Dinner :: Buttermilk Marinated Air Fryer Whole Roasted Chicken

Recipe: https://www.skinnytaste.com/air-fryer-whole-chicken/

We made this as a Sunday Dinner.  This is from Gina over at Skinnytaste, so we knew it would be good! But, we had a little trouble cooking:

I did this in my regular oven on the Air-Fry mode because my Instant Pot (with air-fryer lid) isn’t large enough for this chicken.

After it cooking for 25 minutes on each side, the breast was still raw. I’m not sure how this is possible. It came from the store refrigerated (not frozen), it sat in our refrigerator for 2 or 3 days before we marinated it. Then it sat in the marinate for a day, and out on the counter for an hour before cooking. So I’d be really surprised if it was still frozen.

After the air-frying, we put it back in on bake for another 10 minutes. I was afraid the dark meat would be overdone. So we carved it up, served the dark meat and the breasts went into the microwave to finish. Not the way I would have preferred to cook it, but it worked.

Air Fryer Buttermilk Chicken

And holy cats was it delicious!! Only buttermilk and salt and pepper and it was amazing. I served it with baked potatoes (with sour cream, butter and green onions) and Brussels Sprouts. The chicken may appear burned but it is not! The Brussels on the other hand were inedible.

Air Fryer Buttermilk Chicken

After eating and carving all the meat off the bones, the bones went into the instant pot with the potato skins and some seasoning and we made a nice broth.

Day two, the leftover chicken was used both as an addition to an otherwise vegetarian ravioli dish, as a main course (with gravy made from the broth) and then day 3 as a topper for salad. It remained moist (yeah, I said it) and flavorful. I don’t know if I’ll ever NOT marinate in buttermilk again.

Highly recommended. Just be sure you have a meat thermometer and be sure the breast is done.

We have this one, but it appears to be out of stock.

This one looks close to it.

Try this and let me know what you think!
Skinnytaste Recipe:

Review :: Spinach Ravioli from Home Chef

Recipe: Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli Bolognese with Parmesan

This is one of those easy ones where you just mix and put in the provided tray and pop in the oven.

ingredients for Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli Bolognese with Parmesan
Ingredients for Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli Bolognese with Parmesan

It comes with a plastic tray. Which would be fine in the microwave, but it said that I was supposed to cook it in that tray, in the oven! Plastic, in the oven?! I got too nervous to use it in the oven, so I used my own ovenware.

Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli Bolognese with Parmesan from the oven
Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli Bolognese with Parmesan from the oven

This had great flavor, but I would prepare it differently. The sauce didn’t really come together, nor was there enough of it. Also, the ravioli didn’t get cooked through, it was still pretty chewy.

I had ordered my Home Chef this particular week with 4 servings per meal instead of 2 because my husband is always still hungry after we eat our two servings. But instead of giving me double portions of everything, they just gave me two bags of each meal. So, I ended up making each meal twice instead of making the 4 servings.

Therefore, I had a choice to make it a different way. A few days later, I did it this way:

I used the instant pot, only because I was working in the bar kitchen and didn’t have a large pot down there and was too lazy to go upstairs and get one.

So, I heated the pot on sauté and added the sauce ingredients whisking to make the sure the cream cheese was really mixed into the sauce. I also added about ½ cup water since I wanted the pasta to cook all the way through.

After adding the ravioli, I set the Instant Pot on high for just 1 minute, but just as it came to pressure I got the dreaded “burn notice”! So I just let it bubble on sauté.

Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli Bolognese with Parmesan from the Instant Pot
Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli Bolognese with Parmesan from the Instant Pot

The pasta still didn’t get done enough, but the sauce was good. One of the raviolis stuck to the bottom of the pot and got destroyed, so it sort of became part of the sauce.

I don’t know if I’d get this again. It would be easy enough to make it again on my own if I had a good meat sauce. But it would probably be a lot better in the microwave.

Have you tried this one? What was your experience?

Here’s their recipe.

Dinner :: Chef John’s Salisbury Steak

One night when my husband and I were watching TV a conversation came up on Salisbury Steak. I think he said he didn’t like it, and I said I loved it and would make a good one for him to prove it.

However, my bravado wrote a check that my skills couldn’t cash. My favorite Salisbury Steak is this one.

Swansons TV dinner from the 70s

Those silky potatoes and that chocolate cake was sooo good, even when it burned a little. But the steaks were so tasty and that gravy!? *Swoon*

Also, I used to work at a place that provided lunch for staff and their Salisbury Steak was the BOMB! They didn’t make it in house, it was from a food service company. So it was like school lunch, but better.

[Update] I just found out that the food we were served at work was…..{drum roll please…} STOUFFERS!! ]

So I did some digging and I already had a few Salisbury recipes in my cookbook (I use CopyMeThat). The one that had the most stars (given by me) was the one from Home Chef. Here’s how it came out when I made it then:

HomeChef Salisbury Steak
Home Chef Salisbury Steak

The sauce looks too creamy and light colored for what I wanted.

So, I kept looking. When I Googled it, I realized that Chef John from Food Wishes had a recipe. So I watched the video again and decided to use this one.

Mushrooms and onions sauteing

I did make the meat ahead and let it rest in the refrigerator, as suggested. What I didn’t love is the ketchup. Something in it felt not quite right and I think it’s the ketchup. He does say in the video that his recipe is more like meatloaf and I guess I don’t really like that aspect. If I want meatloaf I’ll just make that.

Salisbury Steak
Finished Salisbury Steak

This was good, but I think the Home Chef one was better.  Note, there are 2 HC Salisbury recipes, one is “steak” and the other one is meatballs. I liked them both and rated them both 4 stars, but they are different.

Maybe I have to take things from all three of these recipes and make one of my own with them as guides.

What’s your favorite recipe for Salisbury Steak?

Salisbury Steak
Bonus photo, Salisbury Steak

The beef, mushrooms, and beans were from Imperfect Foods. Use my link and get $10 off your first box. (Full disclosure, I get $10 off too.)

2021 Project :: January Tofu with Rice and Miso-Maple Dressing

Tofu with Rice and Miso-Maple Dressing

I decided that I would like to create a little project for the new year. I decided that I would make one dish from each issue of Bon Appetit, starting January 2021.

I decided this around January 25th, 2021. Because apparently I thrive on self-imposed deadlines.

So I grabbed the January issue of Bon Appetit and looked at each recipe to see which one I would make. First of all, that issue doesn’t have very many recipes. It’s all story. Which is cool, cool stories….but I needed recipes to choose from!

Part of the parameters of this are that I will FOLLOW the recipe exactly or as best I can. So I had to pick something that I already had all the ingredients for on hand.

I’m not kidding when I say the ONLY recipe in this issue that met those criteria is this one.

Tofu with Rice and Miso-Maple Dressing

Good thing I like tofu!

The marinade for the tofu was delicious, and as it turns out, it also basically the dressing (minus the cornstarch).

Ingredients on the counter

I loved the fresh flavors of this. I followed the directions nearly exactly (the only thing I didn’t do is grate the garlic because I couldn’t find the grater. I just chopped it really fine).

Finished dish

The only things I would change are…

  • It says to use one clove garlic. Usually I think, “aww, cute!” and then double it (at least). So, I did use two cloves of garlic and dare I say…it was too much. Since it’s raw it was really strong. I recommend sticking with one clove.
  • The recipe doesn’t say to do this, but I think they did do it, judging by their photo. I would toss the tofu in the dressing before putting it on the rice. Then drizzle the leftover dressing on the whole thing. The tofu was a tad dry coming straight out of the oven and I think it would have been better if it were tossed in the dressing. But you still need dressing to go over the rice and veggies.

I’ll make this again. It reminded me of the Yum Yum Rice Bowls from World Street Kitchen!

Close up finished dish

The carrots were from Imperfect Foods. Use my link and get $10 off your first box. (Full disclosure, I get $10 off too.)

Product :: Dash Waffle Maker

I saw this cute waffle iron on Tiktok and had to have it. I found it in Amazon packaged with a cookbook.

I had bought a box of Bisquick as I remembered from my childhood that all you had to do was add water (I remembered wrong).

So I made the batter but I didn’t need 12 of these today so I poured half the batter into a container and saved it for tomorrow.

To the half I had out, I added garlic powder, pepper, a tiny pinch of salt, and about 1\4 cup of shredded cheese.

I sprayed the Dash with cooking spray and I used a 1\4-cup measuring cup to pour the batter into the Dash.

I didn’t time how long it took to cook them but it was maybe 5-7 minutes per waffle.

Just be sure not to overfill!
dash waffle iron, overfilled

These were delicious! This little gem is easy to use, easy to clean (even if you overfill as I did) and if you get the one with the cookbook it’s an even better value.

I served my cheesy waffles with an egg and bacon (sugar-free).

Mini Waffles and Eggs on a plate

I can recommend this product, it’s cute and works well!

Dinner :: Greek Style Green Beans

Greek Style Green Beans-Fasolakia Lathera

Original Recipe: Greek Style Green Beans 

Last night for dinner I did a couple of things…one was a whole chicken in the Instant Pot, using also the Air Fryer lid. Needs work, I’ll report back on that later.

But as a side dish, I made one of the new Greek recipes I found from Olive Tomato.

This was really yummy, however, I don’t like my green beans to be cooked to the point of mush and being discolored.

I like them to look like this

Green beans, potatoes and tomatoes in pan
This was right after I put them in the pan.

But when they were “done” according to the recipe, they were brown-ish and mushy.

Cooked green beans, potatoes and tomatoes

So while I would make this again for sure, I would add the beans at the last 5 minutes, when the potatoes are done, not let them cook for 40 minutes.

Here’s the finished dish, looks better with the creamy feta on top!

finished dish, green beans, potatoes and tomatoes

Here’s a close up.

close up beans, tomatoes, and potatoes

The beans, potatoes, tomatoes and onions were all from Imperfect Foods.
Use my link and get $10 off your first box. (Full disclosure, I get $10 off too.)

Just a weird aside…when I cut open the first tomato for this dish I was horrified by what I saw and felt inside.

inside of a tomato sprouted
Coming soon to a horror movie theater near you…

I’ve been assured it was fine, just the seeds had sprouted. Which of course is what I thought, but I really didn’t think they started sprouting inside the fresh tomato! I thought they’d start once the fruit was rotting or smashed, etc.
So while it looks a little like a horror movie, it’s also pretty cool.


Recipe :: Chicken Sausage Gnocchi Soup

This was originally called Creamy Chicken Gnocchi Soup and it was an Olive Garden copycat. But I changed so much that I feel it is my own now.
I was debating between a Zuppa Toscana and this Olive Garden copycat for dinner last night. I decided I wanted to use the gnocchi I got from Imperfect Foods.

I’ve never had the soup at Olive Garden so I have no reference point. Plus I as I mentioned, I changed so much that it’s not the same recipe at all.

Chicken Sausage Gnocchi Soup
Chicken Sausage Gnocchi Soup

Chicken Sausage Gnocchi Soup


  • Cooking spray
  • 10 ounces True Story Organic Chicken Sausage 
  • ½ cup onion diced
  • ½ cup shredded carrots
  • ½ cup green pepper, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tablespoons butter
  • 1 ½ tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 ½ cups beef (or veg, or chicken) broth.
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 cups fresh spinach leaves chopped
  • 1 (16 ounce) package potato gnocchi

Prep ingredients as noted (chop, slice veg and sausage).

Spray a large soup pot with cooking spray.

Over medium high heat sauté chicken sausage, onion, green pepper and garlic until tender.

Add the butter and stir veggies until butter is melted.

Add the flour and stir well so that the flour is all incorporated, no white spots showing.

Slowly add the chicken broth and stir or whisk until it starts to thicken.

Add the gnocchi and simmer for about 5 minutes or until gnocchi is cooked and soup is thickened.

Add the spinach to the pot and turn off the heat. Stir, then cover for about 5 minutes until the spinach is wilted (if the soup is too thin, leave the cover off.

Add salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.

The only changes I might make next time are to use a hot sausage instead of sweet, or add some cayenne to the soup for a kick.

I also might use red pepper instead of green just for some color.

My Recipe: Chicken Sausage Gnocchi Soup 

Original Recipe: Creamy Chicken Gnocchi Soup

The gnocchi, green pepper, onion, carrot, chicken sausage, and garlic  were all from Imperfect Foods.  Use my link and get $10 off your first box. (Full disclosure, I get $10 off too.)





Dinner :: Taco Casserole

Taco Casserole from the oven
Taco Casserole from the oven

This is from one of my favorite food blogs, Salt and Lavender. Her recipes are soooo good. Almost everything I’ve tried before this was creamy. Creamy Spinach Mushroom Pork Chops (which I’m making again tomorrow), Creamy Tuscan Sausage Gnocchi, 15 Minute Creamy Garlic Pasta, and my favorite, Italian Sausage Tortellini Soup. This was not creamy, but was super delicious.

Just like a taco only less messy! It’s basically what is left on your plate when your taco explodes at first bite.

I made this January 6, 2020 while we watched the news and the Capital was being overtaken by a mob of delusional cult members (or as my favorite Tiktok lady says, “Cheeto-Humping Fuck Nuggets”). Yes, I am not a supporter, if you are, you can stop reading and stop following me.

Still here? OK so anyway, here are my notes:

I only had one small bag of Nacho Flavored Doritos so I used that and then filled the rest of the 2 cups with crushed Hatch Chili Corn Chips from Imperfect Foods.

I used Salsa Lisa, medium spicy. The chipotle version of this would be really good here too.

For the chili powder, I used a half regular and half chipotle powder.

I followed the recipe, except I added a chopped red pepper (she suggested this in the blog post, I didn’t go completely rouge).

Toppings we used were: sour cream, cilantro, green onion, tomatoes, black olives, lettuce (which I forgot when I took the photos) and remaining salsa from the container of Salsa Lisa.

She has this clocking in at 554 calories but My Fitness Pal says this is 333 calories per serving (without toppings), due in part to the oil I didn’t use. I am not sure what the other discrepancies are.

I did not use any salt when cooking the meat because of the salt in the chips. Next time I may use plain corn chips (Tostitos, no flavor) and then use some salt or Tajin in the meat. I did feel like the meat could use some oomph. I’d add some cayenne to the meat mixture too.

I highly recommend making this! If you love tacos, you’ll love this.

Taco Casserole with toppings
Taco Casserole with toppings, except for the lettuce which I forgot.

Original Recipe : Easy Taco Casserole

The beef, green onions, corn chips, onion, black beans, and tomatoes were all from Imperfect Foods.

Use my link and get $10 off your first box. (Full disclosure, I get $10 off too.)

If you do this, order those Hatch Chili Corn Chips! They’re amazing!!

bag of Hatch Chili Seasoned Corn Chips from Imperfect Foods
Hatch Chili Seasoned Corn Chips from Imperfect Foods

I had the leftovers for lunch today, I just sprinkled some more corn chips on top!

Taco Casserole leftovers
Taco Casserole leftovers



I made this again and I made a couple of changes, mostly out of what was on hand.

I used a Taco Seasoning packet instead of the spices suggested and it was fine.

I used my own homemade Salsa (which is more like a pico) along with some roasted tomatoes that I had made earlier in the week with grape tomatoes that were starting to wrinkle.

I used some of those Hatch chips along with plain corn chips as the base.

Then, I had the leftovers for breakfast with an egg on it!

Taco Casserole with Egg
Taco Casserole with Egg

Bailey’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

I made these delicious Baily’s flavored cookies from Baker by Nature. First off, I HATE baking. I think most of the reason is that I always end up with flour all over the place. It just explodes on me for no reason (that I can tell). But I was determined to make these because they looked soooo good on her website (a friend posted the recipe on Facebook).

Another reason I don’t like baking is that the things I make usually aren’t very good. But I think it’s because I can’t seem to follow directions. Mostly I am too impatient to make the dough and let it chill. But this time I did it right! And it paid off.

Cookies on a rack

These are good! They’re gooey, and almost not done in the middle. So, they’re perfect for heating up in the toaster oven if you want to eat them warm.

close up cookie
I’m ready for my close up

They’re very sweet though, so I I gave them 4 stars of 5. I would leave out some of that brown sugar. It was too much. Do any of you bakers know, can I leave out some of that sugar and not have it affect the outcome? If not, what can I do to reduce the sugar/sweetness?

Recipe for Bailey’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

Recipe :: PW’s Perfect Pot Roast

I finally made The Pioneer Woman’s “Perfect Pot Roast”.

I mean, perfect is pretty hard to attain, but this was certainly one of the best I’ve ever had.

It turned out great! What did I change? Glad you asked.

-I did add about a pound of creamer potatoes to the vegetable mix.
-I didn’t use wine because I was too lazy to go downstairs and get some.
That’s all. Everything else I did just as written!

Here it was going into the oven:

Pot Roast Before the oven
Before the oven

We loved it. Our roast was 2.5 pounds so we cooked it for almost 3 hours, I think we took it out a tad early.

Pot Roast after cooking
after removed from the oven

Greg spooned off some of the braising liquid and made a delicious gravy.
Pot Roast the table
Then with the leftovers (though there wasn’t much left) we just cut the meat into smaller pieces and mixed it with the vegetables, juice and gravy and it was a fabulous stew for lunch the next day.

Pot Roast my plate

Let me know if you try it, and how it turns out!

Original Recipe

Onions and carrots were from Imperfect Foods.

Use my link and get $10 off your first box. Full disclosure, I get $10 off too.