Wednesday, April 23, 2014

rainbow cake

So last week I gave you a little talk about real talk.  Basically, I don't want to be a confectioners-sugar-dusted-phoney.  That's why I've decided to get crazy with some real-life confessions on here.

Confessions. That's a scary word.

So here it goes, here's my first confession.

I like reading Craigslist Personal Ads.

Disclaimer: I would never ever ever in a million years even think about posting an ad on Craigslist (or answer one), but I like to read them.


Yes, some are creepy, some are weird (ex. "I enjoy theatrical-quality tomfoolery"...what), and some are downright fake.  But some are nice.  My favorites are in the "missed connections" forum.

This is where people leave messages hoping to find people they've crossed paths with.  There is something less sinister about this forum than the others, no creepy requests, no augmented biographies pleading for a date.  Instead, there's a sort-of-sad sad sincerity in these posts.


These people couldn't get a face/aura out of their mind all day, and are now beating themselves up for not saying anything. There is hope and regret intertwined in all of the posts ("I would have talked to you but I was too shy").  The regret of not seizing the moment, the hope that maybe this little "message in a bottle" (via Craigslist) will miraculously reach that special person.


The sweet, sad thing about this is that 99 times out of 100, these ads are never reciprocated.  That person who was reading Harry Potter 5 on the train is probably back at home, flipping through the pages and eating Lean Cuisine and will never see the post on Craigslist.  But the admirer posts it anyways.


Here's one I liked:
"I wish I went and sat next to you and said hello, but obviously I didn't and here I am posting this note you will probably never read. Wherever you were going, I hope you got there safe, and that despite the rain you are having a great day" 

I like think about all of the faces I see in a day, and all of the stories, fears, and adventures that lie behind all of those faces. I'm not advocating talking to strangers.  But I guess this should inspire us to seize the moment and not miss an opportunity to speak to someone.  Yolo?

Anyways, now that I've shared something weird about myself with you all, I am going to share this weird cake recipe! It's super easy, super funky, and will knock all of your friend's socks off when you serve it.  It looks like an unassuming vanilla cake... and then BAM! Rainbow madness on the inside. Check it out.

With love,
Erica

Ingredients 
 
White cake batter, divided (you can use box mix or homemade)
Food coloring
Your favorite buttercream frosting
Rainbow sprinkles!

Prepare the cake batter, and then divide into however many colors you would like.  
Use food dye to color the batter, use a lot so that the colors turn out really nice and saturated and brilliant. 
Drop the batter into a prepared cake pan(s) and bake as normal. 
Frost, decorate with sprinkles, and enjoy!

© 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.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

fried banana bread bites


At this time of year, bunnies are supposed to popping out of flower beds left and right, and baby chicks are supposed to be hatching from Easter eggs.


So far I've seen none of these things happening... I guess they just don't happen when you live in the city.


Nonetheless, bunnies and baby chicks are all symbols of rebirth and new beginnings. I've definitely had some of my own new beginnings this Spring.


For one thing, I can't sit still.  I feel this intangible energy pulsing through the air, and this fire in my throat that definitely wasn't there in December. It's hard to describe, but I feel like life right now is the opening scene of a movie, where there's just a bunch of dew and morning dust floating around and it's unclear what the movie is even about.


I am slowly getting the hang of my hostessing job.  No longer am I the girl who looks like a deer in headlights, awkwardly racking my brain for something to say as I guide people to their tables.  Some one even laughed at one of my corny jokes yesterday when they sat them at a table (I know... what?!).

I have come to terms with the mess in my room.  I now accept the fact that there will eternally be dresses and shoes and mismatched socks strewn about the floor, and I'm actually more comfortable that way than in a spick and span room.

I've learned how to properly apply self-tanner without looking like I have strange bruises everywhere (hello white shorts).

These are little changes, but I can say with confidence that I feel at peace.


Another new thing is that I have come to terms with deep-frying.  It doesn't freak me out as much as it used to.  However, I still wear Speedo swimming goggles while deep frying so oil doesn't spurt into my eyes (super dorky, yes. but would oil make me go blind? probably).  Thank goodness I conquered my fear so that I could bring you all these majestic fried banana bread bites.

With love,
Erica

Ingredients
1 loaf of banana bread
oil for deep frying
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon

Cut the banana bread into 1 inch cubes.

Preheat the oil in a heavy metal pot to 350 degrees fahrenheit.

While the oil is heating up, stir together the sugar and cinnamon.

Drop small batches of the banana bread cubes into the hot oil, fry for 3 minutes until golden brown.

Immediately roll the fried cubes in the sugar mixture, and place on a paper towel.

Repeat until you've fried all of the banana bread.

Enjoy!



© 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.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

deep-dish apple pie pizza


Nothing's really that simple.

On this blog, I often worry that I am compelled to portray myself as this teenage Martha Stewart-wannabe, but that's not reality.

If I were Lauren Conrad or Martha Stewart, this would be different.  It is their job to look super fabulous and manicured for their readers -- exhibiting guru-like knowledge on flower arrangements and sock buns that don't look stupidFor me, this whole blogging thing is a little different.  I don't have endless funds to spend on peonies, my hair will never look good in a sock bun, and I have no authority to tell you all how to mix a pink mimosa.

my beautiful, blank pizza canvas

My goal is to get closer to you all as readers and tell it like it is.  I want you to be able to read my blog posts and be all like "whoa, she gets it!," or "omg me too." Definitely not a "my life is in shambles, how can I be more like her" (because believe me, my life is in shambles sometimes too).

Yes, I have a collection of vintage mason jars and milk bottles, I have a bin dedicated to washi tape, and I make my own granola.  But that is just one side of me.


The part that you don't see as much is the fact that I am a worrier, I enjoy a little bit (lot a bit) of mess in my room, and I am often very stubborn. Thus, along with the baker's twine, DSLR shots, and confectioners sugar comes real feelings, real mistakes, and the real joy beyond making a photogenic batch of cupcakes.  Also, I often eat things straight out of the fridge (i.e. not plated with perfect lighting and garnishes). 


One of my favorite things to eat standing up at the fridge is apple pie.  My dad used to always buy those grocery store apple pies, and I'd always keep standing up, sneaking over to the fridge and eating just a little sliver (by the end of the hour the pie was usually half eaten).  That apple pie tasted so much better than warm apple pie all served up with ice cream and whipped cream and a mint spring (mint does not belong on apple pie).  Something about the cold, gooey, finger-food nature of it made it just that amazing.

Pizza is another classic "fridge food,"  cold pizza straight from the fridge is a delecacie of its own.  It tastes nothing like pizza, but it tastes pretty good!

look at that big, fat crust!
Enough chit-chat.  Let's talk about this pizza. This is a real life recipe.

Ain't nobody got time to make real apple pie on a school night.  But we've got time for pizza pie. This pizza version of apple pie is all of the cinnamon-y apple goodness without the opressive pastry/pie crust rolling! (especially if you use store-bought pizza dough... that's real life)


The thing is, real life often tastes better than "ideal life" (a life in which I made a mile-high apple pie with a rum syrup reduction with apples that I picked from my garden). This strange amalgamation of the classy, the trashy, and the unique creates something truly spectacular.  This pizza is a wonderful hybrid between you're grandmother's apple pie (classy), Domino's Cinnastix (trashy), and a cream cheese frosting drizzled cinnamon buns (unique?). 

The end result? Something perfect to eat standing up at the fridge.


If you're looking for more easy-peasy pizza recipes to eat standing up at the fridge, you're in luck. It's Pizza Week on NoshOn.It! Checkout the hashtag #PizzaWeek on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram or check out the Pizza Week Pinterest Board.  The inspiration is endless!

Some favorites are:
Gerry's Prosciutto, Pistachio, and Burrata Pizza  
Amy's Kimchi Pizza
Shanna's Grilled Pineapple, Crispy Pork Belly, Burrata and Arugula Pizza

With love,
Erica

it's so gooey I'm gonna die!!!!!
Ingredients

for the dough:
2 packets of active dry yeast (1/4 oz. each)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
4 cups all purpose flour (plus more for surface)

(alternatively, you could use store-bought dough)

for the filling:
1/4 cup sugar
1 8oz block of cream cheese, softened

for the topping:
one small apple, thinly sliced
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
4 tablespoons cold butter
cinnamon

First, make the pizza dough. 

Pour 1 1/2 cups of warm water into a large bowl, stir in yeast, and let stand for about 5 minutes until foamy. 

Whisk in the sugar, oil, and salt.  Add flour and stir until the mixture forms a sticky dough.  Transfer to a clean, oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  Set aside in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size (about 1 hour).  

Preheat the oven to 460 degrees F. 

Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll the ball of dough out into a big circle. 
Now, make the filling.  Beat together the sugar and cream cheese until it becomes a uniform mixture.  Spoon this mixture evenly around the crust, about an inch from the edge.  Fold the edges over the cream cheese to seal it inside the crust.  

Lay the sliced apples out on the dough.  Sprinkle generously with cinnamon.  

Now, prepare the streusel.  Crumble together the 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour, white sugar, brown sugar and butter until the butter is the size of pebbles.  Sprinkle this mixture generously all over the pizza.  Give the pizza another nice sprinkling of cinnamon. 

Bake in the preheated oven for 8-12 minutes, until the crust is golden brown.  Remove from the oven, and enjoy while warm!


© 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.