Saturday, September 3, 2011

Pico de Gallo aka Salsa Fresca

This is also from Pioneer Woman's website. I can't help myself, but this is just 'it'. I've tried to make pico and fresh salsa for years, and it was never quite right. This recipe finally gets the ratio of tomatoes to jalapeno to onion jussssst right, in my opinion. When I make this I have to quadruple the recipe, at the very least. I'm not kidding. It turns people into pigs. Pico-eating pigs. I hope you have enough chips. I have even made this and used it to marinate leftover grilled flank steak overnight. Then the next day, I sear the leftover marinated steak in a cast iron skillet, just long enough to heat it up, and make steak fajitas with portabello mushrooms, mushrooms, onions and red/yellow/orange bell peppers, sauteeing the vegetables in olive oil and Sal con Chile y Limon before heating the steak. YUM!

Pico De Gallo

5 Roma tomatoes (firm, not soft)
1/2 large or 1 small onion
3 jalapeno peppers
1 bunch cilantro
2-3 limes
Kosher Salt
*These quantities are approximate

Dice tomatoes, onion, and jalapenos. (I quarter my tomatoes lengthwise, then scrape the seeds and tomato goo out with a paring knife. I also remove the seeds and white membrane from inside the jalapenos.) Mince cilantro. Toss together in a bowl. Squeeze lime juice over chopped vegetables, add cilantro, toss again. Add salt to taste. Toss again.
***To make wonderful guacamole, just add some of this pico to mashed avocado.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Lemon-and-Bay-Leaf Pickled Green Beans

During one of my 57 visits to Lowe's in the last few months, I made an impulse purchase (okay, there were probably a few impulse purchases, but this one has proven the most fun).  It was a copy of Better Homes and Gardens Canning.  I'm working my way through this cookbook/magazine and have made a few recipes, and adapted a couple others.  I'm really enjoying it, and recommend it to anyone interested in canning as a food preservation method. 

Lemon-and-Bay-Leaf Pickled Green Beans
recipe from Better Homes and Gardens Canning special interest publication, 2011 edition

makes 4 pints

2 3/4 cups water
2 cups white vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon pickling salt
2 1/4 pounds (11 cups) fresh green and yellow beans, ends trimmed
8 bay leaves
4 teaspoons whole peppercorns (I used a mix of red, green and black)
8 strips lemon peel (use a vegetable peeler to make these, then squeeze the lemons for the juice called for in this recipe)

1.  In an 8-quart stainless-steel, enamel or nonstick heavy pot, combine the water, vinegar, sugar, lemon juice and pickling salt.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly until the sugar and salt dissolve.

2.  Add beans to liquid and return to a boil.  Boil for 1 minute.  Drain beans; reserve the liquid.  Set beans aside and return pickling liquid to a simmer and cover.

3.  Place 2 bay leaves, 1 teaspoon of peppercorns and 2 strips of lemon peel to each of the 4 hot, sterilized pint jars.  Pack the hot beans into them, lengthwise.

4.  Pour boiling pickling liquid over beans in jars, leaving 1/2-inch headspace.  Remove any air bubbles in filled jars.  Secure lids and rings.

5.  Process filled jars in a boiling-water canner for 10 minutes (start timing when the water returns to boiling after adding the jars).  Remove jars from canner and cool on wire racks.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Southwest Chicken Sliders

These are very easy to make--in fact they were a sort of accidental creation, but now I crave them often.  I serve them topped with sour cream and the pickled red onions that I posted about previously (Red Chile Short Rib Tacos aka Taco Toppings).  The burger is a simple mix of ground chicken,  olive oil, salt, hot sauce (I use Tapatio) and southwest seasoning (Penzey's Southwest Seasoning or Pampered Chef Southwestern Seasoning Mix).  If I had it, I'd add sliced avocado or some guacamole to the list of toppings!  Don't forget the tomato!  The one pictured is straight from my garden.  Yum!  I recommend cooking these in a skillet so they don't dry out--I personally don't grill ground chicken due to this, but it's certainly a matter of personal preference.  Please note the variances in seasonings in the recipe guidelines below--I posted these varied amounts keeping in mind that everyone has difference comfort levels when it comes to salt and other seasonings. 

Southwest Chicken Sliders 
serves 4

1 pound ground chicken
1 tablespoon olive oil
several dashes of hot sauce
1/2-1 teaspoon of salt
1-2 teaspoons of southwest seasoning

Mix all ingredients and form into patties (I make 8 sliders from a pound of ground meat but these would make great regular sized burgers, too!).  

Cook in a skillet on medium-high heat for approximately 5 minutes per side or until chicken is fully cooked.  

Place cooked sliders on buns and top with your choice of toppings.

3/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt (I lowered this amount)
1 thinly sliced red onion

Combine ingredients 1-4 and bring to a boil.  Allow mixture to cool for at least 5 minutes.  Toss with onion and refrigerate at least overnight.

I usually make a double batch as these keep very well in the refrigerator--I love these and always have some in my fridge!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Scallops with Creamy Pesto

I can't believe I'm saying this, but it's actually been too hot to stand outside and grill, so I've been dredging up recipes that get me in and out of the kitchen quickly.  More accurately, this is a recipe that only requires your stove to be on for about 5 minutes.  Minimal ingredients, fast and really tasty.  Serve with veggies or pasta (which may require the stove to be on a little longer ;-P--make sure it's done before the scallops so they don't have to sit as they are best served immediately).

Scallops with Creamy Pesto

1 ½ lbs. sea scallops, patted dry

1/3 c. prepared pesto

2 tbsp. heavy whipping cream

1 tsp. minced garlic

olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste

  1. Heat 1 ½ tsp. olive oil and minced garlic in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add scallops and cook just 4 minutes (2 minutes per side), until golden and barely opaque at the center.  Remove from skillet to plate and cover with a paper towel.  Turn off stove burner.  Add pesto and cream to still-warm skillet and stir to blend.
  2. Spoon cream sauce onto plates and top with scallops.  Add salt and pepper, to taste, though this dish really doesn't require much of either.

Serves 4

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Creamy Dill Potato Salad with Eggs

I've tried numerous potato salad recipes.  I have several favorites for more of a specialty-type potato salad, but this is more of a creamy potato-and-hard-boiled-egg salad.  I found the recipe on Allrecipes but took some liberties and made several changes.  The original recipe is titled:  My Sister's Favorite Potato Salad...Ever.

Creamy Dill Potato Salad with Eggs
12 red potatoes, cut into 1" chunks
6 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon mustard powder (or 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard)
2 tablespoons dried dill weed
1 teaspoon celery seed
1 teaspoon salt
freshly ground pepper, to taste

1.  Place cubed potatoes in a large pot with water to cover.  Bring to a boil and cook for 15 minutes.  Drain and allow to cool.

2.  In a large bowl, combine all ingredients.  For best flavor, refrigerate overnight.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Red Chile Short Rib Tacos aka Taco Toppings

A recent issue of Food Network Magazine contained a feature on tacos, with recipes presented by various popular chefs.  I decided to try Bobby Flay's Red Chile Short Rib Tacos.  I did some research and decided to substitute brisket for the short ribs I had difficulty locating at my local Kroger.  Perhaps my substitution of meat greatly affected the flavor, but I wasn't fond of this dish as a whole, though some portions of it I'll carry to other Mexican cooking recipes that I've tried and love.  The recipe consists of several parts--you make the meat, then you also make a homemade queso sauce, pickled red onions and green chile relish to top the tacos.  

I felt that the port overwhelmed the pepper flavor I expected to shine in the meat part of this dish, making the meat seem very heavy and pot-roast-flavored.  The queso sauce just wasn't what I was looking for (though the cheese lovers who tried the dish really liked the queso--personally I prefer some good Crema Mexicana on my tacos as opposed to cheese).  Now, onto the pickled red onions and green chile relish.  I loved the flavor of both these taco topping and will definitely make both again.  The only change I'll make is to reduce the canola oil to 1 teaspoon in the green chile relish.  I could taste the oil and felt the amount imparted an oily texture to the relish that I could easily eliminate.

 Preparing the brisket
 Infusing broth with red chiles
 Red chile brisket
 Red chile tacos with pickled red onions, green chile relish and fresh cilantro

Monday, June 13, 2011

Potlatch-Seasoned Salmon Grilled on a Cedar Plank

This is a recipe that bears repeating now that summer is here!

Over the years I've had several opportunities to enjoy salmon grilled atop a cedar plank. Each time I remember thinking "Oh, this is easy. I can do this at home. No sweat." If only that were ENTIRELY true. My gas grill didn't allow for the flame down to be adjusted to a point low enough to keep from catching the cedar plank on fire (bad, because you may not realize it right away since the grill lid is closed for cooking). Also, I wasn't soaking the plank properly--you need to place something heavy (such as an unopened can of soup or vegetables) on the plank to keep it fully submerged in water for several hours (I let it soak all day or even overnight). Now that I feel that I have mastered my charcoal grill, I decided to try again. Charcoal grills seem to work better for this cooking application because once the coals of charcoal burn down, there is no actual flame left to ignite the board. I use one of my all-time favorite seasonings:  Williams-Sonoma's Potlatch Seasoning. They also carry the cedar planks, but many stores carry these now (I'm able to find mine at Kroger, Target and Lowe's). Make sure the wood is UNTREATED!

Potlatch-Seasoned Grilled Salmon on a Cedar Plank

1 cedar plank (soaked)
2 lbs. fresh salmon (with the skin still on)
2 heaping TEAspoons Potlatch Seasoning
enough olive oil to make a paste of the seasoning (but no more than that...stir the olive oil and seasoning together to make a thick paste)

Prepare your charcoal grill. Let the coals burn down until there is no more flame. The temperature will be between 350-400 degrees. While the coals are burning down, prepare the fish as follows:

Place the salmon (skin down) on the soaked cedar plank. Spread the paste evenly over top of the salmon filet.  You can use a silicone basting brush or even your fingers. Press the seasoning into the flesh of the fish gently--do not rub and tear the flesh of the fish.

When the coals are ready, place the plank on the grill and close the lid. The salmon will take approximately 20 minutes to cook, but this can vary due to grill temperature and thickness of your salmon filets.

Monday, May 30, 2011

A few words on "extreme couponing"...

Who doesn't, save money?!?!?  At this point, who doesn't need to save on purchases?  There's more buzz than ever before about people really trying to work coupons and customer loyalty programs to maximize their savings.  I watched one episode of the show "Extreme Couponing" and I can assure you, it was the last one I will ever watch.

One of the women profiled really caught my attention.  I may be fuzzy on my details; so while my opinions may be a little misguided, here are two particular points I took away from this person's story:
  • She spoke of spending $70 on a "clipping service".  Whether this was for one shopping trip or, say, a month, was unclear.  However, what is clear is that this money she spent to "buy" coupons needs added to her "total" in some way.
  • She also spoke of carrying $35,000 of insurance on her hoard of soap, toothbrushes and candy bars.  This is another cost that needs to be added to the total that makes viewers "ooh" and "aah" over how much this woman saved.
Essentially, I think this is another level of hoarding.  Filling up space with items that can't conceivably be used before their expiration dates (or in some cases, can't conceivably be used during a LIFETIME) is not in any way saving money.  I see where families do benefit from stacking savings from coupons and other savings programs.  However, this "extreme couponing" track seems to advocate hoarding and gluttony, in my opinion.  Dragging home anything you don't need or can't use, is wasteful.  I do see instances where folks are using savings to purchase items that they donate.  That I can get behind.  The family with 457 candy bars?  I just can't.

    Saturday, May 28, 2011

    Welcome Summer and the Sun Tea Jar

    Memorial Day weekend is here and it's official.  Summer is here!  It's only been this last week that it FEELS to me like summer is anywhere nearby.  Maybe this has to do with the fact that while out and about the evening of MAY 3RD, I wore a SKI PARKA.  At any rate, this last week has finally found me turning on the central air, planning, buying  and planting the annuals in my summer flower pots for around the house and getting my hands dirty in the raised beds of my vegetable and herb gardens.

    Now, I'm a year-round lover of iced tea (Luzianne tea bags, heavy on the sugar, please).  I prefer it to soda and always have a pitcher in the fridge.  Summer comes and I can't keep the pitcher full.  While I was grocery shopping the other day with the kids, I saw that our friends at Kroger had the glass sun tea jars I remember my mom and grandma sitting out in the sun each year.  I had to have one!  And this morning, its maiden voyage on my deck:
    It couldn't be easier to make.  Just fill the jar with tap/filtered water (NOT boiling!!!), 4-6 tea bags and sugar (I like my tea to be like hummingbird food, so I use 2 cups...don't judge me ;-P).  Allow the jar to sit in the sun until the tea is brewed to your preferred strength then bring the jar in and pop it in the fridge or on your kitchen counter.  Serve over ice with a nice slice of lemon.


    Sunday, May 22, 2011

    Veal Saltimbocca Burgers

    These are just plain amazing.  A new burger twist worth trying.  I pick up the ground veal at Wheeling's Miklas Meat Market

    Saltimbocca Burgers
    Rachael RayFrom Every Day with Rachael Ray
    September 2007

    1 1/2 pounds ground veal
    3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
    15 leaves fresh sage, thinly sliced
    Salt and pepper
    1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
    4 slices prosciutto (about 1/4 pound)
    6 ounces fontina cheese, sliced or shredded
    Eight 1-inch-thick slices semolina bread
    2 cups chopped romaine lettuce from the heart
    Juice of 1/2 lemon

    1. In a medium bowl, mix the veal, garlic and sage; season with salt and pepper. Form 4 patties, pressing your thumb in the center of each burger to prevent it from bulging while cooking.

    2. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 2 tablespoons EVOO, 2 turns of the pan, over medium-high heat. Add the burger patties and cook through, about 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Top the burgers with the prosciutto and fontina. Cover the skillet to melt the cheese, about 3 minutes.

    3. While the burgers cook, toast the bread and set aside.

    4. In a medium bowl, dress the lettuce with the remaining 2 tablespoons EVOO and the lemon juice; season to taste with salt and pepper. Set each burger on a toasted bread slice; top with the romaine and another toasted bread slice.

    Monday, April 25, 2011

    Ramps, y'all! Again!


    Tuesday, April 12, 2011

    Oven-Roasted Shrimp

    This isn't a recipe so much as a jumping off point.  Think of all the ways you can use this method of cooking shrimp.  It's one of the easiest ways I've encountered to cook shrimp.  I line a large rimmed baking sheet with a few layers of foil and just throw away the mess when I'm done.  Please note that temperature and cooking time is for shrimp that still have tails and peels ON.

    Oven-Roasted Shrimp 
    • 1 lb. shrimp (tails and peel still intact)--size medium (21-30 count per pound)
    • 1/4 cup olive oil
    • 1/2 stick butter
    • salt and pepper
    • lemon juice
    Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Toss the shrimp with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper, then spread on a foil-lined baking sheet.  Scatter pats of butter over the shrimp.  Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the shrimp are pink and opaque.

    There are a number of modifications that can be made to this recipe.  You can add garlic and make a scampi-type shrimp, coat them in Old Bay or blackening seasoning, lemon pepper seasoning...the list goes on and on.

    Friday, March 4, 2011

    Oatmeal Cookies with Icing Drizzle

    I came across this recipe for Iced Oatmeal Cookies on a favorite food blog of mine, Smitten Kitchen.  The SK blogger adapted a cookie recipe from cookbook Good to the Grain.  After following the recipe exactly the first time, I jotted down these changes.  They tested out to make the cookies exactly as I wanted them.  My changes were to eliminate buttering the cookie sheets--this makes for a more browned, crisp cookie than I prefer to eat--so if you prefer this, slather away with the butter.  I'm warning you, however, to watch cookies baked on buttered sheets very closely.  They can burn in an instant.  Additionally, I eliminated the cinnamon from the icing, and used just whole milk and confectioners sugar.  Lastly, these were made smaller than shown on SK, using the Small Pampered Chef Scoop (appx. 1 tablespoon).

    Try these!  They're excellent in most any incarnation!

    Saturday, February 12, 2011

    Firehouse Breakfast Bake, Take 2

    This recipe was sent to me by my friend Kara (hi, Kara!!!).  The first time I made this, the only change I made was omitting 1 teaspoon of garlic salt from the recipe.  This is fantastic and a great choice if you want something that is a little different than the usual egg breakfast bakes.  The consistency of this is like that of a quiche, but there is no actual crust. 

    I made the egg bake again this morning and I've made a few changes that I think make it a little easier and a little better.  Next time I make this I will also add a cup or so of diced fresh mushrooms.  It may be clear by now that I am a relentless recipe tinkerer.

    -12 eggs
    -2 cups rice, cooked (I use Trader Joe's frozen packs of brown rice--no cleanup!)
    -1/2 stick butter, melted (I used unsalted)
    -16 oz. cottage cheese, small curd
    -1 envelope Knorr Leek Soup mix
    -1/4 teaspoon black pepper
    -1 package (16 oz. bag) frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained and squeezed of excess water
    -1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

    In a large bowl, beat the eggs, then add the cooked rice, melted butter, cottage cheese, soup mix, pepper, drained spinach and mix together.

    Sprinkle the grated Parmesan cheese over the bottom of a 13x9" greased baking dish to make the "crust". Spread the egg mixture in the dish, covering all the cheese.

    Cover and refrigerate overnight (I didn't have time to do this the first time I made it, and I just baked a few minutes longer). Remove from refrigerator 30 min. prior to baking. Bake uncovered at 325 degrees for 40-50 minutes. Cool 15-20 min. before cutting.

    Serves 12

    Thursday, February 10, 2011

    Shrimp Enchiladas

    This recipe was on the cover of Bon Appetit last summer.  I saved it and then didn't come across it again until recently when I had company on the way for the weekend and a craving for Mexican food. 

    The actual title of the recipe is "Shrimp and Cotija Enchiladas".  Cotija cheese is a hard, white Mexican cheese made from cow's milk.  If this is an ingredient you think you'll have trouble purchasing, you can substitute feta cheese.  I was able to make a trip to Reyna Foods in the Strip District of Pittsburgh to get most of the ingredients for this dish that I would have trouble getting at my local Kroger store.  It's a great little store that carries lots of Mexican/Latin American staples, novelties, various fresh guacamole and salsas as well as in-store-made tortillas and corn chips.  I was able to get the only other ingredient that isn't readily available to me at home in Wheeling, which is Crema Mexicana.  This is the Mexican version of sour cream (which, of course you can use as a substitute in this recipe).  True Crema is sour cream's richer, more decadent cousin.  If you can get your hands on it, you won't regret it.  It's delicious!

    For the first time making this dish, I did follow the recipe closely.  I thought it was wonderful, but I do have just a few changes that I will make when (not if, WHEN!) I make these enchiladas again.  

    • I will substitute flour tortillas for the corn tortillas called for in the recipe.  This is really a matter of personal preference.  The one modification I did make was to use both flour and corn tortillas in this dish.  The recipe directs that both sides of each tortilla be dredged in the freshly made salsa verde.  I liked how the flour tortillas soaked the flavor up more (and I have to be honest, I just don't care for the texture of corn tortillas--again, personal taste should guide you, here)
    • The recipe calls for the finished enchiladas to be topped with thinly sliced avocado and red onion for serving.  The next time I make these, I will dice the avocado and red onion and marinate it in lime juice then top each enchilada with the mixture along with fresh cilantro.

    Tuesday, February 1, 2011

    Cast Iron Skillets and Quesadillas

    Let's also call this post a few other things.  Such as, "Sneaking more healthy food into your kids' dinner" (yes, that again).  Or, "Feed your inner child" (or your real children).

    Quesadillas are a popular quick meal in my house, and there are so many things you can do with them.  Of course, my kids are partial to the standard "chicken and cheese, please".  This isn't so much a recipe post, but a way to start thinking about all the fillings you can use for these quick-to-the-table lunch and dinner options.

    I found a way to hide some more nutrition in our chicken and cheese quesadillas.  I pureed a can of great northern beans (used my food processor and added just enough water that they blended into a smooth paste) and spread them on one of the tortillas, then added shredded cheese and diced chicken breast.  The color and mild flavor of the great northern beans make them virtually undetectable by even the pickiest eater.  Yay!  

    Now, onto the real fun part.  I'm sure many other people have thought of this before it popped into my mind, but go with me anyway:  S'MORES QUESADILLAS!  I had some leftover whole wheat tortillas, mini marshmallows and chocolate chips.  I always have butter and my trusty cast iron skillet.  Oh my.  Where have these been all my life?  Easy.  Yummy.  Go make yourself one, or two.  Or ten.  I won't judge you.

    Some other quesadilla ideas:
    • peanut butter and jelly
    • peanut butter and banana
    • pizza
    • nutella and cherries
    • use some leftover Buffalo Chicken Dip as a filling
    • Ranch Chicken (diced chicken, ranch dressing, cheddar cheese and diced red/yellow bell pepper)
    Just think of all the things you can do!  Do you have any favorites?

    Thursday, January 20, 2011

    Oven-Roasted Beef Tenderloin with Garlic Horseradish Cream

    Oven-Roasted Beef Tenderloin with Garlic Horseradish Cream
    adapted from a recipe found on



    1 large head of garlic, whole
    1 teaspoon olive oil
    pinch salt
    2 cups heavy cream
    ¼ cup drained prepared horseradish
    1/8 teaspoon white pepper
    ½ teaspoon salt


    2.5-3 pound center-cut beef tenderloin roast
    3 teaspoons kosher salt (flakes)
    1 teaspoon cracked black pepper (preferably fresh-ground)
    1 teaspoon dried oregano
    1 teaspoon garlic powder
    1/2 teaspoon paprika (preferably smoked or Hungarian)
    1 tablespoon olive oil

    Make sauce:

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

    Cut off and discard top ¼ of garlic head, exposing all the cloves.  Drizzle garlic with oil and sprinkle with pinch of salt.  Wrap garlic tightly in foil.  Roast garlic until tender, about 1 hour.  Remove from oven, open foil and allow to cool.

    While garlic roasts, simmer cream, salt and white pepper in a 2-quart heavy saucepan, stirring occasionally until reduced to about ¾ cup, about 30 minutes.  Transfer reduced cream to a bowl and set aside.

    Squeeze roasted garlic into a small bowl, discarding the skins.  Mash together with the prepared horseradish.  Blend the cream and garlic/horseradish mixture using an immersion or other blender.  Chill until ready to serve.

    Prepare and Roast Tenderloin:

    (I mix up the rubbing paste for the roast ahead of time and let it sit so the flavors blend)  Stir together salt, oregano, garlic powder, paprika and olive oil into a thick paste.  Rub the paste all over the surface of the tenderloin. 

    Place the tenderloin on a foil-covered baking sheet (with raised sides to contain any juices).  Allow the roast to come to room temperature before baking (this will take an hour or so and will not harm the meat in any way). 

    Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

    Take the thin ends of the tenderloin and tuck them under the center.  Cover the roast tightly with foil.

    Roast on center rack for 20 minutes.

    Remove from oven and let stand (do NOT uncover) for 20 minutes.

    Remove foil and continue to roast for another 15-20 minutes.  This will cook the roast to medium-rare, which is optimal for this cut of beef.

    Allow roast to stand for 10 minutes before carving into slices and serving with chilled garlic horseradish cream.

    Saturday, January 8, 2011

    Happy New Year! Go forth and eat...Homemade Ranch Dressing!

    Welcome, 2011!  I hope it's a good year for everyone.  I know it promises to be a busy one for me.  A while ago I recommended a favorite food blog of mine, Annie's Eats.  She posted a great recipe for homemade ranch dressing.  Who doesn't love ranch dressing?  No, really.  Tell me.  Who?  If you know someone who doesn't?  Make them try this.  I've tried a couple different recipes and this is my favorite (Pioneer Woman has another good recipe).  I only made one modification--the recipe calls for 1 tablespoon lemon juice.  I prefer to use 1 tablespoon white vinegar instead.  Several homemade ranch dressing recipes use a small amount of chopped fresh dills, so that is something else you may wish to add to yours.  Enjoy!

    Homemade Ranch Dressing 

    3/4 cup mayonnaise (REAL, though you can use light)
    3/4 cup sour cream (light can be used)
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    1 tablespoon white vinegar (see notes above)
    1/4-1 cup buttermilk (I like to use the full amount)
    1 small bunch fresh chives, chopped
    small handful chopped fresh parsley
    1-2 cloves garlic, chopped
    kosher salt (to taste, appx. 1/2 teaspoon)
    freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

    Combine all ingredients except buttermilk, salt and pepper in a food processor (blender or whisk and mixing bowl work as well).  While mixing, add in the buttermilk 1/4 cup at a time until desired taste and consistency is reached.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Refrigerate in an airtight container.

     ingredients before blending