Tag Archives: gifts

Valentine’s Day gifts for the coffee & breakfast lover

Double Breakfast Sandwich Maker — one of many gift possibilities from Hamilton Beach for Valentine’s Day or any occasion
Photo courtesy of Hamilton Beach

If you’re looking for a special Valentine’s Day gift for someone who takes their home coffee and breakfast making seriously, I got to sample some Hamilton Beach products recently and can tell you about a few. Hamilton Beach products are generally available online at hamiltonbeach.com, Amazon.com and at select retailers.

First, the FlexBrew Coffee Maker, which is a combination of Single Serve and Full Coffee Pot. If you want a full or half pot of coffee, use the traditional glass carafe. If you want a single cup, use the other side of the machine with either K-cups/pods or ground coffee, depending what size cup you’re looking for. It’s very convenient to have all these options; my family has used all three in the few days since we first got the machine. It retails at $89.99 and can be found at the aforementioned places plus Walmart.

Next, the Double Breakfast Sandwich Maker, which allows you to make quick-yet-delicious customizable breakfast to enjoy at home or on the go. You choose your bread and add ingredients like eggs, cheese, precooked meat, avocado, vegetables, etc. If you need sandwich inspiration, there are enticing recipes on the company’s site like Avocado, Egg White & Swiss Cheese Breakfast Sandwich (see below for one more). You can cook two breakfast sandwiches in five minutes or less, and then cleanup is easy because the removable parts are dishwasher-safe. In addition to Hamilton Beach’s site and Amazon, this one’s available at Target. Cost is $39.99.

Last but not least, the Belgian Style Flip Waffle Maker — which as of early February was out of stock on the HB site, but is often available at Walmart or Amazon ($39.99). You can change the browning setting depending how light or dark you like your waffles, and because of the “Flip” style, it’s easier to make thick, fluffy waffles like you find at restaurants. There are easily accessible recipes for traditional buttermilk waffles and unusual spin-offs like Tater Tot waffles (yes, ingredients like 40 thawed tater tots play a part in this concoction!).

No matter what you choose to buy your Valentine—or yourself—for the occasion, I hope it’s a happy one for all you foodies and home chefs out there.

Recipe: Cheddar, Apple, Bacon and Egg Croissant Sandwich

Courtesy of Hamilton Beach / From The Hamilton Beach Test Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 1 mini croissant, halved
  • 2 tablespoons shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 to 2 thin slices Granny Smith apple
  • 1 slice precooked bacon, cut in half
  • 1 large egg, lightly scrambled

Directions

  1. Preheat Breakfast Sandwich Maker until green PREHEAT light comes on. Lift cover, top ring and cooking plate.
  2. Place bottom half of croissant, cut-side up in bottom ring of Breakfast Sandwich Maker. Top with cheese, apple slices and bacon.
  3. Lower cooking plate and top ring. Add egg to cooking plate.
  4. Top with remaining croissant half, cut-side down.
  5. Close cover. Cook 4 to 5 minutes.
  6. Slide out cooking plate by rotating handle clockwise. Lift cover and rings; carefully remove sandwich with plastic spatula.

Serves: 1

Test Kitchen Tip: For a lightly browned croissant top, cook the egg in the top ring without the croissant for 3 to 4 minutes or until egg is just about done. Lift the cover, add the croissant and continue cooking until top is lightly toasted and egg is cooked.

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Mother’s Day gift ideas from Tea Forté

Chakra Collection, with vanilla Veda chai and more–one of many gift possibilities from Tea Forté. Photo courtesy of Tea Forté

If you’re looking for a special Mother’s Day gift for a woman who is a tea lover, I got to sample some Tea Forté products recently and can tell you they are both beautiful AND delicious! Plus, there are a range of prices depending how simple or extravagant your needs are.

 

If you’re unfamiliar with the company, they are the exclusive tea purveyor to the James Beard Foundation and they supply many hotels, restaurants and resorts in 35 countries. I first tried Tea Forté at a hotel in Las Vegas about 10 years ago, and was hooked.

 

Back to the tea and gifts. There’s the new Ceremonial Matcha Bowl Set and Matcha Single Steeps, which both came out in February 2018. Matcha, a finely ground Japanese-style green tea, is renowned for its health benefits. “Steeped green tea contains only the antioxidants that can be extracted in water, while with matcha, the whole leaf is consumed,” said a Tea Forté spokesperson. “Our high-grade matcha is shaded in the weeks prior to harvest, increasing chlorophyll and encouraging the deep emerald hue.”

 

The bowl set includes a handcrafted bowl and bamboo whisk, plus a measuring ladle, and is priced at $65. The steeps are prepackaged and measured for single servings. The five teas are gluten-free and vegan, and there is Pure Matcha plus four flavored varieties: Chocolate Matcha, Coconut Matcha, Ginger Matcha and Chai Matcha. A sampler package with 15 single servings costs $35.

 

Tea Forté also released a Chakra Collection in 2018. “Tea Forté’s first collection of all-chai teas, our Chakra Collection was designed with the ritual tea drinker in mind,” said CEO Michael Gebrael. “Chai has the unique effect of being simultaneously energizing and grounding, which makes it an ideal tea for focused wellness practices such as yoga, barre, and Pilates.”

 

Chakra Blends include:

  • Maté Mantra Chai
  • Vanilla Veda Chai
  • Ginger Guru Chai
  • Rooibos Raja Chai
  • Turmeric Tantra Chai

They come in attractive presentation boxes that hold Tea Forté’s signature pyramid infusers (10 for $22 or 20 for $34), or a single steep box (15 for $20). Chakra chai teas are also available in loose tea canisters for $18; the recyclable canisters make between 35-50 servings.

To accompany any tea you choose, how about a combination steeping cup/infuser? Tea Forté makes a really nice one—it’s a lidded, double-walled ceramic cup with a stainless steel infuser for loose tea ($20).

Last but not least, there is the Dolce Vita Collection of organic dessert teas: Berry Basket, Raspberry Coconut, Pear Cobbler, Belgian Mint and Mango Mélange. The assortment features black, white and herbal teas. Prices range from $16-30.

These are by no means the only products available, visit the site for the full selection—be prepared for a lot of fun choices, like loose leaf trios (three interlocking tins; each steeps approximately 10 cups) or tea chests. If you can’t decide, there are gift cards.

Tea Forté products are available online at teaforte.com and at select retailers.

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