everyday vita: snow days and spring days

This week started out with a snow day, and ended with me running in shorts and a tank top.  Funny how that happens.  Also funny how I always seem to start my blog posts with a description of the weather.  A bit hypocritical, because I don’t like it when people talk about the weather in real life… anyway…

I really like doing these weekly update posts! It’s like a weekly diary, that’s public!  There’s something marvelously appealing about over-sharing some of the details of my life with people on the Internet.

Monday: Snow day! Although I’m kind of over this whole snow ordeal, it was really nice to have a break.  This was the last week of school before Spring break, and there were a million things to be done.  A snow day was a nice opportunity to procrastinate for just one day longer.  I made homemade pocky sticks, took a long walk with Carly, and just read by the window for a while (something I always think about doing but never actually do).

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday:  All a blur really.  So many tests.  So many papers.  So much furious Buzzfeed scrolling to get away from it all.  I am proud of myself for getting one recipe out to you guys!  Also, a number of people at my school who read my blog came up to me and said that they agreed with my whole subtweeting argument.  It makes me immensely happy when real-life-people agree with things that I ramble about on here.  

Friday:  I had some really nice falafel, went for a run, and then ate my weight in hummus.  This wasn’t as painful as I thought it would be!  I got to see my friend from Georgia, Alli G. (yes, like the Sacha Baron Cohen movie) here in D.C.! We first met in Santa Fe on a community service trip when I was a freshman, and have kept in touch since. We’ve seen each other around this time every year, and it’s always hilarious to relive that dysfunctional trip with her, just talk about life, and see how things are going in the ATL.

Saturday:  Today, I made this crazy rainbow cake! But it’s not just any cake, it’s a birthday cake.  I’ve started a new project where I make birthday cakes for homeless children’s birthday parties — because they should be able to have sprinkly, sparkly birthday parties like everyone else.  This looks like an unassuming vanilla cake… but when cut open, it’s an explosion of rainbow colors!  I dyed white cake batter all sorts of different colors and swirled them up all cool inside.  I’m already dreaming up cakes I can make for other birthday parties, if you have any ideas, let me know!

Carly was dropped off at doggy camp this morning and I miss her already. 🙁

Today I officially started the #100happydays project! It’s awesome! Basically, you do something that makes you happy every day, tweet a picture of it, and then after 100 days, you have a nice collection of happy things to look back on.  Follow my challenge @cannella_vita.

Happy Saturday!

With love,
Erica

© 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.

everyday vita: new beginnings

I think Spring is finally here… then again I feel like I’ve been saying that for the past month… and we’re supposed to have a snow day tomorrow (not that I’m complaining about that at all).

Spring is a time for new beginnings, and this week was full of new beginnings.

This week I wore a skirt without tights for the first time in what feels like forever.

I was wearing that classed up outfit because, guess what?! I’m employed! I’m now the official hostess at a local brunch cafe! What you can’t see in the picture are my stretchy leggings and orthopedic ballerina flats.  I was on my feet all day seating people at tables and running back and forth from my podium to the floor.  Thank the Lord for spandex and rubber soles.

I started drinking apple cider vinegar this week.  It sounds really blecky, but when mixed with apple juice and cinnamon it just tastes like diluted apple cider.  And it’s supposed to be really healthy.

I bought farm fresh eggs, and they really are quite different! For one thing, the yolks are orange, not yellow!

I started running again, and realized that I am definitely a solo runner.  Some people really enjoy running in groups, I am not one of those people.  I really like to listen to books on tape when I run, and listening to books on tape in the presence of other people is considered antisocial :(.  Also, wireless headphones are a game-changer.

I put up chalkboards in my room to keep track of my to-do lists.  Question: do you ever do something slightly productive (that wasn’t on your to-do list), and then proceed to write it on your to-do list just to cross it off? I do this ALL THE TIME.  Those extra things that I get done while procrastinating should be worth something. (and since this is the last week before Spring break, I have a million and one things to cross off).

I have a pretty cool “diy” post that should hopefully come up soon. I’ve never done anything crafty on Cannella Vita, so this should be interesting.

Happy Sunday!

With love,
Erica

© 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.

whole wheat brown butter crepes

This week is exam week at school, and things are starting to get crazy!  My desk is covered in flashcards, textbooks and binders.  I’ve been wearing yoga pants for so long that they may or may not be part of my skin.  My hair coils into my signature “messy ballerina” bun… without an elastic.  I hope you all who have been through exams can sympathize.

my desk at the moment

On Sunday morning, I decided to take a deep breath and have a nice, leisurely breakfast with my family.  Sometimes, I find I just really need a good break (not one of those “spontaneous” hours spent on Pinterest when I should be researching the Hundred Years War…).  

the infamous bun

I needed something quick (I didn’t have all day to wait for dough to rise or the oven to preheat), and I wanted something luxurious (scrambled eggs ‘n ketchup wasn’t gonna cut it).  Crepes were the solution.  I have been experimenting a lot with brown butter recently, and can’t get enough of that rich, nutty flavor!  These crepes have no added sugar, but are full of nutty flavors from that brown butter and some whole wheat flour.  Oh, and the batter whizzes together in the blender in seconds.

My favorite way to eat crepes is with a big dollop of Greek yogurt, some strawberry jam, and some fresh berries.  I could roll up and eat hundreds of these.
What do you like in your crepes?
With love,
Erica

Ingredients

2 Tablespoons Butter
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs
1 cup milk
Put
the butter in a medium frying pan and cook the butter until the foam has
subsided and there are little brown bits floating. Put all of the ingredients including the melted butter into a blender and blend for 30 seconds. You can make the crepes now, or pop the batter in the fridge and make them another time. When you’re ready to make them, use a tiny bit of butter to grease
the frying pan and wait until the pan is starting to smoke, then turn
the heat down a little bit. Pour a small amount of batter into the pan
and swirl to spread the batter evenly. Flip when browned and then when ready, take out of the pan.  Serve with sweet or savory toppings (recipe ideas to come!)
Adapted from Poires au Chocolat

best of 2012

2012 was a huge culinary milestone for me. The end of this year has me feeling quite nostalgic — I finished freshman year, I started track and field, I successfully whipped my first meringue.  This year will always be remembered, as Cannella Vita was founded in 2012, and since has become such a precious part of my life.  Although I know I will have a blast doing new, crazy things with my Kitchen Aid in 2013, I want to take a moment and remember all of the sweet kitchen victories I had this year.  I am going to share with you the seven most popular posts of 2012, as well as the seven most delicious and underrated posts of the year (that should really get some attention in 2013!). 

With love,
Erica

The Seven Most Popular Posts of 2012
 
The Seven Most Deliciously Underrated Recipes of 2012
Peach Cobbler Ice Cream
This was the first time I made my own ice cream (quite sentimental).  Full of farmer’s market peaches and crushed graham crackers, I couldn’t keep my hands off of this!
I will never forget the victory dance I did when I doused a batch of this fresh out of the oven with ice cold milk.  Coconut oil is a gift from the gods.

This may have been the best cake I have ever eaten. Ever.

My loyal readers will know that banana bread has a very special place in my heart — this cinnamon crumble loaf is one of the best I’ve ever tasted.

I’ve tried many brownie recipes, and this super fudge-y version is the best I’ve ever tasted.
These cookies are perfection — especially when sandwiched with coconut mascarpone.

Sweet Potato Casserole
This casserole stole the show at Thanksgiving this year!

everyday vita: a very cannella christmas

WOOO! Merry Christmas my little cinnamon sprinkles!  This post may be a little jumbled because:

a) I’m blaring Christmas music in the background — I have to listen to it because it’s not gonna be on tomorrow! (Sleigh Ride and It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas are my absolute favorites!)
b) I am still on a major sugar high from the humungous mug of peppermint hot chocolate affogato that I chugged this morning.
Please bear with me…

This morning started with a European-style Christmas breakfast.  I served a platter of both sweet and savory homemade croissants (ham and swiss, nutella stuffed, and of course, cinnamon sugar!).  I also served peppermint hot cocoa affogato for my dad and I (who said you can’t have ice cream for breakfast?!), and a big mug of dairy free peppermint hot cocoa for mom. 

Nutcrackers in the background — one for each member of the family (the baby one is for Carly)

 Since I’m a bit of a nerd and obsessed with anything having to do with typography, I made a menu to go along with my European-style breakfast. (hey, the glue gun was already heated up! wouldn’t want that to go to waste!)

To keep up with the button trend, I made my own Christmas cards for my mom, dad, and Carly of course!

After breakfast, we were all experiencing bouts of sentimentality and extreme sugar rush… so we meandered over to the Christmas tree.

 It’s our family tradition to open each of our presents one at a time in order to prolong the excitement of gift giving.  Carly didn’t seem to love this idea, and ran away with her stocking full of Sushi Pups and Milk Bones.

 But thankfully, she came back just in time to check out my package that came all the way from England!

I included my festive socks in this picture, a la Izy Hossack — except mine also has a curious little puppy in the frame

 
This past summer when I met Izy, the fabulous teenage blogger behind Top With Cinnamon, we decided to exchange various treats at Christmastime. 

I got a box full of little packages wrapped beautifully in Indian newspaper.

 She even stamped her note with a custom “TWC” stamp… Oh Izy, you never fail to amaze me.

 I got a jar of famously British Golden Syrup.   Maybe I’ll bake one of these golden syrup cakes, or some golden syrup dumplings. Or maybe I’ll just dump the entire draw and all of its deliciousness on plain ol’ pancakes and pretend I’m in merry old England… that works too.

 Oh yeah, and she also sent me all of these fabulous treats from the U.K. I’m planning on creating some crazy recipes with these, so stay tuned!  I’m also planning on eating some of these after I finish writing this post…

Those Jaffa Cakes are calling my name, so I best be going. I hope you’re having a wonderful day laughing with family, eating delicious food, blaring some Christmas music, and maybe even chasing after an unruly little doggy (shout out to all my Shih Tzu owners out there!).

Thank you each and every one of you for making Cannella Vita my special little corner of the internet.  Thanks to you all, my camera and keyboard are covered in butter and sugar, I have over 5 pounds of chocolate chips in my basement, and I couldn’t be happier.  Each and every day I look forward to writing new posts for you, and taking little snapshots of my life and treats.  Reading your comments and e-mails always makes my day.  Have a warm, safe, happy holiday!

With love,
Erica

everyday vita: diy button cards

Opening holiday cards is one of the biggest joys of the season — but buying cards in bulk is so last year.
Why be “mainstream” when you can join the homemade-holiday-card team?
$5.99 for a holiday card that blinks and sings? Although cool at first, the thrill wears off when it breaks and sings unpromted for the next two weeks.

A quiet, homemade card is not only cheaper and less annoying, but it also says “hey, remember me? I’m super artsy and am above the commercial holiday market.” Win-win-win situation!  Take that Hallmark!

Thanks to a glue gun, buttons, and minimalist designs, your cards can look like those $10 boutique cards (not like the ones you made your parents in elementary school). 

To add to the sentimental touch of my homemade cards (and also due to the fact that I’m terribly awkward when writing letters), I wrote a personalized poem in each of my cards.  It’s easier for me to write a two page rhyme than a four line sentimental note (thanks Freestyle Club!).  I’ll spare you the details of my super cheesy poems and leave my “super sick rhymes” to the imagination.  Let’s just say I rhymed “walks” and “Crocs.”  Take that T-Pain!

With love,
Erica