Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

I never really felt ready before the big day arrived, and now that it's over, I just can't believe that Christmas has come and gone for 2015!  My little family has had an adventurous and productive two weeks. The kids, of course, are out of school and home for the Christmas break. Evan also took some extended time away from work and we've been able to spend an unusual amount of free-time together as an family. 

I didn't really know how this hyper-active bunch of mine would do with so much togetherness, but it's truly been a lot of fun. I think we surprised ourselves at how well we've worked together with not just hours or days, but weeks to spend at home as an ensemble. 


Cinnamon Rice Pudding

The other night I had the most intense and sudden craving for something I haven't had in few years: my mom's rice pudding. I'm not sure what triggered it, but once the thought was in my head there was nothing left to do except go make some. I was even completely willing to pack up the kids for an emergency trip to the store if it was necessary! Fortunately, I had these few ingredients on-hand in my kitchen, so we were able to skip the family joyride to the supermarket that evening.

My mom used to cook a little bit of this rice pudding for herself whenever we had leftover buttered rice from dinner. I remember questioning her about what she was making and thinking she had lost a couple of marbles. As a kid, white rice cooked in milk and sugar never sounded all that fantastic. Not at all. But, after several unsuccessful attempts to bait me, she finally talked me into taking a bite. Mom was right (trust me, she didn't hear that very often back then!) and I was immediately hooked by the creamy, richness of her old-fashioned, rice pudding.


New Look and One Happy Lady!

Good morning, everybody! Just a quick post to acknowledge that you are definitely looking at a new and improved blog design here at this address. I hired a wonderfully patient, honest and talented designer by the name of Lynsey Betz at Shiny Magic Design and I just love what's she done with the place!

One of the main improvements I wanted to add was a more visible share bar and a print function for the recipes posts. I got that as well as a whole new style and some gorgeous girly-girl colors which suits me perfectly. 

Easy Fire-Roasted Tomato Soup

Brrr! The chilly winter weather has finally reached us in South Texas. I know that the winter days we experience here can be pretty mild compared to other locations, but I look forward to it all year long. It's been really, really warm here until now. In fact, it's been so warm and humid, that the pesky mosquitoes were still flying and biting just last week! We couldn't wait for the temperature to drop, if for no other reason, just so those obnoxious, little tormentors would move on.

I think these few weeks of cold weather we have each year are so fun and it's a wonderful break from the agonizing heat we have here most of the year. We get to wear our beanies and coats and we get to fall in love again with rich, hearty soups and stews to help warm us back up.

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