Amazing Kids! Magazine

Cook Time with Remmi

By Remmi Smith

Hi Amazing Kids! August is National Family Fun Month, as well as National Picnic Month! So, what’s a better way to have some family fun by having a picnic? I love picnics- being outdoors on a pretty day, spending time with my family, and of course, eating! August 3 is National Watermelon Day and also Grab Some Nuts Day. August 29 is More Herbs, Less Salt Day. Anyway…let’s get cooking!

Remmi’s August Menu

Refreshing Watermelon Salad with Goat Cheese

Herbed Goat Cheese Cucumber Sandwiches with Watercress

Fruity Nut Bars

Refreshing Watermelon Salad with Goat Cheese

Ingredients:

  •  3 C watermelon, chilled, cubed (2-inches) or balled
  • Goat cheese, crumbled (as little or as much as you want)
  • ½ C of mint leaves, chopped
  • Fresh lime juice

Directions:

Place watermelon in a bowl and crumble desired amount of goat cheese over watermelon and then sprinkle mint all over. Squeeze lime juice all over. Mix well.

 

Herbed Goat Cheese Cucumber Sandwiches with Watercress

Ingredients:

  • 8 slices whole wheat bread
  • 12oz chevre goat cheese, at room temperature
  • 3 Tbsp fresh chives, finely chopped
  • 3 Tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp grated lemon zest
  • ½ tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 English cucumber, skin on, sliced very thinly
  • 1-2 bunches watercress

Directions:

Place the goat cheese in a bowl. Add chives, parsley, lemon zest and fresh ground black pepper into bowl. Mix ingredients, until well incorporated. Spread a thin layer of herbed goat cheese mixture onto bread slices. Place cucumber slices on top of herbed goat cheese mixture. Add a few springs of watercress on top of cucumber slices. Close breads together to make 4 sandwiches. Cut off crust and cut sandwich into desired shape (triangles, rectangles, 4- squares, etc.).

 

Fruity Nut Bars

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 C all purpose flour
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ C light brown sugar
  • 1 ½ C nuts, of your choice- I like almonds and walnuts
  • ½ C cranberries
  • 1 ½ C of figs
  • 1 C dried apricots, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ tsp pure vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325oF, with the rack in the center of the oven. Use a 8” x 8” square baking pan that has been lined all around with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Stir in the brown sugar, nuts, and dried fruit. Make sure that all the fruit and nuts have been coated with the flour mixture.

In a separate bowl, beat (with a wire whisk or hand mixer) the egg and vanilla until light and thick (this will take several minutes). Add the egg mixture to the fruit and nut mixture and mix until all the fruit and nut pieces are coated with the batter. Spread into the prepared pan, pressing with a spatula, to even it out.

Bake for about 35 to 40 minutes, or until the batter is golden brown. Make sure the batter looks like it has pulled away from the sides of the pan. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.

When cooled, lift the bars from the pan using the corners and sides of the parchment paper or aluminum foil. Use a sharp knife to cut into desired shape and size.

 

Ok…for some fun food facts and food history! 

Did you know?

  • Italy’s favorite picnic day is Easter Monday, called “Angel’s Monday”, or “Pasquetta” (meaning, “Little Easter”)
  • The people of Hancock, New Hampshire like picnics so much that what started as a family picnic in 1879, has grown into a picnic that includes the whole town and anyone who has ever lived there!
  • Not only does watermelon quench your thirst, it can also quench inflammation that contributes to conditions like asthma, atherosclerosis, diabetes, colon cancer, and arthritis.
  • Watermelon is an ideal health food because it doesn’t contain any fat or cholesterol, is high in fiber and vitamins A & C and is a good source of potassium.
  • Watermelon is actually a vegetable! It is related to cucumbers, pumpkins and squash.
  • Every part of a watermelon is edible, even the seeds and rinds.
  • Almonds are mentioned 73 times in the Old Testament.
  • California is the major growing area of walnuts in the United States, along with France, Italy, Turkey, Yugoslavia, Romania, China and India.
  • Cashew nut shells are poisonous.
  • Sunflower seeds are often considered to be a nut.
  • Parsley was used as a remedy for an upset stomach throughout history.
  • Two types of parsley are those with curly, fringed leaves, and Italian parsley, which has flat leaves. The flat leaf holds up better and is preferred for cooking.
    • Because herbs are used in such small quantities, they do not add a lot of nutritional value to a meal. However, herbs have long been known for their medicinal properties.
    • There are about 30 species of mint and some say almost 500 varieties, including peppermint, spearmint, apple mint, orange mint, Spanish mint, pineapple mint, ginger mint, mackerel mint, lamb mint, horsemint, lemon mint, pennyroyal, water mint, chocolate mint, etc.
    • Table salt is made up of two compounds: sodium and chloride. Most of the sodium in your diet comes from processed foods. The rest comes from the salt added at the table, and salt added while cooking. You should use less salt- only have less than 2,400mg each day (~1 tsp of salt).

Hope you all have a great picnic, using my recipes with your family! Of course, you could also invite friends too, but I have such a large family and my best friends are my family, so I will be happy just eating and having fun with my family!

Happy August, Amazing Kids!

<3 Remmi