Monthly Archives: June 2011

Plan Ahead Pork Tenderloin and Potatoes……

As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about……more plan ahead easy dinners! Who ever dared to suggest that the days of summer were lazy clearly wasn’t busy running their family all over creation. While some nights might be nice and leisurely, others are fraught with a flurry of activity. But what’s a family to do? They still have to eat. That’s when a little planning ahead comes in handy.

I am such a super fan of anything that can be prepped in advance, which is why I favor marinated meats and do-ahead potatoes. I knew this pork tenderloin was a real hit when my Nick said, “It tasted even better than it looked.” From a teenager; that’s quite an endorsement!

Rosemary and Garlic Marinated Pork Tenderloin;

I love, love, love my vacuum sealed pork tenderloins from CostCo. I recently picked up two packs of two tenderloins for a mere $20.00. One packet went in the freezer for a rainy day, while I made this flavorful marinade for the other.

I’m also a big fan of the Good Season’s Italian Seasoning packets. I always have them on hand. For a salad, I mix it up with balsamic vinegar, while for a marinade I might use a good white wine vinegar.

1 cup of Italian salad dressing (I make a double batch and used the rest for a quick, fresh salad)

2 Tbsp fresh chopped rosemary

3 Tbsp Dijon mustard

3 cloves minced garlic

1 tsp fine ground sea salt

1 tsp cracked black pepper

Mix all of the ingredients together in a Zip-loc baggie and add the two pork tenderloins from the vacuum sealed pack.


Marinade in the refrigerator over night.

An hour or so before you are ready for dinner, either Pre-heat the oven to 350° or Pre-heat the grill and reduce to a medium-high heat.

Roast in the oven for about an hour, or on the grill for approximately 35-45 minutes; until the meat reaches 145°-150° on an instant read thermometer.

Allow to rest for 10-15 minutes, slice and serve…

Twice Is Nice Baked Potatoes;

If you’re already doing the work, you may as well make two meals. I always make one more potato than there are people that I will be serving, just in case there is a casualty in the scooping process.

You’ll need one half of a potato per person, per serving.

To make 8 twice baked potatoes, I used;

5 baked potatoes

¾ stick of butter

½ brick of cream cheese

Generous splash of milk (and more for mixing)

2 Tbsp of chopped chives or scallions

Shredded cheddar for mixing or sprinkling

Pre-heat your oven to 350°

Scrub each potato with a brush until clean

Pour a little olive oil in a small bowl

Cut one sheet of aluminum foil per potato

Poke each potato with the prongs of a fork in several locations

With a basting brush, rub olive oil over each potato

 Wrap up each potato in a sheet of aluminum foil

I line a baking sheet with foil and line up the potatoes

Bake the potatoes for a very long time, until they are extremely soft and easy to work with, up to two hours

Lay potatoes out to cool until easy to handle

Slice each potato in half lengthwise

Score each potato; I take a sharp knife and cut all the way around the edge of the potato, leaving about ½” of a border

Then I slice a line down the middle, and score two more times horizontally, making six quadrants

Using a teaspoon, I allow the scoring to be my guide, and scoop out the flesh of the potato

In a large bowl, I place the softened butter and cream cheese, and the chopped chives or scallions, adding the potato pulp

Add a good splash of milk and beat with a hand mixer

Once the mixture is nice and creamy (you made need to add a few more splashes of milk), add the shredded cheddar should you so desire

As much as my kids really like shredded cheddar cheese, they prefer their twice baked potatoes cheese-less. Since I am practically a short order cook, I prepare their potatoes without shredded cheddar; Hold the pickles, hold, the lettuce, special orders don’t upset us………

Fill each hollowed out potato with potato mixture

Since I was making  double batch, I placed 4 potatoes on a foil lined baking sheet to cook immediately and the remaining 4 in a glass baking dish that I sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. I sealed the baking dish with a lid and placed the pan in a large freezer bag to keep the potatoes fresher, longer after I put them in the freezer. Now I’ve got a nice side dish for dinner another evening (defrosting before baking).

Pre-heat oven to 350°

Bake for approximately 30 minutes, or until golden and  bubbly

Cool and serve

Veggies are an important element to every meal. Add an easy lettuce, chopped tomato and chopped cucumber salad, tossed with the left over salad dressing as a side.

Plate the meat, potato and salad, and…..serve!

More planning ahead, more east dinners, more marinated meat, more twice baked potatoes!

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Plan Ahead Pork Tenderloin…

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Bad Teacher; A Movie Going Experience…….

As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about…..more movie theater outings! While some people may salivate over an extravagant dinner, or a luxurious visit to a day spa, one of my very favorite leisure time activities is heading to the Cineplex. It’s criminal; the last time I went to the show was over spring break to see Win, Win, which really was outstanding, but that was months ago. This week I finally got a double movie theater dose.


My mom is a total gamer. She really wanted to share the Bridesmaids movie going experience with Amanda and me. I flinched for a moment, realizing that it’s rated “R”, but I rationalized; she’s in high school, has an older brother headed off to college, has seen Superbad and the Hang Over, is straight as an arrow and has cable. So, what’s a little potty talk? Sadly, however, there were no good coming attractions and the movie was a real stinker. We should have seen Mr. Popper’s Penguins instead (which was not rated “R”).


Fast forward to Friday night; at 6pm, it became apparent that we were presented with a rare gift; an evening free from obligation. Amanda quickly downloaded a Show Time’s App (which was also free) to my new I-Phone to check out the possibilities. Totally one to love to be in the know, I wanted to be amongst the first to see the newly released Bad Teacher. Chuck winced when I suggested we take Amanda with us, but I reasoned, well what the heck, she’s already seen Bridesmaids……  


For me, the coming attractions are a huge component in the success of the movie going experience.  We were batting 1,ooo (love, love, love baseball talk) with decent looking movies;

  • The Change Up: Starring my super cutie pie boyfriend, Ryan Reynolds, and the nearly as delightful, Jason Bateman, as best friends leading completely different life styles; Ryan is a free wheeling single, while Jason is a dedicated family man. It’s a Freaky-Friday meets fraternity brother’s tale of two friends who mysteriously switch bodies, learning life lessons during their quest to switch them back. I’ll see it at the show, because I’ll see almost anything starring Ryan Reynolds (though that one where he is buried alive in a box may have to wait for cable).


  • What’s Your Number?: While Anna Faris is hardly an Academy Award winning actress, and I’ve only really seen her in Just Friends (starring…..Ryan Reynolds), she seems to be absolutely charming in her latest venture. Anna stars as young woman who revisits her past relationships in search of the one that got away. Looks like a pretty good chick flick. Lucky for Chuck; he may get a pass on this one (I’ll bet he wishes he’d been as lucky with Black Swan. I’m still apologizing.)


  • Warrior: Although I am the mother of a life long hockey player, I’m not a big fan of violent sports. However, I must confess that Warrior looks pretty good, maybe this years; The Fighter. It’s the story of how two estranged Mixed Martial Arts fighting brothers end up in the ring participating in the fight of their lives. Hopefully it’s a major comeback for perennially favorite Nick Nolte (I’ve loved him since North Dallas Forty and 48 Hours).


  • 50/50: While the journey of a cancer survivor doesn’t sound too funny, it appears that 50/50 brings poignant humor to the story of a young man that is told he has a 50/50 chance of surviving his cancer diagnosis. I am most familiar with its star, Joseph-Gordon Levitt, from Angels in the Outfield (this is what happens when you have children) and Inception, and I always love the off beat humor of the ever likable Seth Rogan. I’ll definitely bring my hankie along with my stash of bottled water and Hershey’s chocolate bars to the Cineplex when 50/50 hits theaters in September.


  • 30 Minutes or Less: The Classic tale of two dim-witted criminals who kidnap a pizza delivery man, strap a bomb to his chest and demand that he rob a bank on their behalf. Danny McBride (who I totally don’t get, but my Nick thinks is hilarious) and Jesse Eisenberg (of Adventureland (also starring……Ryan Reynolds) and The Social Network fame) star. If I’m desperate for entertainment the day of its release on August 12, I’ll definitely see the early-bird show.


With all of the great previews, we were totally psyched for Bad Teacher! Cameron Diaz stars as Elizabeth Halsey, a foul-mouthed, gold digging, junior high school teacher who gets surreptitiously dumped by her sugar daddy. Forced to return to her teaching position, she believes that the only way to land her next sugar daddy is with a set of DD’s.  Diaz spends the remainder of the movies plotting and scheming ways to raise the necessary funds for her plastic surgery and hitting on Justin Timberlake, a wholesome substitute teacher with a lot of dough. Cameron Diaz is such a naughty potty talker that she might very well be the perfect match for Billy Bob Thornton (I LOVE him) in Bad Santa. While she may have been completely unsympathetic, Diaz was obscenely funny. If you’re up for a couple of hours of raunchy silly humor, you’ll love Bad Teacher!



More popcorn, more visits to the Cineplex, more coming attractions, more movies……



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It’s All Greek To Me……

As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about……….more Mediterranean dishes! I’m sorry, but there is little tastier than fresh herbs and garlic (and creamy, melt-y cheese), though repeated flossing is very likely necessary. This is the perfect menu for an outdoor dinner with family and friends. And if you like lamb, you’re in for a real treat!  

Shrimp Saganaki

Greek Salad with a homemade dressing

Lamb Kebabs with Feta Sauce

Steakhouse Kebabs (why not add shrimp and chicken!)

Corn on the Cob (for the kids…..)


Shrimp Saganaki

This is so delicious; you’ll pray for leftovers that you can toss over a plate of pasta!


3 Tbsp olive oil

1 large onion, sliced thin

1 ¼ lbs tomatoes (approximately 6 small), chopped

Course sea salt

Crushed red pepper flakes

1 ½ lbs shrimp, shelled and deveined, sliced in half lengthwise

½ cup pitted Kalamata olives, chopped

¼ cup fresh chopped dill

1 cup feta cheese

In a large skillet, heat the oil over a high heat until it shimmers.

Add the onions, continuing to cook on high until the onion starts to get soft and a little bit brown, approximately 5 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, seasoning with salt and crushed red pepper flakes (a couple good shakes should do)


Cook the tomatoes until they are soft, mixing and crushing them a bit as you go, cooking for about 5 minutes


Add the shrimp and olives, continuing to stir until the shrimp are cooked through, about 3 minutes


Stir in the dill and about ¾ cup of the feta cheese, until the cheese is hot, approximately 1 minute


Transfer to a serving bowl

Sprinkle with the remaining cheese, serving with pita chips or baguette bread

Greek Salad with Homemade Dressing;


Of course, quantities depend upon how many people you’ll be serving, but this is a great salad for a small group or a crowd!


7 Tbsp red wine vinegar

2 cloves garlic, minced

½ tsp ground mustard

Cracked black pepper to taste (I like a good solid shake)

1 ½ tsp fresh oregano (which goes a long way in a dressing)

2 cups olive oil

1 Tbsp sugar (heaping)

Mix all of the ingredients together in either a cruet or a bowl. The dressing will stay fresh in your refrigerator for several days.

For the Salad;


In a large bowl, combine;


Romaine lettuce, chopped

Cucumber, peeled and chopped

Grape or cherry tomatoes

Red onion, cut into thinly sliced pieces

Kalamata olives, pitted

Feta cheese, crumbled for sprinkling

Toss the salad with the dressing and serve

For the Kebabs;

I always marinate the meat the night before, and then all that’s left to do the following day is to thread the kebabs and toss them on the grill.

Between the two recipes, I had about 36 kebabs. They make awesome leftovers!

For both the lamb and the steak kebabs you will need;

Skewers, if using bamboo, soak in water for at least 30 minutes

3 lbs New potatoes for each kebab recipe (I made 6 lbs for 2 recipes), boiled for 30 minutes or so, until they are extremely tender. Drain and cool on a tray or foil lined cookie sheet until cool enough to handle. Once the potatoes are cooked, they are fine left at room temperature for quite a while.

1 pint grape tomatoes

1 red onion, cut into 1” pieces for the lamb

1 white onion, cut into 1” pieces for the steak, chicken and/or shrimp

Lamb Kebabs with Feta Sauce;

3 ½ lbs boneless leg of lamb (which you may need to plan ahead and order from your butcher), cut into 1”-2” cubes


In a bowl, mix together;

2 cups olive oil

1 tsp lemon zest

½ cup of lemon juice (fresh or bottled)

8 garlic cloves minced (hence the dental floss)

2 Tbsp fresh oregano (more dental floss)

In a large re-sealable baggie, combine lamb and marinade, refrigerating overnight.

Feta Sauce;

¾ cup crumbled feta cheese

1 ½ cups Greek yogurt

6-8 garlic cloves, minced (once again… floss)

3 Tbsp olive oil

1 Tbsp lemon juice

If you like it lumpy, simply mix in a bowl and refrigerate

If you like it smooth, pulse in the blender and refrigerate


Steakhouse Kebabs;

Both Nick and Amanda like lamb, but he is a chicken fanatic and she likes steak and shrimp. I made a huge helping on marinade and used a separate Zip-loc baggie for each the chicken, the steak and the shrimp.


1 – 1 ½ lbs of chicken breasts or tenders, cut into 1”-2” cubes

1 – 1 ½ lbs of beef (I used boneless NY strips), cut into 1”-2” cubes

6 shrimp for Amanda


In a bowl, combine;

2 cups olive oil

¼ cup soy sauce

¼ cup Worcestershire sauce

2 Tbsp parsley, chopped

1 Tbsp thyme, chopped



Divide the marinade amongst the various baggies and refrigerate overnight.

Threading the kebabs is easy, but it takes a little time. I like to get that all ready before company arrives, by threading and storing in large Rubbermaid containers in my refrigerator.


On each skewer, thread a piece of meat, potato, a few onion slices, tomato and repeat

When ready for dinner, heat grill to medium high

Place kebabs on grill for a total of, approximately, 12 minutes



After your guests have nibbled on their Shrimp Saganaki, put out the salad, the kebabs and corn on the cob. Opa!

More shrimp, more feta, more Kalamata olive, more Mediterranean dining…….

To schedule an Interior Design appointment, Life Style consultation or speaking engagement, please email

Greek Shrimp Saganaki

Mediterranean Lamb Kebabs with Yummy Feta Sauce

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Slip Into Something Comfortable…..

As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about…..more slipcovers! With so many fun and fabulous fabrics, why limit yourself to choosing just one? While working with my Interior Design clients, I’m frequently asked my opinion about recovering furniture. Of course, there are no hard and fast rules, just some conventional wisdom; if your piece is nothing special, then dollar per dollar, it may not be worth re-upholstering. However, if you have a beautiful piece, which is perfect in scale, proportion and style, or holds sentimental value, then it’s very likely worth the investment.

Giving your furniture a little “face-lift” is a great way to transform a room. Slipcovers are another opportunity for creating drama and personality through detail and thoughtful design. Because more of everything is always better, make simple slipcovers sensational by using luxurious fabrics and fine finishing touches.

To add some pizzazz to a clean lined skirt, apply grosgrain ribbon, or even a band of complimentary fabric, to the edge of a skirt. The accent color should absolutely tie in to another decorative element in the room, such as a colorful lampshade or a whimsical pillow.

A luscious fabric deserves elegant trim. Bullion fringe would an amazing detail applied to the skirt, as would a brush fringe or coordinating cording applied at the seams. This sort of slipcover would be completely out of place in a modern, contemporary room, though it would be huge fun paired with something a little shabby chic or really rich and traditional.

One of my all time, absolute favorites are dressmaker details; fussy pleats, shirred skirts and fancy buttons. They offer such a thoughtful, tailored and custom look which would be perfect in a Bedroom or Living Room, and certainly on Dining Room chairs.

The most important thing to remember about Interior Design is that it should be fun! Your home should be a reflection of you, your taste and the way you live.

Please feel free to email me your Interior Design dilemma’s, or schedule a consultation

More fun with fabric, more slipcovers, more beautiful homes……

 To schedule and Interior Design appointment, a Life Style consultation or a speaking engagement, please email me at

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7 Inches From the Mid-day Sun…..

As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about…….more sun! Finally, it happened; a furlough from Noah’s Ark. With our cooler stocked with ice water, fruit, salad, sandwiches and chocolate, we were all set for a day spent in the sunshine. Had I only remembered to slather on a little sunscreen……

Forever and ever, I have had mishaps with the sun. While I know it’s wrong, I’ve always longed for a beautiful, golden, bronze tan. Never mind the fact that I have fairly, fair skin that just screams “burn me”. Once, when I was in high school, I was at the YMCA and decided to use their tanning salon. It wasn’t actually a salon, or even a bed for that matter. It was a room, with ultra-violet light bulbs mounted to the wall. Posted outside the room, before you entered through a shower curtain, were directions that suggested a maximum of 15 minutes of exposure and a recommendation to wear those little goggles to protect your eyes. Well, I have always been a more is more type of gal, and with my highly developed teenage reasoning skills, figured that if 15 minutes were good, 30 minutes would certainly be even better. Of course, 30 minutes sitting on a chair with my eyes closed would have been super boring, so I opted instead to flip through the pages of a magazine (probably Glamour, completely missing the message that a great, big red sunburn does not equal “healthy glow”).

All was good as I left the Y, dreaming about how awesome I’d be all tan. Unfortunately, reality hit me in the middle of the night as I awoke, screaming in pain, as I realized I had literally burnt my eyeballs. They were practically on fire. I was lucky I didn’t lose my sight along with my teenage vanity.

Despite my aforementioned stupidity, I had yet to learn a lesson. Still in high school, my girlfriend and I would set up lawn chairs in my backyard with the sprinkler fanning back and forth between us. Because it was so beastly hot, we had this genius idea to run an extension cord out the window to hook up to an oscillating fan at the same time. With lemon juice in our hair (to enhance our natural, kissed by the sun highlights) and baby oil slathered all over our bodies (can you SPF?) it was a miracle we weren’t electrocuted. And, by the way, I’ll have you know that I’ve only fainted from sun exposure…twice.

So here I am, as an adult, making the same mistake, time and time again. With our cooler in tow, we got our chairs set up, lounged around, enjoying the beautiful day. The temperature was absolutely perfect, pleasant with a lovely breeze, as we took in sporting events and I flipped through the pages of a magazine. When we got back to our room, I felt like I’d gotten a little sun. By the time we had dinner, I was positively glowing! It just wouldn’t be summer without inconvenient and oddly placed, sunburn.

More summer, more sun, more hoping for a tan, more disappointing sunburn…..

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