Isnít life fun? I have had the best week in a long time. Froze my fanny off every time I went out, had to do some grocery shopping when it was 5 below zero and just one of those weeks but I truly had a great week.

Makes me think that your life is kind of how you think about it. If you go out complaining about how cold it is then it is really cold but if you bundle up and donít gripe about it maybe it is not so bad.

So I guess I will try not to complain and just thank GOD for each day and for HIS love.

My remodeling is totally done. Every room in my house has been redone and I love it. I still have to have some wood shades put up and hang a few pictures but basically it is done and I am very happy about that as well.

Since it is so cold out (and being truthful I donít go out unless I have to) I have been doing a lot more cooking. Really tried some neat stuff this week.

Cheesy ranch potatoes

4-ounce package of buttermilk ranch salad dressing mix 1 cup buttermilk 1 cup sour cream 6 to 8 potatoes, boiled and chopped 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided

In a small bowl combine dressing mix, buttermilk and sour cream In a large bowl combine potatoes, half of the cheddar cheese and the dressing mixture. Pour potato mixture into an ungreased 13-by-9-inch baking pan. Top with remaining cheese and bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes. This serves 8 to 10 so cut it in half if you want.

Gumbo meatballs

2 pounds ground beef 4 slices bread, crumbled 3/4 cup evaporated milk 10 3/4-ounce can chicken gumbo soup 10 1/2-ounce can French onion soup

Combine first three ingredients together, form into one inch balls. Arrange in an ungreased 13-by-9-inch baking pan, pouring soups on top. Bake uncovered, at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 hours. Serve over cooked rice if desired. If you prefer you can have with the potatoes previously listed. Leftovers can be frozen.

Butter pecan-peach cake

29-ounce can sliced peaches 18 1/4-ounce package butter pecan or yellow cake mix 1/2 cup b utter, melted 1 cup chopped pecans 1 cup sweetened flaked coconut

Pour peaches and syrup into the bottom of an ungreased 13-by-9-inch baking pan. Cover with dry cake mix and drizzle butter over the top. Sprinkle with pecans and coconut. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes.

All of the recipes I shared with you have been prepared at my house this week. I enjoyed every one of them. They came from a Gooseberry Patch Cookbook which was called "5 Ingredients Family Favorites." It is a great cookbook.

So bundle up if you go out this coming week as it will be very cold or just stay home and enjoy the heat and television.

See you next week.

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