Tip of the Week – Grab a Packet …

… of salad dressing mix and create some yummy, fresh and semi-homemade dressings that are sure to please. Here are recipes for a couple of my favorite dressings that start from a package: 1) Italian and, 2) bleu cheese ranch. Both are so easy to make and bursting with freshness that you normally don’t get out of the bottled stuff. For the Italian dressing I use Good Seasons, and for the bleu cheese ranch, I use Hidden Valley.

Now that the salad days of summer are here, I like to take a little extra time and make my own dressings, with a little bit of seasoning help from Good Seasons and Hidden Valley. If you are growing your own vegetables, or buying locally, treat them right with one of these delicious dressings.

Bleu Cheese Ranch Salad Dressing/Dipping Sauce


  • ½ cup light mayonnaise
  • ½ cup light sour cream
  • ½ cup low fat buttermilk
  • 1 package Hidden Valley Ranch buttermilk dressing mix
  • 4 ½ ounces good bleu cheese, crumbled
  • Garlic salt and ground white pepper to taste


Mix mayo, sour cream and buttermilk until smooth. Blend in salad dressing mix.

Fold in bleu cheese crumbles (I like to have some good sized chunks of bleu cheese.)

Season to taste. Refrigerate 2-3 hours to let all of the ingredients meld together. Serve over a tossed salad or as a dip for chicken wings. This keeps well in the refigerator for 2-3 weeks.

*Note: If you don’t like bleu cheese (and for some reason, some people do not), just follow the directions on the back of the salad dressing package and make regular ranch. It’s still better and much fresher than the bottled stuff!

Good Seasons Italian Dressing/Marinade

My grandparents introduced me to this dressing decades (and decades) ago and I’ve been hooked ever since. This salad dressing is so easy to make, especially if you buy one of the kits that includes the cruet. The cruet has markings on it for each of the ingredients, which include water, vinegar, salad dressing mix and oil. How easy is that?! And if you don’t have the cruet, the exact measurements for all of the ingredients are on the back of the mix.

Mix all igredients together and refrigerate. In addition to being a
great salad dressing, you can also use this as a marinade for grilled chicken.

Here’s a picture of a simple tomato and avocado salad with this dressing that I posted earlier this year at: https://kelleychisholm.wordpress.com/2011/03/13/cheats-macaroni-and-cheese/

So take a couple of extra steps and make your own salad dressings with the help of these little packages. Your vegetables and your tastebuds will thank you.

Bon appétit!

Eat, drink and be merry!

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