I am gettin pretty frustrated with my cracker experiments, %$#@ Ritz crackers! Why do I have to like them so much? Anyway, I decided to focus on something that was going better. I was planning salad as part of lunch today and noticed that my dressing bottle was almost out. Since I vowed that I wouldn't buy more, I had to make ranch dressing from scratch today. The verdict... it was a hit (at least with 3 and 4 year olds). I used the recipe from Kitchen Stewardship and I think it tastes much like what I'm used to buying. Keep in mind that I absolutely cannot stand ranch dressing, but I tasted what came from my bottle and what came from my blender and they tasted very similar (gross in my opinion, but similar!). The only noticeable difference was that the homemade version wasn't as thick. If that becomes an issue for my older children, I'm thinking that I might be able to add cornstarch or maybe dry milk. We'll see. I filled the bottle I had and used it on the salads for lunch. No one noticed and even when they later had carrot coins and broccoli with the ranch as a dip, it was eaten without question.
Here is the recipe I used.
3/4 c. mayo (I used store bought mayo. I have a whole jar and the ingredients seem ok, but I'll make my own when I run out.)
1/2 c. sour cream or plain yogurt (I used all plain yogurt.)
1 Tbs red wine vinegar
2 cloves crushed fresh garlic (I only had the jar of minced, so that is what I used.)
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/4+ tsp. each: dried parsley, dill weed, chives (I didn't have dried chives, so I doubled up on the parsley.)
a few shakes cayenne pepper
black pepper to taste, preferably freshly ground
salt to taste (I threw in a couple shakes.)
I tossed the mayo and yogurt in the blender and thoroughly blended it and then added everything else and blended more. It filled my bottle about 3/4 full, so that should be enough for a week or so. I'm thinking that this will keep as long as your yogurt is good-maybe 2-3 weeks. I'm big on the taste and see method of deciding if foods are good or bad. :)
As for the rest of lunch, we had homemade hamburger helper with wheat pasta, steamed peas and an oatmeal animal cookie. Of course everyone ate their salads and wanted more. I didn't feel like cutting up a whole head of lettuce for 2-3 salads, so I offered carrot coins and small pieces of broccoli. That encouraged 2 more kids to wolf down their salads so they could have carrots with ranch. Peer pressure can be a wonderful thing!
While I was making the ranch, I figured I would make a batch of Caesar. That was a disaster. I'm searching for another recipe!