How to Pack the Perfect Picnic

 

The sun is shining and it’s a beautiful day!  Well, one can dream, right?  The Jersey Shore seems to have more clouds then sun lately but we know it won’t be long, right?

With the Memorial Day weekend here is just about a week, a picnic is a wonderful way to celebrate!  There will be lots of barbecues and tailgating happening during the holiday weekend and we want to be sure you are prepared.  So here are some tips from Thirty One to help you pack the perfect picnic….

Whether you are picnicking alone or with a group of family or friends, we have a tote or thermal just for you!

For the gang….

When you’ve invited all of your daughter’s soccer pals or each of your son’s camp buddies to join you on a picnic, only Thirty-One’s Large Utility Tote will do!  A best-seller since it was introduced, the Large Utility Tote is big enough to pack everyone’s favorite foods. The wire support around the opening means it holds its shape, and you can see all of the food and drinks you have packed so you don’t forget a thing. Add a Top-A-Tote to keep the contents covered and secure.

For the family..

Create some memories by taking the family dinner outside! The Perfect Party Setreally is perfect – perfect for keeping food either hot or cold in one of its two thermal compartments. Each water-resistant section is large enough to fit a 9×13″ pan, making it a flexible option for any picnic. Place your hot casserole in the bottom compartment, and don’t forget a dozen cupcakes on top!

A picnic for two

Whether you’re picnicking with your bestie or your special someone, the Picnic Thermal Tote is an ideal option. Tall enough to fit your favourite bottled beverage, the tote even has a Leak Lock thermal lining for ice to keep things cold. The zip-around closure makes it easy to load and unload, and the adjustable, detachable strap means you can keep your hands free. Remember to stick a few extra napkins in the exterior front pocket!

A picnic for you

At work or at home, the Lunch Break Thermal is the convenient choice when you need a picnic all to yourself! Throw it in your car, tuck it in your office refrigerator or take it to the beach – the durable fabric will make it your thermal of choice when you want some time alone. The extended handles allow you to throw it over your shoulder in a moment, and the exterior pocket is roomy enough for your keys, phone or wallet. So go ahead: Make your escape!

On the go

Life is busy, and the Around The Clock Thermal is ready to follow you at lunchtime, snack time or anytime! If you’re not quite sure where you’ll be throughout the day, this thermal is one of your most versatile options. The thermal lining means you can be confident your food will stay cool, and (bonus!) it’s water-resistant to make clean-up a breeze. Large enough for lunches or a variety of snacks, the interior mesh pocket and front exterior zipper pocket also are handy options for storage. If you’re on the go from dawn to dusk, this thermal is the one for you!  Need a visual…. it will hold a 6-pack with some room for a few snacks.

Picnics are a blast, so make sure you have some fun with whichever picnic thermal or tote you choose! Don’t forget: A monogram or other personalization adds a special touch to a special meal, all season long.

Thank you ThirtyOne for today’s blog post…  Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Tasty Tuesday: Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Thank you Michelle for sharing this recipe with us.  Michelle is “my” AMAZING leader at Weight Watchers on Thursday mornings.  She has been through the good and the bad times with me.  It is with her help and the support of my Thursday morning family, I hit goal.  

Cooking Time: 50  Prep Time: 15     Servings: 8   SmartPoints™ value: 7

Ingredients

12 oz uncooked pasta
12 oz fat free evaporated milk
2 cup(s) cheddar, shredded, low fat
1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
¼ tsp table salt
¼ tsp black pepper
⅛ tsp ground nutmeg
2 Tbsp dried plain breadcrumbs
2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
½ cup Plain nonfat Greek yogurt

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 4 quart baking dish with nonstick spray.
2. Cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain and transfer to a large bowl. Stir in sour cream.
3. Meanwhile, heat milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat until tiny bubbles appear just around the edge (do not boil). Reduce heat and stir in the mustard, salt, pepper and nutmeg.
4. Mix yogurt into pasta then add the milk mixture to the macaroni mixture, stirring until blended. Transfer to the baking dish. Combine bread crumbs and Parmesan in a small bowl; sprinkle over the casserole. Bake until the casserole is bubbly and the top is golden, about 30 minutes. Serves 8 (serving=1 cup)

Yummy stuff, even hubby likes it! Make some and freeze the leftovers for lunch. What do you carry your lunch to work in? Hopefully, it a Thirty One thermal with so many options to pick from there is something for everyone. Don’t forget there is still 48 hours to shop for both the Winter and the NEW Spring catalogs. Which thermal will you pick?

Add thermal picture options…..

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Tasty Tuesday: Spicy Black Bean Soup

Since the weather has been bitter cold here in NJ, I have been on a “soup kick”.  I love soup and with the NEW Freestyle points from Weight Watchers, I can made some really yummy soups for ZERO points.

Prep Time: 20     Cooking Time: 30     Servings: 8     SmartPoints™ value: 0

The key to thickening this soup without flour? Pureeing some of the beans before cooking it. You’ll love the stick-to-your-ribs texture results.

Ingredients

1 spray(s) cooking spray
1 medium uncooked onion(s), finely chopped
4 clove(s) garlic clove(s), minced
45 oz canned black beans, undrained, divided (three 15 oz cans)
½ tsp red pepper flakes, or to taste
1 tsp ground cumin
14 ½ oz fat free chicken broth, or vegetable broth
10 oz canned tomatoes with green chilis
11 oz canned yellow corn, drained

Instructions

1. Coat bottom of a large stockpot with cooking spray. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until onions are soft but not brown, about 5 minutes.
2. Place one can of beans in blender; add sautéed onion mixture, red pepper flakes and cumin. Cover and blend on high until smooth, about 30 seconds. Pour mixture back into stockpot.
3. Place second can of beans and broth in blender and puree until smooth; add to stockpot.
4. Stir third can of beans (do not puree first), tomatoes and green chilies, and corn into stockpot. Bring to a boil, lower heat to medium and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes. Yields about 1 1/2 cups of soup per serving.

Have some leftovers you want to take for lunch? Why not check out some of these AWESOME deals available through January 14th at Thirty One.

 The Around the Clock Thermal retails for $30 but some are on sale for $15 – $18 each.

 The Going Places Thermal retails for $25 with some on sale for $7.50 – $15. each

 The Go To Thermal (great for kids because it is machine washable) retails for $18 with sale prices from $5.40 – $9

 The LunchBreak Thermal retails for $25 with some prints on sale for $15.

 The Thermal Lunch Tote has long been a favorite and retails for $18.  Some prints are currently on sale for $9 – $10.80 each.

All prices are quoted before tax and shipping.  Thermals can be personalized for an additional cost.  Check out all of the Weekly Deals at www.partywithHope.com

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Tasty Tuesday: Key Lime Pie Parfaits

I am transforming (or at least trying to) my eating into a more healthy lifestyle.  Less processed foods and more of making my own goodies.  I have to be honest, I struggle with some recipes.  The secret ingredient in this recipe is avocado.  Now, I know they are good for me BUT I just don’t care for them.  But, I am willing to give it a try…

This recipe is from Food Babe who is all about healthy clean eating.  So, if you want to shake things up in the morning, this creamy parfait is tart, but full of fiber and nutrients to keep you satisfied all morning long.

Avocados are packed with healthy fats shown to protect the heart and are also a good source of fiber and fat-soluble nutrients such as Vitamin E.

Let’s get started, you’ll need a blender and a few simple ingredients…

Prep time:  10 mins     Total time: 10 mins     Serves: 3      Weight Watcher Smartpoints: 7

Ingredients

1 large avocado, peeled and pitted
¼ cup culinary coconut milk, more as needed
1 lime, juiced and zested
2 1/2 tablespoons raw honey
pinch sea salt

Optional: 1 cup granola of choice (add these points)

Instructions

Place all of the ingredients in a blender except the granola and blend until smooth.
To serve, place ¼ cup granola in a cup and top with ¼ cup key lime pie mousse. Repeat the granola and mousse layers once more. Enjoy!

Note:  Please use all organic ingredients if possible.

Need to take this YUMMY breakfast to work with you?  Use one of Thirty One’s thermal lunch totes….Pick one to fit your needs.  Not sure which one will work, I will be happy to help you.

  Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

 

Tasty Tuesday: Zucchini Pizza Casserole

Thank you Moscato Mom for today’s recipe….

I LOVE pizza. I used to create pizza with english muffins, tortillas, pits bread and of course the little frozen ones were always a staple in the house.  When I couldn’t decide what to have for dinner, salad and a mini pizza worked.  THEN I was told to go gluten free, and dairy free.  To say the least, I was not a happy camper.

Frozen gluten free, dairy free pizzas are nasty!  I found if I stuck with gluten free and just a little bit of cheese (real mozzarella) I felt okay.  Then I was hit with the high points for gluten free products which did not mesh well with my Weight Watcher program.  What was a girl to do?

I trust Moscato Mom and love many of her recipes so I am ready to try this one….

She says “This dish is not just amazing the day you make it – but we made enough to take for lunch the next day and I swear it was even better reheated. Now I keep pretty much all of the ingredients on hand for any time that pizza mood strikes… which is often.”

Ingredients

4 cups shredded unpeeled zucchini
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 pound ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cups Rao’s Low Carb Pizza Sauce

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400°. Place the shredded zucchini in a colander, sprinkle with about a tablespoon of salt, and toss.
  • Let sit 10 minutes, then squeeze out moisture by dumping the zucchini into a kitchen towel or clean t-shirt, pulling up the ends and squeezing out all of the moisture.
  • Combine zucchini with eggs in a large bowl.
  • Press the zucchini mixture into two 9x9in pans (or two pie dishes or a 13x9in baking dish).
  • Bake 20 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, cook beef and onion over medium heat, crumbling beef as you cook it.
  • Drain the fat from the pan and stir in the spaghetti sauce and spoon the mixture over the zucchini crust.
  • Sprinkle with the mozzarella.
  • Bake until heated through, about 20 minutes longer.

Now for those leftovers…. My FAVORITE Thirty One lunch tote. 

For those who know me or have been to one of my parties, I am all about multi uses for our bags.  So, the Going Places Thermal is so much more than just a lunch bag…The leak lock lining keeps things dry when you head to those water parks.

 Mobile office   For Bible Study

  For lunch         A camera case

Who would have ever thought a thermal could be used for so many things?  The cross body strap makes it so much easy to carry for those moments when you need to be hands free.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!