We bought what I would consider to be a first generation air fryer a few years ago. It was fine, in that it cooked food crispy and but not particularly quickly, AND it was tiny. You could seriously only fit a couple of chicken tenders in it at a time, and it took 20 minutes to cook them, so it wasn’t efficient, either.
For Christmas this year, we tried again, only with a much bigger 5.7 quart fryer and it is a game changer. On busy nights it pairs perfectly with some frozen, not-the-healthiest-but-mama-doesn’t-have-time-for-kale food (lookin’ at you, Lean Cuisine pizza!)
On relaxing days, I spend hours experimenting with it, frying up all manner of things I wouldn’t have even considered frying.
Why Buy an Air Fryer
What is an air fryer?
At its core, an air fryer is a convection oven, using hot, circulating air to cook your food. The differences are nuanced but important, however.
An air fryer is typically shaped in more of a cone or dome, making the hot air circulate faster. This allows the outside of the food to crisp up while still cooking the inside quickly, preserving the juiciness while adding a perfect crunch. It also cooks faster than a countertop convection oven.
Most of the countertop ovens I looked at cost about twenty percent more than a similarly sized air fryer as well, and I’m not quite sure why. Convection ovens can typically go over the seemingly upper limit of 400 degrees that an air fryer has, but “frying” temperatures are usually between 350 and 400 degrees, so this isn’t surprising.
The best air fryers on the market have broad bottoms, allowing for a maximum amount of food cooked at once while still retaining the “frying” properties they boast. Because of this somewhat conical shape, they tend to take up less space than countertop ovens.
Benefits of Cooking with an Air Fryer
An air fryer cooks food faster than an oven would typically, and because it doesn’t require oil as a cooking medium, the food is lighter calorically and healthier in general.
As I mentioned earlier, you can toss in a layer of frozen chicken tenders, or fries, or whatever else you have on hand and dinner is ready in like 10 minutes.
On the model we have (Magic Chef), the timer is also effectively the “on” switch, so if you set it for 10 minutes, it shuts itself off in 10 minutes. There’s no “oh no I forgot the food” moments where you find that your salmon is blackened a bit more than you’d like; once the timer is up, it shuts off.
Fresh burgers come out juicy on the inside without flipping and splashing grease, and it reheats food more evenly (and pleasantly) than a microwave, though it takes longer.
Consider how microwave-reheated leftovers from a restaurant never taste as good, and you don’t typically want to preheat your oven just to heat up some chicken tenders. An air fryer is like your oven and your microwave had a baby and it was born being better than both of them (in certain applications). Reheating food is one of those applications!
Things to look for in an air fryer
Hands-down the most important attribute – and I cannot overstate this – is the size of the available cooking space. You can really only get the crispy benefits of the air fryer if your food isn’t stacked up on top of itself, so a single layer at a time is what you’re shooting for. This requires a decent sized basket so you’re able to cook quick, large batches. Ours is 5.7 quarts and it’s great for our family of 4, but if you have a bigger family or a party, something even larger might be ideal for you.
Ours is also manual, but there are digital ones out there as well that offer a wide range of preset cooking times and other fun add-ons.
Make sure you get a removable basket as well. Our first one didn’t have a removable basket, just this weird black insert that kinda held the food over the bottom of the fryer but not very well. The one we have now is a removable metal basked that clicks into the base and allows for total air circulation and for drippings to fall completely away from your food.
Finally, consider price when buying one. This isn’t a brand-new technology where higher price commands respect or the latest advancement. At its core, this is a very focused convection oven that fits on your countertop. Our Magic Chef was about $80, and it’s great. The only thing that you really need to pay extra for is a bigger model.
Why does every parent need an air fryer?
You’re still not convinced? Well, let’s recap then:
Cooks food quickly and crispy while retaining juiciness
Economical, especially if you’re considering buying a countertop oven
Heats faster, cooks quicker, and crisps up food better than an oven
Healthier than deep frying by a significant amount
Doesn’t require oil to cook most foods
Obviously consider your needs before picking one up, but if you’re on the fence about buying an air fryer, I hope this helps you see that they’re not a fad kitchen gadget. It saves us time, calories, effort, and money and it will for you, too!
Do you already have an air fryer?
Comment below, I’d love to know YOUR favorite thing to cook in it!
I’m a big fan of Alton Brown and his idea on single-use items; there are a lot of really odd, single-use kitchen gadgets out there that might seem cool at first but will honestly just take up space and you’ll end up selling them at a garage sale and all you’ll have is .50 cents and a small pile of regret.
That said, there are some really cool items that fill a niche role but do it so well – or can be used for other things – that they’re absolutely worth having in your kitchen, pantry, or in your grill kit.
Amazon is a fantastic resource for cheap prices and lightning-fast shipping, but Its catalog has gotten incredibly vast over the years, so shopping for that perfect item is a slog. We’ve put together a list of 10 fun, useful, and best-of-all cheap kitchen gadgets that will delight anyone who rules the roaster in their household.
10 Must-Have Single Use Kitchen Gadgets for Under $20
Please note that the links below are affiliate links, which means I may earn a commission should you click through and make a purchase. This in no way impacts my recommendations or the cost to you.
Our son LOVES buttered toast but for real, cold butter is a substance that defies physics and destroys all bread it touches. This knife fixes that problem by allowing you to cut razor-thin slices, fun spirals, or spaghetti-esque noodles of butter, straight from the fridge!
My husband is Italian, so we eat a lot of pasta during the week, but my husband is also absent-minded, so we clean up a lot of boiled-over pasta water during the week, too. This silicone lid sits on top of your pot in lieu of your traditional lid. It allows steam and bubbles to escape without boiling over and covering your stove or putting out your burners. They’re also adorable and can help strain pasta as well!
If you don’t drink wine, you know someone who does. I personally am not fond of digging around in the utensils drawer for the corkscrew and then trying to stuff the cork back into the bottle without sending it spiraling down into the wine itself and then having to Google if drinking cork-wine will kill me. This set has a foil cutter, a corkscrew, an aerator spout, a stopper, and even a drip ring, if you’re messy. It’s all stored in a convenient, cute wine-bottle shaped spy kit. How fun is that?
We had a small air fryer and we hated it – it just wasn’t big enough for anything useful. We got this particular air fryer for Christmas and it’s AMAZING. Food comes out crispy, it cooks quickly and with minimal oil, and it doesn’t take up much space on the counter. My husband uses it at least 4 times a week for dinner, and I love it because I can toss some hashbrowns or bacon into it for breakfast and go get ready while they cook perfectly. We have the manual one which is a dream, but there’s a digital one as well with more settings, if you’re into that.
Wire brushes are, while commonplace in grill-cleaning kits, very much not ideal for the task. The shards of wire can seriously hurt someone if they ingest them and it’s more common than you think. This brass – well it’s not a ring exactly, but it’s definitely a shape – cuts through stuck-on food and carbon extremely well and can fit nearly any standard grate-spacing, without the fear of metal shavings in your burgers.
Ice cream is, like revenge, a dish best served cold. This makes it fun and delicious, but also a pain in the wrist to scoop efficiently without flinging it all over your kitchen. This particular heat-conducting scoop is leagues above the traditional scoop with the little level that dishes out ice cream. Heat from your hand travels into the spoon and cuts through the icy treat and the heavy-duty utensil will stand up against even the coldest, hardest-packed ice cream possible.
Finding a place to put your spoon isn’t a difficult task, but this cute, fun utensil rest really makes a “splash”. With its vibrant color and deep grooves, it should keep a handle on any size spoon you need to set down for a moment.
The cutest things often come in small packages, and this little hot dog …dog… is proof of that. Sometimes it only takes a little bit of fun to encourage kids to eat their dinner, and this cutter makes small enough pieces for little hands and then holds them in place. Bonus doggie dish for ketchup or mustard dipping!
Look, nobody is going to argue that pizza is the best but sometimes the cheesy pie is difficult to cut and serve without losing all your toppings. This pizza cutter gives you ultimate control, cleans up quickly and easily, and you can use it on anything that needs sliced. I use it on my kids’ pancakes in the morning, on grilled cheese, and quesadillas and while it seems such a simple thing, it really does make a big difference!
Do you have any single-task or highly specialized kitchen gadgets that you’ve found you simply can’t do without? Let me know and I’ll add them to this list!
In a world where more and more people find themselves driven to profit from their passions, it can be hard for live entertainers to find their break in an already inundated industry. So how do you make money from your genius when you’re still struggling to be seen?
Enter Damon Wayans, Jr. and Kristopher Jones – the two creatives behind the oh-so-amazing Special Guest App, a booking app that makes it simple to connect gigs with paid talent.
Special Guest App Review
Special Guest is a platform for talent to use to find gigs in a far easier manner than the traditional route (and best of all, it’s free!)
Entertainers and the like can create profiles within the app to showcase their talent and personality. Venues are then able to use the Special Guest App to search for talent based on things such as location, availability, price range, etc.
This means that anyone, anywhere can use Special Guest to hire live entertainment with just a few simple touches of their phone! From finding a guest speaker for your next podcast to hiring a magician for your child’s birthday, Special Guest makes it easier for everyone to connect.
One of the best parts (in my opinion) of Special Guest is that they handle the legal agreements, including cancellation policies. They have many other fantastic features, though, such as:
In-app messaging to reduce e-mail clutter
Easier to use discovery tool to help you narrow in on exactly the talent you need
Ratings and reviews of the entertainment so you can trust in your hiring decision
Facilitate payments on behalf of the venue so you don’t have to stress about how/when that check will be cut
This app is truly great all around, whether you’re looking to hire or be hired.
As a busy mom, it means a lot to have this app available should I need to hire a band for my friend’s wedding or a face painter for our school’s fun fair. But I don’t just support it because it makes my life easier! I love that it gives entertainers the virtual space to be seen. It’s so important to support each other as we work toward living lives on our terms and Special Guest helps to do just that.
Don’t just take my word for it, though! As I said, it’s FREE! So go check out Special Guest now and enjoy!
When I was offered the chance to review the Crenova 3-in-1 Automatic Food Sealer Saver, I wasn’t quite sure if it was something that would be worth my time. Sure, it seems like a good deal, but I very much subscribe to the Alton Brown line of thinking — don’t have appliances that have only one function, they’ll only create clutter!
Regardless, I thought I figured I’d give it a try and see what happens…and oh. my. goodness.
Crenova Vacuum Sealer Review
Note: The links below are affiliate links, which means I’ll receive commission should you click through and make a purchase. This in no way impacts my recommendation of said product.
I decided to try out the Crenova 3-in-1 Automatic Food Sealer Saver one day after realizing we had way too much leftover galumpki (cabbage and beef). Galumpki is one of my favorite dinners, but go figure, the kids aren’t a fan. Rather than let it go to waste, though, I decided it was a perfect opportunity to see if this food sealer was actually worth a spot in my kitchen.
The Crenova 3-in-1 Automatic Food Sealer Saver is incredibly light weight and seriously could not be easier to use. If you know me, you know that it’s not actually my kitchen so much as it is my husband’s (there’s a reason he runs a keto recipe blog and I don’t!) It’s a good day if I can microwave hot dogs for my kids, let alone work the other appliances!
While not my kitchen, though, this is my blog and I can’t recommend a product if I can’t actually use it. So I skimmed the directions and decided to charge full speed ahead!
The Crenova 3-in-1 Automatic Food Sealer Saver has a few different variables on it, namely the option to customize based on your food. I decided to go with “wet food” for the galumpki to account for the sauce. In a matter of 30 seconds, I not only figured out how to use the but it was done – the galumpki was sealed up and ready for the freezer!!
This appliance is so quick and easy to use. It’s sure to not only save you time (seriously I used to do the ol’ freezer bag dipped in hot water to get the air out enough to freeze stuff!) but it’ll save you so much money as well! Personally I’m going to draft up a meal plan and then keep my husband company one Sunday while he cooks a bunch of freezer meals that I’ll then vacuum seal. Team work, people!! hehe
If you’re on the fence about investing in this product (or gifting it to a loved one!) I would very much recommend you join Crenova Kitchen Appliances for Beginners – it’s a great Facebook group that can help you master this wonderful product. The admin are so kind and helpful and the community itself is just wonderful! Be sure to check it out today!!
Are you looking for natural ways to help your family live healthier lives? Do you believe in the power of natural remedies and want to start using them more intelligently?
There’s definitely a lot to learn and it can be tricky knowing where to start!
When my husband and I first met, he used to tease me about being a witch – and of course I’d have to answer back “I’m not a witch, I’m your wife!” (Princess Bride, anyone?)
It wasn’t commentary on my attitude, but rather my predisposition to homeopathic remedies whenever I was feeling sick. Now before we go too deep into this post, I do want to mention two VERY important things:
I am in no way recommending you forgo talking to your doctor when you suspect something is wrong. I am a professional blogger, not a doctor, so don’t take my word as law.
I do have affiliate links below, which means should you click through to make a purchase on any recommended products/services, I may receive a small commission. This in no way impacts my recommendation of said products/services.
So with that out of the way, back to our point – using nature to help you live a healthier life!
Herbs and Essential Oils Bundle Review
There are a few ways in which I try to maintain a healthy lifestyle on a daily basis. I’ll drink ACV and lemon water, use a bit of coconut oil in my coffee, eat greek yogurt, and will even eat a garlic clove if I’m feeling off.
Heh I can already see a few of you rolling your eyes, but stick with me! In just the examples above, we’re looking at products that are jam packed with antiviral properties (the allicin in garlic and monolaurin from coconut oil) as well as antibiotic and probiotic properties. So again while I wouldn’t tell you to skip your doctor’s advice on medical care or a prescription, being conscious of what we’re ingesting can go a long way in preventing and shortening the duration of many illnesses.
That said, you do have to know:
What to buy
Which remedies are right for which situations
And then how to use them all (recipes and techniques that actually work!)
With so many conflicting opinions online, finding clear answers can be hard – not to mention time-consuming and frustrating.
This is why I’m SO excited to talk to you to day about the Herbs & Essential Oils Super Bundle created by my friends at Ultimate Bundles.
This phenomenal set will help you:
Match the best remedies to your unique health needs
Discover why and how the various remedies actually work (and the science behind it)
Use essential oils and herbs in your home for cleaning, relaxation, beauty, skincare, energy, even cooking and more
Feel confident with easy-to-follow guides whether you’re just starting out or ready for more advanced uses.
And the best part is, by partnering with the herbalists, certified aromatherapists, and other experts who created these resources (like me!), Ultimate Bundles can offer guidance on these remedies at an 83% discount.
You’ll learn how to use them for relaxation and body care, how to grow or forage for ingredients, how to make safe cleaning or beauty products, and how to respond to common ailments you or your family suffer from. This bundle was created by experts — aromatherapists, herbalists, a chiropractor, a registered nurse, a nutritional therapy practitioner, and more.
I bought this bundle a few weeks ago and I’ve been obsessed with it ever since! If you’re ready to check it out, you can CLICK HERE and get to it! But if you’re still on the fence, let me address some common questions I’ve had while talking to friends and family about this kit…
What is Ultimate Bundles?
Well if you’ve read my post on Ultimate Bundles before, you know they’re a company that brings together products to sell to consumers at a massive discount; they’re able to sell these bundles at a low cost for a variety of reasons, namely that they’re VERY limited in the times that they sell them and also because of people (like me!) who contribute their products in exchange for a higher affiliate commission fee. It’s a genius business model if you ask me.
What is the Herbs & Essential Oils Super Bundle?
It’s a curated collection of 22 eBooks, 4 eCourses, 6 printables, and 2 membership sites — all about natural remedies, and the use of herbs and essential oils.
What will this bundle help me do?
You’ll find natural remedies for colds, flu, infections, pain, stress, hormones, skin issues, sleeping troubles, and more (plus you’ll understand more of the research and science behind why they work and how to use them safely).
You’ll learn how to make your own (all natural!) lip scrubs, lip balm, hand salve, body scrubs, foot soaks, sunscreen, diaper cream, lotion, soap bars, rollerballs, relaxing sprays, facial cleansers… (and the list could go on)
And last but not least, you’ll learn how to clean your home with toxin-free homemade products, and even enhance your cooking with nutritious and beneficial herbal ingredients from your pantry (or even the wild!).
Who is this bundle for?
It’s for anyone who believes in the power of traditional healing wisdom (combined with modern science) and wants to start using herbs and essential oils more intelligently in their home and life.
You’ll discover detailed information on individual herbs and oils (and how to combine them into effective combinations and easy-to-use remedies), new applications and uses you’ve never thought of, time-saving shortcuts and tips, ways to save money on ingredients by foraging or growing your own, and so much more.
Is there a guarantee?
Yep! 30-days, 100% satisfaction or ALL your money back. Rarely do online purchases come with such a worry-free guarantee, but should you be unhappy for any reason all you do is e-mail the folks at Ultimate Bundles and you’ll get your money back, easy peasy.
When it comes to your health, I know how easy it can be to give in to discouragement. But I truly believe a healthier life is possible for people who embrace the power of natural remedies and holistic wellness. Hopefully it won’t lead to your significant other calling into question the potential of witchcraft, but hey those results you’ll see will certainly be magical!