Pool & Spa Outdoor Blog

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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4 Ways to Enjoy Your Backyard This Fall

Enjoy Your Outdoor Living Space During the Fall

Just because your pool may be closed and the weather's a little chilly doesn’t mean you have to retreat indoors until spring. In fact, your outdoor living space is the ideal place to spend your time during the fall—and even winter—months. Here are just a few ways to enjoy your backyard this fall.

Enjoy your outdoor living space during fall

1. Fall is one of the best times to enjoy your hot tub. Spend a relaxing fall afternoon basking in the warm, bubbling water as you watch the colorful leaves fall around you. Check out the range of hot tub models available from Maax Spas.

2. Nothing says fall quite like gathering around a fire pit with family and friends, sipping warm apple cider and roasting marshmallows. Take a look at these stylish fire pit options.

3. Fall means football for many households across the country. Instead of huddling up indoors to watch the game, take a cue from Amy's Party Ideas and host a backyard tailgate party.

4. There’s no need to close up the outdoor kitchen just yet. Plenty of fall vegetables and fruits taste even better grilled, and are a great accompaniment to grilled pork and steak. Find delicious grilling recipes for vegetables, pizza, and ribs here.


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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



You may also like...
Sweet & Savory Apple Recipes >>
Decadent Pumpkin Dessert Recipes >>
6 Delicious Fall Pork Recipes >>
8 Spooky Sweet Halloween Treats >>
4 Easy Recipes for Fall >>

Outdoor Halloween Party - Ideas for Decor, Food, and Games

Wicked-Cool Ideas for an Outdoor Halloween Party



Outdoor Halloween Party

Don’t be afraid to host a Halloween party outside. A dark and chilly fall night provides the perfect eerie ambiance for a bewitching Halloween bash. Holding your party outdoors also gives you an array of options for festive decorations and games that would be difficult or impractical indoors. Create a hair-raising Halloween party with these ideas for décor, food, and games.

Halloween Party Décor
Outdoor Halloween Party Decor
Turn your outdoor living space from homey to haunted with these frightfully festive Halloween decorating ideas.

Send a chill down guests’ spines as they enter your backyard by playing scary background music and using a fog machine to create a creepy, graveyard-like atmosphere. Switch out your porch and landscape lights with black light bulbs to enhance the eeriness.

Make spooky silhouettes by drawing the outlines of ghosts and other sinister figures on pieces of plywood, then cutting out the shapes and painting them black. Prop the shadowy figures up against a tree, the fence, or the back of the house.

Photo courtesy of Party City

Drape fake cob webs or torn cheesecloth from tree branches, along the fence or deck, and from the beams of a pergola or gazebo to give the yard an abandoned and mysterious look.

Make party guests feel like they’re being watched by a scary beast lurking in the bushes with this idea for glaring monster eyes:
- Get a toilet paper or paper towel roll (if using a paper towel roll, cut it in half).
- Draw or trace a pair of devilish eyes on the roll (use the pattern below as a guide) and cut out the shape.
- Color the toilet paper roll black with marker or craft paint and use electrical tape to close one end of the roll.
- Grab a green, yellow or red glow stick, bend it to activate the light, and place it in the toilet paper roll through the open end; close the end with another piece of electrical tape.
- Stuff the glaring beast eyes in a bush or place them in the bark ridge of a tree.

Glaring Monster Eyes Pattern

Glaring Monster Eyes Pattern for Halloween Craft


Halloween Party Food


Halloween Party Food and RecipesScare up an appetite with a scream-worthy spread of gruesome grub and tricked-out treats. From “finger” foods to spooky sweets, here are some ghoulishly good Halloween recipes to serve.


Deviled Eyes – Prepare deviled eggs with avocado to give them a ghoulishly green hue. Top each egg “eyeball” with a sliced green or black olive to create a pupil. Add veins by arranging a few thinly sliced roasted red pepper strips around the olive.

Photo courtesy of Amy’s Party Ideas

Halloween Chex Mix RecipeHalloween Chex Mix – Set out this wicked-good mix of candy corn, pretzels, raisins, and white chocolate...and watch it disappear! Get this recipe & other festive Halloween desserts >>

Mummy Dogs – Preheat oven to 400° F. Open and unroll a can of refrigerated breadstick dough; separate at perforations. Cut each breadstick in half using a knife or pizza cutter to make two thinner strips of dough. Take two thin dough strips, one at a time, and wrap lengthwise around a hot dog. Leave a small space open around the top of the hot dog for the Mummy’s Face. Continue wrapping all the hot dogs and place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Spray the Mummy dogs with cooking spray and place in the oven. Bake 10 to 15 minutes or until dough is light golden brown. Let cool for five minutes. Pipe eyes on the mummies using mustard or ketchup.

Apple Monster Mouths for Halloween PartyMonster Mouths - Core an apple and slice it into quarters. Cut a wedge from the skin side of each apple quarter to form a mouth. Place slivered almonds into the top and bottom of the apple for teeth. 

Fried Fingers – Use a bit of marinara sauce to attach sliced blanched almonds to tops of mozzarella sticks to make them look like severed fingers.

Photo courtesy of Amy’s Party Ideas


Trick or Treat Halloween Candy Buffet Trick-or-Treat Candy Buffet – You can't have a Halloween party without candy! Fill plastic cauldrons with different types of Halloween candy for guests to take home in goodie bags.

RIP Graveyard Cake – Layer chocolate pudding and crushed chocolate cookie crumbs in a large cake pan. Write “RIP” on oval or square sandwich cookies to make them look like tombstones and stick them in the cake. Top the cake with gummy worms to up the gross factor.


Bewitching Brew – Transform punch into a boiling witch’s brew or poisonous potion with dry ice. Place a few blocks of dry ice inside a large punch bowl. In a smaller punch bowl, prepare your favorite punch recipe. Carefully place the punch-filled bowl inside the larger bowl with dry ice. The fog from the dry ice will escape from the bottom bowl, creating a spooky vapor. IMPORTANT: Always handle dry ice with tongs or heavy rubber gloves to avoid freezer burn or frostbite on your skin. Keep the dry ice in a well-ventilated area and be sure not to breathe in too much of the gas.


Photo courtesy of Party City



Halloween Party Games and Activities

Here are a variety of ghostly games to make your outdoor Halloween party more terrifyingly fun and exciting.

Pin the Face on the Jack-O-Lantern – Give this childhood favorite a Halloween twist. Have each player cut out eyes, a nose, and mouth from black construction paper and stick a piece of double-sided tape on the back of each cutout. Get a large pumpkin and place it on a table. One at a time, each player stands with their cutouts about four feet away from the table with a blindfold on. After spinning around in a circle four times, the player walks toward the pumpkin and tries to pin the face on the pumpkin. Take a picture after each turn to see who pinned the best face.

Skeleton Scavenger Hunt for HalloweenSkeleton Scavenger Hunt – Purchase a plastic skeleton with detachable bones, separate it, and scatter the bones around the yard. Have guests search the yard to gather the bones and try to put the skeleton back together.

Guess the Body Part – For this classic Halloween game, gather an assortment of boxes with lids and cut a hole in each lid so that guests can fit their hand through it. Prepare food items for “body parts” and place them inside the boxes for guests to guess what they are. For example, Witch’s Eyeballs (peeled grapes); Dracula’s Teeth or Warewolf Fangs (candy corn); Frankenstein’s Ears (dried apricots); Dead Man’s Heart (large peeled tomato); Human Brain (cooked head of cauliflower).



Photo courtesy of Party City

Ghost Stories – This is a must for any Halloween party! Gather everybody around the graveyard and take turns telling spooky tales of the undead.

Trick or Treat Card Game – Create a deck of cards from orange card stock. On each card, write “Trick” or “Treat” on one side of the card. For each “Trick” card include an act to perform, such as Tell a Scary Story, Act Out a Scene from Your Favorite Halloween Movie, and Perform Your Best Evil Laugh. To play, have guests sit around a table and place a bowl of candy in the middle. Shuffle the deck of cards and fan them out around the candy bowl. One at time, go around the table and have each player draw a card. If they pull a “Treat” card, they get to select a piece of candy from the bowl. If they pull a “Trick” card, they must do what’s on the card in order to get a piece of candy.





Fun Ideas for a Fall Barbecue - Fall Party Themes and Ideas

Fall Outdoor Party Themes and Ideas


Summer may have ended, but the fall season offers just as many opportunities to entertain outdoors. With cooler temperatures, gorgeous foliage, delicious crops, and fun festivities, autumn is the perfect time to invite friends and family over for a backyard barbecue or bash. Here are three fall party ideas to keep guests entertained all season long.

Fall Harvest Party

Celebrate all of the wonderful things the fall season has to offer by throwing an outdoor harvest party. Invite friends and family to bring their best autumn-inspired dishes or consider having a harvest swap! Prepare for the crisp weather and shorter days by adding a fire pit and outdoor lighting to your patio or deck.

Harvest Party Décor

Decorate Your Yard for a Fall PartyWith all the natural colors and bounty of the season, it’s easy to decorate your yard for fall. Create a rustic harvest setting with these easy décor ideas:

Welcome guests and set the stage for your party with a festive display that illustrates all of autumn's natural splendor. Dress up a pergola or arbor with fall leaf garland, mums, and a couple scarecrows.

For a harvest-themed tablescape, purchase a piece of velvet or burlap from your local craft store and use as a table cover or table runner. Arrange a mix of gourds and potted mums down the middle of the table for a simple and festive centerpiece. You can also paint letters on the pumpkins or flower pots to spell out “HAPPY FALL” or “HARVEST.”



Photo courtesy of Frog Prince Paperie

Decorate your yard for a fall party with seasonal touches like pumpkins and mums
Decorate the rest of the outdoor space with seasonal touches. Pile pumpkins and mums around trees; place bales of hay around the patio (cover the hay bales with a blanket or fabric so guests can use them as seats); bundle dried cornstalks together and tie them to the posts of a pergola or gazebo.

For evening gatherings, add charming candleholders to the tablescape by cutting the tops off of small gourds or apples, then carving out circular pockets and placing tea lights inside. Drape throw blankets or afgans in fall hues or motifs (think plaid, leaves, owls, pumpkins, etc.) over chairs; guests can use them to keep warm at night. 


Photo courtesy of Worthing Court,
www.worthingcourtblog.com

To add more festive flair, make a garland of Indian corn to hang along the fence or deck: Plot dried ears of corn* (with the husks attached and pulled back) about 6 to 8 inches apart on a piece of twine or raffia. Once in place, use pieces of twine or floral wire to attach the ears of corn to the twine, tying it around each piece where the husk meets the cob. (*Dried ears of corn can be found at your local farmer’s market or grocery store. You can also dry fresh ears of corn by placing them in a mesh bag and hanging them outside or in an area with low moisture and humidity. Corn will dry in approximately three weeks.)



Harvest Party Food


From apples to pumpkins, the fall harvest offers a bountiful buffet of sweet and savory flavors. Create a party menu that embodies the season with these autumn-inspired foods and recipes.


Food for a Fall Harvest PartyCrudités - Visit your local farmer’s market and buy an array of seasonal fruits and vegetables. They not only make for an easy appetizer but add tons of fall color to your buffet table.

Editor's Tip: Dress up your buffet with mini pumpkins, leaves, acorns and pinecones. Include decorative food labels so guests can easily identify dishes (check out Frog Prince Paperie for printable party supplies).

Photo courtesy of Frog Prince Paperie

Harvest Chicken Salad – Give regular chicken salad an autumn makeover my adding chopped apples, pecans, celery, and pomegranate seeds (arils) to the mix. Serve with whole grain baguette slices or crackers.

Apricot-Dijon Pork SaladApricot-Dijon Pork Salad – This is a perfect transitional dish between summer and fall. Summer apricots and tart cherries add beautiful fall color and natural sweetness to the salad, while the Dijon mustard and ginger dressing lend a warm and spicy flavor. Get the recipe >>

Fall Ratatouille – No harvest party would be complete without this quintessential fall vegetable dish. This recipe features a medley of late-summer/early fall vegetables, cheese, and sun-dried tomato vinaigrette. Get the full recipe >>

Caramel Apples – Combine food and fun by setting up a caramel apple-dipping station: Display skewered apples on a bale of hay for easy picking. Use a disposable chafing dish to keep the caramel warm and ready for dipping. Set up a line of plastic bowls (with spoons) at the end of the table and fill with yummy toppings like chopped nuts, chocolate chips, candy bar pieces, graham cracker crumbs, sprinkles, and crushed cookies.

Recipe and photo courtesy of National Pork Board

Apple Cider – Serve this delectable fall drink in a pumpkin punch bowl: Hollow out a large pumpkin, removing all the seeds and scraping out the pulp from the sides. Pour in apple cider and garnish with apple slices and cinnamon sticks. Use mason jars for drinking glasses to add a rustic touch!




Harvest Party Games and Activities

Complete your harvest party with a host of festive fall games that feature the bounty of the season.

Harvest Party Games and ActvitiesCorn shucking contest – Divide ears of corn evenly among guests and see who can finish shucking their pile the fastest. Award the winner with a homemade treat, such as apple cranberry granola bars or a loaf of pumpkin cornbread. After the game, throw all the shucked ears of corn on the grill for a tasty treat.

Bobbing for Apples – You can also go for a twist on this classic game. Hang apples from tree branches by tying a string around the stems. Guests then have to try and bite the apple without using their hands. The first one to eat their apple wins.

Pumpkin bowling – Use a pumpkin as a bowling ball (pick one that’s not too heavy or too big) and use soda bottles as pins (fill them with some sand to weigh them down).

Pumpkin Bocce – Use a medium-sized pumpkin as the pallino and small gourds for the bocce balls. Very the type or color of the gourds among the different teams to keep accurate score. 

Photo courtesy of Frog Prince Paperie






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




Pool Photos: Top 5 Award-Winning Pools

AWARD-WINNING POOLS: Top 5 Pool Designs







When it comes to swimming pool designs, there are so many shapes, finishes, and water features to choose from, you may not know where to start. We chose five amazing pool designs featured in our Award-Winning Pools book to give you some inspiration for your own backyard.






Christopher Anderson Custom Pool design perimeter overflow infinity poolThis raised perimeter-overflow pool features Egyptian glass tile and is surrounded by bright flowers, lush landscaping, and decorative planters. Its geometric design and infinity edge create a sleek modern look for this tropical escape.


Pool designed by Christopher Anderson and built by Bob Anderson. Photographed by Collin Guinn (bdpusa.com) for Custom Design Pools, Webster, Texas; Association of Pool & Spa Professionals (APSP) Award





Pools by John Clarkson patio deck mosaic tilePerfect for entertaining a crowd, this pool features a spacious deck, tanning ledge with mosaic inlay, and upper lounge pool with bar stools on the other side of the pool wall. Decorative ceramic bowls filled with rocks adorn each corner throughout the space.



Designed by Krent Wieland Design, Inc.; Photographed by Ben Brewer for Aquatech Pools by John Clarkson, Jacksonville, Florida; Aquatech Award





Dal Pino Quality Pools sunset pool spa gazeboWith two spas, a swim-up bar, and stylish gazebo with a fire pit, this pool has everything a homeowner could want in a backyard retreat for hosting parties or simply lounging poolside while enjoying the sunset.




Photographed by Keith Sutter Photography for Dal Pino Quality Pools, Inc., Auburn, California; Association of Pool & Spa Professionals (APSP) Award




California Pools tropical pool spa fountain bubblers rock waterfallThis tropical oasis features a beach entry, a giant rock waterfall, and decorative pots that double as water features. A large circular spa, complete with over a dozen fountain bubblers, makes this pool the ultimate place to spend a weekend.



Photo courtesy of California Pools, West Covina, California; Association of Pool & Spa Professionals (APSP) Award




G&G Concrete infinity pool lake viewThis vanishing-edge infinity pool appears to flow right into the lake it overlooks. A well-crafted design makes the unique shape of this pool a tranquil outdoor retreat.



Photo courtesy of G&G Concrete Pools, Inc., Fort Pierce, Florida; Master Pools Guild Award

Labor Day Recipes: 5 Festive Appetizers

5 Festive Appetizers for Your Labor Day Barbecue

By Patti Plummer

Labor Day may be the unofficial end of summer—but that doesn’t mean the party has to end! There are still plenty of warm days ahead, which means there’s still time for a barbecue or two by the pool. Here are five great appetizer recipes that are sure to be a hit at your Labor Day barbecue or any end-of-summer party.

Spending Labor Day by the pool? Check out the amazing pools in our Award-Winning Pools book—get a free download!

Deviled Eggs with California Avocado

Recipe Provided by the California Avocado Commission


Deviled Eggs with California Avocado RecipeServes 12

12 eggs
½ cup mayonnaise
4 tsp. prepared mustard
½ tsp. salt ¼ tsp. pepper
½ medium onion, finely diced
1 stalk celery, finely diced
1 ripe, Fresh California Avocado

*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.



Hard boil and cool eggs. Remove shells, slice in half and remove yolk. Set aside white to be filled.

Sauté onions and celery until tender. Place sautéed onions and celery into food processor (or blender) and puree. Add yolks, mayo, mustard, salt, pepper and avocado and blend well.

Fill egg whites and sprinkle with paprika (if desired).

Recipe and photo courtesy of © California Avocado Commission



Grilled Spicy Watermelon

Grilled Spicy Watermelon RecipeServes 8 – 10

1 tablespoon lime zest
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup honey
2 teaspoons garlic chili sauce
Pinch salt
1 watermelon, medium sized
1 tablespoon fresh chopped cilantro


Preheat grill to high. In bowl, whisk together lime zest, juice, 3 tbsp. (45 ml) of the honey, garlic chili sauce and salt.

Cut watermelon into 1-inch (2.5 cm) thick wedges. Lightly drizzle each side with remaining honey and place on grill. Grill until just browned, about 2 minutes per side.

Place watermelon slices on a plate and drizzle with lime dressing. Garnish with cilantro.

For something sweet, try one of these delicious grilled desserts >>

Recipe and photo courtesy of National Watermelon Promotion Board



Classic Guacamole

Recipe Provided by the California Avocado Commission


Classic Guacamole RecipeServes 8

4 ripe, Fresh California Avocados, seeded and peeled
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tomato, finely chopped
¼ cup finely chopped onion
⅛ tsp. ground cumin
3 drops hot pepper sauce
Tortilla chips

*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.


Using a fork, coarsely mash avocado with lemon juice and garlic. Stir in remaining ingredients to blend.

Recipe and photo courtesy of © California Avocado Commission



Roasted Red Pepper, Ham and Parsley Torte

Roasted Red Pepper, Ham and Parsley TorteServes 32

4 ounces smoked ham, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 cups butter, divided
3 3-oz packages cream cheese
3 tablespoons Madeira, or Port, divided
White pepper, ground, to taste
2 cups parsley, firmly packed, stems removed
1/2 cup green onion, chopped
1/2 cup roasted red peppers, drained and coarsely chopped
1/3 cup ham, cubed


Place 1/2 cup butter, 3 ounces cream cheese, the 4 ounces chopped ham, 1 tablespoon wine and white pepper to taste; process until smooth. Remove to small bowl, cover and chill.

In processor, process another 1/2 cup butter, 3 ounces cream cheese, the parsley, green onion, 1 tablespoon of wine and white pepper to taste. Remove to small bowl, cover and chill.

Process remaining butter, cream cheese, the red peppers, remaining wine and pepper to taste until smooth; remove to small bowl, cover and chill. Line a glass 2-quart bowl or glass 9-inch pie plate with plastic wrap; sprinkle in cubed ham; spread the ham mixture, spread the red pepper mixture, and top with a layer of the parsley mixture. Cover and chill overnight. Unmold onto serving plate; let sit at room temperature for an hour before serving.

Recipe and photo courtesy of National Pork Board



Festive Stuffed Figs and Celery

Created by: Almond Board of California


Festive Stuffed Figs and Celery with Almonds RecipeServes 55 (1 fig each)

2 packages (3 oz. ea.) Neufchatel cheese
3/4 cup creamy almond butter
1/2 tsp. brandy or orange juice
1/4 tsp. grated orange peel
1/4 cup diced green chilies
1/4 cup chopped, toasted almonds
Fresh celery stalks
25-30 dried figs
25-30 whole natural or blanched almonds, toasted


Beat together Neufchatel cheese and almond butter. Divide mixture in half. Stir brandy or orange juice and orange peel into one mixture; chill. Stir chilies and chopped almonds into remaining almond butter mixture.

Stuff celery stalks with chili-cheese mixture; cut into serving pieces about 3-inches long. Chill until ready to serve.

Slit figs partly down center. Pipe or spoon 1/2 to 1 teaspoon chilled orange-almond butter mixture into opening. Press one whole natural or blanched almond into center. Repeat with remaining figs. Chill until ready to serve.

Recipe and photo courtesy of Almond Board of California


You may also like...
4 Cool Pool Accessories and Floats >>
Pool Party Ideas: Themes, Decor, and Games >>
5 Delicious Grilled Dessert Recipes >>
Refreshing Summer Salad Recipes>>
Free Book Download: Award-Winning Pools >>


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