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

Grouchy Bear is a pretty happy creature this week. We leave Monday morning for three days in Branson and as usual every group meal is a buffet with all he can eat of whatever he wants.

He loves this type of situation because he knows that I cannot try to get him to eat healthy because he hides at other tables and has them all feeling so sorry for him. The stories he tells about his lack of food and how much I abuse him are getting funnier by the day.

It is doubtful I will have any healthy recipes to share with you after this trip so I will just give you some of the ones I have been cooking this week and perhaps I will share a few new ones when we return.

Anytime we go on these trips I have a difficult week after we return because he is still on a sugar or biscuit and gravy high.

This week I saw an ad for cheese-flavored French fried onion rings. I buy the regular ones for green bean casserole so decided to try the new cheese ones. I purchased a package of boneless chicken breasts, dropped them in a bowl of beaten egg substitute and then rolled them in the crushed onion rings. Placing them in a baking dish I baked them at 350 degrees for about 30-40 minutes (less if the juices run free when poked with a fork). They were quite good.


Simple Scalloped Potatoes

1 two pound package frozen hashbrowns, thawed

1 can cream of potato soup

1 can cream of celery soup

1 soup can skim milk

1 pint low fat sour cream

Mix all together. Pour into 9 x 13 “ pan and cover. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 to 11⁄2 hours. Uncover and bake until lightly brown. For a change sprinkle with fat free shredded cheddar cheese after the cover is removed. Bake until cheese is melted.


Bean Bake

2 cans kidney or red beans, rinsed and drained

1 can Italian stewed tomatoes

1 green pepper, diced

1 onion, diced

8 slices bacon, fried and crumbled

1⁄2 cup Splenda brown sugar

1 cup catsup

Mix and place in baking dish. Bake at 375 degrees for about one hour. This dish is good warm or cold.


The above three recipes made a great meal and is a fairly healthy one. There are a few cheat areas but it is best to bring “Bear” off his high a little at a time.

Last week he tried to tell me that when he is deprived of chocolate, ice cream and greasy foods for three or four days he has a more rapid heart beat. I hope you know it did not gain any sympathy and there still are no candy bars around.

 See you next week.