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Showing posts from February, 2013

too much chocolate cake

Cakes are a pain. Literally.


Layer cakes are beautiful, rewarding, and... dangerous.  I'll spare you the gruesome details, but a slip up while cutting cake layers sent me to the ER last night.   Now I can say that I'm one of the few people who got a laceration while making a birthday cake.  Nonetheless, I was very lucky and it got stitched up really well... but I think I'm going to stick to making Bundt cakes for a while.


Reasons Bundt cakes rock:
They're super moist. It's redonklulous how easy they are (just bake and pour the glaze on).They don't need fancy frosting techniques, the pan does all of the decorating, making the end result look sophisticated and elegant effortlessly! Bundt cakes keep really well, and actually get better with age.Bundt cakes aren't dangerous. 
Now that I've hopefully convinced you to go and buy yourself a Bundt pan, let's talk about this Bundt cake that I made for my friend Ian's birthday. 
It's over the top, it…

gooey nutella butter cake

Sometimes things that look awesome aren't really so great after all.  I remember in 1st grade I desperately wanted a retainer.  A few of my friends had them.  I knew that they came in tons of different colors: pink with glitter, rainbow, even metallic.  I would walk around with a paper clip in my mouth thinking wistfully how wonderful life would be with a retainer.  What I didn't know was they made you lisp, they would have to be awkwardly taken out in front of everyone at lunch time, they would have to be brushed, you would get in trouble when you didn't wear them, and they would hurt so bad you could only eat GoGurt for days.  I found this all out in 6th grade when I actually needed one.


But other times, things that look "ehhh" turn out to be amazing.  Like this cake.
I almost chucked this recipe because it looked like such a gooey mess in the pan.  I thought that there was no way that it would bake into something solid and edible... but I decided to bake it a…

recipe showdown: healthy banana bread

This sh!t is bananas, B-A-N-A-N-A-S.  Thank you Gwen Stefani.

Whenever I hear Gwen, I am instantly transported back to 4th grade when I went to a very strict religious school.  I still vividly remember the first day of school -- I got dressed in my rumpled white chapel dress, and penny loafers.  When I saw the huge chapel on that cloudy morning, all I could say was "this looks just like Harry Potter."  While sitting in the pews, I turned to the girl next to me and asked jokingly, "when will we get sorted" in a little British accent.  I don't think the girl appreciated my humor. :(


That was a tough year for me -- no nail polish, no boys, and tons of homework.  One of the only things that got me through that year was a jazz dance class that I took on Friday nights.  I got to wear my bedazzled gaucho pants and dance to Gwen Stefani and the Black Eyed Peas.  Afterwards, my mom would take me to Quiznos and I would get a toasted sub with salami and pepperoni -- noth…

overnight raised waffles

I just wrote about waffles, and I thought I found the one.
But then yeast came in the picture, and things got complicated.



Last night, Emilia, Veda and I had our annual end-of-season girl's night out to celebrate the end of the winter track season.  I don't know about you all, but I love traditions. 
Last year, we saw a chick-flick (The Vow) and ate at our favorite Mexican restaurant (I look forward to their fried plantainsall track season!).

This year, we did the exact same thing -- except this year, we were not carrying all of our track bags and book bags with us.  We learned our lesson last year when we had to check 7 bags into the coat check at the restaurant.

After dinner, we headed over to CVS to buy candy.  We got 5 packs of candy for the same price as one pack at the theater.  Emilia thought ahead and brought a huge bag to carry our stash into the theater.  It's great to have friends who think ahead when you're as forgetful as me.

We saw Safe Haven.  Was it …

recipe showdown: belgian waffles

It's humiliating.  It's tragic.  It's the decay of Western civilization.
... and I can't stop watching it.


Ever since I heard that little, blond, 4-foot-tall toddler's famous catchphrase"a dollar makes me holler honey boo boo," I've been in love.
She's hyperactive, uninhibited, and foul-mouthed... and I'm kind of obsessed.


But since this is technically a food blog, I should be talking about food, not the "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo."  I did a little research and the Honey Boo Boo clan has some *pretty* interesting dishes.
Have you ever heard of "Sketti"?
Spaghetti, doused with a sauce that is one part margarine, one part ketchup.
However, the most infamous Honey Boo Boo specialty is her "go go juice" -- a secret mix of Mountain Dew and Red Bull that gets her "go go"-ing for her pageants.  If you aren't familiar with "go go juice," click here.  Thank me later.


Anyways, I have my own version…

red velvet cupcakes

Somehow it has become socially acceptable to dislike Valentine's Day.  Some people say that it's a meaningless marketing scam run by card and chocolate companies.  Others try to be witty, saying that we should profess our love every day of the year.




You all need to relax.  I hate Halloween -- but you don't hear me complaining!
I remember in lower school we would get to decorate a big envelope with glitter, puffy paint, and heart shaped doilies. Everyone in the class would exchange cut-out Dora the Explorer valentines and Hershey's Kisses.  
...and everyone liked Valentine's Day. 


Fast-forward 5 years, and (unlike a few of my friends) I still like Valentine's day -- maybe I'm a bit biased because I love arts and crafts, chocolate, and sparkly, corny love notes. 


Valentine's Day shouldn't be a day to be sad that you're single, or rolling your eyes at every lovey-dovey couple you see.   It's a national holiday, so you might as well get into it. I …

mardi gras recipe roundup

Mardi Gras is international pancake day!  Unfortunately, unlike on World Nutella Day, I wasn't able to bake up a batch of pancakes on this exact day (there are math tests to be studied for and much needed showers to be taken).  
But not to worry, I came up with this quick little round-up of all of the pancake recipes here on Cannella Vita.  Breakfast for dinner anyone? ;)
With love,  Erica
 Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes
Apple Pancake Rings
Oatmeal Dark Chocolate Chip Pancakes
Carrot Cake Pancakes
Vanilla Bean Ricotta Donuts
Apple Blender Pancakes
Caramel Apple Crepes
© Cannella Vita. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission/linking back to Cannella Vita. If you want to republish this recipe, please link back to this post.

pina colada cupcakes

I do a lot of wondering
It's just how my brain works. I'm always asking questions.
Maybe it's because I'm young, maybe it's because I'm restless.  I'm probably a little bit of both.



If you could peek into my brain at any given moment, it would look something like this:


What hair color do they put on the driver's license of a bald man?  How many times will I fall in love? Why does extra sharp white cheddar cheese taste so good on stale Ritz crackers?  Do my socks match today? Why can I never find the tape? If tomatoes are a fruit, isn't ketchup technically a tomato smoothie? Why do I ask so many questions?  Did I forget to log off of the library computer? Are cats and dogs are really smart and just acting dumb to freeload off humans?  Did the teacher notice I was on Pinterest all class? Can Pokemon only say their name, or are they named after the only thing they can say?

Why do my hands always smell like buttercream?

Ok, so I know the answer to the last …

oatmeal dark chocolate chip pancakes

Last Friday was the Sadie Hawkins dance at school.
Scratch that.
Last Friday was the "Girls Ask Boys Winter Formal." Apparently "Sadie Hawkins" isn't politically correct enough for my school.  I'm technically on Spirit Committee... I should know these things.


My friend Veda and I had a track meet before during the dance. 
When my coach told me I had to sprint 400 meters, I though he was kidding.
He wasn't kidding.
I gagged a bit just thinking about it.  Then after it was over, I gagged all over the place.  Yeah, I'm a real superstar on the track team. ;)
But at least I bring brownies.


When I finally got back home, it was already nine, and the last thing I wanted to do was get dressed. But I did.
I put on my dress, slopped on some red lipstick, hoop earrings, and heels.  Then I smooped my hair into a bun because I couldn't even think of touching a flat iron (smooped isn't a word, but "twirled" is way too elegant of a word to desc…

nutella cupcakes

February 5th is World Nutella Day. Hold on... todayis February 5th, and I just serendipitously have a Nutella recipe to share with you all. 


I missed International Bacon Day,  Biscuit Day, and even National Julienne Fries Day (August 12 in case you were wondering...).


I keep track of time by tests, track practices, hours wasted on Pinterest, and the occasional high school party -- not by the food blogging calender of seasonal recipes and National Fondant Day.  I baked with pumpkin in July.  I made pina colada popsicles last week.  #YOLO 


But today, the odds were in my favor. And my crazy little baking whim just happened to coincide with an international holiday.


This is not just any old Nutella Recipe, this is the ultimate glorification of the chocolaty spread. This recipe uses two entire jars of Nutella.  Tempted?  Keep reading.


I started with my favorite, mind-bogglingly easy chocolate cupcake recipe,  filled it with generous spoonfuls of Nutella, topped it with a big swirl of…

vanilla bean ricotta donuts

This is the ideal brunch recipe.  When you're lazy, sleepy, and expected to whip up a storm, these come together in one bowl, and are done and dusted within 20 minutes.  Unlike Aunt Jemima's, these emerge from the kitchen to ohhs and ahhhs.  Plus they look oh-so-elegant when served with chocolate sauce and lemon wedges.



I imagine whipping these up on a hazy Sunday morning, wearing an adorable, little striped robe and sheepskin slippers.  There would be sunflowers on my windowsill in a little glass vase.
There would be frothy lattes in Antropologie teacups and music would be playing from a creaky record player.  I'd sprinkle these with powdered sugar, and the air would smell like lemons and vanilla. 

I know these kinds of things exist somewhere, I've seen them on Pinterest. 


But in reality, I don't own an adorable striped robe, nor a creaky record player. In reality, I don't have jars of sunflowers on my kitchen window sill, rather, I have half a batch of buttercre…