Vanguard University of Southern California is home to many talented students. This year, Vanguard became home to a new student, Gianna Holiday. Gianna Holiday is a senior transfer who is projected to graduate in the Spring of 2022. Holiday is, like any other student here at Vanguard, excited and expectant to graduate. Stress and anxiety are two things that many, if not all students, experience while attending college. Whether one is a seniors trying to complete a 40 page research paper or a freshman trying to complete a Cornerstone class; the stress is real.
In Holiday’s case, she is currently a full time senior serving on the worship team and working two jobs. Therefore, feeling overwhelmed or stressed is something Holiday can relate to. Although Holiday carries a lot of responsibility on her shoulders, she is very aware of how important it is to care for her mental health, therefore she has found ways to detach from the craziness of life and relax.
The way in which Holiday de-stresses is through baking! Given the opportunity to meet the beautiful Holiday, one will most likely learn that she is a talented baker. Holiday shares how she began baking around the age of 7 years old. She states:
“From a young age, I used to watch my mother and grandmother bake. I always loved watching baking shows!”
Within our interview, Holiday reminisces on her obsession with baking and cooking shows, revealing how baking has become an outlet that allows her to de-stress. She explains “I’ve always enjoyed baking, I enjoy the creativity that comes with baking and of course the deliciousness!”
Holiday shares how her busy schedule this semester means she has not been able to spend as much time in the kitchen as she would like. She talks about how during the pandemic lock-down, she found herself cooking a lot. “During the lockdown, I spent a lot of time baking. It helped keep me distracted and really got me through the lock-down. Actually, I baked so much that I would found myself baking for family, friends, and even my neighbors. I loved it!”
Due to all the time Holiday had on her hands, she was able to begin posting her pastries on her Instagram account (@giannanholiday). She says “During Covid, I was really active on my Instagram account, posting everything I’d bake. Suddenly, I began to receive products from different companies, asking for me to use their product, so I would! I would post recipes and product reviews for companies. Slowly but surely, something that was once a hobby, began to turn itself into a business and I began to make money. I realized that during a really hard time when people were losing their jobs, I was able to see God’s provision in my life! It was truly a blessing!”
Holiday shares how she is open to the idea of turning her passion for baking into a job, but her first priority is graduating. She shares and encourages all VU students to prioritize their mental health and spend time doing things that make them happy. As a token of Holiday’s love, she shares her favorite recipe with all of us, her famous CHOCOLATE CHIP TAHINI BLONDIES!
1 + 3/4 cup almond flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1+ 3/4 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
2/3 cup tahini
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup full fat coconut milk
1/3 cup melted and cooled ghee or coconut oil
Extra: 1 cup chocolate chips.
1.Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease an 8×8 baking pan and line with parchment paper.
2.In a medium sized bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients and set aside.
3.In a high speed blender or mixing bowl, whisk together all wet ingredients until smooth and creamy.
4.Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir until no four spots show. Fold in chocolate chips.
5.Transfer batter to prepared pan and smooth down top with a spatula. Sprinkle extra chocolate chips on top!
6.Bake for 25-28 min or until edges are golden brown. Cool in the pan for 30 min before serving.