The proof's in the pudding

The above photo captures the craziness of packing for a two week-ish vacation in multiple locations and climate types. Snow gear and sandals pretty much sums it up.

THIS is what was happening during the aforementioned nightmare of packing. Yuuuummm.

We had ourselves a merry little Christmas before we left to see our friends and families.



I'm sorry about this photo. I was happy. and comfortable.
The lovely sight of a foot of snow piled on top of Barrett's jeep was our greeting in Hendersonville the next evening. That, and a belly scratch for Stella: we scraped semi-frozen snow all the way up the road to Andrew's parents' house!

My favorite: these evergreen trees in Granna and Grandaddy's yard were resplendent with the white lights softly glowing underneath the snow!

Just gorgeous!

Boys will be boys: Andrew, Barrett & Collin building a "tunnel" to sled through.
Ah, the first taste of success! I love how the youngest is always the guinea pig. ;)

My angel. The snow was a bit crispy on top, so instead of fluffy powder to whisk around to make an angel, it was more like pounding my arms into the frozen, crunchy layer to get it to make an imprint. Still, it worked!

The gorgeous view from the top of the golf course...this was post hiney bashing, so I was more into taking in my beautiful surroundings than sitting my sore bum down on any more zinging sleds.

The crazies :)

Fast forward to New Year's Eve at the Cooper's John's Island getaway: friends, football, food, and fchampagne (the "f" is silent.......right....).

I just love him! Happy 2010, darling!

And this.

This creamy, steamy, dreamy tomato soup.

It's not for the faint of heart or anyone trying to zip their skinny jeans.

Here's the recipe. I made it up. It's good. The measurements are more approximations, but don't let that scare you. Let your taste buds lead the way!

2 cans stewed tomatoes (or one big can of Granna's tomatoes)

1 can tomato paste

1 can tomato soup (any brand will do)

2 cans chicken broth or 3ish cups of homemade broth (like from bouillon, etc.)

2-3 shallots, diced

1/2 stick of butter (you heard me.)

1 pint heavy cream (you heard me.)

fresh or dried basil, to taste

oregano, to taste

rosemary, to taste

ground black pepper, to taste

salt, to taste

cayenne pepper, to taste


In a large pot or cast iron oven (they hold heat very well and heat evenly, too!), saute diced shallots in melted butter over medium heat. When shallots are clearish and aromatic, add tomato paste stirring until shallots and butter are incorporated. Add chicken broth and canned tomato soup. Stirrrrrr it up. In a food processor, pulse HALF of your stewed tomatoes until it is a thick liquid-y consistency. Add that and the rest of your tomatoes to the pot. Mix it all up making sure to break up any major chunks of tomatoes. Add the heavy cream and mix everything together, adding spices as you go. When you add the cayenne pepper, add a little and let the soup simmer for a few minutes, then taste again. The heat brings out the heat, if you know what I mean, so go low and slow. When you think it tastes just about perfect, turn the heat up to a simmer for about 15 minutes. Serve with warm ooey-gooey grilled cheese and enjoy!!

Trust me. It's that good.


  1. That soup looks sooooo good! Happy New Year! You are cute as a button! :)

  2. Agree with lunberjackswife! And what a great Christmas you had. Lots of fun with family, friends and good food. XXOXOXOXXO

  3. a) I just love you.
    b) Let's hang out again soon.
    c) I've been looking for creamy dreamy soup.... so thanks.