Not all fish have souls.

Cucumber Salad

It’s a big day! (For me! And Canadians!) As of today, if you don’t count one poorly-timed pulled pork sandwich (I was in Memphis! At Neely’s! I still feel guilt about that stinking pulled pork sandwich!), I have been a vegetarian for one year! As of today, I will no longer say, “I don’t eat meat.” Instead, I will say, “I’m a vegetarian.” (In my head, it takes a year for the transformation. Obviously, I have no idea what the rules are.) ((Happy Canada Day!!!))

This is my third attempt at vegetarianism, but this time around I’m noticing a difference. My two other tries often found me sitting by a steak-eating friend and thinking, “Hrm. That looks great, but I can’t have it.” This time around, I’m finding that I don’t WANT it. Huge difference.

Also on the plus side? I’m down about fifteen pounds from last year at this time, I rarely get the “My stomach hurts so badly I can’t straighten my back.” thing, and while most people shove approximately twenty seven chickens into their mouth each year (I read it online, so it must be true!), I’ve let my chickens walk. You’re welcome, chickens!

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If life gives you bananas, make ice cream!

I joined Pinterest about a week ago. (I believe you can see my pins here. At least I think you can. I’m still learning.)

Anyway. Sheri from The Loopy Ewe pinned this recipe for One Ingredient Ice Cream, and I was So Intrigued. (Ice cream made from bananas. Nothing more! Just bananas! It’s vegan and totally healthy ice cream that you can feed your kids for breakfast! How can anyone tell you that you can’t be whatever you want to be when there are bananas out there who are becoming ice cream?! Follow your dreams, children of the world!!!)

Before I tell you how to make One Ingredient Ice Cream, let me say this: I’m not sure why, but it cracks me up when people put frames around photos of food. I know it’s not supposed to be a comical thing, but to me? Side-splitting. Please know that as I picked up colors from within my banana photographs and created frames from those colors, I was having the time of my life. (I’ve never felt this way before.)

Let’s get started. Take four bananas, slice them up, and freeze them for an hour or so. (I went with Or So. Four hours. Also, my bananas were on the edge of darkness. And that’s okay.)


Take the frozen banana slices and throw them into your food processor. (If you don’t have a food processor, go get yourself a food processor! I have no idea how much they cost. Jeff’s parents gave us ours a few years back, because I was craving homemade salsa, which I made exactly once after receiving the food processor.) Start pulsing the bananas. Pulse. Pulse. Pulse. Fun Fact: The normal pulse rate of a Yorkshire Terrier is 100 to 150 beats per minute!

Banana Rocks!

You’ll notice as you pulse that the bananas start turning into tiny rocks and working their way up the side of the container! This bothered me, but don’t let it bother you! Just grab a spatula and scrape the banana rocks off the sides and push them back down by the blade. Continue pulsing and scraping and before you know it, the banana rocks turn into ice cream!!!

Banana Ice Cream!

Look at that! Seriously! When you’ve achieved Ice Cream Consistency, you may stop and eat. (Or put it in a container and keep it in the freezer.) However, we didn’t stop. We added a tablespoon (or more) of Nesquik (because Dutch process chocolate was too expensive and I already had Nesquik!) and a few spoonfuls of peanut butter. (Why do I want to say spoonsful instead of spoonfuls? Spoonsful? Yes? No?)

With chocolate and peanut butter!

When all is said and done, my kids would much rather go to the store and purchase a container of “real” ice cream than eat ice cream made from bananas. Me? I prefer the banana! My next batch will not hold chocolate or peanut butter. Instead, I believe I’m going to add strawberries and pineapple with maybe a touch of coconut? Perhaps a batch with just bananas and pretzels?! Imagine the possibilities!


Dogs can eat bananas, and as you know, I never miss the opportunity to share a photo of Scout, who will be four months old on Thursday! The End! ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

Cake Balls and Dog Dreams

How nice is it that as of now, 100% of the comments to my previous post were supportive? I really do appreciate your thoughts and opinions and funny stories. Come over to my house. I made a batch of cake balls. Let’s eat them.

Really. I made a batch of cake balls.

Purple Cake Balls!

They’re purple with pink stripes and white cake with white icing and I’ve eaten at least four of them today.

Jeff is on a business trip in Florida. As I sit here typing, he is eating breakfast at Downtown Disney.

(I made a batch of cake balls. Let’s eat them.)

This has nothing to do with that: When Meredith was three years old, she got really angry with me one afternoon, and she screamed, “I’m going to poop on your pillow, and then I’m going to poop on your wedding rings!!!” (Please know that when I’m especially frustrated, I tell Jeff that I’m going to poop on his wedding ring. Please also know that I would never actually do such a thing, as I am Refined. Like sugar.)

Anyway, Scout has been going through a phase in which she likes to do her business in the girls’ bedroom. (On the floor. Never on Meredith’s pillow.) To me, it’s a taste of What Goes Around Comes Around or Spinning Wheel Got to Go Round or something to that effect. (Speaking of which, I never did get a spinning wheel. The fever has settled for now, as I’m having trouble finding time to use my spindle, which leads me to believe that I really have no time to deal with a wheel right now.)

Why am I not spinning? Because I’m spending most of my waking hours with this:

Conehead Nap

Scout has discovered that she can’t really do much with the cone around her face. She tends to knock her food dish over with the cone, so I have to feed her by hand. She can’t run full speed under the couch while wearing the cone, so I have to help her find alternate hiding places. When she takes a drink, she slobbers onto the cone, and then it drips onto her neck when she lifts her face up—and she can’t scratch her neck because of the cone, so I’m constantly having to wipe OUT the cone and scratch her neck! (I know. I’m creating a monster.) ARGH! Scout HAS discovered a bit of a coping mechanism, and that is: Naps. Naps filled with dreams of what she COULD be doing while wearing that stinking cone.

She could be walking on the moon. (She has always been a fan of The Police.)

Scout on the Moon

She could be One Less Lonely Girl at a Justin Bieber concert.

Scout is One Less Lonely Girl

Best of all, she could be Ira Glass’s dangling earring, which would allow her to whisper sweet somethings into his ear. (Sweet nothings are for amateurs. Scout is a woman of substance. Valentin Louis Georges Eugène Marcel Proust!)

Scout is Ira Glass's Earring!

(As Mr. Glass performs in St. Louis on Saturday evening, Peter Gabriel will be performing in Kansas City. Missouri wins the Saturday Night Coolness Award.)

((Meanwhile, the cone comes off tomorrow morning. You’ll probably hear our rejoicing all the way over there.)) ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

The Week Ahead

Do you remember when I was trying to finish up the shawl for my migraine doctor?

Finish it, I did.


My appointment was last Tuesday, and my doctor (who always asks what I’ve been knitting) was pleasantly surprised and loved the shawl and wants me to give Maxalt another shot as this week’s triptan! (Yes! It’s Migraine Week at Fluid Pudding! Roll out the Dairy Queen Blizzards and the unpredictable moods! I’m laughing! No, I’m not!!! I’m crying! Ice on my head and heat on my neck!!!)

This week is also the beginning of our school’s summer enrichment program, where Meredith will be learning Spanish and participating in American Girl activities. (This has nothing to do with the Tom Petty tune and everything to do with age-appropriate historical fiction. In other words, when the class ends in three weeks, Meredith won’t be standing on a balcony out on 441. Instead, she’ll probably be begging us to take a trip to Chicago for a doll with whom she’ll never play.)

Meanwhile, Harper will be learning percussion in her morning class, and in the afternoon she’ll be part of Book Cooks—where she’ll read stories and follow recipes and make snacks. (Have I mentioned that summer enrichment is pretty awesome?)

While the girls are being enriched, I’ll be jumping into the last of my freelance for the summer and following up with my hip surgeon. (Thank God for Photoshop. Without it, the scar on my hip would surely stomp out any Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue possibilities!) Also, Scout will be participating in her second obedience class on Wednesday before her ovariohysterectomy on Friday. (They grow up so quickly!) On Saturday, we’ll end our fostership and become her official adoptive parents just in time for Harper to attend a mani/pedi party.

One last thing: I made a batch of curried green onion hummus using the recipe from Appetite for Reduction, and it’s the very best hummus I’ve ever had. Next week will probably find me following the recipe for horseradish dill hummus or pizza hummus. This vegan thing is not as tricky as I thought it would be.
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Pudding’s Got the Juice, Newton.

I was going to start off by showing you this photo:

First Day of School!

Then I was going to say, “This is the girls on their FIRST day of second grade and kindergarten.”

Then I was going to show you THIS photo:

Last Day of School!

And I was going to say, “This is the girls on their LAST day of second grade and kindergarten.” Then I was going to type something thoughtful like, “Meredith couldn’t speak Mandarin Chinese or write haikus on the first day of school, but now she can!” and “Harper couldn’t read or count by fives on the first day of school, but now she can!”

Ah! But then a big brown truck pulled up in front of my house this afternoon and all of my sentimental madness came to a screeching halt—replaced with what can only be described as Juice Potential. And Juice Potential is an insanely powerful thing.


Yes. My juicer arrived today, and as soon as I opened the box and washed the parts, I took nine carrots and a firmly packed cup of spinach and I made an eight ounce glass of Carrot/Spinach juice. (Despite the fact that the dog treats are right there with the carrots and spinach, I can assure you that they were NOT included in the juice.) ((They’re flavored with salmon, and Scout is crazy about them.))

Carrot Spinach Juice!

Despite how it LOOKS, it actually tasted very good. BUT, I drank it entirely too quickly and I ended up feeling a bit ill for about an hour. I’m telling myself that my “ill” was actually the healing power of the juice going to work on my innards! Feel the cleanse! I CAN SEE IN THE DARK AND LIFT A HYUNDAI TUCSON!!!

Tomorrow I’ll be making Apple/Peach/Grapefruit juice! (1 apple, 2 peaches, and 2 grapefruits will make approximately 2.5 cups of juice!)

Side Note: Every meal I ate today was raw and vegan. Tomorrow is National Doughnut Day. Summer break in action! JUICE!!! DOUGHNUTS!!! (Yes. I still refuse to spell it as “donut”. I also still refuse to put that period inside the quotation marks.) We lack consistency! (Hence: Fluid Pudding.)
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Don’t even get me started on the mosquitoes.

I’m not a fan of the summer. I know you probably are, but I’m most definitely not, and I’m sorry if that means that we can’t be friends. I prefer cold to hot. I prefer chai lattes to fresh lemonade. I hate going to the pool and sweating and having to deal with wearing things that are not cardigans and jeans. (I currently own two pairs of shorts. Both were purchased while I was going through physical therapy a few years back. In other words, I associate Shorts with Pain.) When the temperature rises above eighty degrees fahrenheit, I start feeling dizzy and delicate. I despise sunscreen. I don’t want to go to the park or to Six Flags or anywhere that involves me walking on blacktop. I want crisp air and crunchy leaves and clogs and marching bands, and I want those things every single day! (Excuse me, Jackson Hole, Wyoming. I will change my name to Jackson if you give me a house and let my family live in you free of charge!)

The only thing (perhaps not the ONLY thing—please be patient with me and my drama) that makes summer bearable for me is this:

Tomatoes, etc.!

What you’re seeing here is a bowl of fresh tomatoes and green onions and Parmesan and garlic and sea salt and pepper and basil and the amounts of each ingredient are up to you and it’s pretty amazing by itself, but it’s even better when it gets married to lightly buttered rotini.

Pasta and Tomates, etc.

During the summer months, I make a batch of this stuff at least once each week. Usually more. And when it’s 100 degrees outside, I substitute Xanax powder for the Parmesan and then I park myself on the couch with a cold rag across my head and I dream of winter.

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Stepping it up a notch!

As you may (or may not) know, I haven’t eaten meat in ten and a half months. I didn’t give up meat for ethical reasons (although I tend to be drawn to the people who do), and I didn’t give it up for health reasons (although I tend to feel 93% better when I’m not eating meat). It has been a good run, and I’m actually finding that I’m not craving meat the way I did during my first two tries at becoming a vegetarian.

On Saturday evening, I went to a new friend’s house where I admired buckets of yarn and shared a raw vegan meal. And I know 48 of you are rolling your eyes right now, but hear me out. The meal included red peppers, jícama, pineapple, strawberries, oranges, mango, kiwi, and a nut pâté that was so incredibly good. I walked away from the table feeling So Full and So Healthy, and here’s my plan: One raw vegan meal per day for as long as I can. If I go 100% vegan? Good for me. If not? I’ll forgive myself. All I know is this: After having that meal yesterday evening, the pizza my family ate for dinner this evening didn’t appeal to me in the least. Instead, I had a bean burrito and a bowl of watermelon, and I’m feeling good.

Also, I need a juicer. Why do I need a juicer? I’ll tell you why: I have a funny feeling that carrot and spinach juice would cure my headaches, my cramps, my skin, and my demeanor. Any advice would be appreciated.

School is tricky. And exhausting.

You guys. Scout had her first obedience school session this afternoon. While there, we met her brother and sister and had a mini-playdate in the training area. Three tiny furballs jumping all over each other. My heart? It melted. (I’m sure carrot and spinach juice could fix that. I’m hoping the juice would also give me back my edge. It seems that having a puppy in the house is sort of bringing out the insipidity in me. Not a bad thing, but definitely a Thing.)
This is my final review, and I really want you to win the giveaway! All it takes is a comment with a working e-mail address, and you’re in! Now get over here and watch my kids brush their teeth! ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

Great Balls of Cake!

If you’ve been with me for the past few months, you’ve heard me mention cake balls. If you know what cake balls are and you’re not a fan, I’m about to offer you a hall pass, because there’s not much here for you to see. If you don’t know what cake balls are? Well, it’s Christmas in March, people. Gather around.

I bought the Cake Pops book back in December and have probably made at least a dozen batches of cake balls. In fact, I’m sort of shmooing myself into That Lady Who Always Has Cake Balls. If there’s a trivia night? I’m bringing cake balls. Book club? Cake balls. It’s your birthday? Cake balls. Parent/Teacher Conferences? Cake balls, Cake balls, Cake balls. (I’m proud to report that a friend called with a Cake Ball Emergency a few weeks back, and I was able to provide cake balls. This goes down as one of my proudest moments. 1. Raising kids that don’t suck. 2. Playing Chopin on the piano. 3. Being able to stay calm and deliver during a cake ball emergency.)

Let’s make some cake balls, shall we? The first thing you need to do is bake a cake in a 9 x 13 pan. You can do it by scratch, but I have no idea why you would want to. For this particular batch of cake balls, I baked a Duncan Hines lemon cake. When the cake is done and completely cooled, grab a big bowl and crumble the heck out of the cake. For you, this might be the best part of the process. For me? It’s pretty horrible. I HATE TOUCHING FOOD. Anyway, crumble it until all of the big crumbs are gone. When you’re done, it will look something like this.

Cake #1

Next up? Grab a container of icing. If you have the Cake Pops book, Bakerella has provided a really great grid that lists cake and icing flavors that blend well for the best possible cake balls/pops. For this batch, I went with Lemon Supreme.

Cake #2

And this is where I want to tell you that I normally go in and try to make my photos look good, but this is Migraine Week for me. My migraine hit on Tuesday, and it was at its worst late Wednesday night, and then yesterday afternoon I was hit with some sort of stomach thing and this has nothing to do with that! Back to the cake balls!

Cake #3

Stir no more than 3/4 of the icing container into the cake crumbs. (Helpful hint: Stir using the BACK of the spoon.) If you add the whole container, it’s going to get all goopy, and you definitely do NOT want goopy. When you’re all done stirring it in, it’s going to look like this:

Cake #4

Now the really fun/disgusting part begins. (Once again, this all revolves around your ability to touch food without cringing. These cake balls have been sort of therapeutic for me, I suppose.) It’s time to ball! (What?) Grab a hunk (I hate the word hunk), roll it into about the size of a golf ball, and place it onto a waxed paper lined baking sheet. You’ll notice that your hands start to get gross after about six balls. Please wash them frequently during the balling process. (Hello! Due to that last sentence, I just got 23 hits from people searching for something completely unrelated to cake!) Anyway, frequent hand washing will make the whole thing run a lot more smoothly. (Perhaps I’m projecting. Wash your hands. Wash them. Right now. Go.) One more thing. Don’t roll the cake balls too tightly, if that makes sense. You’re going to be refrigerating them for several hours (or putting them in the freezer for several minutes) and if they’re rolled too tightly, they might crack.

Cake #5

At this point, I normally refrigerate the balls overnight. (I like to spread the cake ball process out over two days. That’s just how I do it. I know a few people who put the balls into the freezer for ten minutes before the dipping phase. It all depends on how much time you have.) Anyway. Onward to the dipping!

I went to Michael’s and bought a bunch of the Wilton’s Candy Melts. They come in a bunch of different colors and are really easy to work with. (I find that it takes about 1 1/3 bags per batch.) If you don’t feel like dealing with that, you can also melt chocolate chips or bark or whatever. (I’ve never done that personally, but I know people who have, and their balls turn out beautifully. I’m no longer trying to be careful about the ball thing. Everyone is welcome at Fluid Pudding.) Anyway.

Here you see a bowl of the melted baking chips and three chilled cake balls ready to be dipped.

Cake #6

Toss a cake ball into the melted chips.

Cake #7

Using a spoon, make sure the ball is completely covered with chocolate/bark/melt/whatever.

Cake #8

CAREFULLY pick it up out of the melted chocolate with the spoon and carefully roll it to the edge of the spoon and sort of tap the excess chocolate off of the spoon. (You’ll develop your own technique in no time. I sort of do a lift Lift LIFT taptaptap motion. Whatever works.)

Cake #10

Roll the ball from the spoon onto another waxed paper lined baking sheet. (If some of the chocolate comes off of the cake ball, you can use your spoon to cover the rough spot with more chocolate. You’ll see what I mean. These things are completely user-friendly.)

Cake 11

After you put a few cake balls onto the baking sheet, feel free to dump sprinkles onto the top or maybe hit them with a different colored icing or whatever strikes you as being sort of fabulous. This particular batch (pink lemonade cake balls) were for Meredith’s Girl Scout troop, so I wanted them to be quirky. Whatever works for you works for the cake balls. Zen. (I always get about 32 cake balls per cake.) NOW, go make some. I would tell you to take a photo and leave a link in the comments so we can all admire your creation, but I know at least three of you who are going to mess this up for everyone. I’m on the couch and hardly in a mood for moderation. (You don’t know this, but this is the roughest you’ve seen me in quite some time. I’m wearing a baseball hat and am severely unshowered.) Cake balls!!!
I am drinking Tropicana Pure Premium and giving away a $100 Visa Gift Card! Leave a comment for your chance to win!

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