Posts Tagged ‘dip’

Buttermilk Ranch… from scratch

July 14, 2010

Skip to Ranch Dressing Recipe

Now anyone from the midwest will know what I mean when I say that I’m a “ranch connoisseur.”  It has taken 3 1/2 years in New York to break me of the habit of dipping my pizza, fries, sandwiches – you get the idea – in creamy ranch dressing.

“What finally broke me of the habit?” you might ask… Ranch Dressing in NYC is abysmal. There’s no other word to describe it.  A phrase that MIGHT describe this substance is “gelatinous cafeteria ranch.”  I’m not dipping my pizza into something that jiggles as one cohesive solid. Period.

I have to admit, Grandma Millie is responsible for my spoiled “ranch pallet.”  When you go to Millie’s two things are a given:

  1. You will leave with foil-wrapped leftovers that will NOT survive the 30 minute drive home.
  2. Dinner will be accompanied with a salad and homemade ranch.

It wasn’t until my Grandma emailed me the recipe to feature on the blog that I realized the recipe is for a DRY MIX that you combine with buttermilk and mayo.  In case you haven’t done the math as quickly as I did this is a recipe for a homemade Hidden Valley Ranch Packet.  Amazing.

(hopefully) AMUSING RANCH STORY: When I was studying in London for a month during college (thanks mom and dad), I met a really fun girl from Philadelphia named Danielle who was doing her graduate work in the UK.  Among other amusing personality traits, what made me bond with her was that she had her mother ship Hidden Valley Ranch Packets to her every month.  CLEARLY my initial reaction was similar to what I’m sure your thinking: “how trashy, REALLY?, typical American.”

After a month, I was ready to club Danielle over the head for a Ranch packet.  Seriously.  Now, I can make my own 🙂


  • 15 saltine crackers (crushed)
  • 1/2 cup dry minced onion
  • 1/2 cup dried parlsey flakes
  • 2 tablespoons dried dill weed
  • 1/4 cu onion salt
  • 1/4 cup garlic salt
  • 1/4 cup onion powder
  • 1/4 cup garlic powderWhen Ready to Serve:
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup buttermilk

What you’ll need to clean up after:

  • Mixing Bowl
  • Blender (optional)

Step One: Mix all dry ingredients together in a bowl, or in a blender. Store in an airtight container.

Step Two: When ready to serve, to make 2 cups of dressing: combine 1 tablespoon of dry mix with 1 cup mayonnaise and 1 cup buttermilk and mix thoroughly.

-Eat Hearty!


Charlie’s Corn Dip…Don’t Judge (It’s Delish)

May 14, 2010

Skip to Corn Dip Recipe

In my second installment to what is apparently “dip week”, I give you my Dad’s Corn Dip.  Yes, that’s right… corn dip.

It’s funny because my Dad really started cooking when I was 10 or 11 when my Mom went back to grad school, and yet the first thing I really remember my Dad making that I just couldn’t get enough of was corn dip.

It’s possible that my mild obsession is b/c of fond memories as the only times he makes it is for the Wright-Family-New-Years-Day-Smorgasboard (I don’t know why we used the word “Smorgasboard” but, to this day, that’s what we call it), and the occasional summer bbq.  It could also be b/c there is mayo, sour cream and cheese in the recipe and you eat it with Fritos (one of my favorite chips).

Whatever the reason, I really love this dip and enjoy bringing it out every now and then for my friends in the City so they can turn their nose up and say “that’s gross” only to be licking the bowl clean when I turn around.  Oddly, I find that to be the case with many midwester recipes… like Pink Salad.

Don’t judge this dip by it’s looks… at least take a courtesy bite (as my Mom likes to say) — I guarantee you won’t “courtesy tasting” until it’s gone.


  • 2 cans fiesta corn
  • 1 cup mayo
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 small can diced jalapenos
  • 1 bundle green onions (chopped)
  • 2-16oz pkg shredded cheese
  • 1 small can of green chiles

What you’ll have to clean up after:

  • Mixing Bowl
  • Wooden Spoon
  • Can opener

Step One: Combine all ingredients into a mixing bowl and stir.

Step Two: Cover and chill for at least an hour before serving (you don’t HAVE to, but it tastes much better).

-Eat Hearty!

What’s your Guacamole?

May 12, 2010

Guacamole Recipe

As we are (or were before the cold weather) heading into the summer months, it seems appropriate to talk about guacamole.

“I love guacamole.”  That’s really all I need to talk about it.

BBQ’s, drinks on the roof, or just an impromptu gathering: Guac is the perfect nosh.

It’s got everything I like: salt, a creamy texture, and you eat it with chips.  And there is NOTHING better to get a party and the conversation started than to prepare your guacamole with people standing around.  What’ s so interesting about the “guacamole prep” conversation is that it almost always hinges around what other people put into theirs.

So, I’d like to have a digital guac’ conversation: below is my “recipe” (it’s really all to taste, so my measurements are very conservative so as not to over spice)… please leave your guacamole recipe as a comment…unless you’re one of those super-secretive-recipe-people.  In that case, I’ll understand if you don’t participate.

Ingredients (makes around 6 cups)

  • 5 avocados (cut in half and pitted)
  • 1/2 medium red onion (diced)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1-2 diced tomatoes (around 1 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon salt (start with 1/2 and add to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • Juice of 2 limes

Step One: Scoop out avocado halves with spoon into a medium mixing bowl.  It helps to make 4 or 5 horizontal AND vertical cuts (making a criss-cross pattern) in the avocado before scooping it out — minimizes mashing later.

Step Two: Mash up the avocado with a fork or potato masher to desired consistency (I like mine a little lumpy).

Step Three: Add the remaining ingredients and stir.  Add additional amounts of spices to taste.

-Eat Hearty!