Living Poolside

5 New Ways To Make S'Mores

Posted by Master Pools Guild on Sun, Sep 20, 2015

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While the exact origin of the treat is unclear, S'Mores are a popular summertime snack especialy during the evening fireside.  It is believed they may have orginated with boy & girl scouts as reports about scouts from as early as 1925 describe them.  Merriam-Webster marks 1974 as the first use of the term S'more, though recipes for "Some Mores" appear in various Girl Scout publications until at least 1973.  A 1956 recipe uses the exact name (S'Mores), and lists the ingredients as "a sandwich of two graham crackers, toasted marshmallow and 1/2 chocolate bar." Whatever the history, the S'More is still a snacktime staple and we decided it might be fun to find a few ways to put a modern twist on this traditional treat.  Here are 5 of our favorite finds:

1) Nutty For Nutella:  Slather some Nutella on the inside of the graham cracker before assembling the remainder of the traditional ingredients.

2) Caramel Drizzle:  Place graham crackers on a plate, add toasted marshmellows and chocolate but drizzle with carmel topping &/or chocolate syrup before placing the remaining crackers on top. 


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3) Cookie Lovers:  This is a simple but fun twist, replace graham crackers with your favorite cookie. Chocolate chip, sugar cookies or peanut butter work great.  Consider offering guests several options.

4) Pot O' S'Mores:  You can use that pizza oven to create a Pot O S'Mores!  


  • 1 package (14-1/2 ounces) whole graham crackers, crushed

  • 1/2 cup butter, melted

  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk

  • 2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

  • 1 cup butterscotch chips

  • 2 cups miniature marshmellows


  1. Line a Dutch oven with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Combine cracker crumbs and butter and press onto the bottom of the pan. Pour milk over crust.  Sprinkle with chocolate and butterscotch chips and top with marshmallows.

  2. Cover Dutch oven and place in your oven.

  3. Cook for approx 10 minutes or until chips are melted.  Using tongs carefully check for doness by lifting cover.  Makes 12 delishious servings!

OR....perhaps you would like to prepare a special batch of smores for the adults to nibble poolside at your next gathering...

5) Captain Morgans S'MORE Fudge (For Adults)


  • 1 can  (14 ounces) fat free sweetened condensed milk

  • 1 oz spiced rum (Captain Morgans is perfect)

  • 2 graham cracker sheets broken into small pieces

  • 2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips

  • 1 cup miniature marshmellows


  1.   Pour condensed milk into a medium sauce pan and bring to a simmer over medium heat.

  2. Once simmering add in the chocolate chips. Stir occasionally until chocolate is melted and             creamy.

  3. Slowly pour in rum and stir until well blended.

  4. Remove from heat and stir in marshmallows and graham cracker pieces.

  5.  Pour into a wax paper lined 8x8 baking square and refrigerate until set (best if left              overnight). Once set remove from pan and cut into 1 inch squares.  The perfect adult Smores  desert!

Enjoy!  Here's to many S'More adventures Living Poolside!


Tags: entertaining by the pool, poolside snacks, Easy Poolside Recipes, celebrate poolside, Food & Fun, S'Mores, S'More Recipes, Poolside entertaining, Celebrating Poolside, BBQ Recipes, Making S'Mores

Food For Thought...And Weekends Spent Living Poolside

Posted by Master Pools Guild on Fri, May 22, 2015


Many of us are busy planning for a holiday weekend and excited at the thought of possibly having an extra day to spend poolside.  Here are a few ideas that may help you simplify your planning while still adding a splash of holiday feel to your weekend: 

Keeping It Simple

Grilling or a BBQ by the pool has become more than a summer/holiday tradition, for many of us, it is a way of life.   Hamburgers (beef, turkey or veggie) and hotdogs with the fixings are a simple, fast & easy way to feed family & friends.  Gather & prepare fixings in advance (slice tomatoes, onions, lettuce) and store in plastic containers.  Tackling this task in advance will have your fixings ready to go and keep you enjoying the fun.  Plastic cups in holiday colors are an easy and inexpensive way to add a festive splash of color. 


Ice cream Sundaes make the perfect desert, again, plan ahead and have your toppings ready to go - letting guests create their own masterpiece.  

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Have a little fun with this and include red &/or blue berries and sprinkles and of course, no sundae is complete without chocolate syrup! 

Layers of Fun  Kids of all ages can have fun making layered iced beverages.   The process is simple, just remember that the liquid with the highest sugar content goes on the bottom.  Follow the directions below and make sure to chill the beverages you will be using in advance!

Red White & Blue Beverages 


Step by Step

  1. Refrigerate the drinks before starting so the ice doesn’t melt as you pour.

  2. Fill glass with ice to the top.

  3. Pour the highest sugar content drink first (FYI, this is also the heaviest)

  4. Carefully pour the next highest sugar content drink. You can pour it into the ice or along the side of the glass to reduce splashing/mixing.

  5. Pour the lightest or lowest sugar content drink on top.

  6. Enjoy! 

Red = Cran-Apple juice = 40 grams of sugar this goes in first

White = Pina Colada SoBe  = 25 grams of sugar this goes second

Blue = Cool Blue Gatorade = 21 grams of sugar this goes in third

A little planning & you can keep your weekend festive but fun for everyone!   Here’s to a many weekends spent #LivingPoolside!







Tags: Holidays Poolside, poolside snacks, Grilling, celebrate poolside, Food & Fun, #SummerIsComing, Master Pools Guild, Poolside entertaining, Family Outdoors, Celebrating Poolside

Easy To Make Fireside Apple Cider - Perfect For Fall

Posted by Master Pools Guild on Thu, Sep 26, 2013


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For many of us, our favorite memories of Fall include warm fires and apple cider.  If you are fortunate enough to have an outdoor fireplace, fire pit, or fire feature beside which to sip your cider, then all the better!  That is certainly where we prefer to gather friends & family!  So, it is in that spirit, of gathering close fireside, that we share with you our Fireside Apple Cider Recipe:

Fireside Apple CiderCider

Equipment List

1)   Sharp knife.

2)   Apple corer (makes it easier but not mandatory)

3)   Blender or a food processor

4)   Cheesecloth

5)   Container for storage- wider opening works best – like a pitcher.

Selecting Your Apples

Commercial apple cider is made from a variety of different apples. Red Delicious and Fuji make for a sweeter cider, Granny Smith and Macintosh are a bit more tart. Don’t be afraid to mix varieties when making your own ( or stick to your favorite kind). If you decide to combine varieties, try to get a mix of red, green and gold for maximum flavor.  Your cider will taste best when its made from freshly picked apples.  It's worth a visit to your local farmer's market to make sure you have fresh apples to choose from.  Avoid battered and bruised apples and go for those that appear healthiest.  You will need approx. 36 apples to make one gallon of apple cider.


Making Your Apple Cider

1)   Wash all of the apples thoroughly even if you buy organic.

2)   Core the apples – no corer?  No problem! Slice the apples in half and carve out the center.

3)   Slice apples into quarters and puree them peel and all in your blender or food processor.

4)   Keep them whirling till they are finely ground – the finer the pulp, the more juice you are going to get in the next step!

5)   Spread your cheesecloth over your container for storage and pour the pulp into the cloth.  The cloth acts as a strainer and juice filters into your container – the pulp stays put.  You will need to squeeze the cloth a few times to get all your juice.

6)   If you like, now you can add spices:  Cloves, nutmeg, lemon peel or a little ginger – all optional.

7)   For hard cider add a little rum and brown sugar.

8)   You can store covered in an air tight container for 7 days.

9)   Heat & serve to your friends & family fireside with your choice of orange slices or cinnamon sticks for garnish.

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We hope you have an opportunity to enjoy some time this Fall, cider in hand, friends & family by the fire, Living Poolside!

Tags: poolside snacks, celebrate poolside, Food & Fun, Master Pools Guild, Poolside entertaining, Pool Tech Midwest Inc. of Cedar Rapids Iowa, How To, Patio Pools of Tucson AZ

Mega Juicy Hamburger Recipe - A Master Pools Guild Grilling Favorite!

Posted by Master Pools Guild on Thu, Aug 29, 2013

Mega Juicy Hamburger

Mega Juicy Hamburgers

Makes 8 Servings


  • 2 lbs. ground beef
  • 1 egg using yolk only
  • 3/4 cup of dry bread crumbs
  • 3 Tbsp. evaporated milk
  • 2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/8 Tsp. of cayenne pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced


Prepare grill for high heat & lightly oil grate.

In a large bowl place mix all the ingredients (using your hands works best).  Separate the mixture forming 8 hamburger patties. 

Grill patties 5 min. per side or until the patties are well done.

Serve Poolside with all the usual fixins'!

Tags: Living Poolside, Grilling, best hamburgers, celebrate poolside, Food & Fun, juiciest hamburgers, Poolside entertaining, BBQ Recipes

Kids Summer Fun Series Week 4: Wonderful Watermelon

Posted by Master Pools Guild on Thu, Jul 18, 2013



Like swimming & pool side fun, the season of the watermelon is in full swing.  So, this week’s Kid’s Summer Fun Series post focuses on the sweet, juicy, summer time favorite – the watermelon.  We have listed two fun games below, one focused on the "older kids" & we have 2 recipes listed below - the second can be adjusted just a bit for the adults.  So, join us in declaring this week the wonderful week of the watermelon & enjoy this fruit both in & out of the pool!

Swimming Pool Games:

Watermelon Relay:

Of all the relay races in swimming pool history, truly one of the most popular is the watermelon race. All you need is two teams & two watermelons.  Perform the race as a relay.  Typically, the rule is that you can only push the watermelon when your feet are not touching the bottom of the pool.  Team members push up & back & the next team member takes over.  First team with all members completing the process wins.

Watermelon Polo:

Older “Kids” (including the adults) might want to try a game of Watermelon Polo.  Guaranteed laughs - Use baby oil or vegetable oil to lightly grease  a large watermelon, and then place it in the center of the pool. Blow a whistle, and then have two teams  kick, push or swim with the watermelon in an effort to get the watermelon to the opposing team’s side of the pool while the opposing team tries to do the same.   Note your team immediately loses if you damage the melon in any way.


Watermelon Pops:

The simplest of icy treats.  All you need is the watermelon & popcicle sticks.  Cut the melon in wedges, insert the stick & you can serve them as is or (& this is our personal favorite) put them in the freezer for an hour & let the freeze for the “coolest” of treats.

Watermelon-Lime Fresca:

Serves 4 (fills one blender)

2 pounds seedless watermelon (1/8th of a good-size watermelon)
1 cup cold water
2 teaspoons lime juice
1 tablespoon agave nectar

The key is to use the ripest watermelon you can find.

Simply toss the above ingredients into a blender & process adjusting the sweetness - agave - to your liking. Adults may add a splash of Vodka.

So grab a watermelon or two & enjoy Living Poolside this week!!!!

Tags: Living Poolside, poolside snacks, Kids Summer Fun Series, celebrate poolside, Food & Fun, Family Fitness, Poolside entertaining

Remember Ice, Ice Baby! Cooling Off By The Pool!

Posted by Master Pools Guild on Thu, May 23, 2013

Staying hydrated during the hot summer months is very important. One of your body's best reminders to drink fluids is when you sweat.  Swimming, like any athletic activity, causes your body temperature to rise and your body sweats to keep from overheating. It is not as noticeable because you are in the water, but you can become dehydrated.

All swimmers, from competitive athletes to families splashing around, need to drink fluids before, during and after swimming.  Feeling thirsty should not be the guide - have some water every 15 minutes, if possible.  

To make that more of an appealing process, encourage your family and poolside guests to add a splash of flavor to those tall glasses of water with our Keep-Em’ Cool Cube recipe:

Keep-Em’ Cool Cubes


OJ/Lime Cubed Version


  • 1 1/2 cups orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest

Directions Combine orange juice, lime juice, and lime zest in a bowl.  Pour into and freeze in an ice-cube tray.

Cucumber/Basil Blocks Version


  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cucumber (peeled and seeded)
  • 1/4 cup torn basil
  • Coarse salt

Directions Combine water, cucumber, basil, and salt in a blender. Process till relatively smooth then freeze in an ice-cube tray.

ake these flavored ice cubes in advance and be ready to serve them poolside – your guests will love the  infused taste of the fruit, veggies & herbs when placed in a tall glass of water.

Enjoy your time with friends & family Living Poolside!

Tags: Living Poolside, poolside snacks, celebrate poolside, Food & Fun, Master Pools Guild, Family Fitness, Poolside entertaining, swimming

Mother's Day Ideas From The Master Pools Guild

Posted by Master Pools Guild on Fri, May 10, 2013

Whether you are celebrating Mother’s Day, or just want to spoil her a bit, we have the plan for making Mom feel special.  Start by collecting a few new items for her to use when enjoying her time poolside.  You could place these in a new canvas tote or a gift bag of your choice:

Ideas For Mom’s Poolside Gift Bag:

1)      Flip flops

2)      Sunglasses

3)      Her favorite sunscreen

4)      Her favorite after sun lotion

5)      Luxurious new beach/pool towels

6)      Wide brimmed hat

7)      Novel or favorite magazines


Now that you have her poolside & enjoying several of her favorite things you can get to work on a scrumptious brunch/snack just for her.


Apricot Yogurt Scones
(yields 8)

1 cup dried apricots, roughly chopped
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 large egg
3/4 cup plain yogurt (regular or low-fat)
1/4 cup  milk (whole or skim – either works fine)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the glaze: (Optional)
1 cup confectioner's sugar
3 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment.

Soak the apricots in one cup of very hot water for about 10 minutes (to plump them a bit) then drain, pat dry, & set aside.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder and soda, sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the butter cutting it into the flour with your fingertips until no pieces larger than a pea remain. Now drain the apricots and add to the mixture tossing to coat with flour.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, yogurt, milk, & vanilla. Pour over the dry mix and use a spatula or wooden spoon to gently mix together. Mix just until there is no more dry flour visible in the dough.

Use a 1/2-cup measure to scoop out the dough and drop it onto the baking sheet. Space the scones about an inch apart. Floured hands work best to gently pat the mounds into rounds & clean up the edges.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the scones are firm to the touch, golden on top, and browned on the bottom. Once the scones have cooled completely, whisk together the glaze ingredients & drizzle approx. a spoonful on the top of each. The glaze will harden within fifteen minutes.

Scones will keep in an airtight container for three days but are best the day that they are made.  These scones are moister than most and don’t crumble as easily as traditional scones making them perfect for nibbling poolside.

These are excellent served with coffee, ice tea, Mimosas or any beverage of her choice!  She will feel like royalty as you celebrate her love of family & Living Poolside!


Tags: Living Poolside, poolside snacks, celebrate poolside, Master Pools Guild, Poolside entertaining, brunch by the pool

Entertaining Poolside, Summer Peanut Butter Chocolate Pie

Posted by Master Pools Guild on Sat, Sep 01, 2012


Summer Peanut Butter Chocolate Pie

Peanut Butter Chocolate Pie

*This is a light but rich dessert that is great for summer months! (our “test kitchen” at Master Pools Guild HQ, says this would be great for anytime!)


1 frozen Marie Callenders pie crust

¾ cup powdered sugar

½ cup crunchy peanut butter

3.9 oz instant chocolate pudding mix

1 tub whipped topping


  1. Bake pie crust according to directions and let cool
  2. Mix peanut butter and powdered sugar until a crumbly texture
  3. Make chocolate pudding according to directions
  4. Place ½ peanut butter/sugar mix into bottom of pie shell
  5. Add all of the chocolate pudding on top of mixture
  6. Top with whipped topping and then put other ½ of peanut butter/sugar mixture on top of whipped topping
  7. ENJOY Poolside of course!

This recipe shared by Karlye Reed Smith, blog contributor from Memphis Pool.

Tags: poolside snacks, Peanut Butter Chocolate Pie, Memphis Pools of Memphis, celebrate poolside, Food & Fun, Poolside entertaining

Guacamole Poolside, A Master Pools Favorite

Posted by Master Pools Guild on Fri, Aug 31, 2012

Add a little Fiesta to your poolside entertaining!




  • 2 avocados, halved, seeded and peeled
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 2 small or 1 large tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (optional)



In a large bowl place the scooped avocado &, using a potato masher, mash.  Add all remaining ingredients mixing well.  If time permits, cover & place in fridge to cool for 1 hour and then serve.  If you are pressed for time, you can purchase prepared Pico de Gallo & substitute that for all ingredients except avocados, lime juice & optional garlic. 

Add tortilla chips &/or your favorite veggies for dipping & serve poolside!


Tags: poolside snacks, celebrate poolside, Food & Fun, guacamole, Poolside entertaining, Master Pools Guild Recipe for Guacamole