(Family Features) There’s no time like a hot summer picnic to let your patriotic spirit show. These all-American snacks featuring a classic favorite fruit – watermelon – are the perfect solution for nearly any summertime celebration.
Watermelon is a patriotic picnic staple for countless reasons, not the least of which is that it’s a beloved treat that many people associate with memories from childhood. However, nostalgia isn’t the only reason adults are just as likely to gravitate toward watermelon at a summer event. Its sweet, cool and refreshing flavor also makes it a favorite for all ages.
From a practical standpoint, watermelon is also quite portable, versatile and easy to serve, and with a composition of 92% water, it’s a simple way to sneak in some extra hydration on a hot day. Another benefit is its value; watermelon is one of the best values in the produce section among fruit, and just one watermelon can feed up to three dozen people.
Serving watermelon at a party can be as simple as slicing wedges, or you can prepare a dish such as:
- A fruit basket, with the rind serving as a colorful bowl to hold the watermelon and other fresh fruits.
- A charcuterie board with a selection of fruit, cheese and protein for simple snacking.
- Creamy parfaits, perfect for a summery brunch or alternative to more traditional desserts.
- A creatively colorful and patriotic “cake” that makes for a tasty centerpiece on the dessert table.
Find more ideas for incorporating watermelon into your summer festivities at watermelon.org.
Easy Summer Thirst Quencher
A simple fruit-infused water can give your summer event an instant upgrade in no time at all. Add extra dimension and complexity to the flavor by adding some of your favorite herbs like basil and mint.
- 2 cups watermelon balls or cubes
- 1 cup other fruit, such as berries
- herbs, such as basil or mint
- Place watermelon, fruit and herbs in pitcher and cover with water. For best flavor, allow to chill in refrigerator at least 30 minutes before serving.
Red, White and Blue Watermelon Parfait
- 1 cup blueberries
- 1 container (6 ounces) Greek yogurt (vanilla, lemon or coconut)
- 1 cup watermelon, plus three pieces diced watermelon
- whipped cream, for serving
- In pint canning jar, layer blueberries, yogurt and 1 cup watermelon. Top with whipped cream and garnish with three diced watermelon pieces.
Note: To make ahead or make thicker, drain Greek yogurt on paper towels to absorb some liquid.
Patriotic Fruit Salad
- 1 watermelon
- Slice 1/4 inch off bottom of watermelon, lengthwise, to create stable base.
- Use pencil to draw zig-zag lines for basket opening. Using paring knife, make cuts through rind.
- Carefully remove top section, pull out large chunks of flesh and cut them into 3-by-3-inch squares.
- Trim 3/4-inch thick slices off squares to use for cutting out stars with 1 1/2-3-inch, star-shaped cookie cutters.
- Use ice cream scoop to remove flesh from inside basket and cut scoops into quarters for fruit salad. Place in bottom of basket. Add honeydew and blueberries; stir to combine.
- Cut out white stripes from honeydew.
- Garnish top of fruit salad with watermelon stars, honeydew stripes and blueberries.
Patriotic Charcuterie Board
- 1/2 medium seedless watermelon, cut into wedges
- 1/2 cup fresh raspberries
- 1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
- 10 strawberries (dipped in white chocolate, if desired)
- 5 ounces fresh goat cheese
- 1/2 cup toasted, salted cashews
- 2 ounces cured meats like prosciutto, pancetta, coppa, salami, soppressata, sausage or pepperoni
- 1 Honeycrisp apple, cored and sliced
- lemon juice
- fresh basil leaves
- On large board or platter, arrange watermelon, raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, cheese, cashews, meat and apples. Drizzle fruit with lemon juice. Garnish with basil leaves before serving.
Flag Kebab Cake
- 1 pint fresh, washed blackberries
- 12 wooden skewers
- 1 seedless watermelon, flesh cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 angel food cake, cut into 1-inch cubes (white part only)
- dips, such as yogurt, chocolate, caramel or marshmallow (optional)
- Thread five blackberries on each of five skewers, followed by alternating watermelon and cake cubes.
- On remaining skewers, alternate watermelon and cake so first and last cubes are watermelon. Place skewers on platter; fruit and cake will create stars and stripes when lined properly.
- Serve with dips, if desired.
(Family Features) Pamper mom on her special day with a wonderful brunch that all the kids can help make.
- Spiced Granola Pancakes include applesauce as a healthy substitution for fat in this recipe.
- Burrito Bites make a simple appetizer that is easy for kids to assemble. No cooking is required!
- Using a store-bought angel food cake makes preparation of this luscious Angel Sherbet Cake simple. It's low in calories and fat and is as pretty as it is delicious.
- Wheat Berry Tuna Salad is a tasty way to enjoy wheat berries. Wheat berries provide the nutritional benefits of the whole grain and are an excellent source of dietary fiber.
- Round out the brunch with favorite salads, side dishes and some fresh fruit. Follow that with lots of love, hugs and kisses!
Please visit the Wheat Foods Council's Web site at www.wheatfoods.org to order this cookbook or to find additional recipes.
Angel Sherbet Cake
Prep time: 30 minutes
Freeze time: at least 1 hour or until hard
Yields: 10 servings
- 1 pint raspberry sherbet
- 1 pint lime sherbet
- 1 Angel Food Cake loaf (store bought, approximately 7 x 3 inches)
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream or 12-ounce container frozen whipped topping, thawed
- 3 teaspoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- Line two bread pans, approximately the same size as the angel food cake, with plastic wrap. Soften sherbet. Scoop lime sherbet into one pan and raspberry sherbet in the other. Spread sherbet with a metal spatula dipped in hot water. Sherbet should be approximately 1/2 inch deep. Refreeze sherbet in pans for at least 1 hour or until hard.
- Trim edges of angel food cake with a serrated knife to even them; cut cake into three lengthwise slices.
- Remove frozen lime and raspberry sherbet from freezer. Alternate layers, cake, sherbet, cake, sherbet and cake. Cut off any oversized sherbet or cake to ensure that cake and sherbet are even on all sides of the cake. Refreeze until solid; can be frozen up to 3 days if wrapped well in plastic wrap.
- Before serving, prepare cake topping by whipping the cream until very thick. Add sugar and lemon juice and whip mixture until soft peaks form. Spread whipped cream on cake. Refreeze cake until ready to serve.
- Remove cake from freezer and let soften 5 to 10 minutes. Slice with an electric knife. If desired, place cake slices on pools of strawberry or raspberry sauce and top with a lemon twist and mint leaves.
Wheat Berry Tuna Salad
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 60 to 90 minutes
Yields: 4 to 6 servings
Serving size: 1 1/2 cups
- 1 cup wheat berries
- 4 cups water
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, diced
- 1/2 cup celery, diced
- 1/2 cup cucumber, diced
- 2 cans Albacore tuna packed in water, drained
- 2 eggs, hard boiled, chopped (optional)
- 2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup Italian dressing
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- Place wheat berries, water and salt in a sauce pan and simmer for 60 to 90 minutes until tender when you bite down on them.
- Drain well and allow to cool.
- In a large bowl, toss together with the remaining ingredients. Serve chilled.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Chill time: 30 minutes
Yields: 4 servings
Serving size: 1 tortilla roll-up
- 4 (9-inch) whole wheat tortillas
- 6 tablespoons smooth peanut butter or reduced-fat cream cheese
- 1 cup fresh spinach or torn romaine leaves
- 1 large stalk celery, cut into thin 3- to 4-inch sticks (12 sticks total)
- 1/2 cup carrots, shredded or matchstick
- 1/2 cup fat-free plain yogurt or low-fat ranch dressing (optional)
- Spread 1 1/2 tablespoons peanut butter or reduced-fat cream cheese on each tortilla, leaving 1 inch of clean space at the top edge of each tortilla. Layer spinach leaves on top of peanut butter. Place three celery sticks across the middle on top of the spinach; sprinkle with shredded carrot.
- Keeping the clean edge at the top, roll tortillas up tightly from the bottom, folding in the sides after the first roll. Wrap each burrito tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Remove plastic wrap. Cut each roll into 1/2-inch slices, inserting a toothpick into the burrito before each cut is made.
- Serve with yogurt or ranch dressing.
Spiced Granola Pancakes
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Yields: 12 servings
Serving size: 1 pancake
- 1 cup fat-free milk
- 1/2 cup applesauce
- 1 tablespoon fat-free vanilla yogurt
- 2 eggs
- 2 teaspoons grated orange peel
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup low-fat granola
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- In large bowl, combine milk, applesauce, yogurt, eggs and orange peel. In medium bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix just until dry ingredients are moistened. Do not over mix.
- Heat nonstick griddle to 350°F. For each pancake, pour 1/4 cup of pancake batter onto hot griddle. Cook each side until puffed and dry around edges. Turn and cook 1 to 2 minutes longer or just until golden brown.
(Family Features) Sundaes are sweet, but maybe it's time for something sensational.
These recipes bring the simple sundae to a whole new level of goodness. From the kid-friendly Spaghetti and Meatballs Sundaes to the sophisticated Mini Coffee Ice Cream Sundaes, there's something to please everyone.
10 Tips for Sundae Making
1. Using store-bought ingredients makes sundae-making fast and easy. You can always doll things up, like dissolve some instant coffee in a little hot water and stir it into store-bought caramel sauce to make a coffee-caramel drizzle.
2. Using whole nuts and dried fruit for add-ins can give your sundae extra texture and a big crunch.
3. Roll scoops of ice cream in any kind of crumbs, crunched cereal or chocolate milk powder for an ice cream "truffle."
4. Use mini containers like egg cups, espresso cups and cordial glasses to make mini sundaes.
5. Make a quickie fresh-fruit topping by mashing your favorite berries with a little white or brown sugar.
6. To keep your ice cream from melting as fast, freeze your sundae bowls or dessert dishes overnight.
7. To make your scoops more perfect-looking, dip your ice cream scoop in hot water in between scoops.
8. Use two or more flavors of ice cream in a sundae to add extra flavor and flair.
9. Simply tucking a cookie next to a scoop of ice cream, standing up, can really dress it up.
10. Create an exotic-looking sundae by using a wooden skewer to thread fruit onto, and then stick it into a scoop of ice cream. Use things like berries, ripe peach wedges and banana slices.
Mini Coffee Ice Cream Sundaes
Prep Time: 25 minutes
- 2 cups Breyers Coffee ice cream
- salted caramel sauce*
- almond whipped cream**
- 1 shot espresso coffee
- 4 amaretti cookies
- chocolate-covered coffee beans
- Arrange 2 (1/4-cup) scoops ice cream in 4 demitasse coffee cups. Drizzle with salted caramel sauce, then top with almond whipped cream.
- Pour a little espresso into each cup, then garnish with cookies and coffee beans.
- *For salted caramel sauce, bring 3/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water to a boil over high heat in heavy-duty saucepan until caramel-colored. Remove from heat, then slowly stir in 1/2 cup whipping or heavy cream. Let cool, then stir in 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Let stand at room temperature until ready to use.
- **For almond whipped cream, whip 1/2 cup whipping or heavy cream, 1 teaspoon sugar and 2 drops almond extract in mixing bowl with electric mixer until soft peaks form. Chill until ready to serve.
Snow Ball Sundaes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Freeze Time: 30 minutes
- 2 cups Breyers Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream
- 8 slices (1-1/2 inches thick) store-bought angel food cake
- 1/4 cup hot fudge topping, warmed
- 1/2 cup marshmallow creme, melted*
- chocolate sprinkles
- Freeze plate 30 minutes. Make 4 (1/2-cup) scoops ice cream and arrange on chilled plate.
- Place 1 ice cream ball on 1 cake slice, then top with second cake slice. Shape cake around ice cream to encase it, using your hands to completely cover ice cream. Return to freezer until ready to serve. Repeat with remaining ice cream and cake.
- To serve, arrange snow balls in 4 dessert bowls. Top with hot fudge topping, then marshmallow creme and sprinkles.
*TIP: Easily melt marshmallow creme in a glass measuring cup in the microwave.
Spaghetti and Meatball Sundaes
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Freeze Time: 30 minutes
- 12 small scoops Breyers Rocky Road ice cream
- 1 cup chocolate sandwich cookie crumbs
- 2 cups strawberries, trimmed
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 cup Breyers Natural Vanilla ice cream, divided
- 2 store-bought shortbread cookies, crushed
- Freeze plate 30 minutes. For meatballs, arrange Rocky Road ice cream scoops on chilled plate. Place chocolate cookie crumbs on another plate. Roll scoops, one at a time, in cookie crumbs, then return to chilled plate until ready to serve.
- For sauce, mash strawberries with sugar in medium bowl using potato masher or fork to make chunky sauce. Stir in additional sugar if desired.
- To build sundaes, press vanilla ice cream through potato ricer* into 4 dessert bowls for spaghetti. Top each with 3 meatballs, then sauce. Top with crushed shortbread cookie cheese. Serve with a fork!
- *If a potato ricer is not available, simply scoop ice cream into bowls.
Ice Cream Lollipops
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Freeze Time: 30 minutes
- 2 cups Breyers Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice cream
- chocolate-fudge flavor ice cream topping that freezes
- pink or rainbow sprinkles
- Freeze plate 30 minutes. Scoop 8 balls ice cream and place on chilled plate. Insert a wooden stick into each ball and freeze at least 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, pour ice cream topping into bowl. Dip frozen balls into ice cream topping, twirling to coat. Quickly decorate with sprinkles. Keep frozen until ready to serve.