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Served with style

When the occasion calls for elegance, when cutesy and colorful just won't do - reach for this scalloped-edge, cream-colored "chip and dip" set with delicate, almost lacy details.

It's ideal for fresh vegetable crudite, upscale snacks, or, yes, even plain (but popular) chips and a favorite dip. The set has a 121/2-inch snack bowl and a 10-ounce dip dish.

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- Marilynn Marter
Homecoming Chip 'n Dip Set, $29.99. At Kitchen Kapers. See www.kitchenkapers.com or call 1-800-455-5567 for locations.

Be choosy - cheaper

It's gluten-free, lactose- free and even suitable for vegans. As foods go, it's one of the most user-friendly on the planet. What is it?

Wegman's creamy peanut butter. As good as Skippy or Jif, with a better price. Who said an upscale market has to be expensive?

- Sam Wood
Wegman's peanut butter, 18-ounce jar, $1.79, at all Wegman's stores.

Brewing philanthropy

The first new coffee blend from La Colombe in nearly a decade comes with a cause: $3 from each $13.75 bag of Afrique goes to a school for orphaned children in Uganda.

It also makes a stellar cup, with

all the complexity and balance of La Colombe's other blends.

A medium-dark roast somewhere between their bold Corsica and softer Nizza, Afrique is an all-African blend of beans with a dry earthiness that gives way to a low-acid, grassy fruit, and a long roasty finish. It works in all brewers, but is best in a French press.

- Craig LaBan
Afrique is available at retail outlets like Whole Foods, but the best price is at La Colombe's cafes: 130 S. 19th St., 215-563-0860; or 4360 Main St., Manayunk, 215-483-4580.