Philip and I are now entering our third Christmas season together as a married couple and have, as of this weekend, completed our second annual Hoerr Family Confectionary (est. 2013) candy-making extravaganza! We pull out all the stops with labels, candy boxes, and as much candy as we can squeeze into a day. It’s fun to then be able to share that candy throughout the Christmas season with neighbors, family, and friends.
While we may have thrown out more caramel than we actually were able to use and had a couple too many mid-candy-making grocery runs, the rest of the candy was success on the first try. I feel like we are officially stocked until Valentine’s Day. #dietitiansworstnightmare
But you know what was the best part (well, besides taste testing far too much of our final products)?! Fully putting to use our new, updated kitchen! It was our Christmas present to each other this year, and exactly one year after we closed on our first home, we were able to enjoy it to the fullest. Now…what’s on our Year Two list? ;)
I know I hinted at giving you a full glimpse at our kitchen awhile back (sorry, the time has gotten away from me!), but I’m happy to show you the finished result now!
We changed out the countertops to add a little bit more personality, movement, and durability.
We added a backsplash to bring a pop of color to the kitchen — it’s a mix of modern stainless steel with glass and stone.
Perhaps one of my favorite updates is the new kitchen sink, though. It’s deep, it’s quasi-industrial, and I absolutely love it. Pans fit in it with no problem and I am no longer getting splashed with my carelessness.
As a person who is in the kitchen 75% of the time that I’m home, this kitchen has been fully appreciated already.
And that completes the virtual tour of our new kitchen. :)
Now where was I? Oh yes, candy-making. I think the last thing I said to Philip as I was falling asleep (at, uh, like 8:30 p.m.) on Saturday was, “I think I ate too much candy today.”
So, in case you’ve had a few too many cookies or chocolate or whatever it may be this holiday season as well, I have the perfect remedy for you today: Holiday Pear-Pomegranate Salsa. It’s fresh, festive, and has no sugar added (unlike the other tempting holiday treats we’re surrounded by this time of year)! Just five simple ingredients — that’s it. This is one flavor-packed salsa that I can’t help but eat scoops of with a spoon — the tortilla chips just weren’t cutting it.
This Holiday Pear-Pomegranate Salsa is full of color from the bright red pomegranate and the green cilantro. The pomegranate arils (the name of the pomegranate seeds) bring texture and a slight crunch to the salsa and burst open with flavor as you bite into the them.
I’ve also decided that pears and pomegranates are a match that are just meant to be. The sweetness of the pear blends so well with the sweet-tang of the pomegranate. Seriously, my husband and I can’t get enough of this super simple, yet delicious salsa. Not to mention, this is one festive treat that your body will feel good about.
I know, many of you may have written this salsa off at the thought of having to figure out how to de-seed a pomegranate. I promise it’s very simple, it’s quick to do, you won’t splatter red juice all over yourself, and it’s actually kind of fun.
Here are four simple steps to removing the arils from the pomegranate (you don’t eat the white membranes in the pomegranate, just the pretty seeds):
- Cut deep slits through the pomegranate, dividing it into quarters. You can also cut all the way through the pomegranate if you’re having trouble opening the pomegranate. Fill a large bowl half way with water.
- Pry open the pomegranate and remove the seeds from the peel and membrane under water. This will keep the pomegranate from splattering onto your countertops (and you!). The membranes will float to the top and the arils will sink to the bottom, making it easy to pick out the membranes when you’re done.
- Once you have picked out all the arils, skim the membranes from the top of the water with your hands. There may be some bits of membrane stuck to arils that have sunk to the bottom of the water; you can search for these or just leave them until you drain the pomegranates.
- Once you have most of the membranes removed, pour out the remaining membrane bits floating around in the water before using a mesh strainer to collect all the arils.
That’s it! Easy enough, right? You cannot make this salsa soon enough, trust me! This salsa is great to bring to a holiday party, but you may want to make a double batch, because you won’t be taking any leftovers home afterwards. :)
Holiday Pear-Pomegranate Salsa
Serves 6 (1/2 cup each)
- 2 pears, cored and diced
- Arils of 1 fresh pomegranate
- 1/2 red onion, finely diced
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- Juice from 1/2 of a fresh lime
- Tortilla chips, for serving
- Combine pears with pomegranate arils, onion, cilantro and lime juice in a bowl. Serve with tortilla chips.
- Enjoy immediately or store in a sealed container for up to 2 days.