Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Spaghetti and Salad with Homemade Ranch Dressing

Hye Country Heather was antagonizing me a few days ago, saying it was going to get real old, real quick trying to cook my way through PW's website and cookbook.  Deep down, she knows me and how a challenge makes the hair on my back stand up.  Okay, not really.  Forever strike that visual from your memory.....NO, I DO NOT HAVE HAIR ON MY BACK!  Eeeew!  Anyway, I have become quite inventive in making sure that there is something from her cookbook or website in our day.  Tonight, the kids requested spaghetti.  I must confess my imperfections before the whole world (okay, maybe just the 3 of you that occasionally read this), my spaghetti all starts with a can of DelMonte Traditional Spaghetti sauce....it costs a woppin' $.89!   I am not perfect and if I had been able to make a homemade sauce that tasted similar, I would ditch it in a heartbeat.  However, as of the present day, I can't, so I won't.  However, I do brown my meat, add in enough onions and garlic to ward off evil spirits and vampires.  Then, I add in whatever spices that makes my skirt fly up.....usually garlic powder (I love the stuff, I even add it to my brownies....NOT), onion powder, oregano, and maybe even some red pepper flakes.  What MUST go with spaghetti?  A salad of course.  My husband loves salad, atleast that is as it appears to an outsider.  But, what my husband really loves is lettuce who is acting as a carrier for Ranch Dressing.  For many years, there have been strict rules that are adhered to when it comes to such Ranch Dressing.  It may not be 'ready made', it must be mixed with Hidden Valley Ranch packets and you MUST use Hellman's mayonnaise (another something that I have tried to make homemade and can't recreate....if anyone has a recipe to share on that one, please let me know).  It's funny that at this stage of the game, my husband sits down to eat and it becomes a game trying to guess what part of the meal is from Pioneer Woman.  He knew instantly tonight and because of his strict rules on Ranch Dressing, I was curious to hear what he had to say.  Overall, he liked it....he did say initially it was a little bland.  This, however, is TOTALLY my fault.  You see, I don't do well making plans.  If so, I would have read the recipe earlier in the day, knowing that it was to appear at the dinner table.  I would have then known that you needed to mix it ahead and let it "marry" for a minimum of 2 hours.  Tit for tat...I thought it was wonderful and can't wait to sever my relationship to Hidden Valley...I am so tired of paying the CEO's salary. 

So, here's the recipe from her website.  It's worth making, but for the love of Pete, please make it and let it rest a while before making it's big debut!


1 clove (to 2 Cloves) Garlic

Salt To Taste

¼ cups Italian Flat-leaf Parsley

2 Tablespoons Fresh Chives

1 cup (real) Mayonnaise

½ cups Sour Cream

Buttermilk (as Needed To Desired Consistency)

White Vinegar (optional, To Taste)

Worcestershire Sauce (optional, To Taste)

Fresh Dill (optional, To Taste)

Cayenne Pepper (optional, To Taste)

Paprika (optional, To Taste)

Fresh Oregano (optional, To Taste)

Tabasco (optional, To Taste)

Preparation Instructions

Mince the garlic with a knife and then sprinkle about an 1/8 to ¼ teaspoons of salt on it and mash it into a paste with a fork. Chop the parsley, chives and any of the optional herbs very finely and add to the garlic.

In a bowl combine all ingredients, adding other optional ingredients as you wish, tasting frequently and adjusting seasonings as needed. Chill for a couple of hours before serving, thin with milk or buttermilk if desired.

Prairie Kerri

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