I thought long and hard about what my first post would be about. I always thought if I finally committed to a blog I would post one of my amazing baking recipes first. When I am unsure about what to do I always ask Mr. Secrets. Being the amazing husband that he is, he says, “You could post anything and it would be perfect.” Sweet, but so not helpful. We tossed around some options instead. His favorite recipes, my favorites, some of our friends favorites. We came up with some good stuff, which I am sure I will get to, but first impressions are important. Right?
The conversation was leaning towards savory dishes, because Mr. Secrets loves himself a good savory home cooked meal. And here I was feeling that one of my baked goods had to be the best thing to post first. I am gonna give away a secret now…Mr. Secrets…doesn’t really like baked goods…or really sweet treats at all. When we tell people this, they are shocked because baking is one of my best qualities. I always thought that is how I would snag a husband, who knew it would be my charming personality and good morals :p Although I do have to say I have seen him sneak one of my treats every so often, so maybe I will convert him to the baked goods side.
After some more discussion he declared the best thing I make is ranch dressing! I do have to sneak in those green salads with those hearty man meals. At first I must admit, I was buying bottled ranch (to each his own, but where I can I try to make my own). The homemade ranch idea came from a discussion about how good restaurant style ranch is one night after dinner, especially buttermilk ranch. I thought it can’t be hard to reproduce…and after buying way more bottled varieties than I wish to admit… it was worth a shot. After I gave it that shot it really was so easy I don’t know why I ever bought bottled in the first place. My husband tried it and proclaimed, “this is the best ranch I have EVER had.” Now we keep it regularly in the fridge and it is really good on everything: salad, veggies, buffalo wings, pizza…wherever your ranch desire lies. So Mr. Secrets with his infinite wisdom gave quite a good suggestion for the first Secrets Post. We do LOVE this dressing and it is one of the staples in our fridge. And many of my friends have also found it many times on my table and also asked for the recipe. So I hope it makes a happy addition to your life too. Here it is friends, enjoy!
I know the new trend is to try to cut back, which I think can be great, but my great grandmother always said, “Everything in moderation.” So say yes to the Mayo and Buttermilk here.
I use either a small mixing bowl or a glass measuring cup for the ingredients. Truthfully, its whatever is not in the dishwasher. Add 1 cup of buttermilk.
Add 1 cup of Mayo. Mix with a spatula or a fork. So far so good…I told you this was easy!
Once the Mayo and Buttermilk is mixed add Parsley, Garlic Salt, and Oregano. Mix it up a little more.
Next add Mustard Powder, Paprika, and Pepper to the party. A lil’ squirt of lemon. Mix it up. And that’s it the restaurant is now in your kitchen. So easy, so good.
I put my dressing in an old jar. A mason jar, recycled spaghetti jar…any old jar will do. (Or even your old ranch bottle that you won’t be needing any more?)
Hint: Taste as you are adding the herbs and spices…if you think it needs more…add more. Remember you can always add more, but you can’t add less. So use your tastes to guide you.
Better Than Restaurant Ranch:
1 cup Mayonnaise (you can use Greek yogurt too.. but I promise the Mayo is worth it)
1 cup Buttermilk
1/2 tsp Parsley
1/2 tsp Garlic Salt
1/4 tsp Oregano
1/8 tsp Mustard Powder
scant 1/8 tsp Paprika
Dash of Pepper
Squirt of Lemon Juice
Mix 1 cup of Mayonnaise and 1 cup of Buttermilk until smooth. Mix in herbs and spices and stir until combined. Add a squirt of lemon juice and mix one final time. Put Ranch Dressing in a sealed container of your choice and store in the fridge!
*Note: I use dried herbs not fresh. If you would like to go fresh usually the rule is about 1 tbsp fresh for 1 tsp dried.If you are looking for more of a ranch dip I would substitute the 1 cup of Buttermilk to 1/2 cup of Sour Cream and about a 1/4 cup Buttermilk or as much Buttermilk is needed to get the dip consistency you desire.
If you are a browser you will find many (and I mean MANY) differing variations on the subject of the spices to add to ranch dressing. This is the mix we have come to love. If you like the onion flavor go with 1/8 tsp of Onion Powder instead of Mustard. (and honestly if I run out of certain spices..I do change it a bit!) The best part of this recipe is you can easily adapt the spices to your tastes. In your kitchen you are the chef and you know your taste buds better than anyone!
Here’s to the Restaurant in Your Kitchen,