But Sugar is Sweeter

Homemade Ranch Dressing

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Yesterday was full of kitchen disasters.  You see our friend Adam is on a whorl wind cross-country tour, and stopped by our place for a visit.  Since I am on vacation for another 5 days, I figured what better way to spend my time than to make a dinner completely from scratch.  I had the menu all planned out, which consisted of homemade hamburger buns,  black bean burgers (for which I even cooked my own black beans), home-fried potato chips, homemade ranch dressing, DIY oreos, and pina coladas – none of which I had ever made from scratch before.  Despite the best intentions,  while we were sitting outside because our apartment was too filled with smoke to breathe, I firmly decided that never again will I make an entire menu that I have never tried before when we have house guests :-).  I also decided that on the rare occasion that we do fry something – John is going to be soley responsible (hot oil and I are not friends).

About halfway through the disaster, I wanted to scrap it all and go out to eat, but I’m actually really glad we didn’t because the dinner was salvageable and I got 2  keeper recipes out of it- the best ranch dressing you’ve ever tasted and out-of-this-world pina coladas.  Plus, it made for some funny memories (picture John running through the house wearing chemistry goggles so that his eyes wouldn’t burn from the smoke).  I really wish I would’ve taken pictures of all the mishaps that occurred, but I think I was too traumatized by the billows of smoke around me to remember. Here’s John and Adam recovering by playing super mario brothers:
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Despite the fact that I slightly burned my hand, and that we all suffered from some smoke inhalation, this ranch dressing really made it all worth it… it’s that good!  It’s the kind of thing that will  literally make you eat  every last vegetable you have in your fridge, and then some.  I tend to have this habit of buying veggies with the best intentions of eating them for snacks, but then somehow I forget about them and then eventually they look unappetizing.  With this ranch dressing around I’m pretty sure no vegetable will ever go bad in this house again.

It is the perfect summer treat – cool, refreshing, and goes great on just about anything.  While I normally think of ranch with vegetables, I actually made this dressing to go with the homemade chips (that John ended up cooking).  It’s coolness was the perfect complement to the warm, greasy, crispness of a potato chip.  I also think it would be great for dipping pizza crust (if that’s your thing), or pizza bites , or you could use it as regular old salad dressing (but believe me, no salad will ever taste the same).

I know dressings get a really bad rap for being unhealthy, and I’m not trying to pretend that you should drink this dressing by the cupful – but it’s quite a bit better for you than the store bought kind.  It also tastes worlds better than bottled “low-fat” dressing, despite the fact that it is made with low fat ingredients.   Depending on your taste, you can alter the amount of parsley, chives and dill you want to put into this.  I happened to add a lot, and it really gave the dressing that cool, summery flavor I was looking for.  I probably added a full cup of greens (parsley, chives & dill), but I will mention that the dill flavor came through strongly, so if you add it, tred lightly.  If you add any more than what I did, you will get something closer to a green goddess dressing – but nothing wrong with that, it will still taste amazing.   So make this,  no picnic will ever be the same.

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Homemade Ranch Dressing 

Makes about 2 cups.  Stays good for 2+ weeks (but good luck making it last that long :-))

  • 3/4 cup light sour cream
  • 3/4 cup light mayonnaise
  • 1 T. Olive Oil
  • 1 T. Lemon Juice (or juice from 1/2 a lemon)
  • 1 cup buttermilk (but you can use less if you like a very thick dip)
  • 1 clove of garlic, chopped
  • small bunch chives
  • small handful parsley
  • 2-3 dill springs (optional)
  • pinch of salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients except for 1/2 cup buttermilk in a food processor or blender, and blend until smooth (no need to pre-chop anything).  Check the consistency, and add remaining buttermilk until your desired consistency is reached.

Adapated from Confections of a Foodie Bride 

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4 responses

  1. Kathy Nagel

    I want to see some smoked photos 🙂

    June 23, 2011 at 11:26 pm

    • Me too!! judging from the look on Adam’s face, it most have been some smoking party!!

      July 2, 2011 at 3:25 pm

  2. Cynthia

    I just made this recipe this morning and it is AMAZING. Your Mom, Jeanette and I are going to walk over to the Brecksville Parade complete with Clydesdale’s :u) and then a cookout afterwards that includes this as a dip! Thanks Jacqueline!

    June 25, 2011 at 9:25 am

  3. Pingback: Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting « Spice Is Nice

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