Monthly Archives: February 2013

The 25 Uses of Ranch Dressing Mix

I absolutely love Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing Mix. Recently I discovered you could buy it in bulk, an epiphany for me! So in honor of my discovery I decided to list out the many uses of ranch dressing mix.


By the way it’s cheaper to buy Ranch dressing mix in the tube then in the individual packets.

1. Mix 3 tbls with 16 oz. low fat yogurt for a healthy dip.

2. Pop popcorn, then generously shake ranch to flavor it.

3. Prepare pasta, add veggies, 2 tbls olive oil, and a packet of ranch (A Quick Supper that kids like)

4. Add ranch to your fried chicken batter for a zing.

5. Make ranch dip, good for dipping leftover holiday turkey in (best if the turkey is cold).

6. Add ranch to your pork chop breading, for extra flavor.

7. Ranch with sour cream makes a great baked potato topping.

8. Put two teaspoons of ranch yogurt mix on your sandwich or wrap (makes a great substitute for mayo)

9. Spice up canned chicken noodle soup with two teaspoons of ranch mix.

10. A tablespoon or two of ranch tastes great in homemade stuffing.

11. Two Tablespoons of ranch in mashed potatoes and you don’t need gravy.

12. Vegetable pizza (recipe to come in future blog)!

13. Add a three tablespoons of ranch to two tablespoons of olive oil for a zesty vegetable stir fry.

14. A packet of ranch dressing mix added your hamburger mix creates amazing burgers.

15. Make your own ranch dressing using the box mix.

16. Slice potatoes into wedges spray with cooking spray and add ranch dressing for ranch french fries.

17. Add a tablespoon of ranch dressing to your chicken salad mix.

18. Take crescent rolls cover with melted butter and ranch mix.

19. Add ranch to your favorite buffalo sauce to tame the spice.

20. Add ranch dressing to your favorite chicken chili mix.

21. Ranch mixed with taco seasoning makes a great taco mix.

22. Make your own tortilla chips by cutting tortilla shells into wedges, spraying with cooking spray, and sprinkle with ranch dressing. Cook on 375 for 10-15 minutes!

23. Prepare rice add ranch and cheese for seasoning.

24. Add ranch to biscuit mix

25. Make ranch dressing mix with marinara sauce for a great chicken stick sauce

These are just a few of the ideas that I’ve come up with, and I know that with imagination there are many more great uses of ranch dressing mix.

Healthy Ice Cream or Disappointment?

So I’ve been seeing all these recipes on Pinterest for two ingredient Ice Cream, or in my case three ingredient ice cream.  And I wanted to try it! I’ve been trying to eat healthier, and I love ice cream. So Friday night I finally decided to give this a go. I cut up my bananas and prepared to enjoy a movie and a snack. The recipe I used can be found here.


I cut up my four ripe bananas and placed them in the freezer. I used a pizza pan, and made sure I put wax paper down. You’ll regret not using wax paper because it’s really hard to get frozen bananas off of your tray without it. By the way frozen bananas make a healthy and cool summertime snack. Now I just had to wait a couple of hours for my bananas to freeze.


Since I don’t have a food processor, I used my blender. Here’s where patience comes in; with a blender you’re going to have to stop every once in awhile and stir your ingredients, so the banana chunks will make it to the bottom. DSC00749

The mixture will start to look like this; as you can see there’s still some chunks at the top that need to be pushed towards the bottom.


Now it’s time to add the peanut butter! I After blending the peanut butter into the mixture for about two minutes, I tried the banana cream, and found it wanting. Someone had recommended adding two teaspoons of cocoa powder, so I went ahead and tried that.


Voila! My ice cream is done!


Here’s what it looks like in my bowl. I was pretty excited about trying it. I took it with me into the living room and started my movie. The only good thing about my Friday night ended up being my movie. The ice cream was smooth but rather bland. I had been all pumped up for healthy ice cream, but this didn’t taste anything like ice cream. The flavor wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t what I had been expecting. Contrary to the belief of some, this recipe tastes heavily banana. On a ranking scale of 1-10, I give it a 4. I think I’ll save up my calories and splurge on a bowl of lite ice cream. Oh, and if you have leftovers, don’t freeze them! I learned the hard way, the banana cream becomes solid, and you can’t eat it. I ended up having to fill my blender with water to melt the mixture down.

Hawaiian Calzones

My favorite pizza has always been Hawaiian, so imagine my surprise when I found out that was my husband’s favorite, too! Whenever we make pizza we make Hawaiian, so one day I decided to experiment with making Hawaiian Calzones! They turned out beautifully.


 I took a basic Calzone recipe and tweaked it a bit to create this delicious recipe. It’s a fairly simple recipe and doesn’t require a lot of time or ingredients, but it packs a big flavor.


To make this all you need is pizza crust, pineapples, ham, parmesan, ricotta, and mozzarella cheese. My husband makes a fantastic homemade pizza crust, he’s better at it then I am. Our recipe is from the old Betty Crocker Cook book. You could use store-bought pizza crust or your own recipe.


Press your pizza dough out on a greased pan (I use a 9x13in). Then spread 3/4-1 cup ricotta cheese on one half of the dough. Add about 1 cup chopped ham (great way to use left over ham). Then put a cup of chopped pineapple on top of the ham. I use pineapple slices because they are easier to cut up, but I imagine crushed pineapple would work as well.

Top with a cup of mozzarella cheese.


Fold the pizza dough in half, and then pinch the edges together to form your calzone. Sprinkle the top with parmesan cheese. Then cook at 375 for 20 minutes.


Tada! You have Cheesy Hawaiian goodness!

 This recipe makes about 4 servings depending on how big you cut the servings, and on appetites. We don’t usually end up with leftovers, but in the few occasions that we have the calzone makes a good lunch the next day.

Hawiian Calzone

1 Pizza Crust

3/4 c Ricotta Cheese

1 c Chopped Ham

1 c Chopped Pineapples

1 c Mozzarella Cheese

Parmesan Cheese to Sprinkle on top (optional)

Preheat oven to 375. Roll out pizza dough on greased tray.

Spread ricotta cheese on one half of the dough.

Place ham, pineapples, and mozzarella cheese on top of ricotta cheese.

Cover the ingredients with other half of dough, and pinch corners shut.

Top with parmesan cheese and cook for 20 minutes.

Let stand for 5 minutes before cutting, then serve.



So our life changed big time last August when we got our new puppy! Charlie was my Birthday gift, one that my husband still regrets! She was just 8 weeks old when we picked her up.

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And she was no bigger than Brian’s shoe (which by the way is a size 13)!

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She has been a constant joy to me, and a little stinker. She’s a dominant dog (funny but we definitely requested a non-dominant dog when she was born). We got her a shock collar recently, and she’s finally beginning to obey. She’s still not quite there. The other week I noticed her jumping up on the fridge, she kept doing this all day. I finally discovered what she was doing. She had figured out that if she pressed the spout on the fridge she could get water, the little stinker had been jumping up there all day drinking all the water she wanted. We try to give her water just before we take her outside, that way we don’t have any accidents in the house. She’s not fully housebroken.

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Brittany Spaniels are bird dogs, and I can see the characteristics in Charlie. We got her a laser pointer, and she loves it. Whenever we take her to the gym, she will just stare at the ground waiting for the laser pointer to come out. She’ll often look up at me and then back at the ground as if to say “well where is it, mom?”2013!! 022

Who I Am

Just a quick introduction to me and my blog.

1. I am quite literally married with a house full of pets a.k.a. a zoo. My husband (Brian) and I are the proud owners of 5 pets! Since we’ve been married almost 3 years, we keep getting asked when we’re going to have kids; well who needs kids when you have a house full of pets? We have 2 rats named Oreo and Snickers, 2 cats (Ivy and Bella), and a Brittany Spaniel named Charlie (she’s a female named after Disney’s Good Luck Charlie). I feel bad for Brian because he lives in a house dominated by females.

2. I am addicted to pinterest! I love trying new recipes and then pinning them. I’m always finding new crafts that I can’t wait to try. I already have some pinterest recipes I’m looking forward to sharing on my blog, and I will post my crafting as I get the chance. Follow me (using link on right)!

3. I love sports. I could watch the Olympics around the clock, which I did this past summer! I’m a huge fan of the San Antonio Spurs, still undecided as to whether Tim Duncan or Manu Ginobli is my favorite player. I love ice skating, not as much as I used to but I still keep up with the sport.

4. I am unashamedly a Christian. I believe that Jesus Christ shed His blood for my sins on the cross, and that one day I will spend eternity in heaven. I don’t plan on blogging about my faith a whole lot, but my faith will change this blog. I guess you could say my blog will be G rated.

5. I just recently moved to Pennsylvania, having lived most of my life in Illinois. I have to say Pennsylvania is a strange land! People tend to be more brusk, outspoken, and no one says excuse me or thank you in the stores. Northerns always complain about Southerns driving on the snow, but they are just as bad. The people up here tend to do things themselves, even if it’s not up to code. And I get to go horseback riding a lot!

Well that’s all a part of me, that’s who I am!