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Dash of Class: Watermelon and water chestnuts

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Food column by Nora Sweat

By Nora Sweat

As we near the end of our alphabetical tour of fruits and vegetables, I remember all the neat recipes I have found. This week is no exception, with watermelon and water chestnuts.

I love watermelon whether it is red, yellow or pink; seeded or seedless. And I never would have imagined the recipes I have for you — a watermelon drink, a watermelon salad and even a smoothie and frozen pops made from watermelon. They are very interesting choices. I already have tried one of the watermelon salads and it was quite tasty.

Now for water chestnuts, you might remember Laverne Walton’s Water Chestnut Casserole in my column and my book. It is yummy and this appetizer recipe sounds so, too.

Nora Sweat, author of “Mama and Me,” is a native of Hardin County and a retired home economics/ family and consumer science teacher. She can be reached at norasweat@thenewsenterprise.com or by mail at 408 W. Dixie Ave., Elizabethtown, KY 42701.

Watermelon Cooler

8 cups (1/2-inch) watermelon cubes

1 1/2 cups ginger ale

1/3 cup water

1 (6-oz.) can frozen limeade concentrate

Place watermelon cubes in a single layer in an extra large zip-top plastic freezer bag; freeze 8 hours. Let stand at room temperature 15 minutes.

Process half of watermelon, ginger ale, water and limeade concentrate in a blender until smooth; pour mixture into a pitcher. Repeat procedure with remaining half of ingredients; stir into pitcher, and serve immediately.

Source: www.myrecipes.com

Watermelon Salad

2 small watermelons

1 15-ounce can diced pineapple in juice

1 pound seedless grapes

2 apples, peeled, cored and chopped

2 bananas, cut into bite-size pieces

Cut each watermelon in half lengthwise. Hollow out the insides using a melon baller, reserving rind. Drain pineapple and discard juice. Cut apples in half, remove cores and cut into bite size pieces. Peel banana, and slice in to bite size pieces. Rinse grapes under cold running water, and pat dry.

In a bowl, toss together watermelon balls, pineapple, apple, banana chunks and grapes. Divide fruit salad among the four reserved watermelon rinds and serve.

Source: www.allrecipes.com

Mediterranean Watermelon Salad

6 cups torn mixed salad greens

3 cups cubed seeded watermelon

1/2 cup sliced onion

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese

1 dash cracked black pepper

In large bowl, mix all ingredients except oil and pepper. Just before serving, toss salad mixture with oil. Garnish with pepper.

Makes six.

Source: www.watermelon.org

Kid’s Watermelon Strawberry Shake and Frozen Smoothie Pops

Strawberry Shake:

1 container 8-ounce lemon nonfat yogurt

2 cups cubed, seeded watermelon

1 pint fresh strawberries, cleaned and hulled

1 banana medium, peeled and sliced

Strawberry Shake:

In blender or food processor, process yogurt, watermelon, strawberries and banana until smooth and frothy. Serve immediately.

Frozen Smoothie Pops:

Strawberry Shake

Small paper cups

Popsicle sticks

Pour prepared Watermelon Strawberry Shake into small paper cups. Freeze, inserting Popsicle sticks or plastic spoons when mixture is partially frozen. Or, pour Watermelon Strawberry Shake into ice cream machine.

Makes four.

Source: www.watermelon.org

Bacon-Wrapped Pineapple and Water Chestnuts

2 8-ounce cans whole water chestnuts, drained

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 1/4 cups soy sauce

24 slices thick-sliced bacon, cut in half

1 15-ounce can pineapple chunks, drained

Toothpicks

1 cup brown sugar

Stir the water chestnuts together with the garlic powder and soy sauce in a small bowl. Set aside to marinate for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Drain the water chestnuts, discarding the soy sauce. Place a pineapple chunk in the center of each piece of bacon, then place a water chestnut on top of that. Fold the ends of the bacon over the water chestnut, and secure with a toothpick. Repeat with the remaining bacon, ineapple and water chestnuts. Gently toss the bacon-wrapped chestnuts with brown sugar in a bowl, and then place onto the prepared baking sheet.

Bake 25 minutes, then turn the pieces over and continue baking 15 to 35 minutes longer until the bacon has cooked to your desired degree of doneness. Briefly drain on a paper towel-lined plate and serve hot.

Source: www.allrecipes.com