So, nobody loves a pool party more than this guy. Pitchers of a special cocktail, fun finger foods, games, music (I make annual pool party playlists on Spotify for friends to tap into every year)… To kick off the 2022 PRIDE Month, and pool party season, I had a few friends over for some food and fun, and the food and drink were all big hits. And I’m happy to share this menu with you below.

A COOKBOOK FOR EVERY EVENT

But first … who am I exactly? Tim Mulligan, that’s who — author of the just-released A Perfect 10: Ten Proven, Scrumptious Recipes for Each Part of Every Meal (Highpoint Life) cookbook! Yes, this is my first cookbook. However, I’ve been cooking for groups my whole life, including my partner of 20 years, Sean, and our two — who are now 18 and 22 — siblings by birth we adopted 18 years ago. In my family, I’m the cook — and I’ve been gathering and curating recipes for decades, from my own relatives, from neighbors, from parents of friends, you name it — and keeping those recipes alive!

Though I work full time as an HR exec, I really made the most of my quarantining experience in 2020 and 2021, nailing two major projects that have been high on my bucket list: writing a play, and then a cookbook. My play, Witchland — a scary and immersive play about a white gay couple from Seattle and their black teenage daughter who move to a town near the Hanford Nuclear Reactor in Easter Washington (based on my own experiences) — had a hugely successful near sold-out run in San Diego in late 2021.  

And now … my cookbook is out.  It’s called A Perfect 10, with seven chapters that comprise each meal period, and my top 10 favorite crowd-pleasing and easy-to-prepare recipes for each. My goal is to share my favorites with the world — and also hopefully assist those who are asked to bring something to a dinner party, BBQ, kids’ event, you name it. Just grab A Perfect 10 and follow my words step by step — you’ll thank me later. 

RECIPES FOR YOUR PRIDE PARTY

So, for PRIDE Month — back to the pool party! I’d start with a fun signature cocktail — this season, I’m suggesting you make a pitcher (or two or three) of Dirty Shirleys, served in PRIDE colored plastic glasses for the pool. Basically, Shirley Temples with vodka. Yes, it’s a thing this season! For one pitcher, just add 8 ounces of vodka, 4 ounces of grenadine or maraschino juice, and 2 cans of lemon-lime soda (it’s a pool party — go with the Diet soda!). Stir well, and serve with lime wedges and maraschino cherries as garnishes. 

For your party food, I say keep it simple and go for a few easy “snacks” — Cheesy Olive Puffs and BLT Open Face Buns. For the Cheesy Olive Puffs — these are so easy it’s pretty stupid — just mix together a softened stick of butter, 2 cups of a cheddar cheese blend, a cup of flour, 1/4 teaspoon each of paprika, curry powder, red pepper flakes, and salt. Once well combined, take 48 manzanilla green olives (I like the pimento-stuffed ones), and with your fingers wrap the cheese mix around each olive, making 48 little balls of fun. Bake at 400 for about 14 minutes, until they start to brown. Cool and serve. 

For the BLT Buns — take however many buns you want to serve — this recipe makes 12 regular-sized, but you could do 16 slider-sized. Take 6 hamburger buns of your choice (or 8 slider buns), open up, spray with cooking spray, throw on a little paprika, and broil for a few minutes until browned. Make a bacon mayo — mixing together a cup of mayo, a pack of cooked bacon slices crisped up and chopped, and about 1/4 cup chopped parsley. For some heat, I also stir in about a tablespoon of my fave thing, HOT HONEY. Put a slather of this mayo on each bun.

Make a lettuce/tomato topping — I combine around 6 chopped plum or Roma tomatoes and a heaping tablespoon of diced basil with a pinch of salt. To that, I throw in about a cup of shredded iceberg lettuce and mix it together well. Put a small mound on top of the mayo-slathered buns, put on a fun platter, and dazzle your pool party revelers.  

Note: what are those little cookies in the picture above? I cheated and put out bowls of Trader Joe’s new Ube-Shortbread cookies. They are impossible to stop eating. 

WEAR SUNSCREEN! HAVE FUN! AND HAPPY PRIDE!!!

Buy this book!