Just before spring break, I judged a beauty pageant, and they had a basket of goodies for each judge. One of the things in the basket was a local cookbook. I received several food magazines the next day. I was ready for the beginning of our break.

Many people want to travel during spring break — not me! All I want to do is stay at home, chill out, watch television and cook. I had a myriad of sources to try some new recipes, and I could reach back and enjoy a few oldies but goodies.

My sister was here from California for the week, and we had many meals to share. She were my guinea pig and also the recipient of some recipes from our family’s past.

I hope you will give some of these a try. Thanks for reading.

LASAGNA TOSS

• I do love lasagna, but it is a lot of trouble and very time consuming to make. This recipe tastes a lot like lasagna but takes much less time to put together.

1 pound ground beef

½ cup chopped onion

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups spaghetti sauce

6 ounces spiral noodles, cooked and drained

1 cup (8-ounce) small curd cottage cheese

2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese

Grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brown ground beef, onion and garlic in a large skillet; drain fat and add garlic. Stir in spaghetti sauce, and simmer until heated. Remove 1 cup of the sauce and set aside. Stir in noodles with the remaining sauce. Place half of the noodle mixture into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Cover with cottage cheese and 1½ cups of the Mozzarella cheese. Add the remaining noodle mixture, and top with the remaining spaghetti sauce, Mozzarella cheese and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil, and bake for 30 minutes. Let stand for five minutes before serving.

BIG & BUTTERY CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

• I make a lot of homemade cookies. These are delicious. I like to make up the dough and freeze it. It can be taken out and thawed to make cookies at a later date. These can be made out and frozen and ready to pull out for a quick cook for delicious homemade cookies.

1 cup butter, softened

1 cup packed brown sugar

¾ cup sugar

2 large eggs, room temperature

1½ teaspoon vanilla extract

2 2/3 cups flour

1¼ teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 (12-ounce) package semi-sweet chocolate chips

2 cups coarsely chopped pecans, toasted

In a large bowl, beat butter and both sugars until well blended. Beat in eggs and vanilla. In a small bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda and salt. Gradually add to the butter mixture. Stir in chocolate chips and pecans. Shape ¼ cup of dough into a ball; flatten into a 2½ inch cookie. Place on parchment-lined cookie sheets, and bake at 400 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes. Cool on pans for two minutes, and transfer to wire racks to cool.

MAMAW’S FROZEN FRUIT SALAD

• My mamaw was an excellent cook. She always had this salad in her freezer for a meal or a delicious snack. I always think of her when I serve it, but it is never as good as hers.

1 (8-ounce) block cream cheese, softened

½ cup sugar

1 flat can crushed pineapple, drained

1 (10-ounce) jar maraschino cherries, drained and chopped

¾ cup chopped fresh strawberries

1 (8-ounce) can mandarin oranges, drained and chopped

½ cup chopped pecans

½ cup coconut

1 (8-ounce) carton Cool Whip

Whip cream cheese and sugar until fluffy. Add pineapple, cherries, strawberries, oranges, pecans and coconut and mix until combined. Fold in Cool Whip, and freeze in cupcake liners. After frozen, place in a ZipLoc bag to store until use.

Contact Lee Ann Flemming at lafkitchen@hughes.net.

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