(Family Features) The cold chill of winter may have you feeling trapped indoors with nothing to do and nowhere to go, but fun activities fit for the whole family can add excitement and chase away those wintertime blues. Paired with an appetizing snack, at-home crafting provides a relaxing way to keep your mind and body moving.
Warming up with family-friendly activities starts with a versatile (and delicious) option like watermelon, which can be your sweet superstar all year long. As a centerpiece for evenings at home or gatherings and get-togethers, its versatility creates zero food waste with endless creative uses in the kitchen, from rind-smile snowmen to handheld snacks.
When this year’s first snowfall offers a canvas for creativity and entertainment, gather your loved ones to make this Watermelon Snowman. Fresh-cut and personal-sized watermelons are the predominant options in wintertime, and they’re perfect for putting together this festive work of art. All you’ll need is a collection of kitchen knives, an ice cream scoop, melon ballers, skewers, some decorative “clothing” and blueberries for a fruit salad served right out of the snowman.
While you’re hard at work, ease your appetite with a quick and easy snack like Watermelon Glazed Meatballs. Start with a homemade watermelon puree mixed with barbecue sauce then saute frozen meatballs and top with the sweet glaze for a perfect wintertime treat. Along with delicious taste, watermelon is also a nutritious hydration source, which is just as important in winter as during warmer months, and provides an excellent source of vitamin C with 25% of the daily recommended value in each 2-cup serving to support immunity.
These tasty morsels also make for a simple, shareable appetizer while hosting throughout the season. Just lay them out on a serving tray and pop toothpicks into each meatball so guests can grab and go while mingling.
To find more family-friendly crafts and sweet snack ideas, visit Watermelon.org.
- Kitchen knives
- 1 round seedless watermelon
- 2 personal-sized watermelons, one larger than other
- ice cream scoop or large spoon
- melon baller
- mini melon baller or paring knife
- large wooden skewers
- y-shaped sticks
- Using knife, cut 1/4-inch slice off bottom of round seedless watermelon and both personal watermelons to provide stable bases. Use smallest melon for head, second largest for torso and largest for lower body. Set aside smallest watermelon.
- Cut tops off large and medium watermelons to create bowls. Using ice cream scoop or large spoon, scoop out flesh.
- Using melon baller, scoop eyes out of smallest watermelon. Invert melon balls and reinsert.
- Using mini melon baller or paring knife, scoop out holes for nose and mouth. Carve one piece of watermelon into triangle for nose and fill mouth holes with blueberries.
- On platter, using large wooden skewers, connect all three watermelons.
- Insert y-shaped sticks in middle watermelon for arms.
- Fill bottom sections with fruit salad of melon balls and blueberries. Decorate with scarf and hat.
Watermelon Glazed Meatballs
- 1 fresh watermelon
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 24-36 frozen prepared mini meatballs
- 1 cup prepared barbecue sauce
- 1 cup watermelon puree
- To make watermelon puree: Remove seeds from watermelon and cut into large chunks. In blender, process until smooth.
- In large, heavy saute pan over medium-high heat or electric skillet set to 325 F, heat oil.
- Saute mini meatballs until browned and hot. Reduce heat to low.
- Mix barbecue sauce and watermelon puree. Pour over meatballs and simmer 2-3 minutes. Serve hot.
(Family Features) Celebrating the holidays with family meals and activities is what the season is all about, and when those moments and at-home projects are kid-friendly, you can get the whole gang involved.
A simple weeknight at home during the holiday season can turn into family fun time starting with a recipe like these Reindeer Hot Dogs, a dish that requires little prep time and allows for help from little ones. Made with Gwaltney Hot Dogs, a tasty, kid-friendly dinner solution requires just a handful of easy-to-find ingredients.
Once everyone is finished eating and all have pitched in to help with cleanup, turn your attention to a family activity that transforms everyday supplies into this Wooden Snowman Ornament for seasonal decor to hang on a tree or elsewhere in the house.
Find more kid-friendly recipes to involve the whole family at gwaltneyfoods.com.
Reindeer Hot Dogs
Prep time: 20 minutes
- 1 can refrigerated crescent rolls
- 1 package Gwaltney Hot Dogs
- 1 slice white cheese
- black olives
- Heat oven according to crescent roll package directions.
- Cut hot dogs into three equal sections.
- Lay out crescent rolls and wrap around middle sections of hot dog pieces.
- Cut triangles out of end sections to look like antlers.
- Cut two slits at top of dough; press end hot dog pieces into slits.
- Bake according to crescent roll package directions. Cut out small circles from sliced cheese for reindeer eyes. Cover cheese pieces with small slices of black olives for pupils. Add ketchup to hot dogs for red noses.
Wooden Snowman Ornament
Craft courtesy of Gwaltney
- 7ice pop sticks
- Hot glue gun
- Foam paintbrush
- Black paint
- White paint
- Googly eyes
- Colored craft foam
- Line up six ice pop sticks next to each other vertically.
- Place line of hot glue horizontally across sticks, about one-third of the way down, and adhere seventh stick to create brim of snowman’s hat.
- Using black paint, brush top third (brim to top of hat) and let dry.
- Mix glitter into white paint and brush lower two-thirds of sticks, creating snowman’s face.
- Use googly eyes, colored craft foam, sequins and buttons to create details of face and hat, such as mouth, nose and hat decor.
- Glue piece of string to backside to hang ornament.