Reinvention Queen Goes Herbing with Chicken Breasts

Have you gotten brave enough to create your own recipes without fear of failure? What’s the worst that can happen if you use flavor common sense? You can improve it the next time if you don’t hit the mark, but what a feeling when you get creative as I did with some skinless, boneless chicken breasts and a big hit of my garden herbs. I thought I would share how I save my fresh herbs with you as well as this easy and delicious Chicken Breasts ala Crusted Herb Spinach Alfredo Bake. Come along and cook with me!

Chicken Breasts with Spinach Herbs and Alfredo Sauce

Arline’s Chicken Breasts ala Crusted Herb Spinach Alfredo Bake

Family pkg of Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts 6-7 in bowl

Add the following to breasts:

Sprinkle Everything Bagel Seasoning 

Dried Garden Blend Herbs 

Kinders Brown Sugar Rub sprinkle 

AR’s Southern Hot Honey rubbed on chicken breasts 

Salt and Pepper to taste

Olive Oil (light coat) 

Seasoned Panko crumbs poured over breasts. 

Prepare baking pan with Olive Oil and Butter Spray

Add layer of mixed garden herbs 

Place breasts in pan making sure the

Panko Crumbs cover breasts. 

Place in 400° oven. As the breasts bake add a little amount of chicken stock if bottom dries out 

30 minutes. Take out of oven. 

Pour a jar of Alfredo sauce (can make homemade) in between breasts   

Saute baby spinach in 1T butter and EVOO each. Add seasoning of preference (everything bagel & garlic salt)

Place Sautéed spinach on top of Alfredo Sauce and return to oven for 30 more minutes. 

Sprinkle Parmesan Cheese on dish if desired. 

Sprinkle Parmesan on plate to enhance the flavor.

A oiled baking pan and fresh variety of herbs is one of the first steps in prep.

A quick saute of baby spinach with some seasonings and butter/oil too.

The finished dish made a big hit. Isn’t it a pretty display?

I love my fresh herbs and I give my daughter Missy the credit for educating me on how and what herbs and spices (some I hadn’t even heard of with my Southern Cooking Heritage where salt and pepper were the mainstay seasonings. Now, I live to use a different seasoning, some of which I know I mispronounce but sprinkle them freely in my dishes. I found a way to store my freshly clipped herbs, ones I am not using at the time, by laying them out on a paper plate to air dry. See the photo below:

From freshly clipped to dried on plate and then crushed to blend and place in an empty spice jar.

Place herbs in select labeled bags for individual herb usage.

I clip the bags together and hang on the side of my refrigerator for easy access when cooking.

I hope you try a new recipe. Use flavors and seasonings you like and your family enjoy. No one has to cook/bake the same. Not all tries have to be cookbook successes the first time. You will be surprised at the enjoyment when you create a recipe and the family say EXCELLENT!

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

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

Reinvention Queen “Jams It Up” with Missy

I am an author, blogger, and I love to cook as the Reinvention Queen but my best title is Mom. My daughter Missy, who you will see in our first, totally shooting from the hip video, joins me in the kitchen. She brought blackberries which grow naturally in her back yard and Georgia peaches grown by her aunt and uncle and we furnished some fresh strawberries from our local produce stand. I have some herbs and we wanted to share how to take homemade jams to a new level incorporating some Thai Basil, Pineapple Mint, and Fresh Ginger.

Missy arrives with a special surprise, her own garden tomato, fresh off the vine.




6 cups Fruit (Blackberries for the first recipe)

2 1/2 cups of granulated sugar

4 Tbs. Freshly squeezed Lemon juice

1/8 cup thinly sliced ginger (other recipes will use different herbs)

1 pkg Sure Jell (note: if fruit is very juicy, increase Sure Jell by 1/2 pkg.) If fruit is not juicy add the desired water as instructed on pkg.

*Our fruit was so juicy that we didn’t add the water to the Sure Jell and poured directly into fruit mixture.















Missy’s tip of how to quickly peel ginger: Cut off one end of the root and use the spoon tip and scrape down the side of the root. Easy Peasy.

General notes: We cooked one jam at a time using the ingredients listed for each one. In the video, we don’t go through each step but here is how we prepared the fruit mixture, added surejell, cooking and cooling times and the jars and lids prep. Here is how we did each one and all that was different were the ingredients:

  • Washed, inspected, cut off bad spots or pulled off any debris or stems, washed fruits and placed in colanders to drain. Chopped into small pieces.
  • Placed in heavy sauce pan the fruit mixture, the sugar, lemon juice, and selected herbs for each type of jam.
  • Medium high heat until fruit is soft (we used potato masher to break down the fruit) Usually 7 minutes but watch and stir to make sure fruit doesn’t stick to bottom.
  • Add Sure Jell to mixture and cook for at least 3 minutes until the fruit liquid becomes thicker.
  • Remove from heat and let stand 10 minutes.
  • While this is cooking, place your canning jars into a large pot, with water about the height of half the jar’s height with lids/rings around the bottom and in between the jars where there is space. Allow jars to get steamy hot. Remove and place on surface (we placed on large cutting board or you can place on towels)
  • When fruit mixture has cooled, place into jars using wide neck funnel, and place lids/rings on jars making sure seal is dry and clean, the same on the lip of the jar to avoid the jars not making a complete seal. Replace jars in the pot of hot water to seal them. You should hear them pop when they have sealed and you can press on them and no movement.
  • Remove and wipe the jars clean. You now have jam which will set with time. You can store in cabinet until you open and break seal but then you should refrigerate them.

This is our All Fruit Jam made with peaches, blackberries & strawberries flavored with Pineapple mint.

Stirring is part of the secret so Spurtles are a handy tool.

We had a blast with fun and laughter and we keep it real for you. We splattered, and washed enough bowls, colanders, and pots but loved seeing the beautiful, delicious results in our cute canning jars. What we like about our jam session is we winged it. Not any formal recipe, deciding the fruit combos with the herbs. Nothing is ever set in stone and use your creativity and go for your favorites. If you like sweet tastes, use more sugar. If you aren’t crazy about a specific herb, try another one or leave them out. The key is to experiment and don’t necessarily cook it like we do…..Make it your own! We certainly do our own thing and want others to do the same.

Until We Cook Again……..Happy Meals To You…… Reinvention Queen with Missy too!

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

Reinvention Queen goes from Smoked Ribs to Rib Hot Pockets

For Memorial Day Weekend, my husband Greg Miller, smoked the best ribs and we feasted. Now, I wanted to show how you can reinvent them in an easy and quick way.

Arline’s Hot Pockets from Smoked Ribs (can also use other smoked or grilled meats like chicken, turkey, and even leftover steak)

The leftover ribs before I chopped them to bite size pieces.
Chopping the ribs into small pieces allows me to have a lot of meat to fill the hot pockets.
Cutting up a large sweet onion into rings, slightly thin, and placing into medium saute pan. Add the following ingredients.
Add 2 T. EVOO, 1-2 T Worcestershire sauce, 1 t. Hot Southern Honey, and 1 T. Organic Tamari Sauce (can use soy sauce), 1/2 stick butter cubed, salt and pepper to onions in pan. Saute until onions are tender and cooked.
When onions are cooked as shown, add cubed rib meat and stir until coated. Turn off heat and let sit while you prepare the biscuits.
I used part of a can of Pillsbury Grands Flaky Layers. I cut each biscuit in half height so that each hot pocket is only a half biscuit. I rolled on a floured surface with a rolling pin that had been rubbed in flour until they were the thinness as shown. Placing the meat/caramelized onions mixture in the center and popped some sharp cheddar cheese (other cheeses can be used if preferred. Using my fingertip, I dotted one half of the dough’s edge with water to seal them.
Using my fork’s tines, I pressed down on the edges and pricked the tops a few times to allow steam to release. Placing them on a sprayed baking sheet and then into a preheated oven 375 degrees. The package said to make them at 350 but I wanted a crunchy crust. 12 minutes or until they are browned.
Here are the hot pockets before they were gobbled up. I only made 8 but had enough dough and mixture to make 16 from one can of biscuits and 4 ribs. You could feed a family easily from your tasty leftovers. My husband made the comment I could open a hot pocket stand from these delicious and quick way to reinvent ribs.

My tips for reinventing leftover meat: As delicious as smoked and/or grilled meats are, if you have a grill master that loves to have a big amount of meat, try to think of ways to present this delightful meat in many different, reinvented ways to have an easy new meal. It will seem entirely different but not taking up all your time in the kitchen and who doesn’t like food in a nicely wrapped package like a hot pocket.

Additional tip: My husband used the bbq sauce Sweet Baby Ray’s and I used some of the sauce I made for the shrimp salad which was over the top for these hot pockets. You can look back at the shrimp salad post for this recipe.

If I don’t get to post the next way to finish off those luscious ribs, and I say they are the best ribs he has made, I will give you a hint. Think of stew beef! I will take and cube the rest of the ribs, add some onions and some broth and seasonings and stew it for only a few minutes. Once I have the onions and rib meat flavors married, I will add two bags of Success Rice and allow them to combine and wallah, a quick new meal in minutes.

I would love to hear from you on how you reinvent a certain leftover. There are more ways to cook than to start all over again. You will change the mind of a person who makes the statement……I hate leftovers….to…..How are you going to reinvent this meal?

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

(C) Copyright 2012-2021 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 Seaworthy Shrimp Dishes

I take shrimp to several levels and dishes in the next few posts. As we go forward, I will add some side dishes as well. When I have posted the grilled and/or fried shrimp on my FB page, my friends have remarked the quantity as being huge and they are right. We will grill a lot of shrimp and store them for a few meals each time. Yesterday, I fried a bag of shrimp and you will begin the reinvention process. Here is how I prepped them and the awesome trick of batter enhancement. You may fry the best shrimp and if you do, that is great and please share your secrets. I am into how I go from one taste to another and how I incorporate changes to keep our meals from being anything but boring.

My Fried Shrimp Platter
Dinner is served.

Fried Shrimp and Pickle Juice Slaw

1 Bag of Medium size 40 – 50 Shrimp 24 oz. deveined and thawed (I had to shell mine and removed tails, but there are selections that are already shelled). Clean shrimp with water and drain with colander.

Buttermilk to cover shrimp with enough Old Bay Seafood Seasoning or Zatarain’s with garlic powder sprinkled into buttermilk. Allow to soak in mixture for at least an hour (minimum 30 minutes) I soaked mine for 2 hours.

Flour Self Rising 2 cups and White Fine Cornmeal 3/4 cup together in large bowl. This is where you can adjust flavor by adding more seasonings which I did: I didn’t measure but I sprinkled more Seafood Seasoning, Spicy Paprika, Garlic Seasoning with Herbs, Coarse Kosher Salt, Ground Black Peppercorns, Onion Salt, and a few I might not remember (just kidding, but it is like mad scientist in my kitchen with a little of this and a lot of that, so try others if you like more heat)

Ginger ale or beer Add to the bowl of the flour/cornmeal and allow to sit 5-10 minutes. This is the ingredient that makes the difference. I was elated when I saw a tip that Ginger ale works as good as beer. In fact, you can use any clear citrus/lemon drink but I loved using ginger ale. This makes the batter light while giving a substantial coating

Drop shrimp into batter after shaking off excess buttermilk mixture. Move coated shrimp into the next bowl listed below for flour coating.

Flour 1 cup (can be AP or SR) in a separate bowl without cornmeal but add some of the same seasonings. This is for the final coat before dropping into hot oil (375 degrees).

In a large dutch pan or fryer (can easily deep fry if you have a deep fryer) but important, whatever pot or pan, the bottom should be heavy and I chose my large dutch oven with ceramic interior and placed a thermometer to reach desired temperature before placing shrimp in to try. They browned and cooked quickly (approximately 4-5 minutes) and I kept adding more shrimp as the first ones browned and I scooped them out onto a paper towel lined platter. This part of preparation demands your complete attention as this oil is hot. To give you an idea of how much oil to place will depend on you. I placed enough oil to go half fill so that none of my shrimp would be touching the bottom but enough for them to go completely under and back up to top when I dropped them into the pan.

Pickle Juice Cole Slaw

Arline’s Pickle Juice Slaw

1 pkg Cole Slaw mix with carrots

½ Vidalia Onion

1 heaping T. Mayo

1 t. horseradish sauce

1 heaping T. Sweet Pickle Juice from sweet pickles

1 heaping T. Sugar

Sprinkle of Dill Weed to taste

2 Spring Onions Chopped Use Only the tops

Bread and butter pickles (I use the ones I make but not sure how many I use)

Sea Salt and Pepper to taste

My secret ingredient (LOL) 2 T. Homemade Hot Pepper Jelly

Mix together and allow flavors to marry for full savory tasting slaw.

Note: I decided a while back to use pickle juice in place of so much mayo so these measurements may be slightly more or less to your taste. Today I used sugar but I have made it with Stevia if I am making it just for us. Y’all better save this…..Arline Miller

Reinvention of Shrimp to come next.

  • Shrimp Po Boys
  • Shrimp Salad
  • Shrimp and Grits
  • Surf and Turf

I haven’t decided which of these and it will depend on how many shrimp I have left after making some of them. Whichever I chose, they will be tasty and easy. The intention of Reinventing is to make the most of of my kitchen efforts and keep our meals delightful. I do some of my dishes with grilled shrimp so it is not always fried so look for those meals to post too.

One tip for the batter: I made homemade onion rings from some garden freshly plucked sweet onions and I used this same batter but I left out the seafood seasoning of course. Here is a photo of those mouth watering, good even leftover by heating in my power air oven. Two battered recipes from the same basic ingredients for frying.

Try these homemade onion rings using the ginger ale batter. Yummy!

Until We Cook Again……Happy Meals…….Reinvent Your Food…..Arline Miller

(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 reference.

Reinvention Queen goes from Taco Ranch Pepperoni Salad to American Goulash

Creativity comes from within and you only limit yourself if you don’t experiment. Does every reinvention work? Maybe not, but if the dish is made from leftovers that might be thrown away, what’s the big risk? Today, I show you how I made a terrific Taco Ranch Pepperoni Salad and then reinvented it and made delicious American Goulash. Get on the Reinvention Train and chop away to delicious combinations you may have never thought of combining. First the Pasta Salad:

Have you seen a prettier pasta salad, so colorful and the taste is so good.
This is a keeper recipe but I keep reinventing dishes so on to the American Goulash.

This was a delicious meal which we enjoyed very much but I couldn’t resist taking these great ingredients and seeing if I could incorporate these ingredients into my version of American Goulash.

Arline’s Reinvented American Goulash:

The idea of Reinvention Queen is to show you that you don’t have to keep eating leftovers in their initial creation. Learn how to determine what flavors blend and once you have done this, you have opened a world of cooking creativity. I love experimenting and the use of herbs, seasonings, additions, and methods. This is not hard to do and the colors, aromas, and the presentation is very therapeutic and rewarding for me the cook and my husband and others.

There are a lot of great cooks and chefs as well as bakers. I know several and soon I will have guests to show off their expertise. As a matter of fact, my stepson who is in my heart my son too in 10 minutes of necessity of preparing a quick meal using some of the Boston Butt he had smoked and pantry items, made one of the best if not the best Brunswick Stew I have tasted. I asked him to write what he used so we can share it with all of you. Stay tuned and Until We Cook Again…..Happy Meals……Arline Miller

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

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

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

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

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

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

Arline’s Stewed Potatoes:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reinvention Queen – My Squash Casserole

Join me to learn how the vegetables and herbs make a delish meal and for those who are following to see what I will do to the leftovers if there are any, is I will add some flour and panko bread crumbs to stiffen cold squash and fry the fritters for a bright new taste. Nothing magical except the results.

As a cook I don’t like to waste food of any kind especially fresh vegetables so when my squash said “Cook Me” I listened. I didn’t take a lot of photos or videos as it is pretty cut and dry. I did a few things differently than my usual squash casserole and it was delicious. Here is the recipe and my notes on how to prepare it:

Arline’s Squash Casserole

6 medium fresh squash (cubed)

1 Vidalia or Sweet Onion (chopped)

Fresh herbs from garden crushed (dried parsley and Italian Seasoning

 if fresh are not available) Dill, chives, flat parsley were my choices

1 stick of butter

2 TBS bacon drippings (Use vegetable oil or EVOO if you do not have bacon drippings)

¾ cup of Chicken Stock (or vegetable broth if you do not want chicken stock)

Place squash and onions in heated seasonings, drippings, and broth after it heats up.

Cook until tender (about 10 minutes) and sprinkle Paprika to taste with Salt and Black

Pepper. I added Garlic and Herb Seasoning and allowed the liquid to cook out. I left the leftover butter/seasoning liquid in pan after I slot spooned the squash/onion mixture into buttered casserole dish.

I mixed the following in a bowl and added to squash/onions in casserole dish after it was creamy:

1 cup mayo (Hellman)

½ cup sour cream

1 can cheddar cheese soup

2 sprinkles Onion powder

2 sprinkles Garlic Salt or Powder

1 beaten egg

4 oz Sharp Cheddar Cheese shredded

4 oz Mild Cheddar Cheese shredded

Salt and Pepper to taste

Sprinkle of Paprika

I crushed 2 short sleeves of saltine crackers and add Cheddar Cheese Sour Cream crushed potato chips into a bowl (other favorites will work). Pour 2/3 stick of melted butter and the leftover liquid from squash pan and stir until crackers/chips are covered. Place on top of the mixture in casserole dish.

Place in preheated oven 375 degrees for approximately 35-40 minutes. If browning too fast, check at 30 minutes and slide a piece of aluminum foil over the top and continue baking until bubbly.

This is the size of the casserole. You could divide into two casseroles and freeze one.
You can see how golden this casserole turns out. All taste tests prove this recipe is a winner.

Note from Reinvention Queen: When I cook, I cook volume amounts of meat and sometimes vegetables so I can rearrange the sides to freshen the meals. I found that if I change flavors it seems like a brand new meal. Until We Cook Again……Arline Miller

If you love roasted vegetables, here is summer squash and zuchinni, thrown together on a baking sheet with some olive oil, fresh garden chives, dill weed, and some everyday seasoning. Place in oven for 25 minutes or until fork stick ready. Leave a little crunch in vegetables to highlight their flavor. I sometimes add a few pats butter if they need some buttery flavor.

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

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