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Tag Archive | "watermelon"

From easy art to a sweet treat


Family Features

Spooky, silly or symbolic, carved pumpkins are an essential ingredient to any Halloween celebration. This year, scare up some special fun for your party with a wicked watermelon carving instead—but don’t stop there.

After crafting your watermelon into an artful mummy, take advantage of the healthy, immune-system supporting qualities of the lycopene leader among fresh produce. At 92 percent water, as well as an excellent source of vitamins A and C, watermelon is a hydrating post-art snack.

Carving a creative design into a watermelon is a simple way to kick off the festivities and requires only a handful of common tools. Add a twinkling candle to make a fantastically frightful centerpiece. Or fill it with a fresh fruit salad or salsas for a more functional, practical approach.

Even if you’re planning on a hollowed-out carving, keep the sweet juicy fruit and make it a healthy addition to your Halloween party menu with a recipe that puts to use all your carving leftovers.

To take advantage of all a watermelon has to offer—outside of the fun carving—try Frosted, Frozen Watermelon Balls or Kids Watermelon Pizza Supreme. These fun, simple recipes make it easy to incorporate a healthy snack after all your hard work carving up a Halloween masterpiece.

Find more recipes, carving patterns and inspiration at watermelon.org.

Carving Tips

Prior to carving, read through all of the directions.

Cuts are easiest when the watermelon is at room temperature. Once your handiwork is complete, chill the carving and contents before serving.

After drawing your design on the rind, insert toothpicks in key places to guide your cuts.

A sharp knife with a pointed tip makes the easiest, cleanest cuts.

Remove excess flesh in large pieces, when possible, to allow for easier melon ball or cube creation.

Use round toothpicks or skewers to attach pieces to your design as flat toothpicks are not strong enough to bear the weight or stand up to the thickness of the rind.

Choosing a Watermelon

With a thick rind covering the fruit inside, you may wonder how to choose the best watermelon at the market. Here are some tips for picking the perfect one:

Look it over. Look for a round, oval or oblong shaped watermelon that is free from bruises, cuts or dents.

Lift it up. The watermelon should be heavy for its size. On average, a 5-pound watermelon yields 15 cups of edible fruit.

Turn it over. The underside of the watermelon should have a creamy yellow spot from where it sat on the ground and ripened in the sun.


Supplies and Tools:

Oval or round seedless watermelon

Cutting board

Kitchen knife

Small bowl

Dry erase marker

Paring knife

Melon baller, fluted or regular


Assorted peelers


Straight pin

Battery-operated candle or light

Candy eyeballs or blueberries

Wash watermelon under cool running water and pat dry.

On cutting board, place watermelon on its side and use kitchen knife to cut off 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch from bottom (end opposite stem), being careful not to cut too deep into white part of rind.

Cut 1/2-inch to 3/4-inch from stem end to create opening large enough to fit small bowl.

Using dry erase marker, draw eyes, nose and mouth, along with wavy slits around carving to let more light flow through. Use paring knife to cut out design, being sure to cut through to red fruit.

Use fluted or regular melon baller to hollow out inside of watermelon. Use scoop to remove excess watermelon.

Peel green rind off outside of watermelon. (Tip: Different peelers work well for different parts of the watermelon, depending on how flat or round the melon is.)

Wrap thin strips of cheesecloth around mummy carving and secure with straight pin, if needed.

Put battery-operated candle or light into carving. Fit small bowl into top of carving and trim away excess rind to make bowl fit securely. Fill bowl with melon balls and attach candy or blueberries to make eyes.

hal-easy-art-watermelon-pizzaKids Watermelon Pizza Supreme

Servings: 6

1 watermelon slice (8-10 inches around and 1-inch thick), drained

1 cup strawberry preserves

1/2 cup white chocolate chips

1/2 cup raisins

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1 cup sweetened shredded coconuts

Place watermelon slice on serving platter and cut into 6 wedges, leaving in shape of pizza.

Spread preserves over watermelon and sprinkle chocolate chips, raisins, walnuts and coconut.


hal-easy-art-watermelon-ballsFrosted, Frozen Watermelon Balls 

Servings: 35-40

1 small watermelon

1 package (3 ounces) watermelon or other red flavor gelatin dessert

Using melon baller, scoop out 35-40 small watermelon balls. Place on paper towels and set aside.

Pour gelatin into shallow bowl. One-by-one, gently drop watermelon balls into bowl, roll around, take out and place on plate covered with paper towel. Repeat until all gelatin is used.

Place plate of frosted watermelon balls in freezer. Allow at least 2 hours to make sure they are completely frozen. Remove from freezer and let sit a few minutes before eating.

Note: To serve with toothpicks, place toothpicks in before freezing to aid in serving.

Posted in Arts & Entertainment, Featured, Halloween funComments (0)

Celebrate Dad with grilling and golf


Family Features

This year for Father’s Day, skip the tacky tie and give dad something he truly wants – quality time with the kids who gave him such an honorable title. Plan an intimate family gathering with all his favorite foods and a few special touches that reflect his other passions in life, such as golf.

Let dad savor some grilled goodness (and a healthy dose of antioxidants) with colorful fruit and veggie kabobs. Healthy, hydrating watermelon is the star ingredient of these colorful skewers, which also include marinated chunks of pork.

Add a low-calorie, fat-free side by serving watermelon balls in a fun golf ball-shaped vessel carved from a watermelon rind.

For more recipes and carving ideas using versatile watermelon, visit www.watermelon.org.

Pork and Watermelon Kabobs

Pork and Watermelon Kabobs

Pork and Watermelon Kabobs

Servings: 8

6 tablespoons brown sugar

6 tablespoons soy sauce

6 tablespoons diced red onion

3 garlic cloves, minced

3 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/4 teaspoon ground thyme

Pepper to taste

1 pound boned, lean pork chop, cut into 1-inch cubes (approximately 38-40 pieces)

32 cubes watermelon (1 inch each), plus extra for garnish if desired

16-24 zucchini rounds (1/2 inch)

16 pineapple chunks, fresh or canned (1 inch each)

24 yellow or orange peppers chunks (1 inch each, approximately 3-4 peppers total)

Cooking spray

Sesame seeds for garnish

Combine sugar, soy sauce, onion, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, thyme and pepper in mixing bowl. Pour into resealable bag and add pork pieces. Seal bag, mix thoroughly and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, turning bag periodically.

Remove pork from bag and reserve marinade. Thread 5 pork pieces, 4 watermelon cubes, 2-3 zucchini rounds, 2 pineapple chunks and 3 peppers on each of 8 skewers, alternating the order.

Spray cooking surface on heated grill and place kebobs on grill. Grill for 12-15 minutes, or until done, turning and basting frequently with reserved marinade. Garnish with sesame seeds and chunks of watermelon.

Golf Ball Serving Bowl

Wash watermelon under cool running water and pat dry.

On cutting board, place watermelon on side and cut off 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch from stem end, being careful not to cut too deep into white part of rind. This will provide sturdy base.

Using paring knife, cut a 3- to 4-inch round circle in top of watermelon.

Use melon baller to make shallow round divots into rind of watermelon to mimic dimples in golf ball. Next, use kitchen knife to peel thin layers of rind off to expose white underneath, being careful not to cut too deep or red flesh will be exposed. Try to get as much of green rind off so it will resemble a white golf ball.

Hollow out watermelon with spoon or scoop. Place on tray and add watermelon balls to serve.

Posted in Father's Day, Featured, RecipesComments Off on Celebrate Dad with grilling and golf

Sweet strategies for a healthier you

Watermelon Pistachio Sundae

Watermelon Pistachio Sundae

Family Features


When celebrating the past and looking forward to the future, the New Year is a perfect time to set goals for a better, healthier you.

Setting yourself up with a strong nutrition foundation is essential for long-term success. An expert on helping others attain healthy lifestyles, registered dietitian Elizabeth Somer offers these four time-proven skills for permanent weight loss and health management.

1. Balance calories

Seek the right mix of calories in from your diet, versus calories out from exercise and daily activity. Your goal is gradual weight loss of no more than two pounds per week, which ensures you lose fat weight, not water or muscle weight. Daily exercise is a must to maintain the loss. If you can’t lose weight on at least 1,500 calories a day, you need to move more, not eat less.

2. Focus on plants

Emphasize colorful fruits and vegetables, with at least half of every plate heaped with produce. Complement with whole grains and moderate amounts of foods that are calcium-rich (nonfat or low-fat milk) and iron-rich (extra-lean meats, chicken, fish or legumes). Snack on watermelon cubes rich in vitamins A and C, as well as the antioxidant lycopene. This juicy treat is available all year, even in the winter. In addition, a real food such as watermelon contains at least two of the magic three ingredients for weight loss: protein, water and fiber. These nutrients fill you up before they fill you out, so you are satisfied on fewer calories.

3. Eat regularly

When you eat these calories is also important. Large, infrequent meals result in big-time hunger, which can cause you to lose control of your appetite. Eating regularly and when you are comfortably hungry keeps you in control of your appetite, allowing you to make wiser decisions. Here is an example of a day’s menu:

• Breakfast: 100 percent whole grain cereal topped with nonfat milk and berries

• Mid-Morning Snack: A bowl of watermelon with a 6-ounce tub of low-fat yogurt

• Lunch: A turkey sandwich on 100 percent whole grain bread, baby carrots and an apple

• Mid-Afternoon Snack: 1 ounce of nuts with a glass of watermelon juice

• Dinner: Grilled salmon, baked sweet potato and green peas

• Evening Snack: 2 cups air-popped popcorn and 1 cup of fat-free hot chocolate

4. Commit to Health: Keep in mind that your ultimate goal is not just a certain figure or a number on the bathroom scale; it is a lifelong commitment to be the best and healthiest you. This plan requires a lifetime commitment; not to lose weight and keep it off, but to modify habits so they support health and maintain the best weight for you for life.

For sweet recipes to help you stay on track, visit www.watermelon.org.


Watermelon Pistachio Sundae

Servings: 6

1egg white, lightly beaten

2tablespoons maple syrup

2teaspoons brown sugar

1/4teaspoon salt

1cup roasted, salted and shelled pistachios

6watermelon scoops (using ice cream scooper)

6scoops raspberry sorbet (using ice cream scooper)

1cup marshmallow sauce


To candy pistachios, preheat oven to 300ºF. In medium mixing bowl, combine egg white, syrup, brown sugar and salt. Stir in pistachios until evenly coated. Spread on foil lined baking sheet and bake 15-20 minutes, stirring once, until crisp and lightly browned. Cool. Break apart.


Using ice cream scooper, arrange watermelon at bottom of 6 sundae cups or martini glasses. Top with scoops of sorbet. Drizzle sauce over sorbet and sprinkle candied pistachios over sundaes and serve immediately.


Posted in Featured, Health, RecipesComments Off on Sweet strategies for a healthier you

Watermelon for woodchucks

N-WoodchuckWho says people are the only ones who like watermelon?

Mike DeGroot, of Solon Township, sent us this photo of “Papa Chuck” enjoying the leftovers from their Fourth of July family picnic. It looks like he’s wondering where the rest of it is!

Thanks for the photo, Mike!

Posted in NewsComments Off on Watermelon for woodchucks