The lazy person’s macchiato

I love coffee, especially espresso. I have a triple espresso every morning, made in my trusty Bialetti Moka pot. I bought my current 3-cup Moka from Amazon a few years ago when I ruined the Bialetti knock-off I bought in Italy by naïvely putting it in the dishwasher. Seriously, don’t put your Moka pot in the dishwasher. In fact, don’t wash it at all. It only needs a rinse, and maybe an occasional scrub on the exterior only.

Moka updated

I have no intention of giving up my triple espresso habit, but I am trying to cut down on sugar a bit. While I generally don’t like sweetener in my coffee, I just don’t like espresso without it. I do, however, like an unsweetened macchiato, which is my standard coffee shop order. Since I do not have a milk frother and I am far too cheap and lazy to deal with the proper equipment–especially right away in the morning–I was thrilled to find this Cracked article, which includes steps to make steamed and frothed milk at home.

I already had the perfect container for preparing the milk: a cheapo frappé cup bought in Greece. This cup is designed for shaking coffee, water, and sugar to make a Greek frappé–it even has a hole for a straw. Of course, any container with a tightly-fitting lid will work.


After I put the Moka on the stove, I pour a bit of milk (maybe 2-3 tablespoons) into my frappé cup and shake it vigorously until, as the article says, the volume doubles. I microwave it for about 20 seconds, until the foam starts expanding and comes to the rim of the cup. The milk and the coffee are usually done at about the same time. I add a bit of the milk to the coffee, then spoon some of the beautiful foam on top.


The result is a beautiful and delicious faux espresso macchiato that is easy enough for a lazy person and much cheaper than a coffee shop. Obviously the same technique would work for a cappuccino, but I prefer less milk.




Mint tea

The weather is getting cooler and it is time to harvest my herbs before the first frost. I made a last batch of pesto with all the remaining basil and harvested about half of the mint for tea. I am very impatient, so I opted to oven-dry the leaves.

First I rinsed the branches in the sink to get rid of any dirt and insects. Then I spent quite a bit of time picking off the good leaves, which I washed again, put in the salad spinner, and then laid out on a clean dish towel to dry a bit more.


While they were drying, I preheated the oven to 180° and then put in the leaves on a cookie sheet, propping the door with the wooden handle of a corkscrew (I read that I should use a wooden spoon for this, but I couldn’t find one–I don’t know what it says about our house that it is easier to find a wooden corkscrew than a wooden spoon). It took about an hour for the leaves to dry completely.


The result was pretty good, but not quite as flavorful as I’d hoped. Next time I will try a slightly cooler oven to see if that improves the flavor.