No Dip Mix? No Problem!

I ran out of Hidden Valley Ranch Seasoning. I usually buy it in the big containers because it will last a while. I forgot to pick up a new container. I don’t like making dip in big batches unless it is for special occasions or certain functions. I just don’t sit and eat a whole thing anymore. Yes, anymore, as in I was a ravenous teenager who could sit and eat a whole bag of chips with dip and burn it off in no time. I wish my metabolism was still that good!

I began experimenting with my spices and the sour cream. I don’t mind the taste of plain sour cream as much as I use to. It has become a staple in my home… Dear, Peanut Butter, I miss you. While I have made dips in the past from scratch they have come out less than pleasant or even edible. It could be my changing pallet as well. Here is what it looks like: IMG_1846

It doesn’t look too scary, right? This is what transpired:
– Sour Cream
– Parsley
– Minced Onion
– Onion Powder
– Chives
– Garlic Powder
– Creole Seasoning
– Paprika
– Pinch of Sea Salt

Everything was added to taste. You need to let the minced onion sit a bit as it can be crunchy. I would say this is some place between onion and veggie-tasting. Not so much like ranch. The flavor is mild and could probably use a bit more of something but I have yet to figure out what. In the mean time, I am going to enjoy it with a bowl of chips, hot chocolate, and Netflix!

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Finnish Cardamom Bread

ImageCardamom bread is wonderful to make, but it can be time consuming,. The recipe I used can be found here: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Finnish-Pulla/Detail.aspx?event8=1&prop24=SR_Title&e11=finnish%20sweet%20bread&e8=Quick%20Search&event10=1&e7=Recipe

ImageThis bread tastes great with coffee. You can also slice it and make delicious French toast.

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Now you are probably wondering–what happens if I have extra dough left? Do I just make a tiny braid and bake it? You can if you want. It is truly up to you. Here is what I did: Roll out the dough on a floured surface into a long rectangle shape (or as close as you can get to one). Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar to coat the dough. Roll towards you so that you are rolling the longest edge. Cut into one inch pieces. Place on a greased cookie sheet and bake in the oven for about 15-20 minutes. Note that if you are not lazy like me, you can pinch the edges so you retain more of a circular shape. If you want to be lazy, you can display these in a lovely 69 position on a platter. I recommend serving this with a cream cheese frosting. Just mix one stick of butter, with one package of cream cheese. Add 2-3 cups of confectioner’s sugar. DON’T FORGET THE GINGER BRANDY!! You can add a few scoopfuls of that for flavor. You can also just leave it plain or add a number of other ingredients to enhance the flavor like cinnamon, cardamom, vanilla, etc.

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Mystery Pecan Pie

Since I could not find my own recipe, I decided to use Paula Deen’s: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/mystery-pecan-pie-recipe/index.html

Mystery Pecan Pie

The Competent Chef’s Mystery Pecan Pie Baking

I like this particular recipe because it should be fool proof. You can use one of those Pillsbury pre-made pie crusts or make your own.

Once again there is a difference! Instead of vanilla, I used ginger brandy to flavor this delicious pie. I’m sure you can see a theme here…

Here is how it came out!

Mystery Pecan Pie(Complete)

Mystery Pecan Pie(Complete)