Best Thing Since Sliced Bread; Ecce Panis Bake at Home Bread! #EasterMeals #CBias


As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about……more leftover baguette bread! Between work, school and sports, we are a busy family; frequently living life on the fly. I have always found that the best way to stay one step ahead of the game is by being super organized, which is why I meal plan like crazy. There is nothing worse than the drive of shame…….heading through the Drive-Thru! Why eat out when you can plan a beautiful, healthy and delicious meal at home?

Recently, I learned about a great line of gourmet Artisan bread, Ecce Panis Bake at Home, which can be found at Walmart. We love fresh baked bread, but it’s such a hassle to get back to the grocery store during the week just to snag a fresh loaf. With Ecce Panis Bake at Home I have the option to bake it today, tomorrow or stock pile it in the freezer for a rainy day.

We had a wonderful surprise visit from my Nick this week. Since he’s been away at school, our household just isn’t the same without him. I decided to make his favorite dinner; spaghetti and meatballs! What’s better with pasta than fresh baked bread? So I decided to try the Ecce Panis Bake at Home, and it was delicious! Ecce Panis is made by Pepperidge Farm. Check them out on Facebook and become a fan http://www.facebook.com/PepperidgeFarm

With my eyes being bigger than my stomach (perhaps one loaf per person was too much, but I am the More is More Mom® after all), we had a little bit leftover. Since I hate for anything to go to waste, I planned a wonderful Sunday morning family breakfast; Baked French Toast. What a perfect way to start the day….

While I love a Praline Topping, my Nick is allergic to tree-nuts and I would HATE for him to go into anaphylactic shock. What a way to ruin a Sunday morning! So, I decided to make two smaller French Toast recipes; one with Praline Topping and one without.

Baked French Toast

Making a tasty meal is always a treat, but mornings are usually rushed. I love anything that can be prepped in advance, which is why this one is a total winner! Assemble it all and leave in the fridge overnight.

10” x 10” Pan serves 4-6, with approximately 18 slices of baguette bread

7” x 10” Pan serves 3-4, with approximately 12 slices of baguette bread

Generously butter the pan

Bake the Ecce Panis Bake at Home and slice into 1” thick pieces

The liquid mixture recipe covers one pan, so if you are making two pans, double the recipe.

In a mixing bowl, combine;

5 eggs

1 cup heavy cream

¾ cup of milk

2 Tbsp sugar

1 tsp vanilla

¼ tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp nutmeg

Place the slices of bread snuggly in buttered pan

Pour mixture over bread

Cover and refrigerate over night

In the morning, pre-heat oven to 350°

 

Prepare the Topping:

1 stick softened butter

½ cup brown sugar

½ cup chopped pecans

2 Tbsp corn syrup

½ tsp cinnamon

½ tsp nutmeg

Spread over the 7” x 10” pan of bread

Whether with or without the topping, bake for approximately 35-45 minutes

Serve with powdered sugar, syrup and my family’s favorite….fresh sliced strawberries on the side!

This was so delicious, my family made a special request; please make this Easter morning! I can’t think of a better way to start a special day.

If you’d like to give Ecce Panis Bake at Home Bread a try, you can save $0.55 by linking to the coupon below:

http://bit.ly/EccePanisCoupon

To see more of my shopping trip to Walmart, please visit me at:

https://plus.google.com/u/0/109747774870459280271/posts

More homemade bread, more leftovers, more sweet breakfasts, more tasty family meals…..

This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias #CBias. All experiences and ideas are my own.

Please visit me at http://vanessanunleydesigns.com to learn more about my Interior Design services.

To schedule an Interior Design or Life Style consultation, and for any questions or comments, please email me at moreismoremom@aol.com

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It’s Easy Being Green; Home Decor!


As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about…….more being green! Whether you reuse, recycle, repurpose, or simply find inspiration in the most natural of hues, green is the color of the season. Take a cue from Mother Nature; green goes with everything!

My glorious green kitchen!

Green is one of my all-time favorite colors. In fact, when we renovated our kitchen a few years ago, I selected the most beautiful, warm and welcoming shade of green for my customized cabinets. I chose a slate tile backsplash as an earthy and interesting compliment to my bold granite counter tops. As with most families, we practically live in our kitchen. It’s one of my favorite rooms in our home!

Traditional Toile Bedroom

What could be more classic and traditional than toile? While toile is beautiful on upholstery or window treatments, it’s downright delightful as the foundation of a room. The simple two-tone nature allows toile to become a chameleon; it can take center stage but also lends itself to use as a strong but silent supporting player.

Graphic Dining Room With a Pop of Green

I absolutely fell in love with this Dining Room! The graphic nature of the flooring begs for a wild pop of color. This bright yellowy-green is just so happy!

Green Lacquer is to Die For!

Kelly Green is one of my favorite shades of green. This lacquer desk is to die for! It is amazing and serious and playful and fun partnered with the leopard pattern wallpaper.

Paisley Powder Room

A Powder Room is a fantastic opportunity for playing with bold patterns and hues. The paisley makes a terrific grand sweeping gesture to the clean lines of the bathroom fixtures.

 

A new color doesn’t have to set the stage for an entire room. Incorporating pops of color can make a room feel fresh and new as with all of these wonderful accessories;

Artichokes have a great sculptural quality. This lamp would be adorable bedside or on a console table.

Lanterns are so versatile! They are welcoming on a front porch or in a Foyer, playful in a Powder Room, a beacon of light on your Kitchen table or island and perfect on your patio.

Tossing a few new pillows on your sofa or favorite chair can make a huge difference in the mood of a room!

Artwork is another fantastic opportunity for reflecting our interests and aesthetics. An oil painting in a grand frame would be a lovely addition to a Family Room,, Living Room, Den, Foyer or Hall.

I am a collector of urns of all sizes. They are perfect as the base of a floral arrangement but also make wonderful vessels for pens and pencils, flatware and Kitchen utensils. It’s always so much more fun to use ordinary items in unusual ways.

Moss is awesome! What a fun way to bring nature into your home. Shape, color and texture; it’s a veritable trifecta!

Decorative birdcages are a beautiful accent that will find a home atop a bookcase or armoire, on a Sun Porch or console table.

 

Color effects the way we feel. It’s the perfect way to bring a little more life and personality to our homes!

 

More interesting interiors, more fun furniture, more gorgeous greens, more happy homes!

Please visit me at http://vanessanunleydesigns.com to learn more about my Interior Design services.

 

To schedule an Interior Design or Life Style consultation, and for any questions or comments, please email me at moreismoremom@aol.com

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The Fraternity Mom Prom……


As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about……more of the fraternity Mom Prom! With Nick away at school, our household just isn’t the same. Nick is a night owl, Amanda is an early bird. Nick’s hockey schedule took us to parts near and far at all hours of the night, while Amanda is in her high school track season, which meets after school. Nick likes pasta, Amanda is a carnivore…..we haven’t had spaghetti in ages.

 

While we miss him like crazy, we’re thrilled he’s embracing the college experience, including pledging a fraternity. He’s a Delt now. Amongst the rituals is the annual mother/son celebration, otherwise known as the Mom Prom. I couldn’t book my accommodations fast enough. However, in his small college town, there is exactly one hotel on campus, which of course had no room at the Inn. Nick suggested I stay with him in his dorm. Wow! What an offer. Without the benefit of a ladder or guard rail, I would have to perform some pretty impressive acrobatic moves to make it up onto the loft bed. Once there, I would have the pleasure of sleeping on sheets that hadn’t been washed since the last time I did his laundry. Not to mention the fact that he has two roommates who would have been super psyched to have a mom bunk there for the night. No thank you. He next suggested I crash at the frat house. Wow, an even better offer! Fortunately I found shelter at a darling Bed & Breakfast.

 

When I pulled up to his dorm, I was grinning from ear to ear. Though we are fortunate to talk to Nick daily, there is nothing like wrapping my arms around him and seeing him in person. He looked the same, only a little wiser and in need of a haircut (it wasn’t that it was long, but that he allowed a girl on his floor to cut his hair. I hope he learned his lesson; cute girl doesn’t equal expert hairstylist. Perhaps, instead, next time he should run with, “Can you help me with my homework?”).

 

It was awesome! I had an entire 24 uninterrupted hours with Nick. We went out for lunch, went to Great Clips, and drove in circles until we found the B&B, just talking. I put on my cocktail dress (a Jason Wu, for Target, that my mom found for me) and Nick wore his suit, which to my surprise, was not on the floor in his closet. Dinner was quite nice. While I’ve met Nick’s roommates on several occasions, it was great to get to know their moms (and exchange phone numbers).

 

The best part of the night, however, was yet to come; changing out of our party attire, we headed to a bash at the frat house. Nick was so excited to take me on the grand tour. The formal rooms were stately, there was a great big commercial kitchen (and house mother who actually lives at the house and cooks for the boys), a dining hall and the rest looked exactly like the movie Animal House, including the bar. For our entertainment there was a hypnotist, karaoke, a DJ, and wine.

 

What impressed me most was the attentive ways in which most of the boys interacted with their moms. They sang karaoke duets, danced and played beer pong. While I’ve never played beer pong before, Nick and I versed another mother/son team. I stunk and we lost. Thankfully they weren’t enforcing the loser-makes-a-naked-boulder-run rule. That would have horrifying for all.  

 

Though the party was still going strong, we called it a night at 1:30am. Nick stayed with me at the B&B and in the morning we headed straight to the Laundromat, where we spent a little more quality time doing five loads of laundry. In a flash our visit was over. After a little lunch, he was heading out with his team for golf practice. It was such a treat to get a little Nick fix, but as always, I was misty-eyed as I pulled away. Nick is such a delight. Even though he has been gone for six months, I’ll never get over missing my boy.   

 

More college experiences, more frat fun, more Mom Prom, more time with Nick……

 

Please visit me at http://vanessanunleydesigns.com to learn more about my Interior Design services.

 

To schedule an Interior Design or Life Style consultation, and for any questions or comments, please email me at moreismoremom@aol.com

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Billy Crystal Rocks The Oscar’s!!!


As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about….more celebrating the movies! While I may by addicted to programs like Modern Family, American Idol and anything on HGTV or the Food Network, my all-time favorite show of the year is The Academy Awards.  Even though Eddie Murphy is awesome, I couldn’t be more excited with the triumphant return of the fantastically fabulous Billy Crystal as host, and he did not disappoint!

Billy always opens with a show stopping video montage; this year included a scene from The Artist, a kiss from George Clooney and a visit from the darling Justin Bieber. The best part, however, is Billy’s signature Best Picture Nominee’s Oscar tribute song; hilarious, clever, irreverent and poignant. We were off to a great start….

The stars were certainly shining tonight. Tom Hanks was dapper and adorable, J Lo and Cameron D were bootylicious and Sandra Bullock was lovely. But the first big award of the night was presented by the very handsome, yet super intense, Christian Bale (while he may be Batman, I lean more towards the delightful camp of a Batman by another name; George Clooney). While Melissa McCarthy was fantastic in Bridesmaids (not just because she is a Chicago girl) and Jessica Chastain was charming in The Help, the night belonged to Octavia Spencer, also from The Help. Her acceptance was emotional, beautiful and sincere.

With Amanda’s life in gymnastics, we are HUGE Cirque Du Soleil fans. Their salute to going to the movies was introduced by my childhood favorites Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy, and it was incredible. To quote Billy Crystal, “I pulled a hamstring just watching that!”

The Fighter’s Melissa Leo presented the award for Best Supporting Actor. I must admit I only know Christopher Plummer from The Sound of Music (Edelweiss), so I was rooting for one of my all-time favorite’s Nick Nolte (love him in 48 Hours, North Dallas Forty and Down and Out in Beverly Hills), but Christopher Plummer won and, at 82, he was utterly charming. He and Betty White must be drinking the same Kool Aid!

On a side note, I just have to say that Angelina Jolie is a true, classic, Hollywood movie star. She is absolutely mesmerizing (Jennifer Aniston; eat your heart out!)! I’m just saying…..

Nick Charles, his wife Nora and their dog Asta

Michael (Greed is Good) Douglas is AMAZING! He presented the Best Director award to Michel Hazanavicius of The Artist (which was such a wonderful throwback picture, making me think constantly of Nick Charles (my Nick’s namesake) and his faithful companion, his darling dog Asta), though I was a little surprised that Martin Scorsese wasn’t recognized for Hugo.

The lovely Natalie Portman presented the award for Best Actor. While the competition was tough in George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Gary Oldman and Demián Bichir, Jean DuJardin was the big winner for The Artist. I was half expecting him to give a wacky acceptance speech like Roberto Benigni, but he was far too classy.

Colin Firth was wonderful last year in The Kings Speech. Tonight he presented the award for Best Actress. I adore Meryl Streep, but was really surprised that the statue didn’t go to Viola Davis, who was truly wonderful as Abilene in The Help.

Tom Cruise hasn’t aged a day since Risky Business. With nine Best Picture nominees he had the honor of announcing the winner. It was no surprise; the night belonged to The Artist, a truly delightful and entertaining film.

In just over three hours, Billy Crystal was fantastic as the host on the 84th Academy Awards!

More Billy Crystal, more Hollywood, more movie favorites, more Academy Awards…..

Please visit me at http://vanessanunleydesigns.com to learn more about my Interior Design services.

To schedule an Interior Design or Life Style consultation, and for any questions or comments, please email me at moreismoremom@aol.com

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Ladies Lunch; Tex-Mex Chicken Salad (and Chuck loved it too)!


As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about……more Tex-Mex Chicken Salad! One night Chuck and I were watching a little HGTV (he is such a good sport! Instead, I could be stuck watching ESPN), when the story of Selling Spelling Manor caught our eye. While it was fascinating getting a behind the scenes tour of their 57,000 square foot home, as a fellow hoarder, it was even more interesting watching them categorize, warehouse, and sort through all of her stuff!

 

Now, my dear friend and former neighbor, Mrs. Hobbs, is also an Interior Designer and first rate collector, so I couldn’t wait for her to join me for a special screening and a little lunch. I decided to make a Tex-Mex Chicken Salad and it was to die for!

 

Tex-Mex Chicken Salad:

 

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts poached and shredded

Poaching is simple; place the chicken in a pot, cover with water, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes with the pot partially covered, remove from heat and cook for another 15 minutes.

 

2 ears of corn, grilled, or broiled, with the kernels removed; simply brush with olive oil, grill until charred and remove the kernels, I use the corn zipper

Note: fresh corn is not plentiful this time of year, so I used frozen corn on the cob

 

Remaining Ingredients;

4 Tbsp sour cream

3 Tbsp lime juice

Hearty sprinkle of ground cumin

¾ cup diced cherry tomatoes

1 avocado diced

3 scallions chopped

1/3 cup fresh cilantro chopped

1 small jalapeno pepper minced

 

Romaine lettuce

Frito’s for garnishing

 

In a small bowl, combine;

Sour cream

Lime juice

Cumin

 

In a medium bowl, combine;

Chicken

Corn

Tomatoes

Avocado

Scallions

Cilantro

Jalapeno pepper

 

Toss the chicken mixture with the dressing

Season with salt and pepper

Refrigerate until ready to serve

 

When it’s time for lunch, place a generous amount of lettuce on a dinner plate, two scoops of Tex-Mex Chicken Salad and top with Frito’s.

Drizzle with your favorite salad dressing. We like a tangy Thousand Island, but a Western French or a Ranch would be tasty too!

 

While the salad was delicious, the company was even better!

 

More flavorful chicken salad, more HGTV, more hoarding, more wonderful friendships……

  

Please visit me at http://vanessanunleydesigns.com to learn more about my Interior Design services.

 

To schedule an Interior Design or Life Style consultation, and for any questions or comments, please email me at moreismoremom@aol.com

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