Friday Favorites-Air Fryer Convert, Charcuterie Cups, Autism Awareness Boutique, Artichoke Antipasto and Sweet Magnolias


Hello weekend! There is a little chill in the air lately but it looks like spring is coming back next week. I have so been enjoying my spring flowers lately and cannot wait for some others to come up.

I have a very food centric list of Friday Favorites for you today, just in time for the weekend. Settle in and join me today.

1) Air Fryer

My name is Patty, and I am a total air fryer convert. I get it! It took me a long time to come around to the air fryer, and a model that wasn't a Good fit, but now the Good Better Best household is all in.

I totally resisted getting one for years. I never jumped on the Instant Pot bandwagon as I thought I would never use one. I am glad I took a hard pass here, apologies to my Instant Pot lover readers. Around the beginning of the first of the year, two people who I know who are really Good cooks said to me in the same day "you don't have an air fryer???" That made me think I needed to look into this. 

I reached out to my sweet sister in law whom I knew was an air fryer devotee, and she sent me all kinds of photos of things she made in her air fryer that day. It all looked so Good

A lot of people I know had some version of this air fryer so I started here. My sister in law has the 5 quart and she said that was big enough but to maybe even try the 7 quart.

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Option 1 arrived and I was excited. I pulled it out of the box and...Besties, I couldn't get over how big and ugly it was. Apologies to any of you who own this and love it. It was really big and we don't have a ton of room to store it. I also feared that if it was put away, I wouldn't use it (see Instant Pot comments above). So I returned it.

After some research I decided to try this model that is an air fryer, toaster oven, convection oven, broiler and warmer. Our toaster we got as a wedding present almost 16 years ago so I could justify this version as while it was also a Cuisinart and still working well, the numbers were starting to wear off on the dials. Normally I say I don't like a toaster oven because beyond toasting, I think they just take up a bunch of space and that you never use the other features. Ok Besties, at this point are you thinking "for a woman who writes a heck of a lot about food...she really has some deep rooted issues about cooking appliances?" If you are, you might be right.

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The verdict...we love it. We use it all day every day. Morning to night. We use it to make turkey bacon and bagels in the morning. A grilled cheese made in in the air fryer is a totally different lunch experience. I can heat up a couple of dinner rolls without heating our whole oven. I have also done chicken cutlets (thank you Holly for your instructions), pork milanese, sweet potato tater tots, and roasted shrimp (need to work on my timing on this one). 

I also love the way it looks in our kitchen. Like most Cuisinart projects it has a really sleek design and fits perfectly the in the corner of the countertop.

I am in a loving, committed relationship with air fryer version two. Nothing will ever break us up. We are like the Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, without the COVID, of home chef and kitchen appliances.

Me and my air fryer--like Tom and Rita2

2) Charcuterie Cups

On a slightly less weird, yet also obsessed food note this Friday, I am also loving the Charcuterie Cups I made to bring to Wine Gal K's house last weekend. They are a really Good option for safe entertaining these days. They can me mixed and matched for any dietary needs to and you could even customize them for kids.

I will definitely be making versions of these over the next few months. 

3) Autism Awareness Boutique

For the month of April, Stella & Dot has a hand curated boutique to honor Autism Awareness month. When you shop this collection Stella & Dot will donate 20% to the HollyRod Foundation. You can shop beautifully created autism awareness jewelry and accessories and also the Best selling Lavish Body Butter

These are perfect for Mother's Day for your autism warrior mamas and any other mom in your life. Don't forget, Mother's Day is May 9th.

4) Trader Joe's Artichoke Antipasto

Holy smokes Besties, have you tried this? I bought this over the weekend as I am working hard to find some easy, healthy and yummy dinner solutions these days. This artichoke antipasto totally nailed it. I have been having it on grilled chicken strips at lunch and it really packs some flavor. 

Pretty sure that this is going to be in my Trader Joe's cart all the time now. 

5) Sweet Magnolias

I am so late to this party, but my Goodness I love this show on Netflix. I checked out the first episode on a whim and by episode two I was totally hooked. This show brought me so much comfort over the last month when things were tough. 

I think in the second to last episode that Helen is having a tough time she asks Maddie if the storms ever stop, her answer took my breath away. 

Season two is currently filming and I cannot wait until it starts up again. Even Running Daddy stopped and watched some episodes. It is pretty much like a PG version of Hallmark series, and I totally here for it. Have you watched it? I know I am like a year behind on this one.

That's what I have this week. Hope you have the Best spring weekend!

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