Monday, September 22, 2014

Meanwhile...Back at the Ranch

Homemade Ranch Dressing is so simple that you are going to question why you ever bought it, or used a packaged mix in the first place. Most likely you already have all of the ingredients, and all it takes is a few minutes and your friends and family will think that you have hung the moon!

This recipe is healthy, but not so healthy that you will feel like you are sacrificing taste. You might find that the richness of the homemade version means using less, which makes it even healthier.  I'd be a skinny girl if I loved salad, but am learning that I like crisp, fresh, vegetables cut up and stored in the refrigerator. We tend to cut up vegetables and make a fresh jar of dressing each week and it is a great "go to" snack, not to mention fills in as a nice appetizer for unexpected company. Down the road, I will share our recipe for broiled buffalo wings, which when paired with this ranch dressing will make you wonder why they are ever fried. Even a prepackaged salad, or simple lettuce wedge will stand out with this creamy, homemade ranch dressing.

Cooking is about taste, baking is about following the rules. Every one has different tastes, and that's what make this world a fun place to live. I'm about to tell you something crazy...DON'T FOLLOW THE RECIPE BELOW. At least not exactly, or every time. Do you like garlic? Add more! Can't stand dill? Leave it out! Don't like Greek Yogurt? Well, that one you should try at least once. If you find a greek yogurt you like (I love Fage 2%) you might find that it replaces sour cream very nicely. Use fresh herbs if you would like, but remember that dried herbs have a more intense flavor and that means you have to use more if you are using fresh. I have tried it both ways and find this actually better with dried, and a great way to use them before they get too old.   

Now - brace yourself, and grab a quart sized jar, and get ready to be amazed at your own ranch dressing!

Ranch Dressing

1 Quart Sized Jar with Lid
7 Ounce Container of Greek Yogurt (Fage 2% is my personal favorite)
7 Ounces Mayonaise (I live in the South and Dukes is the best!)
3 Tablespoons White Wine Vinegar
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Pepper
1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder (Or a clove of garlic, crushed)
1 Teaspoon Dried Dill Weed
1 Teaspoon Dried Parsley Flakes
1 Teaspoon Dried Chives

STEP ONE - Empty the 7 oz greek yogurt container into the jar.  Fill up the empty yogurt container with mayo and then spoon in into the jar.

STEP TWO - Put the rest of the above ingredients into the jar.  Put the lid on the jar, turn on some good music and SHAKE IT (The jar.)

STEP THREE - Taste it.  Add more of something that makes you happy.  I always add a little extra dill (okay, really I usually double the dill...I really like dill!)  If it is a little too thick, add a little extra white wine vinegar, or buttermilk, or even a little milk. Shake it up again, and refrigerate just gets better.  

STEP FOUR - Sit back and be impressed with your new talent for making homemade ranch dressing!

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