Pool & Spa Outdoor Blog

Beautiful Pool Photos from the 2014 Master Pools Guild Awards

PHOTO Gallery of 85 Beautiful Pools







freeform infinity pool with fountain bubblers - Artistic Pools, Atlanta, GA - Master Pools GuildEvery year the Master Pools Guild honors some of the most spectacular pools in the U.S. and around the world with the International Awards of Excellence. These awards recognize the craftsmanship of elite swimming pool builders and designers and showcase a wide variety of pool shapes, styles and water features.

The winning designs include pools from across the U.S. and Canada, as well as the United Kingdom, Australia, Guatemala, and Dubai.

 

Check out the award-winning pools photo gallery to see 85 breathtaking swimming pools and get ideas for your own backyard retreat. Explore options like glass tile, built-in spas, fountains, dramatic lighting effects and more.

See 85 beautiful pool photos >>

 

Photo courtesy of Master Pools Guild; Artistic Pools, Atlanta, GA

Award-Winning Pool Photos from the 2014 APSP Awards

100 Award-Winning Pool Photos from APSP







Swimming pool with stepping stone bridgeDid you spend Memorial Day weekend at a backyard barbecue or by the pool? With the unofficial kickoff to summer in full swing, you may be planning a pool of your own or dreaming of the many design possibilities.

If you are looking for beautiful swimming pool photos and ideas for your own backyard resort, view the the winners of The International Awards of Excellence presented by the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals (APSP). Every year, APSP honors talented pool builders and pool designers for their outstanding projects and water features.

 

Browse the entire gallery of award-winning swimming pool photos to see amazing photos pools with of rock waterfalls, custom spas, pool lighting, landscape lighting, and more. 

Choose your favorites to inspire your own backyard pool design or outdoor living space. See pool photo gallery >>

 

Photo courtesy of APSP; Teserra Outdoors, Coachella, CA

Gift Ideas for Pool Owners and Outdoor Design Lovers

Holiday Gift Guide for Pool Owners, Garden Buffs, and Outdoor Design Lovers


With Christmas just a few weeks away, you’re probably decking the halls (and deck’orating your yard), baking Christmas cookies and other holiday treats, and of course, looking for the perfect gift for everyone on your list—including the pool owner or outdoor lover in your family.

We put together some stylish and fun gift ideas sure to please kids, spouses, garden lovers, pet owners, and more.

Check out these unique pool and patio products sure to spruce up any backyard this season and all year round.



Garden Planters


Hayneedle bicycle garden planter bike outdoor decor

Right: This cast iron bronze bicycle planter is a charming gift for any garden lover. Not only does it show off blooms in style, it also serves as an eye-catching garden accent.

Made of durable iron, this bike sculpture includes two planting baskets in the back, one in front, and one in the middle for an attractive multilevel display.



Hayneedle resin self-watering garden planter whiteHayneedle self-watering resin planter graniteHayneedle self-watering resin planter mocha outdor decor

Above: These self-watering resin planters are great for poolside accents and backyard decks. They come equipped with a self-watering system that gives your plant just the right amount of water and nutrients it needs for healthy growth. Made of woven plastic resin that resembles wicker, the planters are lightweight, UV-resistant, and weatherproof. They are available in two sizes and four colors: white, granite, mocha, and black.

Photos courtesy of Hayneedle.com



Stylish Outdoor Seating: Swings, Gliders and Day Beds


OW Lee monterra sofa swing porch swingThe Monterra sofa swing by OW Lee is the ultimate addition to any outdoor living space. Its loveseat design and cushioned armrests bring the comfort of indoors to your backyard.

In addition to its cozy bucket seat and stylish wrought iron frame, the swing has a lot of versatility. It is available as a stand-alone piece with an optional canopy for shade, or you can purchase the swing without the frame and hang it as a porch swing.

Visit www.owlee.com to find a retailer near you.

Photo courtesy of OW Lee, Inc.








Source Outdoor wicker Hampton day bedThis wicker Hampton day bed by Source Outdoor offers outdoor luxury and relaxation.

The off-white cushions are made of durable acrylic outdoor fabric, and the cushion covers unzip for easy removal and washing.

Photo courtesy of Source Outdoor




Hayneedle sling double glider patio chairThis outdoor double glider can seat two to three people and has fast-dry sling seat cushions, making it perfect for poolside seating.

The seats are available in two colors: beach (shown) and bronze.

Its aluminum frame is both rust- and weather-resistant, meaning your glider will look like new for years.

Photo courtesy of Hayneedle.com



Hayneedle double sun lounger hammockCozy Hammocks

Who can resist a hammock on a lazy afternoon?

This double sun lounger hammock bed offers a place to bask in the sun, read a book, or enjoy an afternoon nap.

It is available in blue (pictured), green, and red.


Photo courtesy of Hayneedle.com



Hayneedle striped hammock with pillowIf you’d rather be lounging under a tree canopy,
this striped fabric hammock offers a comfortable alternative to the basket weave rope used on traditional hammocks.

The fabric is made of durable polyester to resist fading and wear and tear, but feels as soft as cotton.

The hammock comes with an adorable yellow polka dot bird pillow.


Photo courtesy of Hayneedle.com


Towel Storage with Style

Every pool owner knows you have to keep a stock of towels on hand for guests. What’s the best way to store them and hang them to dry after use? Check out these great options:

At West End fish wall towel rackHayneedle deck storage box bench pool towels

Complete with an adorable fish and water waves design, this iron 'towels' wall rack (left) is perfect for any pool house, while this outdoor storage deck box (right) doubles as a poolside bench.


Left: Photo courtesy of At West End
Right: Photo courtesy of Hayneedle.com



Outdoor Decor and Garden Ornaments


At West End caged rock flowers garden decorAt West End iron owl candle holder garden decor

These decorative rustic items by At West End add a touch of whimsy to any backyard.

We love these caged rock flowers (set of 4) made from recycled materials, and this iron owl candle holder lantern is an adorable accent to any back porch, deck, or garden.


Photos courtesy of At West End



Games For Kids and Sports Lovers


Hayneedle 2-in-1 pool basketball volleyball game setHayneedle 2-in-1 pool volleyball basketball game set

When you’ve exhausted traditional pool games like Marco Polo and Sharks & Minnows, this portable 2-in-1 pool basketball/volleyball set by PoolSport will keep kids and their friends entertained for hours.

The set includes a basketball net and 16-foot long volleyball net that can span up to a 22-foot wide pool. It easily converts between the two games with no tools required.


Photos courtesy of Hayneedle.com



Pet Beds For Dog Lovers and Pet Owners


The Refined Canine outdoor dog chaise lounge day bed Dog lovers can bask in the sun while their dog relaxes in the shade—in style.

The outdoor dog chaise lounger by The Refined Canine is an outdoor dog bed perfect for any deck or poolside patio.

The bed is made of waterproof plastic rattan material and includes a machine-washable, 3-inch thick outdoor cushion.

Photo courtesy of TheRefinedCanine.com




The Refined Canine wicker dog day bed with outdoor cushionWhen no shade is needed, dogs can enjoy this indoor/outdoor dog day bed.

Complete with bone-shaped detail on the front, this luxury outdoor pet bed is both cozy and canine chic!

Photo courtesy of TheRefinedCanine.com





Idea Books for Planning a New Pool or Backyard Makeover

Inspiration Series 2 - Pool Outdoor Design Books (set of 4) | ManorHouseBookstore.com
Our Pool Idea and Outdoor Design Books make a great gift!

Available in print, check out our selection of pool books on ManorHouseBookstore.com

Inspiration Series 2 (pictured) includes:
- Water Features
- Indoor Pools
- Outdoor Kitchens
- Conservatories

Inspiration Series 1 includes:
- Infinity Pools
- Award-Winning Pools
- Tropical Pools
- Desert Pools

Special pricing when you order one of the above sets of 4 (in print).

All titles also available individually in print and digital download for Kindle.

To order via phone, call 888.768.3222


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7 Delicious Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Thanksgiving Recipes: 7 Tasty Side Dishes


By Patti Plummer


Thanksgiving is a holiday about being thankful for all the good things in our lives, and what better way to celebrate that happiness than by serving family and friends a bountiful feast, complete with all their favorite dishes—plus some new ones.

Here are seven Thanksgiving side dish recipes guaranteed to become Turkey Day must-haves after just one taste.


Holiday Brat Stuffing


Serves 12Brat sausage stuffing Thanksgiving side dish recipe


1 package (19 ounces) JOHNSONVILLE® Brats, casings removed
1/2 cup butter
2 medium onions, chopped
2 cups celery, chopped
1 cup green pepper, chopped
12 cups unseasoned bread stuffing, cubed
1 tsp. rubbed sage
2 tbs. poultry seasoning
2 eggs, lightly beaten
6 cups chicken broth
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large skillet, brown and cook crumbled sausage until no longer pink. Drain. Remove from skillet; set aside. In the same skillet, melt butter and sauté onion, celery and green pepper until tender.

In an extra large mixing bowl, combine sausage, vegetable mixture, bread stuffing and seasonings.
Add eggs and broth; toss gently. Salt and pepper to taste. Spoon into a buttered 3 to 4 quart baking dish.
Cover with foil and bake at 325° for 60 minutes.

Uncover and bake 10 minutes longer or until lightly browned. Check internal temperature with a meat thermometer, it should read 165°F when done.

Recipe and image courtesy of Johnsonville Sausage



Root Vegetable Chipotle Cheddar Gratin
By Chef Brandt Evans

Root Vegetables Chipolte Cheddar gratin potato thanksgiving recipeServes 8


1 large butternut squash (about 2 1/2 pounds), peeled, halved, seeded
2 large sweet potatoes (about 3/4 pound each), peeled
1 medium rutabaga (about 2 pounds), peeled, halved
2 cups (8 ounces) Wisconsin Cranberry Chipotle Cheddar Cheese*
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
1 1/2 tbs. extra virgin olive oil
*Or use a Wisconsin Chipotle Cheddar or Chipotle Jack Cheese.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Using a mandoline, slice squash and potatoes lengthwise 1/8 inch thick. Slice rutabaga crosswise 1/8 inch thick.

Spray 9x13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Arrange half the potatoes in dish, overlapping slightly; add layer of cheese (half the cheese). Season with salt and pepper. Top with half the rutabaga and squash, seasoning each layer with salt and pepper. Repeat layering. Pour broth over all.

Cover tightly with foil; bake 1 hour until vegetables are almost tender when pierced. Remove foil and pour cream over gratin. Bake 30 minutes longer, uncovered, until liquid has thickened.

Preheat broiler. Mix panko crumbs and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle over gratin. Broil 3 inch from heat 2 minutes or until golden, rotating for even browning. Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes.

Recipe and image courtesy of ©2013 Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, Inc.



Cheddar and Hickory-Smoked Bacon Cornbread

By Chefs Duskie Estes and John Stewart Zazu Restaurant, Sonoma, CA

Cheddar hickory smoked bacon cornbread Thanksgiving recipeServes 6 - 8


3/4 cup yellow cornmeal, preferably stone-ground
3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup (2 ounces) Wisconsin Cheddar Cheese, preferably aged, grated
8 ounces bacon, diced small, fried until fat is rendered and drained
2 1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup corn oil
2 eggs, beaten

Preheat oven to 325°F. Spray 9-inch square baking dish or cast iron skillet with nonstick spray. In medium bowl, combine cornmeal, flour, sugar, cheese, bacon, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, combine milk, oil, and eggs. Add to cornmeal-flour mixture and stir just until blended. Do not overmix.

Pour into prepared baking dish and bake until golden and springs back when touched, about 35 to 40 minutes.

Recipe and image courtesy of ©2013 Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, Inc.



Sweet Potato Fries with Guacamole


Sweet potato fries with guacamole Thanksgiving side dish recipeServes 4


4 medium-size sweet potatoes or yams (about 1-1/2 pounds), peeled, cut into long sticks, 1/4-inch wide*
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 tsp. salt, divided
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. crushed red pepper (optional)
2 large ripe fresh Hass Avocados, seeded and peeled
2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced, more or less to taste
2 green onions, thinly sliced

Preheat oven to 450° F. Spray 2 (12”x17”) baking sheets with non-stick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, toss sweet potato sticks with oil, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, the chili powder and crushed red pepper (if using) until thoroughly coated. On prepared baking sheets, spread sweet potatoes in a single layer. Bake 15-18 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and cool slightly.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, with a fork, mash avocado with lime juice, jalapeño, green onions and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Serve sweet potato fries warm with guacamole for dipping.

*Large avocados are recommended for this recipe. A large avocado averages about 8 ounces. If using smaller or larger size avocados adjust the quantity accordingly.

Recipe and image courtesy of the Hass Avocado Board




Baked Potato with Cranberry Dip


Baked potato with cranberry dip Thanksgiving side dish recipeServes 4


4 large floury potatoes (each 300 g)
6 tbs. olive oil
Salt
40 g dried cranberries
1 ripe avocado (e.g. Hass)
1 tbs. lemon juice
250 g cottage cheese
Pepper

Wash potatoes and dry them. Rub each potato with 1 tablespoon of oil and salt and lay them on a baking tray. Bake them in a preheated oven at 180 degrees (convection heat is not recommended) on the bottom third of the oven for 1 ½ hours.

15 minutes before the end of the baking time, prepare the cranberry dip. Coarsely chop up the cranberries. Cut the avocado in half, remove the core and scoop out the fruit flesh with a spoon. Cut the fruit flesh into ½ cm sized cubes and immediately mix them with the lemon juice. Mix the avocado, cranberries and 1 tablespoon of oil into the cottage cheese. Season with salt and pepper.

Take the potatoes out of the oven, cut them lengthwise and push them slightly apart. Spread the cranberry dip over the potatoes. Sprinkle the rest of the olive oil on top and serve.

Photo and recipe courtesy of Cranberries from the USA



Shaved Brussels Sprouts with Frizzled Ham

Shaved Brussels Sprouts with ham Thanksgiving recipe vegetableServes 8


6 slices ham, (about 3 ounces), cut in half, then cut crosswise into 1/4-inch strips
1 3/4 pounds Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed, outer leaves removed
1 large orange
2 tbs. olive oil
2 tbs. unsalted butter
2 cups shallots, thinly sliced (8 to 10)
6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/4 cup pine nuts
2 tsp. white balsamic vinegar, OR white wine vinegar
Salt and pepper

Working in batches, place the Brussels sprouts in the feed tube of a food processor fitted with a thin slicing disk and slice. (If you don’t have a food processor with a thin slicing disk, thinly slice the Brussels sprouts by hand.) Zest the orange, then squeeze 1/4 cup of orange juice (save any remaining orange for another use). Set Brussels sprouts, orange zest, and orange juice aside.

In a large saucepan or small stockpot over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the ham and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisped and golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer ham to a plate and set aside.

Add the butter to the pan and melt over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until almost translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 minute. Stir in the Brussels sprouts. Stir in the orange zest and orange juice and cook, stirring occasionally, until Brussels sprouts are tender, about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the pine nuts and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper.

Transfer the mixture to a serving bowl, top with the ham, and serve.

Recipe and photo courtesy of National Pork Board. For more information about pork, visit PorkBeInspired.com


Ham and Peas with Mint and Tarragon

Ham and peas with mint taragon Thanksgiving recipe vegetableServes 4 - 6


4 ounces ham, cut into 1/4-inch dice
3 cups peas, fresh or frozen
3 tbs. unsalted butter, (1/2 stick), cut into 4 to 6 pieces
1/4 cup fresh mint, coarsely chopped plus sprigs for garnish
2 tbs. fresh tarragon, coarsely chopped , plus sprigs for garnish
Salt and pepper

Bring a medium saucepan of well-salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the peas and cook until tender, 3 to 8 minutes depending on the size of the peas.

Drain the peas, reserving 2 tablespoons of the cooking water. Return the peas and cooking water to the saucepan. Add the ham, butter, mint, and tarragon, stirring until the butter melts. Season with salt and pepper.

Transfer to a bowl, garnish with the mint and tarragon sprigs, and serve.

Recipe and photo courtesy of National Pork Board. For more information about pork, visit PorkBeInspired.com



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8 Fire Pit Safety Tips

8 Tips for Fire Pit Safety







By Patti Plummer


OW Lee outdoor furniture fire pit patioWhen the weather turns cooler, homeowners can continue to enjoy their outdoor living spaces by adding a heat source like a fire pit.

There are a variety of types, including custom-made and pre-fab, but no matter what type you choose, remember to keep a few crucial safety tips in mind before, during, and after you light the fire.

Before you purchase a fire pit or have one built, remember to check with your local government to confirm that fire pits of any make or model are legal in your municipality.


Photo courtesy of OW Lee, Co.



OW Lee fire pit table chairs1. Choose the right fuel.

It is important to select the proper heat source for your fire pit. If it is a pre-fab model, the manufacturer will list the correct type. If you plan to have one custom built, work with your landscape architect to obtain the type that best suits your needs.

Most fire pits can safely control fires that are fueled by hard woods like cedar and oak or can be outfitted to produce heat through natural gas, propane, or gel.


Photo courtesy of OW Lee, Co.




Stonecrest Pools fire pit chairs seating2. Make sure your fire pit is on a stable, fireproof floor.

Your fire pit must be placed on a surface that can handle sparks or embers that might blow from the bowl. Any natural stones, like flagstone, travertine, slate, and granite, and manmade materials like concrete and durable fire-safe paving stones, are excellent choices.


Photo courtesy of Rugged Class Waterfalls & Pools; Photography by Stephen K. Wolfe




Rugged Class Pool fire pit patio3. Keep your fire pit away from anything flammable.

The rule of thumb is to maintain at least 10 feet of space between the fire pit and anything combustible. That means, when you use the fire pit, keep furniture and accessories at a safe distance. You will still feel the heat and enjoy the ambiance!



Photo courtesy of Stonecrest Pools; Photography by Sean Gallagher






Rugged Class pool patio fire pit4. Check weather conditions before lighting the fire pit.


Never light a fire pit in windy conditions. Not only will you have difficulty starting the fire, but you will also have a greater chance of flying embers or sparks blowing away from the controlled area.


Photo courtesy of Rugged Class Waterfalls & Pools; Stephen K Wolfe Photography




OW Lee fire pit table patio5. Keep your fire low and slow.


Be patient. If you are using wood in your fire pit, start the fire slowly. Once the fire is burning strongly, add more fuel until you have the level of heat you desire. Never, ever use an accelerant like gasoline—it’s too unpredictable and risky.

Photo courtesy of OW Lee, Co.



EP Henry dusk mesh fire pit cover family6. Use a mesh cover.

A good way to keep embers and sparks from flying out of the pit is to contain them from the beginning, and a wire mesh cover is a great option. The warmth and ambiance remains intact while the fire pit area has one more line of defense against unsafe conditions.




Photo courtesy of EP Henry







EP Henry fire pit couple lanterns7. Never neglect your fire pit


No matter the fuel, always attend the fire. If you are using wood, you should have a container of water or fire extinguisher on hand to quickly but carefully contain a flare-up.

If your fire pit is fueled by propane, natural gas, or gel, read the manufacturer’s instructions. Usually, all it takes is a turn of the knob to extinguish the fire. It’s a smart plan to have a fire extinguisher nearby that can dowse your particular kind of fuel should it become necessary.

Photo courtesy of EP Henry



Fire pit patio Pools by John Clarkson8. ALWAYS make sure the fire is out before you leave the area.

When you are finished with the fire pit, take precautions to make sure the fire is entirely out. If you used wood, smooth the ashes and let them cool. Then, gently pour water over the cinders. Look for hot spots or smoldering embers; once the fire pit is fire-free, you can exit the area.


Photo Courtesy of Pools by John Clarkson, an Aquatech Builder; Photography by Ben Brewer Photography





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BioSafe Systems Introduces New Eco-Friendly Water Care Products

Eco-Friendly Water Care for Pools & Spas - GreenCleanMAX by BioSafe Systems


GreenCleanMax non-chlorine pool spa treatments shock
GreenCleanMAX is the newest line of eco-friendly pool and spa products from BioSafe Systems.

This eco-friendly product line includes treatments for your pool, spa, deck, and outdoor furniture without the use of harsh chemicals. Learn more about each product below.


Non-Chlorine Pool Shock

GreenCleanMax non-chlorine pool shockBioSafe’s GreenCleanMAX Non-Chlorine Shock is a great liquid pool shock application.

It clears up pool water quickly, working as a powerful oxidizer, and is great to treat organic build-up, wastes, oils, and lotions in pool water. This chlorine-free shock reduces combined chlorine levels and controls odors.

Plus, you can swim within 15 minutes of application.

When to use:

- When combined chlorine levels are high
- After heavy use of the pool or spa
- After heavy rainstorms



Non-Chlorine Spa Treatment

GreenCleanMAX non-chorine pool hot tub spa treatmentThe GreenCleanMAX Non-Chlorine Spa Treatment oxidizes unwanted waste, oils, and lotions, and is a great treatment for water odors.

This liquid treatment is derived from activated peroxygen chemistries that contain no chlorine or copper. Its unique formula does not leave behind any odors or irritating byproducts; it simply breaking down into water and oxygen.

When to use:

- When chlorine levels are high
- When odors are high
- After heavy use of the hot tub or spa
- Weekly as a maintenance program





Non-Chlorine Algaecide


GreenCleanMax non-chlorine granular algaecideThe GreenCleanMAX Granular Algaecide eliminates and prevents algae, slime, molds, and bacteria in swimming pools (including saltwater pools), hot tubs, and spas.

The algaecide is both chlorine-free and copper-free and works without leaving behind skin irritants. It also requires no pH adjustment.

GreenCleanMAX’s sustainable approach softens the water and brings organic debris to the surface for easy removal.

When to use:

- When first opening your pool
- Weekly to prevent algae
- Prior to closing your pool




Moss, Mold, and Mildew Treatment for Decks & Patios


GreenCleanMax MMM Moss Mold Mildew Treament deck patioGreenCleanFX MMM is a moss, mold, and mildew treatment that is free of copper, chlorine, and phosphates.

The formula comes in a convenient spray bottle and is safe to use on many surfaces, including wood decks, patios, pool ladders, and outdoor furniture.

It is EPA-registered as a cleaning product for non-porous surfaces such as pool and spa covers, umbrellas, and cartridge filters.

How to use:

- Attach the ready-to-spray nozzle to a hose for quick application. Spray onto area to be treated. (No rinsing required.)
- For areas heavily stained with mold, mildew or moss, brush lightly with GreenCleanFX MMM to help remove stains quickly.

Where to use:

- Concrete and pavement: patios, sidewalks and retaining walls
- Outdoor furniture: chairs, tables, umbrellas and awnings
- Decks: composite, wood (natural, painted, stained) pre-treated lumber
- Pool covers and equipment: diving boards, covers, liners, tiles, siding


To learn more about this new line of eco-friendly pool and spa care products, visit www.GreenCleanMAX.com

Photos courtesy of BioSafe Systems





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Pleatco Unveils New PLEATCO ADVANCED Filter Cartridges

New PLEATCO ADVANCED® Filter Cartridges Offer Exceptionally Clean Pool and Spa Water







Pleatco Advanced Filter CartridgePleatco, the New-York based filtration company, has introduced new PLEATCO ADVANCED filter cartridges for pools and spas.

The cartridges center around a completely new and unique, uniformly bonded filtration media, which drives exceptional cleaning performance for clear, healthy pool and spa water.

How do PLEATCO ADVANCED Filter Cartridges work?

PLEATCO ADVANCED 4oz bonded media contains more fibers per unit area, offering greater volume dirt-holding capacity.

With reduced pore size distribution, the fabric speeds up turbidity reduction through unique cross filtration flow. This easily and efficiently captures dirt particles to achieve a deeper level of cleanliness and clarity than ever before.


How were they developed?

PLEATCO ADVANCED was meticulously tested over an 18-month period with the assistance of over 40 industry professionals and pool owners nationwide who put the new product through rigorous paces in broad climates, environments, and conditions. The results were a resounding win for Pleatco.

“PLEATCO ADVANCED is the new standard that takes the entire industry to the next level, not just Pleatco,” says Richard Medina, vice president of engineering at Pleatco.


Pleatco Advanced Filter CartridgeWhat are the benefits of PLEATCO ADVANCED?

Combining the new media with Pleatco’s unique FREE FLOW CORE® technology, PLEATCO ADVANCED filter cartridges offer many benefits, including:

- lower pressure
- greater flow
- less wear and tear on the pump
- extended life of the product
- extended time between necessary cleaning
- less overall energy consumption

“PLEATCO ADVANCED cartridges held up great all summer, were very easy to clean, and really kept my pool perfectly sparkling,” says pool owner Kim Rahe, Ohio.

Pool owner Terry Weaver, North Carolina, also reports great success with the product. “Pleatco Advanced worked remarkably well with no significant increase in pressure and our pool has remained clear throughout this season, even though we had an incredible amount of pollen.”


Pleatco Advanced Filter CartridgeContinued innovation

Seven years ago, under new owner and CEO Howard Smith, Pleatco began turning the tide in their category. Innovative thinking and a scientific approach to filtration of pool and spa water are hallmarks of the company’s rise to prominence in the industry. PLEATCO ADVANCED is the newest step in the revolution of water filtration technology.

“When it comes to clean water,” says Pleatco’s Howard Smith, “we’re never done. We have an obligation to do what’s right.” That commitment is underscored by research, which shows a child drinks 1.3 ounces of water for every 45 minutes they play in a pool - a sobering statistic the whole Pleatco team takes to heart. It moves them to raise the bar higher.


Photos courtesy of Pleatco




6 Spook-tacular Halloween Recipes

Halloween Recipes: 6 Spooky Fun Desserts


By Patti Plummer


Halloween is all about treats—and we have six tricks to help you scare up a bagful of goodies that are sure to make you grin from ear to ear. (But, beware: you may be tempted to try one too many!)

Whether you’re having a Halloween party or just want to try some festive treats, here are 6 spooky fun dessert recipes:


Chocolate Batty Cupcakes


Bat halloween cupcakes recipe Land O LakesServes: 24 Cupcakes


1 (15.25- to 16.5-ounce) package devil’s food chocolate cake mix
1 1/4 cups buttermilk*
1/2 cup Land O Lakes® Butter, softened
3 Land O Lakes® All-Natural Eggs

Frosting
1/2 cup Land O Lakes® Butter
3 cups powdered sugar
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 to 5 tablespoons milk

Decorations
24 chocolate kiss-shaped candies, unwrapped
Black decorator gel
Red cinnamon candies
Sliced almonds
1 (9-ounce) package fancy chocolate wafers
Nonpareils

Heat oven to 350°F. Place paper baking cups into 24 muffin pan cups; set aside.

Combine all cupcake ingredients in bowl; beat at medium speed until well mixed.

Spoon batter evenly into prepared muffin pan cups 2/3 full. Bake 20-22 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes in pans; remove to cooling rack. Cool completely.

Melt 1/2 cup butter in 3-quart saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat; stir in powdered sugar, cocoa, corn syrup, vanilla and enough milk for desired spreading consistency. Frost cooled cupcakes.

Place 1 candy kiss at an angle on cupcake for bat head. Attach 2 red cinnamon candies for eyes using decorator gel. Add 2 sliced almonds for ears.

Cut chocolate wafers in half with sharp knife. Pipe straight edges with decorator gel; dip in nonpareils. At serving time, place wafer halves into cupcakes for wings.

*Substitute 4 teaspoons vinegar or lemon juice and enough milk to equal 1 1/4 cups; let stand 5 minutes.


Recipe and image courtesy of Land O’Lakes, Inc.



Ghostly Cereal Pops

Ghost halloween cereal pops recipe Land O LakesServes 12


3 cups miniature marshmallows
1/4 cup Land O Lakes® Butter
3 1/2 cups crisp rice cereal
1/2 cup sunflower kernels
14 ounces vanilla-flavored candy coating (almond bark)
12 (6-inch) wooden craft sticks
9 oval black licorice candy pieces, cut into 36 thin slices

Directions

Line 9-inch square pan with aluminum foil, extending foil over edges. Spray foil with no-stick cooking spray; set aside. Place large sheet of aluminum foil onto flat surface. Spray with no-stick cooking spray; set aside.

Combine marshmallows and butter in 2-quart saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until marshmallows are melted and mixture is smooth. Place cereal and sunflower kernels into bowl. Pour marshmallow mixture over cereal mixture; mix until cereal mixture is coated. Spoon into prepared pan; press down with buttered hands. Let stand 2 hours until set.

Remove mixture from pan using foil ends; place onto work surface. Peel off foil. Using 2- to 2 1/2-inch ghost cookie cutter, cut ghost-shaped cereal bars. Press trimmings together to form another ghost, if desired.

Place candy coating in 9-inch glass pie pan. Microwave 1 minute; stir. Continue microwaving, stirring every 15 seconds, until melted and smooth. Dip 1 end of each craft stick into candy coating; insert coated end into ghost. Dip back of ghost into coating; scrape off excess. Place, coating-side up, onto prepared aluminum foil surface. Let stand until coating is set.

Reheat coating in pie pan. Microwave 30-40 seconds until melted. Stir coating until smooth; dip front and sides of ghosts into coating, spreading as necessary to cover all sides. Place licorice pieces on ghost for eyes and mouth. Place ghosts onto foil; let stand until set.


Recipe and image courtesy of Land O’Lakes, Inc.



Carriage Cookies


iced sugar carriage cookies halloween recipe Land O LakesServes 42 Cookies


3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups Land O Lakes® Butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 Land O Lakes® All-Natural Egg
1 tablespoon milk
2 teaspoons vanilla

Frosting
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup Land O Lakes® Butter, softened
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 to 3 tablespoons Land O Lakes® Heavy Whipping Cream

Decorations
Green food color
Orange food color
Black decorator gel
Halloween candy decorations
84 miniature (3/4- to 1-inch diameter) round peanut butter cracker sandwiches

Directions

Combine flour, baking powder and salt in bowl; set aside.

Combine 1 1/4 cups butter and sugar in bowl. Beat at medium speed until creamy. Add egg, milk and vanilla; beat until well mixed. Add flour mixture gradually, beating at low speed after each addition until well mixed.

Divide dough in half. Shape each half into ball; flatten slightly. Wrap each in plastic food wrap; refrigerate at least 1 hour until firm.

Heat oven to 400°F.

Roll out dough on lightly floured surface, one-half at a time (keeping remaining dough refrigerated), to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut with 3-inch pumpkin cookie cutter. Place 1 inch apart onto large ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 5-7 minutes or until edges just begin to brown and center is set. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets; remove to cooling rack.

Combine powdered sugar, 1/3 cup butter and vanilla in bowl; beat at low speed, adding enough whipping cream for desired frosting consistency. Remove 1/3 cup frosting to bowl; add green food color, mix well. Add orange food color to remaining frosting, mix well. Frost cookies with orange frosting. Place green frosting into re-sealable plastic food bag. Cut small hole in 1 corner of bag. Pipe stem and vines on top of each cookie.

Place cracker sandwiches for wheels on carriage. Frost; decorate with black decorator gel to create spokes. Outline window on carriage using black decorator gel. Place Halloween candy decorations inside window.


Recipe and image courtesy of Land O’Lakes, Inc.



Chocolate Cutout Cookies


chocolate haunted house cookies halloween recipe King Arthur FlourServes 18 (3 1/2" by 2 1/2") cookies, or more smaller cookies


3/4 cup sugar
1 cup (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter*
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon espresso powder, optional
3/4 teaspoon salt*
1 large egg
1/4 cup black cocoa**
1/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa**
2 1/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

*Reduce the salt to ½ teaspoon if using salted butter.
**Or use all Dutch-process cocoa.

Beat together the sugar, butter, baking powder, vanilla, espresso powder, and salt until fluffy. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl. Beat in the egg. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl again. Whisk together the cocoas and flour, then beat into the egg and butter mixture until well blended. Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes, or up to overnight.

Preheat your oven to 375°F. Lightly grease 2 baking sheets, or line with parchment. Divide the dough in half. Sprinkle both sides of each piece with extra cocoa, to keep the dough from sticking. Working with one piece of dough at a time, roll 1/8" thick. Cut into desired shapes with a cookie cutter. Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheets. Bake the cookies for 8 to 10 minutes, until their edges are firm and you start to smell chocolate. Remove them from the oven, and allow to cool completely before decorating.


Recipe and photo courtesy of King Arthur Flour




Meringue Ghosts


Meringue halloween ghosts recipe King Arthur FlourYield: 20 to 24 ghosts


4 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup extra-fine Baker's Special Sugar*
chocolate mini chips, for eyes
*Extra-fine or superfine sugar will yield the best results; substitute regular granulated if necessary.

Preheat the oven to 200°F, with a rack in the center. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Prepare a pastry bag with a 1/2" plain tip.

Place the room-temperature egg whites into the bowl of a mixer. Add the cream of tartar. Beat on slow speed until the cream of tartar is dissolved and the egg whites are foamy.

Slowly increase the speed of the mixer. When the volume of the eggs has doubled and they begin to look opaque, sprinkle in about half the sugar. Continue to beat until the whites are glossy and getting stiff. Add the remaining sugar and mix until it's evenly distributed and the whites hold a stiff peak.

Transfer the meringue to the pastry bag and, holding the bag perpendicular to the baking sheet, pipe, with even pressure, about 2"-high mounds of meringue. Carefully press two chocolate mini chips into each meringue ghost, to make eyes. Bake the meringues for approximately 60 to 90 minutes, or until they're dry and crisp to the touch.

Turn off the oven, open the door a couple of inches, and leave the meringues in the oven to finish drying several hours, or even overnight. Remove the ghosts from the completely cold oven, and store them loosely covered. They should keep for several days at cool/dry room temperature.


Recipe and photo courtesy of King Arthur Flour



Halloween Witch Cupcakes

ice cream cone witch cupcakes halloween recipe Land O LakesServes 12 Cupcakes


Cupcakes 3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons Land O Lakes® Butter, softened
1 Land O Lakes® All-Natural Egg
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup Land O Lakes® Half & Half or Fat Free Half & Half
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

Frosting
3/4 cup Land O Lakes® Butter, softened
7 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/8 teaspoon green gel food color

Decorations
1 (12-ounce) package real semi-sweet chocolate chips
12 sugar ice cream cones
12 chocolate wafer cookies
Decorator candy eyes
Assorted candies
Red and black gel icing


Directions

Heat oven to 350°F. Place paper baking cups into 12 muffin pan cups; set aside.

Combine all cupcake ingredients in bowl; beat at medium speed well mixed.

Spoon batter evenly into muffin cups. Bake 16-18 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from muffin pans; cool completely.

Beat 3/4 cup butter in bowl at medium speed until creamy. Gradually add powdered sugar and 1/8 teaspoon salt alternately with milk and 1 teaspoon vanilla, beating at low speed and scraping bowl often, until well mixed. Stir in corn syrup and food color. Set aside.

Place chocolate chips in bowl; microwave 1 minute or until melted. Brush chocolate onto sugar cones, coating completely. Brush remaining melted chocolate over 1 side of each chocolate wafer cookie; place coated cones on top of cookie, pressing down slightly. Let stand until set.

Frost cupcakes with green frosting, creating mound of frosting in center. Press candy eyes into frosting; press candy into frosting for nose. Use red gel icing to create lips; use black gel icing for hair. Set witch hat on top of frosting, pressing down slightly to secure.

Recipe and image courtesy of Land O’Lakes, Inc.




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11 Favorite Fall Recipes: Stews, Pies, Salads & More

favorite Fall Recipes: 11 Seasonal Dishes

By Patti Plummer

Now that the fall season has arrived, there is a plethora of hearty soups, stews, and yummy baked goodies you can prepare using the season’s ripest ingredients: including apples, cranberries, pears, and of course, pumpkins.

Here are a few recipes that incorporate autumn’s best—feel free to serve your meal outdoors, picnic style. Cooler months may be coming, but the days are still warm enough for outdoor dining.

Planning for Halloween? Check out these 8 Spooky Halloween Desserts!

Grape and Pear Pie


grape pear pie fall recipeServes about 12


1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
4 cups California seedless grapes
3 cups fresh pears (about 3 medium pears), cored, pared and sliced
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 package ready-to-use refrigerated pastry for 2-crust, 9-inch pie (see note below)
1 tablespoon butter

Combine sugar, flour, cinnamon, orange peel and cloves; mix well. Toss grapes and pears with sugar mixture and orange juice. Line 9-inch microwave-safe pie plate with pastry.

Add fruit mixture and dot with butter. Roll out remaining pastry and cut into 3/4 inch strips. Arrange strips in lattice pattern over fruit filling. Fold ends of lattice strips under edge of bottom crust; seal and flute edges.

Preheat oven to 425 F.

To bake in microwave (recipe developed for 700 to 800 watt microwave ovens): Set oven at HIGH (100 percent power), bake 10 to 12 minutes or until filling begins to bubble. Transfer pie to conventional oven and bake at 425 F 10 minutes or until pastry is golden brown.

To bake by conventional method: Bake pie in 425 F oven 10 minutes. Lower heat to 375 F and bake 35 to 40 minutes or until pastry is golden and filling begins to bubble.

Note: Tester used refrigerated, rolled-out dough.

Recipe and image courtesy of California Table Grape Commission, Grapesfromcalifornia.com



Acorn Squash Stuffed with Wild Rice, Pears, Cranberries, and Walnuts

Acorn squash stuffed with wild rice pears cranberries walnutsServes 6


3 acorns or dumpling squash
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Freshly ground nutmeg
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature, divided
3/4 cup wild rice
1 1/2 cups canned low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1/4 teaspoon salt, plus extra to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 large rib celery, finely chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and finely chopped
2 firm Bosc or Anjou USA Pears, peeled, halved lengthwise, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 teaspoons minced fresh sage
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves
1/3 cup minced fresh parsley
1/3 cup chopped walnuts, toasted (see Cook’s Note below)
1/3 cup sweetened dried cranberries

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut each squash in half crosswise. Scoop out and discard the seeds and strings. If necessary, trim the top and bottom so that the squash will sit level, and place on a rimmed baking sheet, cut side up. Sprinkle each half with a little salt, pepper, and nutmeg, to taste. Using 3 tablespoons of the butter, dot each half with some butter. Cover the pan tightly with foil and bake the squash just until moist and tender, about 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the rice, chicken broth, ¼ teaspoon salt, and 2 cups of water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to a low simmer, partially cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the rice is tender, about 40 minutes. When the rice is done most of the water should be evaporated.

In a 10-inch sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Swirl to coat the pan and sauté the onion, garlic, celery, and carrot until slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Add the pears and sauté 2 minutes longer. Cover the pan, adjust the heat to medium-low, and cook the vegetables until crisp-tender, 3 minutes longer. Add the sage, thyme, and parsley and sauté 1 more minute. Remove from the heat.

In a large bowl, combine the cooked rice, sautéed vegetables, pears, walnuts, and dried cranberries. Taste and add salt and pepper, if desired. Mound the rice mixture into the squash halves, dividing it evenly. Cut the remaining tablespoon of butter into small pieces. Dot each stuffed squash with butter. Cover with foil. Bake until heated through, about 20 minutes.

Cook's Note: Toasting nuts brings out their full, rich flavor. Place the nuts in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven until lightly browned, about 5 to 8 minutes.

Recipe and photo courtesy of USA Pears www.usapears.org



Maple Chicken Sauté


Maple chicken breast saute fall recipeServes 4


1 package (about 1 1/4 pounds) Perdue ® Fit ‘N Easy ® Fresh Skinless and Boneless Chicken Breasts
Salt and coarsely ground pepper to taste
2 tablespoons butter or vegetable oil
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/4 cup maple syrup
4 teaspoons stone ground mustard
1 red apple (Jonathan, Cortland or Gala) unpeeled, cored and thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoons minced fresh sage (or 1/2 teaspoon dried sage) plus whole fresh sage leaves for garnish

Pat chicken dry and season with salt and pepper. In a large nonstick or well-seasoned skillet, over medium heat, melt butter. When foam begins to subside and butter turns clear, add chicken. Sauté 3 to 4 minutes per side, until golden and cooked through. Remove chicken to platter and keep warm.

Add vinegar and 1/2 cup water to pan and stir to incorporate pan juices. Stir in maple syrup and cook, for about 2 minutes. Add sage and apple slices and continue to cook for 2 to 3 minutes until sauce is reduced to a syrupy consistency and apples are tender but still firm. Return chicken and any juices to skillet. Serve with steamed Brussel sprouts and hot biscuits or cornbread.



Recipe and photo courtesy of National Chicken Council



Chicken Waldorf Salad


Chicken waldorf salad fall recipeServes 6


1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs
1 crisp red apple (such as Harrelson or Braeburn)
1 crisp green apple (such as Granny Smith)
3/4 cup chopped celery
2 6 oz. cartons fat-free orange or vanilla yogurt
1/2 cup fat-free mayonnaise
1/4 cup walnuts
4 cups shredded lettuce
Lightly salt and pepper chicken, if desired.

In large skillet, combine chicken and 3/4 cup water. Bring to a boil. Cover; reduce heat to medium. Cook 8 to 12 minutes or until internal juices run clear. Drain; set aside to cool slightly. Meanwhile, core apples and cut into bite-sized pieces. Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces. In large bowl, combine chicken and remaining ingredients; mix well. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve chicken mixture on shredded lettuce. Serve with poppy seed or raspberry muffins, if desired.

Recipe and photo courtesy of National Chicken Council



Two Grain Cranberry and Walnut Bread


Two grain oat cranberry wheat breadMakes 2 loaves, 16 slices each

 

1/4 cup coconut oil or vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup pure cane syrup, maple syrup, or molasses
1 1/2 cups sweetened dried cranberries
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats, uncooked
1 3/4 cups boiling water
2 (1/4 ounce) packages Fleischmann’s® Active Dry Yeast
1/4 cup lukewarm water (100° to 110°F)
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
3 cups King Arthur 100% Whole Wheat Flour
2 – 2 1/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour, divided
3 tablespoons vital wheat gluten
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/4 cups English walnuts, coarsely chopped

Topping
1 large egg white, beaten
1 tablespoon old-fashioned oats, divided
1 teaspoon natural cane turbinado sugar, divided

In large mixer bowl, with paddle attachment, combine coconut oil, vanilla extract, syrup, cranberries, oats and boiling water. Let cool to lukewarm.

In medium bowl, dissolve yeast in lukewarm water with sugar; let stand 10 minutes.

When bowl mixture has cooled, stir in yeast. Gradually beat in whole wheat flour, 2 cups all-purpose flour, gluten, salt and walnuts on low speed until combined. Beat 3 minutes on medium speed. If dough is too wet, use additional 1/4 cup all-purpose flour to make a soft dough. Knead with dough hook 8 to 10 minutes or by hand until smooth and elastic.

Place in large greased bowl, turning once to coat dough. Cover; let rise in warm place until double, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Punch down dough; divide into half. Cover; let rest 15 minutes. Roll each half in 13 x 9-inch rectangle; roll up tightly like jellyroll (start at narrow side), sealing at each turn with fingertips. Press down on ends of loaf; fold strips under loaf. Place seam-side down in 2 greased 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch metal bread pans. Cover; let rise until nearly double, about 60 minutes.

Beat egg white; brush on loaves. Sprinkle half the oats and sugar on top of each loaf.

Bake loaves in preheated 350°F oven 35 to 40 minutes, tenting loaves with foil after 20 minutes. The bread is done when golden brown and its internal temperature registers 196°F or above on an instant-read thermometer. Remove pans from the oven, and after 5 minutes, use a table knife to loosen the edges, and then turn loaves out onto wire rack.

Rita Lutz, Horeshoe Bay, TX National Festival of Breads Finalist 2013
Recipe and photo courtesy of US Cranberries-Cranberry Marketing Committee; Photograph by Kansas Wheat and Chauncey Photography, Inc.



Autumn Apple, Ham and Goat Cheese Salad

Autumn apple ham and goat cheese salad recipeServes 8 – 10


6 ounces ham, cut into match-stick size strips
3 5-oz bags spring mix salad greens
3 Gala apples, cored and thinly sliced
1 cup pomegranate seeds, OR dried cranberries
1 7-oz package glazed walnuts, OR 1 1/2 cups toasted walnut pieces
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced, halved and separated into pieces
2/3 - 3/4 cup champagne, OR balsamic vinaigrette
1/3 cup goat cheese, crumbled

Combine salad greens, apples, pomegranate seeds, walnuts and onion in very large salad bowl.

Pour vinaigrette over mixture; gently toss until lightly coated.

Spoon salad mixture onto individual salad plates.

Top with ham; sprinkle with goat cheese. Serve immediately.

Recipe and photo courtesy of National Pork Board. For more information about pork, visit PorkBeInspired.com



Corn Bread, Sausage and Apple Stuffing


Cornbread sausage apple stuffing fall recipeServes 8

8 ounces pork sausage, bulk
2 cups apple, unpeeled and chopped
3/4 cup onion, chopped
1/3 cup butter
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/8 teaspoon pepper
6 cups cornbread, coarsely crumbled
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 - 1/2 cup chicken broth, reduced-sodium

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large skillet, cook sausage until brown. Remove sausage; drain and set aside. Drain fat from skillet. In the same skillet, cook apple and onion in hot butter until tender. Remove from heat. Stir in poultry seasoning and black pepper.

In a large bowl, combine sausage, apple mixture, corn bread and parsley. Drizzle with enough chicken broth to moisten, tossing gently. Transfer to a greased 2-quart casserole. Cover and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until heated through.

Recipe and photo courtesy of National Pork Board. For more information about pork, visit PorkBeInspired.com



Piedmont Pork Stew

Piedmont pork stew fall recipeServes 6

1 pound boneless pork loin, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1 teaspoon oil
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
2 carrots, sliced
8 ounces mushrooms, coarsely chopped
1 8-oz can tomato sauce
1 cup dry red wine
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup raisins
In large heavy skillet brown pork in oil over medium-high heat until browned, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in onion, carrots, mushrooms, tomato sauce, wine, thyme, oregano, cinnamon, salt and raisins; bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until pork and vegetables are tender.

Recipe and photo courtesy of National Pork Board. For more information about pork, visit PorkBeInspired.co


See 6 more delicious pork recipes >>



Milk Raisin Bread Pudding with Spiced Apples


Milk raisin bread pudding with spiced apples fall recipeServes 6



2 large eggs
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups nonfat or lowfat Real California Milk
8 slices cinnamon-raisin bread, toasted and cut into 1-inch cubes (about 4 cups)
1 tablespoon apricot jam
1 tablespoon water
Spiced Apples (recipe below)
Real California whipped cream (optional)
Heat oven to 350 F. In a mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, brown sugar, vanilla and salt. Gradually whisk in milk. Scatter bread in a shallow 1-1/2-quart casserole or 8-inch baking pan. Pour milk mixture over bread, pushing bread down to thoroughly saturate. Bake about 40 minutes or until puffed and browned, and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Mix apricot jam and water and brush on top of hot pudding. Serve bread pudding warm or at room temperature with Spiced Apples and a dollop of whipped cream, if desired.

Note: Bread pudding may be assembled the day before and refrigerated covered. Allow an extra 10 to 15 minutes baking time.

Spiced Apples

1/4 cup Real California butter
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (or substitute 1/4 teaspoon each of ground cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg, and 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves)
3 small or 2 large red-skin apples, cored, quartered and sliced
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Melt butter in a medium saucepan; stir in water, sugar and pumpkin pie spice. Stir over medium heat until sugar melts and sauce is smooth. Add apples; cook, basting with sauce, until apples are barely tender. Stir in lemon juice. Serve hot with bread pudding.

Recipe and photo courtesy of California Milk Advisory Board


See 4 more sweet & savory apple recipes >>


Orchard Hand Pies


Orchard hand pies cheddar apple pies fall recipeMakes 8 pies

 

1 large Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 large Bosc pear, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1/4 cup sugar, divided
1/4 cup chopped pecans
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon Real California blue cheese
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup crumbled Real California blue cheese
1/2 cup grated Real California Cheddar cheese
All-Butter Pie Dough (recipe below) or 2 (15-ounce) packages ready-made pie crusts Cooking spray

Heat oven to 375°F. Combine apples, pears, 3 tablespoons sugar, pecans, cornstarch, butter, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, lemon zest and vanilla in a medium bowl; toss well. In a separate bowl, mix blue cheese and Cheddar cheese.

On a lightly floured work surface, roll out dough 1/8-inch thick. Cut out eight 4 1/2-inch circles and eight 4-inch circles using round cutters or a plate, glass or lid of the right diameter. Lightly spray 8 wells of a muffin tin with cooking spray and line with 4 1/2-inch dough circles, leaving a 1/4-inch overhang.

Brush edges of dough with water. Sprinkle cheese mixture over bottom of dough, dividing it evenly. Mound fruit mixture on top of cheese, dividing it evenly. Place 4-inch dough circles on top, pressing edges with the tines of a fork to seal. Mix together 1 tablespoon sugar and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon. Brush tops of pies with water and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. With the tines of a fork, poke a few holes in each pie to vent steam. Bake 35-40 minutes or until pies are golden brown and a knife inserted into the filling feels no resistance. Cool pies in tin about 10 minutes; remove from tin and cool on a rack. Serve warm or room temperature.

All-Butter Pie Dough

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt 1 cup (8 ounces)
Real California unsalted butter, frozen
3/4 cup ice water


In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar and salt. With a large-holed grater, grate butter into flour mixture; toss lightly with your fingers to coat butter with flour. Drizzle 1/2 cup water over flour and butter mixture; toss lightly with your hands or a spatula. If necessary, gradually add more water until clumps of dough adhere to each other when lightly squeezed. Transfer dough to work surface and form into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour. Dough may be store in refrigerator up to 24 hours or frozen. Bring to room temperature before using.

Recipe and photo courtesy of California Milk Advisory Board



Pumpkin Nut and Chip Cookies


Pumpkin nut milk chocolate chip cookes fall recipeMakes 2.5 to 3 Dozen Cookies

1/2 cup Real California butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk chocolate chips
3/4 cup walnuts, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In large bowl, mix butter and sugar until creamy; add pumpkin, egg, and vanilla, beating well after each addition. Sift dry ingredients into separate bowl; gradually add to pumpkin mixture until well-blended. Stir in chocolate chips and walnuts. Drop batter by heaping teaspoons onto lightly buttered cookie sheets.

Bake for 15 to 17 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Cool on wire racks and store in airtight container.

Recipe and photo courtesy of California Milk Advisory Board



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Q&A: Endless Pools Swim Spas & Swim Current Generators

Swim Spas and Fastlane Swimming Machines by Endless Pools Offer At-Home Fitness








While many pool owners in seasonal climates are getting ready to close their pools, swim spas are an option that allow you to swim year-round. And for those who already own a pool, a swim current generator can turn almost any pool into a lap pool.

We spoke to Mark Langan, marketing director at Endless Pools, to learn more about the benefits of swim spas and swim current generators, and get tips on choosing the best model to fit your needs.

PoolSpaOutdoor.com: What are the top reasons your customers purchase a swim spa? Are they more interested in fitness, the swim spa/hot tub combination, at-home convenience, etc.?

Endless Pools swim spa modern indoor roomMark Langan, Endless Pools: People purchase an Endless Pool Swim Spa for all of those reasons and more.

Our customers certainly tend to be fitness-conscious, and the ability to offer them an unmatched swim current along with the relaxation and therapy benefits of a hot tub results in a great combination.

The at-home convenience of a swim spa is a major benefit. There’s a big difference in being able to relax and exercise at home versus packing up your gear, driving to the gym or pool, trying to find an open swim lane, showering and removing the excessive chlorine, and then driving back home.


PSO: What is unique about swim spas by Endless Pools? What special features do you offer?

Endless Pools swim spa exercise roomML: We have over 25 years of experience building swimming machines, and we've carried over the same fully adjustable swim current we perfected in the Original Endless Pool to our Swim Spa. We've also spent a lot of time developing two underwater treadmills—one manual and one adjustable in speed, which can be added to any one of our pools or spas.

Our integrated treadmills are very affordable and add incredible value. Users can walk, jog, or run for a challenging cardio workout with the help of the resistance of water. Add in our contoured hydrotherapy jet seats, LED lights, and a range of sizes and beautiful finishing options, and we believe our Spa Series offers something for everyone.


PSO: Do you recommend that customers take a test swim before purchasing a swim spa?

ML: Absolutely. We pride ourselves on maintaining a deep network of demonstrators who can provide people with the opportunity to visit a local Endless Pool. The best way to experience the Endless Pools difference is to hop into one and get a feel for the swim current, the hydrotherapy jets, the contoured seats, and more. We encourage people to try before they buy because we believe our pools and spas offer the ultimate user experience.


See photos and learn more about Endless Pools swim spas >>


PSO: Which one of Endless Pools’ four swim spa models is the most popular? What are the determining factors selecting a swim spa model?

Endless Pools swim spa with hot tubML: To be honest, each of our swim spas has been a hit. Most often, the planned installation space and the height of the customer are the biggest determining factors for which size they choose. For people who plan on spending a lot of time relaxing with family and friends, the 19-foot Spa gives them the most options, with a swimming area and an attached four-person hot tub. The 15-foot and 17-foot models are excellent for swimming, therapy, and relaxation as well.

Our 10-foot Exercise Spa is the latest member of our Spa Series and is really starting to pick up traction. It is a great option for customers seeking a compact swim spa. We’re excited to offer yet another option for home therapy and exercise.


PSO: Does a spa cover come standard on an Endless Pools swim spa or must it be purchased separately? Are both manual and automatic covers available?


ML: Each Endless Pools Swim Spa comes with a solar cover included in the package. In addition, we offer three upgradable options—a manual retractable security cover, a bi-fold 4-inch insulating cover, and an automatic retractable security cover. Each of these covers meets strict safety standards.

PSO: How can existing pool owners benefit from a swim current generator such as the Fastlane?

Endless Pools swim spa Fastlane current generatorML: If you already have an existing pool, we are able to offer the same swim current generator that we use in our Endless Pools. The Fastlane® can transform a traditional pool, making it a spot for exercise rather than just leisure.

Instead of constantly bumping into the wall and worrying about flip turns, we can turn an existing pool into an effective exercise pool with our swim current. It also widens the fun factor of pools as kids love to play in the river-like current.


PSO: How is the Fastlane installed? How does it operate?

ML: We offer a Wall Mount for new pool construction or a Deck Mount for existing pools. The Fastlane Swim Current Generator rests on the sidewall of the pool and is connected to the remote power unit through hydraulic hoses, eliminating the need for electricity at the pool.

Operation couldn’t be simpler, as our wireless remote control allows users to easily adjust the propeller driven swim current with the touch of a button

PSO: Anything else you’d like to add?

ML: We appreciate the chance to answer these questions. We have a lot more information available on our website www.endlesspools.com. We’re also very active on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google Plus, so everyone out there is more than welcome to say hello and check us out!


Endless Pools above ground swim spaView more photos and watch videos of Endless Pools Swim Spas and Fastlane >>





Photos courtesy of Endless Pools





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