Homemade Ranch Dressing and Stacey’s Birthday Dinner

So back in August (yes I know I am so far behind on my postings) I wanted to make my good, great, awesome friend Stacey dinner for her birthday. So I emailed her and asked her what she wanted for her dinner…Stacey is a busy lady and she lives 90 miles from me so we don’t get to see each other often and I have never cooked her a Jamie meal, so I wanted to cook her and her hubby and kids a nice meal of things she liked. So I asked her and this is what she requested: fried catfish, with hush puppies, watermelon and salad with REAL ranch dressing, not the bottled stuff or packet stuff…OK you got it…

So I decided on The pioneer woman’s ranch dressing because I LOVE the Pioneer woman

I doubled this recipe as I LOVE ranch and I was cooking for 7 of us and I wanted leftover ranch for a salad for myself for the next couple of nights with dinner. Because (again) I LOVE ranch).

3 cloves of Garlic, minced
Salt, To Taste
1/4 cup Italian Flat-leaf Parsley, chopped
2 Tablespoons Fresh Chives, minced
1 cup (Real) Mayonnaise
1/2 cup Sour Cream
Buttermilk (as Needed To Desired Consistency)
White Vinegar (about 2 tablespoons)
Worcestershire Sauce, (few dashes)
Fresh Dill (I did about 1/3 a cup)
Cayenne Pepper (I did a teaspoon)
Paprika (I did a teaspoon)
dried Oregano (I did a teaspoon)
Tabasco (5-6 dashes)
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Mince the garlic
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then sprinkle about an 1/8 to ¼ teaspoon of salt on it
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and mash it into a paste with a fork.
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Then Chop the parsley,
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chives
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Dill, finely
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and set aside

In a bowl combine the Mayonnaise
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Sour cream
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and buttermilk
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Vinegar (I added in 2 tablespoons)
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few dashes of Worcestershire Sauce
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a teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper (Stacey likes things spicy, so I kept that in mind)
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Paprika (about 1 teaspoon)
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Dried Oregano (about 1 teaspoon)
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5-6 dashes of Tabasco
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I also added in about a teaspoon of garlic salt
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(and of course) I also added in about a teaspoon of creole seasoning
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I also added in about 1/4 a teaspoon of salt
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Mix everything together with a whisk and mix really well.

I tasted mine several times for flavoring
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then I added in the garlic I smashed up earlier and all the fresh herbs as well
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I decided to bust out my electric hand blender to make sure all the herbs were nice and chopped up finely, I didn’t want someone to get a big chunk of dill or parsley
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I blended the dressing really well
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then tasted it for seasonings again, add in more of what it was missing, if it’s not missing anything, then leave it as is! Mine was perfect!
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Looks like ranch dressing!
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I LOVE ranch dressing!
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I added mine to a bottle, to make it easier for pouring
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These are the 4 extra seasonings that I ended up adding in on my own, about a teaspoon of each
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I let the dressing chill most of the day, while I cooked everything else, tasting it to make sure I got the seasoning right!

I also made Stacey a brownie cake. She LOVES Brownies, Pecans and Caramel. So I made her a turtle brownie cake
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I wanted this cake to be pretty amazing, just like my friend!
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I also made homemade bacon bits for the salad as well with REAL bacon!
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Watermelon
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The Birthday girl
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I had Stacey’s son Blaise sample the ranch dressing to make sure it was ok…he approved!
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Hush puppies
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cards the kiddies made their momma!
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mmmmmm salad with homemade ranch dressing…the BEST!
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catfish
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Happy Birthday Dear Friend!
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Recipe

  • 3 cloves of Garlic, minced
  • Salt, To Taste
  • 1/4 cup Italian Flat-leaf Parsley, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Chives, minced
  • 1 cup (Real) Mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup Sour Cream
  • Buttermilk (as Needed To Desired Consistency)
  • White Vinegar (about 2 tablespoons)
  • Worcestershire Sauce, (few dashes)
  • Fresh Dill (I did about 1/3 a cup)
  • Cayenne Pepper (I did a teaspoon)
  • Paprika (I did a teaspoon)
  • Fresh Oregano (I did a teaspoon)
  • Tabasco (5-6 dashes)
  • Mince the garlic
  • then sprinkle about an 1/8 to ¼ teaspoon of salt on it
  • and mash it into a paste with a fork.
  • Then Chop the parsley, chives Dill, finely
  • and set aside
  • In a bowl combine the Mayonnaise, Sour cream and buttermilk
  • Vinegar (I added in 2 tablespoons)
  • few dashes of Worcestershire Sauce
  • a teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper (Stacey likes things spicy, so I kept that in mind)
  • Paprika (about 1 teaspoon)
  • Dried Oregano (about 1 teaspoon)
  • 5-6 dashes of Tabasco
  • I also added in about a teaspoon of garlic salt
  • (and of course) I also added in about a teaspoon of creole seasoning
  • Mix everything together with a whisk and mix really well.
  • I tasted mine several times for flavoring
  • then I added in the garlic I smashed up earlier and all the fresh herbs as well
  • I decided to bust out my electric hand blender to make sure all the herbs were nice and chopped up finely, I didn’t want someone to get a big chunk of dill or parsley
  • I blended the dressing really well
  • then tasted it for seasonings again, add in more of what it was missing, if it’s not missing anything, then leave it as is! Mine was perfect!
  • I let the dressing chill most of the day, while I cooked everything else, tasting it to make sure I got the seasoning right!

Creamy Cucumber Salad

Got the inspiration for this recipe from my friend Karen! We went to her house for dinner one night and she had made a creamy cucumber salad and holy yum! I fell in love! So when I love something that I try for the 1st time, I have to make it myself!

So here is how I made my creamy cucumber salad:

So I used:

Freshly ground black pepper
Kosher Salt
Fresh Dill
Mayonnaise
Lemon juice
Creole Seasoning
Chives
2 cucumbers (I used English Cucumber because they are my fav) if you use regular cucumbers, maybe use 3
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Peel the cucumbers
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Then slice them up, you can do them thin or thick, whatever you like
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then cut the sliced pieces in 1/2
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Place the cucumber slices into a medium-sized bowl
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then grab another, small bowl and add about 1/2 a cup of mayonnaise,
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and then add 1 tsp of lemon juice
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then about 1/2 a tbsp of chopped, fresh dill
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stir that all together
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Season your cucumbers with salt, and pepper to taste
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add the mayonnaise mixture to the cucumbers
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stir together with the cucumbers, really well

then sprinkle some chives over the cucumbers (about a tsp)
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then stir the chives in and then season with the creole seasoning, 1 tsp. (my fav)
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stir everything together again

refrigerate until you are ready to eat.

Then serve it up!

YUMMY in my tummy!
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Recipe

  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Kosher Salt
  • Fresh Dill
  • Mayonnaise
  • Lemon juice
  • Creole Seasoning
  • Chives
  • 2 cucumbers (I used English Cucumber because they are my fav) if you use regular cucumbers, maybe use 3
  • Peel the cucumbers
  • Then slice them up, you can do them thin or thick, whatever you like
  • then cut the sliced pieces in 1/2
  • Place the cucumber slices into a medium-sized bowl
  • then grab another, small bowl and add about 1/2 a cup of mayonnaise,
  • and then add 1 tsp of lemon juice
  • then about 1/2 a tbsp of chopped, fresh dill
  • stir that all together
  • Season your cucumbers with salt, and pepper to taste
  • add the mayonnaise mixture to the cucumbers
  • stir together with the cucumbers, really well
  • then sprinkle some chives over the cucumbers (about a tsp)
  • then stir the chives in and then season with the creole seasoning, 1 tsp.
  • stir everything together again
  • refrigerate until you are ready to eat.
  • Then serve it up!

Horseradish Sauce

Got the recipe from here

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3 Tablespoons extra hot prepared horseradish
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1/4 cup sour cream
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1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
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1 Tablespoon mayonnaise
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1 Tablespoon chopped chives
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Mix ingredients together. Serve as a sauce for steak or roast
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Recipe

  • 3 Tablespoons extra hot prepared horseradish
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped chives
  • Mix ingredients together. Serve as a sauce for steak or roast

Baked Spaghetti Squash with Cheese and Chives

So for dinner one night Normy and I had some Spaghetti Squash and I cooked it with this recipe

So we only ate one half of the squash so we had another half leftover so I wanted to eat it the next day for lunch, but I wanted to do something different so I preheated my oven to 350 degrees and grabbed a little pan and put the other half of the spaghetti squash in it and then I put a little dab of butter, about a teaspoon then I had some extra sharp cheddar cheese, so I grated/shredded about 1/3 cup and sprinkled it over the shredded squash and then I had some freeze dried chives and sprinkled about 1 teaspoon over the cheese and threw the pan in the oven and baked for about 10 minutes, until cheese was melted. Took it out of the oven and let it cool for a few and then ate it. Holy goodness! Tasted soooo good!
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Recipe

  • 1 spaghetti Squash. pretty good-sized one…
  • Cut it in half…
  • clean the seeds out
  • Then get a glass baking dish that the squash will fit in and will fit in the microwave and put one half of the squash flat side down and fill half way with water and put in microwave for about 15-20 minutes.
  • once its done, flip it over (don’t burn yourself) and get a fork and scrape the sides and it will look like hash browns. That’s what it reminded me of the first time I saw Jeff do this…Then after scrapping the sides and getting all the squash that will come off the sides and bottom
  • add in about 2 tablespoons of butter
  • and salt and pepper
  • Mix butter and salt and pepper in and I put all the squash over the butter to help it melt and kinda stir it up best you can, then pour it in a bowl and add a little more salt and pepper and you could even add more butter if you wanted too or more pepper
  • So we only ate one half of the squash so we had another half leftover so I wanted to eat it the next day for lunch, but I wanted to do something different so I preheated my oven to 350 degrees and grabbed a little pan and put the other half of the spaghetti squash in it and then I put a little dab of butter, about a teaspoon then I had some extra sharp cheddar cheese, so I grated/shredded about 1/3 cup and sprinkled it over the shredded squash and then I had some freeze dried chives and sprinkled about 1 teaspoon over the cheese and threw the pan in the oven and baked for about 10 minutes, until cheese was melted. Took it out of the oven and let it cool for a few and then ate it. Holy goodness! Tasted soooo good!

Auntie Tricia’s Balsamic Vinaigrette

my friend Karen made me this dressing one night and I fell in LOVE with it instantly! So tangy and sweet! Best Vinaigrette I’ve had!

It’s my go to Vinaigrette dressing!

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3/4 Cup balsamic vinegar
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2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
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1 1/2 Tablespoons basil, minced
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1 tablespoon parsley, minced
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1 1/2 teaspoon honey
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1/4 teaspoon each chives,
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shallot, garlic – minced
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1/2 teaspoon each salt & pepper
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1 Cup canola oil

pulse all ingredients, except the oil in a food processor (I used my hand blender) until combined
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While food processor is running, drizzle the oil in.
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Chill and serve.
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Recipe

  • 3/4 Cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons basil, minced
  • 1 tablespoon parsley, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon each chives,
  • shallot, garlic – minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon each salt & pepper
  • 1 Cup canola oil
  • pulse all ingredients, except the oil in a food processor (I used my hand blender) until combined
  • While food processor is running, drizzle the oil in.
  • Chill and serve.

Cauliflower “Mashed Potatoes”

Ever had cauliflower potatoes? Not potatoes….But instead of using potatoes you use cauliflower and it tastes like mashed potatoes, only better for you! Well if you haven’t, you should try it! So here we go, How I made cauliflower wanna be mashed potatoes.

side note – cauliflower is stinky!

So take one head of cauliflower
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and wash it and take the leaves and bottom stem part off and cut it up and add to a pot of water, enough for the cauliflower to swim around in and get soft
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then place the pot of water on a burner and turn the burner to high heat and boil the cauliflower

I boiled mine for about 15-20 minutes. I just kept poking the bigger pieces with a fork until they were nice and tender
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Then drain the cauliflower in a strainer
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then place the cauliflower in a food processor, I did this in two batches
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I added a little butter
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and I added in a little Cajun seasoning (of course) to taste
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and then I purred the cauliflower, I also added a little milk too so that it helped to break up the bigger chucks of cauliflower and loosen everything up.
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then purred it again
until it was nice and smooth
You may need to add more milk, but just keep purring it till its nice and smooth
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I placed both batches in a medium saucepan and added a little bit more butter and turned burner to medium low heat
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Then I added in a little greek yogurt and better than bullion (chicken flavor) for a little more flavoring and saltines
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Then I added in salt and pepper and chives, to taste
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stir all that together and let it warm up and taste it for seasoning and adjust if needed
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Then serve the cauliflower “potatoes” up nice and hot
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I sprinkled a little more chives over my cauliflower

They look just like mashed potatoes don’t they!? I think they taste like them too!

Here is that recipe again for you…

So take one cauliflower head

And wash it and take the leaves and bottom stem part off and cut it up and add to a pot of with water, enough for the cauliflower to swim around in and get soft

Then place the pot of water on a burner and turn the burner to high heat and boil the cauliflower

I boiled mine for about 15-20 minutes. I just kept poking the bigger pieces with a fork until they were nice and tender

Then drain the cauliflower in a strainer

Then place the cauliflower in a food processor, I did this in two batches

I added a little butter

And I added in a little Cajun seasoning (of course) to taste

And then I purred the cauliflower, and I added a little milk too so that it helped to break up the bigger chucks of cauliflower and loosen everything up.

Then purred it again
until it was nice and smooth
you may need to add more milk, but just keep purring it till it’s nice and smooth

I placed both batches in a medium saucepan and added a little bit more butter and turned burner to medium low heat

Then I added in a little Greek yogurt and better than bouillon (chicken flavor) for a little more flavoring and saltines

Then I added in salt and pepper and chives, to taste

Stir all that together and let it warm up and taste it for seasoning and adjust if needed

Then serve the cauliflower “potatoes” up nice and hot

I sprinkled a little more chives over my cauliflower

They look just like mashed potatoes don’t they!? I think they taste like them too!

Cauliflower “Mashed Potatoes”

Ever had cauliflower potatoes? Not potatoes….But instead of using potatoes you use cauliflower and it tastes like mashed potatoes, only better for you! Well if you haven’t, you should try it! So here we go, How I made cauliflower wanna be mashed potatoes.

side note – cauliflower is stinky!

So take one head of cauliflower
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and wash it and take the leaves and bottom stem part off and cut it up and add to a pot of water, enough for the cauliflower to swim around in and get soft
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then place the pot of water on a burner and turn the burner to high heat and boil the cauliflower

I boiled mine for about 15-20 minutes. I just kept poking the bigger pieces with a fork until they were nice and tender
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Then drain the cauliflower in a strainer
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then place the cauliflower in a food processor, I did this in two batches
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I added a little butter
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and I added in a little Cajun seasoning (of course) to taste
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and then I purred the cauliflower, I also added a little milk too so that it helped to break up the bigger chucks of cauliflower and loosen everything up.
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then purred it again
until it was nice and smooth
You may need to add more milk, but just keep purring it till its nice and smooth
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I placed both batches in a medium saucepan and added a little bit more butter and turned burner to medium low heat
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Then I added in a little greek yogurt and better than bullion (chicken flavor) for a little more flavoring and saltines
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Then I added in salt and pepper and chives, to taste
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stir all that together and let it warm up and taste it for seasoning and adjust if needed
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Then serve the cauliflower “potatoes” up nice and hot
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I sprinkled a little more chives over my cauliflower

They look just like mashed potatoes don’t they!? I think they taste like them too!

Here is that recipe again for you…

So take one cauliflower head

And wash it and take the leaves and bottom stem part off and cut it up and add to a pot of with water, enough for the cauliflower to swim around in and get soft

Then place the pot of water on a burner and turn the burner to high heat and boil the cauliflower

I boiled mine for about 15-20 minutes. I just kept poking the bigger pieces with a fork until they were nice and tender

Then drain the cauliflower in a strainer

Then place the cauliflower in a food processor, I did this in two batches

I added a little butter

And I added in a little Cajun seasoning (of course) to taste

And then I purred the cauliflower, and I added a little milk too so that it helped to break up the bigger chucks of cauliflower and loosen everything up.

Then purred it again
until it was nice and smooth
you may need to add more milk, but just keep purring it till it’s nice and smooth

I placed both batches in a medium saucepan and added a little bit more butter and turned burner to medium low heat

Then I added in a little Greek yogurt and better than bouillon (chicken flavor) for a little more flavoring and saltines

Then I added in salt and pepper and chives, to taste

Stir all that together and let it warm up and taste it for seasoning and adjust if needed

Then serve the cauliflower “potatoes” up nice and hot

I sprinkled a little more chives over my cauliflower

They look just like mashed potatoes don’t they!? I think they taste like them too!