With my 17th birthday in less than a month (April 25 say what), I have yet to grow up. For the most part, I tend to be very independent and studiously serious (though that doesn’t mean I don’t know how to have a good time or let down my hair). People are often surprised (especially when I practice yoga) that I am still in high school. In fact, while I was at the mall today, the saleswoman at Sur La Table even remarked that I could surly take the 18-and-up knife skills class because I definitely don’t look 16.
However beyond looking older than my years, being able to (mostly) take care of myself, and hold my own in adult conversations, a little Amanda D. (how I was referred to in elementary school) will always live inside of me.
Case in point: yesterday my grandmother took the day off so that we could hang out together during my spring break. We ended up doing a little shopping (a rarity in our busy lives) at our favorite stores, baking cookies, and even going to yoga. Do you remember playing “house” when you were little?
Between buying pretty dishes and kitchen gadgets in addition to making dinner and dessert for my family, I felt like I was on the playground all over again. “House” was definitely my favorite game when I was younger. I always wanted to be the mom, older sister, or dog. I think it had something to do with the fact that I thought the mom and older sister had the most important jobs. Oh, and the dog thing was because I love animals. Moving on.
In my grown-up game of house, I traded imaginary dishes and food for pretty new bowls, a plate, mini pie pans, and spoons.
I don’t think the wooden houses on the playground had the luxuries of shiny non-stick mini loaf pans, mini pan pans, or an awesome spiralizer (which was on sale at Sur La Table–> SCORE!).
Speaking of which, despite my obsession with imaginary things while playing house, my parents started me out with a real computer (irrelevant, but true) and the real stove/oven. That’s right, I skipped the Easy Bake Oven stage and went straight to the GE. I won’t lie and say I didn’t want an Easy Bake, but I am glad my parents believed in starting me out young. It all started with cookies, just like the ones I made yesterday. Adding a new twist to an old favorite, I took the idea of sugar cookies and transformed it into carrot cake cookies.
And since any good “house” mother knows the importance of a good dinner, I also made my family homemade pizza. I used multigrain dough from Whole Foods, homemade marinara sauce, crumbled feta cheese (my family’s not vegan), chopped baby portobello mushrooms, sliced red onion, and sun-dried tomatoes.
I also made a special balsamic dressing for them to have on their spring mix side salads. Gotta love those greens!
Inspired by making pizza for my family, I decided to make a personal-sized gluten-free pizza of my own (*edited to add: the recipe is now posted here). I used herbed skillet socca as my crust, Trader Joe’s pizza sauce, grilled veggies (eggplant, zucchini, orange bell pepper), and a sprinkle of Daiya vegan mozzarella cheese.
I believe the first words out of my mouth were “This tastes like Heaven.” Ohmygoodness. I’m actually considering eating pizza all week long. That’s a lot coming from a girl who got burned out on pizza after eating it non-stop for the first 14 or so years of her life.
It should also be noted that the pizza was taken to the next level with the addition of vegan cheese. Actually, yesterday was my first time trying Daiya vegan cheese. I know, I know, I’m a little late. Better late then never, right?
I’ve been debating buying a package since I first saw it at Whole Foods. I’m so glad I finally took the plunge and enjoyed it as a little treat because it. is. SO. good. Mild but cheesey, creamy but not overly oily, and melty but still stringy like the real deal; what more could I want? Even my non-vegan grandmother loved trying some!
And to top it all off, I made sugar-free chocolate ice cream for dessert.
Banana soft serve + cocoa powder = perfect Lenten treat! I especially love the new addition of cocoa nibs as a topping. They add the perfect crunch!
Questions: Are you often mistaken for older or younger than you really are? What was your favorite game to play when you were younger?
Have a lovely day!