Tuesday, December 30, 2014

CBTL Caffitaly Americano machine

I just bought this beautiful $149  machine from someone on Craigslist last week for $50!  See it sitting next to my Breville espresso machine?  Shhhhh.  I don't want them to start fighting, but I'm really liking the CBTL (Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf) machine right now.  It's so easy to use, easy to clean up, and so convenient.   I've even learned how to reuse the espresso capsules, which bring my cost per drink down from $0.70 to $0.14!  I have also been toying with a DIY version of the milk capsules that Tassimo and Verismo use.  OMG, so easy and also about $0.14 per serving versus the $1.00 that the capsules cost retail.   To make the milk, I dispense a short shot and a long shot of water into my mug (without an espresso capsule in the machine) and add 2 tablespoons of dry milk powder.  I found the Nido brand at my Walmart,  which is dry whole milk rather than some other brands,  which are dry non-fat milk.  Using my Aerolatte frothing wand, I mix it until a nice thick froth forms and the volume appears doubled.  I then insert an espresso capsule into the machine and brew a long shot into the same mug.  Isn't it beautiful?   I still prefer fresh milk but am finding that the dry milk doesn't bother my tummy like fresh.   Lactose intolerant,  you know.

Friday, December 05, 2014

Folded fabric Christmas ornaments

My friend found a YouTube video for these : Folded fabric Christmas ornaments.  Since I'm making several for gifts, I thought I'd simplify the process.  I'm also embroidering the year on them.  I attached a pin to the end of my machine bed which, surprisingly enough, was the perfect place to give me a 7" finished circle as it's 3.5" from my needle.  I only had to adjust my needle position to 4.0.  For topstitching, I place the circle back on the pin once it's been turned right side out and adjusted the needle to the far left at 0.0.  I then turned to my embroidery machine for the addition of the date.  I followed the rest of the instructions on the video.