Monday, January 31, 2011

Orange Cranberry Chicken Salad

Brent has been playing soccer during the week for about 2 years now.  On nights that we have soccer, we are looking for a healthy, quick meal.  Our favorite is this chicken salad.

Orange Cranberry Chicken Salad

1 lb chicken tenderloins, cut into pieces or strips
lettuce (I tend to use green leaf lettuce or an Italian blend)
1 small can mandarin oranges, drained
cheddar cheese (I loved the Kraft crumbles, but now I can't find them so I use shredded)
dried cranberries
sunflower seeds (or if you prefer, sliced almonds or croutons)
olive oil
Montreal chicken seasoning (or Northwoods seasoning)
raspberry vinaigrette dressing (if you prefer sweet, use Marzetti's; if you prefer tangy, use Publix brand)
Place 1 tbsp olive oil in skillet, place chicken strips in skillet, sprinkle with seasoning.  Cook chicken strips until no longer pink, about 5-10 minutes.  While chicken is cooking, arrange lettuce, cheese, cranberries, oranges, and sunflower seeds.  Top with chicken and dressing.  Serve with bread.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Black Bean Dip

Since it's Friday, here is something for a healthy weekend snack.  This is similar to a humus, but much more flavorful! 

Black Bean Dip

2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 c chopped red onion
1/3 c salsa (mild or medium, the jalapenos add plenty of spice)
1/3 c chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 c margarita mix
2 tsp chopped jalapenos
1 tsp salt
Pulse all ingredients in blender until smooth.  Serve with lime wedges and warm pita wedges (can also serve with tortilla chips).

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Chipotle Crusted Pork Tenderloin

So, did you know that a chipotle pepper is really just a jalapeno that has stayed on the plant too long, turned, red, then smoked?  This recipe can be very if you don't like spicy, tone down the chili powder.  Also, the longer you marinate it, the hotter it is.  I marinated it 24 hours once, and it was SUPER hot!

Chipotle Crusted Pork Tenderloin

1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
3 tbsp chipotle chili powder (I found this at Publix in the McCormick seasonings, but I've also been told it's hard to find)
1 1/2 tsp salt
4 tbsp brown sugar
1 pork tenderloin
Mix above ingredients in large ziploc bag.  Add pork, marinate in refrigerator at least one hour.  Grill over medium high heat until pork is no longer pink.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Chili Garlic Buffalo Chicken

This is a great recipe I found recently.  It is pretty quick so it's great for a weeknight meal to get you over the midweek hump.  A lot of these things you can keep on hand too.  It has become one of Brent's favorites!

Chili Garlic Chicken

2 chicken breasts, trimmed and flattened
3/4 c buffalo wing sauce (I always use Ken's)
5 tbsp butter
2 tsp minced garlic
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
1/4 c chopped fresh cilantro
2 tsp lime juice
Marinate chicken breasts in wing sauce for at least 1 hour in Ziploc bag.  Melt butter in pan, add garlic and red pepper.  Add chicken, cook over medium high heat until no longer pink.  Once chicken is done, remove from heat and add lime juice.  Top with cilantro.  Serve over rice.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Southwestern Chicken Salad & Tortillas

This is a very simple weeknight meal.  It is also great to make and have on hand for those nights you just don't want to cook anything.

Southwestern Chicken Salad

3/4 c mayonnaise
1/4 c fresh cilantro, chopped
3 tbsp lime juice
4 c chicken, boiled and shredded
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp garlic
1/2 tsp cumin
3/4 c poblano pepper, diced
salt, to taste
soft taco tortillas
shredded cheese (I use cheddar or Mexican blend)
Mix ingredients except cheese.  Place down center of tortilla, top with cheese.  Warm in microwave to melt cheese, about 30 seconds.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Cheddar Beef Enchiladas

This recipe for enchiladas is absolutely one of our favorites and makes great left-overs!  I cooked this meal over the summer when we were in Montana and Canada on an RV trip to Glacier, Jasper, and Banff National Parks with the Nelson family.  We split up nights to cook in the little RV kitchen, and I decided enchiladas would be a fun meal!  It worked pretty well, but they are much better fresh at home.

Cheddar Beef Enchiladas

1 lb ground beef
1/2 onion, chopped
1 1/2 tsp garlic, minced
1 pkg taco seasoning
1 cup water
1 can refried beans (I buy fat-free)
1 pkg microwaveable Mexican style rice (I found some Uncle Bens rice that works well)
1 pkg soft taco/enchilada tortillas (10/pk)
2 cans enchilada sauce (mild or medium depending on your preference)
2 cups cheddar cheese
Brown ground beef with onion and garlic, drain.  Return beef to pan, add water and taco seasoning, simmer 5 minutes.  Add cooked rice, stir.  Add in refried beans and 1 cup cheese, heat until cheese is melted.  Spoon mixture down center of tortilla, roll up.  Place in 9x13 greased baking dish, seam side down.  You can fit 6 in a 9x13 dish and 4 more in a 8x8 dish.  Pour enchilada sauce over enchiladas, top with remaining cheese.  Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.  Can be frozen before baking.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Cold Day Taco Soup

So, I'm a little under the weather today and I know a lot of people have been dealing with colds, etc the past few weeks.  This recipe is a delicious soup that is great for cold days when you aren't feeling well.  It's also very hearty for those people who do not really like soup.

Taco Soup

1 lb ground beef
1/2 large onion, chopped
1 tsp garlic
1 pkg taco seasoning
1 can tomatoes w/ diced green chiles
1 can tomatoes w/ diced jalapenos
2 cans light red kidney beans, drained
1 can black beans, drained
1 can beef broth (or 2 cubes beef bouillon & 1 1/2 c water)
2 cups frozen corn
4 cups water
cilantro, cheese, and sour cream
Brown ground beef with chopped onion and garlic, drain.  Add all ingredients to large soup pot.  Bring to boiling, stirring occasionally.  Reduce heat to medium, cover.  Cook at least 30 minutes (can cook longer).  Top with fresh cilantro, cheese, and sour cream.  Serve with bread or crackers.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Home Cooked Meatloaf

After a long week of work, nothing is better than a good home cooked meal.  Tonight's dinner is meatloaf!  Now meatloaf is one of those things that most people have bad memories of as a child, but this recipe is a good basic meatloaf recipe that is sure to be a winner with everyone!  This recipe must be credited to my parents...who raised me on good memories of meatloaf!

Home Cooked Meatloaf

1 1/2 lbs ground beef
1 egg
1-2 slices bread, broken into cubes
1/4 cup ketchup
Onion & green pepper, chopped (if desired)
Mix all ingredients together.  Form into loaf, place on center of broiler pan.  Cover top of meatloaf with ketchup, spread evenly.  Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes.  Serve with ketchup or BBQ sauce.  Great with mashed potatoes and vegetables!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Baked Spaghetti

Yum...baked spaghetti!  This is one of my absolute favorite recipes.  I must credit the original recipe to my sister, although I have made some changes to it over the years.  I also have to give a shout out to my husband's college roommate before I list this's Kevin's favorite!

Baked Spaghetti

1 lb ground beef
1 8 oz box thin spaghetti noodles
1 jar Ragu traditional
1 small can tomato sauce
3 cups mozzarella cheese
Italian seasoning and garlic powder, to taste
Cook noodles according to package directions, drain.  Brown ground beef, drain.  Return beef to skillet, add Ragu and can of tomato sauce.  Add Italian seasoning and garlic powder to taste.  Allow to simmer 5 minutes.  In a 9x13 glass dish, layer sauce, noodles, pepperoni, cheese, noodles, sauce, pepperoni, top with cheese.  Bake at 425 degrees until bubbly and cheese is browning (about 10-15 minutes).  Serve with garlic bread and/or salad.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Spicy Cheese Dip

I'm already getting sad that football season is almost over!  I am a HUGE football fan!  Clemson is obviously my favorite team, but I will watch anyone in any league.  I actually placed 1st place in my Fantasy Football league this past season...while playing with 9 other men!  So, in honor of Super Bowl Sunday quickly approaching, here is a little football appetizer to enjoy:

Spicy Cheese Dip 

There are 2 versions of this recipe, I am listing both---
1 16 oz block Velveeta cheese
1 lb ground beef
1 pkg taco seasoning
2/3 cup water
1 jar Pace Picante sauce (hot or medium depending on what you prefer)
Brown ground beef, drain.  Return to skillet, add taco seasoning and water, simmer about 5 minutes.  Chop Velveeta into small cubes, place in crockpot.  Top with seasoned meat and Picante sauce.  Heat in crockpot over high heat, stirring occasionally.  When melted, turn crockpot to low.  Serve with tortilla chips.

Easier version---
1 16 oz block Velveeta cheese
1 can Hormel chili with beans
1 jar Pace Picante sauce (hot or medium depending on what you prefer)
Chop Velveeta into small cubes.  Add all contents to crockpot.  Heat over high heat, stirring occasionally.  When melted, turn crockpot to low.  Serve with tortilla chips.

Friday, January 14, 2011


This recipe is a great weekend treat!  It is super easy for a Friday or Saturday night, and you can fill it with whatever you want! 


1 pkg refrigerated thin pizza dough crust (regular works okay if you can't find thin, just get the roll near the biscuits)
2 cups mozzarella cheese
1/2 lb ground hot sausage, browned and drained
other favorite pizza toppings (hamburger, onions, peppers, etc)
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp Italian seasoning
1-2 cups pizza/marinara sauce
Roll out pizza crust on greased cookie sheet.  Cut into two equal sections.  Layer mozzarella cheese and fillings on one side of each section of crust.  Fold crust over, roll edges to create a seal.  Bake according to pizza crust directions.  You may not need to cook it as long as the package says, so keep an eye on it.  When it begins to turn light brown, it's done!  Remove calzones from oven.  Mix melted butter, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning--brush on top of HOT calzones.  Don't be stingy...this is the best part!  Serve with pizza sauce on the side.  Makes 2 fairly large great as left-overs.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Land Family SWEET Tea!

It's a tradition in the Land family (my mom's side of the family) to always have about 3-4 gallons of good ole Southern sweet tea at every holiday meal.  My dad is the unofficial tea maker in our family, and he does it right!  I have tested this recipe hundreds of times since being on my own, and I like to think it is pretty much perfected now.  Of course, those of you who aren't true Southerners will probably think this is way too sweet...but this is how it's done!

Land Family Sweet Tea

1-2 quarts water (depends on the size of the pot you use)
2 family-size tea bags (I always use Publix decaf tea bags since I don't drink caffeine, but my dad always used Lipton--Publix brand is the only exception to Lipton that I've found)
1 cup sugar
1/2 gallon pitcher
Bring water to boil in small pot.  When water is at a rolling boil, drop in tea bags, cover with lid, and remove from heat.  Allow tea to sit in pot for about 45 minutes-1 hour.  Pour tea into 1/2 gallon pitcher, add 1 cup of sugar.  Run water over tea bags to fill pitcher.  Refrigerate and enjoy!  (Double this recipe to make 1 gallon)

Slow Cooker Pot Roast

I have received MANY requests for this recipe for pot roast. It is a great cold weather recipe (which is perfect for today because there is still snow on the ground here in SC!) It's an all-dayer, so plan ahead! I have to credit my wonderful sister, Julie, with this recipe.

Slow Cooker Pot Roast

1 shoulder pot roast (about 2 lbs)
3 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 lb carrots, peeled and sliced
1 pkg dry ranch dressing mix
1 pkg dry Italian dressing mix
1 pkg brown gravy mix
3/4 cup water
Combine all ingredients in a large slow cooker. Cook on low 9-10 hours (if you don't have that much time, you can cook it on high for a couple of hours, then switch to low).