HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

November 25th, 2015 by The Watermelon Guy

bumble-bee-foods

Photo courtesy of Center for WorkLike

It’s finally here – one of my favorite days of the year. Yes, I know that it’s tomorrow, but I will be very busy over the next 24 to 48 hours preparing for the arrival of six crazy kids and eight (maybe nine) equally crazy adults.

I absolutely love Thanksgiving. It’s a time that brings everyone together to be thankful for all we have.

This year, I’m especially thankful for three things: family, friends and having a career that I love (who wouldn’t love to write about watermelon?). I also love this holiday because it involves lots and lots of food, and no one loves food more than I do.

Leave a comment below with what you’re thankful for this year. While you’re thinking, check out these fun facts about Thanksgiving!

The sweet potato is most plentifully produced in North Carolina, which grew 1.3 billion pounds of the popular side dish vegetable in 2013.

In a survey conducted by the National Turkey Foundation, nearly 88% of Americans said they eat turkey at Thanksgiving.

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the largest pumpkin pie ever baked 2,020 pounds and measured just over 12 feet long.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! And remember…there’s no such thing as “too much whipped cream” on your pumpkin pie.

UP NEXT: AN INTERVIEW WITH A WATERMELON CARVER

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RECIPE: WATERMELON GLAZED SWEET POTATOES

November 6th, 2015 by The Watermelon Guy

The official start of the holiday season is just a few weeks away and planning has already begun in our household. Lately, I’ve been helping my wife prepare the house for when our family visits for Thanksgiving dinner, and that usually includes countless hours spent cleaning, dusting, fluffing and decorating.

Lucky for me, when the big day comes, my wife kicks me out of the kitchen to stall the family and make sure the kids don’t sneak into the desserts.

This Thanksgiving, my wife is going to incorporate watermelon into at least three dishes. Follow along all month long to see how we’re bringing watermelon to our Thanksgiving dinner table and get inspired by creations like this one for Watermelon Glazed Sweet Potatoes!

WATERMELON GLAZED SWEET POTATOES

This is perfect if you’re looking for a way to put a new spin on a traditional recipe.

INGREDIENTS 1

1 bottle of cooking spray

1 cup watermelon juice

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 ½ teaspoons rum extract

dash salt and pepper to taste

2 pounds orange-fleshed sweet potatoes

INSTRUCTIONS

Heat oven to 375°F. Spray a low-flat baking dish (such as 11” x 8”) with cooking spray. Set aside. Bring watermelon juice to a gentle boil in a medium saucepan over medium heat until liquid is reduced to ½ cup. Remove from heat. Add butter and sugar and stir until melted and thoroughly blended. Add rum extract and salt and pepper to taste.

Wash and scrub sweet potatoes. Peel if desired, although not necessary. Cut into large fries, approximately 4” x 1”. Toss with watermelon glaze and pour into the baking dish. Bake for approximately 35 minutes or until softened, but still firm. Toss with glaze several times during the baking process. Remove from oven. Toss again to coat potatoes with remaining glaze.

UP NEXT: THE RISE OF THE MINI WATERMELON

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THANKSGIVING RECIPE: WATERMELON CHECKERS

November 5th, 2010 by The Watermelon Guy

Like last year, my plan this month is to feature a new recipe each Friday. The goal, of course, is to arm my fellow watermelon lovers with ideas for dishes to create on Thanksgiving (whether you’re a host or a guest). Today’s recipe is an appetizer, which is one of my favorite parts of the Turkey Day menu.

My in-laws make legendary Thanksgiving appetizers. So legendary, in fact, that I practically fill up on the apps before the meal is served. But I’m a trooper, and I manage to find my second wind in time for turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes. If they served this appetizer, though, I’d probably polish off the entire thing and have to skip right to dessert.

WATERMELON CHECKERS

INGREDIENTS

  • Seedless watermelon
  • Your favorite cheese

DIRECTIONS

Cut equal size 1/2-inch-thick square shapes from watermelon and your favorite cheese. Arrange as a checkerboard on a serving tray. Cut small circles of the watermelon and cheese as the “checkers.” Enjoy, and try to resist the temptation to yell “King me!” every time you eat a piece from the last row.

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HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

November 26th, 2009 by The Watermelon Guy

Rockwell Watermelon

I hope everyone is having a great Thanksgiving (or had a great Thanksgiving if you’re reading this after the fact). I’m getting ready to head out the door for my usual Thanksgiving tradition – dinner and dessert with the family at my parents’ house.

I’m certainly thankful for a good family, even if we are a bit dysfunctional sometimes. Then again, most families are in one way or another. In fact, I’d say the “perfect” families are the ones you have to watch out for!

Hopefully some of you were able to put the Thanksgiving-themed watermelon recipes I posted this month to good use. If so, drop me a comment or an email via the Ask the Experts link and let me know how they turned out. And even if you couldn’t use the recipes, that’s okay… more holidays are right around the corner!

Happy Thanksgiving,
The Watermelon Guy

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THANKSGIVING RECIPE (DESSERT): QUICK AND EASY WATERMELON PIE

November 24th, 2009 by The Watermelon Guy

This is it. Two days until Thanksgiving. Crunch time, as they call it. I chose this last recipe because I need to chose a dessert recipe and because it’s easy. Because if you’re going to squeeze something into your Thanksgiving menu two days before the big day, it better be easy, right?

By the way, I couldn’t find a picture of this pie, so I drew a picture of what I think it would look like (below). As always, please don’t make fun of my artistic skills.

QUICK AND EASY WATERMELON PIE

pieINGREDIENTS

1 can sweetened condensed milk
4 ounce container refrigerated non-dairy topping, thawed
¼ cup lime juice
2 cups watermelon balls
9-inch graham cracker crust

INSTRUCTIONS

Fold together milk and topping. Add lime juice. Fold in watermelon balls, reserving about 5 balls for garnish. Pour into graham cracker crust. Place remaining watermelon balls on pie to garnish. Chill for 2 more hours before serving.

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THANKSGIVING RECIPE (SIDE DISH): MY FAVORITE VEGETABLE CASSEROLE

November 16th, 2009 by The Watermelon Guy

Less than two weeks to go until Thanksgiving! Hopefully those of you who are cooking have started planning your menu by now or at least have a good idea of what you’re going to make. If you need some ideas, you can always rely on the recipes here on What About Watermelon, including this one, which sounds like a nice, light dish (even if the “casserole” name implies otherwise).

casseroleMY FAVORITE VEGETABLE CASSEROLE

INGREDIENTS

About 6 ounces baby spinach leaves, cut into strips
3 cups shredded carrots, blanched and cooled
3 cups small cubes of seedless watermelon
1 cup Japanese-style ginger dressing
1 cup toasted sliced almonds

DIRECTIONS

In an 8 x 11 inch serving dish, layer the spinach on the bottom, then the carrots and the watermelon on top.  Pour the dressing over the top and sprinkle with almonds.  Serve immediately.

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THANKSGIVING RECIPE (SAUCE): WATERMELON CRANBERRY SAUCE

November 11th, 2009 by The Watermelon Guy

Here’s the second in a series of five Thanksgiving-themed watermelon recipes I’ll be featuring on What About Watermelon this month. This sauce can be eaten warm or cold, either by itself or on top of turkey or stuffing. You could probably put it on your mashed potatoes if you really wanted to. Enjoy!

cranberrysauceWATERMELON CRANBERRY SAUCE

INGREDIENTS
4 cups fresh cranberries
½ cup organic sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Juice from 1 lemon
Zest from 1 lemon
½ cup maple syrup
Dash cinnamon
2 cups minced watermelon

DIRECTIONS
Heat cranberries, sugar, vanilla, lemon juice and zest in a 3-quart saucepan over medium low heat until it simmers. Simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until cranberries are tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Reduce heat to low and add the maple syrup and cinnamon to the pan. Simmer another few minutes. Remove from heat to rest for 10 minutes. Stir in watermelon and serve warm or chill and serve cold. Makes about 4 cups.

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THANKSGIVING RECIPE (APPETIZER): WATERMELON HAM WRAPS

November 6th, 2009 by The Watermelon Guy

wraps

As promised, here’s the first of five Thanksgiving-themed watermelon recipes I’ll be featuring on the blog this month. This is the one I will be making for my dinner with my family later this month. It’s easy to make and it looks pretty tasty too. The picture above isn’t exactly what this recipe will look like, but it’s close.

WATERMELON HAM WRAPS

INGREDIENTS

(Makes approximately 15 pieces. Double recipe if needed)

1 tablespoon chive and onion spreadable cream cheese
1 large, burrito-size low-fat tortilla
1 ounce thinly sliced low-fat ham
1 lettuce leaf
1 seeded watermelon spear, about 1/2-inch thick, 1-inch wide and 9-inches long

INSTRUCTIONS

Spread cream cheese on tortilla, covering to edges. Place ham across center of tortilla; top with leaf lettuce, making sure edges to be rolled are not covered. Place watermelon spear on lettuce just off center. Roll tortilla over watermelon spear; continue rolling, tucking in ham and lettuce. Cream cheese will help tortilla stay rolled. Slice wrap into half inch to three-quarters of an inch pieces. Fasten pieces with wooden pick if needed.

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NOVEMBER IS THANKSGIVING RECIPE MONTH!

November 4th, 2009 by The Watermelon Guy

As anyone who reads this blog knows, I’m a big fan of recipes that use watermelon, even if I’m not always adventurous enough to make them. And with Thanksgiving coming up at the end of the month (November 26), I thought I’d feature a series of recipes here on What About Watermelon designed to incorporate a little extra watermelon into your Turkey Day dinner.

I’ll feature five recipes to be exact, each featuring watermelon as an ingredient (truly adventurous chefs might try all five). The menu includes an appetizer (November 6), a sauce (November 11), a side dish (November 13), a salad (November 20) and, of course, a dessert (November 24).

As for specifics, I don’t want to spoil the surprise, but I will say that I plan to make the appetizer you’ll be seeing this Friday. Mainly because it’s easy, but also because I’ll be dining at my family’s house this year and my mother only asked that I bring an appetizer.

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