My grandmother Baker was one of the best cooks I ever met.

This past week would have been her birthday. I’m still amazed at how she would make Sunday dinner for a house full of people in no time. I can’t remember anyone bringing food to her house. On Sunday, she always cooked fried chicken, a banana pudding, tea biscuits and banana sandwiches with the leftover bananas. She had plenty of practice cooking for a huge crowd with three daughters and six sons. 

This week’s recipes are a collection of potluck recipes you could share at a family get-together, or a church dinner or gathering of friends.

Sun-dried Tomato Spinach and Cheese Stuffed Chicken 

Ingredients 

2 large chicken breasts

3/4 cup sun-dried tomato vinaigrette dressing and marinade 

(Salt and pepper and olive oil would also work fine)

1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes 

1/2 cup roughly chopped spinach 

1/2 cup feta cheese

1/2 cup mozzarella cheese

Directions 

Marinate the chicken breasts in the dressing for a few hours. With a sharp large knife, carefully cut the chicken breasts like hot dog buns. Don’t cut all the way through. Open the chicken breasts up where you cut them and layer the remaining ingredients. It’s OK if you can’t fit all of it in, you can just leave some out. Just squish in as much as you can. Stick a couple of toothpicks in near the openings to keep it all together. Heat up a pan (I used a cast iron skillet) and sear the meat on both sides. You can lower the heat and continue cooking the meat on the stove until it’s done or if you’re using a cast iron skillet, you can put the pan in the oven on the baking sheet if you don’t feel like searing it. Just make sure you cook it until the center reaches 165 degrees on a thermometer.

Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas 

Ingredients 

Cooking spray 

1 (3-to-4-pound) rotisserie chicken 

1 1/2 cups sour cream, divided, plus more for serving if desired

2 1/2 cups shredded Monterey or Pepper Jack cheese, divided

1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chiles

1/2 tsp. ground cumin 

1/2 tsp. kosher salt 

8 (10-inch) large flour tortillas 

1/2 cup whole milk

Pickled jalapeños for serving 

Directions 

Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9x13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Thinly slice 2 medium scallions, keeping the white and green parts separate. Place the greens in a small bowl and set aside. Place the whites in a large bowl. Shred the meat from the rotisserie chicken, discarding the skin and bones (3 to 4 cups shredded chicken). Add the chicken, 1 cup of the sour cream, 1 cup of the shredded Monterey or Pepper Jack Cheese, 1 can green chiles (Do not drain), 1/2 tsp. ground cumin and 1/2 tsp. kosher salt. Stir to combine. Scoop about 1/2 cup, filling down the center of each of 8 large flour tortillas. Roll each tortilla up tightly around the filling and place seam side down in the baking dish tightly packing them into a single layer. Whisk the remaining 1/2 cup sour cream and 1/2 cup whole milk together in a small bowl then pour evenly over the enchiladas, sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup shredded Monterey or Pepper Jack cheese. Bake until the cheese melts and begins to brown 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes before sprinkling with reserved green onion tops. Serve with more sour cream, jalapeños.

Taco Casserole

Ingredients 

2 pounds ground beef

2 envelopes taco seasoning

4 large eggs

3/4 cup 2-percent milk

1 1/4 cups biscuit/baking mix 

Dash pepper 

1/2 cup sour cream

2 to 3 cups chopped lettuce 

3/4 cup chopped tomato

1/4 cup chopped green pepper

2 green onions, chopped

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Directions 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large skillet, cook beef over medium heat 10-12 minutes or until no longer pink, breaking into crumbles; drain. Add taco seasoning and prepare according to package directions. Spoon meat into a greased 13x9-inch baking dish. In a large bowl, beat eggs and milk. Stir in biscuit mix and pepper. Pour over meat. Bake uncovered, 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 5-10 minutes. Spread sour cream over top; sprinkle with lettuce, tomato, green pepper, onions and cheese.

Potluck Macaroni and Cheese 

Ingredients 

3 cups uncooked elbow macaroni 

1 package (16 ounces) process cheese (Velveeta), cubed

2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend

2 cups shredded white cheddar cheese 

1 3/4 cups whole milk 

1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk 

3/4 cup butter, melted

3 large eggs, lightly beaten

Directions 

Cook macaroni according to package directions for al dente; drain. Transfer to a greased 5-quart slow cooker. Stir in remaining ingredients. Cook, covered, on low until a thermometer reads at least 160 degrees, 2 to 2 1/2 hours, stirring once. 

Creamy Apple Dessert

Ingredients 

1/4 cup butter or 1/4 cup margarine

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs

1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk (Eagle Brand Milk)

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup lemon juice

1 (21-ounce) can apple pie filling

1/4 cup chopped walnuts

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Use a 1 1/2 quart baking dish (10x6) and melt butter or margarine in the oven. Sprinkle the graham cracker crumbs over melted butter and mix well. Press into the bottom of the dish to make a crust. Mix sweetened condensed milk, cream cheese and lemon juice. Spread evenly over crust. Spoon pie filling evenly over creamy layer. Bake 25 to 30 minutes until set. Cool slightly. In a small dish, mix together nuts and cinnamon. Sprinkle over pie filling. Serve warm or cold. 

Joyce Jacks is a native of Barrow County and a graduate of Winder-Barrow High School, Athens Technical College and the University of Georgia. She can be reached at georgiagirl2424@yahoo.com.

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