9.28.2015

Part Two of the Nespresso Pixie Post (RECYCLING THOSE COFFEE PODS)


When I was doing some quick research on espresso makers, I found out a very interesting thing (to me) about the Nespresso Pixie - they offer collecting and recycling of the used capsules in their brewing.  I gathered this information from the Nespresso website online and was up to date as of this posting.




"The pods are easy to use and can be recycled."


Collecting and recycling used capsules in the USA


The Nespresso capsule recycling program has been designed to provide convenience for our Club Members while ensuring that capsules are properly recycled at their end of life.  Due to the complexities of the recycling process and inconsistent recycling infrastructure across the United States, we believe a dedicated recycling program separate from local curbside collection is currently the best way to ensure that capsules returned by our Club Members can be traced throughout the recovery process.


Capsule Recovery Process


Recycling used capsules is an important element of Nespresso’s commitment to sustainability. This is why we encourage Club Members to collect their used capsules in a dedicated container or Nespresso recycling bag and return them for recycling. Nespresso has set up three convenient return options to make it easy for Club Members to recycle. To divert capsules from landfill and give them a second life, capsules can be returned to:


1.     Collection points in all Nespresso Boutiques


2.     TerraCycle® collection points in retail partner locations across the country


3.     UPS through Nespresso’s mail-back program in select states*


Both the OriginalLine and the VertuoLine capsules are accepted for recycling.



As we continue to grow in the US market, we will continue to work to expand our capacity to recycle, to explore innovative programs that increase awareness and convenience, and to continually increase the number of capsules recycled. Recycling is one of the areas that Nespresso is committed to as part of its overall sustainability commitments.


Used capsule storage at home

Custom-designed plastic recycling bags are provided to Club Members free-of-charge for storing used capsules at home.  Recycling bags can be ordered through the Nespresso Customer Relationship Center, online or picked up at a Nespresso Boutique.


o   Customer Relationship Center: Inform your Coffee Specialist that you wish to receive a recycling bag             with your order.


o   Online:  You will be prompted to add a recycling bag to your order.


o   Boutique:  Club Members are encouraged to take recycling bags home with their purchase and will be          provided recycling bags at no charge by staff when requested.


Collection points in all Nespresso Boutiques

We encourage our Club Members to collect their used capsules at home in a dedicated container or Nespresso recycling bag and return them to their nearest Nespresso Boutique. Many of our Club Members find it convenient to drop off their used capsules when they come to the Boutique for their next purchase. The Boutique team will consolidate capsules returned from Club Members and send them to our partners for separation and recycling.


Collection points at retail partner locations across the country

In collaboration with our retail partners, such as Sur La Table, Williams-Sonoma and many others, Nespresso collects used capsules in nearly all 50 states. 


You can find out more about this program or any updates to locations and collections on the Nespresso website here.











Rambling over Coffee: The Nespresso Pixie Espresso Maker

This is a post I've had in my files waiting for me to finish writing it... which I'm buckling down to do today!  You would think with all the coffee brewers and makers I own, I might have something like this but nope.  I do not own a Nespresso Pixie Espresso Maker.

But my espresso maker is no longer made (see below in the list of products) so when mine gives up the ghost or I am in the market for a new one, this one is looking pretty good to me so I've decided to feature it on Coffee Talking.



When I started to research the Nespresso Pixie Espresso Maker, I was seeing some mixed reviews.  Most people really seemed to love it and were steadfast fans of this brand and style. Many of the people who purchased this item did so after having it at a friend or relatives' home.  That is pretty impressive because when you like something enough to purchase it yourself, that's the best kind of recommendation you get.

Here's the stats I found online at Amazon:


  • Programmable buttons for espresso and lungo, folding drip tray for larger cups and recipes, brew ready in 25-30 second
  • Backlight indicators, water level detection, auto power-off, used capsule container, convenient power cord storage
  • 12.83-inch length by 4.33-inch width by 9-1/4-inch height
  • 24-Ounce water tank
  • Aeroccino plus. hot and cold milk froth for cappuccinos,hot milk for lattes. hot milk froth in 70 seconds. cold milk froth in 60 seconds.

Product Dimensions: 20.8 x 8.2 x 12.6 inches ; 9 pounds
Shipping Weight: 13.8 pounds
Domestic Shipping: Item can be shipped within U.S. and various countries outside the U.S.


Looking at a few places online you can purchse the Nespresso Pixie, I found the going price seemed to be the retail price; $279.  This was also true on the Nespresso website.  However, as of this posting the price on Amazon was only $251.68 and they offer free shipping.

Now let's talk about the random reviews I found about things people didn't like about this product.

Here was an interesting one:

"The coffee was not hot enough, the milk didn't foam well"

Why is this interesting to me?  Because none of the other reviewers mentioned this.  At the time of researching this product there were almost 230 reviews and although I obviously didn't read them all, the 30 or so I looked through didn't mention this.  I suspect perhaps it's the type of milk used.  A whole milk is going to froth so much better than a fat free or 1%.  I have no idea what kind of milk they were using (they never said). 

This little feature ended up not being a problem at all!

"Recently the amount it brewed per serving became too short only brewing half what it did before. On the web site Nespresso has a video on how to correct that. Basically you just hold the coffee section button down one time to adjust the normal coffee (Lungo) button, to brew as much coffee as you like per lungo pod. What I thought was a problem is actually a nice feature as you can brew coffee to your taste (not some preset.)"

If you are wondering what coffee pods taste pretty darn good, this coffee fan posted a bit of helpful advice:

"I find that the Ristretto (black capsules) work best for lattes and cappuccinos. It is a dark and rich coffee that can handle the dilution with milk. My favorite straight espresso is the Volluto (gold capsules). It is creamy, strikes the right balance between bold and mild and is a crowd pleaser."


___________________________________________________________


I want to get to a really important feature of this product but this post is going to be a NOVEL in length if I do so I'm going to break this product review into 2 sections.  Here I will the first, simply for length's sake.  The next installment is going to be a HOT topic - THE PODS!    A major source of contention with these single brewers is the trashy piles of k-cups we as a general population are leaving behind as the Keurig brewers have invaded our lives.  HUGE HOT ISSUE.  So why bring this up when discussing the Nespresso?  Because I found out Nespresso actually recycles their pods - and wants to help you do so too.  Kudos to them!  So that will be installment number two.  Coming soon!












9.25.2015

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes - another installment of the coffee inspired cupcakes!

Remember how hard it was for me to post the last one?  Because trying to track down the recipe and photo credits was a scavenger hunt as so many people had used other peoples recipes for different parts.  I finally just listed all 4 sites.  This one is so much easier! This person did a FABULOUS JOB and her little cupcake wrappers she printed the log out and cut out of white paper are SO cute.  Check it Out  Here:  http://www.culinarycoutureblog.com/2014/09/pumpkin-spice-latte-cupcakes.html




Pumpkin Spice Latte Cupcakes


1 and 1/3 cups all purpose flour
1 and 1/2 tablespoons espresso powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of nutmeg
Pinch of cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs

1/4 cup coffee, for brushing

For the whipped cream:
1 and 1/4 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with 12 cupcake liners. Set aside.

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour, espresso powder, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt. Set aside.

In another medium-sized bowl, using an electric hand mixer, beat together pumpkin puree, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vegetable oil until well-combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Reduce mixer speed to low and gradually pour in dry ingredients, beating until just combined.

Distribute batter between prepared cupcake liners, using about 3 tablespoons of batter in each liner.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Let cool in tin for 10 minutes, then brush the cupcakes with coffee while they're still warm.  Do this two or three times, allowing each coat to soak in before brushing again.

While the cupcakes are completely cooling, prepare whipped cream. In a small bowl, using an electric hand mixer, beat heavy cream and powdered sugar until stiff peaks form. Spoon whipped cream into a piping bag fitted with a large decorating tip.

Once cupcakes are completely cooled, decorate as desired. Garnish with cinnamon and caramel sauce.











You might also be interested in products related to the post:
Dark Green Glassine Cupcake Baking Cup Liners 50 Count
Drinking Straws - GREEN (Box of 250)
Hershey's Syrup, Caramel, 22 Ounce

          











9.24.2015

These stupid email scams are just so laughable! OMG.



My email automatically sends them all to a "JUNK" folder and I don't see them unless I want to - but sometimes, while sipping my coffee and checking emails, I see I have a couple new junk emails and I look in that folder just to get a chuckle.

Like this...  seriously!?

So I've started to wonder if I should start posting some of them online just for the smile over morning coffee.  



I know you will be surprised to read my email. Am an American
citizen,apart from being surprised, you may be skeptical to reply me
based on what is happening on the internet all over the world. one has
to be very careful because a lot of scammers are out there to scam
innocent citizens and this has made it Very difficult for people to
believe anything that comes through the internet but this is a
different case.

If you are willing to show me your honesty and trust, I think I will
be able to trust and work with you. I am an American and you should be
rest assured that I cannot be Involved in scam My name is Capt. Wendy
Schwartz, a member of the US ARMY medical team, deployed to Iraq Just
Because of the ISIS Problem. I just discovered two trunk boxes
containing consignment of America $100. I know you must Have Been
reading mails like this on the internet but i want you to understand
that out of 100, one can be true. I have deposited two consignment
boxes with a security company in Iraq. Am looking for a trust worthy
individual who will assist me to receive the funds before i will come
over and join the person immediately the funds get into your
care.Please, I want this to be between i and you since I am still in
the army. To prove my sincerity, you are not sending me any money,
because most of these scams are all about sending money. Though, I
would like to hold back some information's for security reasons for
now unitil i hear from you.Please view the below site.


en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2014_military_intervention_against_ISIS
www.cnn.com/2014/08/08/world/iraq-options
www.cnn.com/2014/08/20/world/meast/iraq-crisis/

Also, could you get back to me having visited the above website to
enable us discuss in a more clarifying manner to the best of your
understanding.I must say that I'm very uncomfortable sending this
message to you without Knowing truly if you would misconstrue the
importance and decide to go to the public. In this regards, I will
not hold back to say that the essence of this message is strictly for
mutual benefit between you and I and nothing more. I will be vivid and
coherent in my next message in this regards, meanwhile, could you send
me an email confirming that you have visited the site and that you
have understood my intentions? I would like you to get back to me with
the Following information's;
1.Full Name...
2.Address....
3.Occupation...
4.Age..........
5.Your Telephone Number..
As soon as i received These information i will get back to you.
Best Regards
Capt. Wendy Schwartz





9.22.2015

A nod to Starbucks: Caramel Macchiato and Caramel Frappuccino Cupcakes


You that little saying "No good deed goes unpunished"?  Well, this is kind of, sort of like that.  In a very tiny way.
You see, while be-bopping around the net I saw these yummy cupcakes - COFFEE inspired - so I thought;  OH, I WILL FEATURE THEM ON COFFEE TALKING.  Readers would love to make these little guys.

And I thought it would be simple.  But it wasn't.  Because as I clicked on the recipe to give credit to the author, I found that the photo was by the author, who used another sites recipe for the cupcake portion - but that person's site admitted they used someone else's recipe, which was heavily adapted from yet another site.

It was like a internet scavenger hunt.  In the end, here are the places I had to dig through and apparently everyone threw in their own little version.


http://pixiecrust.blogspot.com/2011/06/caramel-frappuccino-cupcakes.html
http://natventures.tumblr.com/post/18062563920/starbucks-cupcakes
and noted their recipe was "heavily adapted from Apartment Therapy's The Kitchn"
http://leitesculinaria.com/2956/recipes-espresso-cupcakes-milk-chocolate-filling-white-chocolate-frosting.html

But here's the deal....  you can use ANY CUPCAKE RECIPE.  This is just a typical, regular, boring, basic recipe - but they added some espresso powder or instant coffee to it.

The fact is - it's a regular cupcake recipe, with some instant coffee, and then the whipped cream center and a yummy basic buttercream frosting with (again) an addition of a little bit of coffee to it - and drizzle it with some store bought caramel ice cream syrup.

This is the first in a series of fun 'coffee themed' cupcakes and it's the most difficult to track down the original so I give credit to all four sources and hope you enjoy your cupcakes.  :)


Coffee Cupcakes

1 1/4 c flour
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 t instant coffee or 2 t espresso powder
8 T butter, softened
1 c sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 c milk


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 12 cupcake wells with paper liners.
Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Stir in the instant coffee or espresso powder.
Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter with the granulated sugar until light, 1 minute with a stand mixer or 2 minutes with a handheld mixer. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Continue to beat the mixture for 1 minute with a stand mixer or 2 minutes with a handheld mixer. On low speed, alternately add the dry ingredients and the milk in 2 additions, stirring until incorporated after each addition.
Pour the batter into the paper-lined cupcake wells. Bake until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Let cool to room temperature, then remove from the pans.


Whipped Cream

1 cup whipping cream  - whipped
confectioner's sugar to taste
vanilla to taste
Dissolve 1 tsp of instant coffee in 1 tsp of hot water and whip into the cream

Coffee Buttercream

Add 2-3 tsp of strong coffee or espresso to your favorite buttercream recipe
Caramel drizzle of caramel ice cream topping

To assemble, core your cooled cupcakes with a paring knife or a cupcake corer. Fill with whipped cream, and add a spiral of caramel on top.  Pipe your buttercream on and generously drizzle caramel all over. Finally cut up green straws into 3" lengths and point them in at an angle.



















You might also be interested in products related to the post:
Dark Green Glassine Cupcake Baking Cup Liners 50 Count
Drinking Straws - GREEN (Box of 250)
Hershey's Syrup, Caramel, 22 Ounce

          
















9.21.2015

Back to the 50's.... Iced Coffee that is!


http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/food-recipes/easy/a19854/iced-coffee-recipe/

Source:  Good Housekeeping in 1957

I'm sipping iced coffee this morning (because it's after 11:am and I've already had 3 cups of hot, strong, black coffee so far this morning... don't judge me).  I am gearing up for a product review that involves a brand new product to make your iced coffee but that got me thinking about iced coffee in general and I stumbled upon a quick little recipe Good Housekeeping posted way back in 1957.  

Today I tend to make my iced coffee a variety of ways; from using leftover coffee in my mug that got too cool to drink because I was busy working and ignored it, to brewing strong espresso strength and cooling it down specifically for iced coffee or one of my summer favorites; using my Mr. Coffee 20-Ounce Frappe Maker... yada yada.  There's lots of ways.  But back in the 50's most things were a little more time consuming to do... including coffee.  But if you want to be authentic, and make it the popular housewife magazines instructed to do back then, here it is!


Old Fashioned Iced Coffee

For 6 ounces of iced coffee:

In a small pitcher or 1-quart measuring cup, whisk together 1/3 cup ground coffee and 1 1/3 cups cold water until all the lumps are gone. Cover tightly and refrigerate for at least 5 hours, but it's best left overnight (not much longer or it'll get bitter).

Strain the coffee through a coffee filter-lined strainer set over a tall glass of ice, pushing it through with a spatula.





You might also be interested in some products related to this post;
Takeya Cold Brew Iced Coffee Maker, 1-Quart, Black
Grady's Cold Brew Iced Coffee Bean Bags (Pack of 12)
Mr. Coffee 20-Ounce Frappe Maker


       









9.19.2015

News with your Morning Coffee: Writes down a bogus code for citation and messes up a woman's life and record

I'm not a smoker, but this story shouts of injustice and it fact that it starts with a tiny little cigarette butt is a minor detail.  


It's no secret to anyone that the American courts are backed up, clogged and justice is handed out at the speed of a slug.  On a cold morning. Trudging across the concrete.

So when a cop has a chance to give a warning for a very, very minor infraction, it's not only ridiculous he would instead write out a citation (except if he's trying to boost his ticket writing goal for the day... which is a very real thing) but even more ridiculous when he bumps the charge to a faked, trumped up charge...  that causes havoc in an innocent person life, gives them a record, makes them hire a lawyer and spend time either in jail or going to court to fight it.

All over a tiny little burned out cigarette butt.

And here is where it starts.

A Tennessee woman is driving her husbands car for the day and didn't realize until too late that it did not have an ashtray.

Heidi Bowers, 33, was running an errand for work on Aug. 24. She drove her husband’s car that day, which doesn’t have an ashtray.

“In a panic moment, my cigarette was running down, and I’m like, ‘There’s no ashtray in this car. What am I doing?’” said Bowers. “I ended up tossing it out the window. I absolutely admit I was wrong. Lo and behold the lights started spinning behind me.”

The wife and mother said she hadn’t been pulled over in years, so she thought what happened next might be new procedure.

“He asked me to step out of the car, which at that point was very weird,” explained Bowers. “He asked me to put my fingerprint on this little scanner he had. Then he asked me to back up and take my picture.

“The whole time I was thinking ‘this is new,’ but I haven’t been pulled over in a while, I’ll go with it.

“Then he said ‘Today you’ve been arrested for littering. Criminal littering.’”

The officer told her to go to the courthouse and report for booking “or you will go to jail,” she said. “And I thought my smile’s gone. What’s going on here?”

When Bowers got home, she researched Tennessee littering laws, which revealed the officer must have made a mistake.

“It’s [TCA] 39-13-503, a minor class C,” said Bowers. “You send in $50 to the county clerk and go on with your life. He wrote me up for a 504, which is criminal misdemeanor littering.”

 Tennessee Code Annotated 39-13-504 defines criminal littering as 
an amount more than five pounds in weight or 7.5 Cubic feet in volume.

So the officer was wrong - either intentionally or accidentally.  Maybe he just felt like being a dick that day, but perhaps his finger slipped or was too fat for the tiny little electronic button the screen and hit wrong the next more serious charge.  We don't know.

But common sense should prevail right?  Not in this day and age.  In the past 10 years we've gone insane as a nation.  Common sense is NOT common anymore.  And police officers being 'public servants' is long gone.  It's just a moniker used on paper... we tend to know them more as state or county level militants.  With ego's and bad attitudes.  

Bowers got a lawyer who agreed that it was obviously the wrong charge and he would clear it all up.

When the two showed up for booking, that didn’t happen.

“You take your mug shot then go out to the courthouse,” said Bowers. “Meanwhile, I’m literally around people that have really committed crimes, assault, drunk driving, marijuana and I threw a cigarette butt out the window.”

Once in court, the judge wouldn’t budge. Bowers accepted four hours of community service and the charge for criminal littering would stand.

“You go through your life trying to be a good person, always, and this happens,” said Bowers. “You’re getting arrested. It’s crazy.”


For the record; the original source of this story; Channel 4, asked Metro Police about Brewer’s case.

“It is the officer’s discretion to issue that citation. It is then up to the court to determine whether the citation should be amended,” police said in a written statement. “If there was an error on the part of the officer, he’ll be made aware.”

He'll be made aware!?  After 2-3 months of her life is bungled up in this mess, hundreds of dollars spent trying to get the charge cleared at least down to what it was SUPPOSED TO BE (a misdemeanor that you send 50 bucks to the courthouse to pay for and it's done and over), missed work, a permanant record, community serve time served... just because an officer messed up on the paperwork and he'll be "made aware" if he ---cough cough--- made a mistake ---cough cough---.

Every officer that wears a uniform, is speaking for all officers, everywhere.  And if you want to continue to make people hate law enforcement, have ZERO TRUST IN THEM, distrust the SYSTEM and have FEWER young people want to BE police officers...  well, this is the way to do it.  Keep it up.

NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV)


9.17.2015

Coffee & The Morning News: When charity takes something you didn't want donated



Atlanta area charity to reimburse Watkinsville man for missing property


Reading this little article in the news this morning, I was reminded of when a similar situation happened to my husband and I.  This was many years ago, when we were a young couple with a new baby, renting a home outside of Nashville, Tennessee.

In our case, I had set up a pick-up date for a local charity to come to get a few items.  When you place the call, they specifically ask you what you are donating and they write it on the ticket.  "2 bags of clothes, 1 box of household goods, 1 chair"  etc.  In our case it was a couple bags of items and my directions were the 2 bags would be left on the deck at the top of the driveway.

When I returned home from work that afternoon I was happy to see the 2 bags were gone and the receipt was hanging on our doorknob.  However, something was 'off' so I stopped and looked around.  Behind the deck, on the ground, about 4 feet below, and leaning up against our house used to be a 10-speed bike and 2 folding patio chairs.  Now gone!  The charity drivers not only took the 2 bags of clothing from the deck as directed to on the paper (and my receipt showed the 2 bags listed by their company for pick up) but they took it upon themselves to walk around the deck, on ground level, to the side of the house in back of the deck, to take our bike and 2 chairs.

I was not happy!  A call to the charity resulted in a 'eh' response.  "Anything that is sitting out, gets taken"  "Our drivers just take whatever is sitting there." 

Except it wasn't just "sitting there".  These items were not listed to be picked up, and were not near the 2 bags that were.

My calls got transferred to people and no one had any answers and couldn't account for it so in the end, I decided to just let it go.  The bike was about 10 years old and the chairs were a couple seasons old anyway.

But still...  I do wonder how many people have things taken by drivers either accidentally or on purpose, as the man in the news article did.



It's just the coffee talking...........






You might also be interested in these items related to the story:
Caravan Sports Suspension Folding Chair, Blue
Vilano Aluminum Road Bike Medium (54cm) Commuter Bike Shimano 21 Speed 700c, Black
Black & Decker The Complete Guide to Decks


                        





9.15.2015

Coupon Alert... the soup pods for Keurig



Just a quick 'heads up' that right after I posted the post below about the soup pods you can brew in your Keurig, I walked down to get our local paper and found a $2 off coupon in it for the product at your local grocery store.  You might want to check your own local  paper(s) to see if you have one in it, if this is something you would like to try.









You might also be interested in;
Campbell's Chicken Broth and Noodle Soup K-Cup (.67 oz, 16 ct.)
Campbell's Southwest Style Chicken Broth & Noodle Soup Mix Broth K-Cup Pods & Noodle Packets
Nature Valley Bistro Cups Oatmeal for the Keurig® Machine, Brown Sugar Pecan, 22.1 Ounce
 



            
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