Having almost two weeks of vacation after Christmas was wonderful.

I mostly did two of my favorite things — stayed at home and tried new recipes. I tried to rest up and treat my family to some home-cooked treats.

With school back in session, it is basketball and judging beauty pageants — another two of my favorite things.

I hope you will give some of these recipes a try. They are all what we call “keepers.” Thanks for reading.

ARTICHOKE CHICKEN

1 (15-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped

¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese

¾ cup mayonnaise

½ teaspoon garlic salt

½ teaspoon pepper

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl, mix cheese, mayonnaise, garlic salt and pepper. Place chicken in a greased baking dish, and top with artichoke mixture. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour until chicken is done and no longer pink in center.

BUTTER PECAN POUND CAKE

1 box butter pecan cake mix

1 cup water

1 cup vegetable oil

4 eggs

1 (16-ounce) can coconut pecan frosting

Mix all ingredients in a large mixing bowl, and beat with a handheld mixer until smooth. Pour into a greased bundt cake pan, and bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes or an hour until done.

CHICKEN TETRAZZINI

1 (16-ounce) box linguini pasta, cook according to package directions and drain well

1 whole rotisserie chicken, meat removed and chopped

1 can cream of chicken soup

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 (16-ounce) carton sour cream

1/3 cup melted butter

½ cup chicken broth

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

¼ teaspoon garlic powder

¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese

2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and lightly spray a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. In a large bowl, combine chopped chicken, soups, sour cream, butter, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Stir in cooked pasta. Pour mixture into prepared baking dish, and top with cheeses and parsley. Cover with foil, and bake covered for 45 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 15 minutes until cheese is melted and mixture is bubbly.

CAKE MIX TOFFEE BARS

1 box yellow cake mix

1 egg

6 tablespoons butter, melted

2 (10-ounce) bags chocolate toffee bits

1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Combine cake mix, butter and egg. Press into bottom of prepared pan. Sprinkle chocolate toffee bits on top of cake mixture. Pour sweetened condensed milk evenly over toffee bits. Bake for 30 minutes, and cool completely before cutting.

TACO PARTY TOASTS

1½ pounds ground beef

1 package taco seasoning

1 (10-ounce) can Ro-Tel chopped tomatoes, do not drain

1 (16-ounce) package Velveeta cheese, cubed

1 (16-ounce) loaf cocktail rye bread

Brown ground beef, and drain fat. Add taco seasoning and tomatoes, and cook for about three minutes. Remove from heat. Add Velveeta and stir until melted. Spread mixture on top of bread slices, and bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.

• Contact Lee Ann Flemming at lafkitchen@hughes.net.

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