Home Chef and Air Fryer

Our latest Home Chef meal was shrimp tacos. We’ve had a few choices lately that involved foods that wanted me to fry the meat in a pan of oil. I’ve been trying to go healthier and have gotten the Ninja Air Fryer – it’s really a fryer, grill, baker, dehydrator and more….

The recipe for this meal included shrimp to toss in a mixture of a flour type coating and seasoning mixed together. I mixed all the coating together in a bowl and tossed the shrimp in, stirring it around to get it all coated. I have the Ninja Grill and Air Fryer, so I set mine to Air Fry for about 7 minutes. With my fryer I didn’t touch any other settings and just let it preheat and reach the ‘add meat’ message before putting in my shrimp. I did then spray my shrimp with Canola Oil from a container I have that says it has a smoke point. Up until recently I hadn’t thought about the smoke point of my oil. I love olive oil and was just using it for everything! After facing the umpteenth time of setting off our smoke alarm – and ours is hooked the entire house system and super LOUD, I’ve realized it’s time to take into account the smoke point.

Air Fried Shrimp

The Shrimp came out perfect! The box also included tortillas, fried pickles, corn, cheese and a slaw type mixer to create for toppings. I laid everything out and we were ready to eat. The air fryer is super easy to clean also making after dinner just a little easier. I’ve been finding I can turn about half the meals we get from Home Chef in my air fryer with just a few little changes that make everything so much easier. The toughest part has been determining the correct settings and amount of time.

Home Chef and An Air Fryer

Our family has tried several meal delivery services – everything from Home Chef to Blue Apron and even Gobble. They all have there pros and cons! Some switch meals more often and some seem to have meals that are more similar.

Recently looking at my recipe I decided to try my Ninja Air Fryer with my Chicken. I personally really don’t like standing in front of the stove with hot oil frying something while I try to find a way to keep the smoke alarm from going off. Even worse when the smoke alarm does goes off, which for our house is the WHOLE house. So this seemed like a great plan to try.

The first meal I tried was a breaded chicken breast. The recipe called for putting mustard on the chicken breast, then rolling the chicken in panko crumbs before putting my chicken in the air fryer. My Ninja air fryer has you turn it on and then wait until it heats up. After it gets warm, you receive a message to add your meat. This was at the air fryer setting for the default amount of time….. I think that was 20 minutes. While my chicken cooked I made the rest of the meal…. which really amounted to microwaving the corn with green onions, making mashed potatoes, and mixing a flavored butter. The chicken came out PERFECT!

Last night I decided to give it a try again with a salmon meal. The salmon didn’t need breading and only needed to be in the Ninja Fryer 10 minutes, but it worked just as well. With the chicken I had spritzed it with a little oil. Thinking back, I forgot that step with the salmon and it still came out perfect. No turning it over half way either. The salmon was skin side down, and it came out with crispy skin, and a great flakey taste. I fixed a mixed vegetables to go with and a flavored butter (with lemon and capers) to go no the salmon.

After cooking the Ninja air fryer just has a grill section and insides that lift right out for cleaning. I just finished putting ours back together after letting them air dry for the night. I haven’t tried the dehydrate and bake features of it, but if they are as easy, I need to give it a try soon!

Leftovers? Pasta Mixer!

Fourth of July leftovers are still filling our fridge and we need to use things up. I’m slowly trying to come up with new ways to use leftovers to make meals that we can have for dinner and use some up. Last night I decided to use up the cut up tomato and diced onion from the hamburger fixings…. Added to soup would have been a great idea, but it’s so hot outside! So I went with pasta…Not the coolest either, but I didn’t have to cook it over the stove or in a crockpot all day.

With a little oil in the pan, I added the tomato slices diced up, the diced onions, and finally some diced up garlic scapes that I’d just got from the farmers market. While I was frying them up, I boiled a pot of water with pasta noodles. Finally, to my veggies I added a package of sliced nuts that must have come with a salad at some point in the past, that had ended up in the fridge and never been used… and some sliced up parmesan that melted in to the pan.

After the sauce cooked down and the pasta softened, I mixed everything together. Tossing the pasta in with the sauce.
Tomato sauces aren’t my favorite, but my husband likes them a lot. He seemed to really like this! I still have a few left overs to use up. I’m thinking a frittata for this weekend!

Yorkshire Pudding

Yorkshire Pudding

This was my second try at making Yorkshire Pudding. It’s great as a side with a standard dish, especially with gravy. I’d really like try it with onion gravy next time! I think the original recipe I made came from Home Chef? I have it in my Plan To Eat menu planner now though, so it’s easy to pull up.

This recipe is super easy to make. I used my blender to mix everything – but I keep mine out on the counter and it’s really close and super convenient. This time I modified the butter ingredient to use spray oil that I sprayed in the bottom of the muffin cups. The regular recipe calls for butter melted in the bottom on each muffin tin, I was working on the assumption this was to keep them from sticking and not to add the butter as an ingredient.

Our oven is still all wonky, though I have an oven thermometer hanging inside. I calibrated the oven to the lowest heat setting (20 degrees less than what the temperature says) and setting the temperature at 375 degrees, the over was still showing that it had heated up over 400 degrees. – I suspect mine this time overcooked some being at higher temperatures throughout the entire time. In the middle of working on other things – loading my car for a farmer’s market, I didn’t want to watch the over temp like a hawk and keep adjusting, so I went with what it thought 375 was.

The recipe I went with mixed 1 cup each of flour and milk and added 3 eggs. This batter was then added to the muffin tins. In the middle of filling I realized I should have used two muffin pans. Mine were filled more than they should have been…. but they still came out. I then put them in the over at 375 for 5 minutes – at the end of the 5 minutes, I adjusted the temperature of the oven down to 350 and baked them another 25 minutes.

Taking them out at the end of the baking time, they were done! I couldn’t wait to eat them, but wow they were hot fresh out of the oven. They don’t have a huge amount of taste, so I really want to try them with onion gravy. Time to find that recipe next!

Gas Stove

Building our current house – just this last August, I wanted a gas stove. For years now we’ve had an electric stove due to the house we’ve been in, and building gave me a chance to choose. I was so excited to finally get my gas stove. The cookies I love to make at the holidays especially needed a gas stove – almost 30 years ago I had to swap to an electric iron to cook them, because they just weren’t doable on an electric stove.

I’d love to have one of the large gas stoves with the grill in the middle and the double oven, but for now I’m just happy that I have a gas stove! That being said, 30 years of electric stoves, makes cooking on gas an adjustment, and the stove we have specifically set out to make it harder. I know I’m attributing feelings to a stove, but it did seem to be trying to discourage use. I love gas stoves for a few reasons that include not having to worry about breaking or scratching the glass, the flame adjustment, and the best part being that they are usable in a power outage. The first thing I noticed though with our new stove was that the flame didn’t seem to change on the burners when you turned the knob. The front burners (and we all know we have a favorite burner!) only operated at full tilt and I had a super hard time not burning everything. I’m sure I set the fire alarm off ten times before the final straw.

The final straw came when the using the stove and flames shot out the knob on the front. I, of course, screamed, my husband ran in and said why don’t you just turn it off – which he did luckily figure out how, and we got the gas turned off to the stove. Being only 3 months old, I located the warranty information and requested they service it. The knob had melted! When the repair person came, he had never seen anything like it. Several parts inside had to be replaced at the time, a knob had to be ordered, and he also adjusted everything to adjust the flames, and showed me how to adjust the temperature in the oven to get it working right. I now keep a temperature gauge in the oven just in case. As scary as it was at the time, it is a future funny story.

Now that the stove is working more the way it should be, I’m slowly adjusting how to cook with gas. Of course our fire alarm is about 5 feet from the stove, so any mistake is heard everywhere in the house. I’ve been trying to use lower temperatures – I think my gas stove definitely goes hotter than the electric I had, use covers more, and use the fan frequently. I also am super careful of boil overs, I’ve noticed the boil overs put out the flame on my stove. Any other suggestions?

I do have to wonder about them repairing a stove that obviously cost less than what they spent to repair it. – Though repairing the old is good for the environment.

stove knob