a super yummy ranch dressing (that isn’t a total pain to make)

I’ve been meaning to post about this for a while, but I had to get my courage up.  You see I’m an Aggie — a Utah State Aggie to be precise.  Here’s the fam on top of the famous USU True Aggie A on our most recent trip to the motherland.  ImageAs an Aggie, I can’t like anything about Brigham Young University, but I have to say, BYU Creamery’s ranch dressing is pretty darn good.  Thanks to Jillee from One Good Thing, we can now make it at home (and no one will know our association with BYU). 

You mix the spices up ahead of time so you basically have a quick and easy alternative to the ranch in a bottle you get from the shelf which is kind of scary.

ImageRanch Dressing Mix

1/4 cup black pepper

1 1/2 cup parsley flakes

1/2 cup garlic salt

2 tablespoons salt (I like Real Salt, holy cow is it good)

1/4 cup granulated garlic

3/4 cup granulated onion

2 tablespoons dill weed

Combine and store in an airtight container.  It will make about 3 and 1/2 cups of mix.  It will last FOREVER.  Trust me, we eat a lot of salad and I’m still working on my first container.


Ranch Dressing

1 and 1/2 cups mayonnaise (click here for a really good homemade recipe)

1 cup sour cream

1 cup buttermilk (Don’t keep buttermilk on hand, me either, put 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar in a measuring cup and fill to the cup line with milk.  Let it sit for 5 minutes and you’re good to go.)

1 teaspoon lemon juice

2 tablespoons ranch dressing mix

Wisk together and refrigerate for a couple of hours.  Makes a quart.

Play around with the amount of milk you use.  The original recipe calls for almost twice as much milk, but I found it just a tad too runny for me.  Hope you enjoy. 


poppy seed dressing — our absolute favorite


We really like salad around here, and we are in heaven right now as all we have to do is walk out the back door to our garden, pick a few lettuce leaves, and we’re ready to go.  Our absolute salad dressing comes from Our Best Bites.  It never fails to please, and I get asked for the recipe all the time, so I thought I’d share.  I follow the recipe almost exactly with only a few minor tweaks.


1/3 cup white vinegar

1 tsp salt

a dash of ground black pepper

3/4 cup organic evaporated cane juice

1 tsp prepared mustard

2 Tbsp sliced green onions

1/2 cup coconut oil

1 teaspoon poppy seeds

Combine the vinegar, salt, pepper, sugar and mustard.  I use my immersion blender, but you can easily use a regular blender as well.  While the blender is running, add the green onion and then oil (make sure your coconut oil is in its liquid state, seems obvious, but I cook with kids and apparently, it’s not.)  If you are using a regular blender, add the oil slowly until it is completely mixed.

Whisk in the poppy seeds.  Put it in a cute little container and you are done.  (ooh, that’s a really bad picture, sorry about that.)


Just a quick note, it has to be refrigerated so the oil will solidify.  You’ll need to make sure you get it out early enough to let it go back to it’s liquid state.  If you forget, you can put it in a hot water bath or on your white trash toaster oven to help speed the process along, not that I have a toaster oven or have ever had to do this.

I hope you enjoy this as much as we do.


down on the farm 2

It’s been an eventful couple of weeks around here.  Fall has actually kind of settled in — fall meaning temperatures in the high 70 and low 80s.  Nice, I know, and I’m super grateful for it.  It’s way nicer weeding the garden when it’s 75 degrees as opposed to 115 degrees.  Speaking of the garden, here it is (notice the weeds, obviously, I didn’t do as much weeding as I should have.)
ImageI’m so excited to have that lettuce on my plate with a little poppy seed dressing.   Oh, and did you notice the new fence.  Greg worked super duper hard this weekend, bless his heart, preparing for our new goats (no, we still don’t know when we’ll get cleared, buy we’re hopeful).  You can also see the new chicken coop — told you he worked hard.

ImageIn order to work on the new coup, Greg had to pull the laying boxes out of the old coup.  So we had to do a little improvising.


Don’t laugh, it totally worked.  He’s what I found this afternoon.


Yesterday I found six.  I think they must have figured out that I had just plopped down 7 bucks on two dozen eggs at Costco.  Stinkers.  Guess we’ll be having eggs for breakfast this week — every day.

The baby chicks are doing great and are not really babies any more.  Their fluff is mostly gone and has been replaced by feathers.  Sad, they were so cute.



I have to sway, these birds are kind of freaks.  Every time we walk by, they totally spaz out.  Oh well, as long as they lay eggs.

Ooh, check this out — no more poop in our front yard, just beautiful green grass and a field of alfalfa.  Hurray, it worked.


What a difference a few weeks make.

That’s about it on the farm — here’s what’s going on with the fam.

The week before last was homecoming for Heritage (the high school our kids attend).  It was quite the night for both Hayden and Tayrn.  Hayden helped lead the team to victory as the quarterback and Taryn was crowned homecoming queen.

The evening was not without its hiccups however.  You see, Taryn is student body vice president so she knew already that Ben, her date to homecoming, had won homecoming king (although she didn’t know that she had won, for sure anyway).  The coach had been told that Ben won as well and sent Ben over to where they were making the announcement.  Unfortunately, the person who announced the court wasn’t given the right memo and announced Ben’s best friend, McKay, as homecoming king — confusing?  Yea, which brings me to my favorite picture of the night thanks to Ben’s mom over at Denton Sanatorium.

consfused taryn

Thankfully, everything worked out in the end.  McKay was happy to turn over his crown and they all lived happily ever after as seen in these lovely pictures, again, thanks to Ben’s mom.



Their 1940s themed dance was held in an airport hanger — how cool is that?

Of course, we also celebrated Halloween — well I use the term celebrated loosely as I really can’t stand Halloween (I know, who hates Halloween).  I managed to get one picture before we ran out the door to our neighborhood “Fall Festival.”

boys halloween

Nice use of tin foil huh?

Last but not least, just in case you feel an ever so slight bit of jealousy creeping in because I am enjoying sunny 75 degree skies, check out this picture.


This is an Arizona Bark scorpion.  Last Sunday, one of these nasty little guys stung me on my hand.  It hurt — not like I’m going to die hurt, but I don’t want to get stung again hurt.  So here’s your little preparedness tip for the week.  If stung by a scorpion, wash the affected area with a mild soap and then apply a cold compress 10 minutes on 10 minutes off for a long time.

It took a good 24 hours for the pain to go away and about 36 for my had to feel normal again.  On the positive side, it got me out of making dinner.  Thanks family for taking care of it.  Phew, all done.