Dagwood, Eat Your Heart Out; The World’s Greatest Sandwich!


As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about……..more mixing it up at dinnertime! While most nights we enjoy a great dish with all the fixings, sometimes it’s a real treat to simplify. The other night, I made a sandwich that was so delicious Dagwood would have been jealous!

 

Grilled Steak Sandwiches Smothered with Pesto-Mayo

Sweet Potato Steak Fries

 

Grilled Steak Sandwiches Smothered with Pesto-Mayo;

 

1 lb boneless beef sirloin steak

Course sea salt

Cracked black pepper

Garlic salt

Olive oil

4 Tbsp mayonnaise

4 Tbsp prepared pesto sauce

Large loaf of baguette bread (enough for 4 sandwiches)

2 heads of Romaine lettuce

Red onion, thinly sliced

2 tomatoes, thinly sliced

 

Pre-heat grill to medium-high

 

Sprinkle steaks with salt and pepper

Grill for approximately 5 minutes on each side, or until desired temperature

Allow to sit for 5 minutes, cut into thin slices

In a small bowl, combine the mayo and the pesto

 

Slice each head of Romaine lettuce in half lengthwise

Brush both sides with oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic salt

Place on the grill and cook until there are char marks on both sides

Remove from grill and allow to cool

Cut off the stem and discard

Chop the lettuce

 

Slice the baguette loaf (loaves) into 4 pieces

Slice horizontally and open

Brush with oil

Place on the grill, open side down until lightly charred

 

Place one serving of bread on a platter

Slather mayo-pesto mixture on both slices of baguette bread

Spread grilled lettuce on top of mayo-pesto picture (this is what makes the sandwich!)

Place tomato slices on one side and onion slices of the other

Top one slice of bread with steak and close the sandwich

Slice in half serve

 

Sweet Potato Steak Fries

We don’t really eat fried food, but life would not be worth living without French fries. As an alternative to that big fat greasy mess, I like to bake mine; either sweet potatoes or the classic Idaho.

 

Each potato yields approximately 16 matchstick fries

 

Scrub potato

Square off the potato by slicing off the ends

Cut each potato in half vertically

Slice into 4-5 wedges

Slice each wedge in half

 

Throw all potatoes in a large bowl

Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper

Toss and place on a foil lined baking sheet

Cook in the oven for 20-30 minutes, until soft

 

Place a sandwich, sliced in half, on a plate with a hearty helping of fries!

 

More mixing it up, more sweet, sweet potatoes, more delectable Dagwood sandwiches….

 

To schedule and Interior Design appointment, a Life Style consultation or a speaking engagement, please email me at moreismoremom@aol.com

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Emmy’s Schmemmy’s!


As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about…..more Emmy Award’s! I am absolutely in love with the fantasy of going to the movies, which is why my favorite show of the entire year is the Oscar’s. However, what sustains me throughout our ordinary daily lives is…..television.

 

The Emmy’s is like a gigantic kick-off to the fall season. However, before we celebrate this past year of entertainment (and look forward to the coming weeks. Yay!), we must acknowledge those who have been here for us, supporting us, for the past 90 days; our friends at Bravo! A great big hat’s off to Bravo for making our summer bearable. While ABC, NBC and CBS have been showing ho-hum, boring reruns, Bravo has had the decency to entertain us with new programming. Housewives after Housewives, Millionaire Matchmaker, Top Chef, reunion shows with cutie pie Andy Cohen (Mazel!) and my all time favorite human being on television; Jeff Lewis of Flipping Out. I love him because he is a total ball buster who happens to have a big heart and exquisite taste.

 

This year, the Emmy’s were hosted by the fabulous Jane Lynch, otherwise known as both Sue Sylvester on Glee and Charlie Sheen’s therapist on 2 ½ Men. She’s amazing, and while I love, love, love, her, she just wasn’t as funny as Jimmy Fallon last year (whom I also love, love, love and isn’t as funny as Craig Ferguson. Maybe Craig Ferguson should host the Emmy’s!).

 

We are such total Modern Family maniacs at our house that I refuse to allow anyone to erase the second season we have recorded on our DVR until someone buys me the DVD compilation for Christmas. With all the awesome new TV coming in the next 24 hours, it’s a good thing we have 2 DVR’s. Julie Bowen, Claire on Modern Family is very, very good, but I wonder how she edged out Jane Lynch? I really thought that she and Gloria (Sofia Vergara) would have cancelled each other out. Ty Burrell was fabulous this season as the fumbling Phil Dunphy. Thankfully the Emmy voters got that one right.

 

Unfortunately, this Emmy show was a complete dud! It was about as boring as the Academy Awards with Anne Hathaway and James Franco. The first funny moment happened 45 minutes into the telecast when Rob Lowe and Sofia Vergara introduced the nominees for Lead Actress in a Comedy. Amy Poehler was a riot! When her name was announced as a nominee, she sauntered up to the stage as if she were the winner. The other nominees; Melissa McCarthy, Martha Plimpton, Eddie Falco (who was rockin a hard body like she was Madonna), Tina Fey and Laura Linney, all followed suit. They held hands on stage like they were contestants in a beauty pageant, just waiting for Miss America to be announced. Melissa McCarthy won for Mike & Molly and she was crowned with a tiara and awarded with a beautiful spray of roses. She’s from Plainfield, you know.

 

As insane as Charlie Sheen had been when he fell off the deep end in the spring, I was kind of hoping for a little tiger blood fighting warrior, but he must have been on his meds, darn it. He wasn’t humorous in the least as he announced Jim Parsons, from the Big Bang Theory, as Lead Actor in a Comedy. Clearly I am not smart enough to get it; how did he beat both Steve Carell and the amazing Alec Baldwin?

 

After another 30 interminably boring minutes, was the second amusing moment of the evening; the “epic” musical event starring Andy Samberg and Michael Bolton. Apparently Michael Bolton hadn’t been embarrassed enough with his dismal performance on Dancing with the Stars, because now he agreed to dress up as a singing Captain Jack Sparrow. I must admit, we did get a little chuckle when Ed Helms, John Stamos and Maya Rudolph dressed up as Justin Timberlake, Andy Samberg and Lady Gaga, singing, “It’s not gay if it’s in a three way,” (the SNL rerun episode aired last night).

 

Margo Martindale won for Supporting Actress in a Drama in Justified (I’d never even heard of that show). Peter Dinklage was your Supporting Actor Drama for Game of Thrones (clearly too high brow for me). Julianna Margulies (who will always be Nurse Hathaway on ER ) was Best Actress in a Drama for The Good Wife. Since she is married to Mr. Big, I might consider checking that one out. Kyle Chandler was the Best Actor for Friday Night Lights. I haven’t seen the TV show, but the movie was excellent! Apparently, we don’t do dramas.

 

While they looked amazing, the boys from Entourage were as boring as their final season, though they kicked off the awards for the best in mini series; Supporting Actress, Maggie Smith (Professor McGonagall of Harry Potter fame), Supporting Actor, Guy Pearce (?), Lead Actor, Barry Pepper (he was awesome as Roger Maris in *61 and Saving Private Ryan), and of course, Lead Actress, the beautiful Kate Winslet.

 

The show was so uneventful that it couldn’t end soon enough, but not before awarding Modern Family and Mad Men as tops in Comedy and Drama.

 

With all that celebrating behind us, we have an entire season of our favorite television to look forward to. Hip, hip, hooray for the idiot box!

 

 More beloved television shows, more favorite characters, more time laughing together as a family……

 

To schedule and Interior Design appointment, a Life Style consultation or a speaking engagement, please email me at moreismoremom@aol.com

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If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Join ‘Em….


As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about…..more keeping up with my fitness focused teenagers! When I was little, girls were only involved with things like ballet, figure skating, gymnastics and tennis. I was clueless to the fact that there was a great big world of athletics just waiting to be experienced. My leanings have always tended towards shopping as a sport. I could have totally won gold at the mall.

 

My people happen to subscribe to the life philosophy; all sports all the time. Because more of everything is always better, each summer when Nick was little, I signed him up for eight weeks worth of swimming lessons. It never did quite register with me that all the other kids only participated in a single two week session, rather than the whole enchilada. By the time Nick was going into the 2nd grade, he had completed every single solitary swimming lesson our park district had to offer. The only thing left was life guarding. He was 7.

 

Sports conditioning has always been a way of life for my two. Hockey was the inspiration for Nick’s particular obsession with leg strength and cardio. Forever he could be found doing wall sits, squats and marking off 75 and 100 meter increments out in front of our house for me to time his sprinting drills with a stop watch. In fact, his favorite Christmas gift this year, other than his Sam Adams (Boston rapper) CD, was a mini parachute that gets strapped to your back to offer resistance while you run. Rarely has Wrigley found anything more exciting than chasing Nick down the street trying to wrestle and dominate the parachute.

 

Of course, Amanda has been a gym rat since she stared gymnastics when she was 4. Never one to be left out, she’s always been all too eager to join Nick, no matter what the challenge. In fact, once she retired from gymnastics this winter, she and her brother became constant workout companions.

 

With her school and AAU track seasons over and her work out partner off to college, Amanda was in need of a gym buddy. I was only too happy to volunteer for the job. Selfishly I figured, if I worked out with her, maybe some of her fitness would rub off on me. While I’ve been working out for the past 20 years (you know, the usual mom stuff; going to the health club, running, biking, weight training, chatting), I’m absolutely exhausted! Box jumps, plyometrics, circuit training, weight lifting and serious abdominals (none of this doing a couple of crunches malarkey).       

They say if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. I say if you’re brave enough to join them, be sure to eat your Wheaties!

 

More exercising, more fitness, more mother/daughter bonding, more exhaustion……

 

To schedule and Interior Design appointment, a Life Style consultation or a speaking engagement, please email me at moreismoremom@aol.com

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MIA…Missoni at Target


As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about….. more fashion at Target! Ever since I was a tween, I have been obsessed with style. I can actually remember my very first issue of Seventeen magazine ever, which featured beautiful models sporting camouflage and lavender. It was amazing.

 

When I was 13 years old, I was the recipient of one of the most influential books of my youth; The Official Preppy Handbook. From that moment, I had a penchant for 14 carat gold knot earrings, kilts, broadcloth button down Oxfords, vintage bow ties, argyle socks and sweaters, Weejun Bass penny loafers, Tretorn tennis shoes, Sporto duck shoes, Lacoste and Ralph Lauren polo style shirts, Le Sport Sac bags. The list of fabulously preppy apparel just goes on and on.

 

Over the years, my obsessions have run deep and wide. I’m especially partial to high style for less, which is why I have adored Target from the moment we met. In recent years, I have made the mad pilgrimage from Target Greatland to Target Greatland for such noted designers as Liberty of London and John Derian.

 

The minute I read all about Missoni doing a line for Target in In Style magazine, I went gaga. Missoni is heralded for their iconic, fantastic and modern striped patterns for apparel and home goods. Fashionable clothing and home décor, how could I not be intrigued? In bright colored Sharpies, I noted the date of Missoni’s arrival on my calendar; Tuesday, September 13, 2011.

Back in the day, when Nick and Amanda were little, I would drag them to the seasonal grand openings of one of my very favorite treasure hunting haunts, Tuesday Morning. We might pick up doughnuts and juice boxes as a treat as we passed the time as I had them in line for the 8am opening. Bribery went a long way.

 

While Missoni’s arrival was on my calendar, I had a very busy morning opening day. I was meeting my gal pals to train for our 15K and had samples to deliver to one of my clients. By the time I arrived at the best Target ever (the one in Warrenville, IL on Diehl Road, where my good friend Sal, of Swanton Video Media, and I taped our Ronald McDonald House Video), it was too late. Everything was SOLD OUT like it was the World Series and the Cub’s were chasing October.

 

I felt as though I were wondering around amongst the apocalypse, with death and destruction surrounding me. By noon, I could practically smell it. Apparently the majority of the stylish pieces were sold by the time 8:30am had rolled around (a mere 30 minutes after the store opened).

 

What can you do? While I spied few items here and there, I dig snag a pair of Missoni rain boots. Hey, here in Chicago, I’m likely to need them…

 

More style for less, more iconic designers, more apparel and home goods, more Missoni……..

 

To schedule and Interior Design appointment, a Life Style consultation or a speaking engagement, please email me at moreismoremom@aol.com

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Last Friday Night…..


As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about…….more Friday night’s! In all four of Nick’s years at the Be All and End All Academy, Chuck and I went to exactly one football game. Most weekends found us be-bopping around from ice rink to ice rink at all hours of the day and night. However, there was one beautiful Friday night that we were able to sneak over to the stadium to catch the big game, seeing our dear friends, the LaLanne’s, son as starting quarterback. It was a rah-rah good time!

 

With Nick off to college, we no longer have hockey to occupy our weekends. Thankfully, Amanda’s a true champ and she’s stepped in to fill the void. Since her retirement from gymnastics, she has devoted herself to training for the heptathlon, but the school year has been reserved for…..cheerleading.

 

After spending 20 hours each week at the gym, Amanda’s never had the opportunity to participate in school spirit until now. She’s never even played volleyball, so that wasn’t an option. In fifth grade she tried basketball, but she hated the shoes, so that didn’t sound too promising.  With Amanda’s mad tumbling skills, cheerleading sounded like the obvious choice. Great girlfriends, cute uniforms and school spirit; what’s not to like?

 

Chuck and I were really looking forward to our very first St. Feels Right for Her football game and it was a blast! We loved watching the game, catching up with long time friends from Our Lady of Perpetual Donations and rooting along with the adorable Spartan cheerleaders. We sat next to the student section and couldn’t help but be swept up in all of the excitement.

 

The best part of the night was seeing Amanda having fun, cheering for her school and pal-ing around with friends. I can’t think of a better way to spend a Friday night!

 

More school spirit, more cheering for the home team, more Friday nights, more high school memories…..

 

To schedule and Interior Design appointment, a Life Style consultation or a speaking engagement, please email me at moreismoremom@aol.com

 

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