Ranch Dressing

I don’t eat ranch dressing often, but when I do there is a particular brand that I love. Whenever I thought of making it myself, I thought that required using a dry packet versus the bottle. Oh, silly me. No more packets for us! I’m in love with this dressing. The paprika and dash of hot sauce give it a nice zing, without being too spicy or hot. This dressing totally knocks that other brand out of the picture for me. I’ll also admit, chopping all of the herbs is a stress reliever for me. The action of chopping and smelling the lovely aromas is a nice bonus to something that tastes so good!

 

Ranch Dressing

Ingredients

  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup real mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup Italian flat-leaf parsley leaves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh chives
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Dash hot sauce
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup buttermilk (as needed for desired consistency)

Mince the garlic with a knife and then sprinkle on the salt and mash it into a paste with a fork.

In a bowl, combine the garlic paste, mayonnaise, sour cream, parsley, dill, chives, Worcestershire sauce, black pepper, vinegar, paprika, cayenne, and hot sauce. Add the buttermilk to desired consistency and mix to combine, tasting frequently and adjusting seasonings as needed. Chill for a couple of hours before serving, thinning with more buttermilk if needed.

Keep refrigerated and it will last 2 weeks. Makes 12 oz.

Source: The Foodnetwork, Ree Drummond

My husband and I are both big fans of mint chocolate chip ice cream. Every time I go to our local ice cream shop in the Summer I swear I’m going to try something new, but I can’t. I just love their Mint Chip Ice cream! What is really funny is I haven’t made a version of it at home. I’ve had an ice cream machine for 2 years now. That’s just odd. First, I didn’t have peppermint extract, then I didn’t have chocolate morsels. I’d see what I did have and make another flavor. I even made my Mint Andes Chip Ice Cream, which was very good. For my daughter’s birthday party I had my mind set on making mint chocolate chip ice cream. At 8:00 pm at night I started. I realized yet again, I didn’t have mini-morsels. What did I do? I took the regular ones and chopped them in half! Normally, I’d just deal with it, but this was for little kids and I didn’t want them to have to chew their ice cream. So, while this recipe is deemed “easy,” if you take my route it may not be!

This is a great recipe and there are no eggs involved so it is as simple as stirring a few ingredients together and popping it in your ice cream machine. Sounds simple and good to me! I normally don’t like the look of adding food coloring, but this was for a kids party and thought it would be fun, and easy to tell the difference between the chocolate chip ice cream!

When I told my daughter we were making ice cream, she immediately went and grabbed the stand mixer bowl! She knows they go together, but doesn’t realize there is a special attachment. I’ve been making mass amounts of ice cream for her upcoming second birthday party and she yells, “Ice cream” whenever she hears the stand mixer whirling.

Easy Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Ingredients

  • 2 cups 2% milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp peppermint extract
  • 3 drops green food coloring (optional)
  • 1 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips

In a large bowl, stir together the milk, cream, sugar, salt, vanilla extract, and peppermint extract until the sugar has dissolved. Color to your liking with the green food coloring.

Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. After about 10 minutes into freezing, add the chocolate chips. After the ice cream has thickened, about 30 minutes later, spoon into a container and freeze for 2 hours minimum.

Source: allrecipes.com

Cadbury Creme Eggs

I love Easter candy. I think it is better than any other holiday candy. Halloween is just candy you can get every day, Easter candy is special. I am always debating if I want Cadbury Mini-eggs, Cadbury Creme Eggs, jelly beans, and the beloved Peeps! As you know, I’m always a fan of making things from scratch, but when it comes to candy it has become a necessity. My daughter has a severe peanut allergy and most candy are made in factories that also have peanuts around. I want her to be able to enjoy what others can, so there will a lot of candy making going on from now on.

There is a lot of down time with this recipe, but it’s worth it and the actual making process is very easy. Rolling into an egg shape is fairly easy as well, so there is no need to go out and buy a candy mold just for these.

Cadbury Creme Eggs

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 4 drops yellow food coloring
  • 2 drops red food coloring
  • 12 oz. milk chocolate chips
  • 2 Tbsp shortening

Combine the corn syrup, butter, vanilla, and salt in a large bowl. Beat well with an electric mixer. Add sugar, one cup at a time, mixing by hand after each addition. Remove about 1/3 of the mix and place in a small bowl. Add yellow and red food coloring and stir. Cover both mixes and refrigerate at least 2 hours. When mixes are firm, roll a small ball from the orange filling and wrap around it a portion of the white filling that is twice that size. Form into the shape of an egg and place onto a cookie sheet that has been brushed with shortening. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Refrigerate 3 to 4 hours. Combine chocolate chips with shortening in glass bowl. Microwave on high for 1 minute. Then stir and microwave for another minute. Use a fork to dip each center into the chocolate. Place candy onto wax paper to dry. After 1 to 2 hours of chilling, dip each candy one more time and chill.

Makes about 26 1.5 inch eggs.

Source: Insider’s Recipes Master Edition

Pepperoni Pizza Puffs

I’m not the pizza maker in our family. I make the dough and come up with topping ideas, but Alan is the one who tosses and slides the pizza dough off of the pizza peel. If I do it, we use the word “rustic” in regards to its appearance! What I can do is whip up these tasty morsels and have the whole house smell like pizza. My husband and daughter can come in and out of the kitchen and pop one in their mouths. They are really the perfect little snack and I feel good about conquering something in the pizza world!

You can mix up the toppings to your liking so the world is your pizza muffin oyster when it comes to these. Enjoy! This recipe makes 24 mini-muffins.

Pepperoni Pizza Puffs

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup cubed pepperoni
  • 1/2 cup marinara sauce

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 24 cup mini-muffin pan. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, Italian seasoning, salt, and red pepper flakes. Whisk in the milk and egg. Stir in the mozzarella, Parmesan, and pepperoni and let stand for 10 minutes.

Stir the batter and divide among the mini-muffin cups. Bake until puffed and golden, about 20 to 25 minutes.

Serve the puffs with marinara sauce for dipping.

Source: Lick the bowl good, adapted from Everyday with Rachael Ray

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