Tag Archives: Recipe

Pork Chops and Applesauce (or Pork Tenderloin with a Sassy Cucumber and Mango Salad)

As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about…….more sharing meals together as a family! May was just the busiest month; chock full of exciting Interior Design projects and presenting my Life Style & Entertaining programs. While work is hugely fun, May brought me the happiest of moments…..my Nick came home from college. In fact, my mom accompanied me to College Town USA, where we loaded up all of Nick’s personal belongings; clothes, clothes, golf clubs and more clothes. Rather than race home, we took an overnight detour to Charleston, IL, where Amanda made it to the State Track Meet in the 100m hurdles. Yay!

While everything about Nick being home is awesome, I love when we are all together for dinner. It just feels like everything is right with the world.

As one of our first family meals, I decided to make a fabulous Pork Tenderloin with a sassy side of Cucumber and Mango Salad. Peter Brady was on to something with his, “Pork chops and applesauce.” Pork is absolutely delicious with a side of citrus.

Pork Tenderloin with Cucumber and Mango Salad

Serves 4-6

3 Tbsp brown sugar

1 tsp All-spice

½ tsp salt

2 – 12 ounce pork tenderloins

4 green onions – white parts chopped and green parts sliced

2 mango’s peeled and chopped

1 seedless cucumber, very thinly sliced

1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped…..how much you use depends upon how much heat you can take!

Pre-heat oven to 425°

Line a shallow roasting pan with aluminum foil

In a small bowl, combine;

Brown sugar



Set aside 1 tsp of the brown sugar mixture for the salad

Rub the brown sugar mixture all over the tenderloins and place in the roasting pan

Roast for approximately 20 minutes, or until a thermometer reads 145°

Remove and tent with foil until ready to serve

In a medium bowl, combine;

Green onions (as many as you like)



Jalapeno (I used about 1 tsp)

1 tsp brown sugar mixture

Stir well

Serve with a savory side of brown rice

More tasty pork and citrus, more having Nick home from college, more sharing family dinners together again……

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



In a medium bowl, combine;







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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Happy Valentine’s Day! Dinner, Dessert and a Delightful Tablescape…..

As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about……more Valentine’s Day celebrations! While we do make an effort to show our love and appreciation for one other most days, St. Valentine’s Day is an opportunity to give it a little something special. Although Nick’s not with us this year, a care package is waiting for him in his mailbox (whether or not he makes his way to the Hub to pick it up, we may never know).

My favorite way to set the tone for a delectable meal is to set a beautiful table, whether it’s simple or over the top. Here I chose a to start with a lovely runner; pink, green, brown, cream and yellow paisley. It has depth and personality. As a centerpiece, I combined cedar globe topiaries, simply slid into stone urns and covered with a little moss, cream candle-sticks holding hot pink pillar candles and a charming birdbath holding a host of rose petals.

Pretty in pink, I chose hot pink placemats for each place-setting, along with silver leaf chargers, my Lenox white scalloped edge dinner plates and mauve glass dessert plates. The finishing details were hot pink napkins run through pink beaded napkin rings and crystal water and wine glasses. Sparkly and colorful!


For dinner, I decided make Filet Mignon, Potato “Risotto” and our favorite veggie; broccoli. Normally we don’t make dessert, but, come on, this is our Valentine’s Day dinner, so Amanda and I made Chocolate Soufflés!


The Potato “Risotto” is so rich and creamy you will think you’ve died and gone to Heaven! The prep is a bit of work, but completely worth it.


Potato “Risotto”

Serves 3; you’ll definitely want to double or triple this recipe!

3 Tbsp butter

1 cup finely chopped onion

1 lb Yukon Gold potatoes

Generous sprinkle of cayenne pepper

Generous sprinkle of salt

1 ½ cups chicken broth

½ cup heavy whipping cream

½ cup grated Parmesan

2 Tbsp chopped chives


Before you even get started, you’ll want to prep the potatoes. Once you’re finished, you can place them in a cold bowl of water and leave them in the fridge overnight. That will be a huge time saver when you are ready to get this dinner started.


Peel the potatoes. Cut them into 1/8” slices, then 1/8” cubes. They’ll look a little bit like Arborio rice.


When it’s time for dinner, melt butter in a sauce pan over medium heat


Chopped onion

Cover and cook until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes or so


Potato cubes

Sprinkle generously with cayenne and salt

Stir together


Chicken broth

Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer

Stir until the liquid is largely absorbed, approximately 8 minutes



Simmer and stir until the liquid is reduced and creamy




Stir until well combined


Filet Mignon:

While we like the grill, our favorite way to prepare steak is in the oven

Pre-heat oven to 400°

In a large skillet, heat 2 Tbsp oil

Season both sides of meat with cracked black pepper and course sea salt, or my favorite steak seasoning; McCormick’s Montreal Steak Seasoning

Sear steak in the skillet on each side for approximately 3 minutes

Place skillet in the oven

Cook steaks until desired doneness, for medium-rare, leave in the oven for 12-15 minutes (oven cooking times may vary)

Serve steak with a hearty helping of Risotto Potatoes and your favorite veggie

Chocolate Soufflés:

This is a very special dessert. While there may be a lot of prep, it can all be done in advance. When it’s time for dessert, just pop them in the oven.


Serves 6


Pre-heat oven to 400°

Butter 6 ramekins and coat with sugar. Place in the refrigerator until ready to use


6 Tbsp sugar; 3 Tbsp in one bowl, 3 Tbsp in another

1 cup milk

1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds removed

3 large egg yolks

2 Tbsp flour

½ tsp kosher salt

5 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped

2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

6 egg whites

Powdered sugar

Heavy whipping cream

Vanilla extract


In a small sauce pan, heat;


Vanilla bean seeds

Vanilla bean


Bring to a boil, remove from heat and allow milk to steep (flavors blend)

Remove bean and discard

In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat;


3 Tbsp sugar


Continue to beat until a pale yellow color and slightly thickened

Beat in;




Slowly, beat in half of the vanilla milk mixture

In the sauce pan, combine the milk mixture with the egg and milk mixture


Bring to a simmer, whisking constantly until thickened, approximately 2-3 minutes

Transfer to a large mixing bowl

In a small glass bowl, combine;

Bittersweet chocolate

Cocoa powder


Bring water in a small sauce pan to a boil

Place glass bowl on top and allow chocolate to melt

Pour chocolate into large mixing bowl

Mix together thoroughly and set aside

In a medium size mixing bowl, beat egg whites until frothy

Add 3 Tbsp sugar, one Tbsp at a time

Beat until stiff peaks form, approximately 6-7 minutes

Add egg mixture to chocolate mixture until well combined


Remove ramekins from the refrigerator and fill ¾ of the way

Either refrigerate until ready bake or place in the oven

Cook soufflés for approximately 15 minutes, until tops crack slightly

Remove and flip over onto a dessert plate

Top with powdered sugar a whipped cream


We LOVE our home-made whipped cream. It’s simple; pour the desired amount of heavy whipping cream into a bowl, add some sugar and vanilla extract and beat until thick and creamy.


Serve and enjoy….

Happy Valentine’s Day!!!


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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Let Them Eat Cake (Pops)!

As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about…..making more cake pops! I have been marveling at these tasty treats ever since I first saw them at Starbucks. Cake on a stick; what’s not to like? This Christmas, my sister-in-law, Deborah, gave us the Cake Pops Recipe Book by Bakerella. The miniature creations are absolutely adorable!

We are always trying to think of fun activities to entertain the teenagers, so we thought we’d give the basic cake pops a whirl. They couldn’t have been easier or more delicious.

All you’ll need is:

Box of cake mix (we chose Duncan Hines Devil’s Food)

16 oz container of ready-made frosting (we chose Duncan Hines Whipped Vanilla)

48 oz of candy coating, we chose Wilton’s from the craft store

Lollipop sticks, also Wilton’s from the craft store

A Styrofoam block to hold the lollipop sticks (again…the craft store)


Prepare the cake according to the package directions and allow to cool.


Amanda was making the cake pops with two friends, so I divided the finished cake into three even sections split amongst three separate bowls. Break up cake into fine crumbs.


Divide the frosting into three equal parts and place in the individual bowls and combine.


The girls used their hands, but maybe a spoon would have been a better idea.


Line a baking sheet with wax paper and roll dough into 1” balls.

Just a quick note: If you are planning ahead, you can prepare the balls a day in advance simply by refrigerating them over night. If you are whipping them up in an afternoon, you’ll need to put the prepared balls in the freezer for an hour or so. You’ll want to watch them so they get nice and firm but not frozen.

Once the dough is firm enough to handle, you’ll want to melt the candy.


We chose three different colors for a little variety. What an easy way to coordinate dessert to your party theme!


Place approximately one cup of chips in a microwavable bowl.

Microwave for 60-90 seconds or until the candy become nice a smooth for dipping.

Take a lollipop stick and dip it into the melted candy

Next insert the stick into a ball of dough


Dip the cake ball into the melted candy until completely, but smoothly covered

Place the stick into the Styrofoam


I bought another, smaller Styrofoam for Amanda’s girlfriends to bring home to their family


Cover with plastic. We like ours refrigerated.

Serve and enjoy!

Now we can’t wait to try all of the other flavors and Cake Pop projects!

More delicious desserts, more time with teenagers, more adorable Cake Pops!

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

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Finger Lickin’ Chicken Parmesan…..

As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about……..more Chicken Parmesan! Winter is the perfect time  for a warm and hearty meal, and what is more comforting than an Italian classic? I knew this was a winner when Amanda (my red meat carnivore) said, “Compliment’s to the chef!”

Chicken Parmesan and Pasta

Serves 4 Chicken

I chose to use the whole chicken breast rather than pounding them into cutlets, leaving the breast intact and juicy. However, to be certain that the chicken is cooked through, you’ll need to pop them in the oven after browning them in the skillet.

4 chicken breasts

1 cup or so of flour for dredging

1 egg

¼ cup water

3/4 cup breadcrumbs

2 Tbsp chopped parsley

4 Tbsp grated parmesan, 2 for the breadcrumb mixture, 2 for topping with the mozzarella

4 oz sliced mozzarella

2 Tbsp oil

Pre-heat oven to 350°

Prepare a baking dish by coating with non-stick spray Line up three bowls or containers for dredging

Bowl one: flour

Bowl two: beat egg and water together

Bowl three: mix breadcrumbs, parsley and parmesan together Dip each chicken breast in flour, then egg and finally in the breadcrumb mixture

Transfer to a plate Heat oil in a large skillet Brown chicken breasts until nice and golden, approximately 3 minutes per side

Transfer to prepared baking dish

Cook in oven for approximately 15 minutes

Pasta and Sauce

1 lb angel hair pasta

1 Tbsp oil

6 cloves of garlic, minced

15 oz can of tomato sauce

8 basil leaves, torn, plus more for topping

1 ½  cups water

½ cup or so of heavy whipping cream

In a stock pot, cook the angel hair pasta until desired doneness

In a sauce pan, heat the oil and sauté the garlic for a minute Add; Tomato sauce



Bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer until thickened, about 12 minutes

Add heavy whipping cream, stir well

Pre-heat oven to broil

Return chicken breasts to skillet, covering with sauce Top the chicken evenly with slices of mozzarella and sprinkle with remaining parmesan

Place skillet in oven and broil until cheese is just melted, maybe 2 minutes

Transfer chicken to plates, leaving the sauce in the skillet

Drain the pasta and toss with the remaining sauce in the skillet

Add pasta to each plate and top with torn basil I like a sprinkling of grated parmesan on top Serve and enjoy…….

More hearty meals, more classic chicken parmesan, more family dinners…….

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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