Pool party recipes

Published 11:45 am Thursday, June 20, 2019

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Bless Your Spoon

By Stephanie Williams Dean


There’s no party that’s as beautiful as the one around a pool after a hot, humid day cools down.

Reflections on the water create a tranquil setting for entertaining – one perfect for serving a refreshing and casual meal at the end of a hot June day.  As summer approaches, move your meal outdoors to appease a summer palate.  Offer an unforgettable assortment of fresh salads using homegrown fruits and vegetables – and capture the essence of the season.

These recipes can be prepared in advance, which allows you to be relaxed when your company arrives. A bonus is that the dishes can be refrigerated afterward – if any are left – and make terrific leftovers. End the evening on a sweet note by offering fresh fruits in delectable sauces accented with a simple, citrus cookie.



½ cup premium mayonnaise

2 small, chopped red peppers

2 small, chopped yellow peppers

¾ cup chopped green onions

¼ chopped celery

3 tsp. Old Bay seasoning

2 lbs. small, cooked shrimp

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Lettuce leaves

In a mixer, combine mayonnaise, peppers, seasoning, onions, and celery. Add shrimp and blend well. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve on lettuce leaves. Serves 8.


2 lbs. cooked shrimp

¾ cup extra virgin olive oil

¼ cup tarragon vinegar

½ cup hot mustard

½ cup chopped Vidalia onion

2 chopped cloves garlic

2 tsp. paprika

1 tsp. salt

¾ tsp cayenne pepper

¾ cup chopped green onions

In a processor, combine olive oil, vinegar, hot mustard, onion, garlic, paprika, salt, and pepper, and process until smooth. Add green onions, and process until onions are chopped. Pour sauce on a platter and place shrimp on top. Garnish with strips of cucumber.


12.5 oz. can Bumble Bee, white, albacore tuna

4 chopped, hard-boiled eggs

½ chopped white onion

¼ cup premium mayonnaise or more

2 Tbsp. lemon juice

Salt and pepper

½ tsp. Paprika

Drain tuna. In a processor, add tuna and pulse until chopped. Place tuna in a bowl. Add eggs to processor and pulse until chopped. Add eggs to bowl. Chop onions in the processor. Add to bowl. All ingredients should be chopped coarsely. Gently mix the tuna, eggs, onions, and lemon juice. Add enough mayonnaise to desired consistency. Stir to mix well. Add paprika, and salt and pepper to taste. You can substitute the green onion with chopped celery.


Sliced cucumbers (burpless) to fill a gallon jar

2 Tbsp. pickling spices

2 Tbsp. alum

2 Tbsp. pickling salt

Enough vinegar to fill the jar

6 cups sugar

In a gallon jar, fill with sliced cucumbers, preferably Burpless variety. Add spices, alum, pickling salt, and vinegar. Make sure lid is screwed on tight and leave for 6 weeks. Then drain and rinse cucumbers. In a large pan, cover with 6 cups sugar and let dissolve into a syrup.  Refill gallon jar with pickles and syrup. You can also put into smaller jars. Makes delicious, crispy, sweet pickles. No sealing or processing is necessary.


8 Tbsp. minced shallots

¼ tsp. sugar

½ tsp. garlic powder

1 cup fresh bread crumbs

½ cup goat cheese

3 Tbsp. fresh basil

4 Tbsp. chopped parsley

½ tsp. thyme

Olive oil

6 large, fresh tomatoes

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a bowl, combine shallots, sugar, garlic powder, bread crumbs, goat cheese, basil, parsley, and thyme. Set aside. Leaving skins on, cut tomatoes in half and seed. Sprinkle inside and outside with salt and pepper. Fill tomatoes with the bread crumb mixture. Drizzle with olive oil. Bake in a 400-degree oven for 10 minutes. Cool and serve at room temperature


½ cup chopped celery

½ cup chopped cucumber

3 Tbsp. chopped green onions

2 Tbsp. fresh, chopped chives

2 Tbsp. fresh, chopped parsley

¾ cup mayonnaise or more

2 tsp. prepared horseradish

2 tsp. cocktail sauce

½ tsp. salt

½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

3 cups fresh, cooked, chopped shrimp

In a mixer, combine, celery, cucumber, onions, chives, parsley, mayonnaise, horseradish, cocktail sauce, salt, and pepper, and mix well. Add chopped shrimp and mix gently. Add additional mayo if necessary. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve in a lettuce boat.


1/3 cup mayonnaise

3 tsp. peeled, seeded, chopped cucumber

3 tsp. grated lemon rind

3 tsp. fresh lemon juice

¼ tsp. salt

¼ tsp. pepper

1 cup water

½ cup white wine

½ cup fresh lemon juice

4 whole, boneless, halved, chicken breasts (8)

8 lemon slices

In a mixer, combine mayonnaise, cucumber, lemon rind, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Set aside. In a pot, combine water, wine, and fresh lemon juice. Bring to a boil. Add the chicken, cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook for 20 minutes. Drain and cool. Spread mayonnaise mixture over each breast. Top each with a slice of lemon and wrap up in foil. Refrigerate.


¼ lb. halved, seedless green grapes

¼ lb. halved, seedless red grapes

1/3 cup raisins

¼ cup diced celery

½ cup chopped pecans

1/3 cup mayonnaise

1 Tbsp. sour cream

1 unpeeled, chopped Granny Smith apple

1 unpeeled, chopped Golden Delicious apple

1 unpeeled, chopped Red Delicious apple

½ tsp. ascorbic-citric powder

In a bowl combine grapes, raisins, celery, pecans, mayonnaise, and sour cream and mix well. In another bowl, add chopped apples. Sprinkle with ascorbic-citric powder and toss to coat. Combine grape mixture with apples, stirring well to mix.


2 minced garlic cloves

1 Tbsp. lemon zest

1 tsp. lemon juice

1/2 cup chopped, fresh basil

12 oz. can undrained, flaked tuna in oil

1 lb. penne pasta

Salt and pepper to taste

In a large bowl, combine minced garlic, lemon zest, juice, basil, and flaked tuna. In a pot, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain. Add pasta to the tuna mixture and toss to mix. Salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate.


1 large, sliced Vidalia onion

5 sliced, California avocados

1 ¼ cup chopped, fresh cilantro

1/3 cup lime juice

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

1 chopped jalapeno chile

2 tsp. sugar

Salt and pepper

Peel onion, cut in half at the stem, and thinly slice crosswise. Peel fresh avocados and cut lengthwise in ¼ inch slices. In a bowl, combine onion, avocados and chopped cilantro. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. For dressing, in a processor, combine lime juice, olive oil, chopped pepper, and sugar and puree. When ready to serve, add dressing to salad and toss to coat. Refrigerate.


½ lb. washed, dried garbanzo beans

1 chopped red pepper

2 sliced green onions

2 Tbsp. fresh parsley


2 Tbsp. sugar

1/3 cup white vinegar

2 Tbsp. vegetable oil

2 Tbsp. olive oil

¼ tsp. salt

¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

In a pot, cover beans with water at least 2 inches above beans. Soak overnight. Drain and return to pan. Bring to a boil and cover. Simmer at med. heat for 1-1 ½ hours or until beans are done. Drain and cool.  Toss beans with red pepper, onions, and parsley. For the dressing, in a saucepan, combine sugar, vinegar, oils, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil while stirring and dissolve sugar. Pour over beans and toss.  Chill beans overnight or at least 4 hours.


4 oz. crumbled feta cheese

1 pint halved cherry tomatoes

1/3 cup olive oil

1/3 cup red wine vinegar

1 tsp. fresh oregano

1 tsp. fresh thyme

¼ tsp. salt

¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

In a bowl, combine cheese and tomatoes. In a jar, combine oil, wine vinegar, fresh herbs, and salt and pepper, and shake to mix well. Pour over tomatoes, toss, cover, and chill.


1 peeled, cored, ¾ inch sliced, large, fresh pineapple

1 ½ cups water

¾ cup sugar

4 halved cinnamon sticks

1 sliced thick, ¼-inch lemon

4 peeled, sliced ¼-inch, fresh ginger

In a pot, combine water, sugar, cinnamon, lemon, and ginger. Bring to a boil while stirring to make sure sugar dissolves. Reduce heat and simmer10 minutes. Add pineapple slices and cook 7 minutes while stirring until fruit is translucent. Transfer fruit with syrup to a bowl, and refrigerate. Top with whipped cream.


2 beaten eggs

4 Tbsp. sugar

4 ½ tsp. all-purpose flour

1/8 tsp. salt

2 cups milk

½ tsp. vanilla extract

4 cups strawberries

In a mixer, beat eggs. Add sugar, flour, and salt, one at a time. In a saucepan, heat milk over medium heat. Add ½ cup of the hot milk to the egg mixture to warm it. Gradually add egg mixture into the milk while stirring constantly. Continue to heat 15-20 minutes while stirring until thickened. Fold in vanilla. Cool and refrigerate. When serving, spoon chilled custard over strawberries.


1 ½ lbs. fresh, unpeeled rhubarb

½ cup water

1 tsp. fresh lemon juice

1/8 tsp. salt

2/3 cup sugar

Cut washed, rhubarb into 1-inch pieces. In a large pan, combine ingredients. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat, and cook while occasionally stirring for 10 minutes or until tender. Chill. Serve as a topping over ice cream or simply in a bowl with whipped cream on top. Or serve over custard in the recipe above.


1 beaten egg

1 cup Crisco shortening

1 cup sugar

1 Tbsp. orange juice

2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking powder

Pinch of salt

1 Tbsp. orange rind

1 cup chopped pecans

In a mixer, beat egg. Add shortening, sugar, and orange juice, and mix well. Add flour, baking powder, and pinch of salt, and mix just until blended. Fold in pecans and orange rind. Shape dough into a roll and wrap in waxed paper. Chill for 3 hours. Unwrap firm roll, and cut into ¼ inch slices. Bake on a greased cookie sheet in a 375-degree oven for 14-18 minutes or until slightly browned.