Summer is the greatest time of the year and if you have a swimming pool, you might be considering a pool party. As you prepare, here are some tips to make your pool parties stand out.
- The invitation you send will set the tone for the party. You certainly could email invitations and there are ways to personalize them, but your friends will appreciate getting a snail-mail invitation to your party. Mail invitations soon. If you’re crafty, you could make your own invitations, or you can mail pre-designed cards. If you have friends who live near-by, consider writing the invitation on a mini-beach ball with ink that won’t wash off and ask them to bring the beach ball with them to the party! Pin an invitation to a brightly colored towel, and again, ask your guest to bring it with them to the party.
- Consider the menu. You will want appetizers and finger foods for your guests to enjoy throughout the day as well as a full menu for dinner time. Veggie trays and fruit platters with dip and potato chips are always crowd pleasers. Decide whether you want to grill up burgers and hots or chicken and steak or veggie burgers. If a guest asks if he or she can bring something, let them know your menu and let them help out if they want.
- Stock up on adult beverages as well as beverages for the younger set. Invest in plastic cups so there is no broken glass by your swimming pool. Remember, if you’re serving adult beverages you will want to assure that no one drinks and drives and that no one who has been drinking is in the swimming pool – swimming and alcohol are a dangerous combination.
- Table set up. Put food close to the grill – but not too close – and away from the swimming pool. Put food under a shaded area and keep foods that need to be refrigerated cold until it’s time to eat.
- The decorations. Your swimming pool will be the center of the party so you can certainly toss in some bright beach balls, but you may want to have some streamers or balloons or party-themed lights.
Consider some games for both in the pool and out of the pool. Don’t forget the music.
Here’s a recipe we found that we think you might like for your party:
Bacon-Stuffed Shell Salad
(Recipe courtesy of National Pork Board)
- 12 ounces Canadian style bacon, sliced
- 1 cup zucchini, shredded
- 1/2 cup red bell pepper, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1/4 teas salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 16 jumbo shells Romaine leaves
Cut Canadian bacon into thin strips. In a large bowl combine bacon, zucchini, red pepper and Parmesan cheese; set aside.
For dressing, combine oil, vinegar, garlic, Italian seasoning, sugar, salt and pepper. Pour dressing over bacon mixture; toss gently to mix. Cover and chill 30 minutes.
Cook shells according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water. Spoon about 1/4 cup of the bacon mixture into each shell. Place the shells, filled side up, in a baking dish. Cover and chill 2-4 hours. To serve, arrange romaine among salad plates. Place 2 shells atop each.
Also, don’t forget to talk with us to make certain your pool is cleaned right before your party and you may want to schedule a chemical testing and pool clean up right after the party.