Monthly Archives: November 2010

A Broken Cell Phone: The Teenagers Worst Day Ever!

As the More is More Mom® I’m all about….more teenage flair for the dramatic! This weekend Amanda experienced her very WORST. DAY. E-V-E-R. What could have possibly happened, you may be wondering? Did Abercrombie go out of business? Did she miss out on backstage passes to a Justin Bieber concert? Did Jacob permanently turn into a werewolf? Did she cut her own bangs? No. No. No. No. Her cell phone broke…..


broken cell phone

The cell phone, as you know, is the life line of the American teenager. No one bothers to call the land line, unless under extreme duress. The house phone is practically obsolete. I don’t think any of these kids even know the numbers. For that matter, I’m pretty sure they don’t know any telephone numbers by heart either because they are all programmed into their sim cards, on speed dial. When I was a teenager, I could rattle off all of my friends telephone numbers as easily as I could say; two all beef patties special sauce lettuce cheese pickles onions on a sesame seed bun (but please don’t ask me any state capitols or fractions)!

I totally get it though. Don’t you remember when you first got call waiting on your house phone? It was like a dream come true for the teenage girl. Never again would you miss an important call (unless you were on both lines, which actually was not unprecedented). There was nothing like hearing that beep and asking your friend, “Can you hang on a minute? I’ve got another call.”

I’ll never forget the day we got our first answering machine when I was in High School. I truly thought it was the most amazing invention ever (I seriously never saw the I-Pod coming). How exciting to record those first outgoing messages, playing music in the background so absolutely no one could understand a word of what I was saying. It was awesome. 

So I completely understand why Amanda is so distraught over the loss of her cell phone. To be perfectly honest, I have a thing for my cell phone too. There is nothing like staying connected to your friends, at all hours of the day and night, sending important messages or silly tid-bits. Of course, the way these crazy plans work, we can’t get her a new phone until January 10th. She nearly had a coronary when she realized she was going to be “stuck” with a Go-Phone until then. No internet. No keyboard. Just good old fashioned one thumb scrolling. How would she ever survive?

After huffing, puffing and great big crocodile tears for her unfortunate predicament, Amanda was the lucky recipient of a loaner phone. Her bff Rosebud’s mom, my friend Missy, saved the day with an old pink Razor.

More generous friends, more convenient communication, more staying connected….

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More Meaningful Memories of Thanksgiving…

As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about……a more meaningful Thanksgiving! It’s official; I’m an adult. For the past 43 years I have been under the mistaken impression that Thanksgiving is about the turkey, the trimmings and the Christmas shopping at midnight, but, as it turns out, there’s more. Perhaps it’s because my Nick is a senior in High School, and I recognize that time is fleeting. When the kids were little, the days seemed to go on FOREVER! Now I see that the whole dynamic of our family is going to change in the next several months. So this year I wanted to be sure to savor every last moment.


One of my favorite Thanksgiving traditions is our annual Turkey Tournament. What better way to spend Thanksgiving Day than at a hockey game at 8 a.m.? Both Chuck and I really wanted watch Nick play, but Amanda would have none of it (though who could blame her? This is a little sister that has had her fair share of hockey. We even spent her 7th birthday at a tournament in Canada. I kind of see her point). I just hated the idea of Amanda sleeping in and waking up to an empty house on Thanksgiving morning (though certainly better than on Christmas morning!), so she decided to take a vacation from us and have a sleepover at Nana’s.

While waking up at 5:45 a.m. may not seem like a great way to start a holiday, we wouldn’t have missed it for the world. Chuck and I dropped Nick at the rink at 7 and headed over to Starbucks for toasty warm beverages. My mom, brother and sister-in-law met us in time for the puck to drop at center ice, with Amanda as snug as a bug in a rug at home with Boppa.

Nick and I were a little bit disappointed that we weren’t available to run in the Turkey Trot this year, so we opted instead to take Wrigley for a run after we had a late breakfast after the game.  I loved it. Wrigley, Nick and me; stretching our legs and enjoying the fresh air together. Working up an appetite with a little exercise (or, as it was, even more exercise for Nick) is definitely the best way to prepare for the eating-fest that is Thanksgiving at my mom and George’s.

What a night! We nibbled, noshed, cocktailed and celebrated one another as we sat down to a delicious dinner. I especially didn’t mind the massive clean up afterward. That’s when some of my very favorite moments happen. There is teasing, gossiping, story telling and bonding; all the good stuff that the fellas miss out on while they watch even more football. The ladies all marveled at how well behaved Wrigley had been. Usually he is known to cruise the appetizer offerings, or graze at the leftover plates on the cocktail table, even though we keep him on a leash until after dinner. This year, however, he was a champ. He didn’t get into anything until after dessert when he jumped up and served himself some pumpkin pie. His Nana would forgive him anything and said that was okay because she had made plenty of pies.


The very best part of the evening was, however, yet to come. My cousins Terri, David and Keith stopped by for dessert. My mom, being a total gamer, was only too excited to whip out the most recent edition of Trivial Pursuit. Clear the table, set up the board and roll the dice. Game on. It was the perfect end to the perfect night.

More being together, more laughing, more being silly, more creating family memories……..


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Spicy Thanksgiving Turkey Chili….

As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about ……..more making Turkey Chili from my Thanksgiving leftovers! How about that for a novel approach; create comfort from your comfort food? I don’t know what it is about the soup family, but my people can’t get enough of it. They would eat soup with every meal, every day of the week, so homemade chili was an extra, unexpected treat.

Whether you braved the malls on Black Friday, played football with the fellas or hung your Christmas lights, a warm meal will definitely hit the spot. Use some of that leftover turkey to make a hot and spicy chili.

Spicy Thanksgiving Turkey Chili:

This recipe serves 6, but doubles and triples nicely.

In a large pot, heat;

3 Tbsp olive oil



2 cups of chopped onion


8 cloves of garlic, minced

1 tsp salt

1 Tbsp dried oregano

1 ½ Tbsp chipotle chili powder

Cook for about 3 minutes, until the onion is fragrant and tender


1/3 cup tomato paste

1 adobo chili, coarsely chopped with 1 Tbsp sauce for spicy


A little less for less spicy, or more for fire house chili


Cook for another minute or so


1 ½ cups of chicken broth

Simmer for about 8 minutes


1 15 oz can of whole peeled tomatoes with their juice, breaking up the tomatoes with a spoon

1 15 oz can of red kidney beans, rinsed and drained

Cook for about 10 minutes


3 cups of cooked turkey, chopped into bite size pieces

Cook until warmed through


Spoon into bowls and top with your favorite garnishes; cilantro sprigs, sour cream, shredded cheese, crumbled tortilla chips or avocado peeled and diced

More comfort food, more spicy goodness, more enjoyable the holidays…..

For more Thanksgiving leftover recipes, please visit me at my website:


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New Recipes For Thanksgiving Leftovers!

As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about……..more delicious ideas for enjoying Thanksgiving leftovers! One of my favorite parts about Thanksgiving dinner is enjoying the leftovers all weekend long. Even though my mom sends us home with a shopping bag full of tasty turkey and all the fixings at the end of the night, I decided that this year I would roast a turkey breast on Tuesday. There is nothing like the aroma of a turkey basting in your very own kitchen. It’s Heavenly….

Now you can certainly go old school, warming up a plate with a generous serving of meat, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes (topped with marshmallows, of course) and stuffing, but why not try something a little bit different? I have a few new recipes that will become family classics in no time!

Turkey and Cranberry Relish Sandwich:

Whip this sandwich together in no time for a crowd, or for a party of one.

For a crowd, you’ll want to get a large loaf of bread, about 12” long, and nice and wide. Cut it in half horizontally. Early in the day, you can layer on all of the ingredients and wrap the sandwich tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for a few hours to allow all of the ingredients to intensify and blend together. Slice in 2” intervals and serve.

If you’re a party of one, select two slices of your favorite bread (ciabatta, focaccia, sourdough, whatever you like).

Ingredients (quantities listed are for a crowd, reduce the amount of each for a smaller serving):

  • 1 cup mayonnaise

To flavor the mayo, add something tasty;

A few cloves of garlic

A couple of tablespoons of horseradish

Equal parts prepared pesto (as mayo)

Several tablespoons of Dijon Mustard

Handful of chopped sun dried tomatoes

Or use your imagination….

  • 1 cup of cranberry relish
  • 1 lb of thinly sliced turkey (if you don’t have leftovers, store bought from the deli counter is fine, however, there is really something special about a freshly roasted turkey)
  • 8 slices of the cheese of your choice; cheddar, Swiss, pepper jack, smoky gouda, etc
  • 2 cups of arugula or baby spinach


To assemble;


  • On one slice of bread, generously spread the cranberry relish
  • On the other slice of bread, spoon on a heaping serving of your flavored mayo (I added 2 Tbsp of prepared pesto to 2 Tbsp of mayo and it was so good I would have eaten it with a spoon)
  • Add; the turkey, the arugula or baby spinach, cheese
  • Slice and serve with your favorite sides (and don’t forget the pickle!)


Santa Fe Soup:

Soup is definitely good food. You’ll love the little kick from the cayenne pepper and the cumin.

In a stock pot, combine;

  • 2 cups of leftover turkey, chopped into bite size pieces
  • 32 oz of vegetable broth
  • 1 large can (28oz) of whole peeled tomatoes
  • 2 cups of diced tomatoes
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice


Bring these ingredients to a rolling boil, then reduce to a simmer for approximately 20 minutes.


  • 1 tsp fresh chopped cilantro (put a few leaves aside for garnish)
  • 1 avocado, peeled and chopped

Simmer for an additional 20 minutes, until nicely thickened

Serve with a sprinkling of shredded cheese (cheddar or Monterey Jack), a dollop of sour cream and cilantro for garnish if you so desire.

Terrific Turkey Casserole:

This is the perfect blend of all the best parts of your Thanksgiving dinner.

Pre-heat oven to 350®

Butter a 13 x 9 baking dish

In a skillet, melt;

 4 Tbsp of butter


1 ½ cups of onion, chopped


2 Tbsp flour

Mix well


12 oz of evaporated milk

1 cup of chicken broth

½ tsp salt

 ½ tsp pepper

1 Tbsp fresh thyme

1 Tbsp fresh chopped rosemary

1 Tbsp fresh chopped sage

In the baking dish, layer;


Pour the sauce over the turkey

Evenly spread 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese over the turkey and sauce

Top with 3 cups of mashed potatoes, evenly spread

Spread 3 cups of stuffing over the potatoes

Bake for 40 minutes, being careful not to over brown the stuffing

Let stand for 10 minutes

Slice and serve

Mushrooms stuffed with Stuffing:

Cocktails and appetizers are a lovely way to continue to celebrate the season of gratitude.

Pre-heat oven to 375°

In a bowl, combine;

1 ½ cup of leftover stuffing

½ cup grated parmesan cheese

3 Tbsp olive oil

2 Tbsp chopped parsley

3 cloves of minced garlic

Mix well

Gently rinse small mushrooms, removing stems

Lay out on an aluminum foil lined baking sheet

Stuff each mushroom with a teaspoon or so full of the stuffing mixture

Sprinkle with a little parmesan cheese

Drizzle a few drops of olive oil over each stuffed mushrooms

Bake for 2o minutes, or until golden brown

Plate and serve….

More leftovers, more fantastic new recipes, more savoring your Thanksgiving celebration…..


Filed under Entertaining, More is More Mom, Recipes

Is It Wrong To Be In Love With Your Whirlpool Duet Wash Machine?

As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about…..falling more in love with my Whirlpool Duet wash machine! I am a mother; laundry is my life. If I’m not picking it up off the floor, flung in corners near and far, I’m sorting it, washing it, folding it, ironing it, hanging it up or putting it away.


It’s amazing. Where does it all come from? My people try something on, change their minds and discard the offending item, in a wadded up ball, on the bed, behind the bed, next to the bed, under the bed; anywhere but in a drawer or in the closet. Everyday when Nick gets home from school he walks in the door in his undershirt (which is called an undershirt because it is meant to be worn under your other shirt), either discarding his school uniform shirt in a pile on the kitchen table, or the shirt is no where in sight because he has left it in the back seat of his car. Stripping away the chains of inhumanity by removing your tie is one thing, but what is up with taking off your shirt? Nick must think he’s got himself a….”situation.” Of course Nick’s life’s work does not revolve around GTL (gym-tan-laundry). His teenage life revolves around S-H-P90X (school-hockey-infomercial workout system…..P90X, developed by fitness guru Tony Horton, who I swear is the inspiration for Ben Stiller’s character in Dodge Ball, as the owner of World Class Gym).   

My laundry hamper is like a black hole of textiles; pajamas, school uniforms, jeans, t-shirts, sweatshirts, sweatpants, slouch pants, socks that multiply like bunnies, towels, bed linens…..and athletic uniforms and work out clothes. Amanda’s contribution to this mound is rather small. Leotards aren’t exactly a large clothing item. They can be slipped in with the regular wash, particularly as girls don’t typically smell too bad. Teenage boys however? Man smell!

When Nick first started playing hockey, he was just a baby. He got sweaty, but never really stinky. There was so little smell that he could actually air out his hockey equipment in his bedroom, without any tell tale signs (or stink). Now that he is a full grown man, however, that equipment doesn’t even make it passed the garage! We have two bins that he empties his equipment into in order to allow for a little air circulation. Poor thing, in the winter that equipment is pretty darn cold as he packs it back in his bag for a game or practice.

While we’ve solved the problem of the stinky equipment, I am still faced with the challenge of the permanently embedded stank on the sweat-wicking shirts, socks, jerseys and hockey socks….until now. Last week I made an amazing discovery; my Whirlpool Duet wash machine, which I’ve had for 3 ½ years and I have never once bothered to read the instructions, has a “sanitizing wash setting”. The cycle may have run for well over an hour, but when I pulled out the normally smelly hockey apparel, I discovered no lingering unpleasant odor at all. In fact, it actually smelled, dare I say…clean!

More stinky laundry, more smart wash machine settings, more pleasant smells…..

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