Thursday, May 19, 2011

Preschool Picnic Potluck

Today was my daughter's last day of preschool and her class celebrated with a picnic at the pond.  As you other moms out there know all to well the first question is what will we bring to the picnic?  I ran across this recipe that I used at a picnic years ago and decided to use it again today.  I must say it was a huge hit and with summer upon us and Memorial Day and 4th of July picnics around the corner, I thought I would share this recipe with you.  These ladybugs are a great way to get your little one to eat tomatos! Great for your next bug themed party!
Ladybug Appetizers
Taken from Taste Of Home's Quick Cooking Magazine July/August 2002
2 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 TBSP sour cream
1/2 tsp snipped chives
1/8 tsp minced parsley
1/8 tsp garlic salt
Black paste food coloring
36 butter flavored crackers
18 cherry tomatoes, quartered
18 large pitted ripe olives
72 fresh chive pieces (about 1 1/2 inches long)
In a small mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add sour cream, chives, parsley and garlic salt; mix well.  Place 1 TBSP in a small plastic bag and tint black; set aside.
Spread remaining cream cheese mixture on crackers.  Arrange two tomato quarters on each for the ladybug wings.  For heads, halve the olives width wise; place one half on each cracker. Insert two chives into olives for antennae.  Use tinted cream cheese mixture to pipe spots onto wings. Yield: 3 dozen.

Now I am a busy mom, so I took a few short cuts. I did not count out the tomatos or the chives, so go easy on yourself.  I also did not pipe the black dots on - I simply mixed some in a bowl and used a toothpick to dot it on.  While the dots may not have been perfectly round, preschoolers don't mind!

I would love to hear how your ladybugs were a hit at your next gathering!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Daily Inspiration from a 4 Year Old

This is the time of year that mother's begin recieving those special handmade gifts from their kids.  I just recieved one such gift from my four-year-old daughter.  It was a marigold that her preschool teacher helped her lovingly plant in a play-doh cup.  My daughter had decorated the cup and on it were the words, "I love my mom because she makes me oatmeal for breakfast."
I can't begin to tell you how many days I make the oatmeal for her on auto-pilot. I am so busy getting everyone out the door in the morning I don't stop and think about the oatmeal. While I do want to be sure to send my kids out the door with a full belly, and since we live in Montana, something warm in them is a big plus, more often then not, it is simply a bowl of instant oatmeal I have heated in the microwave.   Before I was a stay at home mom, I was a social worker and I placed kids in foster care.  I now take for granted that my daughter starts her day with something warm in her tummy. There are so many kids out there that don't have that luxury.  I am blessed with knowing my daughter does not take her oatmeal for granted and I am thankful to her for reminding me that it truly is the simple everyday joys that we often take for granted that make life worthwhile.
Happy Mother's Day to all you Moms out there. Please feel free to share your favorite saying or everyday joy from your child with us.