour to thicken to a sauce of richness.

These were so delicious that I almost didn’t make the next dish from the leftovers but I couldn’t resist the reinvention from them to the easiest clam chowder I have made. I made my simple but you can go wild with carrots, celery, whole kernel corn and use canned clams. The possibilities are endless but this one was put together in a couple of minutes with the biggest task of opening cans.

Reinvention Step of Enhancing Stewed Potatoes into Clam Chowder in Five Minutes.

To the pot of new potatoes, I opened three cans of Bar Harbor New England Clam Chowder but may I say, there are numerous brands of canned great chowders on grocery shelves so I used what was in my pantry. I added some celery seeds, garlic salt, mushroom seasonings, oyster sauce, and some Old Bay Seasoning to pump up the chowder flavorings. This I leave to all of you fine cooks, use your creativity. You can make it spicy and/or hot, but I go the middle of the road.

In a few minutes, I have a new meal so that it doesn’t reflect leftovers. This morning, I will return the chowder to the stove top and cook it very low and slow for all of the flavors to blend and when it is lunchtime, it will be Chowder Time at Millerville. All of this done with very little effort.

Here is the clam chowder complete with grated white cheddar cheese.
I seared some scallops marinated in buttermilk and herbs galore and seared them in a hot skillet with butter, grape-seed oil, soy sauce and oyster sauce. I made a roulade sauce. Definitely a delicious accompaniment to the chowder!

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

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

REINVENTION QUEEN “HAMS” IT UP

I posted the following blog post about a year ago. Since that time, I have baked more ham, froze the bone with meat, and used them to season cabbage, greens, beans, soups, and I thought that it is a good mental reminder to think of ways to continue make the most of meats that we cook. I am adding a list of ideas of how to use leftover ham before the original post:

  • SUGGESTIONS FOR LEFTOVER HAM
  • Leftover Ham Salad
  • Ham and Bean Soup
  • Leftover Ham & Leek Pies
  • Baked Ham and Penne Pasta
  • Ham and Cheese Croissant Casserole
  • Ham and Cheese Hot Pockets
  • Scalloped Potatoes and Ham
  • Leftover Ham and Cheese Pizza
  • Ham Hash
  • Glazed Ham Hash Loaf
  • Leftover Ham Breakfast Sandwich
  • Ham and Cheese Grits Casserole
  • Ham and Pineapple Rice
  • Ham and Potato Casserole
  • Ham Pot Pie Soup
  • Leftover Ham and Cheese Biscuits
  • Leftover Ham Chowder
  • Leftover Ham Sandwich
  • Split Pea Soup
  • Ham and Cheese Sliders
  • Leftover Ham and Potato Soup
  • Ham and Spinach Casserole
  • Leftover Ham and Cheese Scones
  • Ham and Cheese Breakfast Muffins
  • Leftover Ham and Cheese Frittata
  • Waffles with Leftover Ham
  • Ham and Cheese Pinwheels
  • Ham and Cheese Bread Pudding
  • Leftover Ham Pasta
  • Monte Cristo Sandwich

For the recipes for all of those listed above please visit the following link to find out how delicious these recipes can be: https://insanelygoodrecipes.com/leftover-ham-recipes/

Last weekend I informed my husband I was craving an 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, 2012-2022 Arline Miller of Sipping Cups of Inspiration and Reinvention Queen with all rights and privileges reserved. Third Party Material is sourced to original location and author if known for credit references.

WHEN YOU THROW OUT THE TRASH, THROW OUT SOME BAD HABITS TOO

Throw out the bad habits and stock up on healthy, adventurous times, and a great life.

I have been busy with my day job and I haven’t had time to post but it has given me some time to think of some bad habits that I, and I am going to say I am not alone, have acquired during the pandemic. That’s it…..I said it! Now, what are we going to do about it?

I will relate this blog to taking out the trash, cleaning out closets and drawers, and oh my, yes, eating. We have become a country of plastic, paper, jars, and those packages that are made bigger to give us less of the actual things we pay for. If you don’t believe me, look at a package of tortilla chips and see how heavy the actual packages have become. We accumulate more trash from the “disposables”. I have thought about this action and realize we can reverse some of the negative results on ourselves by eliminating the “human disposables”.

Photo courtesy of kindpng.com

What do I mean? I prepared a list of what I am labeling Human Disposables, and I am not talking about Depends. Here is my thought provoking human disposables we may have accumulated and which we can remove or throw out with the other trash in our lives:

  • My plan of healthy eating has disappeared and replaced by fast food or unhealthy snacking
  • My hygiene or personal care has changed. Nails and hair are done only if we have mandatory events.
  • My wardrobe has become a vision of the comical Walmart shopper.
  • My entertainment has changed from outdoor activities to become an award winning couch potato.
  • My vocabulary has become a muddled conversation formed from the social media/television/reels/tik tok.
  • My reading list has disappeared to google expertise without any meaningful research.
  • Mental exercises are limited to whatever is the topic of the day and decisions are not based on quality critical thinking but more impulsive and relatable to the popular thought for that day and switchable if the main street media decides to go into a different direction.
  • Finances are a troublesome thought but no hesitancy to stop the spending and become frugal in difficult times.
  • Romance, date nights even if it is simple have been eliminated or have been pushed to the background.
My husband and I on a lunch date.

Having listed what I observe by others and even me on some of these, I wanted to offer some suggestions on how to “throw away” some of the items listed.

  • First, let us return to healthy eating. I personally have returned to mentally focusing on preparation, shopping, and planning meals which are better for our eating plan. Prioritize health first and cosmetics will help complete our physical overall look.
  • Take pride in what we wear and put the sweat pants, yoga pants (unless you are doing yoga or other exercise) in the drawers. This is a good time to clean the closet and organize a “healthy wardrobe”. For those of you who are too young to remember the A-line dress, I will give you an interesting thought. Waist lines went up 1 1/2 inches upon introduction of the looser and no longer defined waist. What happens if we cover our bulges with loose tops, maybe we think we are fooling ourselves and we can get away with a few extra inches. Not really!
  • Mental exercises are as important as physical exercises. Why? If we are mentally sharp, we have more confidence and the more confidence we exert, the more we will concentrate on the total package. Think more, act more, and see more results.
  • Pay attention to finances, learn how to budget or at least set up a budget, and don’t indulge in impulsive purchases out of boredom. Out of control spending only makes your life become out of control. About 6 or 7 years ago, I talked with my husband and showed him how I planned to pay off all credit card debt and we agreed to making it happen. It worked and within a year and a half, they were gone and I am happy to say we only use a card to complete a purchase with cash back points and pay the entire purchase off before any interest charges. You can do this if we can. I think I wrote a post on this subject but may do a repeat for reference.
  • Romance helps everything to better. Choose time for your significant other and even if it is watching a movie with popcorn/snacks, do it. Budget a lunch or dinner and don’t talk about anything but good times and pleasant subjects. The food will digest and so will your love.
  • Find entertainment/reading to be outside of the usual media such as news. Don’t get your education from one news source or biased outlet. This is hard today as no longer is anything composite/round table with lots of different views which is the preferred way to learn. Discuss, not argue, with people of different beliefs, religions, cultures, and listen. You don’t have to change your beliefs, but you may understand why others think differently. Calm composure of thoughts, rather than trying to push beliefs on others, is a positive flow of communication.

Okay, now tie up your collected trash bag and get it out of your life. I am in the process of bagging up useless bad habits acquired during the sagging events of the past few years. I like to think, and no it’s not morbid, if today was my last one on earth, what would I like to leave as a legacy for myself? It is definitely not a big bag of chips. May I leave a positive footprint of creativity, mental inspiration, and some good, loving thoughts? How about you?

Live Life, Love Life, and Live Life to the Fullest by Cleaning Up Your Life Trash and Remember to Recycle by Giving to Others.

Spend time for other’s special occasions like we were honored to attend Wyatt Smith’s 90th Birthday Celebration.

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

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