As some of you may know, my birthday is my favorite day of the year, and I’m obviously looking forward to being a shameless birthday princess this weekend. That said, 27 is my scary age, and I’m not exactly thrilled to be another year older, as I still haven’t accomplished so many of the things I had hoped to by this point in my life (having my own television show, Maxim cover, assistant, etc.). Blergh.
However, instead of indulging my debilitating fear of aging this week, I’ve decided to take a more optimistic and proactive tack. I’m drinking green juice like it’s my job, getting a physical (just to be safe), and I’ve seriously intensified my eye cream regimen. My roommate also keeps reminding me that 27 is an arbitrary scary age, and I should actually be celebrating the fact that I’m still in my twenties. As much as I hate to admit it, he has a point.
So, in the spirit of festively embracing 27, I’ve decided that this shall be birthday week on Domesticate ME! Prepare yourselves, friends. It’s about to be ALL BIRTHDAY, ALL THE TIME. I’ve got some exciting things planned, but I thought I’d start by sharing something I’ve had lying around for a while. Every week, US Weekly publishes a column called “25 Things You Don’t Know About Me” that helps you get to know a different celebrity. Because I like to be prepared, I did mine months ago in case I become an overnight sensation and Us Weekly needs a copy stat. Since they haven’t asked for it yet, I figure it’s cool if I show it to you guys. I went ahead and added a couple extra fun facts in honor of my 27 years. You’re welcome.
1. I took karate for 7 years. I haven’t actually practiced in over a decade, but I still feel confident that I could take someone down.
2. I love cake. An embarrassing amount. I try not to indulge or discuss this fetish on the reg, but it’s a constant challenge.
3. I have a birthmark on my right nostril. I sometimes think about getting it removed, but I’m sort of attached to it.
4. My current hairstyle is the shortest that my hair has been since the Winona Ryder pixie cut incident of 2000.
5. The first elementary school that I attended was called “Echo Horizon.” It used to be a school for the deaf, but there were only 2-3 deaf students per class by the time I arrived.
6. Ludacris Pandora is my jam.
7. I wore headgear for a year. Sure, I only had to don it at night and the band was denim, but it was still mildly traumatic. I had two permanent dents in my hair for all of sixth grade.
8. My family calls me “Itty” because that’s what my little brother called me before we addressed his speech impediment. Itty is sometimes shortened to “It,” which is uncomfortable in public.
9. All of my college friends call me Swolf. Let’s be real, it’s better than “It.”
10. I’ve been using my roommate’s deodorant for over 6 months. It started out of necessity, but now I just like the smell. He hasn’t noticed.
11. I really like “young adult” novels. A lot.
12. I did a semester at The University of St. Andrews in Scotland during my junior year of college. It was a very pleasant vacation.
13. I went to surf camp in New Zealand. I still do not know how to surf.
14. I would rather wear skinny jeans with running shoes than drink a Bloody Mary, and that’s saying a lot.
15. I was on the physics team in high school. Go JETS! (I was almost captain my senior year, but the coach denied my nomination because I was always drinking Diet Coke in the lab, which was “irresponsible.”)
16. I wasn’t allowed to get my ears pierced until I was 18 because my mom thought it was slutty.
17. I still watch Grey’s Anatomy every week.
18. No one is more upset than I am that Justin Bieber turned out to be a royal douche. No one.
19. I can do the human pretzel.
21. I haven’t been to the dentist in 6 years, but I made an appointment for this Thursday.
22. I’m a middle child, which explains a lot.
23. Tennis is the only sport that I know all of the rules for.
24. My favorite movie is Drop Dead Gorgeous.
25. I went on the “Twilight Tour” in Forks, Washington. (See #11.)
26. Dogs and children love me, which is incredibly ironic considering the fact that I’m not particularly fond of either.
27. I’m on The Dude Diet. (It’s unisex, and it works.)
Because you may be overwhelmed by all this new and exciting information about me, I thought I’d soften the blow by sharing a simple (yet still incredibly dank) creation with you today: Thai “Summer Roll” Salad with Shrimp and Mango.
Light, healthy, and deliciously refreshing, this bright salad is like a birthday party in your mouth. Every bite is slightly sweet and tangy with a kick of heat and a crunch factor that will rock your world. It has all the fresh flavors of a Thai summer roll, but you don’t have to deal with the complicated and annoying assembly process. Boom.
I’m not going to go into detail about the health benefits of this salad (I’ve already dropped a lot of information on you today), but there are a lot, and they are awesome. Let’s just say that eating it will make you look and feel fabulous, which is great news for those of us that happen to be struggling with the concept of aging this week. So please serve this salad as a side dish at your upcoming outdoor soirees, eat it as a sassy desk lunch, or work it into your weeknight recipe rotation ASAP. This one’s a keeper. Happy my birthday to you, friends!
Thai “Summer Roll” Salad with Shrimp and Mango: (Serves 2 generously)
4 cups shredded cabbage (I like to use a mix of green and purple cabbages, but you can use just one type if you prefer)
1 medium carrot, julienned or grated
½ English cucumber, peeled, seeds removed and julienned
½ mango, peeled and julienned
½ cup fresh basil, sliced
½ cup fresh cilantro leaves
½ avocado, chopped
½ pound (about 10) steamed shrimp, peeled and deveined
For the dressing:
1 lime, juiced
1 clove garlic, minced or grated
2 tablespoons low-sodium tamari
1 teaspoon light brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon avocado or olive oil
1-2 Thai red “bird’s eye” chilies, thinly sliced (You can also use ½-1 teaspoon Sriracha or chili paste if that’s more convenient. Add this gradually until you reach the desired level of heat in your dressing.)
Preparing your Thai “Summer Roll” Salad with Shrimp and Mango:
-Place the cabbage, carrot, cucumber, basil, and cilantro in a large bowl.
Ingredients Instructions Notes You should be able to find steamed shrimp at your grocery store, but you can also buy fresh shrimp cook them yourself. Simply heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a non-stick pan over medium-high heat, add the shrimp, and sauté for 3-5 minutes until they turn pink and opaque.
You should be able to find steamed shrimp at your grocery store, but you can also buy fresh shrimp cook them yourself. Simply heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a non-stick pan over medium-high heat, add the shrimp, and sauté for 3-5 minutes until they turn pink and opaque.