Ranch bacon chive dip or dressing mix

Ranch Bacon and Chive Dip

Ranch Bacon and Chive Dip

Around here we like dressing and dips, especially ranch bacon and chive.  Salads become special meals when a great dressing is used.  We also like to use the powdered dressing mix dry as a rub on chicken and pork.  Nothing says homemade like well seasoned food.

Another reason I make my own is it is always fresh and there is no MSG in it. It can trigger my migraines and I will do most anything to avoid them.

This is a popular dish and when friends come over they ask for the recipe.  I make it in bulk and started making decorative jars to give it in.  I recycle glass jars and paint the lids and add embellishments.  When they are al decorated up they make great gifts.

Ingredients for ranch bacon chive mix:

  • 1 cup Dry Buttermilk
  • 2-1/2 Tablespoons Dried Parsley, divided
  • 2 teaspoons Dried Dill, divided
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons Garlic Powder
  • 1 teaspoon chives
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons Onion Powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons Dried Onion Flakes
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons Kosher Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Bacon Salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon Sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Coarse Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon Paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon Cayenne

For ranch bacon chive buttermilk dressing:

  • 1/2 cup Mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup Sour Cream
  • 3 tablespoons Homemade Dressing Mix
  • 2/3 to 1 cup of Buttermilk

For ranch bacon chive dip:

  • 1 cup Sour Cream
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons Bulk Homemade Ranch Dressing Mix
  • Buttermilk to thin out as desired

Directions for ranch bacon chive mix:

In a small food processor or blender; measure and add in the dried buttermilk, 2 tablespoons dried parsley, 1 teaspoon dried dill. Place the remaining 1/2 tablespoon parsley and 1 teaspoon dried dill and set off to the side. Measure and add in the onion powder, chives,dried onion flakes, bacon salt, kosher salt, sugar, paprika, cayenne, salt and pepper. Turn on the processor and let it run until all the spices are blended into the buttermilk powder.

Transfer the ranch mix into a jar or container {that has a tight-fitting lid} and add in the reserved parsley and dill. Whisk to combine.

**3 tablespoons of the ranch mix is equivalent to one packet.

 

DIY Oktoberfest Party Decorations

oktoberfest-octoberfest-party-geman-niki-meiners

My husbands family is German and we love to celebrate with an Oktoberfest Party.  We invited a few friends over to enjoy the good food, great drinks and have some wonderful conversations.  The party was a hit with decorations provided by Oriental Trading Company.   The food and the recipes were all mine.  Well almost mine,  I managed to get the Raspberry Beer Punch out of my husbands Great-Aunt Catherine a few years into our marriage.  You can find beer punch recipe here.  I also served his dad’s potato salad and you can get that recipe here.  The Beer Cheese Recipe is really all mine.

oktoberfest-octoberfest-party-geman-niki-meiners

We had a hot dog and sausage toppings bar with almost anything you could think to put on a bun with meat. I made curry wurst too.  Gary picked out a bunch of seasonal Oktoberfest beers.

geman-beer-girl-oktoberfest-party-niki-meiners

Our German Beer Girl was a hit.  Especially since she served shots of Apple Schnapps.  We decided to name her Hilde.

oktoberfest-diy-drink-bottle-decorations-365-days-of-crafts

Supplies for DIY Oktoberfest Party Decorations:

To make the DIY Oktoberfest Party Decorations:

  1. Trim off the edges of the pretzels as shown
  2. Cut a piece of ribbon to go around the throat of the bottle.
  3. Glue got the ribbon into place.
  4. Add a Glue Dot to the top and the bottom of the pretzel on the back side.
  5. Adhere to the front of the bottle covering the spot where the ribbon connects.

I chose to use Glue Dots because the hold firmly in place yet are easy to remove when you need it to come off.  The glue dots are easily removed from the glass bottle.  The bottles were used during the party for the lemonade served to the kids.  I wanted them to feel like the party was for them too. There were also fun little Duckies in Lederhosen hanging around the table.  I can almost guarantee that the duckies were in a bathtub floating around when they went home.

If you would like to see more of the party you can visit the Oriental Trading Company blog. If you are looking for another authentic dish to serve try the German Style Potato Salad or Beer Cheese Dip and for party decoration ideas try the Oktoberfest Party and for fun Party Favors

Snack mix in a jar

snack mix in a jar

A Snack mix in a jar is a fun gift to give when you need just a little something.  It can be a “thank you” gift, “I am thinking about you” gift or even “here is a little snack to help you study” gift. This would also make something nice to give classroom aides. Most people like food so you can really give it for almost any occasion.  You can follow the recipe below or create your own favorite snack mix combination to place in the jar.

Materials for Snack mix in a jar:

  • Ball Quart Jar (Jarden Home Brands)
  • Americana Acrylic Paint (DecoArt): Warm White; Espresso
  • Patterned papers: brown/white Swiss dot; red/white polka dot
  • White cardstock
  • White wool felt scrap
  • Wool roving: brown; white
  • Pink Tiny Alphas Alphabet Stickers (Making Memories)
  • Crystal acrylic gems, two
  • Long pearl straight pins, two
  • White miniature silk flower
  • Black pebble bead
  • Acrylic crystal
  • scissors
  • Duraclear Varnish (DecoArt)
  • Scallop-edge scissors
  • Tiny hole punch
  • Adhesives (Beacon Adhesives): Fabri-Tac; Zip Dry Paper Glue
  • Needle felting tool and pad

Directions for Snack mix in a jar:

1.Paint jar lid. Let dry. Apply varnish.

2. Cut 4″x12″ rectangle from paper to fit around jar. Adhere to jar. (Note: Wrap rubber bands around paper to secure while glue dries.) Use scallop-edge scissors to cut two 1″x12″ strips from cardstock. Glue to top and bottom edge of rectangle.

3. Print and cut out pattern. Punch holes in each scallop of cardstock edges.

4. Paint toothpicks Espresso. Set aside.

5. Needle felt bird white. Draw wing with marker. Needle felt wing and beak brown. Glue crystal (eye) to face and bird to jar. For legs, cut ends of toothpicks and glue to jar.

6. For label, cut 3/4″x4″ strip from patterned paper. Fold in half, adhere ends and cut fork at end with scissors. Adhere stickers to spell “bird seed”. Stick straight pin through label and bird. Stick remaining pin through silk flower and bird. Glue gem to bird.

7. Follow instructions on recipe and fill jar.
bird seed snack mix

by Melony Bradley 

Pink cupcake gift set

pink spa gift set

Give a sweet treat to your favorite person with a cupcake gift set.  Use your favorite recipe to make the cupcakes and icing and give them the ingredients to make them too.  The cupcakes are perfect for any occasion.

Supplies for Cup Gift Set:

  • Recycled glass jars in various sizes
  • Light turquoise blue fabric, 1/4 yd.
  • Americana Acrylic Paints (DecoArt): Olive Green; Bubblegum Pink, Glamour Dust, Duraclear Varnish
  • Cardstock: turquoise; white
  • Black 6-strand Embroidery Floss (DMC)
  • Small plastic bag
  • Bubble Stripes Baking Cups (Wilton)
  • Multi colored beads: 6/0 pebble; bugle
  • Birthday Cupcakes stamp set (Inkadinkado)
  • Black pigment ink pad
  • Scallop-edge scissors
  • Circle punches: 1/2”; 1”
  • Toothpicks
  • Batting and Stick Fusible Webbing by Fairfield
  • Sewing needle and matching thread
  • Glue (Beacon Adhesives): Fabri-Tac Permanent Adhesive; Zip Dry Paper Glue
  • Iron and pressing board

Instructions for cupcake gift set:

1. Paint jar lids Olive Green and Bubblegum Pink. Let dry and apply varnish. While varnish is still wet, sprinkle with Glamour Dust.
2. Trace 4” and 3-1/2” oval, and 2-1/2” circle on batting; cut out with scallop-edge scissors. Follow manufacturer’s instructions to fuse light turquoise fabric to fusible webbing. Trace and cut out 3-3/4” oval, 3-1/4” oval and 2-1/4” circle from fused fabric. Layer ovals and circles together and fuse so batting ovals and circles are matted.
3. Use pigment ink to stamp sentiments and images on fabric. Heat set with iron on warm setting.
4. Use three strands embroidery floss to blanket stitch edge of turquoise ovals and circles. Sew multi colored seed and bugle beads for sprinkles on cupcake image. Use fabric glue to adhere sewn ovals and circle to jars. Carefully fill jars with contents (cake mix, frosting and store-bought chocolate sprinkles).
5. For cupcake picks, punch several 1” circles from turquoise card stock and several 1/2” circles from white cardstock. Stamp small cupcake images from set and glue circles together. Glue toothpics to back center of larger circle. Cut small rectangular turquoise piece to fit opening of small plastic bag and mat with white cardstock. Stamp sentiment on white cardstock. Place picks in bag and stamp ends to rectangles to secure.
by Melony Bradley

Rosemary and Parmesan Crusted Potato Bites

Rosemary and Parmesan Crusted potato bites

A simple tasty and budget friendly side dish that looks and tastes gourmet. My kids love to dip them in ketchup and the adults like them in bruschetta.  If you really want to kick them up another notch you can serve sour cream and chives too.   If you have leftovers they are great the next morning with breakfast.

Ingredients for Rosemary & Parmesan Crusted Potato Bites.

  • 2 pounds petite potatoes, halved
  • 2 ½ tablespoons rosemary infused olive oil
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 Shredded Regiano Cheese
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Instructions for Rosemary & Parmesan Crusted Potato Bites:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Coat the bottom of a 9×9-baking dish with the olive oil, and then evenly distribute the salt, pepper, garlic and thyme over the olive oil. Sprinkle on the cheeses over the seasoned oil.
  3. Place the potato halves, cut side down, on top of the cheese mixture and bake for 45-50 minutes or until the potatoes are tender when pierced. Precise baking time will depend on the thickness of your potatoes. (you can spay oil over the potatoes to keep skin crisp)

I like to serve the potatoes with sour cream my husband likes them with sour cream and chives.  The kids like to dip them in ketchup. Gasp, I know ketchup.  They are kids, what can I say but it goes on almost everything.  Occasionally they get fancy and add salsa.    You can accessories them with what ever your family likes.

potato recipe bloggersPlease join us and discover new recipes for potatoes this weeks secret ingredient.  There are over 40 blogger participating in the potato round up.  The cake in the image has me totally intrigued. I think I will try it. If you try my recipe I would love to know what you think.

An InLinkz Link-up


Italian Potato Kale Soup

Italian Potato Kale SoupItalian Potato Kale Soup in one pot is quick and easy to make.  The soup is one of my favorite things to make on a cold winter day.  My kids love soup of any sort and the love it even more when it is paired with a salad and fresh bread.  The table is set a little quicker when soup, salad and fresh bread are on the menu.   The Italian Potato Kale Soup can be pretty healthy if you go easy on the cream.

Yields:  about 6 servings

  • 1 pound Italian sausage or spicy Italian sausage
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 3 small russet potatoes cubed
  • 2 cups kale,  chopped
  • 1 can of cannellini beans
  • 1/2 to 1 cup heavy cream
  • salt and pepper to taste

Add the Italian sausage to a large pot over medium heat.  Use a spatula to chop the meat up into bite size pieces.  Brown the sausage until no longer pink. While the sausage is cooking add the red pepper flakes (not needed if you use Spicey Italian Sausage), garlicand onion.  Let cook, stirring often, until the onions are translucent, about 4 -6 minutes.  Add the chicken broth, potatoes, beans and kale. Bring the broth to a simmer, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove the soup from the heat, stir in the cream, and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Ladle into soup bowls and serve.

The first few times I made the soup I used the whole cup of cream.  I have found that my family still devours it if I only use half of the amount.  In a pinch you can use whole milk but it is no where near as good.  Occasionally I will toss in a hand full of dried pasta when I add the potatoes.  The addition of the  pasta lessens the broth amount.

Join me and my fellow bloggers for an Italian Feast!
italian feast

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Friendship Brownies in a jar

friendship brownies in a jar

Share the love with this fun and tasty treat in a jar!  Make friendship brownies in a jar mix.  Recycle a spaghetti sauce jar or a pickle jar and use pattern paper from your stash.  You don’t have to be elaborate on the packaging because we all know that it is what is on the inside that matters most.

Materials for Friendship Brownies in a jar:

  • Ball Quart Jar (Jarden Home Brands)
  • Americana Acrylic Paint (DecoArt): Soft Blue.
  • Patterned papers: brown/white Swiss dot; red/white polka dot
  • Off-white cardstock
  • Red wool felt scrap
  • Wool roving: brick red; white
  • Blue Tiny Alphas Alphabet Stickers (Making Memories)
  • Acrylic gems: blue, 32; clear
  • Silver clip
  • Jute twine
  • Brownie mix ingredients (see recipe)

Basic Supplies for Friendship Brownies in a jar:

scissors

Tools

  • Duraclear Varnish (DecoArt)
  • Scallop-edge scissors
  • Adhesives (Beacon Adhesives): Fabri-Tac; Zip Dry Paper Glue
  • Needle felting tool and pad

Directions for Friendship Brownies in a jar:

1. Paint jar lid. Let dry. Apply varnish.

2. Cut 4″x12″ rectangle from paper to fit around jar. Adhere to jar. (Note: Wrap rubber bands around paper to secure while glue dries.) Use scallop-edge scissors to cut two 1″x12″ strips from cardstock. Glue to top and bottom edge of rectangle.

3. Print and cut out pattern.

4. Needle felt heart red. Draw flower center and needle felt white. Glue flower to jar as shown.

5. For label, cut a 1″x2-1/2″ from paper. Adhere stickers. Cut 8” length from jute, thread through clip and clip to label. Tie label around jar.

6. Adhere blue gems to scallop edges and crystal to center of heart.

7. Write or print jar mix instructions on remaining cardstock; cut out and glue to back of jar. recipe instructions

Recipe:

  • 1 2/3 cups  granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup  NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Baking Cocoa
  • 1 1/3 cups  all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon  baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon  salt
  • 3/4 cup  NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
  • chopped nuts
    RECIPE TO ATTACH:
     

    PREHEAT oven to 350° F. Grease 13 x 9-inch baking pan. Pour brownie mix into large mixer bowl; stir. Add 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) melted butter or margarine, 2 large eggs, 2 tablespoons water and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract; stir well. Spread into prepared baking pan. Bake for 18 to 25 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out slightly sticky. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Dust with powdered sugar. Makes 2 dozen brownies.

by Melony Bradley

gummy worm brownie dirt cups with realistic earthworms

gummy worm dirtGummy worm brownie dirt cups with realistic earthworms are on my menu this Halloween season.  Most kids would love to creep out adults with these realistic gummy earthworms. Not me!  I like to gross out my kids and these gummy worms look so realistic.  I ordered the realistic gummy earthworms from Oriental Trading and they sent the product samples in exchange for my honest review. And let’s be honest…THEY ARE AWESOME!!!  They smelled and tasted like root beer.  My kids loved the flavor.   My version is different from the normal recipe you will see online.  I am probably in the minority but I despise chocolate Oreos.  The only thing they are good for is scraping the center filling from.  My kids would completely disagree.  They love them and when we were picking food to serve for their class party we agreed to a new version that I would create.  This is my version of the traditional dirt cups.

Ingredients for gummy worm brownie dirt cups with realistic earthworms:

  • realistic gummy earthworms
  • chocolate brownie mix and ingredients listed on box
  • chocolate pudding and ingredients listed on box
  • chocolate sprinkles
  • clear plastic cups

Instructions for gummy worm brownie dirt cups with realistic gummy worms:

  1. Make brownies and pudding according to directions.
  2. Let the brownies cool and then crumble. Add to bottom of cup.gummy worm brownies in a cup
  3. Spoon in pudding on top of brownies.gummy worm pudding
  4. Repeat step 2 and 3 until cup is full.gummy worm sprinkles
  5. Add chocolate sprinkles to a jar.gummy worm sprinkles blended
  6. Chop the sprinkles with a submersion blender. gummy worms earthworms
  7. Remove the gummy worms from their packaging.gummy worms dusted with chocolate
  8. Drop half of the gummy worms into the jar and shake to coat. I cut the worms in half and inserted them into the top of the cups. Make sure you have at least one worm going down the side. gummy worm dessert
  9. Add the left over chocolate sprinkles and some brownie crumbs to the top of the cups.

If you would like to pin this recipe use the image below.  You can also follow my FUN FOOD board on Pinterest.

Gummy Earthworm brownie dirt cups made from easy to find ingredients and taste great

My kids like this time of year.  These are the things I have made in years past. Check them out your tummy will thank you.

Candy Corn Cookies

Spider Cupcakes

You can also follow my FUN FOOD board on Pinterest.

Pecan Pie Whiskey Iced Tea

Pecan Pie Whiskey Iced Tea pecan pie iced tea cocktail

Pecan Pie Whiskey Iced Tea, yes you read that right.  We are crafting cocktails in the kitchen. So, if you don’t want to craft a cocktail that is cool and refreshing as well as delicious then you should click around the other pages and find another type of craft to do.    I belong to a monthly dinner club and each month there is a different theme and we sign up for different courses.  Our theme this month was nut.  I signed up for a cocktail and had absolutely no clue what I was going to make.  I knew I could fall back on something expected with peanuts if needed.

The one of the best local places to go near Cincinnati is across the river into Kentucky and visit the Party Source  I purchased a brand of whiskey called Foggy Dog by Three Boys Farm Distillery  They make whiskey in small batches and sell locally around the region.

 

Pecan Pie Whiskey Iced Tea Recipe

Supplies for making cocktail – approximately 60 ounces

Pitcher, long spoon, cutting board, knife,

10  packets Stevia
4    cups tea
3    cups Pecan Pie Whisky
1    cup orange juice
1    cup sweet and sour mix
7    dashes bitters
1    pinch of salt

 

Directions for making Pecan Pie Whiskey Iced Tea:

Mix all the ingredients together in a large pitcher.  Stir in ice.  Then pour in a glass with a few cubes.  Garnish with lemon slices.  If you are making ahead, refrigerate the pitcher of iced tea then serve over ice.  If you would rather garnish with orange slices you can do that too.

I hope you enjoy the cocktail that was “crafted” in the kitchen.  If you like the idea of pecan pie iced tea they also make other flavors like blueberry cream, apple pie and other.   I look forward to trying a few more of the flavored whiskey.

 

Bacon Ranch Crackers Gift in a Jar

Bacon Ranch Crackers 2 gift in a jar

Buttermilk Bacon Ranch Crackers are totally awesome according to my kids and I think I might agree.  They make a great gift in a jar and a snack to have on hand for movie nights.  In my world bacon is like butter and it makes everything better.  When you combine bacon with buttermilk ranch powdered dressing you have hit the trifecta of flavor.  Excellent snack or appetizer to give as a gift for the food lover on your gift list.  They also make a nice simple hosts gift and a thank you gift when you do not know what to get the person.
The recipe below is a powdered mix I make in bulk and keep on hand.  It does not have to be used for Bacon Ranch Crackers only.  You can add it to sour cream or mayonnaise to make a dip or dressing, sprinkle it over chicken for a marinade or any way you would use a powdered mix from the store.

Homemade Buttermilk Bacon Ranch Dressing Mix:

2 Tbsp powdered buttermilk
2 Tbsp dried parsley
1 1/2 tsp dried dill
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp lemon pepper
1/4 tsp bacon salt
1/4 teaspoon lemon pepper
1/4 cup vegetable oil
( 1/4 tsp salt optional)
5 cups oyster crackers  ( a standard bag from the store)

(equal to one packet of store-bought)

Add each of the dried spices to a bowl and mix carefully.   If you want to make the dressing mix in a double batch you can store the remainder in a canning jar or zip top bag.

Directions for Bacon Ranch Crackers Gift in a Jar:

  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F (120 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl, combine the spices.   Add oyster crackers and olive oil and toss to coat.  Spread evenly on a baking sheet.
  3. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, stirring gently after 10 minutes. Remove from oven, and allow to cool before serving.

Materials for Pyrography Spoon:

  • Wood Spoons
  • Pattern Hot Stamp
  • Creative Versa-Tool
  • Twine
  • Button
  • scissors

Then I used a pattern Hot Stamp from the Creative Versa-Tool to add the circles on the back and the front of the spoon.
wood burning spoons
You can draw images or stamp images and the follow the lines with the wood burning tool
draw pattern on spoon before wood burning

If you are interested in learning other ways to do a wood burn spoon you can check out this thinks to Pyrography Spoons

I hope you enjoy the Bacon Ranch Crackers as much as my family does.