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

Sure hope this article makes sense as I am about ready to fall asleep in the chair.  We had a party today with about 20 people in attendance and celebrated two birthdays, two farewells for college and one baptism.

“Grouchy Bear” is in cholesterol heaven or something like that. Tomorrow morning at 7:30 is his six-month checkup so he is probably in major trouble.

This past week I prepared several healthy type dishes and they were all great. I hope that maybe that will counter some of the damage done today regarding blood sugar, cholesterol and other tests to be done.

Little cheddar meatloaves

2 egg whites, beaten

1 cup (4 ounces) shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese

3⁄4 cup quick-cooking oats

1 medium onion, chopped

1 medium carrot, shredded

1⁄2 teaspoon salt

3⁄4 pound lean ground beef

2/3 cup ketchup

4 tablespoons Splenda Brown sugar

1-1/2 teaspoons prepared mustard

In a large bowl, whisk egg whites and milk. Stir in the cheese, oats, onion, carrot and salt. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well. Shape into eight mini loaves; place in a 13” x 9” x 2” baking dish coated with cooking spray. In a small bowl, combine the ketchup, brown sugar and mustard; spoon over loaves. Bake, uncovered at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until no pink remains and meat thermometer reads 160 degrees.

1 meat loaf 187 calories, 7 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 36 g cholesterol, 18 g carbohydrates.

Serve the meatloaves with a small baked potato per serving. Mix one-half cup fat-free or low fat cottage cheese, garlic and onion salt to taste and 1⁄4 cup melted Take Control or Smart Balance. Place the mix on the baked potato. Accompany the meal with a lettuce salad.

Zucchini meal

1-2  pounds lean hamburger

2 fair sized zucchini

1 medium onion

Brown hamburger in skillet and using a potato masher make sure it is separated and mashed to fine scramble. Add chopped onion and chopped zucchini to the meat and cook until tender. Add salt and pepper, mix and top with one cup of low-fat cheddar cheese. When cheese it melted it is time to serve.

Skinny ice cream

4 cups fat-free half and half

1 package (3.4 ounce) instant vanilla pudding mix

1 can (14 ounces) fat-free sweetened condensed milk

4 teaspoons mint extract

1-4 drops green food coloring, optional

1-1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chunks

In a large bowl, beat half and half and pudding mix on low for 2 minutes Beat in condensed milk, extract and food coloring if desired. Fill cylinder of ice cream freezer and freeze according to directions. Coarsely chop chocolate chunks, if desired and stir into ice cream. Transfer to freezer containers. Freeze for 2 to 4 hours before serving.

1⁄2 cup serving equals 289 Calories, 7 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 4 mg cholesterol, 50 g carbs.

Some of this week’s recipes were found in Taste of Home and altered. Enjoy, stay out of the heat and we will see you next week.