Happy New Year to everyone!
I've been MIA from my blog for a whole month now. WOW! I can't believe how fast December whizzed by. But hey, at least I took some pictures to share with everyone. And, I'm back now and so are my etsy shops which were on vacation mode for several weeks so that I could enjoy the holidays with my family and decrease my computer time.
Pic #1 - It actually snowed on Christmas Eve! That's really exciting for East Texas. It doesn't snow here very often anyway, but for it to snow on Christmas Eve was exciting. Of course, it didn't stick or even snow for very long. But it was enough for my son to declare this the best Christmas ever!
Pic #2 - Our Christmas tree this year. We had to get a new one because our old one was REALLY old and some of the limbs were barely hanging on. So, we got one of the new LED lighted trees. They are suppose to use much less electricity, the bulbs don't get hot and it's prelit. YAY! I didn't have to string lights this year. It was awesome! Plus, our new tree is taller than our old one and really pretty.
Pic #3 - This is my favorite ornament and has been since I bought it. Every year we all go down to the Hallmark store (I know, I know, it's not handmade) and pick a new ornament for our tree. It's something that my husband and I started doing when we got married 18 years ago and we do it now with our son. We have had this snowman nesting ornament for several years and I never thought about why I like it so much but my son pointed out to me this year that it's because it's our family. The daddy snowman is on top, the mom in the middle and the "baby" is on bottom. I think he's right. That is why I like it so much.
Pic #4 - My son's tree for his room. He decorated it himself with leftover ornaments and toys from his room. He used a Bionicle for the "star" and put Bakugan and Chaotic cards on the branches. I thought it was great. It's also kinda funny that he's the same height as the tree, isn't it?
Pic #5 - Granny and Papa (my in laws). That's their happy look. But they are great grandparents and Ben loves them very much. :)
Pic #6 - I made these peas for our Christmas lunch but they were sooooooo goooooood that I ended up making them again for New Year's weekend. I got the recipe from allrecipes.com. It's my favorite website for recipes mostly because they are posted by regular people so the ingredients are not fancy schmany things that cost alot but you only use alittle of to make your dish. I've tried many recipes from thefoodnetwork.com and even Rachel Ray's show but they always involve strange ingredients or liquors that causes the guy at the liquor store to look at me like I'm nuts because I'm asking for apple-peanut butter flavored whisky or something equally weird.
Here is the recipe. The only thing I changed was I used Rotel instead of the can of whole tomatoes and I didn't puree them, I just dumped them in along with everything else. It's really more of a black eyed pea soup. The ham makes it really hearty and with cornbread, it is delicious!
1 pound dry black-eyed peas
2 cups chopped cooked ham
salt and pepper to taste
1 pinch garlic powder
2 onions, diced
1 (14.5 ounce) can whole tomatoes (used Rotel instead)
Place black-eyed peas in 8 quart pot. Add enough water to fill pot 3/4 full. Stir in ham and diced onions, and season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Place tomatoes in a blender or food processor, and blend until the tomatoes are liquefied. Add tomatoes to pot. Bring all ingredients to boil. Cover the pot, and simmer on low heat for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, or until the peas are tender.
I'm looking forward to 2010. I hope everyone has had a great New Year and that the year continues to be blessed.