orange scented french toast



soak:
to lie immersed in liquid (as water): become saturated by or as if by immersion

Soaking is a magical thing. I love the idea that things can drastically improve by just sitting in liquid.  This idea of idle productivity is particularly appealing to me right now, as I am procrastinating on typing up this MASSIVE outline for finals.

Things that get better after soaking:

  1. T-shirts.  There’s nothing like a soft, vintage, sun-kissed t-shirt.  I recently did a little DIY project, soaking some of my stiff, school t-shirts in a salt water bath for a few days and then machine washing them.  After a few days of soaking in salt water, they were light and soft.  Easy-peasy. 
  2. Legs.  Not quite soaking, but the absorption process is similar — letting thick, minty lotion soak into the skin for a few hours makes such a difference.  Scaly legs put me in an awful mood.  So does lotion that smells old-ladyish.  I’ve recently been obsessed with Seacret Ocean Mist Body Lotion.   No, I am not being endorsed by Seacret, although I’m quite flattered if you thought so.  I get sent stuff like industrial sized jugs of almond butter and oats (not that I’m complaining), not fancy-schmancy body creams and cosmetics. 
  3. People.  No matter how awful of a mood I am in, a soak in the bath never fails to melt some of the angrys away.  
  4. Breakfast.  Ahem french toast…

This is literally just stale bread, taken to unbelievably classy heights by a quick soak in heavy cream and orange zest.  That soak turns a boring slice of bread into an eggy, custardy, zesty sensation!  

I wish more things worked like this.  I wish I could soak in a special bath and come out knowing all of the countries in the world, or maybe I could soak in a magical concoction and emerge speaking fluent Portuguese.  That would be convenient (especially with AP exams coming up).  If I could soak in some sort of magical U.S. history bath, life would be hella easier.

Maybe someday I’ll soak myself in some heavy cream and orange zest and come out extraordinary. Never know!

With love,
Erica


Ingredients

3 eggs
3/4 cup heavy cream, and 1/2 cup milk *you could just use milk, but cream makes this really rich and custardy
1/3 cup orange juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
zest of one orange
dash of salt
6 thick slices of challah bread (slightly stale is ideal)
butter for cooking
blueberries, syrup, and/or orange marmalade for serving

In a large dish, whisk the eggs, cream, milk, juice, vanilla, zest, and salt together.

Soak the bread slices in this mixture (about 15 seconds on each side)

Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a large pan over medium-high heat until it begins to sizzle.

Add as many slices of bread to the pan as will fit — and cook until golden and crisp (about three minutes per side). Repeat until all of the bread is cooked)

Serve with orange marmalade, syrup, and some fresh blueberries!

© 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.

orange cranberry pound cake

I’ve noticed that a hot shower feels 100x better than normal when I come inside after a cold and sweaty run, a bag of pretzel sticks tastes amazing when I’m ravenously hungry, and my bed is the most comfortable place in the world after a busy day.  

Actually the last one’s always true… no matter what I did that day.

 What I am trying to say is, contrast makes everything more awesome. 

This adorable pound cake plays upon this awesome concept of contrast.  Sure, a sweet vanilla pound cake is always yummy — but it can get a little boring after the third bite.  This pound cake is the perfect yin-yang balance of tart, zesty, and sweet. (i.e. not boring)

This cake never gets boring because it totally nails the “contrasty” thing.  Fresh cranberries are super tart.  Oranges are fresh and citrusy.  Pound cake is rich and sweet.  Mingle all of these friends together and you have the perfect, totally-not-boring, pound cake.  Pound cake perfection.

This is a great counter-top cake.  You know, the kind of cake to just put on the counter top looking all pretty, and as people walk in and out of the house — mom, dad, the dog walker etc., the cake slowly gets nibbled away.   

And when the glaze hardens and gets all nice and crackly…  Ugh.  I just wanna pour it on everything. 

glaaaaaaaaze

With love,
Erica

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup vanilla yogurt/plain yogurt/or sour cream
1 1/3 cups sugar, divided
3 eggs
zest of one large orange
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup frozen cranberries
1/3 cup orange juice

For the glaze:

1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons orange juice

Preheat
the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously grease a loaf pan.  

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In a larger
bowl, whisk together the yogurt, 1 cup sugar, the eggs, orange zest, and
vanilla. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. With
a rubber spatula, fold the vegetable oil into the batter.  Fold in the cranberries. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake
for about 50 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean.

While the cake is in the oven, cook the 1/3 cup orange juice
and remaining 1/3 cup sugar in a small pan until the sugar dissolves and
the mixture is clear. Set aside.

When the cake is done, allow it
to cool in the pan for 10 minutes.  While the cake is still warm, pour the orange-sugar
mixture over the cake and allow it to soak in. Cool.

Once cool, carefully remove from the pan.  For the glaze, combine the confectioners’ sugar and lemon juice and pour over the cake. 

© 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.

creamsicle cupcakes

This morning, I got a text from my friend Tessa,
“2 hour delayyy! Woot woot!”

At first I thought, “thank god! no school!”

Then I realized that I had already gotten out of bed.
Then I realized that I was going to wear heels, but couldn’t now, so I had to re-do my entire outfit to match my snow boots.
Then I realized that I would need more than a long-sleeve t-shirt for track, so I had to repack my entire gym bag.
Then I realized that my schedule would be different due to the delay. So I had to repack my entire backpack.
Then I realized that I was late.

Moments like these remind me why I can’t wait for spring, when I can trade my clunky snow boots for strappy sandals,  my long-sleeve t-shirts with breezy tank tops, and my scalding hot coffee with Orange Creamsicles.  

Starting in March, the ice cream truck starts pulling up to my school.  They have Sno-Cones, Popsicles, and ice cream.  However, as a creature of habit, I always get the Orange Creamsicle.

Creamsicles are my mom’s favorite too, (like mother, like daughter) — and I couldn’t imagine ordering anything else at the ice cream truck.  I don’t know why I love them so much.  The citrusy, fresh orange juice against the mellow, rich and creamy ice cream is to die for.

It’s the perfect balance between refreshing and rich.  It’s the perfect thing to eat on the field when I have a free period at the end of the day. (Shh… don’t tell the P.E. director that I eat ice cream on the field…)

So although spring seems really far away, and you probably can’t even think about holding and ice cream cone right now,  try bringing a bit of sunshine into your kitchen with these creamsicle cupcakes! It’ll knock a bit of the dreary winter chill out of you, and give you something to do during your two hour delay from work or school.

With love,
Erica

P.S.
There seems to be a pattern here — recreating my favorite ice cream flavors in the form of cupcakes (I made these banana split cupcakes last week)

Ingredients
1 white cake mix
1 3-ounce package orange Jell-O, less 2 teaspoons to reserve for the frosting
3/4 cup water
1/3 cup orange juice
1/3 cup oil
3 eggs
1 tablespoon orange zest.
Frosting:
1 8-ounce package cream cheese; softened
1/2 cup butter; softened
5-6 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons orange Jell-O
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

orange candies (for garnish)
Preheat oven to 350. Line 2 muffin tins with paper liners.
In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, orange jello, water, orange juice, oil, eggs and zest. Beat with a mixer on low speed for about 2 minutes.
Divide batter evenly among muffin wells with an ice cream scoop (I filled mine about 2/3 full). Bake for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the
middle comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack.
For
frosting, combine the softened cream cheese and butter and beat until
smooth. Add the vanilla and blend.  Gradually add the
powdered sugar until you get you desired consistency for piping. Set aside about 1/3 of the frosting mixture for the white part of the frosting.  Add the 2
teaspoons of orange jello to the remaining 2/3 of the frosting and beat well to combine.
Set up your piping bag with a large round tip.  Fill it with the orange frosting.  Pipe the orange frosting onto each cupcake, beginning along the outside edge and spiraling in toward the center.
Set up a separate piping bag with a star-shaped tip and fill with the white frosting.  Pipe on the center of each cupcake.
Garnish the top of each cupcake with an orange candy.

Adapted from Celebrations.com

© 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.