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A Birthday dinner success & a flop! – #WOYP?

June 6, 2024

I’ve written previously about our Home Restaurant Date Nights and I have to admit I’ve been a bit slack in that area lately. Mike’s birthday was in May and I always make him a special dinner so it was the perfect opportunity for a Home Restaurant Date Night and trying a couple of new recipes.

I’ve had an air fryer which Mike purchased about 3 years ago. I hardly use it apart from maybe heating some oven fries. It was Mike’s birthday and I always make him a special dinner so thought ‘why not’? It was the perfect opportunity to use the air fryer and see what all the hype has been about. Yes, I know I’m very late to the party.

On the Menu

Air Fryer Herbed Roast Chicken
Individual Chocolate Lava Cakes

What is air fry cooking?

Air fry cooking is a method of preparing food using an air fryer, which is a kitchen appliance that cooks by circulating hot air around the food. The primary appeal of air frying is that it can produce a crispy layer similar to traditional frying but with significantly less oil. Here’s a breakdown of how it works and its benefits:

Benefits of Air Frying

  1. Healthier Cooking: Using less oil means fewer calories and less fat, making air-fried food a healthier alternative to deep-fried food.
  2. Convenience: Air fryers are relatively easy to use and often have preset cooking programs for various types of food, simplifying the cooking process.
  3. Versatility: You can cook a wide variety of foods in an air fryer, including vegetables, meats, fish, and even baked goods.
  4. Speed: Air fryers often cook food faster than traditional ovens because of the rapid air circulation and concentrated heat.

Tips for Air Frying

  • Avoid Overcrowding: Leave space between food items to allow hot air to circulate effectively.
  • Shake or Flip: For even cooking, shake the basket or flip the food halfway through the cooking time.
  • Adjust Time and Temperature: Familiarize yourself with the specific settings of your air fryer, as cooking times and temperatures may vary between models.

Air frying is a modern cooking technique that offers a balance between the taste and texture of fried food and the health benefits of using less oil. It’s popular among those looking for a quick, convenient, and healthier way to prepare their favorite dishes.

Air Fryer Herbed Roast Chicken

I googled recipes for air fried chicken and there are a lot! I decided to use the recipe from The Cooking Collective and tweak it to our tastes. Air Fryer Roast Chicken (Whole Chicken) – The Cooking Collective

The result?

Delicious, succulent but with crispy skin. The chicken actually provided two main meals and some lunches so was quite economical.

It took just under an hour and once I had prepped the marinade and applied to the chicken it was set and forget.

Individual Chocolate Lava Cakes

I blame it on my running friend, Caz, who was telling me about her friend’s chocolate lava cakes and how delicious, gooey and yummy they were.

I decided to make them as a dessert for Mike’s birthday dinner and used a recipe similar to this

How to Make Chocolate Lava Cakes – Sally’s Baking Addiction (sallysbakingaddiction.com)

I’ve not made them before but again, it was a Home Restaurant menu so decided to push on and try something new. They weren’t difficult to make but I’m not sure I cooked them long enough. Mike thought they tasted delicious so that was a bonus. As he has Type 2 diabetes I used sugar-free dark chocolate and a sugar-free confectioners sugar.

Using the airfryer more

I’ve since tried cooking chicken schnitzel which were a success as well as hamburger patties and sausages.

I even found a recipe for a pavlova which I might attempt!

Do you use an air fryer for cooking? I’d love to hear what you’ve made.

Sue Loncaric

Women Living Well After 50

Living Life Your Way


  • Reply Thistles and Kiwis June 6, 2024 at 10:09

    I don’t have an air fryer and no room in the kitchen for a new gadget either to be honest. The chocolate lave cakes – could be because it wasn’t standard chocolate that was used? But if they tasted good then that is important!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric June 6, 2024 at 10:45

      Hi Barbara, my husband bought the air-fryer and yes, I hear you about too many gadgets and trying to find room for them. I don’t think I cooked the lava cakes long enough but will give them another try. Hope you are having a lovely week. x

  • Reply The Widow Badass June 6, 2024 at 11:27

    I love my air fryer and have written about it several times. I think if my microwave ever died, I would not need to replace it, thanks to the air fryer. Too bad about the lava cakes (I’ve never had much luck with them) but your chicken looks amazing!!! Thanks for joining WOYP, Sue!


    • Reply Sue Loncaric June 9, 2024 at 05:16

      Hi Deb, I’m starting to like my air fryer and use it more after a couple of years of resistence! x

  • Reply marsha57 June 6, 2024 at 13:03

    That chicken looks delicious! And, the take of the cakes is the most important thing…well, the love with which they were prepared is the most important thing! Thanks for the tips. I don’t have an air fryer, but I’ve been thinking about getting one. But, then will it go the route of my InstaPot? I used that all the time when I first got it. Now, it’s just gathering dust!


    • Reply Sue Loncaric June 6, 2024 at 16:38

      I know what you mean about gathering dust that is why I try to find new uses for the airfryer which Mike actually purchased. It’s also trying to find room for all of these kitchen appliances that is difficult when you downsize, Marsha x

  • Reply Toni Pike June 6, 2024 at 19:58

    I bought a small airfryer about a year ago – it’s great for a meal for for one (meat/fish/chicken and assorted veges) or cooking meat for entertaining

    • Reply Sue Loncaric June 10, 2024 at 12:55

      Hi Toni, yes they are great for a quick meal, aren’t they? Perfect for a single or couple. x

  • Reply Debbie June 7, 2024 at 19:01

    I’ve not got an air fryer but many of my friends and family have them. Your chicken looks great Sue and there’s nothing wrong with those lava cakes by the looks of things! Well done on trying something new.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric June 10, 2024 at 12:56

      I’m probably being a bit harsh on myself with the lava cakes because they did taste yummy. I’ll give them another go. x

  • Reply Bernie June 8, 2024 at 12:54

    I do not have an air fryer. Our kitchen doesn’t have space for one more thing! So we have not jumped on that band wagon. My brother has one and they turn out some good food. Those lava cakes look perfect — they should be gooey! Bernie

    • Reply Sue Loncaric June 10, 2024 at 12:58

      I hear you about space in the kitchen, Bernie and I was surprised that Mike purchased one as he isn’t into many kitchen appliances. I’m trying to justify his purchase by using it more often. x

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