What I’ve Cooked in My Air Fryer & What Actually Works

When I received an air fryer over the holidays, my boyfriend thought that I had been gifted a deep fryer. I think he assumed I would be making things such as french fries, corn dogs, fried Oreos, etc …

Alas, I am yet to receive that type of power.

An air fryer is similar to a tiny convection oven. The device bakes and roasts (like an oven) but its final result mimics that of a deep fryer. You get crunchy-crispy goodness, but you don’t have to use a shit-ton (or ANY!) oil.

While I have yet to make any fried candy bars, I have made a bunch of meat and vegetable dishes in my air fryer.

If you came here to read about making french fries, I am sorry to disappoint — I haven’t tried those yet but I s2g they are on my list!!

THIS IS WHAT I HAD MADE SO FAR:

SALMON

I normally bake my salmon in an oven. It is a no-muss, no-fuss way of getting the job done. I hate touching raw fish and baking it in a glass pan usually equals minimal touching.

HOWEVER!!! I never get a delicious flaky-crunchy top that way, and I really like it when salmon is like that— especially if I am having it on salad or with a lot of vegetables. I was told that cooking salmon in an air fryer gets you that result, I decided to attempt Skinnytaste’s air fryer blackened salmon with cucumber-avocado salsa.

The recipe says: “Cook until the fish flakes easily with a fork, 5 to 7 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish.”

Perhaps I chose a THICC cut of salmon….but after 7 minutes my fish was still very raw? I popped that bb back in for another 7 minutes, when it beeped, tested it with a meat thermometer (my kitchen must-have) and then only after seeing that it was at an internal temp where it could be consumed without causing bodily harm, pronounced it done.

The top was crispy and well-seasoned (the Skinnytaste recipe’s seasoning mix was v good) and the center was cooked (although perhaps a tad over-done). I have cooked salmon in an air fryer since then (for a total of 12 minutes at 400º) and had much better, less stress-inducing results.

HOWEVER!! You think your apartment stinks after you cook fish in an oven? WHEEE! Get ready for it to be way worse!! Stink city bb!! Also, is there a way to prep your air fryer so the fish won’t stick to it or no? I had to touch (cooked) fish stuck on bits when I was trying to clean my device and that was gross! ALSO no matter how much I have scrubbed since, I feel the scent of salmon still lingers in my air fryer. I am not entirely a fan.

8/10 for taste……..4/10 for experience

CHICKEN NUGGETS

If you have an air fryer, you need to make chicken nuggets. They can be real chicken nuggets, gluten-free nuggets, naked nuggets, soy nuggets, whatever you want them to be. But just go make them.

RIGHT NOW!!!

Never in my life have I made such perfectly crispy nuggets. Not since the Chick-Fil-A drive-thru have I been blessed with such crunchy, crispy, golden PERFECTION!

Here is how to do it: Pre-heat your air fryer to 400º. When that’s done, dump in your nuggets. Cook for 5 min at 400º. Once they beep, shake them in the pan so they flip over. Cook for another 5 mins.

I am dead ass serious!!!! This is nugget bliss!! AND SO EASY!!

Now if only I had saved all those extra Chick-Fil-A sauces 😦

10/10 for taste……10/10 experience!

BRUSSELS SPROUTS

What I have learned about air fryer recipes from the internet is that they are semi-trial and error. I mean that’s a lot of recipes, but I find it to be especially true for those involving an this particular device.

When done correctly, an air fryer will produce potato chip-like brussels that you won’t want to stop popping in your mouth.

However, oven-baked brussels caramelize in a low-and-slow way an air fryer won’t. Oven-baking also allows your sprouts time to really soak in your seasonings. Sure, air fryer brussles will have a few crisp, tasty leaves, but the entire sprout (at least in my experience) has not been as flavorful as say….olive oil drizzled sprouts, sprinkled with sea salt, black pepper, rosemary and a little garlic in a 425º oven.

But here is how I have made good air fryer sprouts:

Halve or quarter your sprouts (depending on size). In a mixing bowl, toss them with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and a bit of salt and pepper. Preheat for 400º, dump them in your air fryer. Cook for 7 min at the same temp. Take them out, give the air fryer basket a shake, then cook for another 5 min at 400º. If you like them extra salty, add another pinch of salt.

8/10 for taste……8/10 experience

TOFU

I am not a tofu wiz but cooking your tofu in an air fryer feels like a really good hack! I have never successfully pan-fried tofu. I always use too much oil or just straight up burn the tofu. BUT HERE IS WHAT YOU ARE GOING TO DO TO MAKE IT EXCELLENT SO YOU CAN ENJOY A BAHN MI OR RICE BOWL OR WHATEVER IT IS YOU WANT TO MAKE WITH TOFU.

Step 1 is go to Trader Joe’s. They have a Sriracha tofu that you should buy. I like it. If you don’t like spicy, they have a plain version but then why are you buying tofu from Trader Joe’s if you’re not going to get the obnoxious flavored kind? Go to Ralph’s (Kroger/Jewel/Ask your local pizza rat) or something.

Step 2!! Preheat the air fryer to 400º. While it’s heating up, cut your tofu into a way that makes sense for you. If you’re putting it on a sandwich, I would recommend long strips. If you are eating it in a rice bowl, burrito, salad or whatever else, I recommend making cubes.

Step 3 – if you are going to add seasoning to it, now is the time to do that. I am not going to tell you what to do … I got the Sriracha tofu.

Step 4: Dump your strips/cubes into the air fryer. Cook for 5 min at 400º. Give it a little shake after the first timer goes off and then repeat!

CRISPY DELICIOUSNESS!

10/10 for taste…..10/10 for experience!

BAGEL

Full disclosure, I saw someone attempt this on TikTok before I tried it. Their bagel looked gorgeously golden brown!

I did not have a regular bagel, but I DID have a bagel thin.

This was my first and final mistake.

I put it in the air fryer at 350º for 4 minutes.

Basically, I made a cracker?

It was edible but it was…..not a bagel/sort of burned!!

2/10 for taste…….0/10 for experience!!!!

GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICH WITH AN EGG IN THE MIDDLE

Another one that I saw on social media, this time from Instagram! The original poster made a grilled cheese sandwich. It was breakfast time for me, and I added an egg. So sue me!!!!!!

I preheated my air fryer to 400º.

I buttered the sides of my bread that would be touching the air fryer. I placed one piece of bread butter-side down, topped it with cheese and cracked an egg (which mercifully stayed in place).

I let it cook for 5 minutes on that side and when it was done, I placed my other piece of bread (butter side UP) on to the sandwich and cooked for another 5 minutes at 400º.

IT LOOKED GORGEOUS! The bread wasn’t burnt (prob because it wasn’t a bagel thin) and the butter and cheese and egg had kept the bread moist enough to not dry out too much. BUT I forgot one crucial step. I did not flip the sandwich in the fryer!! The bread on the bottom was a soggy mess as it had never fried and bore the weight of all that dairy.

The worst part is, I didn’t realize it until I had it in my hands, ready to eat.

I want to attempt this one again. I am not a fan of mushy bread.

7/10 for taste …… 4/10 for experience

If you’ve made it to the bottom and you’re wondering what sort of air fryer I have my grubby mitts on, it’s this one.

I am still learning how to do things with it (clearly) but it has been an overall enjoyable experience so far. Please do not confuse this device with an Instant Pot. That is a pressure cooker. Allegedly, pressure cookers can cook a chicken but can also make yogurt (?). I don’t know much about it, other than I once had a boyfriend who was a lawyer and he was representing someone who had been badly burned after their pressure cooker (I don’t remember if it was Instant Pot?) exploded. He made me promise never to purchase one. I am afraid of explosions and also burns so I will likely keep this promise for the rest of my life!!

thanks for reading

xx

How to Make Eggs

I recently watched a TikTok where a girl was sobbing about how “it” never ends. She panned to piles of dirty laundry and a sink full of dishes.

The video was duet-ed by a woman who explained that “care” never ends. You will always have laundry to do, dishes to clean, bookshelves to dust, etc. She explained that your level of “care” fluctuates, depending on what you have going on in your life.

A really important “care” thing for me is knowing how to make food. Sure, sometimes care looks like Postmating Thai food, but the need to nourish your body never ends and money does (otherwise I would be ordering Thai food for every meal for the rest of my life). That’s where cooking comes in.

I didn’t realize how few of my friends knew how to boil or fry an egg until quarantine began. Please believe me when I tell you that I had three different people text me about this.

A desire to learn is worthy of applause, as is a desire to care for oneself.

If you are a person with access to a kitchen with a stove, have a frying pan and a small pot, and want to learn to cook eggs for yourself but never learned how, THIS IS FOR YOU!!!

I promise, this is all easy as hell. Even if you’ve never done it before.

Plus, you’re not just learning how to hard boil an egg, you’re half of the way to making egg salad or a breakfast sandwich or a pasta topping.

HOW TO MAKE A HARD BOILED EGG

There are two ways of doing this, but I’m going to teach you the way my grandma taught me, which I think is the easiest. You will need a pot, so something with tall sides that can hold a lot of water, a spoon, some water and then as many eggs as you want to make.

  1. Fill a small pot with water and set it on a stove burner at a high heat.
  2. Bring your pot of water to a boil on the stove. You will know it is boiling when the water is bubbling.
  3. Take your spoon and gently put an egg on it and place the egg into the boiling water. Do this GENTLY. You’re trying not to crack the egg.
  4. Take the spoon out
  5. Set a timer on your phone for 8 minutes (if you like your egg yolk to be a little runny) or 9 minutes (for a firmer egg).
  6. DO NOT TOUCH THE WATER LET IT KEEP BOILING
  7. When the timer goes off, TURN OFF THE WATER.
  8. Take your spoon and scoop the egg out of the pot. You can either leave it on the counter to cool or run it under cold sink water (while it balances on the spoon) until it is cool enough to touch.
  9. When it is cool enough, you can peel the shell off the egg. My best advice for peeling the shell off is to 1. GET A PAPER TOWEL. 2. Put the egg on the paper towel. 3. Gently crush the egg with your palm (don’t flatten it so it explodes. Be gentle!), rolling it back and forth a little until cracks form all over. Then peel all the crunchy part off.
  10. Throw your shell away. I recommend pouring a little salt and pepper on your plate and dipping your egg into the mixture for a lil flavor.

WANT TO TURN YOUR HARD BOILED EGGS INTO EGG SALAD?

Boil and peel 4 eggs (assuming you’re making egg salad for 1 person. If you’re making it for two, I would double the amount of everything). Cut the eggs up on a plate or cutting board. It doesn’t really matter how. You could also put them all into a bowl and mash them. You do you. But you’re going to need to combine your eggs in a bowl anyway, with some mayo (I would recommend about 1/4 cup but you can eyeball it), about 1 squirt of yellow mustard, chopped up green onion, pepper, salt and paprika. Mix it all up with a fork. Voila! You just made egg salad. Put it on some toasted bread or eat it with peppers and pickles if you’re a TikToker.

HOW TO MAKE SCRAMBLED EGGS

My boyfriend is practically a genius, so when we started living together I was stunned to discover that he doesn’t know how to make scrambled eggs.

That, or he is completely pulling my leg and doesn’t want to make breakfast.

There are many different ways to make scrambled eggs. However, you don’t need to do it the fancy French way, or add milk or a ton of butter. All you need is two eggs (three if you’re really hungry), a small bowl, 1 fork, a frying pan, a wooden spoon or spatula and some sort of fat, like butter or olive oil.

  1. Crack your eggs into a small bowl. If you get eggshell in there, take one of the halves of the already broken shell and fish out the tiny piece that got way. Shell attracts shell. My grandma taught me that and it is probably the best piece of advice I have ever been given.
  2. Take your fork and stab the yellow yolks until they don’t look like perfect circles anymore. Then, mix the eggs together. You should be left with a yellow-y mixture.
  3. Set the bowl aside.
  4. Take your pan and set it on a stove burner. Turn the burner to medium-high heat.
  5. Let the pan get hot. You’ll know it’s hot (DON’T TOUCH IT) when you hold your hand over it, and you can feel the heat.
  6. Turn the heat down to low.
  7. Throw some butter or olive oil in there. Not a lot. If you want to use a measurement I would say 1/2 a teaspoon of olive oil or if you’re using butter, I would say use about as much as you would typically spread on toast.
  8. Spread it around the pan with your wooden spoon.
  9. Pour your egg mixture into the pan.
  10. LET IT SIT FOR ABOUT 30 SECONDS.
  11. Then take your wooden spoon and make small circles. You don’t want the egg to cook in one solid circle, you’re trying to make curds by breaking them up.
  12. You will know your eggs are done when there are no longer any sort of mucus-y looking parts to it. If you are like my boyfriend and you can’t be bothered to pay attention to what that means, I would say about two minutes.
  13. Serve immediately

WANT TO MAKE BREAKFAST TACOS?

*I am in no way claiming that this is the way to make authentic tacos. It is definitely not!!*

You’re going to need any tortillas of your choice. They don’t even have to be taco-sized, you could also make this a breakfast burrito or roll-up. You’ll need cheddar cheese and hot sauce. Assuming you just made the scrambled eggs, take a clean frying pan and put it on the burner at low heat. Put your tortilla in the pan. While your tortilla heats up, sprinkle it with cheddar cheese. Wait for it to melt. If you’re feeling fancy, this is when you can add things like tomatoes, onions, jalapeños, beans, meat, etc… Then dump your scrambled eggs on top and let them get a little warmer (they likely will have cooled). Remove taco from frying pan, top with hot sauce!

HOW TO FRY AN EGG (THIS IS THE LAST ONE I PROMISE)

You’ll need an egg, a frying pan, a spatula and some sort of fat like olive oil or butter.

  1. Put your frying pan on a stove burner at high heat. Let it get hot. You’ll know it’s hot (DON’T TOUCH IT) when you hold your hand over it, and you can feel the heat.
  2. Put about a tablespoon of olive oil or butter into the pan. Can’t be bothered to measure? Cut off a big hunk of butter or make a small pool olive oil. Let the butter melt (or just leave the olive oil alone in the pan).
  3. This part is the trickiest part IMO. You need to crack the egg and put it in the pan. The simplest way to do this is to crack the egg against the pan and dump in its contents. If you are afraid of getting burned or of leaving shell in there by mistake, get a small bowl and crack the egg into there instead. Then dump the egg from the bowl into the frying pan.
  4. Yes, the oil/butter will make scary noises while it cooks the egg. Get over it tbh.
  5. You will know when one side is done because the outer edges of the egg will start to brown and turn crispy.
  6. Take your spatula and slide it under the egg. You are going to flip the egg. Yes, you can do this. There is no way to fuck it up other than to chuck the egg on the floor. Focus!! Flip the egg over so the other side can cook!!!
  7. Wow you did it.
  8. Let it sit there are like….2 to 2 1/2 minutes. Do a little longer (3 min) for a firmer yolk.
  9. TURN THE HEAT OFF.
  10. Take your spatula and take the egg out of the pan!!!! Now you can add this fried egg to a piece of toast, bowl of pasta, rice or something!!!

I don’t really have another recipe for you with this. My only advice, is that everything tastes better with a fried egg on it. Try it on pasta, pizza, a grain bowl, on some fried rice, avocado toast… honestly the sky is the limit with this one. My favorite way to eat a fried egg rn is between two halves of an english muffin with some cheddar cheese and hot sauce mmmmmmm.

ANYWAY

If you have any questions, feel free to ask me. If you want to learn how to make other basic things, LMK. I can also teach you how to make harder things. Idk. I’m here!! Caring never stops! And that is okay. We can do this together.

Saturday Link Pack

Hello!

Happy weekend! I am currently sitting on my couch, next to my boyfriend, who is depressed that I have announced that I want lip injections.

I ran an Instagram poll this week asking you all what you’d like to see more of on Lately, and many of you (the 5 people who responded) answered roundups and recipes. So on this grey LA October day, I am posting a roundup of just….shit from the internet? And a recipe or two.

Enjoy

Speaking of D*n, he LOVED this brown-butter salmon with lemon and Harissa recipe that I made the other week. It’s an Alison Roman dish and was fairly easy to make.

I have been dreaming of these press-ons from Color Camp. The orange is fall AF. If you’ve never ordered from CC, they send you a try on kit before your order ships so you can give them the exact size of your nails. The result is press-ons that actually fit and look natural. This autumn floral design is super cute too.

This is THE BEST smelling & looking candle.

Repeller (formerly Man Repeller) shut down this week, right after a relaunch that held the promise of inclusivity and would have opened the door to much-needed conversations in the fashion/beauty/lifestyle digital space. If you want details on the close, you can read about it here. If you want some insider gossip on the sitch….click here.

I’ve been eyeing these bike shorts (yes bike shorts are still a core part of my wardrobe) from Aerie. The v-seam looks ultra-flattering. Plus, they’re on sale right now for $25. They also come in legging form.

I just started using these much-hyped Japanese beauty skin cloths in the shower. They exfoliate like a mofo. 10/10 recommend.

I’ve been trying to up my fermented foods/probiotics intake, because I have severely screwed up my gut health during quarantine. I’ve been really enjoying drives to Erewhon for Kombucha Kat (and I am a person who typically doesn’t like kombucha but this stuff is really tasty). I’ve also started drinking this blackberry apple cider vinegar tea in the mornings.

You STILL need to wear SPF in the fall/winter!! Even when it’s not sunny out. Even indoors! They discontinued making my favorite one from Purito : ( right as I am squeezing out of the last drops from my bottle! I might try EltaMD next, or Solid & Striped.

Maybe I’ll wear this dress to Thanksgiving. I know it’s not even Halloween yet, but I have been dreaming of eating stuffing.

Somebody buy me these earrings.

Halloween is in 1 week! My grandmother sent me some Halloween/fall cookie cutters and I put them to good use. She even sent me a card with the sugar cookie recipe she has been making my entire life.

Albertson’s was out of purple and orange icing. Peep the pilgrim hats I tried to turn into a spooky witches hat and a fall hat for gardening.

Anyway, we saw a rat on the balcony yesterday. Tell me again why we left the valley?

xoxoxo

Lily