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: Slow-Cook Fake Baked Beans

Thank you Hungry Girl for another AMAZING recipe…

Nutrition Values: 1/10th of recipe (about 3/4 cup): 178 calories, 0.5g total fat (0g sat fat), 432mg sodium, 37g carbs, 8.5g fiber, 13g sugars, 8g protein.

FreestyleSmartPoints® value 2*      MAKES 10 SERVINGS

Prep: 20 minutes     Cook: 3 – 4 hours on high or 7 – 8 hours on low

Ingredients:

One 6-oz. can tomato paste
1/4 cup molasses
2 tbsp. cider vinegar
1 tbsp. yellow mustard
1 tsp. chopped garlic
1/2 tsp. salt
One 15-oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
One 15-oz. can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
One 15-oz. can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
3 cups finely chopped onion
2 cups finely chopped red bell pepper
1 cup finely chopped Fuji or Gala apple

Directions:
  1. In a medium bowl, combine tomato paste, molasses, vinegar, mustard, garlic, and salt. Mix until smooth and uniform.
  2. Place all remaining ingredients in a slow cooker. Add tomato mixture, and stir to coat.
  3. Cover and cook on high for 3 – 4 hours or on low for 7 – 8 hours.
  4. Stir well before serving.

Do you know the perfect way to carry a crockpot full of yumminess to a picnic?  With Thirty One’s Fresh Market Thermal.

The Fresh Market Thermal is a stylish, portable thermal large enough to hold two 9″x13″ casserole dishes (and a crock pot). A must-have for family picnics, tailgating, trips to the beach, days on the boat, potlucks, grocery shopping or weekend camping. Its water-resistant Leak Lock thermal lining means you can add ice to this cooler bag to keep food and drinks cold. Need more room? The sides unsnap and expand to give you more space inside. Long handles allow you to carry it over your shoulder when you need to be hands-free. The Fresh Market Thermal also features a zipper closure for securing contents and an exterior front pocket to hold other important items.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Tasty Tuesday: One Point Cheesecake

Thank you to Judy Kushner from Pampered Chef and a fellow Weight Watcher for today’s recipe….

Ingredients:

  • 3 eggs
  • 3 cups fat free plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 small box of sugar free/fat free instant pudding (pick your favorite)
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1tbsp sugar substitute (I used 3 packages of Stevia)
  • Pinch of salt (I use Himalayan salt)

Directions:

  1. Add eggs, vanilla, sugar and sale to a medium bowl and beat well.
  2. Add yogurt and dry pudding.  Mix well
  3. Pour into a 8-9″ pie plate sprayed with non-stick spray.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 – 30 minutes
  5. Let good on counter completely (about 2 hours)
  6. Cover and refrigerate

I topped mine with fresh strawberries.  When you cut it into 4 pieces, each piece is 1 point and chock full of protein.  Makes a quick and easy breakfast or a filling snack.  I’m going to try it with chocolate, add a little bit of chocolate sauce and a few crushed graham crackers and maybe even a few mini chocolate chips and mini marshmallows.  It will raise the points but it will be a yummy treat on those days I am craving something sweet.

Judy (and I) used many of our Pampered Chef products to make this yummy treat.  Check out these awesome products:

 The Classic Batter Bowl to mix everything in.

 The Small Mix N Scraper to mix the ingredients.

Be sure to check out her website for lots of other AMAZING Pampered Chef Products.

I took mine for breakfast on weigh in day because every Weight Watcher knows you don’t eat before weigh in, right?  LOL.  I used my Cool Clip thermal to keep it fresh and cool because the weather has been a little warm at the Jersey Shore.  So many prints to pick from.  The Cool Clip Thermal Pouch makes a great addition to any tote, bag or backpack when you need a little extra space or just need to keep items separated and easy to access. Great for snacks, sunscreen, medicine, make-up, valuables, cell phones, baby food, bug spray, first-aid supplies and many other items. Features a washable and wipeable thermal lining, exterior clip, zipper closure and front pocket.

Have a recipe you want to share?  Send it to my email at HopeWs31@gmail.com.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Tasty Tuesday: Slow Cooker Butternut Black Bean Chili

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Thank you Hungry Girl for another YUMMY recipe!

Prep: 15 minutes     Cook: 3 – 4 hours on high or 7 – 8 hours on low  Serves: 8 FreestyleSmartPoints® value 0*

1/8th of recipe (about 1 heaping cup): 173 calories, 0.5g total fat (0g sat fat), 532mg sodium, 35g carbs, 9g fiber, 8.5g sugars, 8g protein

Ingredients:

One 14.5-oz. can fire-roasted tomatoes (not drained)
2 1/2 cups canned crushed tomatoes
2 tsp. chopped garlic
2 tsp. chili powder
1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/8 tsp. salt
Two 15-oz. cans black beans, drained and rinsed
4 cups peeled butternut squash, cut into bite-sized pieces (about 3/4 of a medium squash)
1 cup chopped red onion
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/4 cup seeded and chopped jalapeño pepper (about 1 medium pepper)
Optional toppings: fresh cilantro, light sour cream

Directions:

  • Pour both types of tomatoes into a slow cooker. Add garlic and seasonings. Mix well.
  • Add remaining ingredients, and gently stir.
  • Cover and cook on high for 3 – 4 hours or on low for 7 – 8 hours, until veggies have softened.

HG Tips: Look for pre-cut butternut squash in the produce aisle, or click here for squash-cutting tips. And when handling jalapeños, don’t touch your eyes (pepper juice can sting), and wash your hands well immediately afterward.

Tailgating season may be over BUT it won’t be long before the summer barbecues start…Why not grab a Fresh Market Thermal now?  The Fresh Market Thermal is a stylish, portable thermal large enough to hold two 9″x13″ casserole dishes. A must-have for family picnics, tailgating, trips to the beach, days on the boat, potlucks, grocery shopping or weekend camping. Its water-resistant Leak Lock thermal lining means you can add ice to this cooler bag to keep food and drinks cold. Need more room? The sides unsnap and expand to give you more space inside. Long handles allow you to carry it over your shoulder when you need to be hands-free. The Fresh Market Thermal also features a zipper closure for securing contents and an exterior front pocket to hold other important items. Monogramming and personalization options available.  Approx. 10.5″H, 15″H with top extended x 15.5″L x 10″D

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Tasty Tuesday: Lasagna Stuffed Portabellas

Hungry Girl's Healthy Lasagna Stuffed Portabella Recipe

Thank you Hungry Girl for another YUMMY recipe…

1/2 of recipe (1 stuffed mushroom): 203 calories, 6.5g total fat (3.5g sat fat), 464mg sodium, 15.5g carbs, 4g fiber, 6.5g sugars, 22.5g protein  FreestyleSmartPoints® value 4*

Prep: 10 minutes. Cook: 20 minutes    MAKES 2 SERVINGS

Ingredients:

2 large portabella mushroom caps (stems removed)
1/2 cup canned crushed tomatoes
3 tbsp. light/low-fat ricotta cheese
3/4 tsp. chopped garlic
3/4 tsp. onion powder
3/4 tsp. Italian seasoning
Dash ground nutmeg
2 dashes each salt and black pepper
4 oz. raw extra-lean ground beef (4% fat or less)
2 tbsp. finely chopped onion
1 1/2 cups roughly chopped spinach
1/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1 tbsp. finely chopped fresh basil

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lay a large piece of heavy-duty foil on a baking sheet and spray with nonstick spray.
  • Place mushroom caps in the center, rounded sides down. Top with another large piece of foil. Fold together and seal all four edges of the two foil pieces, forming a well-sealed packet. Bake for 12 minutes, or until slightly tender.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the filling. In a medium bowl, combine crushed tomatoes, ricotta, garlic, onion powder, Italian seasoning, nutmeg, and a dash each salt and pepper. Mix until uniform.
  • Bring a skillet sprayed with nonstick spray to medium-high heat. Add beef, and sprinkle with remaining dash each salt and pepper. Add onion, and cook and crumble until beef is fully cooked and onion has softened, about 4 minutes.
  • Reduce heat to medium low. Add spinach and tomato/ricotta mixture. Cook and stir until spinach has wilted and mixture is hot, about 1 minute.
  • Cut foil packet to release steam before opening entirely. Remove top foil, and carefully drain excess liquid. Thoroughly blot excess moisture from mushroom caps.
  • Evenly fill mushrooms with filling. Sprinkle with mozzarella, and bake until mushrooms are tender and cheese has melted, about 8 minutes.
  • Top with basil.

What is the best way to enjoy this YUMMY meal again?  Take it for lunch in one of Thirty One’s thermal lunch totes.  How about the Around the Clock Thermal…

Want to know why you’ll love it?  It is great for lunch or snacks anytime, anywhere—work, school, festivals, road trips, poolside, beachfront, golf course, boating, or sporting events. It will fit a 6-pack with a little room for a snack.  The water-resistant thermal lining keeps contents cool and makes clean up easier. A removable shoulder strap means you can carry it any number of ways, including cross-body for hands-free movement. An interior mesh pocket and exterior front zipper pocket provide separate storage options when needed. Makes a great gift for friends, neighbors, kids’ teachers, and everyone else on the go! Best part… it holds up to 15 lbs. and can be it monogrammed and personalization.

Have a yummy recipe?  Share it with us…

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!