Homemade Ranch Dressing

I love ranch dressing. There, I said it. As a kid, I adored Hidden Valley, but as an adult, I only get excited about made-from-scratch, real-deal ranch…

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ranch dressing recipe

I love ranch dressing. There, I said it. As a kid, I adored Hidden Valley, but as an adult, I only get excited about made-from-scratch, real-deal ranch dressing. This recipe is exactly that.

Earlier this year, as I navigated my first trimester, I found myself craving my favorite comfort foods. Naturally, I made my own ranch dressing and happily drizzled it over my salads, and my pizzas, and even my quesadillas (why not?).

ranch dressing ingredients

This ranch dressing recipe is the end result of my experimentation. It features fresh herbs, real buttermilk, and a creamy sour cream base. It tastes gourmet, and it’s certainly not too heavy. I hope you love it as much as I do!

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Roasted Red Peppers

Let’s talk about roasted red peppers! Roasted red peppers are one of my favorite recipe components. They offer rich, deep bell pepper flavor and a lovely, tender…

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roasted red peppers recipe

Let’s talk about roasted red peppers! Roasted red peppers are one of my favorite recipe components. They offer rich, deep bell pepper flavor and a lovely, tender texture. I love to add roasted red peppers to dips, salads, sandwiches and more.

Homemade roasted red peppers taste the best, no doubt about it. Since it’s bell pepper season, I’m sharing my tested and perfected roasted red pepper recipe. Now that I’ve finally nailed down all the factors, I’ll be roasting my own more often!

red bell peppers

Roasting red peppers is a fairly simple process, though certainly not as simple as reaching for a jar of store-bought roasted red peppers. The downside to using jarred roasted red peppers is that they vary significantly in flavor—grab the wrong brand and you just might ruin the whole dish (been there, done that). Divina and Whole Foods 365 are reliable winners, in my experience.

Grab a helper when it comes time to peel the peppers, and your homemade roasted red peppers will be ready before you know it. They’ll keep in the fridge for over a week, too, and liven up all your dishes in between.

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Roasted Tomatoes

Have you ever tried roasted tomatoes? Specifically slow-roasted cherry tomatoes, the best of all roasted tomatoes? If not, you have really been missing out! Last summer, our…

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roasted cherry tomatoes close-up

Have you ever tried roasted tomatoes? Specifically slow-roasted cherry tomatoes, the best of all roasted tomatoes? If not, you have really been missing out! Last summer, our garden produced more cherry tomatoes than we could eat fresh, so I roasted several batches over the weekends.

You might be thinking that it’s hard to beat fresh cherry tomatoes (and I agree), but roasted cherry tomatoes are even nicer. The flavors and textures condense in the oven, yielding spectacularly sweet-tart, rich tomato flavor. Once roasted, they keep in the refrigerator for over a week, so this is a great way to preserve tomatoes a little longer.

cherry tomatoes

Honestly, I eat these tomatoes like candy. I have to stop myself from eating them all straight off the pan. Unlike most other roasted veggies, which I typically serve as a side dish, these roasted tomatoes are the perfect addition to many summer meals. They’ll turn a simple pasta with basil into a highly memorable dinner.

You’ll be happy to hear that roasting these cherry tomatoes require a much lower temperature than normal (just 250 degrees Fahrenheit). While they do require a couple of hours in the oven, you can throw these in the oven on a hot day without overheating your kitchen.

Tomato lovers, gardeners and weekend meal preppers, this roasted tomato recipe is for you!

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Greek Salad Dressing

Who doesn’t love a great Greek salad? Make your own starting with this Greek salad dressing recipe. This dressing is bold, zippy and delicious. It’s super easy…

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Greek dressing recipe

Who doesn’t love a great Greek salad? Make your own starting with this Greek salad dressing recipe. This dressing is bold, zippy and delicious. It’s super easy to whisk together at home with basic pantry ingredients.

This Greek vinaigrette is made simply with olive oil, red wine vinegar, fresh garlic, dried oregano and salt and pepper. We’ll add a touch of honey or maple syrup to balance the flavors. That’s it! The end result tastes just like the dressings I’ve enjoyed in Greece.

Greek dressing ingredients

Homemade salad dressings always taste so fresh and vibrant—they’re simply superior to store-bought dressings and keep well for a week in the fridge. Plus, you can use healthy ingredients, like extra-virgin olive oil, and avoid unnecessary preservatives. Homemade dressings are a win all around, and this one is ready in just five minutes!

Enjoy this dressing on my Chopped Greek Salad, or improvise your own salad with fresh ingredients you have on hand. You’ll find a list of my suggested salad ingredients below, and keep an eye out for a fresh summer salad featuring this dressing later this week.

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Baked Feta Dip with Cherry Tomatoes

Have you tried the baked feta pasta that took the internet by storm earlier this year? That simple recipe inspired this delicious summer dip, which features some…

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baked feta dip recipe

Have you tried the baked feta pasta that took the internet by storm earlier this year? That simple recipe inspired this delicious summer dip, which features some of my very favorite flavors—creamy feta, tangy cherry tomatoes, olives and plenty of fresh basil.

Baking these ingredients together near the heat source yields maximal flavor. The feta softens and turns golden, the cherry tomatoes burst and naturally sweeten, and the olives become even more intensely olive-y. Swirled together and finished with a generous sprinkle of basil, the combination is sublime.

baked feta dip ingredients

This dish also bears a resemblance to a classic Greek dish called feta fournou, or baked feta. That dish typically features feta with bell pepper, tomato and oregano.

The flavors in today’s dip are also delicious raw, as you’ve seen in my Mediterranean Tomato & Feta Dip—make that one if you don’t want to turn on the oven! Either one will be a perfect light meal or summer evening appetizer.

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Gremolata (Italian Parsley Condiment)

Gremolata is a bold and bright Italian condiment that will liven up your meals. It’s made with three simple ingredients that you might have on hand already—fresh…

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gremolata recipe

Gremolata is a bold and bright Italian condiment that will liven up your meals. It’s made with three simple ingredients that you might have on hand already—fresh parsley, lemon zest and garlic.

Gremolata is the perfect last-minute finishing touch for any dish that seems a little blah, you know what I mean? When guests are on their way over, sprinkle gremolata over store-bought items like hummus to make them seem more fresh and fancy.

gremolata ingredients

When I have the time, there’s nothing better than a bold herbed sauce to complete a meal, like pesto or chimichurri. Gremolata is simpler than a sauce (no blender or food processor required), but more elevated than a basic sprinkle of chopped parsley.

Perhaps gremolata’s most winning feature is that it’s ready in under five minutes. Sprinkle gremolata all over your grilled dishes this summer!

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Homemade Croutons

Who doesn’t love homemade croutons? They’re wonderfully golden and crisp, and infinitely superior to dry, store-bought croutons. The best part about homemade croutons is that you can…

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croutons on Aaesar salad

Who doesn’t love homemade croutons? They’re wonderfully golden and crisp, and infinitely superior to dry, store-bought croutons.

The best part about homemade croutons is that you can use your favorite bread, even if it’s gone stale, and your croutons are ready in under 15 minutes.

sliced bread for croutons

Most salads benefit from a crisp, crunchy element, which could be anything from toasted nuts, tortilla strips, ice water-soaked red onion, or of course, the classic crouton.

I’ve been perfecting my homemade Caesar salad recipe lately, so I thought we’d start with the croutons. Off we go!

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The Best Queso

I’m super excited to share this queso recipe with you. This Mexican dip is cheesy, creamy and full of fresh flavor. It’s surprisingly easy to make and…

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best queso recipe

I’m super excited to share this queso recipe with you. This Mexican dip is cheesy, creamy and full of fresh flavor. It’s surprisingly easy to make and utterly irresistible.

This recipe uses a simple secret ingredient—cream cheese—to achieve its gloriously creamy texture and light tang. No flour and no fussy roux required here (as a bonus, this queso is gluten free).

This stovetop queso possesses all of Velveeta’s positive attributes, but it tastes a million times nicer. It even cools down with grace, developing just a slight skin on top that really doesn’t detract from its appeal.

queso ingredients

If you’re like me, you probably don’t need an excuse to eat queso while sipping a margarita. I grew up around a lot of Tex-Mex food and like to consider myself a queso connoisseur. If queso is on the menu, I’ve likely sampled it.

My husband, on the other hand, exercises an impressive amount of restraint when it comes to queso. He tells me he doesn’t like it. (He’s generally a rational man, though I question him in cheese-related matters.) This queso is an exception to his rule. He loves it.

We both agree that this is the best queso we’ve ever had. Try it, and I hope you’ll say the same!

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Easy Tapenade

Olive lovers, tapenade is for you! Tapenade is an olive spread or dip hailing from the Provence region in France. It’s bold, zippy, briny and salty, though…

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easy tapenade recipe

Olive lovers, tapenade is for you! Tapenade is an olive spread or dip hailing from the Provence region in France. It’s bold, zippy, briny and salty, though we’ll be sure to keep the salt level in check.

Served with crostini or crackers, tapenade is a wonderful appetizer with drinks. It offers some welcome contrast when served with creamy dips, like hummus or spinach artichoke dip. You can also spread it onto sandwiches, dollop it onto salads, and more. Tapenade will keep for a week or two in the fridge, so you’ll find many uses for it.

tapenade ingredients

Tapenade is named after the Provençal word for capers, tapenas. Over the years, olives have become the predominant ingredient, and I used capers as a subtle accent. Similar olive spreads have been served in the Mediterranean for ages, which is why tapenade is a natural pairing with your favorite Mediterranean flavors.

Traditional tapenade also includes anchovies, but being vegetarian, I omitted them. This dip is loaded with complex flavor regardless, and it’s suitable for vegans and those with shellfish allergies as well.

To make this easy tapenade, you’ll need just a few basic ingredients and a food processor. It comes together in about 10 minutes with mostly pantry ingredients! You’ll need Castelvetrano and Kalamata olives, fresh parsley, capers, olive oil, garlic and lemon juice. Let’s make some already.

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Creamy Spinach Artichoke Dip

This hot spinach artichoke dip is pure comfort food. Sign me up. This dip recipe comes together in under 20 minutes with basic ingredients: spinach, artichoke, cream…

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creamy spinach artichoke dip recipe

This hot spinach artichoke dip is pure comfort food. Sign me up. This dip recipe comes together in under 20 minutes with basic ingredients: spinach, artichoke, cream cheese, sour cream, plus green onions and poblano pepper or bell pepper.

We’ll cook the green onions until they’re a little golden and frazzled around the edges, which is an easy way to yield tons of flavor. I’m obsessed with using lightly spicy, tender poblanos in this recipe (a great twist on standard spinach artichoke dip) but you can use a red bell pepper for a mild dip (also delicious!).

creamy spinach artichoke dip ingredients

The end result is not the most beautiful dip in the world, but it’s definitely amongst the most tasty. It’s creamy and indulgent, yet tastes fresh and full of flavor. This dip is fully loaded with veggies and greens, so it’s actually more redeeming than you might think.

I hope you’ll whip together this spinach artichoke dip on the holidays, or for movie nights, or just any time you get a hankering for it. I’m daydreaming about serving this dip at parties next year!

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