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Author: Makenna Wallingford

New Year, New You!

New Year, New You!

As the New Year begins, we start to focus on being our better selves, whether it’s getting fit, spending more time with family, avoiding technology more, or simply living with less stress. Fortunately, these resolutions all happen to have one common solution: a hot tub.

Hot tubs can do so many things for you physically and mentally. The high levels of heat that you get from a hot tub can help you lower your blood pressure and help you to unwind. All of your stresses from the day, week, month, or even all of 2015 will lightly roll off of your shoulders and into the hot tub when you sit back and relax for a soak. family relaxes in hot tub

What could be better than taking all of your stresses away after a long soak in the hot tub?: Using your hot tub to also spend more time with family and friends, and less time on the phone or computer. Being away from technology allows you to immerse yourself not only in conversation, but also in very hot, bubbly water, allowing everyone to decompress at the same time. No stress=more fun for everybody.

Hot tubs are great after a long work out; the first and second days after a hard day at the gym are often when you are the most sore. The buoyancy that hot tubs provide can reduce the stress on your joints, and allow your body to recover while the pressure of your body’s weight lightens. And if just sitting and soaking isn’t enough, hydrotherapy is also a nice way to recover from a tough work out, or if you’re having every-day aches and pains. Hot tub jets can massage your muscles and soothe any pains you have like a real masseuse, and your mind and body will feel better in no time.

 

 

 

 

Why Did the Turkey Cross the Road?

Why Did the Turkey Cross the Road?

To gobble up the left overs!

There is an infinite amount of ways to cook a turkey for Thanksgiving. But what is the best way? Lucky for you, we’ve got your Thanksgiving turkey covered. (In gravy of course.) So here are some great tips and tricks for your best Thanksgiving turkey–courtesy of our friends at Weber.

Ingredients:
1 14-pound turkey, fresh or thawed
½ cup unsalted butter
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
1 orange with zest, quartered
olive oil
salt and pepper
butcher twine

Instructions:

1. Bring the butter to room temperature and mix with the rosemary and thyme.

2. With a pair of poultry shears, remove the wing tips.

Starting at the bottom cavity, use your fingers to separate the turkey’s skin from the breast meat.  Work slowly up towards the neck being careful not to split or tear the skin.

3.  Once separated, work equal amounts of butter on to both breasts and down towards the thighs. Season the inside of the turkey cavity with salt and pepper.  Place the orange quarters inside the cavity and truss the turkey with the butcher twine.

4. Pat the turkey dry with paper towels.

Tip: For crispy skin, leave the turkey uncovered in the refrigerator overnight.

5. Season the outside of the turkey with salt, pepper, and the orange zest.  Rub all over with olive oil.

 

Safety First!

Safety First!

Happy Friday! Labor Day weekend is upon us this coming Monday, which means two things:

  1. Three day weekend!
  2. It’s the biggest day for grilling of the year.

But, with all the wildfires spreading around, we want to help you to make sure you’re grilling safely and efficiently this Labor Day, so here are some tips from the National Fire Protection Association to keep you, your family, and your forest out of harms way:

BBQ-Safety-Tips-

Check out more of our blog for fun grilling recipes, and have a wonderful and safe Labor Day. how to determine the value of a domain name

Back to (Old) School

Back to (Old) School

Parents! It’s that time again! September is just around the corner, and you know what that means: Back to school (AKA spending all sorts of money on new crayons and markers that your kids insist they “need”–trust me. Been there, done that). But instead of stressing about back-to-school errands, just remember there are still a few days left before school starts, and you still have time for one last hurrah! Now’s your chance to throw one last pool party for you and your kids, and we’re here to help with the planning.

No matter how old we get, we’re all still kids on the inside, so here are some tasty recipes that bring delicious twists to some of the classics.

To skip to the good stuff, click here ↓

Cup o’ Dirt
Pizza Grilled Cheese
S’mores Bar

Cup o’ Dirt

Think back to your childhood. It’s a sunny, summer day; there are grass stains on your clothes that are so fresh you can still smell them, and in the far right corner of your yard, you see it. That big, beautiful, brown mud pit. It’s calling your name, and like any other kid, you neglect any hygienic common sense, so you dive right in and start building the most perfect, sloppy, and delicious mud pie. 

Since eating said mud pie wasn’t very tasty (and frankly, looked down upon), we’ve discovered a happy and just as lovely alternative: Dirt Pudding Cups (Cups o’ Dirt). Chocolate pudding, Oreo crumbles, and gummy worms combine wonderfully to make the grossest and yet most deliciously muddy dessert you can find. Here’s how to do it!

Ingredientsworms-in-dirt-pudding-cups-recipe-

1, 15 oz. package of Oreos (or similar cookie)
1, 3.9 oz. package chocolate instant pudding
2 cups cold milk
8 oz. whipped topping (cool whip/reddi whip)
24 gummy worms

Directions

1. Make the dirt: put all of the sandwich cookies into a gallon-size ziploc bag and then use a rolling pin to crush them until they are at what you consider “good quality soil”.

2. Make the pudding: Pour the dry pudding mix into a large bowl and add cold milk. Whisk it all together until it’s smooth, and then let it sit for about 5 minutes until it thickens.

3. Mix it all together: Add the whipped cream and most of the cookie crumbles to the pudding, and gently stir until you have a good, muddy-looking texture. (If you really want it to look gross, mix the gummy worms into the pudding mixture as well). If not, go ahead and stick them right on top and surround them with the Oreo cookie crumbles.

Now you’re ready to go!

Pizza Grilled Cheese

Here is an obvious, and well-known fact: People love pizza.
Obvious, well-known fact number two: People love grilled cheese.
So….why not put them together?!

This is one of my favorite recipes, and it’s not just because it’s pizza on a grilled cheese. (Okay, you got me. That’s most of it). The other reason is because pizza is so versatile, that regardless of what you put on your pizza grilled cheese, it will be absolutely delicious. For now, here’s the recipe for a basic pepperoni pizza grilled cheese:

Ingredients:pizza grilled cheese

1/4-1/2 cup Mozzarella Cheese (shredded or sliced is easiest and melts the best, but if you want to be fancy, feel free to go with the really fresh kind)
5-6 Pepperoni rounds
1/4 cup of Marinara Sauce
2 slices of Bread (Sourdough, French bread, whole grain…whatever makes you happy, it’s all delicious)

(Quantity depends on how many you are serving. For now, this recipe calls for one sandwich)

Directions:

First! You must prep your grilled cheese: Spread the marinara sauce evenly along one slice of the bread. (If you put too much on, it gets really messy, really fast.) Now, layer on that cheese–I suggest just enough so that you can’t see the marinara sauce under the cheese. Up next, you’re going to put on the pepperoni (5-6 small rounds works well on one sandwich)–At this point, you may be done loading your sandwich, however if there are other delicious toppings the kids would like, I might suggest a “Pizza Grilled Cheese Bar” where each person can pick the best toppings to go on their sandwich.

Once you’re all prepped, put your sandwich together and butter the outer side of each slice of bread. This will give you a nice, crispy coating when you’re all done. If you want to add some more flavor, sprinkle some Italian seasonings over the butter or even better, Parmesan cheese.

The best way to cook this delicious pizza sandwich? The grill. I mean…it’s called Grilled Cheese for a reason! So, set your grill for 350º F. Once it’s all heated and warm, align your sandwich with the grates of your BBQ so it really gets that “grilled” look to it. Cook on each side for about 2 and a half minutes or until the bread is a nice, golden brown color. Just make sure to keep an eye on it! After 2 and a half minutes, flip your sandwich and repeat. If the cheese isn’t melted all the way, turn the grill down to low and let it sit until your sandwich is what you consider to be the perfect consistency.

This sandwich will have everyone asking for a “PIZZA” that grilled cheese!

S’mores Bar

There aren’t many people in the world that would turn down a classic S’more. These melty chocolate, boiling hot marshmallow, and crunchy graham cracker sandwiches tend to win, hands down, in the “best campfire dessert” category. Kids these days love switching things up daily, so why not create an exciting twist with a classic S’more? Here are some ideas of what to get:s'mores bar with reese's butterfinger hersheys nutella and other great ingredients!

1. Various chocolate bars (Reese’s, Butterfinger Cups, Kit Kats)

2. Different sandwich options (graham crackers of course, chocolate chip cookies, Nilla wafers)

3. Spreads to pump up the flavor (Nutella, Cookie Butter, Peanut Butter, Caramel)

Don’t have a campfire? Keep your barbecue on! S’mores cooked on the grill will make sure your marshmallows and chocolate sandwiches are perfectly melted, and wonderfully gooey. All you have to do is prep your S’more, wrap it in heavy-duty foil, and put it over medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes or until the marshmallow is melted. Perfectly classic S’mores, customized to your liking, and absolutely delicious.

Side note:

Want some pool party themed decorating tips? In our last post, “Use your Noodle” I included a link that has over 50 different ways to use pool noodles, including ways to decorate your home. Here is that same extensive list. Enjoy!

 

Use your Noodle!

Use your Noodle!

If you’re anything like me, you love golf, but your golf swing looks a little like this.

giphy

But not all hope is lost! We found a fun new way to better your golf swing by using something that anyone with a pool already has floating in his or her backyard: a pool noodle.

giphy (1)

PGA senior instructor Greg Greksa has added “fixing your golf swing” to the extensive list of things you can do with a pool noodle. All you need is a pool noodle and a piece of conduit to help you go from feeling like this…

best golf reaction

to feeling like this…

anigif_enhanced-buzz-22555-1371435333-0

You go, Phil.

First thing’s first. Simply place a conduit in the ground at an angle and put the pool noodle on it. For the correct angle, get into a comfortable swing position and make sure the top of your head touches the pool noodle.

Why are we going out of our way to look ridiculous, you ask? Well, the pool noodle acts as a guide to keep your head from coming up or moving too much when you swing. By keeping your head steady, you can achieve a smoother and more accurate golf swing. Who’d have thought that you could use your noodle for your noodle?

Watch the video below for full instructions. ↓↓

Don’t have a pool noodle? Feel free to swing by any of our Aqua Quip locations to get one!

Friday, Football, and Food, OH MY!

Friday, Football, and Food, OH MY!

It’s Tailgating Time

It’s mid August, the kids are heading back to school soon, and the summer is just as boiling hot as ever, but we’ve all had one thing on our minds: Why didn’t they run the ball? 🙁

But now, the football season has returned (Superbowl round four?), and while we’re all jumping for joy, we remember that this time of the year is also peak grilling season, so we start jumping even higher. As this Friday rolls around, get your grills and your voices fired up, because you need to make sure you can still yell at your TV while you’re eating.

In case you haven’t already planned your first tailgate party recipes of the 2015-2016 football season, we at Aqua Quip decided to lend you, our fellow 12th men and women, a hand.

To check out the recipes, click below ↓

Orange Creamsicle Muddy Buddies
Grilled Potato Skins
Grilled Buffalo Chicken Burgers

You can’t grill everything…

In honor of easy snacks, great tasting desserts, and August 14th being “Orange Creamsicle Day”, here’s a super simple recipe for a fun twist on classic Muddy Buddies (or Puppy Chow if we must):

Orange Creamsicle Muddy Buddies

Ingredients:

  • 8 Cups of Rice Chex Cerealorange+creamsicle+buddies1
  • 1 1/2 cups white vanilla baking chips
  • 1/4 cup butter (mmm butter)
  • 3 Tbsp heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp orange zest (about 1 1/2 large oranges)
  • 1 tsp orange extract
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Directions:

Measure 8 cups Rice Chex Cereal into a large mixing bowl (a super bowl, if you will…sorry). In a separate microwave-safe bowl, combine vanilla baking chips, butter, cream and orange zest. Microwave it on 50% power in 30 second intervals, periodically stirring it between each one until it’s creamy and smooth. Stir in the orange extract, mix that up, and then pour it over the Chex. Toss it up with a rubber spatula until all the Chex is happy and creamsicle-coated. From here, pour your delicious creation into a 2 gallon ziploc bag, add the powdered sugar and start shakin’. For an even more FANtastic twist, toss some blue and green M&Ms into the mix.

Recipe provided by Cooking Classy.

But you can grill these…

Grilled Potato Skins

Now that your sweet tooth is satisfied, let’s talk about savory. Our next recipe is a well known and loved appetizer: Potato skins. (I’m getting hungry just looking at the picture.) This recipe only yields eight delicious potato skins, so feel free to double (or triple) the recipe to make sure you’ve got enough for all of your party guests and family.

Ingredients 

potato-skins

  • 2 Large baking potatoes
  • 2 Tbs melted butter
  • 2 tsp minced rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 cup (4 oz) shredded cheddar cheese
  • 3 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled (“Everything’s better with bacon!” I always say.)
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • Sour Cream

Directions:

Cut the potatoes lengthwise into four wedges. Cut away the meat of the potato so there is only 1/4 in. left on the skins. For tenderer potato skins, throw them in the microwave, uncovered, on high for  8-10 minutes. Combine the butter, roesmary, salt and pepper; brush over both sides of potato skins.

Now that the preparation is done, you can start grilling. Place the potatoes, skin side up, uncovered, over direct medium heat for 2-3 minutes or until lightly browned. Flip the potatoes and position them over indirect heat for 2 more minutes and then top them with cheesy goodness. Cover and grill for 2-3 more minutes until the cheese is melted. Finally, sprinkle the bacon and onions on and serve it with sour cream. Yum.

Recipe provided by Taste of Home.

Grilled Buffalo Chicken Burgers

We saved you the best for last. These savory and spicy buffalo chicken burgers will leave everyone completely satisfied, and the food coma that comes after will be totally worth it. Here’s how to build these beautiful buffalo burgers:

Ingredients:

For the patty:

  • 1 lb of ground chickengrilled and delicious buffalo chicken burger recipe for your football game tailgate party
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic, pressed
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup plain bread crumbs
  • salt
  • freshly cracked pepper
  • 1 tsp minced dill weed
  • 1 tsp minced parsley

For the rest of the burger:

  • Burger buns (I suggest Brioche)
  • Buffalo sauce
  • Ranch dressing
  • blue cheese crumbles
  • tomato slices
  • chopped green onion (use any left overs from the potato skins)
  • sliced mozzarella cheese

Directions:

Combine the ingredients for the patty in a mixing bowl and mix well. Form your burgers (whichever size you want) and throw the patties on your grill over medium-high heat for about eight minutes. Flip and grill for another 8 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. When they’re fully cooked, brush on some buffalo sauce and grill for another minute on each side.

Time to build your burger. Spread ranch dressing on the bottom bun and add blue cheese crumbles and tomato slices. Then add your buffalo chicken patty and top it off with the chopped green onion and mozzarella slices.

Ingredients provided by willcookforsmiles.

Now that you’ve got the perfect tailgate recipes, eat up, enjoy, and GO HAWKS!

BioGuard will help your “Summer Lovin'” last you all year!

BioGuard will help your “Summer Lovin'” last you all year!

Who says summer has to end? Enjoy swimming year round!* BioGuard’s SaltScapes™ Saltwater Pool Care System can help you maintain your saltwater swimming pool throughout the summer and all the way through the winter. From algae treatments to pH reducers, you can keep your saltwater swimming pool fresh, clean, and sparkling, even in the cold weather! You can even pick them up at Aqua Quip today! Down below, you can learn more about how each SaltScapes™ Pool Care product can help you keep your pool sparkling all year.

*at your own risk. Do not expose yourself to risk of hypothermia please. Swimming outside in the winter is only recommended if you have a wet suit or a heated pool.


 

Sunshield Stabilizersaltscapes saltwater pool stabilizing cleaner

Did you know the salt cells in your saltwater swimming pool generate unstable chlorine that weakens under UV rays? SaltScapes™ Stabilizing system protects your chlorine, helping it last longer. Just make sure your pool is at a minimum 30ppm when you pour it in, and test your stabilizer monthly.

pH Reducersaltscapes ph reducer for saltwater swimming pools

SaltScapes™ ph Reducer works to protect your saltwater pool’s surface by lowering the pH to it’s ideal range. Safer to use and store than other leading chemicals, all you need to do is pour the bottle into the deep end of your pool while not in use, let it sit for at least two hours, and then you’re good to go!

Cell Cleanersaltscapes cell swimming pool saltwater wall cleaner

Due to the salty levels of your pool, calcium-scale deposits start forming on your pool walls. SaltScapes™ Cell Cleaner will make your pool cleaner and prettier in just 30 minutes.

 

 

Bioguard-SaltScapes-3-01

 

 

saltscapes scale defender saltwater swimming pool cleaner

Scale Defender

Use the Scale Defender with the cell cleaner to get great results! The SaltScapes™ Scale Defender binds to the calcium crystals and keeps them from clustering together on your pool’s surface. Use it monthly to get the best results.

Shock Oxidizersaltscapes saltwater swimming pool cleaner

The SaltScapes™ Shock Oxidizer eliminates contaminants like sweat and sunscreen in your pool without creating that stinky chlorine smell. Just one bottle can treat up to 20,000 gallons of saltwater! That’s a lot. For best results, use once a week and pour it into the deep-end while the pump is running in the morning. You’ll be loving your clean, dirt and odor-free swimming pool.

Algae Treatmentsaltscapes-algae-remover

Despite continuously being chlorinated, saltwater pools can still be exposed to blooming algae. The SaltScapes™ Algae Remover is formulated to clean all surfaces and filter types with results in as little as 24 hours. In order to consistently maintain your pool, use the Algae Remover weekly as a preventative product.

SaltScapes™ Test Stripssaltscapes-test-strips

Just like a traditionally chlorinated pool, the water levels in your saltwater pool needs to be tested 2-3 times per week. Since salt and chlorine are independent of each other, SaltScapes™ Test Strips help to ensure correct salt levels to guarantee the best swimmer comfort, protection, and sanitizer efficiency. Then, don’t forget to check with your local BioGuard dealer to schedule a water sample test every 4-6 weeks.

For more information on SaltScapes™ Pool Care system, check out BioGuard’s website, and come visit us at any of our 9 Aqua Quip locations!