Tag Archives: Arlington Design Center

Positively Pretty Pork Tenderloin and Rich Risotto Cakes!


As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about……..more easy, yet delicious, dinners for busy lives! The past few weeks have been an absolute blur; Nick was able to sneak home for a few days (it was a delightful visit), I have been invited back to the Arlington Design Center to present another Life Style & Entertaining program in March, and Chuck and I were hanging out in the city at the very trendy and cutting edge Kenmore Live Studio (it’s fun to ditch the sticks every now and again and pretend that we are cool).

 

While life may be crazy busy, it certainly doesn’t mean we have to sacrifice the quality of our meals. All it takes is a little planning and a great recipe!

 

Marinated Pork Tenderloin and Risotto Cakes (better than you’ll find in any restaurant for sure!)

 

Serves 4-6

 

Lemon and herbs always taste so fresh. Toss in a little garlic and you have me forever.

In a re-sealable bag, combine:

Lemon zest from one lemon, if you have one

¾ cup lemon juice, while hand squeezed juice from real lemons is nice, who has that kind of time? I always keep a great big bottle of lemon juice on the door of my refrigerator

½ cup olive oil

10 garlic cloves minced (keeps the vampires away….)

2 Tbsp fresh chopped rosemary (while bottled juice is ok, there is just no substitute for fresh herbs)

1 Tbsp chopped thyme

2 Tbsp Dijon mustard

Generous sprinkle of salt and cracked black pepper

Stir until well mixed

Add 2 pork tenderloins

Marinade over night

 

When ready for dinner, heat the grill to medium-high

Remove the tenderloins from the marinade

Grill for 20-25 minutes, turning every so often to allow the meat to brown on all sides

Once the internal temperature reaches 135°, remove and cover with foil

Allow to stand for 10 minutes or so before slicing

 

Risotto Cakes

Okay, these are to die for, and they are a fantastic alternative to a boring old bowl of rice.

Makes approximately 12 cakes

You’ll also need Arborio Rice and panko breadcrumbs (they are so nice and crunchy!)

In a mixing bowl, combine;

½ cup Greek yogurt

2 large eggs

3 Tbsp fresh chopped chives

2 cups Fontina cheese grated (or use what you have, maybe Parmesan Reggiano)

Generous sprinkling of kosher salt cracked black pepper

In a 4-quart pot, bring water to boil, add;

1 cup Arborio rice

A little salt

Reduce heat and cook the rice for 20 minutes or so, until the water is absorbed and the rice is nice a fluffy

Drain the rice in a colander (with extra small holes) and rinse with cold water

Add the rice to the yogurt mixture, stirring completely

Place in the refrigerator for several hours or over night

Once the rice mixture is firm, you can form the patties at any time prior to cooking, even over night

 

Pour ¾ cup panko breadcrumbs in a shallow dish

Scoop rice mixture into a large spoon or ice cream scooper, then, in the palm of your hands, roll into 2” balls (just like meatballs)

Place on a cutting board or platter, press down on the ball until it forms a nice round patty

Dip each patty into the panko bread crumbs and set aside

You can cover the risotto cakes and refrigerate until you are ready to cook them

 

Once you are ready to roll, heat 3 Tbsp oil in a skillet

Place patties in the skillet and cook until golden, flip over, cooking on the second side until golden as well

Add more oil if needed, cooking until all of the cakes are prepared

Place pork tenderloin slices, risotto cake and your favorite veggie on a plate and enjoy…..

 

More fast but sophisticated dinners, more family meals, more tasty risotto, more of the other white meat…..

 

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

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Ring in the New Year in Style!


As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about……more ringing in the New Year! What better way to celebrate than with beloved family and friends? While a night out on the town is fun, there is nothing like entertaining guests in your home. Last month, I was the featured speaker at the Arlington Design Center where I shared my tips and inspirations for setting beautiful holiday tablescapes. One of my designs was a New Year’s Eve Cocktail Buffet; bold, graphic and sparkly!

 

After all of the traditional colors of Christmas, I decided to mix it up by developing a color scheme of black, white and silver. With such a simple palette, I decided to shake things up a bit by starting with a base layer with a large scale pattern. When I didn’t find any interesting table coverings, I headed straight to the bedding department at my favorite store, Target (I should be so lucky to be the Target Christmas lady!), and snagged a queen size zebra flat sheet. It was the perfect size to serve as the foundation (and washable too).

 

Texture is an important element in creating an interesting and dimensional design. I chose a soft, white, fluffy throw blanket as a secondary layer. It reminded me of snow. Now I was ready to really start building.

 

I love these tall, black iron lanterns. They are perfect flanking your front door or hearth, in your powder room or foyer, out on your deck or patio, or as an anchor to your tablescape. Here, I enhanced the pillar candles with silver sparkling ornaments. Since butterflies are kind of my signature thing, I included a few butterfly ornaments as well. Tying a great big bow on top would have been predictable. When I was a kid, we always watched Fred Astaire and Ginger Rodgers movies at midnight to celebrate the New Year. In homage to Fred, I topped each lantern with a sparkly black top hat.

 

An organic quality to the table adds an interesting juxtaposition. Instead of fresh flowers, I chose to incorporate these silver leaf branches. They add both height and style as a centerpiece. As a complement to the branches, I snagged two raffia balls from the craft store and spray painted them silver to match. Then, I wrapped battery operated LED twinkling lights around the balls to add a little illumination. I then placed each ball in a black urn at the end of each side of the table.

 

The focus of my table is, of course, the bar. Trays are a fabulous way to corral stemware. Here I chose one of my all-time favorite pieces; a mirrored tray. It’s so glamorous, yet versatile. I placed champagne flutes, a silver ice bucket and my small apothecary jars together as a vignette. I filled one jar with silver ornaments, another with clear crystals, and then threw in a teeny, tiny cream colored bird bath, which held a few more silver ornaments. The whole scene was absolutely precious!

 

Now it was time to include a few serving pieces to display our appetizers. Because of the symmetry of the rest of our display, I decided to use an identical arrangement on either side. One of the most important elements is elevation. It’s so much more interesting and appealing than dishes, sitting flat, on the table.

 

All that is left are a few finishing touches. I found these adorable silver leaf cherubs. They reminded me of Baby New Year. I placed one on each side of the mirrored tray. Lastly, I draped silver laurel leaf garland around the tablescape.

 

What better way to ring in the New Year than with style!

 

More sparkle, more graphic pattern, more beautiful tablescapes, more celebrations with family and friends…….

 

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

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Holiday Decorating Inspirations at #Kmart with #CBias


As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about…….more decorating for the holidays! Christmas truly is the most magical time of year. There is just something really special about family traditions, whether we are sipping hot chocolate, driving around, checking out our neighbors Christmas lights, making gingerbread houses with our dearest neighbor and friend, Mrs. Hobbs, picking out new ornaments, wrapping presents (when the kids were little, my mom and Nurse Terri would help me wrap while we sipped champagne) or enjoying a great big meal on Christmas Eve (last year we ordered out Chinese ~ just like in The Christmas Story ~ and it was fantastic!).

I love decorating for the holidays; after all, more of everything is always better! This year, I was pretty excited when I was invited to check out Kmart’s Holiday Department. Always up for a challenge, I was delighted with the opportunity to shop at Kmart with $150.00 to spend decorating for Christmas.

The timing couldn’t have been more perfect. Holiday inspired décor, vignettes and tablescapes have been on my mind, as I was the featured speaker at an event at the Arlington Design Center in Arlington Heights, IL last week. There I shared some of my professional Interior Design tips and inspirations for entertaining for the holidays.

Cruising the aisles at Kmart was so much fun; inspiration was around every corner. With so many beautiful ornaments, sparkling and glittering accents, ribbons, greens and decorations it was hard to decide where to look first. As I made my way down the aisles, I came across a gorgeous collection of Christopher Radko ornaments at a completely unheard of price; $9.99 a piece!

 

Sometimes, ornaments can get completely lost on a great big tree. These ornaments were special, so I knew they needed to serve as a focal point. I selected my four favorites; two Santa’s and two Snowmen and I picked up four 12” artificial pine wreaths (I love real, but they tend to shed and get kind of tired). Kmart had a HUGE selection of beautiful ribbon to coordinate with any décor, though I chose to use a simple and classic red ribbon.

I thought the ornaments would be a lovely and elegant touch strung through a strand of ribbon, nestled in a wreath of pine, hanging in my dining room and kitchen windows. The best part was that the whole look only took a few minutes.

 

I measured how far down I wanted the wreaths to hang (14”), cut a piece of ribbon (28”), threaded the ornament through the ribbon, nestled the ornaments and ribbon into the top of the wreath, then, with push pins, I secured the two ends of the ribbon into the window casing, and voila…..I had a tasteful and elegant focal point to my windows.

 

The Christopher Radko ornaments and wreaths took up a significant part of my budget (though they were totally worth it!). I still wanted to add a few festive touches, so I had to get creative.

 

Candy confections, like visions of sugar plums, danced in my head, so I snagged a few bags of Holiday M n M’s, peppermint marshmallows and candy canes. One of my most favorite home décor staples are my apothecary jars. They always look great filled with seasonal treasures. However, to achieve this effect, you don’t need apothecary jars, any clear cylinders will work. I simply filled the jars with candy and placed them on my island. They are cheerful and whimsical, which is something holiday decorating should be.

 

Decorating for Christmas doesn’t have to scream Santa and his reindeer. I thought I would create a little vignette for my kitchen table. To start, I took two basic hurricanes that I had in my personal inventory (in fact, for my #KmartHalloween #50ftParty I had them filled with candy corn!), filled them with faux snow and chose two fabulous, pine scented candles to place inside. These will absolutely last throughout the winter season to bring a little sparkle to the long cold months ahead.

 

With a few dollars left to spend, I decided to soften things up a bit and bring an organic quality to the table. I have a darling birdbath, but you can do this with a shallow footed bowl. I simply took a stem of artificial pine branches, removing the wire pick with my small wire cutters, and created a little nest for my birdbath. I then placed two glass ornaments inside; a caterpillar (because I adore bugs!) and an acorn. The ornaments were from the Jaclyn Smith holiday collection. It is too cute for words!

 

Rather than place these items at random on my table, I chose to give them more importance by corralling them on a tray. I also added one tall pillar candle holder to give my arrangement a little more height and visual interest.

I am thrilled with the elegant, festive touches that I have been able to add to my holiday décor…..all thanks to my visit to Kmart!

To check out all of the great items I found at Kmart, by clicking on the link below to my Google+ post

https://plus.google.com/?gpcaz=d358b807#109747774870459280271/posts

 You can also see Kmart’s Holiday Collection my visiting their website:

http://kmart.com/holidayshop

More whimsy, more Christmas celebrations, more traditions, more festive holiday décor….

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

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

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Holiday Inspirations: Perfect Parties and Extraordinary Entertaining at the Arlington Design Center!


As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about…….more Holiday Inspirations! This is the best time of year; full of festivity and celebration. Halloween is really the kick off to the holiday season, with Thanksgiving and Christmas not far behind. While there are certainly plenty of opportunities to connect with family and friends throughout the year, the holidays are steeped with sentiment and tradition.

 

My Interior Design business takes me all around Chicago and the suburbs, but I must admit, I am always drawn to the Arlington Design Center to meet the needs of my design clients. Whether I’m looking for fabric, furniture, furnishings or flooring, they are really my one stop shop.

 

I love the ADC and am so excited to have been invited to be the speaker at their Holiday Inspirations event, open to the public, at 11 am, on Tuesday, November 15.

 

“Perfect Parties and Extraordinary Entertaining” is the essence of my presentation. I will be sharing my professional tips and inspirations for entertaining and creating whimsical tablescapes for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Eve.

 

Why not zip over to the Arlington Design Center and get in on the fun? It’s easy. To register, visit;

https://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/eventReg?oeidk=a07e4oy3n3u7e549f43&oseq=

 

In addition to traditional Interior Design services, I am also available for holiday decorating, creating memorable tablescapes and party and event planning.

 

Please feel free to contact me at moreismoremom@aol.com

 

 

More beautiful homes, more entertaining, more whimsical tablescapes, more connecting with family and friends….

If you would like to learn more about my Interior Design services, please visit my website:

http://vanessanunleydesigns.com

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More of Everything is Always Better….Especially More Interior Design!


As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about……..sharing more inspiring Interior Design! I’m always so excited to write about all that’s happening in the design world from coordinating fabrics and paint colors to designing beautiful window treatments and vignettes. I actually love that in recent years we are placing more focus on creating beautiful homes as a haven to nurture our families and make more memories.

With so many amazing resources, tackling your design projects can be a daunting task. The volume of options can be absolutely overwhelming and the potential for costly mistakes intimidating, which is why working with an Interior Designer can be a great asset.

I thought I’d take you behind the scenes at my favorite showroom; Chicago Design Team at the Arlington Design Center. As an Interior Designer, designing custom window treatments is one of my specialties and CDT has the most beautiful selection of fabrics and trims; Robert Allen, Beacon Hill, Highland Court, Duralee, Fabricut, Vervain, Stroheim, Houles and Brimar. Of course they are also my go to resource for furniture for every room in the house, as well as gorgeous artwork, accessories and lighting.

I’m really excited to show you around……  

My mantra is more of everything is always better, especially great design.

At Vanessa Nunley Designs, I embrace the Art of Making a Home; creating spaces that are gracious, elegant, beautifully appointed and comfortable. It is important to me to learn about your greatest dreams and desires for your home, allowing me to help you develop and interpret a personal style that reflects the way you live. Drawing on twelve years of Interior Design experience, together we will transform a concept and vision into a stunning reality.

I hope you have a moment to visit me at my new website http://vanessanunleydesigns.com

More beautiful homes, more making memories, more glorious interior designs….

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

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