Dinners Week 9: My mama's favorite meals...and one of mine!

Eggplant Gratin: (Recipe from Food Network's, Ina Garten)
Found HERE

NOTES:  Oh my word...this was delicious!  I made this for me and my mom after the children went to bed.  While the oven preheated, I fried the eggplant and mixed the cheese sauce.  I decided to put the dish into one souffle dish rather than in two gratin dishes.  You could easily put this in a square, glass baking dish.  Mom and I enjoyed a glass of wine and a nice chat while the gratin baked.  Once it was done, we ate the entire thing!!  Yep, every.single.last.bite.  This would be perfect for a date night.  If I were to make this for the whole crew, I would defintely double the recipe.

Poppy Seed Chicken: (recipe from allrecipes.com, submitted by Janet Schaufele)
6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, diced
1 (10.75oz) can cream of chicken soup
1 (8oz) container sour cream
2 T dry sherry
salt and pepper to taste
8 oz buttery round crackers, crushed
1 1/2 T poppy seeds
1/2 cup butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Placed the diced chicken breastes on the bottom of a 9x13 in baking dish sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.  In a bowl, combine the soup, sour cream and sherry. Pour or spoon mixture over the chicken.  Sprinkle salt and pepper on top.  Mix the poppy seeds and crushed crackers and sprinkle mixture over the chicken, salt and pepper.  Drizzle the melted butter or margarine over the cracker/poppy seed layer and bake, covered, for 30 to 45 minutes.  (Take cover off for the last 5 minutes.)  Let stand a few minutes before serving.

NOTES:  I literally made this in 10 minutes this morning, and I'll cook it either tonight or tomorrow for dinner.  I crushed the crackers in the cracker sleeve to avoid a big mess, and I mixed the crackers and poppyseeds with the melted butter before sprinkling the mixture over the top, as I wanted to make sure that every cracker was covered and wouldn't burn.  This is true comfort food...I love to make this for new mom's and pair it with a nice salad.

Potato Soup: (recipe from my friend, Craig, from my Nashville BB&T days)
5-6 peeled, diced, medium potatoes
1 chopped medium sweet onion
2 cups water (you will be tempted to use more...don't do it!)
2 cups milk
1 8oz block cubed cream cheese
2 Tbsp butter
1 can cream of celery soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
salt, pepper, parsley flakes, and garlic salt to taste

Add potatoes, onions, and water to stock pot.  Bring water to a boil over medium-high heat.  Cook until water is nearly evaporated (about 20-25 minutes.)  Decrease heat to medium, and add the cubed cream cheese to the potatoes and onions once the water is nearly absorbed.  Stir to melt cheese.  Add milk and butter and let simmer for 5 minutes.  Add the soups and spices to taste and simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

SERVE WITH: shredded cheddar cheese, crumbled bacon, chopped green onions, sour cream

NOTES:  I first had this soup at a work pot luck lunch.  It is so yummy and perfect for this cold weather.  I peeled and chopped the potatoes and the onions in the morning and put them in the fridge.  This comes together easily but takes a little time.  You can't really leave the soup unattended because it will stick and burn on the bottom.  This worked out perfectly because we had our neighbors/friends over for a quick playdate, so the kids were entertained..the playdate turned into a fun dinner.  The kids ate some soup and a sandwich/quesadilla, and the mamas enjoyed the soup and all the fixings.  NOTE:  I am serious about the 2 cups of water.  I made the mistake of thinking this wasn't enough one time, and it was WAY too watery and took forever to cook.

Sherry's Aussie Chicken:  Recipe found HERE

NOTES:  When we were in college, George would take me to Outback Steakhouse for special occasions.  I always got the same thing...Alice Springs Chicken.  This is a copycat version of that recipe, and it's pretty close.  I leave out the onions and add a little bit more mayonnaise to the honey mustard.  You could use any bottled honey mustard that you like, but making your own is so easy...just tweak it to your liking.  I started this the day before while the kids were eating lunch.  I didn't actually leave the chicken in the refrigerator for 30 minutes...I just left it in there while I was frying the bacon.  It was so quick to put together, and it was ready when I needed it the next night for dinner with my mama and dad.  Big hit all the way around!

SERVE WITH: Twice baked potatoes and roasted broccoli. 


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