Category Archives: Family Life

Rockin’ It Out With Katy Perry!

As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about…..more Teenage Dreams! What a way to end the summer; Katy Perry, live in concert! We were sooooo disappointed when she canceled her concert due to “food poisoning” in July, but I must admit, she was totally worth the wait. In our second annual pop music pilgrimage, Amanda and I joined our cousins, hosted by Nurse Terri (who is like my sister), for an evening of wild fun and entertainment. Rendezvousing at the Giordano’s for pizza and Pino Grigio was the perfect start.


The party atmosphere extended all the way to the parking lot. Girls dressed in glitter, sparkles and candy confections. Never have I seen so many blue haired ladies (and I’m not talking about your grandmother and her girlfriends)! The bright blue wigs were all in homage to Miss Katy (Snoop’s lady) and her outrageous personal style. Little girls, teen-age girls, girl friends, mothers, daughters, grandmothers; dressed to the nine’s and ready to rock it out!


Now, I just love, love, love Russell Brand, so I was hoping to feel the same way about his bride. Katy Perry is absolutely adorable; a mix between a squeaky and sexy Betty Boop, a lovely and soft spoken Glenda, the Witch of the North and a bawdy Bette Midler all rolled into one.  


Surrounded by Willie Wonka-esque candy land confections, she totally delivered! Up on our feet, we danced and sang along as she belted out hit after hit after hit. This wasn’t just a concert; it was an extravaganza of costumes, dancers, fireworks, bubbles, glitter. Florenz Ziegfeld would have been proud!



After two rock solid hours of rip roaring entertainment, we made a pit stop at the B96 party van. Why sit in parking lot gridlock when you can continue to dance? While we didn’t make it home until 1 in the morning (on a school night no less), this night was totally worth it……a Teenage Dream!


More screaming teenagers, more singing, more dancing, more family fun and memories…..


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Filed under Family Life, Friendship, More is More Mom

Flavorful Flank Steak with Tomato Relish!

As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about…….. loving more delicious dinners on the grill! I’m always so inspired by the fresh and beautiful flavors of the summer, especially sweet and juicy tomatoes. One of my favorite memories of my grandfather is eating the tomatoes we helped him pick right off the vine from his garden. Maybe that’s why I am so partial to this Flavorful Flank Steak with Tomato Relish.

Just like the Boy Scouts, I love to be prepared! This dinner is so tasty and simple; you’re going to love it too.

Flavorful Flank Steak

Serves 4-6


1 – 2 ½ lb flank steak

2 tsp brown sugar

1 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp cracked black pepper


Place flank steak on a foil lined, rimmed baking sheet

To make the rub, in a small bowl, mix;


Cayenne pepper

Cracked black pepper


Rub the rub all over the steak on both sides

Cover and refrigerate

Tomato Relish:

1 cup chopped red onion

3 Tbsp white wine vinegar

2 – 10 oz containers of grape tomatoes halved

½ cup chopped green olives

2 Tbsp olive brine

2 Tbsp horseradish

1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce

A couple dashes hot pepper sauce

½ tsp celery seeds

¼ cup olive oil

In a medium size bowl, mix;


1 Tbsp vinegar

Allow the flavors to blend for about 10 minutes, mixing often





In a medium bowl, whisk;

2 Tbsp vinegar

Olive brine


Worcestershire sauce

Hot pepper sauce

Celery seeds

Slowly, whisk in oil

Add the liquid mixture to the tomato mixture

Season to taste with salt and pepper

Cover and refrigerate until dinner

When you’re ready for dinner, pre-heat the grill to medium-high

For medium-rare, grill for approximately 5-7 minutes per side

Allow to rest for approximately 10 minutes

Cut steak against the grain and serve with Tomato Relish


My family loves a piping hot bowl of creamy mashed potatoes on the side

If you’re lucky enough to have a little relish left over, it’s awesome as a topping on a grilled hot dog, served…..Chicago Style!

More reminiscing, more fresh ingredients, more do ahead dinners, more mouth watering meals………

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Filed under Family Life, More is More Mom, Recipes

The Laundry List…..

As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about……more laundry lessons! By my own design, it would appear that I have raised a crown prince. Nick has always been an absolute pleasure; a wonderful son, encouraging brother, dedicated student, a devoted athlete and a hard working caddy. Since he’s always been so busy with school at the Be All and End All Academy, and flying out the door for hockey and golf practices, games and matches at all hours of the day and night, I’ve never really expected him to help out with household chores. Now that he’s headed out the door for college, however, it was time for a little lesson in laundry.

In as far as Nick has been concerned, laundry either gets flung into the farthest reaching corners of the room, left like a trail of breadcrumbs or tossed down the laundry chute only to find it suddenly, magically, reappearing neatly folded on his bed or hung up in his closet. Without a laundry chute outside his dorm room, and a momma to catch it on the other end, it was time to do or die. Either I could teach Nick how to do his laundry or arm him with a case of Febreze and hope no one lights a match.

My family insisted that the lessons could easily be conducted in our very own mud room, while I insisted, for the sake of authenticity, that we needed to head to the laundromat. In preparation for our outing, I banned Nick from the laundry chute, setting up the fabulous new pop up hamper in his bedroom in the hopes that all of the dirty laundry would end up there. Once his room was significantly stinky, with dirty clothes spilling over the edge, it was time for our field trip.

Our first step was sorting the lights from the darks. I know it’s a total pipe dream to think for a minute that Nick might actually separate out his laundry, but I wouldn’t be a very good teacher if I didn’t at least put him through the paces. With a complete stroke of luck, my friend, MAU, clued me in to these awesome Purex laundry sheets. I think the good people at NASA might have had something to do with this invention; laundry detergent on a sheet that you toss into the wash and then leave with the load as it heads to the dryer. No need to lug around a huge jug of detergent, with the potential for spilling and over pouring.

Nick sorted his clothes, started the wash machine and against my rule about NEVER leaving your laundry unattended, we made a quick Starbuck’s run for chocolate-y beverages and a breakfast sandwich for Nick. The moment of truth was fast approaching; folding a clean pile of clothes.

As a gal who lives for laundry and ironing, I must say that I was extremely impressed with Nick’s laundering prowess. The way that he folded those t-shirts; all I can say is apple, tree.

While I may not be quite ready for him to go, I know I will sleep at night with the knowledge that he’ll at least be wearing clean clothes!

More laundry, more Purex, more field trips, more mother/son bonding……

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That’s Entertainment; Cowboys Vs. Aliens or Friends With Benefits?

As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about….more entertainment! While an evening out, being waited on hand and foot, at a fabulous restaurant might sound like the perfect way to spend a beautiful summer evening, Chuck and I were super psyched to have two, count ‘em, two, movie going experiences within 16 hours! So far this summer, we have seen exactly two movies together; Bad Teacher (naughty and somewhat hilarious) and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part II (absolutely amazing story telling, made all the sweeter because Nick asked us if we’d like to accompany him to the show……YES!).

This weekend, however, it was hard to decide; Horrible Bosses, Cowboys vs. Aliens, Crazy, Stupid, Love or Friends with Benefits. As a devotee of Harrison Ford and his fabulous matinee idol-ness, I was all over Cowboys vs. Aliens. Besides, I adore director John Favreau (one, for his guest spot on Friend’s as Monica’s boyfriend, Pete, like 100 year ago, and two, as the director of my all time favorite Christmas movie, Elf.).

I’m not exactly sure what I expected, but Cowboys vs. Aliens was exactly that; COWBOYS vs. ALIENS. I was kind of hopeful because, as I said, Harrison Ford is the ultimate (next to my all time favorite movie cool dude, Bruce Willis. Nobody is cooler, not even Cary Grant, and I think he’s pretty cool.). Sam Rockwell, well….rocks, and while he’s kind of a sleeper, I love Keith Carridine (why you may ask? Because he was totally stellar in one the best Broadway musicals of all time; The Will Roger’s Follies….maybe you would consider a revival Broadway smarties?).

On the other hand, I think Daniel Craig is a total stiff. He may be one of the worst 007’s next to Timothy Dalton, ever; absolutely no charm and no humor, which are hallmarks of James Bond’s persona. So, as the robotic lead of Cowboys vs. Aliens, I was kind of unimpressed; desperately trying not to nod off in the theater as it’s expensive to go to the show. I sure hope he is better suited to the role of Kalle Blomkvist in the much anticipated The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (all three Stieg Larsson books were AMAZING).

On the other hand, our Saturday matinee, Friends with Benefits, was outstanding! Shockingly, as a gal with a special place in her heart for teen idols, I’m just not that familiar with Justin Timberlake. I think I must have missed the In Sync invasion while I was a little more focused on Barney, but Justin is Da Bomb! He is so talented and so incredibly charming, delightful and funny. As a long time devotee of Saturday Night Live (even though it has stunk for the past 20 years; hope springs eternal), his performances are serious highlights; Single Ladies and Motherlovers. Need I say more?

Friend’s With Benefits was charming, delightful and hilarious. JT and Mila Kunis have wonderful, and completely believable, chemistry. They were so stinking cute that we were just totally rooting for them. I love the “in the know” nod to their previous projects; Patricia Clarkson from Motherlover and Jason Segel from Forgetting Sarah Marshall. FWB is side-splitting fun and I give it two thumbs way up!

More disappointments, more hilarity, more charming leading men, more movie going experiences!

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Filed under Entertaining, Family Life, Hostess Gifts

Sweet And Savory Pork Chops on the Grill!

As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about…….more maple pork chops! I’m sorry; nothing says summer like the beautiful blend of sweet and savory on the grill. While I’m not particularly a briner, whenever I do think of brining, Thanksgiving turkey is the first thing that comes to mind. However, these Maple-Brined Pork Chops served with Maple and Butter Glazed Grilled Peaches were to die for!


Brining is meant to make the meat moist, and boy did it ever! The beauty is that the meat is prepped in the brine the night before and when you’re ready for dinner, you just toss the chops on the grill, which is easy and awesome.


Maple-Brined Pork Chops

Maple and Butter Glazed Grilled Peaches

Creamy Homemade Risotto


Maple Brined Pork Chops


3 cups of water

¾ cup chicken broth

2 tsp allspice

6 cloves of garlic, minced

1 bay leaf, crumbled

2 Tbsp salt

3 Tbsp maple syrup

4 boneless pork chops


In a sauce pan, pour;









Bring to a boil, stirring until salt is dissolved


Allow the liquid to cool

Place pork chops and the liquid into a re-sealable baggie

Chill over night


Pre-heat grill to medium-high heat

Remove pork chops from brine, discarding the liquid

Sprinkle the pork chops with salt and pepper

Grill for 3-5 minutes per side, or until cooked through

Remove from the grill and set aside


Maple and Butter Glazed Grilled Peaches

I chose 3 peaches and 3 plums. While the plums were very nice, the grilled peaches struck a perfect note with the pork.

3 peaches

3 plums

Slice in half and remove pits

Pre-heat grill to medium-high



2 Tbsp melted butter

2 Tbsp maple syrup


Sprinkle peaches and plums with a little salt and pepper

Brush butter and syrup generously onto peach and plum halves

Place fruit face side down on the grill for approximately 3-4 minutes



Creamy Homemade Risotto

This is one of my favorite sides. It’s elegant and delicious!


1 – 32 oz container of chicken broth

8 Tbsp butter

¾ cup diced onion

1 cup of Arborio rice

¾ cup white wine

1 cup grated Parmesan Cheese

Salt and pepper to taste


In a sauce pan, heat broth and reduce to simmer


In a skillet, melt 6 Tbsp butter over medium heat

Add onion and sauté for approximately 3 minutes, until nice and tender

Add rice, stirring to coat with the butter


Add the wine, simmering for approximately 3-4 minutes, until the wine evaporates

Add the broth, 1 cup at a time, stirring until the broth is absorbed into the rice

It should take 25 minutes or so until all of the broth has been absorbed

Remove from the heat

Add 2 Tbsp of butter

Stir until well combined

Add the cheese, stirring until nice and creamy

Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste


Serve and enjoy a sweet and savory sensation!


More maple syrup, more summer grilling, more pork and peaches, more delectable dinners……


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Filed under Family Life, More is More Mom, Recipes