Janet's Notebook
Snack and Sip on These Refreshing Pool Party Recipes


Brother Ron's Fresh Marinated Summer Salsa


Each day this summer seems to be getting hotter and hotter. I love the warmer weather, but it's just a little too hot in my book. I'll probably be longing for warmer days in a few months, but for now, I'm looking for any way to cool down. For me, it's heading to the pool with friends. And what's a day by the pool without snacks and refreshing drinks? Not a pool day in my mind.

I love to bring salsa with me. It's easy to transport in a plastic container and stores nicely in the cooler.

"While visiting our relatives, our brother-in-law had us try this wonderful fresh salsa he made using fresh vegetables from his garden," shares Valeree Dunbar (Sparta, MI). "It was so light and fresh tasting. We couldn't get enough of it."

Valeree's Brother Ron's Fresh Marinated Summer Salsa is an easy recipe full of finely chopped summer veggies. Using cucumber as a base makes it like a cucumber salad with a salsa flare. It's so unique, refreshing, and full of flavor that it'll take your friends by surprise. If there are any extra's, serve this over grilled chicken for dinner.

Wendy Rusch's (Cameron, WI) Mango Strawberry Salsa tastes as good as it looks - delightful!

"[I] was bored and wanted a fruity salsa so came up with this," explains Wendy. The sweet combination of fruit is perfectly balanced with the bite of the onion and Anaheim pepper.

Sweet and tart, the cilantro dressing pulls everything together. This makes a rather large serving so it's perfect if a few friends are joining your pool day. Since it has a lot of fresh fruit in it, this salsa is best enjoyed the day it's made.

Summer afternoons will be a bit sweeter after you try Ashley Lemon's (Wichita, KS) Strawberry Lime Slush.

"If you love tangy and sweet strawberries this is for you," says Ashley. "This is an adult strawberry limeade slush recipe, but can also be made without the alcohol. Make a pitcher of these and watch them disappear." Tangy, sweet and refreshing, this will become your favorite summer cocktail.

Susan Jackson's (Bergman AR) refreshing Italian Margaritas have citrus undertones and are the perfect mix of sweet and sour.

"If you love margarita's I am sure you and your friends will enjoy this recipe," thinks Susan. "My husband and I have margarita nights when we will invite a friend or two. One batch is not enough so I usually will double it."

These margaritas are a little sweeter than traditional recipes. Sue uses tequila and triple sec like a regular recipe, but she has a special twist. Amaretto! It gives this typically Mexican drink a little Italian flair. If you use the ingredients Susan recommends, you'll have the perfect poolside cocktail.

"Hot, humid summers in the heartland call for a refreshing beverage," jokes Robin Poindexter's (Okmulgee, OK). Her Picnic Lemonade is a super refreshing non-alcoholic drink.

This lemonade will absolutely cool you down on a hot day. To sweeten the drink, Robin suggests sugar, honey or honeysuckle syrup. In the Test Kitchen, we used the honey. It adds an aromatic, flowery scent to the lemonade we absolutely loved. If you want to make it alcoholic, add a shot of vodka to the glass as they are served. Summertime in a glass.

Bring one of these drinks or salsas with you the next time you're invited to the pool. I guarantee you'll get a repeat invite. Stay cool and Happy Pinching!



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