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

This past week we were blessed share the experience of listening to Gracia Burnham. Gracia is the missionary from the Philippines that was held captive, with her husband, for more than a year. When the soldiers made final contact, her husband, Martin was killed and Gracia was shot in the leg.

 She spoke early Thursday morning at the Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast in Independence and then traveled to Oak Grove for our luncheon.

We were truly blessed by the experience of meeting her and listening to her share her experiences. What an amazing lady she is.

There are times in our lives when we are given the chance to stop and realize how fortunate we truly are. Simple things like being able to prepare a meal for our family are blessings we don’t even think about. So “Grouchy Bear” was a very happy camper this week (at least since Thursday) because I prepared him several not so healthy entrée’s and he ate every bite.

 This year our Thanksgiving may be different than those in the past as all of our children are going out of town for the holiday except one. It is being considered by all to just go out and eat and that would be a first in our family. I am going to prepare some snacks and desserts that we will enjoy when we return from the meal and play some games with the remaining kids and grandkids.


Special blueberry muffins

2 cups biscuit/baking mix

3⁄4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided

2 eggs

1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream

1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

In a bowl, combine biscuit mix,3⁄4 cup sugar. In another bowl combine the eggs and sour cream; stir into the dry ingredients just until combined. Fold in the blueberries. Fill greased muffin cups three-fourths full and sprinkle with remaining sugar. Bake at 375º for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack.

Makes one dozen, so if you need more double your recipes. If using frozen blueberries do not thaw before adding to the batter. If you want to go healthy check the Splenda Blenda sack and it will tell you how much Splenda to replace the sugar total. Change the eggs to egg substitute and make sure the sour cream is lite.


In a large bowl combine a head of chopped lettuce, two or three chopped tomatoes, one chopped onion,1⁄2 pound diced sharp Cheddar cheese and 1 pound browned, crumbled and drained ground beef. Add 1 16 ounce bottle Catalina salad dressing. Mix well and just before serving add 1 seven ounce bag taco-flavored corn chips, crushed, tossing to combine with other ingredients. Top each serving with taco sauce and serve with crackers or garlic bread.

 Have a great Thanksgiving. See you next week.