Pool Party Cake
This cleverly decorated cake with its "pool" of cool blue gelatin will steal the show at any gathering! Our Test Kitchen staff dipped into their imaginations to come up with the whimsical Pool Party Cake that doubles as an eye-catching centerpiece.
—Taste of Home Test Kitchen
Beach Ball Ice Cream Sandwiches
Who can resist creamy ice cream between homemade sugar cookies? These cheerful Beach Ball Ice Cream Sandwiches might be the perfect way to celebrate a get-away to the beach.
—Pattie Ann Forssberg, Logan, Kansas
Fun Fish Sandwiches
Kids will love these cute Fun Fish Sandwiches! They're such a cinch to shape, using a fish-shaped cookie cutter. If some of your party guests are picky eaters, cut out fish-shaped peanut butter and jelly sandwiches instead.
—Carolyn Schmeling, Brookfield, Wisconsin
Island Swim Dessert
This awesome summer treat is not only fun to make, but fun to eat as well. Decorate the cookies in this Island Swim Dessert to look like your swimming suit or the colors of your party. Eating some of the decorations is fun, too.
—Sara Martin, Brookfield, Wisconsin
Barbecued Chicken Pizzas
So fast and so easy with refrigerated pizza crust, this entree will bring raves with its hot-off-the-grill, rustic flavor. These Barbecued Chicken Pizzas are perfect for a small, spur-of-the-minute backyard pool party!
—Alicia Trevithick, Temecula, California
Got a crowd coming over for a backyard barbecue? This crisp, big-batch Mediterranean Salad makes a great accompaniment to any main dish you fix on the grill.
—Pat Stevens, Granbury, Texas
Fresh pineapple stars in this fruity Tropical Guacamole that sure hits the spot! Both kids and adults have enjoyed it as a poolside snack or as a satisfying appetizer at a summer barbecue.
—Sarah White, Salt Lake City, Utah
Pepperoni Spinach Quiche
Several years ago, I had to come up with a dish to serve at a pool party, and this colorful Pepperoni Spinach Quiche was a hit. It's also great on an antipasto tray, cut into wedges.
—Elly Townsend, Summerfield, Florida
Whether it's for a pool or birthday party, this fish-themed Ocean Cake will snag smiles from kids of all ages!
—Taste of Home Test Kitchen
Whether you're splashing poolside or watching the kids inside, this Mojito Slush has just the right balance of minty crispness and limey tartness that's sure to tingle your taste buds.
—Jessica Ring, Chicago, Illinois
Pool Party Tips
- To keep salads, meats and desserts cold and safe at a summer party, I place all the containers in a pleasing arrangement in a small, inflatable child-size swimming pool. Then I sprinkle bags of ice cubes around everything. I also use netting from a fabric store to keep flies and other pesky bugs out of the food. I have enough to cover the tables, too. After the party, I wash the fabric on the gentle cycle in the washing machine and air-dry it for future use.
—Earlene Ertelt, Woodburn, Oregon
- I make gelatin for picnics and pour it into individual plastic containers with mini marshmallows on top. To make it special, I sprinkle with pastel marshmallows. Kids always enjoy this treat. Plus, this prevents spills that can occur when you're spooning from a larger bowl.
—Marilyn Bick, Norwalk, Ohio
- Scooping ice cream at a party is always so messy and time-consuming. Therefore, before a party I place single scoops of ice cream in paper cupcake liners and pop them back into the freezer until they're ready to serve.
—Pat Bellamy, Max, Nebraska
- When you're grilling lots of chicken wings for an outdoor party, speed up the basting by putting the sauce in a spray bottle and spraying it on the wings as they cook.
—Angela Roster, Greenbackville, Virginia
- Making batches of cupcakes for a party? Pour the batter into ice cream cones until they're half full, bake and frost. No messy paper liners to dispose of…and the kids can eat the cones!
—Janet Rate, Colburn, Idaho
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