When you think of Italy, you can't help but think of coffee, especially cappuccino, which is the national breakfast. Swirled with steamed milk and topped with a dollop of foam, this drink is named for its resemblance to the Capuchin monk's habit, which is light brown with a white hood. While it may sound like a special coffee-shop drink, cappuccino is quite easy to prepare. A balloon whisk is as fancy a gadget as you need to create the perfect froth on top.
1. Place milk in a small saucepan; cook over medium heat 2 minutes or until a thermometer registers between 140° and 160°, stirring constantly with a whisk. Remove from heat; whisk vigorously for 30 seconds or until foamy.
2. Divide milk (with froth) and brewed espresso equally between 2 mugs. Sprinkle with cinnamon or nutmeg, if desired.
Note: If you don't own an espresso machine, look for instant espresso granules (such as Café Bustelo) in large supermarkets or specialty coffee shops. We used 2 teaspoons instant espresso granules in 3/4 cup boiling water, but the espresso can be made stronger to suit your personal taste.