Friday, July 9, 2010

Tomato appetizers, Pumpkin butterscotch cookies and an Octopus?Oh My!

Since we are suppose to join friends of ours at the park for a picnic this weekend I was working on an appetizer, as well as some goodies. Thought I'd share these two recipes today. Of course now the weather is calling for rain, which we desperately need, so I extended the invitation to come to my house if so. I think I do like to stress myself LOL. This may be a lengthy post today, but lots to share. I hope you'll join me.

Cucumber Stuffed Cherry tomatoes:

24 cherry (or grape) tomatoes
1 pkg ( 3 oz) cream cheese softened
2 Tbsp mayonnaise  ( I have left this out also so my daughter can enjoy these and it still tastes great)
1/4 cup finely chopped peeled cucumber
1 Tbsp. finely chopped green onion
2 tsp. minced fresh dill

Cut a thin slice off top of tomato. Scoop out and discard the pulp; invert tomatoes onto a paper towel to drain. In a small bowl, combine cream cheese and mayonnaise until well mixed, stir in cucumber, onion and dill. Spoon into tomatoes. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
These are great for picnics!

Next we made egg free Pumpkin Butterscotch Cookies.
At the holidays I buy extra cans of pumpkin to keep in my pantry. As you may have noticed it's almost impossible finding canned pumpkin at this time of the year. I was told in the stores it's considered a seasonal item.

This is a fun one to have the kids make, the texture is VERY sticky, but very fun! They loved getting their hands into it. LOL

1/2 cup butter softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup pumpkin
1 tsp Vanilla
2 cups flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 cups butterscotch chips (morsels)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Cream butter and sugar together (I do this in my standing Kitchen aid mixer which I love!)
Add pumpkin and vanilla
In a separate bowl stir together dry ingredients.
Add to butter mixture and stir. (I continue on in mixer)
Fold in butterscotch chips (By hand)
Drop by spoonful (or child's hands ;-) onto a greased cookie sheet (A little tip I found wax paper to be a much better choice for these cookies, they don't burn that way. Also easy cleanup, just toss the wax paper away!)
Bake about 8-10 mins. watching carefully until lightly browned around edges. They will kinda look uncooked but it is right, if they cook too long they get hardened.
Allow to cool.
Enjoy! Sweet and soooo yummy! You can also freeze these well.

Today for the girls activities we talked about sea creatures and water. I taught them two fun finger plays.

I'm glad we have water.
I jump and splash and swish! (jump, and pretend to splash)
I dive down in the water (Use hands pretend to dive)
And play that I'm a fish. (wiggle)

See the little fish
swimming in the sea (wiggle hand)
Wiggle, wiggle goes his tail
As he swims to me (point to self)
My face goes in the water.
And what do you suppose?
That squiggly little fish (wiggle hand)
And I are nose to nose! (point to nose)

The younger kids especially have a great time acting this out.

Then we made our own Octopus and got creative!

Basic supplies were:

Brown lunch bag ( you can also use grocery size for a bigger one)
stuffing or crumpled up paper works.
construction paper
Wiggly eyes large are optional, my girls liked painting on their own faces.
Stuff  lunch bag with stuffing or crumbled paper
Make legs (accordion style or however the child would like)
Put legs inside bag partially with stuffing and tape well.
Let the kids choose colors and paint.

We start with a basic form, but I really encourage the kids to be creative with how they want to do it. I don't believe in any project having to follow an example, no imagination in that!

They had a great time, and decided these will probably hang in their rooms for awhile. The suns we hung up on the front door facing in. They always make me smile!

I want to thank you for stopping by my blog and for the lovely comments each of you have left. If you are a new visitor, please leave a comment and introduce yourself, I'd love to meet you! For follow up about my post the other day, about having things perfect, I sometimes feel that's a burden all of us as women tend to share. I do feel when I go away for the weekend or on vacation everything has to be in place and cleaned up before we leave. I know I enjoy coming home to a clean, Serene surrounding. But I think that's also part of my job as a homemaker. Sure it may be stressful, but what job in life isn't? As Mom's we care so much, we want everything to be just right for our families. While they may not always show it, I know they appreciate it. Like last year we went for a whole week to Disney World. By the third day my oldest daughter said, boy Mom I sure miss your cooking! She was finding that eating out was making her feel unwell. I cook a lot of our meals because my youngest has a severe egg allergy. I must give very high regards to Walt Disney World as far as accommodating allergies. I talked to people ahead for each of our reservations, there is even a link to get an ingredient list for all restaurants there. They were amazing to my daughter and I can't even tell you what that meant to me. I stress keeping her safe, because I love her so very much. My girls are my everything. So while it's o.k. to want things nice and tidy and perfect, just remember the most important thing we can give our children is love and ourselves. If we don't take care of ourselves, we won't be here to help, love and raise them. My sister in laws Mother was the same way...type A. Then she developed colon cancer and she sat me down one day and said. "I use to worry what my home looked like, that my floors were scrubbed, cushions fluffed, beds made, food prepared and then I learned my time was limited and suddenly I didn't care about all that anymore, I just focused on the living and you should do the same" She died barely a year later, 16 years ago, but I still remember those words when I'm trying to do it all. I will never be totally "cured" of the pleasing everyone, perfect curse, but I have started to realize how slowing down and just enjoying them is so important too. The time they are little is so short, the dishes can wait, their not going anywhere. LOL

Wanted to share this poem with you all. For anyone who is around children, or raising children or grandchildren this is very thought provoking.

Children Learn What They Live
By: Dorothy Law Nolte

If a child lives with criticism, they learn to condemn
If a child lives with hostility, they learn to fight
If a child lives with fear, they learn to be apprehensive
If a child lives with pity, they learn to feel sorry for themselves
If a child lives with ridicule, they learn to feel shy
If a child lives with jealousy, they learn to feel envy
If a child lives with shame, they learn to feel guilty
If a child lives with encouragement, they learn confidence
If a child lives with tolerance, they learn patience
If a child lives with praise, they learn appreciation
If a child lives with acceptance, they learn to love
If a child lives with approval, they learn to like themselves
If a child lives with recognition, they learn it's good to have a goal
If a child lives with sharing, they learn generosity
If a child lives with honesty, they learn truthfulness
If a child lives with fairness, they learn justice
If a child lives with kindness and consideration, they learn respect
If a child lives with security, they learn to have faith in themselves and in those about them
If a child lives with friendliness, they learn that the world is a nice place in which to live.

I have always enjoyed this poem. It's not about the toys we can give them, it;'s about the values we teach them, and the people we are raising them to be. No one is perfect, and we all learn lessons each day, but if we try our best and do our best, then we are already ahead. What are you teaching the children in your lives?


Sheila said...

I think you are on the right track with slowing down--you will know when you need to do that more. Just enjoy your girls while you can--I can't believe my girls are 21 and 24 already. It goes by in the blink of an eye. It took a cancer scare for me to realize what was most important.
Pumpkin and butterscotch--yum!!! Did you know that canned pumpkin is good for dogs with tummy troubles? I keep some on hand just for that.
Love the octopi. I hope y'all have a lovely weekend. Sheila

Kat said...

Hi Jill I looked through your blog your little girls are just precious. What fun!
Your recipes sound delicious. I occasionally post recipes to my blog as well.
I hope you have a wonderful weekend! hugs

Camille said...

OH Jill...I am "Type A" too...I understand!! wonderful to learn to let some things slide and focus in the more important things. I can happily report that things are moving in the right direction in that department for me...maybe it's the homeschooling of four that did it! LOL! That poem is great...oh yes, what ARE we teaching! Good reminders. Thank you!

Have a lovely weekend.

Moriah @ Please Pass the Salt said...

Oooh, I love pumpkin!

mer@lifeat7000feet said...

Both of those recipes look YUMMY! I want to try the tomato one this week!

Angie Berry said...

You made me hungry for cookies, so I had to go bake some chocolate chip. Yum!

That is wise advice for sure. I realize this more and more as I mature... I don't like to use the term "grow old". It is so true how time passes by quicker as you age. That is the main reason I quit my part-time job this month to stay home with my kids. You know what? I truly feel that God has blessed our family for making this decision. The income lost is not even felt at all. It is amazing!