watermelon - cropped - daily apple (Credit: iStock)

Celebrate Watermelon Day on Aug. 3.

10 food holidays to celebrate this August

Foodies rejoice, because August is full of fun food holidays. From watermelon to s'mores, to root beer floats and rum, here are 10 of the month's most delicious days and the recipes you need to celebrate.

Aug. 3: Watermelon Day

(Credit: Marge Perry)


What you'll need:
6 cups diced seedless watermelon
3 cups diced cucumber (12 to 14 ounces)
1 cup very thinly sliced white or sweet onion
1 cup crumbled blue cheese

How to:

Combine all ingredients and serve. Makes 8 servings

Aug. 5: Oyster Day

(Credit: Samuel Adams, Recipe by Food Network chef Michele Ragussis)


What you'll need:
24 oysters
1 shallot, diced into small pieces
1 package bacon
2 bunches Swiss chard, chopped into small pieces
1 bottle Samuel Adams Boston Lager
½ pint heavy cream
¼ cup Parmesan cheese
Breadcrumbs (optional)

How to:

1. Dice half the package of bacon into small pieces. In a large sauté pan, cook bacon until it starts to brown and gets crispy. Drain off half of the grease. Using the remaining half of the grease, add the diced shallots. Cook about 2 minutes.

2. Add the chopped Swiss chard and half a bottle of the beer to the sauté pan. Let reduce until almost all of the liquid is gone.

3. Add heavy cream and Parmesan cheese to the sauté pan. When mixture thickens, let it cool.

4. In the meantime, open the oysters. Try to save the liquid, as keeping the liquid in the oyster adds extra flavor. Use a good spoonful of the mixture to top the oysters. Add a sprinkle of cheese and a small amount of breadcrumbs (optional).

5. Bake at 400 degrees for about 3 minutes, and then broil about another minute until golden brown.

Aug 6: Root Beer Float Day

root beer float-CROPPED
(Credit: Pinnacle)


Combine 2 parts Pinnacle Whipped Vodka, 4 parts root beer and 2 scoops vanilla ice cream. Pour into a tall glass and top with whipped cream.



Aug. 8: Zucchini Day

(Credit: Marge Perry)


What you'll need:
1 large egg
½ cup panko bread crumbs
½ cup grated Parmesan (about 1½ ounces)
¼ teaspoon oregano
¼ teaspoon basil
2 medium zucchinis, about 1 pound

How to:

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Coat a large baking sheet pan with cooking spray.

2. Place the egg in a medium bowl and beat with a fork.

3. Combine the panko, Parmesan, oregano and basil in a second, medium-sized bowl.

4. Cut the zucchini into finger-size "fries"; dip first in the egg and then in the panko mixture. Place in a single, uncrowded layer on the baking pan and roast in the oven until golden and tender, about 20 minutes.

Aug. 10: S'mores Day

(Credit: Doug Young, Recipe by Lauren Chattman)


What you'll need:
8 ounces milk chocolate chips
1½ cups mini marshmallows
½ cup caramel sauce, warmed

How to:

Scatter chocolate chips and mini marshmallows over 4 6-inch half-grilled pizzas. Close lid and grill until chocolate is melted, 2 to 3 minutes. Off heat, drizzle with caramel sauce. Makes 4 personal-size pizzas.

Aug. 16: Rum Day

mai tai-CROPPED
(Credit: Fotolia, Recipe from "The PDT Cocktail Book," Sterling Epicure, 2011)


In a shaker, combine 1 ounce Banks 5 Island Rum, 1 ounce Rhum Clément V.S.O.P., 1 ounce lime juice, ½ ounce Marie Brizard Orange Curacao and ½ ounce Kassatly Chtaura orgeat. Shake with ice and strain into a chilled rocks glass filled with pebble ice. Garnish with mint sprig.

Aug. 19: Potato Day

(Credit: Doug Young, Recipe by Lauren Chattman)


What you'll need:
2½ pounds small new potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
? cup Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
1 small garlic clove, finely chopped
½ teaspoon fennel seeds, finely ground in a spice grinder
Freshly ground black pepper
1 pound kielbasa
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill leaves

How to:

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or nonstick aluminum foil. Toss potatoes with 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Roast until softened and golden, about 35 minutes.

2. While potatoes are roasting, whisk together mustard, remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, shallot, garlic, ground fennel seeds, ½ teaspoon salt and ground black pepper to taste.

3. Heat coals or a gas grill to medium-high. Grill kielbasa, turning once, until it is heated through and lightly charred, 6 to 9 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board, let cool slightly and cut on diagonal into ?-inch pieces.

4. Transfer potatoes to a bowl and let cool slightly. Toss with dressing and kielbasa and adjust seasonings. Stir in dill. Serve warm or refrigerate for up to a day and serve chilled.

Aug. 22: Eat a Peach Day

(Credit: Marge Perry)


What you'll need:
¼ cup peach preserves
1 teaspoon minced canned chipotle in adobo
4 large peaches, halved and pits removed
1 teaspoon canola oil

How to:

1. Heat grill for direct-heat cooking.

2. Combine the peach preserves and chipotle in a bowl; microwave until the preserves are melted.

3. Lightly brush the cut sides of the peaches with about half the oil. Place cut sides down on the grill; cook 3 to 4 minutes, until well marked. Brush the skin sides with the remaining oil and turn over. Brush the top sides with the preserves; grill, brushing with remaining preserves, 3 to 4 minutes, until peaches are crisp-tender.



Aug. 27: Banana Lovers Day

(Credit: Doug Young, Recipe by Lauren Chattman)


What you'll need:
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
¾ cup sugar
¾ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1½ cups mashed bananas (from 3 ripe bananas)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 large eggs
¼ cup sour cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ cup finely chopped walnuts
½ cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips

How to:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a mini-loaf pan will spaces for 8 loaves or a 12-well muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt.

3. In a large bowl, mix together the bananas, butter, eggs, sour cream and vanilla.

4. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just moistened. Stir in the nuts and chocolate chips.

5. Divide the batter among the mini-loaf pans or muffin cups, smooth the tops with a spatula and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of a mini loaf or muffin comes out clean, 22 to 25 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes in the pan, overturn mini loaves or muffins onto a wire rack, turn right-side up and let cool completely.

Aug. 31: Trail Mix Day

(Credit: Marge Perry)


What you'll need:
2 tablespoons mini M&M's
¼ cup salted peanuts
¼ cup dried fruit bits
½ cup puffed wheat or rice cereal
¼ cup mini marshmallows

How to:

Combine all ingredients.

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