Friday, October 11, 2013

Homemade Maple Syrup...Well, Almost!
You're probably wondering why I said "almost" in the title.  Well, it goes without saying that maple syrup comes from a maple tree and this was made right here in my kitchen.  So just to clarify...this is syrup, it is maple flavored but it didn't come from a tree.  Think of it as a tastier version of the kind you buy in the store minus all the ingredients that you can't pronounce.  This recipe makes about four cups, or fills about four small maple syrup bottles.  I actually think it taste a lot like REAL maple syrup and less like the kind from the store.  See what you think:)
You will need:
4 Cups of sugar
2 T. of corn syrup
1/2 Cup of brown sugar
2 Cups of Water
1 t. of vanilla extract
1 t. of maple extract
Stir together first four ingredients in a saucepan until sugar dissolves.  Heat over medium heat until boiling:  boil for about two minutes.  Remove from heat and cool for 10 minutes.  Stir in vanilla and maple flavoring.  Enjoy!
By the way, this recipe comes from my favorite book, Christmas All Through the House from the lovely folks over at Gooseberry Patch.  They have the best cookbooks!  Feel free to check them out, but beware once you have one of their cookbooks you will want them all!  Blessings!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Best Ranch Dressing...Ever!

If you love ranch dressing like must make this.  It is the best ranch dressing I've ever made.  I have tried many different varieties but I just do not like any ranch dressings sold at the store, especially the ones in plastic bottles.  They just don't taste good to me.  I've been making my own for a while because it taste so much better and my kids love it as well, which means even my picky-eater daughter will eat salad.  AMEN!  The only thing I don't like is that it does use a packaged dressing mix, which I try to avoid because of all the added ingredients, but this is one time I'm happy to look the other way.  The results are so worth it.  It only takes a few minutes to whip up and even fewer to eat up.  Enjoy!
You will need:
1 package of buttermilk ranch dressing mix (I used Hidden Valley)
1/2 cup of sour cream
1/2 cup of mayonnaise (I prefer Hellman's)
1/2 cup of buttermilk
1/4 tsp. of ground pepper
1/4 tsp. of cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp. of garlic powder
1/8 tsp. of onion powder
Combine all ingredients with a wire whisk.  Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving, preferably over night.