Friday Favorites: Things To Try, Eat, And Listen To This Week!


blue velvet couch ikea cover

Blue Velvet Cover by Petbitat Studio for Ikea Soderhamn
What's old becomes new again!  After a year of being home all the time our Ikea couch was looking worse for wear. One of the positive things I learned from the pandemic was buying less and investing more in fixing or maintaining what I already have.  Instead of scrapping it for a new one, we found a great shop on Etsy that makes custom covers for anything Ikea. I love the Soderhamn Sofa style but Ikea changed their covers and we didn't like any of the new color ways. No problem, with Petbitat Studio they have dozens of colors and textures to choose from including leather, suede and velvet. We settled on a robin's egg blue velvet to add a pop of color to our living room. It took about a month to arrive, after we ordered swatches (which I recommend doing because it's hard to tell accurately what colors look like on a computer screen) and made our final choice. We are very happy with the final result, and wish we had taken the plunge sooner!
Sometimes you hear a song for the first time and it feels like a song you've known forever. This is the day by Mama's Gun is that for me. It sounds like a Marvin Gaye classic, all sunny and warm a soundtrack meant for strolling on a hot summer day. Mama's Gun is a five-piece London based band that named themselves after Erykah Badu's second album.
theater marquee air fryer
Yes, I have become one of those crazy Air Fryer fans, waxing poetic to anyone who will listen about how great my Air Fryer is. I had debated for over a year about whether or not to pull the trigger on one. Did we really need another appliance? Was it really as good as people said it was?  The answer is a resounding YES! It's great! After reading countless reviews I settled on the Instant Vortex. It's the perfect size for our family of 3 so that it doesn't take up a lot of counter space and is big enough that we can fry in one go. It heats up in a minute or two and is amazing for re-heating anything. Since it's a convection oven it heats up evenly in minutes, seriously anything frozen you put in there it cooks in about half the time. It also gives us new take on veggies, which I'm always trying to incorporate more into our daily diet. 
Air Fryer Panko Crusted Pickle Chips

Photo by Matthew Clark

Panko Crusted Air Fryer Pickle Chips



  • Preheat air-fryer to 400°F. Lay pickle slices on a paper-towel lined baking sheet; pat dry.

  • In a shallow dish combine cornstarch, salt, and pepper. In another shallow dish combine buttermilk and 1 Tbsp. Sriracha. In a third shallow dish combine panko and oil.

  • Working in batches, gently coat dried pickle slices in cornstarch mixture, shaking off excess, then coat in buttermilk mixture. Roll in panko to coat.

  • Place breaded pickle slices in basket (do not overcrowd). Cook for 6 to 8 minutes or until golden brown. Keep cooked slices in a 200°F oven while cooking the remaining slices.

  • Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine ranch dressing and remaining 1 Tbsp. Sriracha.

  • Serve pickle chips immediately with spicy ranch.

Nutrition Facts

178 calories; total fat 11g; saturated fat 2g; polyunsaturated fat 6g; monounsaturated fat 2g; cholesterol 6mg; sodium 995mg; potassium 125mg; carbohydrates 16g; fiber 1g; sugar 4g; protein 3g; trans fatty acid 0g; vitamin a 255IU; vitamin c 4mg; thiamin 0mg; riboflavin 0mg; niacin equivalents 0mg; vitamin b6 0mg; folate 7mcg; vitamin b12 0mcg; calcium 60mg; iron 0mg.
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