avocado chocolate chip pound cake

I’m currently studying for my U.S. History exam, and to be honest, it’s a lot of mindless memorization.  The kind of memorization that makes my brain mushy and eyes dizzy.

The one thing that keeps the subject mildly interesting are the diary excerpts that sometimes show up in the DBQ section (document-based essay section).  I recently read an excerpt from a diary of a Lowell factory girl talking about how awful the other girls at the factory were, and how terrible the conditions were in the summer — this humanized the dates and numbers behind the Industrial Revolution; suddenly, history got a lot more interesting.  It’s literally reading someone else’s diary, but in a socially acceptable way.

In this digital age, I’m not penning my thoughts with a quill on parchment, or even scribbling in a fancy-pants moleskine notebook.  But the thought of a diary fascinates me.

In a way, my diary is the Notes section on my iPhone. It’s a lot less romantic than a diary, but just as raw.

I used to get super paranoid when my friends would look at pictures on my phone, for fear that they might stumble across my notes page.  I’m less paranoid now because A) my notes are hidden deep in the depths of my app folders where no one can find them and B) even if you read my notes you wouldn’t be able to figure them out.

To get totally crazy here are the first few notes in my phone, and what (I think) they mean.

“Plan:” (followed by no plan to do anything) ~ classic.

“Gm cherry get cash not target demographic” ~ this was probably written at a dark moment while studying for some test.  I wish I could tell you what this means, but I have no idea. Sounds interesting.

“Bunky” ~ an old man who takes drop-in advanced adult ballet with me.  He wears loafers instead of ballet shoes and, thus can’t point his feet.  He has a faded tattoo that spells “bunky” on one of his arms.

“Write about how good it feels to get your scalp massaged at Hair Cuttery” ~ self-explanatory

These bits of jibberish are pretty important to me.  I am always paranoid about forgetting things — so when some stroke of so-called brilliance hits me, I have to write it down or else I will forget it immediately. Sometimes, I’ll write down something like “avocados are the butter of the Earth.”  Some of these snippets end up being stories I tell to you all, some of them end up being baked into pound cake, most of them remain in the gigabytes of my phone collecting cyber-dust.

Nonetheless, these shards and memories are the good stuff, like the artichoke hearts of life. When I’m rolled over in bed at 2 a.m. furiously typing a note to myself, you best believe it’s important.

With love,
Erica

Avocado Pound Cake

Servings 12

Ingredients

  • 1 avocado
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil melted
  • 1 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.  Line and grease a 9-inch loaf pan.

  2. In a stand mixer, beat the coconut oil, avocado and sugar together. 

  3. Add the eggs one at a time and beat until smooth, add vanilla extract and beat once more.

  4. In a separate bowl, stir together the flour and baking soda. 

  5. Stir into avocado mixture until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips and spoon into loaf pan. 

  6. Bake 65 minutes or until golden brown. Cool, slice, 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.

grilled guacamole with parmesan and basil

Looks can be deceiving.

When I was little, I avoided guacamole like the plague. My reasons for hating guac?  It was mushy, and it was green.  One day, when I was feeling a tad bit adventurous, I dipped my chip into the creamy, dip and I’ve been seriously obssessed ever since.

I must confess that I feel guilty about my former hatred of the wonderful dip, especailly since my two reasons for avoiding it (green and mushy) were not good reasons at all to miss out on all of guacamole’s magic for the first decade of my life.  To make up for this, I came up with three very good reasons to love guacamole.

avocados chillin’ on the grill
1.  Guacamole gets you friends.  Eating guacamole is a communal event.  Nothing says “be my friend” like a big bowl of chips and an even bigger bowl of guacamole.  Whip some of this out and you’ll be one of the most popular kids in town. 

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2. Guacamole is like nature’s form of butter.  It’s creamy, spreadable, and buttery.  And we all know how awesome butter is…

3. Guacamole is healthy.  It’s full of healthy fats, omega-threes, fiber and all that jazz. Did you know avocados are the most nutritionally complete food? Humans could theoretically survive on avocados alone. Pass the chips.  

Still skeptical?  This “guacamole” isn’t traditional at all.  First, it’s full of garlic, basil, and Parmesan cheese instead of cilantro, lime and red onions — adding an Italian twist to the Mexican favorite.  Second, I grilled my avocados on the panini press, adding a whole new warm, crispy flavor to them (it’s proven that everything tastes better with grill marks…).  Third, I threw in some super savory ingredients like white truffle salt and a robust (somewhat pricey) extra virgin olive oil — these luxurious ingredients sure paid off.   It’s warm, herby, and cheesy — and it’ll make you look at this delicious dip in a whole new light.  Looks can be deceiving, but taste speaks for itself. 

Did you ever hate a food because of the way it looked?

With love,
Erica

Ingredients
3
firm-ripe avocados

3
tablespoons olive oil, plus more for grilling (the fruiter and richer, the better)

juice and zest of 1 lemon

salt and freshly ground pepper  (I used truffle salt for extra savory flavor)

1
large clove garlic, minced

1/4
cup loosely packed basil leaves, roughly chopped

1/2
cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus more to taste

Heat your panini press to the highest setting (alternatively, you could use a gas or charcoal grill).  Halve and pit the avocados.  Drizzle generously with olive oil and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.

 
Place the avocado halves cut side down on the grill.  Cook for about 4 minutes, or until you can see crispy, golden-brown grill marks on them (check frequently to make sure they’re not burning).  Scoop the flesh out of the avocados and mash gently with a fork (I like to leave mine quite chunky). Stir in the rest of the olive oil, lemon zest, garlic, basil and
Parmesan.  Serve immediately.
Adapted from Food 52

© 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.

turkey avocado tartine

 My mom and I both love Le Pain Quotidien — a wonderful, Belgian chain bakery and communal table emphasizing fresh, organic ingredients. One of their specialities are tartines, or open faced sandwiches. These open faced sandwiches are so fresh, elegant, simple and fun to eat! Tres francais! They are also much healthier than traditional sandwiches, especially when using only one slice of bread. One of our personal favorites is the Turkey Avocado Tartine. Nutty Dijon mustard, moist slices of turkey, and creamy avocado come together perfectly on top of earthy, whole grain bread. I love Mestemacher Fitness Bread — it’s high in fiber, low in fat, and preservative free! This is the perfect simple, healthy lunch — full of protein, fiber and healthy fats.
What are your favorite sandwich toppings?
 With love,
Erica

Ingredients (serves 2)

  •  2 slices of earthy, whole grain bread (I used Mestemacher Fitness Bread)
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2/3 cup sprouts
  • turkey slices
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • Salt + pepper to taste
  • Lemon

Toast the bread. While the bread is in the toaster, slice the avocado into thin slices. Spread each slice of bread with a tablespoon of Dijon mustard. Top with 1/3 cup sprouts. Arrange turkey slices on top, followed by avocado. Season with salt and pepper to taste and a nice big squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Serve with fruit or small salad.