Gift Guide for the Holidays

These two small kitchen appliances are all the rage right now. With everyone looking for the best and healthiest ways to prepare meals at home, these gadgets make for the perfect holiday gifts.

AirFryer

This popular appliance is making its way into the homes of many, especially those looking for a healthier alternative to oily, fried foods. Airfryers come in many sizes catering to any sized household. According to online reviews, Phillips makes the best performing and easy-to-use airfryer.

The well-known brand sells three different models: The Compact, XL and XXL. These models all have the patented “Turbostar Technology,” meaning hot air circulates 360 degrees around the food as it cooks. This ensures the food is cooked evenly and has a crisp outside with a tender inside. And as the food cooks, any excess fat is simultaneously drained, which is 75% – 90% less fat than typical fried foods. You can also download the “Philips Airfryer app” for recipes, tutorials and tips.

Although the “Turbostar Technology” is used in all the models, the portion size and capabilities are what sets them apart. The basic Compact Airfryer model can easily fit on your countertop, has the ability to cook two portions (1.8 lb) at one time and has easy-to-use controls. The XL Airfryer model is the midsized option that can cook up to four portions (2.65 lb) at one time and features digital touchscreen controls with a preset button to remember your favorite foods. Lastly, the largest XXL Airfryer model is the most powerful model that Phillips offers. It can cook two bags of fries or even a whole chicken in one go, which makes this model ideal for larger families.

Anova Precision Cooker

The other gadget that would make a great gift this holiday season is the Anova Precision Cooker. With this simple device and your phone, you can cook professional level meals. The Anova Precision Cooker uses what is called “Sous-vide” (pronounced ‘sue-veed’) or precision cooking, a technique that uses precise temperature control to achieve perfectly cooked, flavor-filled results.

Here’s how it works. Grab any sized pot and fill it about half way with water. Place the Anova wand into the water and use the clamp to secure it to the side of the pot. Use the controls on the wand or the Anova app on your phone to select the temperature specified in the app or recipe book to achieve your desired doneness. Take a resealable plastic bag and place your choice of ingredients and seasoning inside and seal it. Place the bag in the preheated water and clip the bag to the pot. That’s it! The water will continue to circulate eliminating any hot or cold spots, and in no time at all you will have a perfectly cooked meal! Once the ingredients are cooked, you can use a pan to crisp up the outer layer.

The Anova wand can be used to cook anything from steaks and fried chicken to eggs and potatoes. There are over 1,000 recipes available on the app and online. Anova makes cooking so simple, you’ll never want to use anything else!

Resident Feature: Bud Henderson

This month’s resident feature takes us to Lenox Village Apartments in Lincoln, Nebraska. Francis aka, “Bud” Henderson, a resident of two and a half years, has become good friends with the staff on property. Bud and his wife moved to Lincoln in order to be closer to their daughter. When asked what his favorite part of living at Lenox Village is, he said “the convenience (of being near) our daughter’s home, shopping, activities, quality service and neighbors.” Since his retirement, Bud has spent a lot of his time researching and writing books that he has plans to publish. He is the author of the book Dreams, which was recently published by Handersen Publishing, LLC.

Originally from St. Louis, Missouri, Bud was the first of his family to finish high school. Although he had wanted to continue on to college to study journalism, the cost was just too high. After working for the International Shoe Co. for two years, he was encouraged by his coworkers to pursue his dream of attending college. He attended college in Bolivar, Missouri, where he decided to take a different path and completed his pre-med course at Ouachita Baptist College in Arkansas. He completed medical school and his residency before spending nine years in the United States Army, Army Reserve and National Guard. Bud then returned to Arkansas to continue his medical practice before retiring to care for his wife in 2014.

Though circumstances lead to his career in medicine, Bud knew since high school that he wanted to be a writer. “I had written some creative work during my practice years, but upon retiring, I began to seriously study and participate in writing fiction,” he explained. After moving to Lincoln, Bud decided that he would write children’s literature and was intrigued with picture books. It was then that the idea for his book Dreams came to life. “(Dreams is) a story that parents and grandparents will enjoy reading to their children. It is a ‘rhythmic’ picture book, teaching about ‘dreams’ and giving permission to children to dream, both asleep and awake, and then to follow those dreams,” he said.

Although his daughter believes the story to be a reflection of his own life, Bud says he did not intend it to be. He explained, “I wanted a story that taught children about their opportunity (and) to follow what they like to do.” Local Lincoln artist, Karissa Bettendorf, illustrated his story and made it come to life with her original paintings. “She made the narrative pictures of the mind come alive to the eye,” Bud said.

If you’d like your own copy of Dreams, you can purchase it at Handersen Publishing, Barnes & Noble (SouthPointe Pavilions, Lincoln), Francie & Finch Bookshop (130 S. 13th Street, Lincoln) or on Amazon (search Dreams Francis Henderson). When asked if he has any future books in the works, Bud replied “Yes. I have two picture books and two middle-grade novels I’m working on. Hopefully, at least one will be published within the year.”

Bud Henderson is the perfect example of what it means to chase after your dreams. And no matter where life may lead you or where you end up, it’s never too late to go for it!