It is so fun to write this article once a week. Sometimes I feel like I donít write things that are very interesting and often they actually seem boring but my readers are so faithful and kind. I appreciate each one of you and thank you for your kind notes and phone calls. It always surprises me that you take the time to send me a letter or call.

This past week I got a note from a lady in Blue Springs named Nancy Owen. It was kind,sweet and encouraging and it made my whole week. Thanks Nancy and thanks to all of your who are so thoughtful.

I decided to order some propane gas to keep me going until the weather is warmer. Today the gas is 2.69 cents a gallon but two weeks ago it was 4.44 cents. Is that disgusting or what? I call one day and it is 2.44 and I think it is going down, then a day or so later it is 2.94. Pretty hard to accept all that malarky.

My electric bill does not go up like the propane and my kids, and family, church friends and neighbors seem to enjoy the samples.

Yummy potato skins

3 large baking potatoes 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons picante sauce 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 medium onion, chopped 1 clove garlic, minced 1/2 teaspoon oregano leaves, crushed 1/2 cup salami, finely chopped 3/4 cup Mozarella cheese, shredded Dairy sour cream

Bake potatoes at 400 degrees for one hour or until tender. Cut potatoes in halves lengthwise. Scoop our pulp leaving 1/4 inch shell. Cut each shell in half lengthwise; place skin side down on foil-lined baking sheet. Combine 2 tablespoons picante sauce and 2 tablempoons oil; brush over potatoes. Bake 15 minutes or until crisp. Cook onion and garlic in remaining oil in saucepan until tender. Stir in remaining picante sauce, salami, and oregano. Simmer uncovered until thickened. Spoon onto potato skins; top with cheese. Cut potatoes in half crosswise. Serve with additional picante sauce and sour cream. Makes 25 appetizers.

Taco dip

1 package taco mix 1 pound hamburger 1 carton sour cream 1 can refried beans 2 tomatoes 1 small package shredded Cheddar cheese 1 small jar picante sauce 1 pound bag taco or dipping chips

Brown hamburger, drain. Mix in package of taco mix and picante sauce. Place mixture in bottom of pan. Layer sour cream and diced tomatoes and shredded cheese over the mixture. Use taco chips to dip with.

Hot dog casserole

1 package hot dogs, cooked 4 cups diced potatoes, cooked 1/2cup milk 1 can cream of mushroom soup 1 cup shredded cheese or 4 slices 1/4 cup onion (optional)

Heat soup, milk, and cheese until cheese melts. Place half of potatoes into greased casserole dish; slice half of hot dogs into coins and place on potatoes. Add half of soup mixture, then rest of potatoes and hotdogs. Pour remaining soup mixture on top. Bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees or until thoroughly heated through.

Thanks again for being such great friends and readers. I will see you next week and hope it is warmer

Dixie Ryan lives in Odessa and has enjoyed sharing her cooking talents and secrets with readers for many years. You can reach her at