Tag Archives: spring break

A Chili Return……

As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about……more homecomings! Chuck and I haven’t been childless for the past 18 ½ years, so this past week, with Nick and Amanda Spring Breakin’ it in Hot-lanta without us, was very strange indeed. The silence was deafening the first few days, but by mid-week we’d found our groove. We dug out Cheesecake Factory gift cards that we’ve had for the past 4 years (we are such losers, but in our defense, to use them would have required a few hours to ourselves to get to Oak Brook or Schaumburg, and with a busy family, who’s got that kind of time?), we had dinner with our beloved neighbors, Dr. and Mrs. Hobbs, and caught up with our dear friends the LaLanne’s. We watched movies and saw all of our DVR’d programs (I know, I know….life in the fast lane). While we really did enjoy a restful week, Chuck, Wrigley and I couldn’t wait to pick our pals up from the airport!

I can only hope it’s because Nicholas and Amanda felt safe and cared for with my mom, my brother and my sister-in-law, but they weren’t terribly compelled to talk with us the entire 8 days that they were gone. Sure, they politely answered our text messages and picked up the phone when we called, but other than that……not so much. Once they were home, Chuck and I were glad to catch up with them over a delicious, homemade, bowl of chili…..

Home-made Chili with Macaroni:

Serves 10 (who doesn’t like leftovers?)


3 lbs ground beef

4 Tbsp chili powder

2 onions, chopped

2 yellow peppers, seeded and chopped

5 cloves of garlic, minced

2 – 15 oz cans of kidney beans, drained and rinsed (more if your people like beans, mine merely tolerate them)

2 – 15 oz cans of diced tomatoes

2 cups of tomato sauce

1 cup chicken broth

2 tsp cumin

2 tsp oregano

1 tsp salt

16 oz Elbow macaroni, cooked, drained and buttered

1 box corn muffin mix, if your family likes cornbread

In a large stockpot;


Brown ground beef

When cooked through, stir in;

Chili powder

Blend well





Cook until softened, 5-8 minutes

Reduce heat to medium and add;


Diced tomatoes

Tomato sauce




Cover and cook for 20-30 minutes


My family likes their chili served over a heaping helping of cooked and buttered elbow macaroni, with a corn muffin on the side. Serve with sour cream, onions and shredded cheddar cheese if you so desire.

More restful weeks, more tasty dinners, more reconnecting…..


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Filed under Family Life, More is More Mom, Recipes

Spring Break: Home Alone….

As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about……more suspiciously quiet weekends! Spring break is quite the phenomenon. When I was growing up, I didn’t know anyone that went away for spring break. It was merely a week off of school where we enjoyed sleepovers with our friends and had the luxury of sleeping late in the mornings. For as long as Chuck and I have had a family of our own, we have not been avid vacationers (I’m rather a homebody). For the past 12 years, while our kids have been busy with athletics, we’ve had the pleasure of hitting all of the hot spots; Peoria, Kalamazoo, Milwaukee, Detroit, Fort Wayne, the Dells……are you jealous yet?  

Life has been so crazy busy lately. Chuck does Commercial Real Estate and Land Development with a partner, and they are up to their eyeballs in building a fabulous, brand new Harley Davidson dealership in Palatine, while I have several design projects in various stages of development. This is definitely not a time for us to get away. My mom is awesome though, and saw this is a great opportunity to whisk Nick and Amanda away to visit with my brother and sister-in-law in Hot-lanta!

The kids couldn’t pack their bags fast enough, leaving the cold behind (and who could possibly blame them?). After Wrigley and I returned from dropping them all off at the airport, our house suddenly felt extremely quiet. We are accustomed to a free for all; activities, friends, laughter, arguing, Nick and Amanda wrestling, exercising contests, music, the blaring television…… The silence was deafening, and it was only one o’clock in the afternoon. What were Chuck and I going to do for the rest of the day much less the rest of the week?  

Because we sure do know how to live, I warmed up some left over taco meat and we feasted on a huge and delicious mound of nachos. I closed my eyes for a few blissful moments in-the-middle-of-the-day! We scrolled through our DVR and watched three hours of American Idol (which is really about 90 minutes of actual viewing time once you take out all of the commercials and the boring parts). We watched the movie Morning Glory, with Rachel McAdams, Diane Keaton and Harrison Ford. It was delightful and charming. Afterwards, flipping through our cable channels, we settled upon 1982’s Tootsie, with Chicago’s very own, Bill Murray. We rotated around our television viewing positions, from our family room, to our basement, to our bedroom to avoid developing bed sores.

While the peace and quiet was really very restful, I’m thankful that we won’t have to become accustomed to it any time soon. I live for the hustle and bustle of family life, even the noise, the arguing and the wrestling. This is seriously going to be the weirdest week ever.

More eerie quiet, more catching up on favorite TV shows, more being bored together…..

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