The namesake of this blog, my niece (Codename: Chunklet), is turning two years old today! She’s such a happy baby who loves chasing cats but can also softly stroke their fur, place her ear against their bodies, and grin at the sound of their purring.She’s very independent and has taken to feeding us bits of her food (when she’s finished with it!) Chunklet loves to slide down playground slides both on her bottom and backwards on her stomach! On her surprise visit to Chicago this week, Chunklet discovered her love of taro mini-pearl bubble tea:She loves drawing on all surfaces (including my walls!) and loves to play dress up!However, anything Yo Gabba Gabba related will make Chunklet ignore the world around her. Knowing this, I wanted to do something special for her. I got the insane idea to: 1) make my own marshmallow fondant, 2) dye the fondant myself, and 3) create Yo Gabba Gabba fondant faces to place on top of Chunklet’s birthday cupcakes! For my first attempt at working with fondant, I followed a simple marshmallow fondant recipe. Here’s the finished fondant faces!And, for those of you unfamiliar with Yo Gabba Gabba, the green monster Brobee is made from piped green frosting because he has fur. Chunklet’s favorite is Plex, the yellow robot, so I included the most of that character.
Today is also the Forever Nigella: Salad Days! deadline.And, no joke, this salad was made truly at the last minute. For those who don’t know, my friend (Codename: Candelabra) loves Nigella but doesn’t have time to write a blog (being a surgeon and all). However, she does her best to cook along each month and will send me her results for me to post. It was probably a good thing that this month’s theme was salad because as of Saturday, we hadn’t decided which of Nigella’s salads to make. With little time left, we felt the easiest route was to go with Nigella’s antioxidant fruit salad. Here’s my result:The only problem for me was the pomegranate. The grocery store I went to didn’t have any in stock. I did the next best thing and bought a certain “POM”egranate juice in a recognizable bottle. However, my sister (Codename: Chunklet’s mom) said that 100% pure pomegranate juice could be a bit tart to drink, so I was better off getting the 100% blueberry pomegranate juice instead. I thought that would still fit in with the antioxidant salad because I was already putting in fresh blueberries as the recipes states. To add a bit of color, I also included one kiwi and a handful of organic strawberries.This was a very yummy salad, perfect for breakfast, lunch or even a light dinner if paired with a grain. It’s probably one of the easier salads that can be made for one or two people, and only chopping is required for assembly. You really can’t beat the ease and sweetness of this healthy salad! As an added bonus, no fattening dressing is required!
Here’s Candelabra’s thoughts:
First… where to find pomegranates in my town? Mangos and blueberries not a problem.But pomegranates? I went the nearest fancy food store and did not find anything labeled “pomegranates.” Now, I’ve not used pomegranates before, but was vaguely familiar with what they looked like. I found something labeled “unifruit 1 for $1.99.” They kinda looked like pomegranates. But unifruit? What the?? So I checked around, looked at some of the nearby bottles containing pomegranate juice and they seemed to match the pictures. So in the basket they went.Once I got home, I looked up a few youtube videos on how to seed a pomegranate. There is one by a Persian lady that is extremely helpful and seemingly the least messy. So I followed her instructions and SURPRISE!! Unifruit = pomegranate.
The process of seeding the pomegranate was perhaps the most satisfying exercise in this whole experience. Maybe just the challenge of getting the seeds out without making a huge mess. Like doing a dissection with minimal blood loss. Very rewarding. And they were the most stunning things I had ever seen. I will definitely be using these again…not so much for their antioxidant properties. But because the seeds are so… pretty.Cutting mangos, check (something most Filipinos can probably do pretty easily). Blueberries and a squeeze of lime juice. Because the mangos were not as ripe as I would have liked combined with the tartness of the pomegranate seeds, I thought it would be a bit too tart. But to my surprise, it all worked very well. A simple fruit salad, very refreshing. I would make this again.To see this month’s round-up of “Salad Days!” Nigella recipes, head over to this month’s host, Belleau Kitchen or Forever Nigella!