Today, my daughter Molly talked me into buying a bottle of Hidden Valley Ranch dressing at the grocery store. It was only recently that I learned about my kids’ knowledge and love of Ranch.
When Cece requested it one day with her carrot sticks, I asked her, “Where did you have it?” “At school.”
Of course! What daycare-going, preschool-aged child in America has not had ranch salad dressing with those faux baby carrots? They could probably become their own food group.
It was one of those moments when I realized my 3-year old’s experiences are expanding beyond my reach. I resolved then and there to make those girls some homemade ranch.
After all, I had all the ingredients I needed: mayonnaise, yogurt and the granulated garlic in long-term storage in the spice cabinet for making sausage.
One night, when I was searching for a side to go with a baked potato supper, I mixed up some yogurt ranch for my little epicures to try–and as a way to get them to eat cauliflower and broccoli. They liked my ranch enough to eat those crucifers.
At lunch today, after I shuddered reading the ingredient list on the Hidden Valley bottle, I conducted an informal poll. As they were speed-eating baby carrots dipped in Ranch.
I asked as casually as I could, “Which ranch do you like better? This one or the one I made the other day?”
Public school first grader Molly was unequivocal. She looked me straight in the eye and said, “This one.” Her younger sister answered with her mouthful. “I liked yours better, Mommy.”
My vote broke the tie.
Yogurt Ranch Dip & Dressing
This yogurt ranch is based on a recipe from Saveur, and the reason I keep powdered onion and garlic on hand. They're convenient and they blend in quickly for the best smoothness. It's made with 50/50 mayo-plain yogurt and yields 1 cup. Double--or triple-this recipe for a party. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise homemade or store-bought, egg or plant-based
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- pinch black pepper
- 2 tablespoons milk
Combine all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl until smooth and well blended. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour to let the flavors marry before serving and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.