Archive for the ‘Sauces’ Category

Homemade Ranch Dressing
Raaaaaaaanch dressing!

Is there nothing it can’t improve?

Obviously a delicious dip, for veggies, chicken wings, chips, crackers, french fries, pizza (?)… but ranch is also a tasty mix in for mashed potatoes or even pasta, an excellent salad dressing, and of course, a pizza topping. I have no idea if its popularity extends to other continents, but in the USA, ranch dressing is king.

Herbs and seasoning

Now I know that most people probably have a favorite brand (or brands) of ranch. For many of us, this might be the one we had in elementary school but don’t know the name to. There’s a gazillion varieties in the grocery store. I have on occasion, in an effort to expand my ranch dressing horizons, tried branching out and away from the Kraft and Hidden Valley I grew up with. Sometimes, these are successful ventures, and sometimes, they are gross.

This week I ventured VERY far and tried my hand at homemade ranch. I’ve always been curious about doing so, but honestly, it’s difficult to justify buying a quart of buttermilk when all I need is half a cup. This weekend, however, I had the fateful alignment of both buttermilk AND sour cream in my fridge for other projects, and with fresh parsley and chives in season, the time was ripe.

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Ginger has never really been something I’ve thought about very much. Occasionally, my dad would add some ground ginger to stir fry, or I’d use some in fall desserts. But the farmers near Durham have been showcasing mounds of baby ginger at their tables for the last few weeks, and my curiosity about this knobby little root grew with each table I passed.

And with fortuitous timing, I came across this recipe for ginger apple chutney. Combined with apples & onions, also plentiful at local markets, this seemed like a perfect opportunity to buy a chunk of ginger. The recipe wasn’t written as one for canning, but I suspected the acid content would be high enough for canning and checked with a deft canning blogger to be sure.

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Hi there.

I don’t want this to be awkward.

But this is my first post in, oh, almost two weeks.

I’d love to say that I’ve been off somewhere exotic, tropical, and completely cut off from the internet to offer an excuse. But the truth is that I’ve been right here in good old North Carolina, I’ve just been working immense amounts of overtime. Which is great! It just means that the few hours I do have to myself, all I really feel like doing is collapsing into bed for a couple chapters of my book before I fall asleep.

I am really looking forward to this three day weekend not to relax, but to get caught up on cooking, editing photos, planting the next phase of my two little gardens, and on general maintenance of my life outside the office.

Some gardening, though, cannot be stopped. The basil continues its seemingly unending life, and while I know that I could just cut down all the plants to nip this in the bud, I’m now sorta curious to see how long they can last. But that decision means that I must find things to do with basil besides making pesto or layering it onto sandwiches. And voila! I stumbled across this recipe and decided immediately to try it out.

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