Janet's Notebook
Dive Into the Weekend With a Pool Party


Calico Salsa


Whether you're lucky enough to have a pool in your backyard, belong to a community pool or own a kiddie pool (don't judge, they work wonders on a hot day to cool down), it seems a sunny day and access to a pool are the perfect excuses for a party.

Besides the pool (and sunscreen) what's a must at any pool party? Great food!

Salsa is a summertime favorite and Terri Opgenorth's (Lake Mills, WI) Calico Salsa is fresh and tasty. "I usually serve it with tortilla chips but it is also very good as a side dish and a fave of my vegetarian friends," shares Terri. "I suggest making a double batch as it keeps very well in the refrigerator for several days."

I could eat this with tortilla chips... or a big spoon. It would be amazing over grilled chicken too. Don't shy away from the dried chili flakes. It really gives this salsa an extra kick of flavor.

Jeanne Benavidez's (Odessa, TX) Avocado-Stuffed Tomatoes are cute as a button and yummy too. "A friend brought this to a backyard party once and I really liked it," explains Jeanne. "I have made it several times and everyone seems to really enjoy the little morsels of coolness."

Super simple to make and great for snacking, Emily Roberts made them for her family and they "scarfed them down." Emily added bacon bits to hers which I may do - it sounds amazing. I'd suggest doubling the filling amount, though. You'll want to make sure there's plenty for each little 'mater.

"These are great for a casual gathering of friends and family," says Mary Hutchinson (Lynchburg, SC) of her BLT Skewers. "I took a bunch to church and they were gone in minutes." If you love a BLT, then plan to love these.

The one difference is they're made with pancetta rather than bacon. If you're not familiar with pancetta, it's cured pork belly. Basically, Italian bacon. It's the star of this recipe in my opinion. If you can't find pancetta, then substitute with small pieces of bacon. It'll be just as delicious. They're served on a stick too which is always fun at a party.

There is just something delicious about a slider. As Brooke Chadwick (Rossville, GA) mentions her Bacon Cheeseburger Sliders are "quick, simple, and delicious." Her kids raved over them and I think your family and friends will too.

The burger has the perfect amount of seasoning from the onion soup mix and Worcestershire. Melted cheese adds an extra goodness and, of course, everything is better with a bit of bacon. I love the use of the Hawaiian rolls too. They add an extra sweet touch to this yummy burger.

Wash things down with Charlotte Carlile's (Daytona Beach Shores, FL) Strawberry Lemonade with No Sugar Added. "This is a wonderfully refreshing summer quencher that you can enjoy and enjoy and enjoy with no guilt," says Charlotte.

Strawberry and lemon are quintessential summertime flavors and this lemonade is extremely refreshing. Like Charlotte does, you'll want to keep the ingredients on hand so you can whip up a batch anytime. It's perfect for sippin' poolside.

There's always a place for sweet treats sin my mind. Ann Simmons' (Lugoff, SC) Creamy Key Lime Bars have a tropical feel to them which is ideal for a pool party. They're a lovely choice on a hot summer day. The tart, creamy bar plays perfectly off the salty pretzel crust.

These easy recipes are guaranteed to make your pool party a success. Want more recipes? Check out our Poolside Munchies collection. Party on... and Happy Pinching!



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