National Watermelon Day – Aug. 3, 2018

NATIONAL WATERMELON DAY

Watermelon is the perfect fruit to enjoy on August 3rd.  It is also National Watermelon Day. Enjoyed by many, it is a favorite at summertime events such as picnics and fairs.  Watermelon is 92% water, which is why it is so refreshing.

Celebrate National Watermelon Day on Aug. 3.

To celebrate National Watermelon Day, check out the recipes at BH&G.com.

Watermelon is a vine-like flowering plant originally from southern Africa. Its fruit, which is also called watermelon, is a special kind referred to by botanists as a pepo, a berry which has a thick rind (exocarp) and fleshy center (mesocarp and endocarp). Pepos are derived from an inferior ovary and are characteristic of the Cucurbitaceae. The watermelon fruit, loosely considered a type of melon – although not in the genus Cucumis – has a smooth exterior rind (usually green with dark green stripes or yellow spots) and a juicy, sweet interior flesh (usually deep red to pink, but sometimes orange, yellow, or white).

The fruit was likely first cultivated for its ability to hold plentiful water in a desert landscape, especially since the wild melon was bitter or tasteless.  Seeds and art found in tombs of Pharaohs are substantial evidence of the watermelon’s value. Cultivation and breeding brought out the better qualities of sweet and tender fruit we enjoy today.

Watermelons can grow enormous, and you will find competitions across the country which award prizes each year for the largest one.  The Guinness Book of World Records states that the heaviest watermelon weighed 262 pounds. To learn more refreshing watermelon facts, check out www.watermelon.org.

HOW TO OBSERVE

Enjoy a slice of Watermelon today and celebrate with the rest of the country! Post on social media using #NationalWatermelonDay.

Better Homes and Gardens™  has a variety of watermelon recipes.

Baked Parmesan Zucchini Fries

Recipe by Food Network Kitchen

Yield: 6 to 8 Servings

Ingredients:

Special equipment: 2 wire racks; 2 rimmed baking sheets

Baked Parmesan Zucchini Fries

Photo by Food Network Kitchen

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs (see Cook’s Note)
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan
  • 1 pound zucchini (2 to 3 small-to-medium zucchini), cut into 3-inch-by-1/4-inch sticks

 

Directions:

  1. Adjust 2 oven racks to the top and bottom thirds of the oven and preheat to 425 degrees F. Put the wire racks in the baking sheets and coat each generously with cooking spray.
  2. Combine the flour and 3/4 teaspoon salt in a large re-sealable plastic bag.
  3. Combine the eggs and 3/4 teaspoon salt in another large plastic bag; combine the breadcrumbs, Parmesan and 3/4 teaspoon salt in a third large plastic bag.
  4. Add about a half of the zucchini sticks to the bag with the flour and use a combination of your hands and shaking the bag to coat the zucchini. Remove the zucchini and shake off any excess flour. Transfer to the egg wash and repeat until coated. (It’s less messy if you use only one hand for the dry ingredients and the other for the wet.) Let any excess egg drip off before transferring to the breadcrumb mixture; repeat until fully coated (you’ll still see some green and white of the zucchini peeking through the breading). Transfer to the prepared baking sheets and coat the breaded zucchini generously with cooking spray (there’s no need to turn them). Repeat with the remaining zucchini.
  5. Bake, rotating the baking sheets from top to bottom about halfway through, until golden brown and tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Sprinkle with a little salt and serve warm with your favorite dipping sauces.

Cook’s Note: Some panko breadcrumbs are coarser then others. Rub the breadcrumbs between your fingers to make them finer, which will help them coat the zucchini pieces better.

 

Copyright 2016 Television Food Network, G.P. All rights reserved.

Slow-Cooker Soup: Indian Cauliflower and Potato Soup (Aloo Gobi)

Yield: 1-1/3 cups, approximately 6 Servings

Indian Cauliflower and Potato Soup (Aloo Gobi)
Photo by Better Homes & Gardens©

Slow Cook: 6 to 7 hours on low or 3 to 3-1/2 hours on high

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups leftover mashed potatoes
  • 3 cups bite-size cauliflower florets
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion (1 medium)
  • 1 fresh jalapeno chile pepper, seeded and finely chopped*
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 32-ounce carton reduced-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • Plain Greek yogurt
  • Snipped fresh cilantro
  • Sliced jalapeno (optional)

Directions:

  1. In a 3 1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker combine mashed potatoes, cauliflower, onion, jalapeno pepper, ginger, garlic, salt, cumin, turmeric, and paprika. Stir in broth.
  2. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 6 to 7 hours or on high-heat setting for 3 to 3 1/2 hours. Cool slightly.**
  3. Transfer cauliflower mixture, half at a time, to a blender or food processor. Cover and blend or process until smooth. If necessary, return pureed mixture to cooker; cover and cook on high-heat setting until heated through.
  4. If desired, garnish each serving with yogurt, cilantro, and/or sliced jalapeno.

From the Test Kitchen

*Tip:
Because chile peppers contain volatile oils that can burn your skin and eyes, avoid direct contact with them as much as possible. When working with chile peppers, wear plastic or rubber gloves. If your bare hands do touch the peppers, wash your hands and nails well with soap and warm water.

**Tip:
If desired, omit Step 3 and serve immediately from slow cooker.

Nutrition Facts (Indian Cauliflower and Potato Soup (Aloo Gobi))
Per serving: 131 kcal cal., 1 g fat (1 g sat. fat, 0 g polyunsaturated fat, 0 g monounsatured fat), 3 mg chol., 902 mg sodium, 24 g carb., 3 g fiber, 4 g sugar, 7 g pro.
Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

 

Maggie Monday: Chocolate Zucchini Cake

The best way to eat your veggies!

Rantings of an Amateur Chef

There are so few veggies that you can build into a dessert. Carrots in carrot cake is a standout but other than that, there aren’t a whole lot of others. Zucchini, as it turns out, is another exception. Think zucchini bread and Maggie’s cake below…

Yea, this weekend go make this cake. This is pure yumminess, and with applesauce instead of oil, not really high in fat. It tastes great, and as most Bundt cakes, very pretty to look at. I’d recommend dusting the greased pan with cocoa. This cake is really moist, and I did have one tip that stuck in the pan. It is easily fixed with the glaze, but I think it might help to use the cocoa dusting.

Everyone in the house loved this, and I shared it with friends who were equally happy to gobble this up. Picky Pants daughter #2 was thrilled with this…

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