everyday vita: peanut butter jelly time!

IT’S PEANUT BUTTER JELLY TIME!
peanutbutterjellypeanutbutterjellypeanutbutterjellywithabaseballbat.  (click here if you’re confused).

If you’ve been wondering why Cannella Vita is almost completely devoid of peanut butter recipes (but wayyyy overloaded with Nutella ones…) — it’s because peanut butter’s not really my thing.  Nevertheless, I absolutely love spreading it.  I love making a smooth little squiggle in the peanut butter (am I the only one who does this?). 

the famous squiggle

There’s something seriously therapeutic about spreading things on Wonder bread. 

PB&Js are as classic as you get.  They’re absolutely perfect just the way they are and that’s why they’ve basically been around since Columbus discovered America (that’s not actually true, I have my first AP U.S. history test tomorrow and PB&J has been around for ages – so that’s where my mind is at the moment).

i’m liking that bread-to-fluff ratio

Anyways, you know what we do with classics around here? Totally corrupt them and slather them with Nutella.  So I made PB&Ns too.  Peanut butter Nutella sandwiches.  Not my worst idea 😉

Also, I had to throw in a few fluffernutters, because they’re my dad’s favorite.  And fluffernutter is fun to say.  And I wanted an excuse to buy marshmallow fluff.  So obviously those were necessary. 

Lastly, the Hawaiian girl in me just had to make some of these on Hawaiian Sweet Rolls.  Because that’s how I roll (haha). 

Tomorrow I’m going all the way up to Pennsylvania with the soccer team, so I packed a few of these up with some chocolate chip Chewy bars for the long bus ride.

How do you like your PB&J?

With love,
Erica

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p to the seventh panini

The school year has finally come to a close, and I’ve accumulated a lot on the way.

Confession: I lug around a lot.  You can tell by the weight of my backpack as I struggle up the metro escalator (I believe that life’s to short to stand on an escalator).

So I like to hang onto things, and it comes in handy sometimes.   My friends put up with my embarrassingly large bag so they can take advantage of my phone charger.  I’m kind of like Mary Poppins when she pulled a lamp post out of her enormous diaper bag. 

Oh so you need a pencil for your test? I have a pencil case full of mechanical pencils (one of which works).
Just opened your yogurt and need a spoon? I have a set of clean silverware in the front pocket.
Getting a pedicure during your free period? Don’t fear, I have extra flip flops.
Forgot you have to wear shorts in PE today?  I have a razor and travel soap.
That boy from 7th period texted you and batteries at 2%?  I have three iPhone chargers.  Worship me.
See? All my mismatched items come together harmoniously into one, supercharged survival kit.

… kind of like this sandwich (that was not the smoothest transition, but bear with me).  This sandwich has a crazy hodgepodge of things: sweet pears, seedy raspberry jam, an assortment of cheeses, seedy bread, and bacon… lots of bacon.  However, it all comes together harmoniously into one, supercharged sandwich.  It also has an awesomely nerdy name: P to the 7th Panini, because I was procrastinating from my math homework when I invented it.

Pears, prosciutto, preserves, Parmesan, provolone, poppyseed bread, and a panini press.
7 words that all start with P.  Mash-bang them together and you have this beauty of a sandwich. I’m a genius, what can I say. 


With love, 
Erica



Ingredients

  • 4 slices poppyseed bread 
  • 4 tablespoons raspberry preserves
  • 2 thinly sliced red pears
  • 6 strips cooked bacon (or other salty meat like speck, prosciutto or even ham)
  • White cheddar
  • Provolone
  • Parmesan
  • 1-2 tablespoons butter
  1. Preheat griddle or panini press to medium-high heat.
  2. Assemble 2 sandwiches in this order: bread, 1½ tbs. preserves, pear, 4 slices bacon, 2 slices cheese, bread.
  3. Spread butter on top and bottom of sandwich, sprinkle with Parmesan, and grill for 4-8 minutes, or until cheese is melted and top is golden brown.
Note:
My slices of bacon were pretty small and thin,
which is why I used 4 on each sandwich (gulp). I think 2 regular slices
per sandwich would be plenty. 

 
© 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.

the perfect lunch (lox and rye and brussel sprouts!)

The perfect lunch is different for everyone.  Some may fall head over heels for a big, juicy cheeseburger and fries.  Others might go crazy for a kale and quinoa salad.

look at those grill marks!!!

For me, the perfect lunch is dark, crusty bread, thinly sliced lox, a big smear of cream cheese, and a few leaves of spinach for color.  I (generously) butter the bread and it gets all crispy and succulent in the panini press.   Heaven.

On the side, I love to have some veggies.  But not just any old veggies — my famous candied Brussels sprouts.  Some of my friends who normally would never touch a vegetable with a hundred yard stick fell head over heels for these Brussels sprouts.  It’s true, and mildly creepy — almost like those Hidden Valley Ranch commercials where the kids choose cauliflower over popcorn.  These sprouts are mind-bogglingly addictive, in a totally good-for-you way. 

What’s your idea of the perfect lunch?
With love,
Erica

Erica’s Famous Candied Brussels Sprouts

Ingredients
2 cups Brussels sprouts
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1/4 cup dried cranberries
salt and pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium high heat. Add Brussels sprouts.  Sprinkle with brown sugar.  Cook until outsides are lightly brown and caramelized (3-5 minutes). Add cranberries and salt and pepper to taste.

© 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.

avocado salmon toast

Sometimes, the best lunches are the simple ones that happen on a slice of bread. Today, I am going to share a recipe that’s less of a recipe and more of a guide to one of my favorite lunches.  This is a summery take on one of my all time breakfast favorites: lox and cream cheese on a bagel. The avocado melts into the toast like some sort of magical green butter. Top that off with some thin, salty slices of lox and some briny capers, and you have one of the simplest delicacies of life.

With love,
Erica

Ingredients 

  • slices of your favorite bread
  • avocado
  • lox
  • capers
  • freshly ground pepper
  • mixed greens
  • olive oil

Toast your favorite bread until nice and warm. Spread the avocado (I usually do about 1/4 avocado per person) onto the bread. Top with thin slices of lox. Sprinkle with capers and freshly ground pepper. Toss greens and about a tablespoon of olive oil and serve on the side.

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.