It's late, but it's not too late, to order online.
Is coffee the right gift for someone on your list? We’ve got a suggestion that’s particularly fun for someone who’s into all things military. Victory Coffees is veteran owned and plays up its military connections in its products and its packaging. Our household even enjoyed the box, designed to look like a soldier’s trunk and printed with the company logo reminiscent of Rosie the Riveter. The coffee is all organically grown and fair trade. You can order enough for 30 cups of coffee at a time (two 12-ounce bags or 30 K-Cups) or have enough coffee delivered for up to 150 cups. Select the roast you prefer (all with military-inspired names like “Leatherneck,” “Trooper,” “Admiral” and “Airman”), then choose whether you want your coffee delivered whole bean, ground or in K-Cups. We tried Leatherneck, a rich brew that smelled amazing when we opened the box and was delicious when brewed. You can brew the coffee traditionally, or watch the video on their website to learn how to do your own cold brew. The system is set up to deliver freshly roasted coffee once a month, and you can gift one month or several.
$30 for a one-month subscription. victorycoffees.com
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Frying for a crowd or just for a few?
We admit, we’ve been reluctant to let deep fryers into the house. All that oil! All that smell! Well, we’re happy to report the two T-fal fryers we just tried have changed our minds. If there’s someone in your life who likes to fry once in a while, or more regularly, this is a gift that will release them from the tyranny of frying in a Dutch oven with a cooking thermometer clipped to its side. T-fal’s new 1L Cool Touch Compact Deep Fryer is perfect for someone who just wants to fry a few things. The fryer holds a liter of oil and that will fry about a pound of food at a time. The system is simple and self-contained, the walls stay cool and the cooking lid really does keep in all the frying odors. Set the temperature for cooking, let the oil come up to heat, then use the professional-style basket to lower the food into the hot oil. Close the lid and wait. Lift the basket and out comes perfectly fried food. Empty the basket, refill and keep going until you’ve cooked all you wanted. We used ours for an hour straight with perfect results the entire time. The Triple Basket Deep Fryer is much larger, holding four liters of oil. It comes with a big basket and two smaller ones, and a removable stainless steel bowl that makes clean-up a snap. In this fryer the heating element is immersed in the oil for a very professional experience.
Cooking without measuring?
The Perfect Blend PRO is a great idea for the person on your gift list who cooks with their phone or tablet by their side. It’s a “smart” scale with LCD display that connects to a recipe app. Load the app to your device, turn on the scale, then connect them via Bluetooth. Put your blender jar on the scale. Now select a recipe from the hundreds on the app and get to work. It’s not just for silky smooth blender dishes like smoothies, dressings and cocktails. We tried the Autumn Toasted Pita and Kale Salad. The app walked us through preheating the oven and prepping cubes of sweet potatoes. Then we set the blender jar on the scale and blended a dressing of olive oil, pomegranate molasses, honey, lemon juice, agave nectar and seasonings by adding them in the order listed. The scale and the app let you know when you’ve added enough and move you on to the next step. We didn’t use a single measuring cup or spoon. The app clearly listed all ingredients, told us what to add and when, what needed baking, what needed just adding to a bowl and then provided nutritional information such as calories, fat, carbs and protein in each serving. No more cookbooks, no more recipe cards, no more measuring cups. Select your recipes and the app will pull together a shopping list for you. It’s cooking 2.0.
$99.99. Available at Best Buy or through amazon.com.