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!  

Ingredients:

  • 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

Directions:

  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)

Ingredients:

  • 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

Directions:

  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

Perfect Poolside Popsicle

Posted by Master Pools Guild on Mon, Aug 31, 2015

 

With only 3 ingredients.

Gluten free & under 100 calories a serving!

 Blueberry Yogurt Pops

Makes: 6 POPSICLES

Prep time: 10 MINUTES 

Total time: 6-8 HOURS 

These super simple, protein-packed 3 Ingredient Blueberry Yogurt Swirl Popsicles will help keep family and friends hydrated on those poolside summer afternoons!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups blueberries
  • 2 Tablespoons agave or honey
  • 2 cups vanilla Greek yogurt

Equipment Needed:

  • Popsicle molds
  • Popsicle sticks

Directions:

  1. Blend the blueberries in a blender or a food processor at a high-speed setting until nearly liquefied.  You want to achieve a smoothie-like consistency.
  2. Pour the blueberry mixture into a large bowl adding the agave/honey. Next, slowly stir in the yogurt, gently mixing the three ingredients.
  3. For a tie-dye look do not fully blend the yogurt and blueberries. The mixture will be thick.  Give it a taste and adjust by adding more sweetener if needed/desired.
  4. Pour mixture evenly into each popsicle molds inserting sticks before freezing.
  5. Quickly run popsicle molds under warm water to easily remove the frozen treats & enjoy!!!

*Try replacing the blueberries with other summer favorite fruits and enjoy a variety of versions Living Poolside!

 

 

Tags: entertaining by the pool, Fitness & wellness, Living Poolside, poolside snacks, Popsicle Recipe, Homemade Popsicles, Blueberry Popsicles, Easy Poolside Recipes, Food & Fun, Gluten Free Snacks, Gluten Free Popsicles, Family Fitness, Family Outdoors, Celebrating Poolside, brunch by the pool, Blueberry Yogurt Popsicles, Under 100 Calorie Snacks

Food For Thought...And Weekends Spent Living Poolside

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

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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. 

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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! 

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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 

POUR EACH LAYER IN SLOWLY 

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

Mother's Day Ideas From The Master Pools Guild

Posted by Master Pools Guild on Mon, May 04, 2015

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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: 

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 magazine

8)            Refillable tumbler to use to stay hydrated 

Now that you have her poolside and enjoying several of her favorite things you can get to work on the main course for brunch or that perfect afternoon snack made just for her. 

Apricot Yogurt Scones

(Yields 8)

Ingredients:

1 cup dried apricots, roughly chopped

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter cut into pieces

1 large egg

¾ cup plain yogurt (regular or low-fat)

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract 

For the glaze (optional)

1 cup confectioner’s sugar

3 tablespoons milk

 

Instructions:

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

Whisk together flour, baking powder and soda, sugar, cinnamon and salt in a large e mixing bowl.  Add 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 the flour. 

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

Use a ½ 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 and clean up the edges. 

Bake for 20-25 minutes until scones are firm to the touch and golden on the top – browned on the bottom.  Once the scones have cooled completely, whisk together the glaze and drizzle a spoonful on the top of each.  Glaze hardens within fifteen minutes. 

Scones will keep in an airtight container for 3 days but are best the day they are made.  These scones are moister than most and don’t crumble as easily as traditional scones making them perfect for nibbling poolside! 

Excellent served with coffee, iced tea, Mimosas or any beverage of her choice.  She will feel like royalty as you celebrate her love of family & Living Poolside!

Tags: poolside snacks, Apricot Scones, Mothers Day, Mothers Day Ideas, Master Pools Guild

Easy To Make Fireside Apple Cider - Perfect For Fall

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

 

PoolTechMWFire Swimming Pool Design And Construction By Pool Tech MidWest, Iowa USA

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.

Patio Pools  Swimming Pool And Design By Patio Pools, Tuscon, Arizona USA

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

Pineapple Ginger Ale Splash A Master Pools Guild Beverage Suggestion

Posted by Master Pools Guild on Sat, Aug 24, 2013

Cool off on those long, hot summer afternoons with a:

Pineapple Ginger Ale Splash                                                                     Serves 4   

Ingredients

  • 1 12-ounce can ginger ale
  • 1 1/2 cups pineapple juice
  • Optional fresh pineapple slices for garnish

Directions

  1. In a pitcher, combine the ginger ale & pineapple juice. Serve over ice (with an optional piece of pineapple).
  2. For a cocktail: Stir in 1/2 cup light rum.
Pineapple Ginger AleNow does that look refreshing or what?!

Tags: Living Poolside, poolside snacks, summer beverages, Poolside entertaining, brunch by the pool

Kids Summer Fun Series Week # 7: Oodles of Noodles & Smoothies

Posted by Master Pools Guild on Sat, Aug 10, 2013

Pool Noodle Fun

Noodle Fun

When we were looking for pool noodle game and craft ideas, we came across SO many and several of our favorites can be found  on this Pinterest Pool Noodle Fun Board

It is worth clicking thru and we guarantee the photos will

1) bring a smile to your face

&

2) light a spark of creativity for your next swimming pool noodle project!

 

This week, in addition to suggesting oodles of fun with noodles (thanks to the Pinterest link above) we'd also like to share a favorite summer snack staple...the Smoothie :)

Smoothies

Playing in the pool can work up quite a thirst. Smoothies are a wonderful, nutritious alternative to sodas and fruit juices. They provide a ton of nutrients and are satisfyingly refreshing on a hot day.

Making smoothies is a very easy process. A basic smoothie recipe calls for:

  •  a serving of fruit such as blueberries, peaches, bananas or strawberries

  • and any kind of liquid as a base; water, milk, juice and yogurt all work well.

To save time, freeze pre-measured servings of fruit so you can just toss them into the blender.

It's better to serve smoothies immediately, but you can make a big pitcher and keep refrigerated for a few hours just remember to stir before your pour. 

One of our favorite combinations:

Smoothie :)
1 cup orange juice

1/4 cup blueberries

1 cup strawberries

2 cups ice cubes

Put everything in the blender & pulse till smooth – DELISH!

Tags: Living Poolside, poolside snacks, Kids Summer Fun Series, Food & Fun

Kids Summer Fun Series Week 6: If You Wish You Were A Fish

Posted by Master Pools Guild on Fri, Aug 02, 2013

This week our fun and games focus on a fish theme.   

Fish In A Whirlpool

This game works best in shallow water (players’ feet need to touch the bottom of the pool). Begin the game by lining up all the players single file in a circle  - the more players the better.  Get everyone to squeeze up as close as possible to the person in front of him or her. Ask the players to begin a slow walk around in a circle (hopefully you have enough players so you are close to the edge of the pool) then go to a jog, and finally get them to run as fast as they can. By this time, the water will be moving so rapidly that all players can ride the current.  If the players tuck themselves into a ball position it is even more fun & the goal can be to be the last person/fish to become un-tucked. 

 It’s also a fun challenge to run in the opposite direction!

 

Dolphins in the Water

Set players up in pairs. 

One child is the “arms” and one is the “legs.”

In the water, the “legs” hold the “arms” by the waist.

The “arms” are told to move their arms only & the “legs” move their legs only.

Let the dolphin teams select their own “dolphin” names.  Time the pairs to determine the fastest.

 

Catchn’ Fish Snack

 FishSnack

Ingredients:

Peanut Butter

Celery Sticks (or you can use big, thick, pretzle sticks)

Goldfish Crackers

Directions:

Dab a bit of peanut butter on the end of celery sticks & let your kids “fish away” catching the goldfish crackers.  

We hope you enjoy this week's snack & activities, may they help to keep you in the swim   ><((">  of things & enjoying your time Living Poolside this summer!

Tags: poolside snacks, Kids Summer Fun Series, Food & Fun, Master Pools Guild, Family Fitness

Kids Summer Fun Series Week 4: Wonderful Watermelon

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

 

WonderfulWatermelon

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.

Recipes:

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

Kids Summer Fun Series Week 2: Fourth of July Poolside

Posted by Master Pools Guild on Wed, Jul 03, 2013

The Master Pools Guild Living Poolside’s Kids Summer Fun Series! Where we share a fun activity & a great poolside snack each week.

Summer Fun Week # 2 Celebrating Independence Day

Even if you don’t reside in the USA, you can have a splashing good time with this set of games & poolside fun.

4thofJuly

Games:

Crossing the Potomac Race:

Putting a new spin on a pool time favorite – the raft race, Crossing the Potomac can be performed solo or by teams.  Each team needs a raft.  Teams begin at one end of the pool & race to the other end.  One team member pushes the raft while the remainder of the team members are on the raft either laying across or sitting..  Team members on the raft can help push along or not.  Make your own rules & change this up.  For example, let the raft riders only use their legs to help.

Cannon Ball Splash Contest:

Nothing brings everyone together more than a cannon ball contest.  Get your contestants, find a prize for the winner & have the audience judge by applause. ALWAYS exercise caution when jumping off the side of a pool. 

Cannon Ball Run Relay Race:

Divide into teams.  Each team needs a beach ball which will be the cannon ball.  The object of the game is for each swimmer to move the cannon ball from one end of the pool to the other but only using their nose! Another great race for a relay!

Star Spangled Splash Dance:

Divide into teams (or individuals can complete).  Have teams choreograph an Independence Day themed water ballet (use pool noodles/floats etc. for props).  Then invite family, friends & neighbors to watch the premiere.  Great to have in the evening with pool lights adding that dramatic flair to the presentation.  Have multiple “awards” so each team is a winner (i.e most original, most patriotic, most “red,white & blue”).

Star Spangle the Food & Beverages:

Cup Station:

Avoid the mix up of cups (which typically happens at parties) by providing guests with a cup station.  Set up a table that has plastic cups (solid color), markers, in black, blue, silver & star stickers in patriotic colors & have everyone decorate & place their names on their cups.  The kids can help decorate cups for their parents too.  This not only avoids cup confusion but will also help reduce the overall number of cups you use.

Frozen Stars:

We loved the star shaped ice cube trays we found (at Wal-Mart for .98 Cents!)

We used them to make red, star shaped ice cubes (we used Crystal Light

Pomegranate Sugar Free) which will be kid fun & friendly served poolside in lemonade.

Fruity Stars:

Next, grab a star shaped cookie cutter (or hand it off to a kid helper) & dive into the watermelon.

Add blueberries & a few strawberries for a super star fruit salad! Another possibility would be to skewer the fruit & put those star shapes on the top of the skewer.

Whatever you do to celebrate, here’s to celebrating your holiday & Living Poolside!

 

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