Kate's Cuisine

Oct 20 2017

Ranch Dressing

Ranch dressing in ramekin

Today wraps up all the posts on salad dressings and spice mixes, and next week we’ll get back to actual dishes and entrees. But, I saved the very best for last - Ranch dressing, a go-to for many people, including mine. I mean, when a dressing not only works as a dressing but can be used to dip wings, pizza crust, and even sandwiches, you know it’s got to be good. And when you make it at home from scratch, it’s even better.

This Ranch dressing is very similar to the garlic dip I posted last week, and there’s a reason for that since I was trying to make Ranch dressing and it just happened to turn into something a little more garlicky than Ranch calls for. But after tinkering with it some and making some key changes, namely adding sour cream, using buttermilk, and getting rid of the garlic entirely, it did transform into Ranch dressing. And trust me my friends, it’s good!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup mayonnaise $1.44
  • 1/2 cup sour cream $0.65
  • 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped $0.25
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill, finely chopped $0.06
  • 1 tablespoon chives, finely chopped $0.05
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce $0.06
  • 1/2 teaspoon white vinegar $0.01
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika $0.08
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper $0.01
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt $0.01
  • Dash of hot sauce $0.03
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup buttermilk $0.45

Total cost $3.10

Directions:

1.) Combine everything but the buttermilk in a medium-sized bowl so that everything is very well combined.

2.) Slowly add in the buttermilk, using only as much as you need for desired consistency.

3.) Store in an airtight container in the fridge or, serve and enjoy!

Oct 16 2017

French Dressing

French Dressing in ramekin

We continue on with dressings this week and I have to say, this just might be my absolute favourite. I’ve always loved French dressing, but I never really knew how much until I made it myself at home. Now, this dressing won’t last as long in the fridge as that bottle of Kraft might, but it’s also not filled with all those undesirable ingredients, and it’s super easy to make. So you can make just a little bit for what you need and then quickly whip up a batch the next time you want a little more. This batch makes about 1 1/2 cups of dressing, and you won’t believe that French dressing could ever taste this good!

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup ketchup $0.99
  • 1 cup sugar $0.19
  • 1/2 cup olive oil $0.91
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar $0.27
  • 2 teaspoons salt $0.02
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed $0.03
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder $0.04
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried mustard $0.03
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder $0.04
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika $0.08

Total cost $2.60

Directions:

1.) Place all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.

2.) Store in an airtight container in the fridge for about 4 days or, serve and enjoy!

Oct 12 2017

Garlic Dip/Dressing

Garlic Dip

So last week was all about the different spice mixes you can create in your own kitchen and store in your pantry instead of wasting all that money on them in the grocery store. And just like you can do it with spices, you can also do it with dips and dressings (and just about anything else, btw). This dressing was actually the result of a mistake I had made when trying to make ranch dressing. Ranch it is certainly not, but it’s just as delicious all the same. I just called it Garlic Dip, and everyone who tried it was happy. On a side note, I ended up crushing that ranch dressing a few days later, and I’ll be bringing that recipe to you this week as well!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced $0.02
  • 1 teaspoon salt $0.01
  • 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise $2.16
  • 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped finely $0.25
  • 2 teaspoons fresh dill, chopped finely $0.06
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce $0.06
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper $0.01
  • 1/2 teaspoon white vinegar $0.01
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika $0.05
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper $0.05
  • Dash hot sauce $0.01
  • 1/4 cup milk $0.07

Total cost $2.76

Directions:

1.) Place the minced garlic on a cutting board and sprinkle with the salt. Lay your knife on its side and move it back and forth against the garlic, almost crushing the garlic into the cutting board. Do this several times until a paste forms. Place the paste, including any leftover salt, into a medium-sized bowl.

2.) To the bowl add the mayonnaise, parsley, dill, Worcestershire sauce, black pepper, vinegar, paprika, cayenne pepper and the hot sauce. Stir to combine all ingredients very well and then stir in the milk.

3.) Place in an airtight container in the fridge or, serve and enjoy!

Oct 06 2017

Spice Mix for Roasted Potato Wedges

Roasted Wedges Spice Mix

I think roasted potato wedges were one of the dishes I first started cooking. It’s a good one to start with, because they are so incredibly easy. But can you believe that I used to just toss them with salt and pepper?! I mean, how boring is that? These days I like to mix it up a little more with different seasonings and spices. And although I do change it up every now and then, I usually come back to this Cajun spice mix. It’s got just a little bit of spice, but not so much that my spice-adverse daughter won’t eat them. And it’s a great way to wrap up Spice Week!

Just like all the other spices posted this week, you can make a big batch and just store it in an airtight container. When it comes time to use, just toss it with potato wedges and some olive oil in a large bowl before tossing them onto a pan sheet and into a hot oven. Almost as soon as you mix it, before they’ve even seen any actual heat, they turn a beautiful golden colour that promises you’re in a for a tasty dish.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder $0.23
  • 2 teaspoons cumin $0.50
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander $0.16
  • 1 teaspoon paprika $0.16
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric $0.37
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder $0.10
  • 1 teaspoon salt $0.01
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano $0.10
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper $0.01

Total cost $1.64

Directions:

1.) Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl and use as desired.

Oct 05 2017

Taco Seasoning

Taco Seasoning

So I promised you several posts this week on homemade spice blends, and today’s is all about taco seasoning. I used to buy those little packs you can get at the grocery store and that are filled with all the spices you need; and there is not so much as a stir required. But there are more than delicious spices in those packs. Firstly, the spices have likely turned stale and bland; and you’ll get more than you bargained for when you also consume things like MSG, preservatives and a whole bunch of other nasty stuff. And the chances are, you likely have all the spices contained in those packs sitting in your pantry, anyway.

With this homemade taco seasoning, you can still get all the convenience those little packages would give you. Just whip up a big batch and keep it in an airtight container along with all your other spices. You’ll have to double or triple the batch if you want to do that, as this recipe will give you about 3 tablespoons of taco seasoning; just about as much as you’d get at the store. But the recipe is very easy to multiply, and the next time you go to make tacos, or anything taco-related, you’ll be able to just sprinkle some on and feel good knowing the meal is truly made from scratch!

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder $0.23
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder $0.10
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder $0.08
  • 1 teaspoon oregano $0.20
  • 1 teaspoon paprika $0.16
  • 1 teaspoon cumin $0.25
  • 1 teaspoon salt $0.01
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper $0.01
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes $0.12

Total cost $1.16

Directions:

1.) Combine all ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. Place any remaining spice mixture into a spice jar or other airtight container and store at room temperature.

Oct 03 2017

Emeril’s Essence

Emeril's Essence Spice Blend

This week I’m going to have a few different spice blends for you, as the pictures are starting to collect on my phone and not only are they taking up storage, but I want you to have them! And there’s no better way to start it off than with Emeril’s Essence.

Emeril’s Essence is so fitting to kick off what I’m dubbing “Spice Week” because he is really the first celebrity chef that I started watching and that really inspired me to get into the kitchen and start cooking. I’ve tried many different Emeril recipes over the years, and even have several of his cookbooks (which, by the way are also totally inspiring with beautiful pics of his food and stories woven throughout about his different restaurants).

But those who watched Emeril Live know all about Emeril’s Essence, as we waited for him to throw some onto whatever he was cooking and yell “BAM!” So do yourself a favour. Mix together a big batch of this Essence and start kicking things up a notch in your own kitchen!

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika $0.96
  • 2 tablespoons salt $0.06
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder $0.20
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper $0.03
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder $0.26
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper $0.69
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano $0.60
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme $0.75

Total cost $3.55

Instructions:

1.) Mix all ingredients together thoroughly. Store in an airtight container at room temperature and it will last for several months.

Sep 28 2017

How to Build the Perfect Charcuterie Board

When it’s time to host and entertain family and friends, just about everyone I know puts out some kinds of platter. These typically include meats, cheeses, pickles, olives, and the like. To be honest, at my house we love these platters so much that we often have them as lunch when it’s just the four of us. I always just called these ‘platters’, but they’re actually known as charcuterie boards. Maybe I just never called them that before because mine aren’t really fancy. Or maybe because I didn’t even know that word until recently.

But my friend Jules at Shari’s Berries has sent me another dynamic infographic from one of Shari’s Berries sister brands – Gifts.com – and has introduced me to this new word, and the fancy board that makes it up. This one shows the essentials, but you can head on over to www.gifts.com to check out specifics on the perfect cheeses and meats, and the perfect accompaniments to go along with them. I don’t know about you, but my platters just got a big dose of class!

Credit to http://www.gifts.com/ for this graphic.

charcuterie essentials

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